Did the SF Giants unlock a new skill thanks to a speedy utility bat?

Tyler Fitzgerald may be the speed threat the Giants need.
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The SF Giants were the last team to steal a base this MLB season. On Wednesday against the Nationals, they changed that thanks in large part to the young versatile player Tyler Fitzgerald. Since then, they have added five more steals to the ledger.

Did the SF Giants unlock a new skill thanks to a speedy utility bat?

Giants broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper have often said over the years that if a player wears white cleats, he had better be fast. Well, Fitzgerald usually wears white cleats and he certainly backs that fashion statement up with his wheels on the bases.

Fitzgerald stole two bases against the Nationals on Wednesday. His speed and aggressiveness on the base paths, along with other players like Austin Slater and Matt Chapman, definitely helped the team win the game and get the offense going.

As of this writing, the Giants are no longer last place in stolen bases(!), they are now in second to last(!!!), which is worth celebrating. Last season the Giants were dead last in stolen bases with 57. The next closest was the Angels with 72.

It is clear that the last few seasons, the Giants have not made swiping bags a big part of their strategy. Despite Wednesday's promise, I highly doubt they are going to become a big base-stealing team overnight.

However, Wednesday showed that they should be more aggressive on the basepaths when it is smart to be. If they are going against a pitcher who has a tell on when he is going to throw over to first or a catcher who has a weak arm then they should take advantage of that.

They have several players on the team who are capable of stealing bases. Fitzgerald may be the top threat, but he is not an everyday player as of right now. Jung Hoo Lee has the speed to steal bases. As does Slater, Chapman, and Thairo Estrada.

The Giants need to be smart about this, of course. They cannot repeatedly run their way into outs and kill potential rallies before they begin. But if their offense gets into a funk like it has recently, it may not hurt to get more aggressive on the basepaths to see if that can provide a spark.

Fitzgerald may see more playing time if he can prove that he can consistently get on base and steal bases. If he does, he may be the speed demon that the Giants have been desperately searching for for some time.