Projecting the 2022 SF Giants lineup
Of course, the Giants experienced one loss earlier in the offseason as longtime catcher Buster Posey announced his retirement. Kris Bryant remains available, but his status is in limbo due in part to the baseball lockout.
When next season begins, the Giants could enter the year without two key right-handed bats from the 2021 season. They still have the financial flexibility to make one or two more big moves, but as things currently stand, the lineup has some question marks. They have 13 spots open for position players, so I will be looking at the 13 most likely position players to make the team based on the current roster.
Catchers (2) - Joey Bart, Curt Casali
With the departure of Posey, the keys at catcher belong to Joey Bart. This will be an important year for the former second overall pick as he struggled to the tune of a .609 OPS in his rookie season in 2020.
Those circumstances were unique due to the shortened season and the fact that the young backstop was promoted prematurely. The Giants needed a jolt of offense to the lineup and Bart was one of the few sensible moves that they could make.
At the time of the promotion, he had a total of 87 plate appearances above Single-A under his belt, so he was not necessarily put in a position to succeed, With that being said, it is interesting to see how players respond when they experience failure.
The right-handed bat spent the bulk of his time in Triple-A in 2021, slashing .294/.358/.472 with 10 home runs, 46 RBI, and 37 runs scored in 279 plate appearances. This included a 7.5 percent walk rate against a 29.4 percent strikeout rate.
Strikeouts are going to be part of his game, and hopefully, he adds enough power to generate overall offensive value. On defense, he looked much more comfortable behind the dish in Triple-A while serving as the field general.
His struggles with communication, framing and throwing from 2020 seem like an outlier and not to be expected going forward. Curt Casali will likely continue to see plenty of playing time and serve as a mentor to Bart.
He performed well in 2021 with a .663 OPS in 231 plate appearances while providing solid defense behind the plate. There is no doubt that pitchers liked throwing to the eight-year veteran, and oddly enough, the Giants posted a 42-13 record in games he started.