The SF Giants handed out the Willie Mac award on Friday night before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and it was awarded to a very deserving player. Wilmer Flores received the 2022 Willie Mac award for his steady contributions at the plate and veteran leadership in the clubhouse.
SF Giants infielder Wilmer Flores takes home the 2022 Willie Mac award
The award is voted on by members of the organization including his teammates, so it carries a lot of weight when players receive it. The award honors the Hall of Fame career of first baseman Willie McCovey, so it carries a special meaning to the organization.
That meaning is further cemented when you consider how many recipients return each year for the ceremony:
After winning 107 games in 2021, this season felt like a disappointment given that the Giants will miss out on the playoffs. That said, there were plenty of deserving candidates, which does not always happen with a disappointing season.
Wilmer Flores was an excellent choice to take home the award. He has become a popular player among Giants fans since inking a three-year, $9.5 million pact before the 2020 season. The good news is that he will remain in the orange and black for the foreseeable future as he signed a two-year, $13 million extension with a mutual option for 2025.
The right-handed bat has proven to be a steady contributor at the plate. In 583 plate appearances, he has slashed .231/.316/.400 (101 OPS+) with 19 home runs, 71 RBI, and 70 runs. The home run output represents a career-high and the RBI output is first among Giants hitters.
In the field, the 31-year-old has seen time at third base, second base, and first base. First base is his best position, but he provides coverage at second base and third base when the need arises.
Flores has emerged as a clubhouse leader as well, especially for younger players like Thairo Estrada and Camilo Doval.
It is a nice ceremony at the end of the season to recognize a player who has been impactful to the organization and it feels like the voters got this one right.