SF Giants may already have Jung Hoo Lee replacement in NL Player of the Week

The man who has replaced Jung Hoo Lee is off to a great start.
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants lost center fielder Jung Hoo Lee for the year. However, Luis Matos, the man who has filled in, is off to a great start for the team. He just earned NL Player of the Week honors for his efforts last week.

SF Giants may already have Jung Hoo Lee replacement in NL Player of the Week

Losing Lee was a huge blow for the Giants. He was one of their key offseason acquisitions and was proving to be an exciting young talent for the team. He dislocated his shoulder and is done for the rest of the season but a new hope has emerged.

Luis Matos had a week to remember last week. He hit for an average of .385 with 2 home runs, 3 doubles, and a whopping 16 RBI. It was an offensive explosion that propelled the Giants to a season-high 4-game winning streak and a sweep against the Rockies over the weekend.

This seemed like the year that Matos could establish himself at the big league level. He tore the cover off the ball in Spring Training and made as good of a case as he could to make the Opening Day roster but was left off. It seemed like by the end of the year he could supplant either Mike Yastrzemski or Michael Conforto at one of the corner outfield spots.

Unfortunately, the Lee injury is what has allowed Matos to flourish. One would prefer that injury is not what was necessary, but sometimes that is what happens in sports: a guy gets hurt and his replacement does a great job and proves that he belongs.

Matos figures to get a very long look in center field now. He is the hottest hitter in the lineup right now, and his youth and enthusiasm provide a spark and energy that was clearly missing from the club for much of the year. Who knows whether Matos can sustain his hot hitting for the rest of the year or whether he will have a cool down like Casey Schmitt did after a hot start last season.

For now, though, Matos is looking like he could be a more than acceptable replacement for Lee as he gets surgery on his shoulder. Plus, with how other young players like Heliot Ramos and Marco Luciano are playing, it seems like the Giants could be in a moment where "the future is now" as they try to stay hot and play winning ball.