SF Giants: The 3 biggest disappointments from the first half of 2022
Brandon Crawford was one of the best players in baseball last year. He finished fourth in the MVP voting after having a career-year at the plate where he posted a .298/.373/.522 line (140 OPS+) with 24 home runs, 90 RBI, and 79 runs in 549 plate appearances.
This included a National League All-Star nod as well as his fourth Gold Glove award. The Giants rewarded him with a two-year, $32 million extension midway through the season.
This season has not gone as planned for the longtime Giants shortstop. Crawford is currently on the injured list for the second time this season with a knee ailment. He has been one of the more durable players over the past decade and it is fair to wonder if his performance was in some way related to a nagging knee injury.
The left-handed bat has slashed .215/.297/.332 (77 OPS+) with five home runs, 33 RBI, and 29 runs in 279 plate appearances. He is not hitting the ball with as much force as he did last season and he has struggled to do damage against fastballs. These are not good trends for a player who is in his age-35 season.
On a different note, Crawford's defense at shortstop has taken a noticeable step back. The team's defensive struggles extend way beyond one position, but it is tough to ignore that the 12-year veteran has been worth -7 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) but he has been worth +1 Outs Above Average (OAA).
It would have been unrealistic to expect Crawford to replicate last year's production this season. However, Giants fans expected him to be a key cog and it just has not happened yet. Perhaps, recovering from the knee injury can be a springboard for a better second half.