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SF Giants: The 3 biggest surprises from the first half of the season

Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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Luis Gonzalez, SF Giants
Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox / Norm Hall/GettyImages

SF Giants: The 3 biggest surprises from the first half of the season

2. Luis González

Speaking of moves that did not garner attention. The SF Giants claimed Luis González off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox in the middle of last season. He was immediately placed on the 60-day injured list after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The 26-year-old outfielder quickly made a positive impression after stringing together a bunch of quality at-bats in the Cactus League in 2022. That performance carried over into the regular season where he posted an .889 OPS in 54 plate appearances with the Sacramento River Cats before earning a promotion to the Giants.

The left-handed bat has given the Giants lineup a gritty and professional at-bat while being a good situational hitter. Of course, it helps that González has a sweet swing that produces a lot of line drives.

He has been fantastic in the batter's box, slashing .282/.343/.414 (112 OPS+) with three home runs, 26 RBI, and 20 runs in 204 plate appearances. This includes an 8.3 percent walk rate against a 19.6 percent strikeout rate.

It bears mentioning that González has struggled as he has recorded just three hits in 22 at-bats since returning from the injured list. He might be best suited for a platoon role as he has posted an .850 OPS in 153 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.

However, Giants manager Gabe Kapler has often used him in the lineup against lefties as well where he has just eight hits in 45 at-bats. This is due to a roster imbalance given that the roster has more lefties than righties. González has typically been the choice among the lefties on the roster to face off against southpaws.

With all that being said, the lefty bat has made a solid impression in his first season with the Giants. It is easy to envision him filling a role over the next couple of seasons with San Francisco.

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