Opening Day will be here before we know it. The SF Giants have done some heavy lifting so far this winter, but there is still work to be done. If the season began today, what would the Opening Day roster look like?
Way too early SF Giants Opening Day roster prediction
Catchers - Patrick Bailey, Tom Murphy
There is little surprise here. Patrick Bailey should enter the season as the undisputed starting catcher. Tom Murphy was signed to a two-year, $13 million contract this off-season. Murphy represents quality insurance for Bailey, who struggled down the stretch last year with fatigue and the long MLB season.
First base - Lamonte Wade Jr., Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis
First base is a platoon position for the Giants. The left-handed side of that platoon will be Lamonte Wade Jr. while Wilmer Flores and J.D. Davis will get time versus left-handed pitching. We likely see Davis play more third base than anything else while Flores and Wade are 1B/DH only so we will likely see the majority of their defense prowess at 1B.
Second base - Thairo Estrada
Estrada heads into 2024 as the only player projected for more than 600 plate appearances. Between the plus defense, the ability to hit both lefties and righties, and the fact that he is the key cog at the top of the lineup means that Estrada will rarely see the bench.
Shortstops - Marco Luciano, Casey Schmidt
Marco Luciano is penciled in as the start starter in 2024 with a chance to prove that he can be the everyday shortstop going forward. Fangraphs projects that Brett Wisely will make the squad but factoring in the fact that Wisely was horrific last year and Schmidt's elite defensive capabilities the edge went to Schmidt.
Third base - J.D. Davis, Casey Schmidt
Davis and Schmidt will likely both play versus left-handed pitching as Schmidt will play 3B, Davis 1B/DH, and Flores at 1B/DH. Against right-handed pitching Schmidt and Davis will likely split time as the Giants attempt to keep both players fresh.
Left field - Michael Conforto
Conforto had a tough 2023 season and showed some rust after missing the entire 2022 season. The Giants are hoping for a bounce-back as he is likely to see a full-time role in left field this season, especially after Mitch Haniger was sent to Seattle as part of the Robbie Ray trade.
Center field - Jung Hoo Lee
Lee is similar to Conforto in that he should see little competition in his position. Farhan Zaidi has already confirmed that Lee will be the everyday center fielder as he should bring elite center field defense along with a contact-oriented offense at the top of the lineup.
Right filed - Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater
Yastrzemski and Slater should formulate an obvious platoon in RF. Both players will bring plus defense and quality offensive production in platoon matchups. Especially now that both players are returning to their more natural position after spending the last couple of years out of position in CF.
Utility - Tyler Fitzgerald
This final bench spot could be a few options. Blake Sabol and Cooper Hummell both represent possible third-catcher and fifth-outfield options. However, Tyler Fitzgerald has experience in both the outfield and infield with decent fielding grades in both scenarios. Furthermore, Fitzgerald brings a unique skill set of elite speed making him the perfect late-game pinch runner/defensive replacement.