What If...? The SF Giants were in the Marvel Universe?
5. Wood... SMASH
Someone gets on base, Alex Wood gets angry, he smashes strikes, he has a mean streak. Nuff said. Like Bruce Banner's bout with radioactivity, Wood persisted through his own miraculous challenge - Tommy John surgery - to rehabilitate his form and pitching prowess. Then there's the anger. If there was someone on the team I'd like to not be in a bar fight with, it would be Alex. I mean, let's remember his little spat with Muncy and tell me you want to call time before his next heater up and in. Let's hope Wood keeps entering his mean green mode and continues smashing the strike zone for San Francisco.
6. Yastrzemski Soars as the Falcon
Let's be honest, aside from the 25 dingers, it's been somewhat a tough offensive season for Mike Yastrzemski. With that being said, fans have stayed faithful cheering for one of their favorite underdog storylines. Grandson of Boston Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, traded away from Baltimore for pitching prospect Tyler Herb, and breaking out as a fan-favorite in his first two seasons in orange and black. Unfortunately, 2021 was a different story batting only .224 and having some struggles making contact at the plate. The reasoning behind his connection to the Falcon is simple: He, like ex giant and now free agent Joe Panik, were touted as one of the "Posey Clones". A clean-cut hitter of few words that swung the bat and played great defense. In 2019 and 2020, many saw Yaz as the up-and-coming face of the new age, post-Posey Giants. Another cinderella story ala Farhan Magic (See Wade, Solano, Flores, etc.) Yastrzemski had a similar image and energy on the field that somewhat mimicked Posey's leader-of-few-words vibe. Like Falcon's transition to Captain America, Yastrzemski was in prime position pre-2021 to carry Posey's shield. But just like the Falcon and Winter Soldier series portrayed, this transition of the Captain mantle is one full of challenges and struggles. We're hoping Yastrzemski bounces back and fulfills this role in 2022 and beyond.
7. Size up, Ant-Man Darin Ruf
Big country bat, a behemoth of a man, Darin Ruf easily fits the size transforming Ant-Man. The giant among Giants sized up against left-handed pitching throughout the season and found himself in an everyday role near the end of 2021. Just picture my guy turning 30 feet tall and belly-flopping for third base. Majestic!
8. Brandon Belt as Thor
Our captain's back and hopefully will heal quickly. With his witty interview segments and his bat dropping power, Brandon Belt figures to be a close to perfect comparison to the God of Thunder himself, Thor. Both are stoic, yet comedic in their own way, they have massive control over their respective equipment, and both have bounced back from major injuries. Albeit, Thor losing an eye and going through the traumatic experiences of losing his brother pales in comparison to Belt being beaned in the hand by a fastball. Here's to hoping Captain Belt has his own version of Thor's triumphant return in Avengers: Endgame.