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Monday, October 05, 2009

Giants End Season On High Note

The Giants ended their 2009 season on Sunday, going out with a victory in San Diego, capping off what was a very surprising and successful year for the organization.

Pablo Sandoval also put a nice final touch on his season, as he hit the game-winning solo home run in the 10th inning to put the Giants on top for good. Then Brian Wilson came on to shut the door on the Pads for his 38th save of the year. It was really a fitting way for "Big Panda" to finish off his year with that home run, as he really emerged as the Giants' team MVP in 2009. He showed a glimpse of what he could do at the end of the 2008 season, and didn't disappoint in the slightest in 2009. Sandoval's final line for the '09 season looks pretty darn good: .330 avg, 25 HR, 90 RBI, .943 OPS, and I think he's just starting to tap into the potential that he has. It took him a little while to get his power bat going too, as he only hit 3 home runs over the first two months of the season, so he's definitely got some room for improvement. What really surprised me throughout his season, was the improvement he showed in his plate discipline. It's no secret that he's more of a free swinger than your average ML hitter, and that works for him, but the reason why he was able to carry an average in the .330's for most of the season was because of his improved eye at the plate. He walked just 4 times in 145 at-bats as a rookie last year, but walked 52 times in 572 at-bats in 2009. Oh yeah, he's still just 23 years old, which means he's not even close to hitting his full potential yet, and that's pretty scary.

Unfortunately, the Giants didn't have many other young players step up and cement themselves a full-time role with this team going forward. Nate Schierholtz showed glimpses at times, but the more at-bats he got over the course of the year, the less impressive he was. Same with Eugenio Velez. His first 200 at-bats of the year couldn't have gone much better than they did, but then he mellowed out a bit towards the end of the year. Velez did, however, show that he deserves a pretty prominent role with this team going forward. If the Giants decide not to exercise their option on Freddy Sanchez, and don't add anyone else from outside the organization this winter, there's a solid chance Velez could end up at second base, or at least play heavily into the mix there, in 2010. He did go out on a positive not though as well, as he was 3-5 with 2 runs and 2 sb's in Sunday's season finale. Another guy who really stepped up at the end of the year was Andres Tores And it really was the younger players, Ishikawa, Sandoval, Schierholtz and Andres Torres, that carried the Giants in the second half. The team did not get big contributions from Bengie Molina, Randy Winn and Aaron Rowand in the second half whatsoever, but their pitching, defense, and young timely hitting kept them in the wild card race until the final days of the season, and that's likely more than any Giant fan was expecting out of them coming into the season.

GBB Note
: Posting here has been a little sporadic over the last 2 weeks, as we've been busy with school and other obligations, but we fully intend to get back on track of at least 2-3 posts per week in the offseason. We'll have much more season review and offseason previews throughout October, as well as some other MLB playoff talk, so stay tuned!!!
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2 Comments:

  • At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    So the Giants plan to bring back both Sabean and Bochy??? I was hoping for at least one guy to get the axe, preferably Boch, I just think he's to casual to lead a young bunch like the Giants.

     
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