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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reporting Date Arrives - Huff, Cabrera Previews

The day has finally arrived baseball fans, as Giants' pitchers and catchers lobbied through the clubhouse at Scottsdale Stadium on Sunday, getting ready for their first workouts on tomorrow morning. Now today we have sort of a double-post, as we talk a bit about the minor news coming from "reporting day", as well as continue our 2k12 player-by-player preview.

Being only the pitcher's and catcher's reporting date, there really wasn't a whole lot of news to come out of Giants town. The most intriguing piece of information was that Buster Posey will be down in the squat tomorrow on day one of workouts and has supposedly already caught a few Giants pitchers from the squat this week. Bruce Bochy also noted that Posey is expected to be in the Cactus League opening lineup, March 3rd versus the D-Backs. He wasn't as sure about his closer Brian Wilson and 2nd basemen Freddy Sanchez who expect to miss at least the first week of Cactus League play. On a positive not, Wilson is throwing off a mound and should do most workouts with the pitchers. He should be ready to go by week 2 of Spring. Sanchez may take a little longer. Matter of fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Giants keep him out until the last week of spring, then give him a final tuneup before the season, just cause of his fragility and slow going rehab.

Aubrey Huff, 1B- Obviously the Giants are going to give him first crack at the everyday gig, being that they're paying him mighty handsomely to be that .275/25/90 guy he was in 2010. He was so giddy about his offseason workout that he's saying things like he's in the best shape of his career and he's been texting the Giants front-office pictures of the weekly differences and reduction in his body fat. A big reason why the Giants didn't go out and get a big power bat like re-signing Beltran or bringing in a guy like Willingham is because they firmly believe Huff will return to that form. If he doesn't they're not going to let him string along as they did in 2011, being the last year of his contract. At the same time, he should be plenty motivated to play well so he can get another $10-$12M/year deal, which is the going rate for first basemen/DH who can rake these days. As long as he's in shape and motivate like it's looking and sounding like, the dude should give you pretty close to those 2010 numbers. Now, he's 2 years older, and isn't a young kid anymore so he's gotta work even tougher during the season to keep it up and that's where I think he gave up last year.

2012 Prediction: 146 G, .270 Avg, 22 Hr, 76 RBI, 65 R, 30 2B, .334 OBP, .484 SLG% (.818 OPS)

Melky Cabrera, LF- Cabrera could very well also end up in center field and/or at the leadoff spot, but I'm seeing him towards the middle of the order with Pagan at the top. Like with Pablo Sandoval, as long as he's in shape when he arrives in camp, and can stay that way like he did in 2011, he's going to be an all-star level player. He wasn't a top prospect for years with New York for no reason, he's got talent, simple as that. Plus at just 27, he's just hitting his prime and AT&T Park is perfectly suited for his style of play. In 20/20 hindsight, I would have liked to see them package Thomas Neal, Andres Torres and Jonathan Sanchez for a stud like Carlos Quentin, but again, even if his power numbers drop by say %20, Cabrera should still be an effective hitter here as his doubles and triples rate should sky rocket. After digesting the deal and watching some clips of Cabrera, the dude can flat out play. He had a very bad year in 2010 with Atlanta, much like Panda had with the Giants, because he was 30 pounds heavier than he was in 2011. People keep saying 2011 was a fluke, but Melky was always a top prospect, as I said, and he had some good years with New York as their fifth outfielder. He hit .280 with a .360 OBP in 2008 and then hit .274 with 13 homers and 68 RBI in only 450 at-bats in 2009. I think 2010 was more of the aberration than 2011.

2012 Prediction: 155 G, .310 Avg, 17 HR, 74 RBI, 85 R, 34 2B, 9 3B, 22 SB, .342 OBP%, .487 SLG% (.829 OPS)
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2 Comments:

  • At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Practically exactly what I think Huff will do to.

    535 AB's, .274, 20 HR, 75 RBI.

    I'd take that too. Way better than his .240/14 crap last season!

     
  • At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    I hope Cabrera can put up good numbers. I'm seeing more like 13-15 homers but 16 is what Torres did in 2010 right? So why not?

    I think Pagan's a way better player and I here people say on McCovey Chronicles Comedy site that Pagan is a bad defender? Every met fan I ever asked and every game I've ever seen, has proven different. He had a few bad errors in 2011 and all the sudden he's a bad fielder? It's like Posey's a bad catcher now cause he was hurt in 2011 and hit .280 with only 4 homer runs.

    J-Bill

     

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