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Monday, February 20, 2012

Spring Preview: Nate Schierholtz, Brandon Crawford

Full workouts are in session for pitchers and catchers, and thing have gone pretty smoothly the first two days of camp, minus the news of the Ryan Vogelsong missing 10+ days with his strained back. Other than that though, things have been as you'd expect for the first couple days of spring so we'll continue with our player previews, which rounds out our starting lineup by the way, and save a section at the end for some Day 2 talk.

Brandon Belt, 1B - This has been changed as of 3/31/12 due to the fact that Belt will likely start the opener and play more than Schierholtz, forcing Huff to the outfield. Belt will likely hit higher in the order than this, as he'll probably hit behind Sandoval and Posey, but I just kept him here where I had Nate just to keep things easy. He could end up hitting 7th, but the Giants want him in the middle of the order, and I think he's finally figuring things out and it'll show this season.

2012 Prediction: 144 G, 502 AB's, .281 Avg, 25 HR, 79 RBI, 61 R, 36 2B, 10 SB, .341 OBP%, .514 SLG% (.855 OPS)

Brandon Crawford, SS - Here is the Giants wild-card to the 2012 season. If BC can at least get that average up to around .240-.250'ish, with that defense, he'll be a plus shortstop. He's got a little bit of pop, so he'll knock his share out of the yard and although he K's a lot, he can take a walk too, so he should sport at least a respectable OBP. The whole key to his season is getting off to good start, cause he's got Ryan Theriot breathing down his neck, a proven shortstop who Bruce Bochy won't hesitate to go to if the Giants need tinkering there. Normally, Sabean and Bochy seem to favor playing the average vet over the upside youngster when the youngster is struggling, but with BC, they seem to be giving him some rope. Still though, I'd expect to see Theriot out there on nights when lefties are throwing and guys like Matt Cain and Lincecum (fly-ball guys) are on the mound). I expect a better offensive showing from Crawford at the dish this season, but I still expect him to split time with Theriot, cutting into his ab's a bit.

2012 Prediction: 130 G, 415 AB's, .237, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 36 R, 19 2B, .309 OBP, .375 SLG% (.684 OPS)

Spring Notes: It was a relatively quiet day in Giants camp Monday. Brian Wilson announced he is pain-free, though the Giants still plan to take it slow with their star closer and keep him out of Cactus League play until mid-March. Also, found out a bit more about Zito's new delivery, it's supposed to give him better location and as I suspected, add a mile or two to his fastball, maybe more. You can pitch in the Bigs at 85 MPH, but you have to have complete command and have 2nd and 3rd pitches that you command as well, a big reason behind Greg Maddux's success. Still holding out hope Zito will turn it around, but if not, the Giants should continue looking into backup plans. They think they got one in 39 year-old Ramon Ortiz, another signing I really don't understand, especially when you could have gotten Brad Penny for the same thing? I mean, Penny had dominated in the NL the 2 years prior to his Boston letdown and he had to sign in Japan just recently because no team would offer. If the Giants gave him $1M, guaranteed he signs with them, especially since he already knows this area and has been a Giant. Also, with that arm, even if he didn't beat out Zito or Zito doesn't injure himself, he could be an excellent bullpen option. Another missed opportunity, chalked up with Cody Ross, another guy the Giants could have had for peanuts. Luckily, they did get one of the guys I wanted in Theriot, but he certainly wasn't my top choice heading into the winter!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Talking Giants Baseball said…

    I hope the Giants put Nate as the starter in right field. He had a lot of clutch hits last year--it's a shame he was injured. He seemed to really have his swing, and he was Mr. Reliable at the plate. As for Crawford, I would feel more comfortable with Theriot starting or at least platooning with Crawford. It will be interesting to see what Bruce Bochy does when it comes to setting the roster.

  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger pygalgia said…

    I may be alone on this, but I think Crawford could be a decent hitter. Not great, but he's shown the kind of discipline that could yield a .330-.340 OBP, which would add value to his glove. Platoon with Theriot is likely, but I wouldn't be surprised if Crawford proved to be the more productive of the two.

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  • At 12:21 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Trevor, I also question why Sabean would even sign Ramon Ortiz, unless he signed for nothing. How much does this guy even have left, after he was with the team before, but never made it up to the big league roster? Definitely a somewhat dis-appointing off season as far as spending money to sign the right free agents. Good review of Nate, but I have a feeling that Crawford will be replaced by Theriot by the All-Star break, unless he hits from the get-go. Bochy likes vets way too much.


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