It is always difficult and perhaps even foolish to use Spring Training success as a predictor for regular season potential. The numbers do not always carry over, nor are they always indicative of the abilities of the player who posts the stats. Yet, sometimes guys are having such stellar showings that they must be made note of.
Having said that, the Giants have a couple of guys who look ready to "tear it up" in the fast-approaching regular season.
Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, and Evan Longoria have looked especially polished and ready to take the 2019 season by storm. Not only have they managed to remain healthy and put up impressive stats, their approaches and at-bats have looked crisp and locked-in. The fellow-infielders will play pivotal roles in the lineup, each being a factor in the top to middle of the order. So, it is incredibly important for each of these fellas to get it going this year.
2019 Spring Training Statistics
Brandon Belt: .485 BA/.553 OBP/.818 SLG, 3 HR, 6 RBI (33 AB)
Joe Panik: .472 BA/.500 OBP/.583 SLG, 1 HR, 3 RBI (36 AB)
Evan Longoria: .324/.368 OBP/.529, 2 HR, 5 RBI (34 AB)
Another player who has been looking close to mid-season form is the youngster from Clemson, center fielder Steven Duggar. He, by all accounts, already came into Spring Training with a leg up on any possible starting center field competition, but has really shown he's ready to be given the reins to the San Francisco outfield. His success is of a slightly different ilk than that of Belt, Panik, and Longo, as he has showcased his incredible speed (both on the base paths and in the outfield), his ability to handle the leadoff spot, and his outstanding outfield coverage. If he brings his tools to the regular season, the G Men will have their center fielder of the future.
Duggar's Spring Training Statistics
.343 BA/.378 OBP/.457 SLG, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SB (35 AB)
I would be remiss to forget some of the pitchers who have had an incredible spring, as well. Travis Bergen, Trevor Gott, and Jeff Samardzija are the three pitchers who have really separated themselves from the Giants' field of Spring Training pitchers. Bergen and Gott, both relievers, have eerily similar numbers and only having given up an unearned run between the two of them. They both have registered more strikeouts than innings pitched, as well. Samardzija, a member of the starting rotation, really needed to get off to a good start this spring. After losing much of his 2018 season to injury, never looking like himself when he was healthy, the ex-Notre Dame wide receiver looks to have a nice bounce-back season for the G Men.
Pitchers' Spring Training Statistics
Travis Bergen: 0.00 ERA, .097 BAA, 0.81 WHIP, 10 K, 8.2 IP
Trevor Gott: 0.00 ERA, .188 BAA, 1.04 WHIP, 11 K, 8.2 IP
Jeff Samardzija: 2.63 ERA, .204 BAA, 1.02 WHIP, 10 K, 13.2 IP
Players use Spring Training for different purposes, whatever suits their particular need at that time. Some use the time to try new adjustments out or to make changes to their windup, batting stance, etc. Others, particularly younger and unproven players, must prove to their organization that they are ready to contribute at the big league level if they wish to make the 25-man roster by Opening Day. Most of these players doing well for the Giants belong to the former, as they represent the veteran who is just working to get ready for the regular season. However, both relievers (Bergen and Gott) are ensconced in a tight battle for just a couple of open bullpen spots. Bergen, being a rule-5 draft pick, seems to be the odds-on favorite to be added to manager Bruce Bochy's pen. Even though Gott has looked equally as impressive. Regardless of the reason, fans and analysts can still have fun attempting to project regular season success with the enigmatic nature of Spring Training stats.
Photo: Brandon Belt/Facebook