The San Francisco Giants won 30% of the World Series titles in the last decade. That’s astounding. Baseball has not seen a run of dominance like that since the New York Yankees in the late 90s. And now, as if like clockwork, the Giants seem to have similar pieces in place to make another such run. It’s just a matter of when those pieces fall into place.
The San Francisco Giants
2020: Record: 29 – 31
2020 Finish: 3rd in the NL West, 8th in the National League
Surprises in 2020
It’s not surprising that Mike Yastrzemski put up yet another solid season in 2020. In his sophomore effort, Yastrzemski was the second-best hitter on the Giants behind Donovan Solano, cementing his status as the centerpiece for the future of Bay-seball. While Yastrzemski’s season was stellar, it’s Solano who takes out the top spot here.
Solano went off in 2020, hitting .326/.365/.463, with an .828 OPS, finishing the season with a 128 OPS+. Leading the Giants in hits, and more specifically doubles, Solano proved himself worthy of a starting spot in the roster. That’s astounding considering that a year ago, Solano was signed to a minor-league deal, with little to no expectations he’d produce at the big league level.
Whether it be Wilmer Flores or even Kevin Gasuman, the Giants have proven that they can build up a player’s worth, by helping them grow and supporting their development. Gausman was all but an afterthought in the league and took a pay cut to play for the Giants. In San Francisco, Gausman finished his first season with an ERA under 3.75 for the first time since 2014. The Giants were 100% correct to offer him a qualifying offer, and potentially extend him to a long-term deal.
The Giants were not supposed to be good in 2020, but they came with one game of making the playoffs. That’s incredible.
Disappointments in 2020
All that scouting and development aside, the Giants’ biggest disappointment has to be the performances of their young pitching prospects. Logan Webb, Shaun Anderson, and Andrew Suarez, all had less than ideal seasons in 2020.
That’s not something new. This has been a problem for the last few seasons. Those mentioned above, along with Dereck Rodriguez and Tyler Beede, have had issues getting their footing in the majors. That’s a consistent issue for the Giants and one that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
The Giants once had the most expensive starting rotation, full of veterans with long resumes and credentials. Now, the Giants are starting down the barrel of a young rotation that can’t seem to stay on the horse. That’s an issue, and one that needs a swift fix.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Whether or not the Giants are competitive in 2021 will all depend on the pitching staff. The offense, including veterans like Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford, showed up in full force during 2020. The pitching staff just wasn’t there.
The Giants have an offense that is ready to, but their pitching staff needs a complete rebuild and restructure from the ground up. That may seem like a steep mountain to climb, but if there’s one organization to do it, it’s San Francisco.
Projected 2021 Finish: 85-77, 3rd in the NL West
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