Ever since Bonds left, there is something missing at AT&T. The electricity is gone (sans a Tim Lincecum double-digit K effort). Brian Sabean needs to look for the kind of power that can reach McCovey Cove because, let's face it, it one of the reasons the Giants and AT&T are so sick! So, here's a quick rundown of our best options.
He should see plenty of PT in 2009 as the Giants youngest ML ready offensive prospect. He's hit 34 homeruns in his professional career (33 MiLB, 1 MLB), but he's only 22. Overall he's a good hitter, but probably not a likely 40+ HR threat.
At 24, Ishi is experiencing a resurgence (Thank God, literally), but at most he projects as a 20 HR longshot in the spacious confines of AT&T.
Same deal here...Bowker is turning his career around, but his ceiling is still too low to expect consistent water shots.
(Keep in mind for each of these options, we'll be forfeiting at least one 1st round pick...not exactly an ideal scenario for a rebuilding team with a history of Free Agent blunders)
Adam Dunn, Diamondbacks 1B/LF
Incredible power and patience combination from the left side of the plate (2nd in MLB w/ .572 SLG against RHP). Easily has the strength to reach the kayaks (once offered a scholarship for football at Univ. of Texas). Unfortunately, his asking price will likely reach upwards of $15-17 million per year for 5+ years. Add that to his prolific strikeout numbers and the thought of our draft pick going to the D'Bags and you've got a pretty unattractive option.
Mark Teixeira, Angels 1B
Much more attractive. A gold-glove winner at 1B, a switch hitter at the plate, and a top 50 all-time OPS. Downsides include just 1 season of 40 HRs or more, a possibility of paying $20+ million a year and signing a long contract that will clog up 1st base for the rest of our organization (bad for Ishi, Pablo, Angel Villalona).
It will be an busy offseason for Brian Sabean. He'll try to keep his job and impress new ownership. The most likely scenario involves trading lefty K artist Jonathan Sanchez for infield power. Less likely scenarios include dangling Matt Cain, Tim Alderson, Sergio Romo, Brian Wilson, or Jesse English (IMO, Lincecum and Bumgarner are untouchable). Here's a few lefty bats that might look good in Black and Orange:
Aubrey Huff, Orioles 3B
This subject of trade rumors has the MLB's highest SLG against RHP at .632 and a price tag of $8 million for '09. The Orioles are said to be preparing for a run at Mark Teixeira, so they may look to unload Melvin Mora and Huff to clear room.
Rick Ankiel, Cardinals OF
A personal favorite. He's had some injury issues this year, but what hurts him now helps lower his trade value and makes him easier to get. He'll be a free agent after '09 and he's young and athletic enough where the Giants might consider re-signing him. He's got an easy lefty stroke (.548 SLG vs. RHP) that could be reaching the bay for years to come. The Cardinals have a lot of OF depth and have injury problems in their aging rotation.
Jeremy Hermida, Marlins OF
Only 24 years old, this Florida outfielder has shown the ability to produce in a big ball park. He'll come cheaper than Ankiel, but he is also about to enter his abritation eligibility (expect a $4 million salary in '09, continuing to escalate into the future).
Projecting the draft is impossible, especially 10 months out. But I'll do it anyway! Here's a name to remember:
Dustin Ackley, Norht Carolina 1B
Two straight seasons with an OPS over 1.000 at UNC. As a freshman, he swung so hard he broke his aluminum bat when it hit the ball. The ball then left the park for a Grand Slam.