Seems as if the faster you are, the less likely you are to make this teams starting lineup.
The team is supposed to manufacture runs because of lack of power. However, we now have some mediocre power hitters who can get into double figures in dingers, but cannot run nor field with any particular prowess. Rowand is supposedly a decent centerfielder but his mediocre speed probably keeps him from getting to plenty of balls, even when he gets a good jump. Lets see what we have in speed and what there expected role will be on the giants going into the Spring.
Andres Torres, fast, good fielder, decent arm, switch hitter, much better from the right side. Only his fielding skills seem to give him a serious chance of making the team as a reserve. He is supposedly out of options. Average base runner though.
Velez, fast, dubious fielder. At times looks very good, at times looks lost. A lot of pop for a guy who weighs only a few more pounds than his skeleton. Has a chance to make the team because of a hot streak last year, and he can play outfield and supposedly second base. His base running skills, at least so far, need tons of work. He is also a switch hitter, but much better from the left side.
Darren Ford, Very fast, has to prove he is major league ready. He supposedly can pick it in the field with the best of them. If he ever makes the majors with the giants, it will be in a few years. However, if they really needed a speedman to pinch run, in key situations, the man can get down those basepaths.
Emmanuel Burriss. Decent speed. So far average base runner at best. Switch hitter. Better supposedly from the right side. Has very little pop. Good range in the field, but he is behind slower, and less rangy infielders ala, Renteria, (more skilled hitter) Uribe (more power) and Sanchez, more seasoned hitter.
Nate Schierholtz. Not as fast as those above, but very decent speed and he may be a better baserunner than a few listed above, especially Velez. Has excellent range in the field, and has an accurate cannon of an arm. His main stumbling block has been a hole in his swing, and lack of the power and patience at the plate. Although slower than those above he has a decent chance to become a starter.
Fred Lewis. Good speed, good OBP, and makes a pitcher work. However his average baserunning at best, and his poor jumps and misreads in the outfield have made his zone rating a joke. Its hard to get to a ball when you are running in on a ball over your head, or running out on a ball in front of you. Despite the fielding problems, one of the main problems he possesses is unfilled promise of power expected by the top brass. , Hence, he has only a fair chance to make the starting lineup, despite his strengths. In his favor is the fact the he is out of options. But he like many others on this team bats lefty.
Posey, not sure of his speed but he is at least twice as fast as Molina.
Frandsen, better than average speed but slower than Lewis, Schierholtz, Burriss, Velez, Ford and Torres. I think he still has options, and despite his flexibility, as an infielder and outfielder, management is not as likely to make him their utility man with 30 something super utility guys like Uribe, and DeRosa, etc,
Outside of a few pitchers who can also run, I cannot think of anyone else with decent speed. Of all the above players for this year, it looks as if Schierholtz has the best chance of cracking the starting lineup..
We could have had a lineup of
Torres/Velez Platoon, Burriss ss, Lewis lf, Sandoval 3B, Posey C, Ishi IB, Schierholtz RF, Frandsen 2b, and at least field a team that could put pressure on the basepaths. Instead of Rowand, Sanchez, Pablo, Huff, DeRosa, Schierholtz, Bengie, Renteria.
The top lineup is unproven but has speed and is much younger. It could improve and drive opposing pitchers batty if they could get on base. The Rowand lineup has more pop. but will be station to station when not hitting the long ball. Of course the later lineup will cost significantly more.