Hello fellow Giants faithful, my name is Jason and I hope to one day become a journalist. This here will be my first attempt at writing a sports article, or any article at all for that matter. But nobody reading this actually cares about my personal life, so onto the the good, or uh, onto the article.
I thought that I would attempt to tackle some sort of season preview for this years Giants team. I want to take a look into each of the projected eight starters. I say eight because the Giants starting pitching is somewhat unique. We all know, that Cain is an absolute stud. We all hope, that Madbum and VogelSTRONG can have similar seasons to the ones they had last year. But who has a clue whether our former Cy Young winners, (Zito and Lincecum) can in fact be the Cy Young like pitchers they once were. Or if they will repeat their mediocre regular seasons. Anyways, here is how I think the season will play out for our defending World Series Champs. (I plan to go off the batting order from the end of last years regular season.)
Angel Pagan: Pagan posted a respectable .288 batting average last season, while driving in 56 RBI's. He hit eight home runs and his 97 strike outs were fourth most on the team. This season, I see Pagan equaling his 29 stolen bases from last year. Also in year two of Pagan's campaign here with the Giants, I think we will see a lot of patience. I have him tipping the .290 batting average scale, with a very solid .295 regular season BA. We will see him draw more than the 48 walks he had last year, and I see him hitting anywhere between 12-18 home runs, while driving in 58-70 RBI's.
Marco Scutaro: World Series MVP, Marco Scutaro is coming off a season where he had a career high, 190 hits. 88 of them coming in just 61 games with the Giants. I'm not really a math guy, but uh, wow. Scutaro also posted career highs with 74 RBI's and a .306 batting average. Dude is now 37 and can still really play well. Now I'm not going to go crazy here and say I expect him to consistently hit .300 all year. I'm sure there will be stretches where he looks like his age is getting the best of him. But there will be plenty of times where I'll be tweeting, "MARCOOOOO!!!". I have him still hitting a respectable. 285 this year. Home runs will be up, 9-14, while RBI's will be a little down, 55-68. I think he will stay patient at the dish, recording around 40 walks, and less than the 50 K's he had last year. If Marco can turn in an entire season like he did the second half for the Giants. Look out LA All-Stars.
Pablo Sandoval: Oh Panda, you free swinger you. Surprisingly he didn't strike out near as much as expected, with only 59 over a span of 108 games. Well under a strikeout a game. And I call myself not a math person? Panda only hit 12 bombs, while driving in 63 RBI's last year. Coming off an incredible post season, and getting to play at the high level of World Baseball Classic early on here in spring training. I see Panda having a big year. Let's be honest, nobody wants to pitch to Posey, so Pablo will see a lot of strikes. Swing away big man! I see home run totals being up into the twenties, 20-30. While I see walks staying around the 30's, strikeouts going up into the 70's and batting average dropping a hair, down to .275.
Buster Posey: #MVPOSEY. Enough said, onto the next...
In all seriousness though, Buster hit .305 in 2010 with 18 homers and won Rookie of the Year. Then he hit .336 (not a typo) with 24 homers and won MVP in 2012. Oh yeah, he has two rings already. Where is he supposed to go from here? I don't see our tough Georgia boy getting complacent though. he probably won't be super-human and hit into the .330's again, but I have him anywhere between .310 and .320. Home runs will continue to go up, 25-32, and I see him driving in around 105 RBI's this year. Walks will stay into the 70's and I hope we can see a more patient Posey, who can get that strikeout total a little bit lower, somewhere in the 70-80 range I would be able to live with. As Posey goes, so will the Giants.
Hunter Pence: "Who's got it better than us?!" Oops, wrong San Francisco team. But Pence, like Harbaugh has become the fiery heart and soul of this team. When have you seen grown men, playing baseball, get that fired up and show that much passion? Pence was having just an okay season to his standards before arriving in San Fran. Things didn't get much better, as he led the team with 145 strikeouts. He ended the year tied for the lead with 24 Home Runs, and he had a team high 104 RBI's. Pence will have a really big year this year. He's got a ring now, he plays for a good team now, with great fans I might add. There isn't a whole lot of pressure on him at this time, because he doesn't have to carry the team by himself. I see his batting average back into the .300's, while hitting between 23-30 home runs. Good chance he will lead the team in RBI's again, probably over 105. Pence is incredibly reliable, and insists he play 155+ games, which is huge for somebody who leads by example.
Brandon Belt: "You can't buy chemistry" said Belt according to CSN Bay Area, when asked what he thought about the Dodgers spending all that money. Good for you Brandon! In his first full season as a starter, Belt hit a respectable .275 while driving in 56 RBI's. He struck out a lot, 106 times, second most on the team. He was however, third on the team in walks and triples. Once again, good for you Brandon! As for his 2013 stat line: Similar BA, .275. Home runs up a little, 9-15. RBI's will have a good chance to go way up as I have Pence and Posey getting on base a ton, 50-75 RBI's. As for K's, just go down a little, please.
Brandon Crawford: B-Craw didn't have a huge season offensively, but that is really why he sees a lot of playing time, so I am okay with it. .248 batting average was second lowest of the regular starts, and his strikeout total exceeded 90. But like Belt, in his first full season as a starter, his batting average was up 44 points from the previous year. He also is a shortstop who hits left handed... Win. With career highs in nearly every category for Crawford, I see this year only being better. I have him hitting around .255, yes, getting over the .250 hump. While he will drive in anywhere from 45-55 RBI's and he will hit around 6-12 Home runs. He will draw about 40 walks, and all of these stats would result in new career highs for B-Craw.
Gregor Blanco: Last but not least, our Venezuelan sensation, Gregor filled a huge void after he who must not be named momentarily tarnished the San Francisco Giants name. Blanco had the lowest batting average of the regular starters, hitting just .244. Though the low batting average, Blanco set career highs in triples and home runs, while tying his career high of 14 doubles, previously set in 2008. Gregor, I feel was in a tough spot last year and I seem him becoming much more comfortable this year. Because he generally hits in front of the pitcher, I can see him getting walked a lot this year. I think he will eclipse the .250 batting average mark and drive in over 40 RBI's this year. Put me down for Gregor having about 5-10 web gems out in left field this year too.
So there you have it, my write up on the projected starting eight this year for the San Francisco Giants. If you made it this far, I commend you, because this is probably way too long. But I'm new at this thing, and still learning. I have every player improving in some sort of way offensively. If the Giants can in fact produce like this offensively, and get quality starts from their rotation. They will be one tough team to beat. I have them winning 93, and losing 69 in the regular season, along with repeating as NL West Champs.
Like I said before, this is really my first attempt at writing an article, and I am completely open to criticism. Yes, I did just give you all permission to bash me. Thanks for reading, and Go Giants!