The 2017 season is over, thank goodness. All 30 teams packed up and went home, and now there is no more baseball at all. This gives us time to focus on some of the finer points of the year, and one of my favorite parts is that we don’t have to use words like “on pace” or “has a chance to.” These are the stats. They’re the stats for all time. None of them will change, except when I use a pen to add a home run to Brandon Crawford’s total in next year’s media guide.
As such, let’s take a quick spin around the final stats and see if there’s anything interesting in there. There are interesting things! But your definition of interesting might differ from mine.
Anyway, here are some 2017 Giants stats:
Buster Posey hit .320
Start with a positive note, that’s my motto. Buster Posey is good, and we should be thankful that he wasn’t as horrible as the rest of the season, because that would have made the offseason unbearable. I keep meaning to write a full article about that, but this will do for now. This is the fifth time Posey has hit over .300 in his eight-year career, so even though he hit a career low in home runs, he’s still pretty, pretty good.
His career average went up, too. From .307 to .308.
The Giants had three position players worth two wins or more
In stat-ese, a two-win player is a solid starter starter. More wins are always cool, but two is a little bit of a threshold. The players who can do it are the players you want to keep around.
The Giants had three of these players: Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Buster Posey. They’re the kinds of players you want to keep around.
If you’re wondering if this is something of a low total, historically, it is. But it’s not a record. Both the 2008 and 2011 Giants had just one player like that (Randy Winn and Pablo Sandoval, respectively).
If you’re wondering what the San Francisco record is, that belongs to both the 1962 and 2012 Giants, who had eight position players with two wins or more.
Those teams were good.
Gorkys Hernandez was the only player in baseball to get 300 plate appearances or more without a home run
The last Giants hitter to do that? Ryan Theriot in 2012.
That’s “DH in a World Series clincher” Ryan Theriot to you.
Brandon Crawford led the team with 77 RBI
That’s sad. Is it the saddest RBI total for a team leader, though? It is not! The 1985, 1992, and 2011 teams all had a sadder RBI leader.
Of note: The 2012 and 2014 Giants had just one player with more than 77. It’s possible that this team might not have to score 900 runs to win baseball games. Will investigate later.
Brandon Belt led the team in walks
Brandon Belt played 104 games.
Maybe the Giants should walk more and get themselves into better hitters’ counts, but I’m no expert.
Hunter Pence finished with 13 doubles, even though he qualified for the batting title
That’s not a lot of doubles, alright. It’s actually the fifth-fewest doubles for a Giants hitter who qualified for the batting title in the San Francisco era, behind Johnnie LeMaster, Hal Lanier, Jose Pagan, Juan Uribe, and Don Blasingame, all of whom played middle infield.
Pence played right field. That’s actually the fewest doubles for a right fielder with more than 500 plate appearances since Kirk Gibson in 1986. But Gibson had 28 home runs, which helps explain it. Pence did not. If you limit the search to right fielders with fewer than 20 homers, it’s a rough list.
Matt Moore was not the worst Giants starting pitcher to qualify for the ERA title
He was the eighth worst. So, uh. Look, I don’t know.
But there is hope! Mark Davis was the very worst, and he ended up winning a Cy Young (and a pennant for the Giants, if you give him credit for Kevin Mitchell). Vida Blue came back strong the next season and made the All-Star team. And, of course, Mike Krukow not only won 20 games and two Willie Mac Awards after his awful season, but he became one of the most beloved broadcasters we’ll ever know.
Just don’t look at the fact that Moore’s season was worse than any one that Barry Zito had in his Giants career. I SAID DON’T LOOK.
Cory Gearrin was the second-most valuable pitcher on the Giants
I ... was not expecting that. If you would have told me that before the season, I either would have said, “Wow, I can’t believe they let Gearrin throw 110 innings!” or “The Giants lost 98 games, didn’t they?”
If you go by FanGraphs, which uses FIP-based WAR, Gearrin wasn’t very good at all. But while I don’t trust his walk rate, I do trust his funkiness. I’m proud of the Giants’ sneering, funk-laden creation. And it’s aesthetically pleasing that he got his ERA to 1.99 on the last day of the season.
There are more stats. But I’m tired of looking at stats. Find your own stats. If you don’t want to, you can take these stats. Goodbye, 2017 Giants. It sure was something.