The next player on the San Francisco Giants season reviews list is left-handed reliever Sam Selman.
24 games, 19.1 innings, 13 hits, 9 walks, 2 hit by pitch, 2 home runs, 23 strikeouts, 1.138 WHIP
3.72 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 0.2 rWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Status throughout the season
Selman started the season at the Alternate Training Site, and was called up on July 31 when Sam Coonrod was placed on the Injured List. He stayed on the roster the rest of the season.
Selman made his MLB debut in 2019, so my guess is that if you told him that he’d more than double his appearances in 2020, while having better numbers, he would have considered that a win.
And that’s before we mention doing so in a season that had 102 fewer games.
So all in all, it was a successful year for Selman.
He was also pretty darn good. The walk rate is a touch troubling, but of the 23 players the Giants sent to the mound in 2020, Selman finished sixth in FIP, eighth in WHIP, and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings. And it’s worth noting that one of the names ahead of him in those first two categories is Tyler Heineman. He kept batters from making contact, and that’s the name of the game.
It also became clear that the coaches and front office were impressed by Selman’s abilities. He started the year in Sacramento, and when he was recalled he started seeing time exclusively at the end of blowouts.
By the end of the year, he was primarily used in late innings of close games. He earned that role, and then he played it well.
It wasn’t a good year for the Giants bullpen, but Selman deserves no part of that blame. He pitched well, and did exactly what you want of a prospect: waited patiently, then jumped when given an opportunity.
And he earned his first save!
A successful season, all things considered.
Role in 2021
The combination of Selman’s play, and the clear trust that the team put in him as the year wore on, suggests that he figures into their plans for next year. He’ll likely spend much of the year on the active roster.
Good year, good grade.
How would you grade Sam Selman’s season?
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