Sunday, November 3, 2013

Giants Depth Chart: First Base

The Giants situation at first base is buoyed by a Brandon Belt who looks like he may be on the verge of a huge breakout, and complicated by a need to find a spot for Buster Posey when he needs a rest from catching.  Let's take a look at that, as well as what the Giants have coming along at the position.

MLB Starter:  Brandon Belt  .289/.360/.481, 17 HR, 5 SB.  Belt's overall numbers were pretty darn good.  He led the team in OPS.  His numbers in the final 2 months were phenomenal.  If he can avoid the deep slumps that have plagued the first few years of his career, he's a monster!

MLB Backup:  Buster Posey  .294/.371/.450, 15 HR.  Posey hit significantly better when playing 1B than catching, but he mostly played 1B against LHP's so it's not an equivalent comparison.  When corrected for handedness of the pitchers, he was a little better at 1B.  Sabes has said he's the starting catcher, so expect more of the partial platoon stuff, moving to 1B on certain days against certain pitchers.

Brett Pill  .224/.272/.345, 3 HR in 85 AB.  Pill is running out of chances and it's hard to see
where he is going to get the necessary playing time to get his feet on the ground.

AAA  Brett Pill  .344/.379/.630, 18 HR in 279 AB's.  The Giants are going to need room in Fresno for guys  coming up.  Pill is probably going to have to either stick as a utility guy in SF or move on to another organization.

AA:  Angel Villalona  .235/.273/.413, 8 HR in 196 AB.  Villalona showed excellent power in San Jose but still had contact challenges, so you had to wonder how he would fare in the big bad Eastern League.  He pretty much put up the same numbers there.  He's getting more AB's in the AFL.  He's running out of options, so probably needs to be in Fresno for 2014.  Have I said the bat has a chance to be special?

High A:  Ricky Oropesa  .295/.368/.477, 8 HR.  Ricky had a very rough first half in Richmond, came back to San Jose to get his feet back on the ground and responded with good numbers.  What's not listed in the stat line is the 4 HR's in 4 playoff games which were nominated for a "milby" as one of the top moments in the minor leagues.  I think we might see him in Fresno next year.

Low A:  Joey Rapp  .267/.328/.375, 6 HR in 344 AB.  After a terrible start, he hit .280 in July and .327 in August, .290 overall in the second half.  Should move up to San Jose.  Sleeper/Breakout candidate!  

Short Season:  Sam Eberle  .235/.360/.407, 35 BB, 36 K in 204 AB.
                      Blake Miller  .309/.373/.485, 3 HR in 97 AB.

Eberle has a terrific K/BB and showed some power.  Blake Miller is listed as a SS but I think he played mostly 1B.

AZL:  Craig Massoni  .272/.401/.384, 2 HR in 125 AB.
          Jonathan Jones  .225/.333/.433, 5 HR in 120 AB.

I like Massoni as a low round draftee out of a smaller college program.  Jones has shown flashes of power but has not gotten enough traction to graduate from the AZL after 3 seasons.

Wild Cards:  Buster Posey could move to 1B in the future.

Who will win out between Ricky Oropesa and Angel Villalona as the backup plan of the future?    Beyond that the position looks rather set for the future be it Brandon Belt or Buster Posey.


  1. I am not going to post a comment at CSN, especially in response to a Ratto's article. He's always more style than substance. In any case, what is this about Selig putting pressure on Oakland by threatening them with the A's playing at the Giants' park? The article doesn't mention if they have even asked the Giants. And why would they say yes to that, even with rent money. I don't know too many people in Beverly Hills who take tenants even if they are paying a lot.

  2. Didn't know where to post this, but really bad news on Gustavo Cabrerra--2014 season and career could be in jeopardy due to injury....


    1. Oh my! I would say, once again, that this team is cursed except that doesn't work anymore after two championships but after what happened with Angel Villalona and now this, it makes you wonder about signing those expensive international guys.

  3. A little more substance from Matier and Ross:

    The usually talkative Giants President Larry Baer - whose team would have to give its consent to sharing AT&T Park - declined to comment. So did an MLB spokesman.

    Why would the Giants give their OK? Start with the rent money - probably enough to pay for a shortstop or two.

    But even better from the Giants' perspective, it could lead to the team getting the whole Bay Area market to itself.

    With MLB standing in the way of an A's move to San Jose, which the Giants claim as their market, team owners John Fisher and Lew Wolff would be expected to look elsewhere if they leave the Coliseum for temporary digs - or perhaps sell the team to out-of-towners.

    For all the brinkmanship, a temporary move across the bay would not be easy. For starters, the Giants and A's have home games on the same dates nine times next season


    Still, once again, no hard questions by mouth pieces for the A's (and there are a lot of them): Guests have a way of overstaying their welcome. It's easier to take one in than to move one out.

    The next thing you know, they will mobilize public opinion - oh, how wonderful they look at your park and why can't you just get along and play there like the Clippers and the Lakers? - to force you to take them.

  4. dont like the way the giants handled the announcement of choosing not to pick up vogey's option

    they used the guy to motivate players in their minor league system

    it shouldnt all be business

    anyway...eff sabey sabes

    and doc, ricky won the award...cuz giants fans control the internets


    1. Vogey has a great story and he did a lot for the Giants. I do think they owe him something for that. I got the idea from Bobby Evans' comments that their first option is to try and fill both the #4 and #5 SP's slots with someone else.

      Gotta think that there is something going on here beneath the surface. Maybe the Giants think his loss of velocity is permanent? Maybe there is some other issue we don't know about? If he's not coming back, it sure a great run. There's gotta be a book or TV movie coming at some point.

    2. maybe they do think that he hit a wall he cant come back from...but wont really know till st

      as it stands, the guys who are fa are gonna cost close to double

      giants know his work ethic and his intensity...and at the very least, evans or sabean should have said something and not treated it as a simple biz decision

      plus, they did throw a lot of money at timmy, who has been very inconsistent over the past 2 seasons

      i just didnt like how it was handled

      as for the tv movie...only if it ends up on abc family or a christian channel....great story, but no sex or drugs

      have a strong belief that either the buc or the phils are gonna put up an offer....phils have nothing to lose and the bucs could use another vet presence to work with their young staff....and the mets might also be interested


  5. I find it weird that the Giants wouldn't just pick up Vogelsong's option. $6.5M doesn't seem like that much money after they shelled out all that money to retain Lincecum. As this year demonstrated, they will need depth for the rotation and Vogelsong is just 1 year removed from a pretty good season and a great postseason. I hope he comes back.

    1. I do find it a bit odd that the Giants were so generous with Pence and Timmy but seem to be pinching pennies with Vogey.

  6. Dr. B, you've mentioned a number of times about Villalona's bat having a chance to be special. What do you see that makes you say that? Is it mainly due to his power? What other skills does he have at the plate?

    1. I see that he has a short, uncomplicated swing that gets to the ball quickly and he makes unusually hard contact. What he has to work on is pitch recognition and selection. He's made tremendous strides in the latter since I saw him play in SJ before the legal troubles began, but he still has a ways to go.