San Francisco Giants Season Preview 2020

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Baseball is officially back! The MLB and the Players’ Association¬†finally¬†came to an agreement. The 2020 season will be 60 games with a regular playoff format. The season is set to begin for the San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 23rd. It will be an interesting season considering the unique circumstances. The playing field is wide open. There will also be a DH in the National League, although that rule change alone could take up an entire article, so that won’t really be a focal point here. Here’s the San Francisco Giants Season Preview.

Buster Posey Opts Out

The biggest storyline most recently is, of course, Buster Posey and his decision not to play in the shortened season. As sad as this may seem for San Francisco Giants fans, there is actually some reason for optimism here.

Posey was set for a bounce-back year following his worst year, statistically, of his career. He was batting over .450 in Spring training back in March, but not playing this year could actually help him and the Giants. First, it will give Posey more time to get back to his full health. And this quirky Coronavirus season is the perfect season to miss. Think of Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. With nothing to lose, this year was already effectively scratched for Posey and the Giants. This also makes the DH decision a bit easier. Now, there will be more opportunities for prospects, like catcher Joey Bart, to develop.

Focus on Rebuilding

Gabe Kapler‘s first season as manager will be exciting. The Giants have been just outside of the playoff picture for quite some time now. Just nipping at the heels of the Arizona Diamondbacks for second place in the division is not enough of a record to make a case for the wild card. Now, they will be able to strictly focus on rebuilding. With Bruce Bochy gone, Posey out, and Brandon Belt likely to miss some time due to a foot injury, San Francisco will be able to devote more time and energy to the future.

Young talents like Mike Yastrzemski, Dereck Rodriguez, and Mauricio Dubon will get the valuable real game experience they need while avoiding any pressures of a postseason push. And then on top of that, the Giants boast five prospects ranked in the top 100 according to mlb.com so the future looks bright. Those prospects are Bart (14th), Marco Luciano (35th), Heliot Ramos (65th), Hunter Bishop (71st) and Seth Corry (99th). It will be interesting to see how they utilize these prospects in a year where the minor league season is out of commission. Kapler knows where this team stands and is not going to waste time pretending to be something they are not.

2021 Free Agent/Trade Market

If they play their cards right, Kapler and the Giants might be able to draw in some talent next year. They watched Madison Bumgarner walk away with only a draft pick to compensate, but they are more likely to make a splash next offseason. The Giants have a very good crop of young talent, thanks in part to their seven draft selections this past draft. Out of those seven picks, six were ranked in the top 200 by mlb.com. Not only can they barter with some of these prospect pieces, but players like Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are in line for bounce-back seasons. Then combine those assets with, hear this out, someone like Brandon Crawford or Brandon Belt. These guys still have some defensive value to a contender and the Giants could end up with some attractive options. They probably aren’t going to land a big name (even if Giancarlo Stanton opts out, could the Giants afford him?) but with this new management and some fresh talent, they could draw in a Michael Brantley or maybe even a George Springer on a short term deal.

Outlook

So, as it has been well documented, the Giants are likely not going to really contend this year. Of course, anything can happen. Their schedule is somewhat favorable in the sense that they don’t need to travel very far or play big powerhouse teams in the AL such as the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. They will still play hard as there could be multiple position battles between veterans and young guys. However, overall this year should be a developmental year for their young talent and a look ahead to the future. Some exciting things for Giants fans to watch for are the development/utilization of their prospects, the league pulse on the free agent/trade market, and who knows maybe the chips will fall just right and they’ll get a wild card berth. Regardless of what happens, there are still plenty of reasons to keep an eye on the Boys by the Bay.

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