For the first time since 2016, the San Francisco Giants have three representatives in the All-Star Game. Of the three Giants All-Stars, Buster Posey will start the game while shortstop Brandon Crawford and team ace Kevin Gausman were announced on Sunday. Kevin Gausman, who is slated to start Sunday against the Washington Nationals, is not likely to compete in the All-Star Game, which will take place two days following his start against the Nationals.
The MLB All-Star festivities will take place at Coors Field in Colorado for the second time in the history of the event. The first was in 1998 when the American League beat the National League with a final score of 13-8. Giants legend Barry Bonds hit a three-run homer in this game off fan-favorite Bartolo Colon. Hall Of Famer and 1998 Baltimore Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar won MVP honors while the Kid, Ken Griffey Jr. won the Home Run Derby.
San Francisco Giants All-Stars
Colorado native Kevin Gausman is getting his first taste of being an All-Star. Gausman has an ERA of 1.74 and is currently 8-3. He was handed a shiny L after his Monday afternoon start, where he tossed six and one-third innings of no-hit baseball. He was rolling until a familiar foe in Nolan Arenado hit a line-drive single to break up the no-no. The single by Arenado came after he somehow fouled off a splitter that nearly hit the plate in a 1-2 count. Kevin Gausman would eventually surrender three hits, and two earned runs before being replaced by relief pitcher Zack Littell.
Although Gausman would love to pitch to fellow teammate Buster Posey in his first All-Star Game, he will prioritize winning games for his first-place Giants team. It appears that Gausman will not be pitching in Denver. Although, he will be present and cheering on his fellow teammates. Starter Anthony DeSclafani and Reliever Tyler Rogers are worthy replacements for Gausman if he doesn’t suit up.
Old Dogs New Tricks
The pair of 34-year-olds in Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford are reuniting as Giants All-Stars. They both made their last appearance in 2018. Ironically enough, Buster Posey, in his six previous All-Star Games, has compiled a grand total of zero hits. Granted, he didn’t play in the 2018 game due to a hip injury. The career .303 hitter will look to break that streak. Posey is off to a dynamite start in 2021. He is currently hitting .328, which is only second to his MVP year in 2012, where he hit .336. Posey played in 148 games in 2012 and will surely not come close to that total this year. However, it’s fun to compare.
Posey’s OBP is currently .421. The .421 mark is best in the Majors among catchers. Second place belongs to Omar Narvaez of the Milwaukee Brewers, who comes to town with a .399 OBP, 0.22 points fewer than Posey, who is also MLB’s leader among catchers in WAR. It was basically a no-brainer for fans to vote Posey as the NL starter in this year’s All-Star Game.
Much like Posey, Brandon Crawford has turned his career around in 2021. Crawford is third in the NL in WAR among shortstops behind All-Star starter Fernando Tatis Jr. and Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner. The longtime Giants shortstop leads the club in multiple offensive categories, including home runs, RBI, and runs scored. Crawford’s 17 home runs is four shy of his career-best of 21, which he hit in 2015. With 78 games remaining, look for Crawford to shatter his previous career-best.
More Than a Mere All-Star Game
The three Giants All-Stars are playing for more than just a great time in Colorado on July 13th. The team currently leads the NL West. The surprising Giants are playing for a spot in the postseason at the least. But, the trio of Posey, Crawford, and Gausman are also playing for their futures in San Francisco. Buster Posey has a team option for the 2022 season, while Crawford and Gausman are scheduled to become free agents.
If the club doesn’t opt to buy out Posey in 2022 for $3 million, he would be owed just over $22 million. Although a steep price for an aging catcher with a history of body-breaking injuries, if Posey’s positional leading offense continues, the Giants certainly couldn’t let him walk. Not to mention he’s been the face of the franchise for ten years. Even if a deal needs to be worked out to bring Posey back on a new contract for a lesser dollar amount, the resurgence of Buster Posey has all but secured his future as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
Giants All-Stars Without a Team Option
Brandon Crawford and Kevin Gausman have also made serious cases to continue their careers as members of the Giants. As whispers filled the air in the preseason, the talk was about who the Giants’ new shortstop would be in 2022. As the team is transitioning to a new look, forever Giants such as Joe Panik, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, and so on have left town. Crawford figured to be on the bus out of dodge behind them. However, the now 2021 All-Star has surely made the Giants rethink the near future at shortstop in San Francisco.
Kevin Gausman spent seven years underperforming. Expectations were extremely high when he was drafted fourth overall in 2012 by the Baltimore Orioles out of LSU. Since his MLB debut, he has been mediocre. And, in 2019, he was a snowflake shy of terrible.
When 2020 came around, he found a new home in San Francisco. He emerged as the team’s best starter in the shortened season. And, in 2021, has established himself as a true ace and top-tier pitcher in all of baseball. There is no doubt that Gausman is going to get paid with a capital P in the offseason. The question is, will he chase the biggest payday he can get his pitch hand on, or will he stay with the club that helped him turn his career around. Giants fans will surely cross their fingers he stays in the Bay Area. And no, that doesn’t mean Oakland.
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Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Kevin Gausman, Barry Bonds, Roberto Alomar, Ken Griffey Jr., Nolan Arenado, Zack Littell, Anthony DeSclafani, Tyler Rogers, Omar Narvaez, Fernando Tatis Jr., Trea Turner, Joe Panik , Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence