Giants: Analyzing the Blanco-Torres Platoon in Left Field

The Giants’ decision to not spend a lot of money on their LF yielded a platoon of Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres.

Although at first, this light hitting, speedy platoon seems underwhelming, Giants fans should enter the season excited about this tag team.

Sep. 15, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco (7) during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Gregor Blanco: Although Blanco ended the 2012 season with a disappointing slash line of .244/.333/.344, he had a very impressive May/June, staying close to .290/.400/.420.

Even after his month long slump, Blanco ended the season with a BB% above 10%, placing him within the top 5 in the Majors. But offense isn’t really Blanco’s forte, even though he generated a near average OPS+, his most valuable asset is his defense.

As anyone that watched Matt Cain’s perfect game can attest, Blanco has excellent speed, range, and instincts. Not only would his UZR of 10.1  place him firmly in the top 15, he effectively played AT&T Park’s vast and challenging RF.

Andres Torres: In his first two season with the Giants, Torres batted .270/.343/.500, numbers that, combined with his defensive prowess (seen in his UZR of 22.0 and Range of 18.8 in 2010), would merit much more than $2MM.

Unfortunately, no other seasons in his career can match his 2009-2010 numbers.  Depending on which Torres

July 6, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Andres Torres (56) scores against the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning at AT

shows up next season, he will either be relegated to the bench, as a defensive specialist and switch-hitting pinch-hitter, or, post a OPS+ of 124 with 10-plus home runs, and make himself one of the most valuable outfielders in baseball.

Together, these two speedy outfielders should ensure that the Giants will have one of the best defensive outfields in the majors. What is yet to be seen is if they can produce offensively as well.

But in the end, in a lineup with Pagan, Scutaro, Sandoval, Posey, Pence and Belt, does it matter if they hit well? In my opinion, no, especially with their pitching.

For the same reason that I have supported Brandon Crawford as the starting shortstop since he was first called up, I will support these two no matter how badly they hit.

Tags: Andres Torres Gregor Blanco San Francisco Giants

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