The Best Hitters of the AT&T Park Era


September 21, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) hits a RBI-single in front of San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal (12, left) during the fifth inning at AT

Buster Posey is having an MVP type season from behind the plate and really the best season ever by a San Francisco catcher. This, along with the last regular season home game, actually got me thinking about who has had the most outstanding years for the black and orange. I went over names like Mays, McCovey, and Marichal, but despite them being legends, I was drawing a blank on how to compare them to the guys I’ve personally watched from the bleachers.

I didn’t want a good topic to die, so instead I changed the question; who are the best Giants hitters to play in AT&T Park? I decided to pick one great season as the best by McCovey Cove and one runner up. I also decided that each player could only count once per position, because otherwise you’d just get to see Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, and Buster Posey over and over again. Without further ado, let the debate begin-

Catcher: Buster Posey (2012): AVG- 333/ HR- 23/ RBI- 100
The season isnt even over for him and already he is hands down the best offensive force the Giants have seen behind the plate in AT&T. He has joined Bengie Molina as the only Giants catchers to hit 20 plus homeruns in a single season at Third and King. Broken the single season RBI mrk for a Giants backstop and as of this writing is leading the NL in hitting. Not only should Buster have a real chance to become the first Giants catcher to win the MVP, the award is his lose over the next six days.
Runner Up:
Bengie Molina (2008): AVG-292/ HR- 16/ RBI- 95

1ST Base: Aubrey Huff (2010): AVG- 290/ HR- 26/ RBI- 86
The Giants pitching staff and Buster Posey were the main reasons that San Francisco stunned the baseball world and won the 2010 World Series, but Aubrey Huff was their heart and soul. He was their misfit. He was the player no one wanted. He was the guy that the Giants only signed because they had been turned down by Nick Johnson and Adam LaRoche. He’s also the guy who pulled a thong out of his pants in front of Willie Mays and 1.5 million fans.
Runner Up:
JT Snow (2000): AVG- 284/ HR- 19/ RBI- 96

2ND Base: Jeff Kent (2000): AVG- 334/ HR-33/ RBI- 125
Love him or hate him, Jeff Kent was an unbelievable offensive force for the Giants at second. This was one of the harder seasons to pick because Kent had an amazing season in 2002 as well, clubbing 37 homeruns. However, his career high average and 12 steals made the 2000 season his best. He was always the reluctant Robin to Bonds’ Batman, but in 2000 he also got to walk away with the NL MVP.
Runner Up:
Ray Durham (2006): AVG- 293/ HR- 26/ RBI- 93

3RD Base: Pablo Sandoval (2009): AVG-330/ HR- 25/ RBI- 90
In 2009, Pablo Sandoval became the best Giants third baseman since Matt Williams. He gave the boys by the bay a little hope for a bright future. The Panda destroyed NL pitching and was robbed of an All Star appearancethat year, but he finished 7th in MVP voting. It’s ironic that Sandoval would follow up this amazing season with such a poor 2010 — the same year that the Giants won the World Series — since he had been the light at the end of bad offense tunnel. The Giants haven’t made the postseason in a year that the Panda’s been good, so lets hope that that trend ends this year.
Runner Up:
Pedro Feliz (2006): AVG- 244/ HR- 22/ RBI- 98

Shortstop: Rich Aurilia (2001): AVG- 324/ HR- 37/ RBI- 97
If Rich Aurilia had chosen any other season to have his career year he might have been the NL MVP. He just had the bad luck to be 36 homers behind the league leader that year. Still, Aurilia would lead the league in hits, make his only All Star team, and hit the most homeruns by a Giants shortstop. Aurilia would never again come close to these numbers because of eye problems, but he will go down as one of the most beloved players in San Francisco Giants history thanks to this epic season.
Runner Up:
Omar Vizquel (2006): AVG- 295/ Triples- 10/ SB- 24 

Leftfield: Barry Bonds (2001): AVG- 328/ HR- 73/ RBI- 137/ BB- 177
Having to pick one Bonds season was almost impossible, so I’m going to cheat on my own rules and list two other seasons for the homerun king:
(2002): AVG- 370/ HR- 46/ RBI- 110/ BB- 198
(2004): AVG- 362/ HR- 45/ RBI- 101/ BB- 232
Barry Bonds was the greatest player I have ever seen. He was never my favorite Giant, but I do have his jersey in my closet, and the most joy I’ve ever experienced first-hand at a game was when he broke the homerun record.
Runner Up:
Melky Cabrera (2012): AVG- 346/ HR- 11/ RBI- 60

Centerfield: Andres Torres (2010): AVG- 268/ HR- 16/ RBI- 63/ SB- 26
I must admit, when 2010 started I wasn’t rooting for Andres Torres to fail, but I was rooting harder for Aaron Rowand to stay the starter. Rowand was one of my favorite players and Torres was just a fourth outfielder. Well, even I must admit that Torres proved me wrong. His 2010 was the best season a Giants centerfielder has turned in since the team left Candelstick. Torres’ numbers don’t even tell the whole story, since he was arguably their most clutch hitter and the only one who could wreak havoc on the bases. Torres was everything you could hope for in a centerfielder, and the player I was the most wrong about before a season started.
Runner Up:
Aaron Rowand (2009): AVG- 261/ HR- 15/ RBI-64

Rightfield: Ellis Burks (2000): AVG- 344/ HR- 24/ RBI- 96
I have to admit, I don’t remember much about Ellis Burks in 2000. His workman ways were always overshawdowed by the bigger stars of Jeff Kent, JT Snow, and Barry Bonds. He didn’t make the All Star team, and when the season ended he signed with Cleveland. Only then did I really appreciate him. For two and half years, Burks was the Giants rightfielder. He was great in black and orange, but we were just so spoiled with amazing hitters that he never got his due.
Runner Up:
Reggie Sanders (2002): AVG- 250/ HR- 23/ RBI- 85/ SB- 18 


C- Benito Santiago (2002): AVG- 278/ HR- 16/ RBI- 74
C- Mike Matheny (2005): AVG- 242/ HR- 13/ RBI- 59
3B- David Bell (2002): AVG- 261/ HR- 20/ RBI- 73
SS- Juan Uribe (2010): AVG- 248/ HR- 24/ RBI- 85
LF- Pat Burrell (2010): AVG- 266/ HR- 18/ RBI- 51
CF- Angel Pagan (2012): AVG- 291/ HR- 8/ SB- 28
RF- Jose Cruz Jr (2003): AVG- 250/ HR- 20/ RBI- 68