San Francisco Giants: How They Can Contend in 2016

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Sign Dexter Fowler to Play Center Field

October 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) hits a double in the eighth inning against the New York Mets in game three of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

If there was a player who upped his value after the 2015 season, it was Dexter Fowler. Being acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Houston Astros before the season began, Fowler went on to have a career year as the Cubs’ lead-off hitter. Scoring over 100 times (102) and setting a career-high in home runs (17), should get him a decent contract.

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Fowler will be 30 to begin the 2016 season, and would be a good fit for an outfield that has struggled with health over the last few years. In 2015, every position in the outfield for the Giants endured a period of time on the disabled list — some even twice. The Giants are not getting any younger in the outfield and Fowler’s age and skill set should provide some life with the bat and defense.

With Hunter Pence obviously playing right field, who will play center field and left field are very much open for discussion. After a late DL stint in 2015, Angel Pagan appeared to come back a little fresher, but who knows how long he can go anymore. That does not mean he is not valued anymore, but his ability to be the team’s lead off hitter may be behind him.

Nori Aoki and Kelby Tomlinson showed a lot of promise as the lead-off hitters, but Aoki is no longer with the team and Tomlinson will go back to the bench. Slotting Fowler into center field and batting lead off will certainly not require any time sharing in the field. This move could also take some of the pressure off Pagan as he would likely continue a platoon in left field with Gregor Blanco and late bloomer, Jarrett Parker.

While Fowler is no slugger, he still has pop in his bat and should pile up the extra base hits. He can be valuable to the Giants’ offense as well as to a defense that could use his services.

Next: Denard Span