The San Francisco Giants will be looking to get younger in the near future. Two positions that will experience plenty of makeover in the coming years are catcher and first base.
The San Francisco Giants are rebuilding to get younger, but what does that look like position by position? The Giants need to get younger at catcher, first base, shortstop, and third base.
Today we will look at first base and catcher. Tomorrow, we’ll look at shortstop and third base.
The Giants have Brandon Belt, age 31. He is a career .261 hitter who has never hit 20 home runs in a year. His .354 on-base percentage and his fielding are his greatest assets.
The fences moving in at home might help him get over the 20 home run mark, but he’s aging, trending down recently, and the fences probably did not come in enough to make more than a couple of fly balls turn into homers.
He’s making $16 million per year and is signed through 2021. If Belt’s numbers don’t improve, it could be a painful two years.
If the Giants move him, they could add to their minor league system and see what they have in 26-year-old Chris Shaw or a new acquisition. Logan Wyatt has the best upside at first base in their minor leagues, but he’s young and still in Single-A.
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Buster Posey will shift to being the primary first baseman once Joey Bart is full-time. Perhaps Posey will back up both catcher and first base. There are no young free agents who seem like a fit at first base for the Giants.
There are trades though. The Colorado Rockies have three first base prospects who are in the top 12 minor league first basemen. Surely, they’d be glad to swap for a different minor leaguer of similar skill at a different position.
Also, the Tampa Bay Rays recently signed Japanese phenom Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. That might make available a big prospect in Nate Lowe. Lowe is just 24-years-old with decent power and a .263 average in 152 at-bats last year.
The Giants have face-of-the-franchise, Buster Posey at catcher. He had quite a down year last year, dropping 63 points in batting average since 2017. This, in part, is due to hip surgery at the end of the 2018 season, but likely, in part, due to age.
Buster is now 32-years-old and catching taxes to the body. Could he get back to pre-injury levels? Others have done just that, but the downward trend seems in place. Perhaps this year, he’ll rebound.
He’ll be making $21-22 million as a member of the San Francisco Giants through the 2022 season. It is doubtful that another team would want to take on the contract even if the Giants wish to move on.
The future is Joey Bart.
Bart should be thought of as a good prospect and not a lock to repeat Posey’s start of his major league career. He had a very good Arizona Fall League, which is a good sign but cannot be projected over a larger workload.
This year he will likely start in Double-A and progress to Triple-A and the majors. He is projected to hit for average, power, and have a good on-base percentage.