San Francisco Giants Season Recap

San Francisco Giants Season Recap

by October 28, 2021 1 comment

The San Francisco Giants came into the season with below-average expectations. With the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres coming into the year as World Series favorites, no one thought the Giants would be anything special. Needless to say, they defied all expectations. The Giants had a rough 2020 and no one expected a dramatic change in play this season. Their offseason wasn’t anything special, with their biggest acquisition being Kevin Gausman after accepting the Giants qualifying offer. Other notable acquisitions were Tommy La Stella, Anthony DeSclafani, and Alex Wood. After starting the season hot the Giants never let go of the rope.

The Giants finished the year as the best team in the majors with a 107-55 record. It seemed like everything went right for these 2021 Giants. Their core group of players that won them multiple World Series back in the early 2010s all showed up this season. Players like Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey all had all-star worthy seasons. At the trade deadline, the Giants made a splash by acquiring former 2016 MVP and 2021 all-star Kris Bryant. The Giants finished the regular season with the fifth-highest team OPS and the ninth-lowest team ERA. Unfortunately, their season ended after a tough loss in Game 5 of the NLDS, but at the end of the day, the Giants should only be proud of what they accomplished this season.

Key Info

Manager: Gabe Kapler

Record: 107-55

Position: First in NL West

Postseason: Lost in NLDS

Overall Performance

Their lineup was led by the bats of Crawford, Evan Longoria, Belt, and Posey who all had above a .800 OPS. They were occupied by players such as Wilmer Flores, Mike Yastrzemski, and eventually Bryant. To summarize, the Giant’s offense was excellent. They finished top ten in all major hitting categories, including AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, and runs scored.

On the other side of the ball, their pitching also thrived. The Giants pitchers finished the season with the second-lowest team ERA, second-lowest WHIP, and fifth-lowest BAA (batting average against). Their bullpen was also one of the best in baseball finishing with the lowest combined ERA. The final shining star for the 2021 Giants was the likely NL Manager of the year, Kapler. In his second year with the team, he transformed the Giants from complete mediocrity to arguably the best team in baseball.

Award Winners

MVP, Hitter of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year: Brandon Crawford

Although you can make the case that Posey or Gausman should win MVP, I give the shortstop the edge. Crawford ended the year with a slash line of .298/.373/.522, which led all qualified Giants. He also finished with a 139 wRC+, a 141 OPS+, and a career-high 5.5 WAR.  Crawford led the Giants in hits and RBI’s and finished third in homers. Also, he stole eleven bases which were the second-most on the team.

Crawford also shined defensively. Between all qualified shortstops, Crawford finished fifth in OAA (Outs Above Average) and FPCT (Fielding Percentage). The previous gold glover also finished eighth in defensive WAR at shortstop. Crawford had a career year on both sides of the ball and was the Giants’ best all-around player.

Starting Pitcher of the Year: Kevin Gausman

After accepting the Giants qualifying offer in the offseason, Gausman came back to San Francisco and delivered. Gausman pitched thirty-three games this season and finished with a 14-6 record. He finished with a 2.81 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, and a .210 BAA (Batting Average Against). All of those were top ten among starting pitchers. Gausman was also able to eat a lot of innings with 192 IP. All in all, Gausman dominated on the rubber this season and made a strong case on why he should get paid this offseason.

Relief Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Rogers

The Giants had a very strong bullpen this year with a bunch of strong arms, but throughout the whole season, Rogers was their best. In his third year in the big leagues, Rogers pitched in 80 games and finished the year with a 2.22 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and a 184 ERA+. He also finished the season with 13 saves. Even though Rogers is not a very strikeout-heavy pitcher, he was still able to come out of the pen and dominate. There were a lot of suitors for the Giant’s best reliever, but based on the quality and quantity of pitching I believe Rogers wins the award.

Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey

After the former MVP took the 2020 season off because of COVID-19, Buster Posey had a great 2021. Posey had a fantastic year at the plat finishing with a .304 BA, .889 OPS, and a 140 OPS+. He hit 18 homers and drove in 56 runs. Even after missing about a third of the season, Buster was still the best catcher in the NL. After missing 2020 and having a down 2019, Buster Posey was a huge part of the Giants magical season and therefore is their comeback player of the year.

What’s Next?

Even though the Giants surprised the world in 2021 as the best team in baseball, that does not mean that their 2022 will be the same. Kapler will be back no doubt next year, but the Giants are losing a lot of their players. Notably, they are likely losing Belt, Gausman, DeSclafani, Bryant, and Wood. Posey is also technically a free agent but has a club option for 22 million dollars that will most likely be picked up.

The biggest hole for the Giants going into the offseason is their starting pitching, and to compete in their tough decision they will probably have to sign a few big ones. If the Giants want to repeat what they did this year, they have to be prepared to pull out the checkbook and reinvent their roster.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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