San Francisco Giants All-Time 26-Man Rosterby John Lepore May 4, 2022 1 comment
The New York Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958. They have eight World Series championships with their first in 1905 and their last in 2014. With that kind of history, one would expect a ton of talent here. You won’t be disappointed as there are four players, more than any team, with over 100 WAR. That isn’t career WAR. That is WAR while playing for the Giants. They have the best outfield ever, although the Yankees fans may disagree. The rest of this squad is incredible as well making some of the choices very difficult.
Make sure to check out all of our other All-Time Rosters.
Buster Posey, C
There really isn’t anyone else close here. Posey slashed .302/.372/.460 during his 12 years with the Giants. The recently retired catcher played his whole career in San Francisco and won a Gold Glove, a batting title, the Rookie of the Year, an MVP, and three World Series rings. There really isn’t much else to accomplish in a player’s career. Next stop…Cooperstown.
Willie McCovey, 1B
The Giants have had a long history of great first basemen. McCovey edges them out due to his longevity and the fact he played in mostly a pitching era in Candlestick Park. To illustrate the point even further, in 1968 McCovey led the National League in home runs (36), RBIs (108), and OPS (.923). The following year when they lowered the mound, he led the league in the same three categories and won the NL MVP. In his first stint with the Giants from 1959-1973, McCovey had an elite .403 wOBA and 156 wRC+. The big left-handed slugger was inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1986.
Jeff Kent, 2B
Another spot that was up for debate ends up going to Kent. He is continually being underrated defensively and actually had three DRS over his six seasons with the Giants. He is also one of the most prolific offensive second basemen in history. His San Francisco years saw him win an MVP and slash .297/.368/.535. Kent averaged 29 home runs and almost 10 stolen bases during that span as well. He is still on the Hall of Fame ballot and probably should be in.
George Davis, SS
We are going way back for this guy, but he deserves it. Davis played nine seasons with the Giants, not including a 10th where he appeared in four games. Over those nine years from 1893-1901, the switch-hitter slashed .332/.394/.468 while averaging 40 stolen bases, 96 runs, and 91 RBIs. He was also considered a premier defensive shortstop as he had a 5.5 WAR/600 PA with New York. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Matt Williams, 3B
Williams struggled over his first three seasons in San Francisco. However, he would bust out in 1990, leading the NL in RBIs (122). From that season until 1996 he had an .843 OPS and hit 35 homers, driving in 107 per 150 games. In just those seven years, Williams won three Gold Gloves and was an All-Star four times. He was chasing Maris in 1994. When the strike hit, the slugger had 43 homers in just 112 games.
Barry Bonds, LF
Considered by some as the greatest player ever, Bonds is a polarizing figure. He was already a two-time MVP when he got to the Giants in 1993. He won it again that season leading the league in HRs (46), RBIs (123), and OPS (1.136). One could write an article just on how ridiculous his numbers were. I will leave it up to you to check out his baseball-refernce.com page.
Willie Mays, CF
The fans who don’t consider Bonds the greatest, generally put Mays in that spot. He won the Rookie of the Year in 1951 then missed almost all of the next two years to military service. When he came back in 1954 all he did was lead the Giants to the World Series and make the memorable catch the game has ever seen. He also won his first MVP award that season. Like Bonds, you can just take a look at his baseball-reference page and be amazed. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979 and inexplicably 23 writers did not vote for him.
Bobby Bonds, RF
Barry’s dad was talented. Bobby’s power-speed combo was truly special as he manned right field next to Mays for a few years. From 1969-1974, Bonds averaged 30 home runs and 41 stolen bases. He also won three Gold Gloves and was an All-Star twice during that time. In 1973 Bonds missed becoming the first 40-40 player by one home run.
Mel Ott, DH
Ott is here due to Bobby being a better defender. The left-handed slugger played all 22 of his MLB seasons with the Giants. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Ott made his debut in 1926 at 17 years old and no one would’ve thought he would be a slugger. He filled out a bit and went on to blast 511 home runs, leading the league six times in that category. He is one of only six players ever to slash .300/.400/.500 with 500+ homers. Ott was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.
Christy Mathewson, RHP
The fourth player on this team with a 100+ WAR is here and is one of the best pitchers ever. Mathewson’s peak from 1901-1913 was absolutely ridiculous. During that time, he had a 1.96 ERA and won 337 games. He also led the league in strikeouts five times and ERA five times, winning the pitching triple crown twice (1905, 1908). His postseason ERA of 0.97 is just the cherry on top of a dominating career. He was one of the original five players inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936.
Carl Hubbell, LHP
Hubbell played his whole 16-year career for the Giants. He finished with a 2.98 ERA but in his peak, he was dominant winning two MVP awards in 1933 and 1936. For a nine-year stretch from 1931-1939, Hubbell had a 2.59 ERA and won 171 games. He led the league in ERA three times and wins three times. In the 1933 World Series, the southpaw pitched 20 innings over two starts while not allowing an earned run. That included an 11-inning complete game in Game Four. He was inducted into Cooperstown in 1947.
Juan Marichal, RHP
The 10-time All-Star had quite the peak. From 1963-1969, Marichal had a 2.63 ERA and averaged 289 innings and 22 wins per year. With impeccable control, he also led the league in strikeout-to-walk rate three years in a row (1966-1968). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.
Gaylord Perry, RHP
Perry came up with San Francisco and had a wonderful peak from 1966-1971. During that span, the spitballer averaged almost 300 innings a year and had a 2.75 ERA. He was workhorse leading the league in innings twice and also second in CYA voting in 1970. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
Madison Bumgarner, LHP
MadBum gets a spot on here for his consistency and also for the impact he had in the playoffs, winning three World Series. He did have a very good 3.13 ERA for the Giants and also threw 200+ innings in seven seasons while only having an ERA above 3.40 once. In his World Series career, he gave up one earned run in 36 innings. That was a solo home run off the bat of Salvador Perez in Game One of the 2014 WS.
Robb Nen, RHP
The closer finished his major league career in San Francisco, retiring young at 32. During that time with the Giants, he had a 2.43 ERA with 206 saves in just five seasons. In 2000, Nen finished fourth in CYA voting and led the league in saves with 45 in 2001.
Rod Beck, RHP
Beck was a reliable backend reliever for a solid six-year stretch from 1992-1997. He led the league in games finished three times and saved 198 games. He was a three-time All-Star and finished eighth in CYA voting in 1994. The big man set the franchise record with 48 saves in 1993. Sadly Beck passed away on June 23, 2007.
Brian Wilson, RHP
Here is the guy who matched Beck’s 48 saves in 2010. While he wasn’t the longest-tenured reliever, Wilson did have a few dominant years. The year he saved 48 games, he also had a 1.81 ERA and finished seventh in CYA voting. He also has a real distinction allowing no earned runs in 18 postseason innings in his career, although two series were with the Dodgers.
Gary Lavelle, LHP
We need a lefty so let’s go with a solid bullpen piece for 11 years with the Giants. Lavelle had a 2.82 ERA during his time in San Francisco and averaged 96 innings a year aside from his rookie season, throwing over 100 five times. He also had a sub-3.00 ERA seven times.
Greg Minton, RHP
The right-handed complement to Lavelle, Minton was just as good, and he was particularly dominant from 1979-1982. He had a 2.21 ERA and in 1982 finished sixth in CYA voting. Minton went 255.1 innings from 1979-1981 without giving up a home run and only allowed 33 in 870.1 innings during his Giants’ career.
Santiago Casilla, RHP
Casilla pitched for seven years in San Francisco and was an important part of their three World Series runs. He saved 123 games for the Giants during his time there. In the postseason Casilla allowed only two earned runs in 19.2 innings.
Sergio Romo, RHP
Another key part to the bullpen, Romo had a 2.58 ERA and 84 saves during his nine seasons with the Giants. He threw three perfect innings in the 2012 World Series to earn three saves. Romo had an excellent 498/89 K/BB rate.
Bill Terry, 1B
Terry was the last hitter in the NL to bat .400 in a season when he hit .401 in 1930. That year he also set the NL record for hits in a season with 254. He finished in the top seven in MVP voting six times. Terry finished with a .341 career batting average and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1954.
Johnny Mize, 1B
An underrated hitter, Mize rarely gets mentioned with the great first basemen. While he spent more years with the Cardinals, the big lefty played five years for the Giants, and it would have been eight had he not missed three prime years to World War II. In 1947 he led the NL with 51 home runs, 137 runs, and 138 RBIs. He finished his Giants career with 157 homers while only striking out 163 times.
Ross Youngs, OF
The outfielder spent his entire 10-year career with New York. Youngs slashed .322/.399/.441 and stole 153 bases. He is one of the lesser-known Hall of Famers and was inducted in 1972. He passed away at just 30 years old in October of 1927. For more on Youngs, you can read an excellent bio on him here.
Dick Bartell, Util
Bartell had two separate stints with the Giants. He finished with a respectable .279/.355/.400 slash over seven-plus seasons. He was a slick fielding shortstop in his prime and finished sixth in MVP voting in 1937 with an .836 OPS and 91 runs.
Frankie Frisch, 2B/3B
Frisch played exactly 1,000 games as a member of the Giants. He slashed .321/.367/.444 for them and perhaps more importantly was a monster in the playoffs. Over the four World Series for New York from 1921-1924, Frisch slashed .363/.414/.471 with five stolen bases.
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