Last offseason the Giants signed Denard Span to roam center field adding speed and a bit of pop at the top of the lineup. Shifting Blanco and Pagan to platoon left field. Gregor Blanco (Arizona) and Angel Pagan (Free Agent) are no longer with the organization and the Giants now have a void to fill in left field. Let’s make our way around the outfield.
Locked In: Hunter Pence
Possible backups: Gorkys Hernandez, Justin Ruggiano, Jarret Parker, Mac Williamson
One of the major keys to the Giants success is Hunter Pence. If he can stay healthy the Giants will be in good position in the NL West. The key for keeping Pence healthy is routinely giving him days off. Hernandez, Ruggiano, Parker, Williamson all have experience in right field. Hernandez made the opening day roster last season and spent some time with the Giants. Ruggiano can flat-out hit against left handing pitching and could be a valuable option off the bench. Parker and Williamson are battling to be the starter in left field.
Prediction: Hunter Pence
Locked In: Denard Span
Possible Backup: Gorkys Hernandez
Not much to say about center field. Denard Span signed a big contract last off-season and is the main man at center. Hernandez has seen time at all 3 outfield positions. His defensive skills are valuable especially at AT&T Park. Span is a year older and proved he could stay healthy last season. Giants would like him to duplicate last seasons performance.
Locked In: No One
Position Battle: Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson, Michael Morse, Justin Ruggiano
The Giants would prefer to have someone win the job, but if no one runs away with it during spring then they will have to settle for a platoon. The fans have been waiting for both Parker and Williamson to get consistent at bats and starts. Both Parker and Williamson have big league power, but have struggled to stay consistent due to being up and down the majors and minors. Michael Morse is back with the Giants and could provide some competition at left field and could be a power bat off the bench. Morse has said if he doesn’t make the squad that he will hang up his cleats and call it a career. He would like to duplicate the stats he had in 2014. Justin Ruggiano is also a candidate to be the starter in left, but will need to have a strong spring to make his case.
Prediction: Williamson, Parker, and Morse
The outfield has a huge question mark in left field and the bench spots are also open for competition. Pence and Span will need to stay healthy, someone will need to win left field outright, and the bench needs power. Jarrett Parker will really need to have a bad spring to not make the team. Parker is out of minor league options while Williamson and Hernandez still have options to use.
Opening Day Roster Outfield Predictions:
Left Field: Mac Williamson
Center Field: Denard Span
Right Field: Hunter Pence
Bench: Michael Morse, Jarrett Parker