Brandon Belt of the San Francisco Giants has been on a tear this spring. In 60 AB, he has seven HR, 17 RBI and is batting .433.
The Giants have had high hopes for Belt ever since his 2010 minor league season where he hit 23 HR and had 112 RBI as he quickly progressed through three levels. But then a .225 AVG in 63 games with the Giants in 2011 tempered the enthusiasm.
Last year’s .275 AVG in 145 games with the Giants showed improvement. He batted .329 over the last two months of the season to help the Giants win the NL West. That was after a terrible July when he batted .186 and struck out in 38% of his plate appearances. But the power was still missing, with only seven HR and 56 RBI. This doesn’t cut it for a corner infielder. A K/BB ratio for the entire around 2:1 tells part of the story here.
So what is reasonable to expect this year? Are the HR in spring training just a mirage, only to disappear against real pitchers when the real season starts? The last Giant 1B to hit 30 HR was Will Clark in 1987. Will Brandon Belt be next? That doesn’t seem too likely. Maybe someday he could get to 20 at the peak of his career, which could still be a few years off.
Belt is being drafted on average around position 246 this year, which means a late round in deep leagues. In several leagues I am in, he has gone considerably higher. I think he is a good bench player to have this season.
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