The Brandons: Belt and Crawford Still Have Time For Improvement In 2013
The San Francisco Giants are starting to drop like flies, and the September callups can’t seem to get here any faster.
With Andres Torres shelved for most likely the rest of the season, some playing time will be available in center between Gregor Blanco and recently called up Francisco Peguero, and in left field between Roger Kieschnick and, believe it or not, Brett Pill.
Bruce Bochy should do whatever he pleases in September to get as much experience possible for the guys coming up when rosters expand on the first. Two guys he shouldn’t touch, however, are Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford. Belt and Crawford are great, young and experienced players with bright futures, and playing out the rest of the season can only be beneficial for the “Brandons.”
Belt and Crawford are two of the few Giants that have the opportunity to still relish something out of this 2013 season. Both are stellar defenders in the field — especially Crawford — but are still lacking talent with the bat.
Belt may be on the cusp of finding a productive swing, as he has performed well in August, with Bochy consistently penciling him in the third slot almost all month. Since Aug. 9, Belt has been hitting .310 with 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, and an OPS of .958 — all hitting third. You could even make the argument that Belt could right now be the No. 3 for this team on Opening Day 2014.
Crawford has been nearly as successful as Belt with the bat, but his glove surely makes up for it. He nearly missed out on a Gold Glove last year and hasn’t lost a step this year. He is such a fantastic infielder, that if he found a way to raise his average to above .300 and consistently showed home run pop like he did in the beginning of 2013, he could enter the conversation as one of the game’s best.
There are 34 games left in this season and the “Brandons” could use the at-bats. Belt is so close to finding a power stroke, and ending the season on a positive note offensively could benefit the first baseman immensely. The same goes for Crawford, the more at-bats the better.
Their careers can go to exciting places, but only well-spent time in the batter’s box will tell.