It’s safe to say that the San Francisco Giants have had issues in the outfield this season. Though Hunter Pence has started every single game in right field and been a solid contributor, the left and center field positions have been revolving doors. The Giants failed to effectively fill the left field spot this year and went into the season with a Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres platoon. Neither of those players have been consistent offensively, and the team has now used seven different players in left this year. Meanwhile, in center, Angel Pagan was off to a slow start, but seemed to be recovering his 2012 form just as he went down with a knee injury that eventually required surgery. He has not played since that point, although he likely will return for the last month of the season. Joining him should be Juan Perez, who has spent time with the big-league club this season and looks to position himself as a possible contributor for next season.
It’s also worth noting that the Giants recently recalled outfielder Francisco Peguero in advance of roster expansion. He could be part of a platoon in left field next year if the team doesn’t address the position through free agency or a trade. Though he wasn’t too impressive during a brief big-league stint in May, he was very good offensively throughout the entire year at Triple-A. He could end up being a significant contributor to next year’s team and needs to be further evaluated in the major leagues.
Perez started off on fire in the big leagues before cooling off in the latter part of his major league stint. He left the big leagues with a .238 average, mainly due to a lingering tendency to swing at pitches he couldn’t hit on the opposite end of the plate. He did, however, make a huge impression in the field and probably delivered the best defensive performance of any Giants outfielder this year over his 16-game stint. The 26-year-old could make an impression that could boost his chances to possibly stick as a fifth outfielder with the Giants next year.
The most glaring omission from this group is former first-rounder Gary Brown. At this point, there have to be serious concerns about Brown, who was at one point ranked as Baseball America‘s number 38 prospect, ever being a major-league contributor. After struggling for a large part of last season in Double-A, he’s been inconsistent all season this year in Triple-A. He has just a .233 batting average, and perhaps most alarmingly for a player whose greatest strength was supposed to be his speed, he’s stolen 16 bases and been caught 11 times. Brown will have to have a great spring training next year to put himself back in the good graces of the Giants’ brass.