By John Shea @real_johnshea on March 22, 2014
The San Francisco Giants' anemic offense failed to produce at a high level in 2013, fueling their ultimate demise. The Giants' pitching staff also performed below expectations, but is bound for a turnaround in 2014. The Giants' core of hard-nosed hurlers are good enough to keep the team close in ball games. Whether the Giants are able to contend for a playoff spot depends entirely on how effectively their offense is able to score runs.
Pagan missed a significant amount of time during the 2013 season due to a nasty hamstring injury that required midseason surgery. He's a catalyst for the Giants at the top of the lineup and must perform at a high level in order to propel the Giants toward a division title.
Projections: .332 on-base percentage, eight home runs, 49 RBIs, 64 runs scored and 18 stolen bases in 546 plate appearances over 122 games.
Scutaro has been hampered by nagging lower back in Spring Training, forcing him to remain sidelined from baseball activity for a majority of camp. He's on track to start at second base on opening day, though. Scutaro is a tough ball player who adopted the role of difference-maker for the Giants in their 2012 title run.
Projections: .329 on-base percentage, four home runs, 37 RBIs and 51 runs scored in 471 plate appearances over 105 games.
Belt is bound for a breakout season in 2014 after adjusting his batting grip and stance midway through last season. The changes he made at the plate proved to be substantial. Belt was tremendous in the second half of the season and is now presumed to be the Giants' No. 3 hitter entering the 2014 campaign.
Projections: .289 batting average, 20 home runs, 94 RBIs, 82 runs scored and six stolen bases in 642 plate appearances over 151 games.
Posey was noticeably fatigued toward the end of the 2013 season. He managed a dismal .244 batting average with just two home runs in the season's second half. Posey spent the duration of the offseason building muscle mass, which will ideally improve his durability. He remains one of the best pure hitters in baseball.
Projections: .308 batting average, 18 home runs, 83 RBIs and 79 runs scored in 595 plate appearances over 136 games.
Pence was the Giants' most productive hitter at the plate in 2013. He posted career highs in home runs (27) and games played (162). Pence, an advocate of the Paleo diet, is in excellent shape. He's in the prime of his career and fresh off a brand new, shiny million contract.
Projections: .280 batting average, 24 home runs, 92 RBIs, 80 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 664 plate appearances over 155 games.
Sandoval is entering the first contract year of his big league career. He also begins the 2014 campaign in perhaps the best shape of his life. Sandoval has supposedly lost nearly 40 pounds over the offseason. He certainly appears noticeably slender in Spring Training. His reshaped figure should result in improved numbers.
Projections: .297 batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBIs and 71 runs scored in 581 plate appearances over 137 games.
Morse was brought in to supply the Giants' lineup with consistent power. He's now three seasons removed from a monstrous 2011 campaign, when he smashed 31 home runs for the Washington Nationals. Nagging injuries derailed his brief stint in the American League in 2013. Now, he looks to reassert himself as a perennial slugger.
Projections: .253 batting average, 22 home runs, 77 RBIs and 65 runs scored in 605 plate appearances over 142 games.
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