Brandon Belt Should Be The Giants’ Everyday LF

So last night ESPN’s Keith Law sent out this tweet, which didn’t paint a positive picture among the Giants fans I follow. While one could say that it’s too early to make those types of statements, it is obvious that last year the Giants handled Brandon Belt pretty poorly from a developmental perspective, switching him between starter, bench player, and platoon mate. They also had him play LF and 1B, which also probably wasn’t a great thing. The end result was the Giants’ top hitting prospect was hitting for his at-bats on a team that desperately needed offensive production.

That brings us to 2012 and what the Giants may do this year. Obviously there is still a lot of baseball to be played, but right now the sense seems to be that Belt, projected by ZiPS to be the Giants’ 2nd best hitter, seems to be battling with Aubrey Huff, Brett Pill, and Nate Schierholtz for the starting LF and 1B jobs (I assume Melky Cabrera is starting in either RF or LF). My preference is obviously the title of the post, which would mean Schierholtz would move to the 4th OF role and start if someone is ineffective or gets injured.

The reason I want Belt to play LF instead of 1B is due to the fact that 1B looks to be a crowded position. Besides Huff and Pill, Buster Posey will likely need to play some games at 1B to not rush his recovering ankle. Also, while Belt isn’t a great defensive LF, he is a decent athlete who should improve with reps at the position, and considering that the last two years the main guy who has played LF for the Giants is Pat Burrell, Belt would be an upgrade. Giving Belt an everyday spot in the lineup and having him know he’ll be in the same position everyday, I believe, will give him some more confidence and could help him break out. Just my 2 cents.

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4 thoughts on “Brandon Belt Should Be The Giants’ Everyday LF

  1. I think the Giants may be challenging Belt to ‘Win’ a starting job rather than handing it to him. If he rakes, then a job is his. If he’s got a whole in his swing in Cactus League action, he’ll get to work on that in AAA.

    I personally think Belt is going to feast and make this a no-brainer. But the pressure test isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a good time to see what he’s made of and encourage growth while he’s young. The handling may look bad because of the unorthodoxy, but at least he’s received a fair amount of exposure and had to deal with adversity. Also there is no entitlement in this game. The declaration of “Best Prospect” is not a ticket to success. He still has to earn that.

  2. If you go back to Baggs March 2011 articles you see the Giants (Bochy and Sabean) drooling over Belt, comparing him to Posey, and once Ross got hurt everybody going insane over him, especially Bochy. Baggs wrote “Bochy went to the mat to keep Brandon Belt and the skipper got his wish.” As well as this: “Bochy believes that Belt is something special, both in terms of talent and temperament.” They screwed up royally on the public relations front when Belt wasn’t quite ready. Does this mean they hate him and he won’t ever play? Hell no.

    So now they are backtracking, and employing the more traditional Giants brand of “prove out rookie” that fans are used to. I find Keith Law’s opinion uninformed and annoying. The Giants drafted him, developed him and want him to succeed. He backed off from the trade implication in a 2nd twitter question, but its still implied that the Giants are idiots, they don’t know what they have. Sorry, not buying that dialogue. They want him to win the spot, and when he does, he’ll know he earned it fair and square.

  3. I want and hope for him to win the spot. Any way he can. If it means displacing Schierholtz, then I suppose that might happen. I don’t really want it to, but if that’s the case and Nate doesn’t perform, them’s the brakes. I’d rather see Huff sitting in Burrell’s old bench spot. Huff had better step it up a whole ‘nuther gear this year. I don’t care if he makes a Billion dollars a season. They will sit him. They’ve done it with Zito and No-wand.

    The youth is here and needs to learn the curve. No more John Bowker or Fred Lewis types……putting up the raw talent to play, they excel for a short time, they struggle with something, they get sat/shoved aside/shipped away to AAA, the raw talent never gets truly developed. At least they sent Belt to AAA to get rid of that loop in his swing….when he returned, he was doing great until the broken hand.

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