San Francisco Giants: 2017 Season Review and Offseason Preview

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What Went Right 

As bad as the Giants’ season was, they still had Buster Posey. He did what he always does. He hit well (.320/.400/.462), played good defense behind the dish, and played 140 games. Posey had his lowest home run total in any full season, but he countered it with the second-highest on-base percentage of his career. Is it too soon to talk about Buster Posey and the Hall of Fame?

Beyond Buster, there were only three Giants hitters who were league average, based on Fangraphs WAR: Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, and Brandon Crawford. Belt and Panik were above average hitters, while Crawford’s value came primarily on defense. He had a 21-HR, 84-RBI season two years ago, but struggled at the plate this year. These guys may not be worthy of the “What Went Right” category for a different team, but there just wasn’t much else on offense worth mentioning. The Giants scored the second-fewest runs in baseball.

On the pitching side, it depends on your point of view whether Jeff Samardzija should be in the “What Went Right” category. He was 9-15, with a 4.42 ERA, which is not good. On the other hand, he had his highest strikeout rate since 2012 and the lowest walk rate of his career. Those are the two things a pitcher has the most control over.

He had some trouble with home runs, but his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and xFIP were both right around 3.60. In that sense, he “should” have had an ERA in that range. The results weren’t there this year, but a higher strikeout rate and lower walk rate are good signs for the future.

In the bullpen, Cory Gearrin had a 1.99 ERA in 68 innings and Hunter Strickland had a 2.64 ERA in 61.3 innings. They both walked a few too many batters and didn’t have the big strikeout totals that many relievers are putting up these days, but they were effective in the later innings.