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2018 MLB Preview: San Francisco Giants

A look at the San Francisco Giants with fantasy baseball in mind.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Basic Stats:

Final Record: 64-98
Runs: 29th
Home Runs: 30th
Stolen Bases: 20th
ERA: 16th
Saves: 28th
Strikeouts: 22nd

A dirt bike accident was the highlight, or lowlight in this case, of the San Francisco Giants in 2017. The team ranked among the bottom in most offensive categories with their pitching staff was mediocre at best. The injury to Madison Bumgarner derailed the season for the Giants. By the time Mad-Bum was healthy, his team was way out of contention. The Giants actually had the worst ‘best’ fantasy player by team in 2017. Jeff Samardzija finished as the #117 overall player, which was the best on his team.

Let’s take a look towards 2018.

The Superstar: Madison Bumgarner

The Giants figure to have a busy offseason and may add the likes of a Mike Moustakas or even Giancarlo Stanton. Until then, Bumgarner is the best thing the Giants have going for them. A model of consistency, Bumgarner had 4 straight seasons of a sub 3.00 ERA and more than 200 IP coming into 2017. After suffering a shoulder injury during a dirt bike accident, Bumgarner missed half a season. The starts post accident were peak level Bumgarner but they were still consistently solid. Buying in on his track record, (in baseball, not Motocross) I’ll have Bumgarner as a top 10 SP and around #30 overall.

The Sleeper: Brandon Belt

I mean, Belt has to break out eventually, right? Although Belt has been pegged a sleeper for numerous seasons, he still presents the best value as such on the current Giants lineup. Belt has his 2017 cut short due to injury but in the 35 games prior, Belt was hitting quite well. He averaged .277 with 7 HR 23 RBI and 28 runs scored in that span. He also had an OPS of .972 over those 35 games. With the addition of offensive pieces this offseason, the Giants lineup could be considerably better in 2018. Belt has 30 HR 100 RBI upside with a solid .268 career batting average. For a player who may not be drafted inside the top 250, this production would be a steal.

The Guy to Avoid: Johnny Cueto

No offseason drama for Cueto. He decided he would not opt out of his contract with the Giants, thus extending his stay with the team 4 more years. Cueto had a dreadful 2017. In 25 starts, Cueto posted a 4.52 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. This was his worst season since his rookie year back in 2008. The walks are up for Cueto and he is also getting hit harder and more often. I’m not confident this trend will be bucked in 2018. Some early rankings project he will return to his 2016 form. I’m betting against it.

The Prospect To Watch: Christian Arroyo

Arroyo earns this selection mostly because he is the only Giants player to rank inside the top 100 prospects at MLB.com. In a short sample, Arroyo hit .192 with 3 HR and 14 RBI over 34 games in 2017. He can play SS but will not be eligible at SS to start 2018. If he gains eligibility there, then Arroyo could have value beyond NL only. Just 22 years old, Arroyo’s minor league career doesn’t sell us on a fantasy worthy player. He’s worth keeping tabs on because he’s a great hitter. Think Ben Zobrist or Logan Forsythe as potential players Arroyo could replicate.