Which Giants are building momentum for an All-Star bid?

June 12th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Maria Guardado’s Giants Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants just returned home from a trip to Texas this past weekend, but at least one of their players will be back at Globe Life Field next month to take part in the 2024 All-Star Game.

LaMonte Wade Jr.’s strained left hamstring likely cost him a shot at making a push for his first career All-Star selection, but San Francisco still has several other candidates who will be in the mix to represent the club at the Midsummer Classic.

With Phase 1 voting open through June 27, here’s a look at five Giants who are building an All-Star case this year:

Despite emerging as one of the most dependable starters in the Majors and finishing runner-up in the National League Cy Young voting last season, Webb has never made an All-Star team, though he seems poised to finally land the distinction in 2024. The Giants’ homegrown ace entered Wednesday with a 2.92 ERA over 86 1/3 innings and is tied for second in the Majors with 10 quality starts. He’s completed at least six innings in six consecutive outings, underscoring the workhorse mentality that has made him such an invaluable member of San Francisco's pitching staff over the last few years.

Ramos didn’t get much of a look with the Giants during Spring Training this year, but he’s been a revelation since earning a promotion from Triple-A Sacramento on May 8, batting .316 with a .918 OPS and six home runs over his first 31 games. He already ranks second on the team in bWAR behind Matt Chapman, and entered Wednesday second in OPS among NL outfielders with at least 130 plate appearances.

The outfield competition isn’t quite as stiff now that the Dodgers' Mookie Betts and the Phillies' Bryce Harper are playing the infield and the Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. is out for the season, so Ramos could continue to force his way into the conversation if he keeps performing for the Giants this month.

“Confidence plays a big part, especially at the big league level when a guy kind of settles in and is doing his thing,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Everything seems to be hit hard. He’s hitting homers, he’s driving in big runs. So it’s been going on for a while here to feel pretty good about what he’s doing.

“I don’t know where we’d be without him.”

The Dodgers’ Will Smith and the Brewers’ William Contreras are the frontrunners among NL catchers this year, but Bailey could have a strong shot at nabbing a third spot now that the Phillies' J.T. Realmuto and the Cardinals' Willson Contreras are both injured. Bailey ranks third among NL backstops in fWAR, and he entered Wednesday batting .279 with a .780 OPS and four homers over 43 games in his first full season in the big leagues.

Hicks’ transition to starting has gone about as well as the Giants could have hoped, as he’s recorded a 3.01 ERA over 71 2/3 innings, six shy of his career high in the Majors. His ERA has climbed slightly after giving up nine earned runs over 13 2/3 innings in his last three starts, but he still ranks within the top 10 in the NL and could bolster his case if he gets on a roll in the coming weeks.

“He’s done remarkably well,” Melvin said. “He knows how to manage his bullpens. He hasn’t been throwing seven or eight innings, but he’s been keeping us basically in every game he’s pitched in. He’s got a [3.01] ERA. [Tuesday] was going to be short no matter what, but I don’t think he’s thinking too much about innings right now. His velocity compared to what it’s been as a reliever is a little bit down, but then when he needs a pitch and needs to reach back, he does it. 92-93 [mph], he can be efficient with some ground balls. I think he’s pitched well.”

Chapman’s offensive numbers don’t look especially compelling, but the four-time Gold Glove winner regularly makes highlight-reel plays on the field and leads Major League third basemen with six Defensive Runs Saved. Chapman entered Wednesday batting .236 with a .713 OPS and eight home runs over 65 games, but he’s beginning to pick it up at the plate and just saw his 25-game on-base streak come to an end on Tuesday. Perennial All-Stars Nolan Arenado of the Cardinals and Manny Machado of the Padres have also been slow out of the gate this year, so there’s definitely an opening for Chapman to sneak into the picture in this category.