SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As one who doesn't speak in exaggeration or hyperbole, Giants manager Bruce Bochy had to be taken seriously when he stated recently that all 10 outfielders in camp were good enough to win jobs on the Opening Day roster.Without citing names, Bochy acknowledged that a handful of
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As one who doesn't speak in exaggeration or hyperbole, Giants manager Bruce Bochy had to be taken seriously when he stated recently that all 10 outfielders in camp were good enough to win jobs on the Opening Day roster.
Without citing names, Bochy acknowledged that a handful of outfield candidates are long shots to line up for pregame introductions at Dodger Stadium for Opening Day on March 29.
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Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Pence and Austin Jackson are locks to make the team. However, scenarios exist in which any of the other outfielders can start the season in the Majors. Here's a look at the contenders for the backup outfield spots.
Pros: You know about his power at the plate and playmaking abilities. He's also completely healthy. Why not give this fresh athlete a crack at the Majors? He has proven that he's poised to take the next step.
Cons: There's no way that Duggar is Major League-ready. He hasn't played a full season at Triple-A, yet the Giants expect him to eventually take over the leadoff spot and cover the outfield corner to corner. He still needs more Minor League seasoning.
Pros: He's a perfect fourth outfielder, as he can play all three positions. Blanco has mastered the intangibles, as well as the fundamentals, serving as a strong team leader.
Cons: Blanco's time may have come and gone. The Giants could politely ask him to step aside and give Duggar and Austin Slater a chance to play.
Pros: The Giants didn't miss Blanco last year, because Hernandez improved markedly in the season's second half. Bochy should believe that Hernandez can again handle the fourth outfielder's role.
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Cons: Again, Hernandez's parallels to Blanco are apt. He's not as multidimensional as Duggar, and he provides no power off the bench.
Pros: Slater batted a credible .282 in 34 games for the Giants last year, and he probably would have compiled better numbers had he remained healthy. He also has looked good defensively this spring.
Cons: The Giants don't need more .300 hitters who lack power. Maybe Slater can gain some pop with a little more time at Triple-A.
Pros: As the organization's best power hitter, Shaw will receive chances to excel. The Giants would consider placing him on the Opening Day roster if he went on a home-run binge this spring.
Cons: He has no Major League experience, and he batted just .158 (3-for-19) during the Arizona Fall League in 2017.
Pros: He proved in late 2015 that he has prodigious power. If the Giants let him go, would he burn them by morphing into another Adam Duvall and hitting 30 homers elsewhere?
Cons: There might be no danger of that happening. Whether injuries or opposing pitchers dragged Parker down doesn't matter. Now could be the time to let him go, because he's out of Minor League options.
Pros: His impressive hitting during this Cactus League season indicates that he's poised for a breakout year.
Cons: Williamson has received multiple chances to establish himself and never fullly seized them, whether it was due to injuries or ineffectiveness. The Giants could be done waiting.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.