SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With apologies to the creators of the classic film "Casablanca," when it comes to the Giants and regular-season awards, you can basically round up the usual suspects.Buster Posey stands at the front of the line, closely backed by Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Brandon Crawford. Joe Panik
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With apologies to the creators of the classic film "Casablanca," when it comes to the Giants and regular-season awards, you can basically round up the usual suspects.
Buster Posey stands at the front of the line, closely backed by Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Brandon Crawford. Joe Panik and manager Bruce Bochy aren't far away. Top prospectTyler Beede isn't on the premises yet, but he could join the group under the right circumstances.
In 2012, Posey won the National League Most Valuable Player Award. If Posey did it once, he can do it again, though he has not come close to matching that year's slash line (.336/.408/.549) or the 24 home runs and 103 RBIs he accumulated. He has, however, remained effective enough offensively to win three Silver Slugger Awards as the league's most productive catcher ('12, '14, '15).
Moreover, Posey's overall game is enhanced by his defensive excellence, exemplified by the Gold Glove Award he won last season for defensive excellence. This marked the first time he earned this distinction, and, still spry at age 30, he has the wherewithal to capture it again.
Bumgarner has lingered on the fringes of the NL Cy Young Award race since 2011, when he finished 11th. From '13 on, the imposing left-hander has placed ninth, sixth and fourth twice in the voting.
Bumgarner's considerable hitting ability enhances his reputation as a singular performer. He won back-to-back Silver Slugger Awards in 2014-15 and has hit 14 home runs, more than any active pitcher.
Cueto has finished among the leaders in NL Cy Young Award balloting three times, including sixth last year, when he recorded his best single-season winning percentage (.783) with an 18-5 mark. Cueto can opt out of his six-year, $130 million contract after this season, and though the right-hander says he's not dwelling on that, it'll doubtlessly spur him to excel.
Followers of the Giants have long known that Crawford ranks among baseball's top all-around shortstops, if not the most talented. His performance in the World Baseball Classic, during which he batted .385 and made seemingly every play that came his way, guaranteed that he shall never again be overlooked.
Crawford's diverse skills have been recognized by the sport's cognoscenti. He's the two-time reigning NL Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop and a 2015 Silver Slugger Award recipient.
Panik won last year's NL Gold Glove Award for second basemen, making him the first Giant at the keystone position to capture this honor since Robby Thompson in 1993.
Widely considered a future Hall of Fame inductee, Bochy will remain a perennial candidate for the Manager of the Year Award -- though he hasn't won the award since 1996 with San Diego.
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.