Spring Kickoff: 2016 Infield Projections

Featured Photo Credit: SFGiantsPhotos.mlblogs.com

San Francisco Giants 2016 Projections:

Infield

Buster Posey | C | Age 29 (on Opening Day)

2015 Projection: 519 AB, .314, .381 OBP, 22 HR, 93 RBI

2015 Performance: 557 AB, .318 AVG, .379 OBP, 19 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB

2016 Projection

  • AB: 542
  • AVG: .315
  • OBP: .379
  • HR: 20
  • RBI: 97
  • SB: 1

Forecast: It’s scary to think that Buster is getting better offensively, but that’s exactly what’s happening. He walked more than he struck out last year, and the guy owns a lifetime .310 average. Though he does so much more for the organization, he’s truly one of the best pure hitters in baseball. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Brandon Belt | 1B | Age 27

2015 Projection: 549 AB, .274 AVG, .342 OBP, 26 HR, 86 RBI

2015 Performance: 492 AB, .280 AVG, .356 OBP, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 9 SB

2016 Projection

  • AB: 510
  • AVG: .281
  • OBP: .358
  • HR: 19
  • RBI: 73
  • SB: 8

Forecast: Belt is a pretty steady performer when he’s healthy. He’s solid defensively, and he’s got a nice combination of contact and power at the plate. Does he still have that 25+ HR breakout season coming? He’s just now entering what should be his “prime” years, but for now, I’m going to say he puts up numbers similar to what he did last season.

Joe Panik | 2B | Age 25

2015 Projection: 536 AB, .280 AVG, .334 OBP, 3 HR, 48 RBI

2015 Performance: 382 AB, .312 AVG, .378, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 3 SB

2016 Projection

  • AB: 528
  • AVG: .304
  • OBP: .364
  • HR: 9
  • RBI: 55
  • SB: 5

Forecast: The only thing contributing to a sophomore slump for Panik was his back, which as we recently learned was a stress fracture, not inflammation as was reported last summer. If Posey is one of the best pure hitters in baseball, I don’t think Joe is far behind. Between his defense at 2B and his tremendous approach at the dish, Panik’s one of the most exciting players on the club. If he’s healthy all year, I’m very confident in predicting another .300 campaign.

Matt Duffy | 3B | Age 25

2015 Performance: 573 AB, .295 AVG, .334 OBP, 12 HR, 77 RBI, 12 SB

2016 Projection

  • AB: 599
  • AVG: .301
  • OBP: .342
  • HR: 14
  • RBI: 73
  • SB: 17

Forecast: It is my opinion that Duffy can, and will top his dynamic rookie season. This is a guy who hit .300+ in 4 of 6 full months during 2015, a guy who works so hard at his craft, and literally does not seem to have any holes in his swing. I think he’s one of the most exciting young players in the game, and I especially love his AB’s. He uses the whole field, and when he gets a pitch in his wheelhouse, he absolutely unloads. I think Duffy keeps those trends going in 2016, and this time he keeps his AVG over .300 all year.

Brandon Crawford | SS | Age 29

2015 Projection: 495 AB, .246 AVG, .320 OBP, 12 HR, 59 RBI

2015 Performance: 507 AB, .256 AVG, .321 OBP, 21 HR, 84 RBI, 6 SB

2016 Projection

  • AB: 514
  • AVG: .261
  • OBP: .327
  • HR: 18
  • RBI: 78
  • SB: 5

Forecast: If not for his lingering late-season injuries, I thought Crawford looked like a lock for 25 HR last year. Regardless, his best season to date earned the slick SS a fat extension and some nice security for his family. Personally, I don’t think he’s done swinging the bat yet, although I really can’t say if he’ll hit 20 HR again (can you?). B-Craw is a Giant through and through, and his elevated level of play in pressure situations is exciting to watch. I think he continues the trend of improved offense this season, no matter where he hits in the lineup.

Others:

Andrew Susac: 150 AB, .248, .319, 5 HR, 24 RBI

Kelby Tomlinson: 162 AB, .277, . 336, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 10 SB

Ehire Adrianza: 87 AB, .220, .306, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB

Kyle Blanks: 80 AB, .263, .332, 4 HR, 10 RBI

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