The Giants are World Champs.
Next task, a repeat championship.
The Giants are well on their way to another NL West title but given their success last season anything less than a repeat NL will be seen as a failure.
Gone are the days where competing was all that mattered to the Giants, now they want to win, big. What’s and who is standing in their way?
The rest of the NL, that’s who.
The Giants are a good team this year, but they are not a great team. Their pitching and defense are fantastic but the offense is not good. I know its been said but it needs to be repeated. If the 2011 season was a complete copy of 2010, Giants fans could count the days until Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff and Andres Torres heat up and carry the team to a championship.
But 2011 is not 2010. Other NL contenders have made significant moves to upgrade their offense and pitching staffs while the Giants have stood pat.
Can the Giants win without making a move? Sure. Is it likely? No,
After winning a title, a team is in its best position to win another within two years. After that the window is gone, and a team is likely to fall victim to massive roster turnover and a change in identity. Its true, after the 2012 season its probable that the band of loveable losers will be disbanded.
Aubrey Huff seems destined for the door, Andres Torres has under performed (or regressed at least), and Cody Ross (unless he catches fire) will be probably be gone as well. The young pitching will be the same but the offensive core will Sandoval, Posey and another six who will be named later.
What I’m trying to get across is, there is no way to tell how this team will perform in 2013 and beyond. Now the team is a few tweaks away from being a contender. The Braves have upgraded (no more Brooks Conrad to give away a free game), the Phillies are stronger, and the NL Central has four solid teams fighting for a playoff spot. Even if one assumes that the Giants are the best of them all, the gap between the teams has been narrowed. The Giants need to improve to widen the gap once again and get a stranglehold on the National League.
Much has been said opposing rental players because it jeopardizes the future. I can’t say anything to combat that, what I can say, is that there is no way to tell how prospects will perform once they reach the majors. For example, potential new Giants: Ramon Hernandez, Carlos Beltran and Melky Cabrera are all established major league players. Even moving to a pitcher’s park we have a pretty good idea how they will perform'”plus or minus 15 percent.
That same reasoning when applied to prospects, doesn’t work. The Giants’ two best'”and only marquee prospects Brandon Belt and Zack Wheeler'”have little or no track record. Wheeler is pitching in High-A ball this year and Belt has gone from the majors to injured to the minors. Could they both be superstars? Sure. Is it likely? Well no, not really.
The Giants have been great at drafting and developing talent over the past decade. No one needs to be reminded of Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, and the success of Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval. I think however, it’s created a false sense of security amongst front office and fans alike. That being, that every first round and hot prospect of the Giants is going to be a great success at the major league level.
That kind of thinking is foolish. Zack Wheeler, while a good prospect, does not project to be another Tim Lincecum. Few do. Brandon Belt is another player that could be great, but i the expectations that he would be an impact player in his first year, just like Posey was unwarranted. In the majors this year he has been patient yet overwhelmed and his wrist injury merely delayed an inevitable return to the minors. He could still have an impact this year, but to depend on it is wishful thinking.
The Giants were unbelievable lucky to get so much from their farm system the last five years, but expecting it to continue is a mistake. Even if the Giants need to trade a few high prospects, it’s worth it to get players that can produce today.
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