Clearing Up a Giant Myth About the 2011 Giants

There’s a viral theory floating in the cloudsphere about the 2011 San Francisco Giants offense. You hear it casually tossed into the sports talk radio stew, that medium where whatever is said the loudest or most frequently happily replaces thoughtful discussion and actual facts. And you can look that up.

The number one myth about the 2011 Giants is that last year, when they won the World Series, a number of hitters had “career years”. So what we’re seeing in 2011 are those position players reverting back to their usual poor performing selves after playing beyond themselves in 2010.

Certainly Buster Posey is having a worse year, run production-wise, and so is Juan Uribe. Tough for Posey to put the numbers up with him out for the season and all; and Juan Uribe joined in an unholy alliance with the Los Angeles Dodger “organization” at the end of last year. So his dramatic 2011 fall-off goes on the Dodger stat sheets.
 
Of the hitters who remained with San Francisco after the Championship year only one, center fielder/lead-off man Andres Torres, had a “career” year in 2010. And even that is misleading: 2010 was the first time in his career Torres ever played 100+ games (actually 139 games), so there is no real track record to compare.

Check out the numbers on these current Giant hitters who played throughout 2010. Pablo Sandoval had his worst offensive year in 2010; Aubrey Huff did in 2010 what he was brought in to do, which was to knock in about 85 RBI; Cody Ross’ 2010 numbers were down compared to his 2009 and 2008 seasons; Aaron Rowand looks like he will never match the numbers he put up in 2008, his first year as a Giant:

           

2008 2009 2010 2011*
Aubrey Huff       AVG
RBI
                        OPS
. 304
108  
.912
.241
85
.694
.290
86
.891
.248
54
.690
            Cody Ross       AVG
RBI
                        OPS
.260
73
.804
.270
90
.790
.269
65
.735**
.235
41
.701
Aaron Rowand      AVG
RBI
                         OPS
.271
70
.749
.261
64
.738
.230
34
.659
.238
21
.634
Pablo Sandoval       AVG
RBI
                       OPS
.345
24
.847***
.330
90
.943
.268
63
.732
.310
50
.877

With the exception of Sandoval, the problem with the 2011 San Francisco Giants offense is that multiple hitters are having an off year at the plate compared to what they did in 2010 and prior seasons. The 2010 Championship year didn’t happen because Giant hitters had “career years”, it happened because the hitters delivered numbers matching or coming close to their career numbers.

* @ 128 games      ** 120 games w/Florida, 33 games w/Giants      *** rookie year– 41 games

     

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