Opening Day is 48 hours away! Is anyone else finding this hard to believe? I’ve been giddy for days, especially after watching the Giants return to the Bay for their final spring training series against the A’s. Before the 2011 season kicks off, let’s take a look at some of the fresh faces we might be seeing around AT&T Park this year.
Brandon Belt, 1B
If Posey was hyped up during last year’s spring training, he’s got nothing on Brandon Belt. In January, Belt ranked as the 3rd best first baseman prospect for 2011, and has been backing the enthusiasm this spring with 20 hits, 13 RBIs, and the Harry S. Jordan Award (an official vote of confidence from the Giants). Now, the question is whether he can use another season in the minors to sharpen his bat, or whether he’s ready to break into the big leagues. From the fan’s perspective, it would be nice to see Belt prove he can hit his way to fame in his first major league year, as he did when advancing through minor league levels last year. From the Giants’ perspective, it might be wiser to keep him locked in the minors for a while longer, if only to delay his free agent status an save a few (million) bucks in the long run. Either way, I’ll be holding my breath until we see the roster Opening Day.
Miguel Tejada, SS
Miguel is coming off a season in San Diego, with 171 hits, 71 runs, and a batting average of .269. Not shabby for a 36-year-old infielder, although spring training has proved to be a mix of triumphs (20 triples in 64 at bats) and trials (3 errors in 21 games). All things considered, I’m thrilled to see him out on the field. The season is young and I’m fully confident he’ll only continue to improve over the next 162 games.
Steve Edlefsen, P
I only caught a glimpse of Edlefsen during his solitary inning against Oakland this Monday, but I like what I see. He’s been cooped up in Fresno for the past two years, with 8 saves and a 12-2 record over 71 games. Last year, he shared the spotlight with Brock Bond as Giants reps in the 2010 PCL All-Star game. In spring training, he’s only played 11 games and a paltry 9.1 innings, but retains a strong WHIP of 0.75. The bullpen is already locked and loaded with Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Wilson and the rest, but it’d be fun to see Edlefsen try his hand at a few relief opportunities.
Whichever way the roster swings, I’m just happy to see the Giants out on the field again. It’s a fresh start, a new year, and anything is possible!