Found June 18, 2012 on
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Over the past six games, Brandon Belt has put together a modest little hitting streak, during which time he’s collected eight hits — three of them homers — and drawn four walks. Not to mention, he’s only struck out in three of his 24 plate appearances. It’s only six games, but his performance over the last week has been enough to bring his overall seasonal line to .250/.364/.412, good for a 112 wRC+. While that perhaps still falls short of some of the lofty expectations we all had for Belt coming into this season — the power numbers in particular are disappointing — he’s been as good, overall, as we should have reasonably expected.
First of all, his 112 wRC+ is pretty solid compared to what other first basemen have done this season. National League first basemen, as a whole, have a 103 wRC+ for the 2012 season (.251/.328/.430). In terms of total offensive value, Belt has been better than guys like Albert Pujols, Freddie Freeman, Carlos Pena, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis, to name a few (also, he’s tied with Mark Teixeira at a 112 wRC+).
And overall, Fangraphs (fWAR) has Belt’s 2012 production valued at 0.8 WAR over 165 PA. It’s important to be cautious in citing WAR over such small samples, but Belt’s fielding value (+1.3 UZR) is well within reason; in other words, he’s not just benefiting from some fluky defensive metrics here. If Belt could simply maintain his established level of production for 2012 over 600 plate appearances, he’d be a ~3 WAR player. (Of course, Belt likely won’t reach the 600-PA mark.) I’m certain that if I were told at the beginning of the season that Belt would perform at a 3-WAR pace, I’d have happily taken it.
It’s also worth noting that Baseball-Reference (rWAR) has Belt at 1.1 WAR, which translates to 4 WAR over 600 plate appearances. That’s especially impressive when you consider that Baseball Reference’s WAR doesn’t give players the same replacement level boost that Fangraphs does. Put on the same scale as Fangraphs’ implementation of WAR, Belt’s 1.1 rWAR translates to something like 4.7 WAR over 600 plate appearances. (Though in this case, the defensive value prorated over a full season is generous).
Anyway, it obviously remains to be seen how Belt will perform over the rest of the season, but that’s beside the point. I think it’s safe to say that he’s been good this season, and that there’s little reason to be disappointed with his overall production. For all the concern about his playing time, Brett Pill is in Triple-A right now and Aubrey Huff is on the DL, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem going forward. What the Giants have on their hands right now is a 24-year-old first baseman with strong defensive skills and a .335 wOBA in a year in which National League first baseman have collectively posted a .328 wOBA. While I’m still holding out hope that he’ll increase the power production as the season progresses and eventually climb up to a .350 wOBA (as projected by ZiPS), Brandon Belt has arrived.
BEST OF MAXIM
Brandon Belt collected a hit in his fifth straight game last night and had a walk for the third time in five games. Previously his longest hitting streak was 3 games this season. That's because he has often been asked to come up as a pinch hitter, and has never been a consistent presence in the lineup. Fortunately for Belt, Aubrey Huff has been worse than anyone could have ever...
Bay Area rap legend E-40 recently put down a rap for the San Francisco Giants called "Vote 25 on it" which is a song telling fans to vote the Giants players like Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera into the All Star game in July.E-40 and a young girl named Ursula did the track with Ursula doing the chorus. If the beat sounds familiar to you, it is because they took the instrumental...
One hundred hits, and it's still June. Melky Cabrera is having a historic year by Giants standards. When he doubled off C.J. Wilson in the Giants' 12-5 loss to the Angels on Tuesday night, it gave him 100 hits in his first 291 plate appearances. When Willie Mays got his 100th hit in 1958, the Giants' first year in San Francisco, he needed 295 plate appearances. These...
Like I would know what Tim Lincecum has to do to turn his 2012 season around and straighten out his delivery mechanics. Get real. Same goes for speculation from anyone else who has an opinion but doesn't have a desk in Dave Righetti's office.Dozens of apparently out of work MLB pitching coaches have been contacting San Francisco sportstalk radio shows nonstop to tell the...
Matt Cain lists his “Top Ten Things I Want To Achieve Now That I’ve Thrown A Perfect Game”…
After giving up five runs in five innings in Seattle on Saturday, Tim Lincecum‘s ERA now stands at 6.19. However, his 3.87 FIP and 3.82 xFIP stand in stark contrast to that mark, and his walk rate, strikeout rate, and home run (or fly ball) rate suggest that his process and results haven’t lined up in the season’s first two months. You can essentially trace the cause of his...
Totally called it. Barry Zito and the Giants faced the ugly end of the hammer tonight, taking an especially strong pounding from the lineup. Trout was on base all 5 times, 4 hits and a walk; Trumbo knocked in 5 off of 3 hits with one being a triple; and Pujols went yard once again to pull in 5 more RBI's. Pujols just might crack the 30 HR 100 RBI mark by the end of the season...
Mike Trout is very fast.
Tonight’s recap is not about Matt Cain. The Horse did what he did, simultaneously falling victim to the post-NoNo curse and sticking with it in the Matt Cain Way.
No, tonight’s wrap should touch on a few other subjects.
First of all, Ryan Theriot. After back-to-back 3-hit days (with an off-day in between), he’s really played an instrumental part in...
San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has surpassed Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers for the third outfield spot in the National Leagues latest balloting figures for the 83rd All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 10th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Cabrera, who leads the Majors with 98 hits, has amassed 2,144,107 votes as he aims to become an All-Star for...
Losing a series to the Mariners is downright distasteful. Especially when you’ve been tantalizingly good recently. Like, sneaky good. Four of your five pitchers look like aces. Your hitters are healthy and not mired in Velezian slumps. These are the series to win. But they didn’t. So I rant. Thoughts from the weekend series at SafeCo. Safeco? Fine.
Lincecum: The Giants are 2...
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said special moments like Matt Cain's perfect game "bring teams together even more."
Having lost three of four since, the Giants may be hoping the right-hander has another gem in store Monday night.
Cain will take the mound for the first time since making history last week, visiting a Los Angeles Angels team that's been...
There was no suspense as to whether Matt Cain would be the one to finally take a spot next to Johnny Vander Meer in the baseball record books with a second no-hitter in consecutive starts. Mike Trout banged a single to left on Cain’s third pitch of the night Monday against the Angels. Although Cain and the Giants won, the typically consummate righty was far from his sharpest. Cain...
Matt Cain followed up his perfect game by persevering through five difficult innings for another victory, and Brandon Crawford had an early two-run double among the San Francisco Giants' 13 hits in a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
Ryan Theriot had three hits and drove in two runs for the Giants, who rewarded Cain (9-2) for his resilience in his first...
As of last week’s update in All-Star Voting, Melky Cabrera was in 4th place in NL All-Star Voting. With 1.357 million votes, Cabrera followed only Matt Kemp, Carlos Beltran and Ryan Braun. He trails the reigning MVP by just under 100,000 votes. It’s hard to argue with those names ahead of him, I admit.
But following Melky? Andre Ethier, just a little over 200,000 votes...