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2021 MLB Predictions: SF Giants Opening Day Roster

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It is the best time of year! The football season has concluded, which means baseball is just around the corner, and we have more 2021 MLB predictions. The San Francisco Giants on the 40-man roster and those non-roster invitees will be heading down to Scottsdale in the coming days to compete for a roster spot on Opening Day.

The 2021 San Francisco Giants will be looking to turn things around this season. This offseason, the Giants have added some depth in the rotation with Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani, along with Tommy La Stella‘s addition at second base, which will help add a veteran presence for second-year manager Gabe Kapler. The Giants will be looking to turn the corner in 2021 and compete for a division title.

2021 MLB Predictions: Infield

Catcher

Giants fans will be excited to have Buster Posey returning this season after opting out in 2020. The 12-year veteran with the Giants will be eager to get back to playing baseball after the Giants went out and added Wood and DeSclafani to the rotation this offseason. To help take some off Posey’s load, the Giants have Joey Bart waiting in the wings. Bart did solid as a rookie in 2020, maintaining a respectful .233 batting average, with seven RBIs and a .609 OPS. It will be interesting to see how Kapler manages the two catchers in 2021.

First Base

Brandon Belt will be returning to first base for the Giants in 2021. Belt had a great 2020 season, batting .309 with nine home runs, 30 RBIs, and a 1.015 OPS. Even though it was a shortened season, Belt had by far his best season to hit and be looking forward to carrying that over into 2021.

Second Base

Going into Scottsdale, this position will be one to watch. With La Stella’s addition, the Giants also have Donovan Solano in the mix at second base. What will more than likely be a position battle between the two can play the position with ease. If the season were to start today, the Giants would more likely start Solano at second base. Look for both La Stella and Solano to split time between second base in 2021.

Third Base

Evan Longoria will be back at third base in 2021 for the Giants. At age 35, Longoria still has the ability to cover the hot corner with ease and can even be a threat at the plate. In 2020, Longoria had a .254 batting average, with seven home runs, 28 RBIs, and a .722 OPS. That is still pretty impressive for a player that is entering his 14th season in the big leagues. To help take the load off Longoria at third, look for La Stella to come in from time to time to give Longoria a day off.

Shortstop

Much of this Giants infield is fielded with veterans and the same goes for the shortstop position. Brandon Crawford returns for his eleventh season as the Giants shortstop. In 2020, Crawford had a .256 batting average, with eight home runs, and 28 RBIs.

2021 MLB Predictions: Outfield

With the infield remaining the same for the Giants, the outfield will look very familiar as well. This young outfield will be looking to get better in 2021.

Left Field

Predicting who will play left field is a toss-up because it could be either Alex Dickerson or Mike Yastrzemski. Both players can play either of the corner positions, but Dickerson’s playstyle fits him better in leftfield. Coming off a 2020 season where Dickerson batted .298, with ten home runs and twenty-seven RBI, and .947 OPS, Kapler and the Giants will be hoping Dickerson can replicate his offensive success in 2021.

Centerfield

Back patrolling centerfield for the Giants in 2021 will be Mauricio Dubon. Coming into his third year in the big leagues, Dubon will be the only centerfielder on the Giants roster going into Spring Training. After splitting time between the outfield positions last season, Kapler will be looking forward to having Dubon out in centerfield. Dubon showed that he could get it done at the plate, batting .274 with four home runs and nineteen RBIs.

Right Field

Mike Yastrzemski will be your Opening Day starting right fielder for the Giants. There is no doubt that the Giants are excited to see how much Yastrzemski has improved going into his third season in the big leagues. The talented right fielder had a .297 batting average with ten home runs, thirty-five RBIs in 192 plate appearances in 2020. Not to mention a career-high .968 OPS.

Another guy that will see some playing time in right field is Austin Slater. Slater enters his fifth season with the Giants and will be looking to pick up where he left off in 2020, where he had a .282 batting average, with five home runs, and managed to steal eight bases.

2021 MLB Predictions: Rotation

Much of the Giants’ rotation will be the same except for the recent additions of Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani. Johnny Cueto will be looking to turn things around in 2021. The two-time All-Star had a rough time on the mound going 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA in twelve games.

The Giants were able to re-sign Kevin Gausman after he accepted the qualifying offer after the 2020 season. The Giants are hoping Gausman can be a top of the rotation pitcher if he can remain healthy. Logan Webb is a guy that the Giants are hoping can round out this rotation in 2021. Webb is entering his third season with the Giants and hoping to into more games this season.

One pitcher to keep on in 2021 is Tyler Beede. After missing all of the 2020 season with a right ulnar colateral ligament sprain, Beede will be ready to come into Spring Training, hoping to secure a roster spot in the rotation.

2021 MLB Predictions: Bullpen

Predicting how this bullpen will fare in 2021 is to be determined. The Giants went out this offseason and signed Jake McGee, an 11-year veteran. McGee last pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020. With the addition of McGee, this will give the Giants an experienced reliever who can be a solid closer, something the Giants needed to address this offseason.

Matt Wisler is another pitcher this Giants signed this offseason. After spending last season with the Minnesota Twins, Wisler signed a one-year contract with Giants hoping to give this Giants bullpen a boost. Jarlin Garcia and Sam Selman are two pitchers that Kapler will go to in the middle to late innings if the Giants need some relief before going to the backend of the bullpen.

2021 MLB Predictions: Final Thoughts

As we get closer to Opening Day, predicting how the roster will turn out will never turn out how we think it should. The San Francisco Giants addressed some key areas within the lineup but more should need to be done if the Giants want to compete in the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Both teams made upgrades to their rosters, but the Giants should hold their ground this season.

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Jeff "Rip" Griffin is a current MLB writer covering the Houston Astros. Rip is also the host of The Rip Griffin Show on Apple Podcasts. Rip holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, focusing in Sports Management from the University of Houston - Victoria.