Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All-Time Giants: San Francisco Era

Continuing the series for the all-time Giants teams, today I wanted to look at the best players of the San Francisco era. In addition to the starting 9 and a 5 man rotation to day I added two guys to come off the bench (a right handed and left handed pinch hitter) and two relievers (again a righty and a lefty).

San Francisco Era
CDick Dietz
1BWill Clark
2BJeff Kent
3BJim Ray Hart
SSRich Aurilia
LFBarry Bonds
CFWillie Mays
RFBobby Bonds
1B/LFWillie McCovey
3B/LFKevin Mitchell
PJuan Marichal
PGaylord Perry
PTim Lincecum
PJohn Montefusco
PBob Knepper
RHPGreg Minton
LHPGary Lavelle

A nice collection of talent to say the least with 4 hall of famers and at least 2 more that should be joining before too long (Bonds and Kent).

A quick run down for each player:

Dick Dietz: Played with the Giants from 1966 to 1971 and was the definition of an offense first catcher. His best season came in 1970 where he hit.300/ .426/ .515 with 22 homers. You've got to love that OBP, Dietz had 109 BB against 106 Ks.

Will Clark: The Thrill played with the Giants from 1986 to 1993 and appeared in 5 all star games as a Giant. In 1989 he lead the Giants to the World Series with a .333/ .407/ .546 line while finishing as the runner up in the MVP vote to teammate Kevin Mitchell.

Jeff Kent: Kent played with the Giants from 1997 to 2002 with an MVP and 3 all star appearances. In 2000 Kent put up one of the best offensive seasons ever for a second basemen hitting .334/ .424/ .596 with 33 homers.

Jim Ray Hart: Hart played 11 seasons with the Giants making one all star appearance. His best season came in 1966 where he hit .285/ .342/ .510 with 33 home runs. His best offensive season actually came the next year where he hit .289/ .373/ .509.

Rich Aurilia: Aurilia was a fan favorite playing 12 seasons with the Giants over two different stints. Aurilia was always a solid player but put up a career year in 2001 hitting an incredible .324/ .369/ .572 with 37 home runs. 

Barry Bonds: Bonds played 15 years with the Giants and over that stint was the most feared hitter in baseball. In his years in SF he had 12 All-Star appearances and 5 MVP's including 4 in a row, a runner up and 3 more top 5 finishes. You could pick any number of his seasons and they would be among the greatest ever but 2001, primarily because he got only 35 intentional walks and played in 153 games is his best according to WAR. This is the 73 homer season he also added 32 doubles and 2 triples for an astounding 107 of his 156 hits going for extra bases. His triple slash line is cartoon like with .328/ .515/ .863 and an OPS+ of 259.

Willie Mays: Mays is the face of the Giants and possibly the best all around player of all time. Mays was an all-star for all 15 years that he played in San Francisco and had 1 MVP with 2 runner ups and a couple other top 5 finishes. His best season WAR wise came is 1965 but there are numerous seasons that were great (7 seasons in SF greater than 9 WAR). In 1965 he hit .317/ .398/ .645 with a league leading 52 homers.

Bobby Bonds: Bonds played 7 seasons with the Giants with some really good seasons in the late 60's and early 70's. His 1973 season was his best where he went .283/ .370/ .530 with 39 homers and 43 stolen bases just missing being the first 40-40 guy.

Willie McCovey: McCovey played 19 seasons with the Giants over two stints. His greatness is remembered with the beautiful cove named after him and a statue across the water. McCovey could have made the starters had it not been for the sweet swing of Will Clark. His best season came in 1969 where he hit .320/ .453/ .656 with 45 home runs taking two of the tree legs of the triple crown.

Kevin Mitchell: Mitchell played 5 years with the Giants helping the Giants to the World Series with his MVP season in 1989. Mitchell hit .291/ .388/ .635 with 47 homers in what was his career best year.

Juan Marichal: The Dominican Dandy played 14 of his 16 seasons with the Giants and was one of the best pitchers of the 1960's with 8 all star appearances. His best season came in 1965 where he went 22-13, 10 shutouts with a 2.13 ERA, a league leading ERA+ of 169 in nearly 300 innings.

Gaylord Perry: Perry played 10 years with the Giants with a sub 3 ERA. His best season with the Giants came in 1970 where he was the Cy Young runner up going 23-13 with an ERA of 3.20, 5 shut outs and an ERA+ of 125. What pushed Perry over the hump was his amazing 328.2 innings pitched.

Tim Lincecum: Lincecum has played 4 seasons now with the Giants with hopefully many more to go. Lincecum is an absolute freak with back to back Cy Youngs and leading a historic pitching staff to the first World Series title in SF history. His best season so far was Cy Young number 1 with an 18-5 record, a 2.62 ERA and lead the league in ERA+ and strikeouts.

John Montefusco: With one of my favorite nick names of all time is John "the count" Montefusco. He played 7 seasons with the Giants and was a fast burning star with 2 great seasons and then 11 more that were forgettable. 1975 was the counts best season, he won the rookie of the year award going 15-9 with a 2.88 ERA, an ERA+ of 133 and a league leading SO/9 at 7.9.

Bob Knepper: Knepper was not a great pitcher but had a great season with the Giants early in his career. Knepper played 7 seasons with the Giants at the beginning and twilight of his career. His best season came in 1978 at age 24 where he went 17-11 with a 2.63 ERA but was left off every single Cy Young ballot.

Greg Minton: Minton is not your modern lefty reliever. In his years with the Giants he appeared in 552 games and pitched 870.1 innings. His best season came in 1982 where he pitched in 78 games finishing 66 of them with 30 saves and a record of 10-4 with a 1.83 ERA. He pitched 123 innings (it was a different time) and an ERA+ of 196. 

Gary Lavelle: Lavelle like Minton was a workhorse of a reliever, pitching in 647 games with the Giants and 980.1 innings. His best season came in 1977 where he went 7-7 over 73 games in 118.1 innings. He had 20 saves with 2.05 ERA and an ERA+ of 191.

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