Five Major Questions for the San Francisco Giants in 2016

Source: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America

Source: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America

Is the outfield good enough?

Likely the weakest part of the Giants’ team is the outfield. On paper, the team is far from bad: Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Angel Pagan are all very good players when playing up to their potential. But, the chances that all three are at their best next season are not great. Denard Span missed on a big payday in free agency this offseason due to injury questions; he played just 61 games last year and underwent season ending hip surgery that could impact his performance next season. Despite playing 133 games in 2015, Angel Pagan is a huge injury risk, playing just 71 games in 2013 and 96 in 2014. In addition, Pagan was worth -0.5 WAR in 2015, second worst in all of baseball. Hunter Pence has long been the team’s centerpiece, but he fell off the rails last year as well, playing in just 52 games and hitting for his worst batting average since 2012.

The Giants’ depth is very thin in the outfield as well…their only other outfielder listed on the depth chart is Gregor Blanco, who, despite having a nice season in 2015, has very little power and seldom hits for a batting average over .265.

The outfield isn’t disastrous, but it is the weakest part of the club. Right field should be fine next year, and despite a poor 2015, Hunter Pence should be back up to his usual levels. Left field could be good, but given Denard Span’s injury risks, there is some cause for concern. Center field could be the worst position on the Giants next year, with Angel Pagan being both an injury risk and a performance risk.

If things go well for the Giants, the outfield could be perfectly fine, but realistically the team could be in a tough position next season with the outfield, especially due to a lack of depth.

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