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1 Strength and Weakness of Each Player on the San Francisco Giants 40-Man Roster

Jasper SchererAnalyst IIMarch 5, 2014

1 Strength and Weakness of Each Player on the San Francisco Giants 40-Man Roster

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Spring training is in full swing, which means it's time to take a closer look at the players who will be competing for those last few valuable spots on the San Francisco Giants' regular season 25-man roster.

    Though the vast majority of the lineup is set, the door is wide open for the last few bench spots, given the lack of depth on the squad. Additionally, while several familiar faces will remain in the bullpen (i.e. Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, etc.), there's room for a few more younger prospects to grab a spot with the big league club by the end of spring training.

    With that being said, let's take a glance at each player's major strength and weakness on the 40-man roster. Keep in mind, however, that there are still plenty of other intriguing players to keep an eye on who you won't find on this list.

     

    All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

Jeremy Affeldt

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Strength: Consistency

    For all his struggles last season, Affeldt still managed to put together a sub-four ERA for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. He also posted a left on base percentage north of 70 for the seventh consecutive season, according to Fangraphs. While he might not be quite as dominant anymore, it certainly doesn't hurt to own a reliable left-handed reliever like Affeldt.

    Weakness: Control

    Affeldt actually allowed fewer home runs per nine innings last season than he did in 2012, and he did a god job of keeping the ball in the yard, surrendering just two homers. Nevertheless, his ERA rose by more than a run, a change primarily attributable to the lefty's control issues. Affeldt never has had excellent control, but in walking 4.5 batters per nine innings last season, he posted his highest walks per nine innings total since 2007. Regaining command, which would also lead to a much-improved strikeout total, is key for Affeldt in 2014.

Madison Bumgarner

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    Strength: Pitching repertoire

    Bumgarner is one of the filthiest pitchers in the majors, and he used his nasty arsenal to hold hitters to the fifth-lowest batting average against in the majors in 2013. The left-hander threw his slider more than any other pitch, and opponents hit just .218 against it. But it really gets scary when looking at the success of Bumgarner's other pitches: .182 against his fastball and a minuscule .145 against his curveball. In other words, no matter what Bumgarner throws your way, you'll likely have a bad day.

    Weakness: None

    It might seem crazy, but there really aren't any glaring weaknesses when it comes to Bumgarner's game. He keeps the ball in the yard, he doesn't walk batters, he's durable, dependable and knows how to win the big game. He is somewhat susceptible to going through rough patches, as he did in May. But that's true of all pitchers in the majors, and when it comes to consistency, Bumgarner is about as good as it gets: He allowed more than three earned runs just four times in 2013, including a total of zero times after June 1.

Matt Cain

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    Strength: WHIP

    It might sound simplistic, but Cain has always proven to be exceptional at keeping runners off base. Some pitchers thrive on stranding a high percentage of their runners or finding some way to succeed despite producing high WHIP totals.

    But Cain doesn't mess around; his WHIP is the fifth-lowest among starters since the start of 2010. That success is a testament to an ability to consistently pound the corners, leading to a sub-eight H/9 total in every season in his career except 2008, and a solid 2.44 BB/9 since the beginning of 2010. 

    Weakness: Keeping the ball in the yard

    Cain has always had trouble when it comes to giving up home runs, allowing a mediocre 0.9 HR/9 in three of the last four seasons heading into 2013. But he surrendered a career-high 23 home runs while allowing 1.1 HR/9, the first time he reached 1.0 in his career.

    That all came despite pitching in one of the least home run-conducive ballparks in the majors. If Cain can learn to keep the ball down with greater frequency and avoid serving up the belt-high meatballs that he became a little too well known for last season, he'll be just fine.

Santiago Casilla

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Strength: Consistency

    Casilla has done nothing but good for the Giants since donning the black-and-orange. His "worst" season came in 2012, when he posted a 2.84 ERA with a career high 25 saves, and his ERAs in the other three seasons with the club look like this: 1.95, 1.74, 2.16.

    In other words, Casilla has quietly become one of the more reliable setup men in the league, and he's done so by proving to be nearly impossible for opponents to hit: 6.8 H/9 with the Giants.

    Weakness: Control

    Dominating hitters while maintaining control is an elite combination that tends to elude even the best relief pitchers, Casilla included. The right-hander walked 4.5 batters per nine last year, the third time in his four seasons with the Giants that he's been over the 4.0 mark.

Erik Cordier

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Strength: Stuff

    Cordier has been stuck in the minors for eight seasons, but since transitioning to a full-time bullpen role in 2013, the former second-round pick has looked much more comfortable. He really showcased his repertoire last season by striking out 65 batters in 53 innings (11 K/9). Cordier did that all in Triple-A, meaning it's not a stretch to expect a repeat performance in the majors. 

    Weakness: Control

    Despite the pretty strikeout total, Cordier still had a 4.58 ERA last season, a total primarily attributable to his 4.8 BB/9 total. In order to finally make an impact at the big-league level, the lifelong minor leaguer must learn to command his pitches.

Jose De Paula

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Strength: Repertoire

    De Paula certainly knows how to strike batters out. He's averaged 8.0 K/9 in his minor league career, and he's done so on top of a 2.2 BB/9 rate and a minuscule 0.4 HR/9. In fact, De Paula succeeds in just about every category except...

    Weakness: Locating in the Strike Zone

    De Paula has control, as evidenced by his low walk totals, but that sometimes comes at a cost, as the lefty tends to put the ball in the zone too often. He allowed 10.4 and 10.1 H/9, respectively, in each of his last two seasons in the minors, indicating that he might have been a little too careful about avoiding walks.

    De Paula also missed all of 2012 due to visa issues, meaning his development might have been set back a bit.

Jake Dunning

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    Strength: Stranding Runners

    Last season, Dunning stranded 83.3 percent of baserunners in the majors, which came after he did so at an 84.1 percent rate at Triple-A. In his projected role, which should be setting up Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo, Dunning's ability to do just that is key.

    Weakness: Lack of Dominant Stuff

    Dunning has never possessed the pitching arsenal to really dominate hitters. He's allowed 9.4 H/9 in his minor league career, though he did allow just 20 hits in his 25.1 big league innings last season. He also struck out only 16 batters in that span.

    Because Dunning doesn't have the ability to blow hitters away (average fastball velocity: 90.6 mph in 2013), he leans on his control a bit more than the typical reliever. In situations where he needs a strikeout, that could work to his disadvantage.

Edwin Escobar

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    Strength: Stuff (Particularly Against Lefties)

    In the minor leagues, Escobar struck out 10.2 batters per nine innings in 2013, allowing him to post a gaudy 4.87 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has a fastball with good movement that can run up to 93 on the gun, and his slurve-like curveball works wonders against lefties.

    Weakness: Lack of a Strikeout Pitch Against Righties

    Escobar isn't particularly successful against right-handed batters, and scouts have attributed those struggles to a lack of a put-away pitch against them. Having solid success against batters from both sides of the plate could turn Escobar into an elite prospect.

Kendry Flores

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Strength: Control

    Flores walked an astonishingly low 1.1 batters per nine in his 22 starts last season at Single-A Augusta, a solid improvement from the 3.3 BB/9 total he posted in his first season in the minors back in 2009. The dramatic improvement helped Flores shave 173 points off his ERA from 2012.

    Weakness: Inexperience

    Flores simply hasn't pitched at high-enough levels to provide much confidence that he'll be a solid major league pitcher. He has yet to pitch above Single-A ball, spending five seasons in the minor leagues without moving up the ladder.

Heath Hembree

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Strength: Stuff

    Hembree lost a few mph off his velocity last season, but that actually forced him to improve his off-speed pitches, improving his overall repertoire. With a nice difference in velocity between his fastball and slider, and an ever-improving changeup, Hembree could make quite an impact at the big league level in 2014.

    Weakness: Control

    Hembree looked wild earlier this spring, with an inning that included a wild pitch, an error, a balk and a couple of walks. He improved his BB/9 in 2013, but Hembree has shown inconsistency with his control in the past, so that's something the Giants will want to carefully monitor.

Tim Hudson

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Strength: Consistency

    With a winning percentage below .600 in just two of his 15 seasons, Hudson has proven to be one of the most reliable winners in the majors. In fact, he's never posted a winning percentage of .500 or lower, and his ERA has risen above four just once since the start of 2001. That's consistency.

    Weakness: Age

    With nearly 3,000 innings of experience under his belt, Hudson might not have a whole lot left. His ERAs of 3.62 and 3.97 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, are disconcertingly high, and he certainly isn't the dominant ace he once was. That said, Hudson's veteran presence could also work to the advantage of many of the Giants' young starters.

David Huff

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    Strength: None?

    Huff's tenure in the major leagues doesn't inspire much confidence. With a career ERA of 5.32, the left-hander has struggled in just about every facet. He allows 10.5 H/9, gives up too many homers (1.7 per nine in 2013) and doesn't have particularly good control either (3.0 BB/9 in his career).

    Additionally, he struggles against lefties, allowing a .311 AVG and .900 OPS against them in his career. The Giants might have gotten Huff for cheap, but that doesn't mean he'll be useful to the club. 

    Weakness: The Long Ball

    In 2013 with the Yankees, Huff posted an impressive 0.98 WHIP in 34.2 innings, but still managed to have a 4.67 ERA. How? He surrendered seven home runs, on track for 40 in a 200-inning season. Huff has many struggles, but paramount among them is his tendency to allow homers.

Mike Kickham

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    Strength: K/9

    Even with his struggles in the majors in 2013, Kickham struck out his fair share of batters: 29 in just 28.1 innings. That's a continuation from his minor league days, when he struck out 8.0 batters per nine. However, the high strikeout rate won't matter unless the young lefty can improve his command around the plate.

    Weakness: Locating in the Strike Zone

    To say Kickham's 2013 stint in the majors was disappointing would be a drastic understatement. The left-hander allowed 14.6 H/9 on top of a ridiculous eight homers allowed in 28.1 innings, meaning he was essentially throwing batting practice. Working around hitters, not through them, should be priority No. 1 for Kickham in 2014.

George Kontos

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    Strength: Off-Speed Pitches

    Kontos' greatest strength is his slider, and he once again dominated hitters with that pitch in 2013. He allowed a .183 opponent batting average against his slider, with 39 of his 47 strikeouts coming via that pitch.

    Weakness: Commanding His Fastball

    Kontos doesn't possess much velocity on his fastball, sitting right around 90 mph, meaning command of his heater is especially important. By consistently leaving the ball up in the zone, Kontos allowed opposing batters to hit .406 against his fastball in 2013.

Tim Lincecum

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    Strength: Repertoire

    Lincecum might be throwing slower than ever, but he still possesses some pretty filthy off-speed pitches. His changeup is still among the best in the business, as opponents hit just .149 against it in 2013, and his slider and curveball kept hitters off balance as well (.238 and .206 AVG against, respectively).

    Weakness: Control

    Everyone who has followed the Giants during the last few seasons knows Lincecum has struggled mightily with his command, walking far too many batters and leaving the ball in bad spots when he is able to find the zone. However, Lincecum did shave nearly a walk per nine off his 2012 BB/9 total, along with an improvement in H/9 and HR/9. It's not quite there yet for Timmy, but he's certainly moving in the right direction.

Javier Lopez

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    Strength: Situational Dominance

    With his deceptive motion and nasty slider, it's no secret that Lopez's primary value comes in facing left-handed hitters in select situations. Once again, left-handed batters had minimal success against Lopez, batting just .152 with a comical .430 OPS in 2013. It's almost a guarantee by now that lefties won't do anything against Lopez, making him one of the Giants' most valuable assets coming out of the bullpen.

    Weakness: Susceptibility to Righties

    On the other hand, right-handers hit .281 against Lopez in 2013, with a weighted on-base average 124 points higher than lefties. That difference certainly limits Lopez's usefulness coming out of the bullpen.

Jean Machi

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    Strength: All-Around Pitching Success

    In 2013, Machi didn't have much of a statistical weakness. His velocity looked fantastic, and he combined that with his command to strike out 8.7 batters per nine while averaging just 2.0 walks in that same span. He also kept the ball in the yard (0.3 HR/9) and proved tough to hit as well (7.8 H/9), all of which contributed to a sparkling 2.38 ERA. The bottom line: Not much went wrong for Machi in 2013. 

    Weakness: Reliance on the Fastball

    Machi threw his four-seam and split-fingered fastballs 51.7 and 36.7 percent of the time, respectively, in 2013. That's quite a bit, especially considering the strain that splitters put on the arm, and it also made Machi one of the more one-dimensional pitchers in the league. However, it worked for the right-hander, for now at least.

Yusmeiro Petit

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    Strength: Stuff

    Petit struck out nearly a batter an inning in 2013, a success that came in part thanks to a tough curveball (opponents hit .120 against that pitch) and changeup (.143). Petit's slider still could use some work, and he uses it an awful lot given its ineffectiveness. But when he's on, Petit has some pretty nasty stuff.

    Weakness: Inconsistency

    Petit's greatest weakness, beyond just inconsistency, is uncertainty. With a 3.56 ERA in eight games (seven starts) in 2013, he looked solid, but it's hard to ignore the fact that Petit also posted a 5.05 ERA in the three seasons with Arizona that preceded his Giants career. A repeat of 2013 success is hardly guaranteed for Petit in 2014.

Sergio Romo

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    Strength: Control

    Romo has averaged just 1.48 BB/9 in the past three seasons, but it's his control when he's in the strike zone that really allows him to be an elite closer. With a knack for pounding the outside corner with his deadly slider, a pitch he threw more than twice as often as his fastball and against which opponents hit .140 last year, Romo is one of the toughest closers in the league.

    Weakness: Velocity

    Romo might have good command, but he's vulnerable on nights when his location is off because he doesn't have the stuff to blow hitters away. His fastball averaged 88.7 mph last season when opponents hit .346 and .361 against his fastball and sinker, respectively.

Hunter Strickland

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Strength: Control

    Strickland has walked just 1.9 batters per nine in his minor league career, and scouts note that as he improves his mechanics a bit, he'll gain even more command. For a pitcher who stands at 6'4", having control to go along with height would be quite a formidable combination.

    Weakness: Lack of a Swing-and-Miss Pitch

    Strickland posted extremely low strikeout rates at most of his minor league stops before coming to the Giants, then fanned 23 batters in 21 innings at San Jose in 2013. So, while Strickland might not blow you away with his pitch arsenal, he's still relatively young (25), meaning he's got some room left to grow, and his combination of size and command could make life tough on hitters in the future.

Ryan Vogelsong

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    Strength: Command

    Vogelsong doesn't have particularly impressive walk rates, but he is able to be successful without much in the way of dominant stuff thanks to a consistent ability to hit the corners. When he wasn't able to do that in 2013, his ERA suffered.

    This spring, however, Vogelsong has had better command, addressing the issue with Henry Schulman of SFGate.

    If that’s all I have all year with that location, I’ll take it. I worked really hard on my delivery this offseason. I want to make my location more consistent than last year. You can talk about velocity all you want, but location is what hurt me last year.

    Weakness: Velocity

    The converse of the aforementioned quote is that if Vogelsong can't regain his command, he'll be in serious trouble because he simply doesn't have the stuff to get away with poor location. Vogelsong does have a nice difference in velocity between his fastball and changeup, averaging around seven mph, but until he can control his fastball, we won't be seeing the Vogelsong of old.

Buster Posey

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    Strength: Plate Discipline

    One of the few Giants hitters who possesses some semblance of plate discipline, Posey actually improved his strikeout numbers in 2013, one of the few categories in which he didn't regress.

    In his career, the Giants catcher has a steady 9.6 walk rate, including 11.3 percent and 10.1 percent in 2012 and 2013, respectively. For a team that's severely challenged when it comes to plate discipline, Posey's solid approach at the plate is a welcome component of the lineup.

    Weakness: Hitting with Runners in Scoring Position

    Posey batted just .264 (without a homer) with runners in scoring position in 2013, which played a significant role in his surprising lack of run production. He had just 72 RBI in 2013, 31 fewer than in his 2012 MVP campaign. For an important bat in the middle of the lineup, Posey must improve his performance when given the opportunity to drive in runs.

     

Hector Sanchez

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Strength: Hitting Potential

    Sanchez might have slumped to a .248 average in 2013, and he might not reach base with much consistency, but in the past, we've certainly seen what he is capable of at the plate. The backup catcher batted .280 in 2012, and he owns a .290 career minor league average. Whether Sanchez can replicate his previous success remains to be seen, however.

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    Sanchez and his counterpart, Buster Posey, both play the same position, but their presence at the plate could hardly be more different. Sanchez has all of 15 career walks to go along with his .299 career on-base percentage, making him one of the many Giants hitters who can't seem to reach base consistently because of a poor approach at the plate.

Tony Abreu

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    Strength: Gap-Hitting Ability

    In roughly a full season of big league experience (575 career at bats), Abreu has managed to hit 39 doubles and six triples in spite of a disappointing .256 batting average. He might not be a great overall hitter, but Abreu has really racked up the extra base hits, including 12 doubles and three triples in just 138 at bats in 2013.

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    You'll be seeing this "weakness" quite a bit on the free-swinging Giants, and Abreu is no exception. The owner of a .285 career OBP, Abreu has drawn 22 bases on balls in his career for a dismal 3.6 percent walk rate.

Ehire Adrianza

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    Strength: Defense

    Adrianza is still a below-average hitter, but his fielding prowess has come a long way. Some are saying the young shortstop's defense is more or less big-league ready, and he held his own in the field in his cup of coffee in 2013.

    Weakness: Hitting

    Adrianza simply hasn't proven to live up to his potential as a hitter throughout his minor league career: He's the owner of a .248 career minor league average. However, Adrianza did bat .310 in Triple-A last season, and he's shown a good eye at the plate, meaning he has some potential to post solid numbers. He also has a triple and a home run in eight at bats in spring training this season.

Joaquin Arias

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Strength: Versatility

    Arias spent time at second base, third base and shortstop for the second consecutive season, and even filled in at first base at times. He held his own defensively as well, posting a negative ultimate zone rating only at second base. There's no doubt that Arias is a valuable player to have on the roster for his ability to fill in anywhere.

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    Incredibly, Arias came to bat 236 times in 2013, and he draw a walk on just four of those instances. That led to an atrocious .284 OBP, 20 points below his also below-average .304 OBP in 2012. For all the defensive relief Arias provides, he won't become a reliable presence at the plate unless he can reach base with more consistency.

Brandon Belt

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    Strength: All-Around Hitting

    In 2013, Belt finally broke through and fulfilled some of the potential that many had seen in him for so long. He posted solid all-around numbers: He hit a career-high .289. He reached base consistently (.360 OBP), hit for some power (17 homers) and even showcased some gap-hitting ability (39 doubles). That latter number would indicate that the Giants first baseman is set to finally reach the 20 home run plateau in 2014.

    Weakness: Strikeout Propensity

    Despite his success, Belt struck out 125 times in 2013, putting him over the century mark for the second time in as many full seasons. Belt has consistently posted strikeout percentages north of 20 percent, which is above the league average; making consistent contact could turn Belt from a good hitter into an elite hitter.

Brandon Crawford

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    Strength: Fielding

    One of the premier fielding shortstops in the league, Crawford has posted a combined UZR of 12.8 during the past two seasons while establishing himself as a reliable infielder even when his bat goes cold.

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    The owner of a .304 career OBP, Crawford hasn't exactly opened eyes with his hitting. Until the Giants shortstop can show more patience (98 walks in two-and-a-half seasons), he'll have trouble improving upon his lackluster batting average, which has remained stagnant at .248 for the last two seasons.

Adam Duvall

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    Strength: Power

    Duvall has a .478 career slugging percentage in the minors, thanks to his impressive home run totals from 2011 and 2012 (22 and 30, respectively). He also recorded 17 bombs in 2013 in just 385 at bats, and he's averaged just under 26 doubles in his three full seasons. An additional power source would be more than welcome in the Giants' home run-challenged lineup.

    Weakness: Inconsistency

    Duvall has struggled to replicate the success he achieved in Single-A in 2011, seeing a 58-point drop in his OBP in 2012 and faring even worse in 2013. However, his numbers still aren't bad; his .320 OBP at Double-A in 2013 could have been far worse. With the raw power that Duvall has showcased thus far, it's fair to cut him some slack as he develops a better approach at the plate.

Nick Noonan

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    Strength: Versatility

    Noonan has shown the ability to play all over the infield throughout his minor league career, spending extended time at second base, third base and shortstop. For a team with as little depth as the Giants, having someone who can fill in anywhere is a huge plus.

    Weakness: Power

    The Giants utilityman won't provide much in the way of pop. He has just 36 minor league homers in 2,896 plate appearances, and he recorded just two extra base hits, both doubles, in his 105 big league at bats in 2013.

Pablo Sandoval

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    Strength: Potential/High Ceiling

    We've seen what Sandoval can do when he's healthy and in good shape. When playing to his ability, Sandoval has the potential to be one of the best third basemen in the league. He's hit 25 homers, approached 100 RBI and batted well over .300 before, and there's no reason to suggest he can't do it again if he can avoid injury in 2014.

    Weakness: Injury Prone

    The lack of plate discipline seemed too obvious here, and Sandoval has made strides to improve in that regard anyway. However, Panda hasn't played in 150 games since 2010, consistently spending time on the disabled list due to injury. With better conditioning, that could change this season.

Marco Scutaro

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    Strength: Consistent Contact

    Since coming to the Giants in the middle of 2012, Scutaro has done nothing but hit. And hit and hit. In his time in San Francisco, he's batted .319 with a solid .366 OBP, the latter of which is an especially high total for the free-swinging Giants. He's also struck out just 48 times in 815 plate appearances, providing tons of value in situations that require contact, such as moving runners over.

    Weakness: Power

    Of course, Scutaro won't hit many home runs, especially in the cavernous AT&T Park. But given his spot in the lineup and the hitters who will hit behind him (Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval), power isn't a necessity by any means for the Giants second baseman.

Angel Villalona

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Strength: Power

    Villalona hit 22 homers in 480 at bats in the minors in 2013, posting an isolated power figure of .204 in High-A ball and .179 in Double-A. Power is essentially the only promising aspect of Villalona's game right now, but he certainly has the potential to hit some bombs in his career.

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    The common theme in the Giants organization is a lack of plate discipline, and Villalona certainly fits that mold. He struck out 136 times while drawing just 23 walks in the minors in 2013, posting a .276 OBP. While Villalona has shown a solid approach in the past, his alarming drop-off upon reaching the higher levels has to be concerning for the Giants.

Gregor Blanco

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Strength: Fielding

    Blanco was a defensive force while manning the outfield for the Giants, compiling a career-high 11.8 UZR while not committing an error throughout the entire season. Blanco was so impressive that his performance led some to question whether his fielding prowess is enough to offset his lackluster contribution at the plate.

    Weakness: Inconsistency

    Let's take a look at Blanco's month-by-month batting averages in 2013, starting in April: .265, .270, .311, .169, .226, .373. Those are some pretty wild swings, which indicates that Blanco still has some growing to do as a hitter. At times, it seemed as though he was one of the better hitting outfielders in the league. Then, just weeks later, he looked like he shouldn't be facing major league pitching. Maintaining steady production is a must for Blanco.

Gary Brown

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    Strength: Speed

    Brown's hitting ability has fluctuated wildly during his time in the minors, but his speed isn't going anywhere. He's stolen 105 bases in 414 minor league games, and he's used that speed to also rack up 95 doubles in his three full seasons, stretching his fair share of would-be singles into extra-baggers.

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    In the lower levels of the minors, Brown never had a ton of trouble putting the ball in play, all the while drawing a respectable amount of walks. But with an alarmingly skewed BB/K ratio in Triple-A (33/135), Brown's approach at the plate is seriously concerning, especially with his .286 OBP.

Roger Kieschnick

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    Strength: Power/Gap Hitting

    He might not have shown it in the majors, with just one extra base hit in his 95 plate appearances in 2013, but Kieschnick has some pop. He has a career .485 slugging percentage in the minors, and he's recorded double-digit home runs in all but one season. Whether that can translate to big-league success remains to be seen.

    Weakness: Strikeouts

    Kieschnick strikes out a lot. In fact, he's never posted a strikeout rate below 22 percent at any level, and he fanned 29 times in 84 at bats with the big league club last year. Making consistent contact is a must for Kieschnick if he hopes to play in the major leagues.

Michael Morse

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Strength: Power

    Since Barry Bonds' departure, the Giants have struggled in the power department, but given Morse's history, the left fielder could be a welcome improvement in that regard.

    Morse has a career. 473 slugging percentage, and he has 62 homers in his last 1240 at bats, a span of three seasons. That's one long ball every 20 at bats, a drastic improvement over the offensive black hole that constituted left field for the Giants in 2013.

    Weakness: Inconsistency

    There's really no telling which Michael Morse will show up in 2013. The Giants left fielder could revert to 2011 form, when he when 31 home runs with a .303 AVG and .910 OPS, or continue where he left off from his 2013 season when he posted a .270 OBP. Now that he's free from injury, the former is certainly a possibility, but given baseball's unpredictable nature, it's anyone's best guess how Morse will play in 2014.

Angel Pagan

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    Strength: Setting the Table

    Pagan doesn't necessarily excel in the statistical categories generally associated with leadoff hitters, but he does provide solid offensive numbers. He has a .337 OPS in his time with the Giants, averages 85 runs per 162 games and stole 98 bases from 2010-2012. To have a consistent leadoff hitter is something not all teams can claim, but Pagan gives the Giants exactly that.

    Weakness: Injury Proneness

    Pagan is one of the more consistent hitters on the Giants, but he often doesn't get a chance to show it because of the extended time he spends on the disabled list. On top of missing a huge chunk of 2013 due to injury, Pagan spent time on the DL in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Hunter Pence

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Strength: Consistency

    Pence never puts up spectacular numbers, but he'll guarantee you an above-average performance, and his durability ensures his presence in right field. With a low of 22 homers over the last six seasons and at least 80 runs and 90 RBI in each of the last four seasons, it doesn't get much better than Pence's consistency. Oh, and his batting average has dipped below .280 just twice in his career. Not bad. 

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    Giants fans probably grew tired of seeing Pence swing at breaking balls in the dirt throughout the last season and a half, something that doesn't look like it will be rectified any time soon. However, Pence has managed to be successful in spite of his free-swinging nature, and his unconventional approach may actually be what has allowed him to post such solid numbers throughout his career. Even so, Pence has yet to post a strikeout total under 100 or draw at least 60 walks in a season.

Juan Perez

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Strength: Speed

    Perez has 93 steals in 612 games in the minors, which equates to around 31 swipes in a 162-game season. But it's Perez's speed that also allows him to play fantastic defense, as evidenced by his impressive 13.7 UZR in 2013.

    "They know what I can do in the field," Perez said regarding the battle for the fifth outfield spot, per MLB.com. "I take a lot of pride in that because I work hard on it."

    Weakness: Plate Discipline

    Perez doesn't have the greatest approach at the plate. His well-below-average 6.2 percent walk rate in his stint in the majors last season was actually higher than any other total he posted in the minors, and Perez has yet to post a BB/K ratio of 0.30 at any level. For some perspective, Barry Bonds had a 5.66 BB/K ratio in 2004.

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