3 Giants Players Who Have a Make-or-Break Season Ahead in 2020
The San Francisco Giants are in a difficult situation. The NL West is dominated by their rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, while the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres both improved over the offseason. The Giants are effectively in rebuilding mode, even though they won 77 games last year.
With that, a few players on the roster are facing make-or-break seasons in 2020. Some have been with the team their whole careers while others are on one-year contracts to prove themselves to the league. With that in mind, here are three players who are facing pivotal seasons in 2020.
3. Kevin Gausman, SP
Many will be surprised to hear that Kevin Gausman is getting $9 million to play baseball this season, especially after he was unceremoniously placed on waivers by the Atlanta Braves in August while sporting a 6.19 ERA. However, Gausman reinvented himself with the Cincinnati Reds, becoming an electric reliever with an 11.7 K/9. Those 22 1/3 innings with the Reds were enough to get him a nice one-year "prove it" deal, and he will need to show that his improvements in Cincinnati were real enough to keep him in the rotation. Gausman could end up as a long-term starter for the Giants, pitching for playoff team as a reliever, or he could even be out of the majors entirely, but it will all depend on how he performs in 2020.
2. Brandon Crawford, SS
Brandon Crawford was tough to watch at the plate in 2019. While he's never been a great hitter, the glove-first shortstop was league average for years. However, Crawford is now 33, and his defensive skills are not what they once were. At the plate, he had a woeful .654 OPS last year, and he needs to show something before entering the final year of his contract in 2021. Perhaps Crawford will be helped by the moved-in fences at Oracle Park to earn another few years as a starter.
1. Drew Smyly, SP
Drew Smyly was on a one-way ticket out of the majors after posting an 8.42 ERA with the Rangers to start 2019. He wasn't getting unlucky either— he was allowing 3.3 homers and walking 6.0 batters per nine innings. After a minor league deal with Milwaukee, Smyly was picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies, where he somehow turned the ship around. He had a much more palatable 4.45 ERA in those 62 2/3 innings with the Phillies, enough to get him a one-year, $4 million contract with San Francisco. Like Gausman, Smyly must prove that he's still capable of pitching effectively in 2020.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.