In a very forgettable season for the San Francisco Giants, there were few bright spots in 2013. One of those bright spots was Brandon Belt. Belt was one of the top three hitters for the Giants and was very productive all around, but I believe he didn’t reach his full potential. Belt was a 4 win player while hitting .289/.360/.481 and “belting” 17 home runs. He also had a 139 wRC+ and a .365 wOBA. Many people would consider that a breakout season for him, but I think he will be even better in the coming year. At 25 years old, Belt has the makings of being a star for the Giants. No, he isn’t going to hit 40 homers and drive in 100 runs, he isn’t that type of player, but he is the kind of player that gets on base at an excellent rate and has good power while playing very good defense. He has the potential to hit .300, get on base at a .385 clip, hit 25 homers, and steal 15 bases. I predict we see Belt do that in 2014.
In 2013 on a trip to play the Philadelphia Phillies, Belt talked to Phillies’ slugger Domonic Brown. Brown gave him advice and told him that he had similar problems his first few years in the major leagues. He told Belt to grip the bat differently and Belt said that clicked in his mind and he decided to try it himself. That helped him greatly and Belt ended 2013 with very solid numbers. In 2014 the Giants project Belt batting in the three spot of the lineup behind infielder Marco Scutaro and ahead of catcher Buster Posey.
Belt is the first baseman that nobody is talking about and I think that will change in the next few years. He is young enough and has the potential to become an All-Star at his position. Belt is going to be a huge part of the Giants for the near future and their playoff hopes can hinge on how he produces in a power-lacking lineup.
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