FanGraphs projects struggles for Giants in 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
After a franchise-best 108-win season in 2021, the early 2022 projections do not favor the Giants.
FanGraphs released their early 2022 MLB season projections, where San Francisco is projected to slide down the NL West standings after winning the division last season.
Not only are these just projections, but they’re projections based on an incomplete offseason, as the league shut down and entered a lockout in early December. Many deals were made before the lockout, but certain teams like the Giants were unable to address most of their needs before then, so any and all projections are based solely on a roster that has not changed in months.
The NL West standings as projected by FanGraphs’ ZiPS projections system:
Los Angeles Dodgers: 94-68
San Diego Padres: 90-72
San Francisco Giants: 81-81
Arizona Diamondbacks: 72-90
Colorado Rockies: 66-96
FanGraphs ZiPS projections are notoriously conservative already, but analyst Dan Szymborski explained the lackluster .500 record projection for the Giants.
“Some may grumble about the Giants’ projection, but losing Buster Posey chops a few wins off the team’s outlook, as does Kevin Gausman’s departure to the vast cornfields of Canada,” Szymborski wrote. “Alex Cobb was quite solid for the Angels in 2021, but his health history is troubling. Like the Red Sox’s projection going into the 2021 season, ZiPS sees a lot of variability in the rotation based on health, enough that it makes the team more volatile overall than it would be otherwise.
With what appears to be little progress being made between the league and the Players Association in negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it remains to be seen when league activity will resume as scheduled spring training dates are quickly approaching.
The Giants still have multiple important holes to fill on the roster and once league activity resumes, it’s very likely that the roster will change quite a bit and pretty quickly too.
As of right now, these are the numbers that ZiPS is projecting for the Giants’ hitters and pitchers.
Most notably, FanGraphs projects a season of regression for shortstop Brandon Crawford, who put together the best season of his 11-year career in 2021. Brandon Belt (25), Mike Yastrzemski (24) and LaMonte Wade Jr. (22) are the three Giants hitters who are projected to slug 20 or more home runs.
Not a single Giants hitter is projected to hit above Wilmer Flores’ projected batting average of .272.
As for San Francisco’s pitching staff, 25-year-old righty Logan Webb — who established himself as the ace of the Giants’ staff throughout the second half of the 2021 season and into the playoffs — is projected to once again lead (a still incomplete) Giants rotation in 2022.
RELATED: Giants legends in ESPN’s top 100 MLB players of all time
In the bullpen, flamethrowing righty Camilo Doval, submarine righty Tyler Rogers, veteran Jake McGee and journeyman reliever Dominic Leone are projected to each throw upwards of 60-70 innings apiece, with Doval leading the team in saves (26).
After posting the best record in the history of the franchise last season, it’s only natural to expect some sort of regression in 2022. Nevertheless, these projections are exactly that, just projections. Depending on whatever moves president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and the Giants make following the lockout, the trajectory for San Francisco can change rather quickly.
Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast