The Giants have six contenders for the 1B job and they will be competing for it this spring. In pencil the Giants have written in the name of 25-year old lefty swinging Travis Ishikawa. Ishikawa played in 33 games for the Giants last season and he was 26 for 95 (.274 avg, .769 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 3 homers and 15 RBIs. He also played in 112 games in AA+AAA ball last year and he was 121 for 405 (.299 avg, .955 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 24 homers and 94 RBIs. Ishikawa does need to improve his defense if he wants to win the starting job at 1B in 2009 for the Giants as he made 3 errors there in only 29 games.
37-year old righty swinging Rich Aurilia will likely get some playing time at 1B for the Giants this season. He played in 140 games for the Giants last season and he was 115 for 407 (.283 avg, .745 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 10 homers and 52 RBIs. He played surprisingly well on defense for the Giants at 1B last season only making 4 errors in 82 games there.
25-year old lefty swinging John Bowker will likely make the team as either the 1B or a backup outfielder this spring. He played in 111 games for the Giants in 2008 and he was 83 for 326 (.255 avg, .708 OPS) with 31 runs scored, 10 homers and 43 RBIs. Bowker is not a good defender at 1B as he made 6 errors there in only 71 games last season.
31-year old righty swinging Josh Phelps is a long shot here but there is no disputing that he has the power needed for the position. He played in 19 games for the Cardinals last season and he was 9 for 34 (.265 avg, 600 OPS) with 4 runs scored and 1 RBI. He also played in 126 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 134 for 461 (.291 avg, .941 OPS) with 90 runs scored, 31 homers and 97 RBIs. Phelps is not a good defender but if he hits it won’t matter.
36-year old righty swinging Scott McClain keeps putting up huge numbers in AAA and the Giants keep calling him up every September. He played in 14 games for the Giants last season and he was 9 for 33 (.273 avg, .853 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 2 homers and 7 RBIs. He also played in 134 games in AAA-ball last season in which he was 143 for 477 (.300 avg, .941 OPS) with 87 runs scored, 29 homers and 108 RBIs.
22-year old switch hitting Pablo Sandoval will likely be the starting 3B for the Giants in 2009 but he could also handle 1B. He only made 1 error in 17 games for the Giants at 1B in 2009. Sandoval has the best bat of this bunch.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: D