The Giants defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-3 today. Brandon Belt stood out tremendously. In fact, heÂ has been a standout since Spring Training started. In today’s game, he went 3-for-4 and was a triple shy of the cycle. He’s been on a tear the past few weeks, to say the least. Does he start the season in Fresno or is it to the big leagues for him?
Belt has proved his worth in Spring Training so far, but there is the benefit of the doubt. It is just Spring Training. There shouldn’t be a lot of weight placed on these stats. At the same time, his minor league numbers in 2010 were impressive. He started the season in High-A San Jose, making the jump to Double-A Richmond mid-season, and finally ending the season in Triple-A Fresno. In addition, the 2010 season was his first full professional season.
Lev Â Â Â Â Â Â Â G Â Â PA Â AB Â R Â H Â Â 2B 3BÂ HR Â RBIÂ SB CS BBÂ SO Â BA Â Â OBP Â SLG Â Â OPS Â Â TB
A+-AA-AAA 136 Â 595 Â 492 Â 99 173 43 10Â 23Â 112 Â 22 Â 8Â 93 Â 99 Â .352 Â .455 .620 Â 1.075 305
(line via baseball-reference)
The kid has the right tools to play in the majors. He has above average defense at first, smart baserunning skills, an awkward but beautiful swing that can crush pitches over the fences. What’s not to love about his baseball playing abilities? And judging from seeing him play in person, the guy can demolish a pitch.
There’s a reason why Belt played three levels last season, and why he excelled in just about all three. His Fresno stats are not as pretty as his Richmond or San Jose stats, though that can be chalked up to small sample size and transitioning from Double-A pitching to Triple-A. Some players can adjust to leagues easily, some take their time. And in the Arizona Fall League, he hit .372/.427/.616.
If it were up to many, he would be the starting 1B come Opening Day, no questions asked. However, this is the Giants we’re talking about, the same organization that thought bringing back Bengie Molina at the start of last season and having Buster Posey start the season in Fresno was a good idea. World Championship aside, there’s reason to doubt and question what they plan to do with Belt for the time being.
In the end, it’s fun to watch the kid hit, whether it be in the big leagues (one can hope), Spring Training, or the minors. It’s a pretty swing to watch, after all.