Giants Midseason Report

Posey era well underway





Best Player: Buster Posey hit .349 in 47 games for Triple-A Fresno, received his long-awaited promotion May 29 and started 24 of the Giants' first 27 games. But 22 of those starts came at first base and he made just two starts at catcher. The Posey Era didn't begin in earnest until July 1, when the Giants traded veteran catcher Bengie Molina to the Rangers, acknowledging it was time to let their top prospect play behind the plate.

Posey began with a flourish, hitting .429 in his first 13 games before pitchers made adjustments and a sore wrist led to a slump. Posey will continue to see occasional action at first base, especially with backup Eli Whiteside serving as Jonathan Sanchez's personal catcher.

Biggest Leap Forward: Brandon Belt didn't sign early enough to make his pro debut last season after the Giants spent a fifth-round selection on him. But the former University of Texas first baseman whipped up on Cal League pitching, hitting .383/.492/.678 in 77 games. Belt hit a whopping 28 doubles to go along with three triples and 10 home runs. He also had more walks (58) than strikeouts (50). Coaches also called him easily the best defensive first baseman in the system. He was promoted to Double-A Richmond on July 2.

Biggest Disappointment: Several hitters at Richmond fall into this category, but center fielder Darren Ford's struggles are notable because he had followed up a banner second half at high Class A San Jose with a head-turning performance in big league camp this spring.

Ford, 24, wasn't able to carry forward the momentum to Double-A, though. The speedy leadoff man was hitting just .235/.296/.345 through 76 games. Ford began the season a little banged up after a collision with an outfield fence late in the spring, but he continued to play an impressive center field and had swiped 25 bases in 37 attempts.

GIANTICS

• The Giants added righthander Zack Wheeler to the U.S. roster for the Futures Game. Wheeler, 20, hadn't pitched for low Class A Augusta since May 18 because of a fingernail issue, but he began throwing off a mound the last week in June and was close to returning.

• The Giants heavily scouted high school righthander Michael Main in the 2007 draft, but Texas snapped him up with its first-round pick. The Giants finally got their man, though, acquiring the righthander, along with Chris Ray, in the Bengie Molina trade. Main was assigned to Richmond.