As long as he’s manning first base at 3rd and King, the “Belt Wars” will rage on.
Brandon Belt continues to be the most polarizing member of the Giants’ old guard, and enters the 2020 season at a career crossroads. Despite heaps of praise from new manager Gabe Kapler — that a cynic could judge as an attempt to inflate his trade value — Belt enters this season coming off the worst campaign of his career. In 156 games last season, Belt posted career worsts (minimum 100 games) in batting average (.234), slugging (.403) and on-base percentage (.339).
J.T. Snow played first base for the Giants for nine seasons (1997-2005) and thinks that Belt enters 2020 on the “hot seat.”
“I would like to see him hit .280 or above, hit 20-plus homers and drive in over 100 runs,” Snow told Mark Willard on Wednesday. “I mean that was the standard mark back when I was playing, and if you didn’t do that you didn’t stick around for very long. I think he’s got a lot to prove playing that position. We all know he has a great eye and knows the strike zone, but I think Brandon Belt is on the hot seat this year.”
Belt is owed a combined $32 million for this year and next, the end of a five-year, $72 million deal that has made the first baseman hard to trade.
“As a first baseman you’ve got to put up numbers. I know he’s getting older and this is his eighth or ninth year but he’s got to throw up some numbers. You’ve got to take that personally and know the game you play. I know the game has changed and I know some things are more important than others but I firmly believe that the old school baseball is going to come back in the next couple of years.”
Listen to the full interview below.