Giants Projected to Have Top-10 Defense in 2019 MLB Season by This Stat

Offense is still a question mark with Opening Day two weeks away.

No, scratch that. Offense is still a concern with Opening Day two weeks away. But the Giants' defense can be one of the best in baseball in the 2019 season. 

By projected fielding runs, a stat created by FanGraphs, the Giants are projected to have the eighth-best defense in Major League Baseball. 

The Giants ranked 12th in MLB by defensive runs saved (DRS) with 32 last season. But by defensive runs above average (DEF), which measures a player's value relative to league average, San Francisco slid all the way down to 24th with -19.1 DEF. 

It all starts in the infield for the Giants. Buster Posey's health behind the plate will be a big factor in the team's defense. He's expected to be ready to catch on Opening Day, and still had 10 DRS behind the plate in 2018 while being limited to 105 games played.

Up the middle, the combination of Joe Panik at second base and Brandon Crawford at shortstop are back for another year. Crawford's run of three straight Gold Glove awards came to an end last season, while Panik last won the award in 2016.

When healthy, they still form one of the best defensive duos in baseball. 

And then there are the corners. In his first year with the Giants, three-time Gold Glove winner Evan Longoria recorded a career-high 15 errors, but he did have 7 DRS. At first base, Brandon Belt could have been in line for his first Gold Glove if it wasn't for injuries. He had a career-high 13 DRS in 2018. 

The biggest difference in the Giants' defense this season could be their outfield. Having a full season with Steven Duggar in center field should play dividends for San Francisco. He was worth 4 DRS in only 41 games. 

[RELATED: Giants poised to take another step forward with center field defense]

Plus, the signings of Cameron Maybin, Gerardo Parra and Drew Ferguson should secure solid defense as well. 

Once again, the Giants will likely struggle to put a crooked number on the scoreboard. But their defense can play a large role in them winning extra games.

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