The San Francisco Giants are having an unforgettable 2021 season.
Despite being given no chance to compete in the National League West, San Francisco has led the division for almost the entire year.
The Giants are arguably the best team in baseball, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
They’ve gotten this far thanks to an exceptionally well-rounded roster.
But some players have gotten more attention than others.
Today, we’re going to give credit to a few players who have flown under the radar for San Francisco this season.
Each of these players’ contributions has been key to the Giants’ success.
3. Johnny Cueto
Most fans wrote Jonny Cueto off after he posted a 5.33 ERA over 16 starts between 2019 and 2020.
Going into the 2021 season, expectations were low for the veteran.
But he has been extremely solid all year long.
He has managed a 3.73 ERA, 112 ERA+, and 3.94 FIP over 20 starts.
Those aren’t the type of numbers that Cueto put up during his prime years, but it’s certainly a level of production that you can live with from your No. 3 or No. 4 starter.
The 35-year-old is on the COVID-19 list right now, but he’ll be back in plenty of time for the stretch run.
He’ll also bring some valuable postseason experience to the table once October rolls around.
2. Brandon Belt
Brandon Belt is a staple in San Francisco, but very few neutral MLB fans think of him as a star.
Maybe there’s some legitimacy to the idea that he isn’t; he has made just one All-Star team in his 11-year career.
However, there’s zero question that the 33-year-old has produced at an outstanding level this season.
He has a .901 OPS, 140 OPS+, and 141 wRC+.
He has homered 19 times, doubled nine times, and tripled twice in 74 games.
Brandon Belt homers on repeat pic.twitter.com/Ltx4AhVnrE
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 9, 2021
He has been seeing the ball particularly well over the past week or so, as he is batting .348 with a 1.206 OPS and three homers over his last six games.
Needless to say, Belt has been huge for San Francisco this season.
1. Jose Alvarez
Those players are having outstanding seasons, and they definitely deserve the attention they get.
However, Jose Alvarez has been the bullpen’s most underrated asset this season.
On Monday, he gave up a run for the first time in almost two months.
He was working on a streak of 20.2 consecutive scoreless innings.
During that span, opponents were batting just .087 against him with a .214 OPS.
That’s pretty remarkable.
On the year, Alvarez has a 2.39 ERA, 3.16 FIP, and 0.99 WHIP across 51 appearances.
He has been a horse, and there’s no telling where the Giants would be without him.
Jose Alvarez has made 33 appearances since the beginning of June.
He did not give up any runs in 32 of them.
— Brian Witt (@Wittnessed) August 27, 2021
The Giants have the personnel necessary to make a legitimate run at the 2021 World Series.
Cueto, Belt, and Alvarez are just a few of the team’s most important players.
We didn’t even talk about Buster Posey, Kris Bryant, Brandon Crawford, Kevin Gausman, Logan Webb, Anthony DeSclafani, LaMonte Wade Jr., Evan Longoria, Darin Ruf (who is also underrated), and many others.
Talent is a non-issue.
Will the team be up for the task in October?