If you go by Wins Above Replacement, one of the least valuable players in the majors this year when accounting for position, has been Aubrey Huff. The first baseman for the San Francisco Giants was a postseason hero and fan-favorite last year, but his season has been a bit of a chemical fire this year. Making it especially awkward was the fact that the Giants' best hitting prospect -- and one of the better hitting prospects in the game -- was a first baseman.
The Giants experimented with Belt as the starting first baseman, with Huff in the outfield, to start the season. But after some memorable defensive flubs from Huff and a lackluster start from Belt, the rookie was sent down. When Huff continued not to hit, Belt was called up again, and he was in the majors just long enough to have his hand broken on a Trever Miller fastball.
The injury sidelined Belt for over a month, after which he was activated and sent down to Fresno. At no point did Huff ever come around with the bat. After being activated, Belt hit .324/.477/.706 for triple-A Fresno over a ten-game stretch. His minor-league numbers for his career:
|2010||22||3 Teams||3 Lgs||A+-AA-AAA||SFG||136||595||492||173||43||10||23||22||8||93||99||.352||.455||.620||1.075|
|2011||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AAA-A+||SFG||47||202||155||52||12||0||7||5||3||43||43||.335||.475||.548||1.024|
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||56||245||190||57||15||0||11||6||3||51||57||.300||.445||.553||.998|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||81||351||282||109||29||4||10||19||7||63||51||.387||.499||.624||1.123|
|AA (1 season)||AA||46||201||175||59||11||6||9||2||1||22||34||.337||.413||.623||1.036|
Those are impressive numbers, and considering that Aubrey Huff is hitting .232/.286/.359 -- though he is leading the team in RBI! -- Belt should start to see some playing time. Just how much, though, will be up to manager Bruce Bochy, a manager who has never been comfortable playing rookies over veteran players with a history of performance.