In search of a young, defensive-minded center fielder, the Giants have reportedly been linked to Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. and Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton.
Hamilton ranked as the third-best defensive center fielder in baseball during the 2017 season per FanGraphs. Bradley came in at seventh. Both measured in at nine Defensive Runs Saved, tied for third among all qualifying center fielders.
Both are 27 years old and still arbitration-eligible.
On Tuesday, Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow was asked for his thoughts on the two center fielders.
"I haven't seen a lot of Jackie Bradley. I hear he can play center field, I haven't really watched him play center field. I know what you get with Billy Hamilton. He's got exceptional range. He's got a good arm. And I don't think he's even close to being what he's going to be. We always talk about the one position that takes the longest to learn and the longest tot apply is the leadoff position. I only think he's going to get better. You can only imagine if he can get an OBP up around .340, what his numbers would be. He'd be an All-Star just because of what he can do on the basepaths," Krukow said on KNBR 680 on Tuesday morning.
The Giants ranked 20th in baseball with 76 stolen bases in 2017. Hamilton had 59 by himself for the Reds. Hamilton's ability on the basepaths is something that Krukow appreciates.
"The other thing about Billy Hamilton that I love is that he messes with pitchers. He becomes a distraction. He's a guy you have to pay attention to, he's a guy that will alter your rhythm, that will take your concentration away from the hitter. And I think that is a plus. So I love both of those guys, even though I haven't seen a lot of Jackie Bradley. Billy Hamilton is huge. I'm an old pitcher, so I have no problem if you can give up offense to get defense. And not just in our yard, but our division is just a big-yard division, you need a center field. That just absolutely slaps you in the face when you start losing balls to gaps that should be caught. So I like both of those guys because of their range," Krukow said.