Giants

Shaun Anderson's cheering section includes Mets sensation, NL West rival

Shaun Anderson's cheering section includes Mets sensation, NL West rival

SAN FRANCISCO -- Social media has added a cool twist to big league debuts. When a top prospect comes up for the first time, the congratulatory messages from former college and minor league teammates are no longer fully private. 

If you took a spin around Twitter or Instagram last Wednesday, you saw a vast collection of Giants minor leaguers and former Florida Gators shouting out Shaun Anderson, who had a solid debut against the Toronto Blue Jays.

There was one surprising shoutout, though. San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer posted on Instagram that he was watching Anderson's debut. It turns out the 29-year-old Hosmer and 24-year-old Anderson are workout partners in the offseason at BioCore Sports Performance in Davie, Florida. 

"I guess he was watching, which was pretty cool," Anderson said on this week's Giants Insider Podcast. "He texted me after and we talked about if for a little bit."

Anderson had a lot of well-known (in the baseball world) players watching. He was part of a loaded roster at Florida that had eight players drafted in the first 10 rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft. Anderson went to the Red Sox in the third round. Top pitching prospects A.J. Puk (A's) and Dane Dunning (White Sox) were part of that class, along with budding Mets star Pete Alonso.

Anderson said he still keeps in touch with most of his Florida crew and is looking forward to the rest making it to the big leagues. Alonso is the most successful thus far, and if Anderson sticks in the rotation through the next road trip, he could face his former teammate in New York early next month. 

[RELATED: Suarez has quality start in return, will stay in rotation]

"I faced him a lot throughout college and in intrasquads and then last year (in the minors). I kind of have a good gameplan on him," Anderson said, smiling. "I can't tell anybody yet. He's been swinging the bat (well), so I'm kind of looking forward to that matchup."

For more on Anderson, including his thoughts on his debut, a breakdown of his fastball variations, and the knowledge he's trying to soak up from Madison Bumgarner, you can stream the Giants Insider Podcast here or download it on iTunes here. 

Giants board up Oracle Park ahead of George Floyd protests in San Francisco

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USATSI

Giants board up Oracle Park ahead of George Floyd protests in San Francisco

With protests taking place throughout the Bay Area, the Giants have taken a step to protect their ballpark.

Photos surfaced on social media of Oracle Park windows boarded up.

Protests around the country began in recent days following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minnesota last Monday.

San Francisco has implemented a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. PT on Monday that lasts until 5 a.m. PT on Tuesday.

The Giants have yet to use Oracle Park this year, as the 2020 MLB season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: Kapler encouraged by players speaking out]

Last week, San Francisco mayor London Breed announced that the city is targeting June 15 for Phase 2 of the reopening plan to go into effect. At that point, professional sports teams could be allowed to start training at their facility.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Imagining best opponents for Barry Bonds in hypothetical Home Run Derby

Imagining best opponents for Barry Bonds in hypothetical Home Run Derby

There might not be a more perfect candidate for an all-time MLB Home Run Derby than former Giants legend Barry Bonds. His 756 home runs are the most in baseball history, and no single player’s power has been as intimidating as Bonds was in his heyday.

MLB.com recently came up with a hypothetical matchup for Bonds in their “#WhatIf Derby” series, choosing Los Angeles Dodgers star and 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

It’s safe to say fans clearly favor one side in this showdown of sluggers.

Bellinger’s power is no joke, but he doesn’t hold a candle to Bonds’ prowess at the plate. 

This got us thinking, who would make the most formidable foe for Bonds in an imaginary home run derby?

Sticking with current players, there are plenty of viable candidates to challenge Bonds in a home run-hitting duel.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. put on an absolute show in last year’s derby, smashing a ridiculous 40 home runs to overtake Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson in the second round. Guerrero Jr.’s dad famously won the 2007 derby at Oracle Park while playing with the Los Angeles Angels.

Another player who, if fully healthy, could give Bonds a run for his money is New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton. While he’s battled injuries in recent years, Stanton’s raw power and force he puts into each swing doesn’t have many parallels in any era of MLB.

[RELATED: Giants' Hunter Pence leads active MLB players in this obscure stat]

Completing the ideal foursome of participants would be Stanton’s New York teammate in outfielder Aaron Judge. The Fresno State product won the 2017 derby in an effort that included four home runs traveling further than 500 feet.

These four sluggers together all in their prime competing in one home run derby would be an unreal scene. There aren’t many in today’s game who even come close to Bonds’ strength in the box, but Guerrero Jr., Stanton and Judge are about as close as it gets.