Throughout spring training in Arizona, rival evaluators who witnessed the San Francisco Giants’ offensive work walked away with very similar impressions, and foremost among those was probably this: Opposing pitchers had better be ready to dig in.
That's because as constructed, the Giants -- like the Kansas City Royals of the past two seasons -- rarely strike out. Through the first nine days of the season, San Francisco's lineup has only 40 strikeouts. Oakland's Khris Davis, by himself, has 14, as does the Rangers' Mitch Moreland. The Rangers have more than twice as many strikeouts as the Giants (85), with Toronto and Houston sitting at 82.
The Rangers, Blue Jays and Astros all made the playoffs last season, so it's not as if the Giants' ability to make contact, in itself, means that San Francisco is necessarily a better team. In fact, because they play in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park, there's a good chance they won't lead the National League in runs scored. Manager Bruce Bochy's offense is probably not a prolific one.
What it does mean, however, is that the Giants will constantly apply pressure to opposing starters, relievers, catchers, managers, infielders and outfielders with good at-bats and good swings, and by forcing them to make plays.