World Series key players: Giants chase another title
Angel Pagan, #16
Position: Outfield; Bats: Both; Throws: Right
MLB Experience: 7th season; 31 years old
When Pagan became the permanent leadoff hitter, the Giants' offense clicked as it had not before. Pagan's production as an igniter was more striking considering his rough spring training. But he heated up quickly and adjusted to various places in the batting order as the team sorted itself out. His hot hitting early helped the Giants remain competitive, and then the move to the top of the order tied it together. Also played solid defense in center field, showing off the speed that also led to 29 stolen bases.
Angel Pagan's statistics
Pablo Sandoval, #48
Position: 3rd base; Bats: Both; Throws: Right
MLB Experience: 5th season; 26 years old
One of the team's most popular players, "The Panda" has battled injuries and his weight to remain an important part of the Giants' lineup, hitting third and playing a sometimes-excellent third base. Sandoval's lifetime .303 average shows what he can do, but his record of following good seasons with mediocre ones keeps management and fans waiting for the kind of consistency around which a team can build. He could be a key to how far the Giants progress in the postseason.
Pablo Sandoval's statistics
Brandon Belt, #9
Position: 1st base; Bats: Left; Throws: Left
MLB Experience: 2nd season; 24 years old
Belt finally figured it out at the plate during the final two months of the season, raising an average that had bumped along in the .230-.240 range to his final mark of .275, and his .360 on-base percentage was among the team's best. Big, fast and quick, belt is a base-sealing threat and a deft first baseman. Observers hope Belt adds more power to his offensive production, though he had 27 doubles and six triples to go with seven home runs.
Brandon Belt's statistics
Ryan Vogelsong, #32
Position: Pitcher; Bats: Right; Throws: Right
MLB Experience: 8th season; 35 years old
Vogelsong resurrected his career in 2011, rejoining the Giants, who drafted him in 1998, earning a spot on the N.L. All-star team and winning 13 games. He pitched even better through much of the 2012 season until a late-season slump slowed his momentum. But Vogelsong was excellent in his final three starts, allowing one run in 17 innings and finishing with 14-9 record. Has a reputation for being intense on days he pitches. A hard fastpball, tight curve and sharp control are keys to his success.
Ryan Vogelsong's statistics
They added more offense to a pitching-rich roster and saw catcher Buster Posey, recovering from an injury that ruined his 2011 season and threatened his career, emerge as a legitimate star and team leader, and that resulted in the Giants winning a National League West championship and hoping for more during the 2012 postseason. Here's a look at key players.