According to Yahoo! Sports' Steve Henson, San Francisco Giants' young first baseman Brandon Belt is one of 2012 MLB spring training's winners. Last season, Belt was handed the keys to first base, but after a terrible start to his professional career, in which he had a .192 batting average over 17 games, he was sent down to the minors.
He was called back up to the majors for the last two months of the season and he played better, but he still didn't prove that he had what it took to be an everyday infielder.
However, after given a second chance this season, he has really turned some heads.
Top prospects are granted second chances, and this spring Belt has tightened his game a notch. He's batting .397 with a sky-high 1.086 OPS while playing nearly every day. Belt might not make the team out of spring training - only because the Giants want to try a different approach and quietly promote him after a month or so rather than anoint him again as the opening-day savior of a subpar offense.
But make no mistake: Belt will be a fixture in San Francisco soon enough.
The Giants finished the 2011 season with an 86-76 record, missing out on the playoffs. They were 16 games behind National League leaders, the Philadelphia Phillies, and four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who got the National League's last spot.