Giants

As Brandon Belt heals from surgery, Giants tap Japan’s Hanshin Tigers for veteran back-up plan

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt had career-high averages across the board in 2020, so he’s worth waiting around for, that’s for sure.

He’s yet to appear for San Francisco in spring training this season due surgery on his right heel in October, plus he’s felt ill lately. The Giants will eagerly await his return, but in the meantime, they signed an insurance policy at first base.

The front office decided on Justin Bour, an MLB veteran of six years, to sign to a minor-league contract. Bour will report to minor-league camp on April 1, opening day in The Bigs, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

He played for Japan’s Hanshin Tigers last season, hitting 17 home runs. Bour last had Big League at bats in 2019 with the Angels. In 2018, he was on the Phillies, with current Giants manager Gabe Kapler. Bour is a .253 career hitter and owns an on-base percentage of .337 and a slugging percentage of .457. He’s hit 92 home runs in 559 games.

Belt hit a career high .309 at the plate in 149 at-bats in 2020, and also had career-best marks in on-base percentage (.425) and slugging percentage (.591). He figures to be a key player for the Giants and one of the few remaining links to San Francisco’s championship run of the last decade.

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