--SS Brandon Crawford, whose stated goal is to be at shortstop when the 2012 seasons opens, is playing in the Arizona Fall League and hitting well. His label is good-field, no-hit, and he's trying to change that. In his first 38 at-bats for the Scottsdale Scorpions, he was hitting .342. He has tweaked his mechanics and simplified his approach, and his hot bat could make a case for not pursuing a free agent shortstop. In large part, manager Bruce Bochy played Orlando Cabrera at shortstop when the Giants seemingly were out of it, disappointing a fan base wishing to see more of Crawford, who finally got more regular duty in the final couple of weeks and took advantage of it -- .313 over 36 plate appearances.
--CF Gary Brown is part of an impressive outfield in the Arizona Fall League. Brown, Washington's Bryce Harper and the Angels' Mike Trout are three of the game's elite prospects. Brown was hitting .220 in his first 50 at-bats while both Harper and Trout were hitting under .250. Brown played the entire 2011 season with Class A San Jose and is probably targeted for Double-A to open 2012 with a chance to reach the majors late in the season if he continues his progress.
--C Buster Posey remains in Arizona rehabbing his extensive leg injury, caused in a May 25 collision at home plate. Posey is squatting and catching bullpen sessions. He remains focused on being the Giants' Opening Day catcher in 2012. After reporting to Arizona during the final days of the season, Posey began catching pitches delivered by a machine. He graduated to catching pitchers. He'll soon return to his home in Georgia.
--INF-OF Mark DeRosa, whose two-year, $12 million contract is up, spent a few days on the MLB Network during the playoffs. He's 36 and winding down a career that began in 1998, and he said broadcasting could be his career move once his playing days are over. "I love being around the game. I love talking baseball. I'm not a guy who goes home in the offseason and forgets about it. I religiously watch every playoff game and World Series" game," DeRosa said. Though he mostly was absent in his two years as a Giant, thanks to a wrist injury, DeRosa hit .367 (18-for-49) in 26 games after coming off the DL on Aug. 4.
--Conditioning coach Ben Potenziano, a valuable member of the Giants' training staff, took a job with the Pirates as assistant athletic trainer. Potenziano worked for the Giants for eight seasons and was credited, in part, for the Giants' relatively decent health record -- at least until 2011, when injuries decimated the defending champs. In 2010, the team had very few injuries to its core players.
BY THE NUMBERS: 55-9 -- Giants' record when scoring four or more runs, further proof they had plenty of pitching but not enough hitting in 2011. That's GM Brian Sabean's offseason challenge: improving the offense enough to provide more hope for another World Series run.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I enjoyed the passion for baseball they had in Japan, the fans. They really came out and enjoyed the games. Also, you get a chance to see the brand of baseball they play in that country. In Japan, they play great fundamental baseball. Now I'll get a chance to see baseball in Taiwan." -- Bruce Bochy, picked to manage an all-star contingent in Taiwan. He has similar experience in Japan.