Crawford’s Box: SJC Gator Alum Eyes Third MLB Ring


Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/MCT

Brandon Belt (left) strikes out in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the 2014 World Series. The Giants shut out the Mets 3-0 Oct. 5 to win the National League Wild Card game and make another run toward the World Series.

Deer Park native Andy Pettitte is arguably the most widely known San Jac baseball alum, but another former Gator is also making a name for himself in the big league this season.

Brandon Belt hit a career milestone earlier this year as part of the 2016 National League All-Star roster, and now he is advancing to the post-season with the National League West Wild Card team possibly putting a third World Series win under his… belt.

Belt played for the Gators during the 2006-2007 season. Before San Jac, the Boston Red Sox drafted him out of high school as a left-handed pitcher in the 11th round of the 2006 amateur draft, but he chose not to sign.

After a one-year tenure at San Jac, Belt was drafted again, this time by the Atlanta Braves, in the 11th round of the 2007 amateur draft. Again, he chose not to sign enrolling in the University of Texas instead.

Coming off two seasons at UT, Belt was drafted for the third and final time in the fifth round of the 2009 amateur draft, this time signing with the San Francisco Giants.

In March of 2011, Belt made his major league debut. Since his debut, when healthy, he is a consistent player for the Giants. Before the All-Star break this season, Belt and the Giants had the best record in the major leagues at 57 and 33 while leading the National League West division by Six and a half games.

Although Belt put up a solid season leading his team in batting average at .302, with other stars ahead at his position, he did not make the original roster for the All-Star Game. Belt was put on the NL final vote ballot where the fans vote the last player on both teams into the game. After a few days of voting, Belt won the National League final vote.

Since the All-Star break, the Giants went 30 and 42 slipping to second in the National League West behind the Dodgers who clinched the National League West. However, the Giants rebounded winning the Wild Card game in a 3-0 shut-out against the Mets Oct. 5. The Giants will face the Cubs in the NLDS.

During the regular season, Belt leads his team in home runs with seventeen and doubles with forty-one. Also, he is batting 275 fourth best on the team and has eighty-two RBIs bringing him to second best on the team.

In 2016, Belt signed a new contract with the Giants totaling $79 million over six years. The Giants commitment to Belt shows they are confident this could be the first of many All-Star Game appearances to come and a longstanding staple of post-season baseball.