Who the Blue Jays are getting in Brandon Belt, told by San Francisco Giants writers

Chicago White Sox v San Francisco Giants
Chicago White Sox v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Brandon Belt, one of the newest members of the Toronto Blue Jays, will be suiting up for a non-San Francisco Giants club for the first time in his 12-year big league career in 2023.

Belt, 34, signed a one-year, $9.3M contract with the Blue Jays on January 10th and is leaving behind a fanbase that adores him and everything he brought to the Giants over the past decade-plus.

For the Blue Jays, Belt's addition to the club is ultimately going to be about more than just what he can do on the field; it's also going to be about who he is as a person and everything he offers off the field.

Don't just take my word for it, though. I spoke with four different members of Giants media and one thing is apparent after my conversations with them: Brandon Belt is going to be an incredible add to this Jays team.

Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area has been on the Giants beat for what feels like forever. Always one of the best reads in SF Giants media, he couldn't help but gush over Belt and what he meant to him and the club.

"The Jays are getting a good left-handed hitter, but also a very good - and entertaining - veteran for their clubhouse. Belt is without a doubt the funniest player I've covered in over 11 years on the beat. He was always accountable in the down times, too. The "Captain Belt" stuff is pretty well known by now, but I would highly recommend that fans look up his press session after that game. For a young team with postseason aspirations, I'd imagine he'll quickly take on a leadership role. He grew into that with the Giants and brought a lot of confidence to the room in 2021 when the Giants shockingly won the NL West."

My fellow FanSided Network writer Jeff Young, who is running the show for Around the Foghorn, loves Belt as well, to the surprise of nobody.

"From a performance standpoints, when he has been healthy, he's been a great hitter. Great eye, great approach at the plate. He is a streaky hitter who can carry an offense when he's on. While the metrics may not show it anymore, he still flashes a good glove at first base as well. One thing that will always stand out about Belt is his dry sense of humor. He has a personality that fans will enjoy and appreciate."

My old friend Roger Munter, who covers the Giants on his site The R Giants, says that the introduction to Belt for followers of the team all the way back in 2011 sticks with him and other fans to this day.

"Thanks to an injury to Cody Ross in 2011 Spring Training, Belt was added to the club after a strong spring showing. The scene where (Bruce) Bochy gave him the news that he had made the club had Belt tearing up. That vulnerability immediately made fans love him, and homering off Chad Billingsley in his second game didn't hurt either."

Munter continues, "Belt was always the young pup and goofball in the clubhouse, especially in his early days. He was the one sitting on the bench next to Matt Cain during a perfect game, completely oblivious to the fact that every one of his teammates was giving him death stares for 'breaking protocol'."

"He was the self-proclaimed best hitter, best athlete, best pitcher, fastest runner, best ping pong player, you name it", continues Munter. "He is a guy that can hit well when healthy, works really hard to constantly improve his game while also being one that never takes himself or the game too seriously. Expect some killer one-liners!"

Brady Klopfer, a writer and content producer over at SB Nation, joins the previous three writers here to compliment Belt and what he brings to the table both on and off the field.

"Perhaps I'm just sentimental after 12 years of watching Belt, but the biggest thing Jays fans are getting is one of the best personalities in baseball. Belt is truly hilarious, and he arrives at it in numerous ways: sarcasm, self-depreciation, satirical self-aggrandizing, and downright silliness. He is also about as sweet of a baseball player as you'll find. After playfully boasting about his own prowess following the Giants' 2022 Opening Day win, he stopped to double-check with a Giants PR person to make sure that the media knew he was joking, and that he is not actually that full of himself."

As far as baseball skills go, Belt was caught in the crosshairs of Giants fans, so much so that arguments about his abilities were dubbed the "Belt Wars" for many years. He's a modern baseball fan's dream and an old school fan's nightmare. He doesn't have the traditional power that you associate with first basemen, as he's never eclipsed 30 homers in a season (though he had 29 in 2021 while limited to just 97 games). But he makes up for it with plate discipline that's almost hilarious at times. A running bit with the Giants broadcasters was that Belt had a better eye than the umpires, because he had a propensity for getting inaccurately called out on strikes after taking a pitch just outside the zone. At least once a game he'll take a pitch and you'll wonder how he did it. It's incredibly fitting that he holds the record for the longest at-bat in MLB history after a 21-pitch battle with Jaime Barria. The gap between his batting average and on-base percentage will be massive."

"His teammates loved him, the organization loved him, the fans loved him. He is truly a delight and the Blue Jays are getting a good ballplayer and an even better person. You guys are lucky to have him."

Next. Simulating Opening Day for the Blue Jays. dark