Austin Slater

Slater embracing Giants veteran leadership role with Webb

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Now entering his eighth season as a member of the Giants, Austin Slater is embracing his veteran role on the team.

Speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic and Laura Britt on the latest "Giants Talk" episode, Slater explained his approach to this upcoming 2024 MLB season. When asked if he felt like an old man in the clubhouse given he’s the longest-tenured player on the roster, Slater jokingly explained that his senior status with the organization is why he decided to grow out his beard.

“I’m starting to, that’s part of why I grew out the beard,” Slater said. “I’m trying to add a little old-timer feel here with the beard. But I am, I look around and I’m starting to get a little older, but it comes with the territory and it’s a role that I want to embrace and hopefully I can step into this role and give the younger guys some guidance, advice whatever they might need. Maybe a couple of jokes here or there to loosen the mood.”

Slater then explained how another Giants leader, Logan Webb, is a fierce competitor who wants to win, an attitude the Giants ace picked up from the legendary core group of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Hunter Pence who were all key components of the team’s World Series dynasty.

“It starts with his fire and edge; you see him out on the mound, and he wants to win and he’s going to go out there and compete no matter what it takes,” Slater said.

“It starts there with setting that example and it’s something passed down from Buster, Hunter Pence and Crawford, you know Craw was always out there hurt and playing the game the right way."

The Giants have had significant roster turnover in recent years, parting ways with Crawford, the last link to the team's World Series dynasty, as the team focuses on getting back into the MLB playoff picture in 2024.

Slater and Webb will be leaned on heavily to provide leadership to the many new players the Giants have signed during the offseason.

While the Giants have been big spenders in free agency, they are still projected to finish far behind the juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

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