Prospect Number 4: Sam Coonrod
Coonrod is intriguing. In college, he was a flame thrower, touching 98. He never really gained much control over his pitches through college, and his delivery was just way too quick and incosistent. Since he turned pro, the Giants have helped him slow things down. He features a solid fastball in the mid-90s, and a mid 80s slider as well.
His changeup still needs some work but his control has been a big factor. He should start out in AA this season, and if he shows some improvements he could spend the second half in Sacramento. Whether or not he develops the changeup into a third plus-pitch depends on whether or not he’s a starter or a reliever. That also will affect his MLB ETA.
He might be able to get to the big leagues (and stick) sooner as a reliever than a starter. But if he could develop that changeup, Coonrod could be primed for a big league starter’s role in the future. He’s 24, so the longer he takes to figure out the changeup, is the longer he waits to get up. The longer it does take, the more likely the Giants move him into a late relief role.