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San Francisco Giants: Is Chris Stratton a Future Ace?

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Stratton #34 of the San Francisco Giants poses on photo day during MLB Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Stratton #34 of the San Francisco Giants poses on photo day during MLB Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Former first round pick, Chris Stratton, was never a hyped-up, big name, pitching prospect. Stratton was thought of highly throughout the San Francisco Giants organization, but was probably never expected to pitch the way he’s pitching right now. The rookie pitcher grabbed a rotation spot this spring, but can he anchor this rotation for years to come?

Getting some time in the rotation for the later part of 2017, Stratton did well and turned some heads. In the ten starts he made towards the end of the year, he posted an ERA in the mid-three’s, averaged about eight strikeouts per nine and was very consistent in a year where nothing about the  San Francisco Giants was consistent, except for being terrible.

The 27 year old is off to a scorching-hot start in 2018 and is just pitching beautifully. Tonight’s game against Arizona he went seven innings giving up just one run, striking out eight and walking none.  On the season he has only given up five earned runs in four starts and twenty-four and and a third innings pitched, while rocking a 2.22 ERA.

In a season where the Giants were hit hard by the injury bug, pretty much dismantling their rotation, guys like Stratton, but also Holland and Cueto  have stepped up big time. Going into 2018, there were major concerns about the back end of the Giants rotation. Ty Blach proved he can be somewhat decent at times  and could fill in nicely as a four or five, but who else was there?

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Tyler Beede was not expected to be ready (we’ve now seen that first hand), Andrew Suarez not ready either. So the consensus was that either Chris Stratton or Derek Holland would take the last spot in the rotation.

Surely enough the baseball gods made it easy and forced the Giants to put both of them in the rotation following injuries to Bumgarner and Samardzija. Chris Stratton’s dominance this year, with flashes from Ty Blach and Derek Holland pretty much put an end to the back of the rotation question marks.

Because its early in the year and baseball fans love to jump the gun, what can we expect Chris Stratton’s career to look like? Will he flop like other pitching prospects, or could he be something special? As Bay Area sports fans, we dont care about small sample sizes. Take Jimmy Garoppolo for example.

Guy’s played seven games in his career and is already being crowned the greatest quarterback to pick up a football. Is Chris Stratton comparable to Jimmy G? No, that doesnt even make sense and I’m not sure why I’m even talking about the two in the same sentence. I guess my point is that we cant just pencil in Strattons name behind Bumgarner, and call him our #2 and one of our aces just yet. But boy do I want to.

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I am a huge Chris Stratton fan andIi think the world of this guy. And to be frank, I think he very well could be an anchor at the top of this rotation for a long time. I think Stratton will have a breakout year this season and will solidify himself as one of the Giants aces for years to come. I’m all aboard the Chris Stratton hype train, and I suggest you hop on soon because this young right hander is going to make some noise.

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