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SF Giants Prospects

San Francisco Giants: Quality bullpen reinforcements await opportunity

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Jandel Gustave
#81 of the San Francisco Giants poses during the Giants Photo Day on February 21, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Jandel Gustave #81 of the San Francisco Giants poses during the Giants Photo Day on February 21, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 01: Pitcher Fernando Abad #58 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the top of the seventh inning during the game against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on October 1, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Fernando Abad, 33, is trying to re-establish himself after being suspended 80 games in 2018 for a failed PED test.

Like many middle relievers, Abad did not sign until after spring training began. His contract did not include a major league camp invite.

Splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A, Abad has posted a 1.45 ERA with a fantastic 22-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 18.2 innings. Lefties are batting just .087 against him with a .217 OPS and seven strikeouts in 24 plate appearances.

As a southpaw with extensive experience, Abad might be appealing to a lot of teams and could wind up serving as a minor trade chip for the San Francisco Giants. With the way he is pitching, it is clear he is above the talent he is competing against.

As for Sam Selman, he too has split his season between Double-A and Triple-A with solid results.

The 28-year-old carries a bit of intrigue for two reasons:

First, he worked out at Driveline this past offseason. Driveline is a training facility where pitchers incorporate data to improve their mechanics and pitch quality.

Second, he has not yet made his major league debut, so there is some mystery to him as an unknown commodity. With Abad, teams already know what he brings to the table.

In that sense, Selman could be a fringe reliever, or he could be a quality bullpen arm thanks to the changes he made during the offseason at Driveline.

He has captured the attention of at least one Giants beat writer:

He has continued to impress, posting a 1.31 ERA with 34 strikeouts against six walks in 20.2 innings. He has been very difficult to hit, as evidenced by his 4.4 H/9 and .141 opponents’ batting average.

The 2012 second-round pick has always had swing-and-miss stuff with 11.0 K/9 in 497 career minor league innings.

The issue has been his control. He has walked batters at a 5.4 BB/9 clip during his career, including 6.6 BB/9 last season. The marked improvement he has shown in that area this season could wind up being his ticket to the big leagues.

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