11. RHP Jake Wong
Current Level: High-A
Acquired: Draft (2018, 3rd Round)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
When he peaked as a prospect at Grand Canyon University, Wong sat in the mid-90s and even touched 97 mph with his fastball. However, his velocity has dipped as a professional. He now works from 92-94 mph, but his fastball’s combination of run and sink allow it to play up and still be a potentially above-average pitch.
His curveball is of the 11-to-5 variety and also has the potential to be a 55-grade pitch. He needs to improve his changeup command, but he maintains his arm action well and it could become a 50-grade pitch with work as well.
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That three-pitch mix could make Wong a solid No. 3 or 4 starter. However, without premium velocity, he doesn’t have as much room for error.
If the changeup doesn’t develop as hoped, a move to the bullpen where his velocity would likely kick up and he could just work off his fastball and curve is not out of the question.
Wong isn’t as refined as San Francisco Giants 2018 second-round pick Sean Hjelle, and while he has good control, his command is another story. He throws too many hitter’s strikes and more advanced hitters will take advantage of that going forward.
He earned a promotion to High-A after a strong start to the season, although he did benefit from some batted-ball luck, and he’s stalled out a bit at San Jose. Still, he’s holding his own and remains on a standard prospect track for a collegiate pitcher.
Wong continues to do a good job generating groundballs with a career 1.37 groundout-to-flyout ratio, and controlling contact will be the key in remaining a starter. Developing his command could give the Giants a future mid-rotation arm. If not, he could still be a back of rotation starter or a potential high-leverage arm out of the pen.
Stay tuned for the final edition of our San Francisco Giants top prospect countdown, where we’ll take a closer look at the guys who fall in the No. 10 to No. 1 range.