13. RHP Trevor McDonald
Current Level: Unassigned
Acquired: Draft (2019, 11th Round)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
The complicated draft signing rules meant the San Francisco Giants selected their third-best draft prospect with their 11th-round pick. In terms of talent, McDonald belonged somewhere around the third round, and he was given an $800,000 signing bonus to forego a South Alabama commitment.
While he was listed as an outfielder as well in high school, McDonald’s long-term prospects were always on the mound. As a junior, he made waves by striking out 88 batters and posting a 1.49 ERA. Back then, his main tool was pitchability and an advanced feel for a breaking ball that he paired with a high 80s fastball that touched 91 mph.
He took some time off from throwing to give his arm a break following the summer of his junior year, and he also added 20 pounds of muscle. That approach paid off. As a senior, he maintained 91-93 mph velocity on his fastball and touched 95 mph, while his curveball continued to look like a potential plus pitch.
He’s also thrown a changeup occasionally that he will need to further develop if he’s going to stick in the rotation. Still, the biggest question surrounds his violent delivery that has led some to believe he is destined for the bullpen.
McDonald will assuredly begin his career as a starter and if he can hold his gains in velocity he has the makings of a mid-rotation arm. However, if his velocity regresses and he fails to develop a third pitch, he may be relegated to a middle relief role.