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Best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s: 35. Reyes Moronta

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Reyes Moronta #54 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch in the seventh inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Reyes Moronta #54 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch in the seventh inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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With electric stuff and strong 2019 numbers, Reyes Moronta could be the closer of the future for the San Francisco Giants.

The San Francisco Giants signed Reyes Moronta out of the Dominican Republic as part of the 2010 international free-agent class.

While it took him some time to establish himself as a legitimate prospect, Moronta eventually ranked among the team’s top 30 prospects prior to the 2017 (No. 12) and 2018 (No. 15) seasons, according to Baseball America.

The 2016 season was the turning point in his development.

In a full season at the High-A level, he posted a 2.59 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with a staggering 93 strikeouts in 59 innings while racking up 14 saves in 60 appearances.

After continuing to rack up punchouts at an impressive rate the following season, he made his MLB debut on Sept. 5, 2017. He appeared in seven games following his promotion, posting a 2.70 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

He broke camp with a spot in the San Francisco Giants bullpen the following year and he’s been in the majors ever since, displaying some of the best swing-and-miss stuff in baseball.

  • 2018: 69 G, 12 HLD, 2.49 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 5.1 BB/9, 10.9 K/9
  • 2019: 55 G, 15 HLD, 2.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 5.1 BB/9, 11.1 K/9

With a fastball that averages 97.5 mph and a wipeout slider that has limited hitters to a .096 ISO and accounted for 37 of his 70 strikeouts this year, according to Brooks Baseball.

It’s his 5.1 BB/9 walk rate over the past two seasons that raises some questions about his ability to handle the closer gig.

Still, incumbent closer Will Smith has taken him under his wing and provided some valuable lessons.

“He taught me to trust myself and forget what happens today,” Moronta told reporters of his relationship with Smith. “If you have a bad outing, let it go and move on. If you keep thinking about the bad things, you’re not going to grow and you’re not going to learn. You’re not going to last.”

Unless the San Francisco Giants make an offseason addition, all signs point to Moronta getting a real shot to rack up saves next year. With team control through the 2023 season, he has a chance to be an integral part of the club’s long-term plans.

Next. 36. Tony Watson

Check back here regularly as we count down the 50 best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s.

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