7. RHP Logan Webb
Acquired: 2014 draft (4th round)
Future Value: 45+
When Logan Webb has pitched as a pro, he’s consistently been one of the best pitching prospects in the San Francisco Giants system. Unfortunately, he’s logged just 342 innings since being selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.
Selected and signed out of Rocklin, California, his development was first stalled by Tommy John surgery in 2016. He re-emerged on prospect radars in 2018 when he began the season at High-A San Jose by striking out a batter an inning and holding opponents to a 1.82 ERA. He then held his own in a late promotion to Double-A.
This season, back at Double-A, he looked to be playing himself into another promotion before his development was stalled again. This time, he was slapped with an 80-game PED suspension. Webb adamantly maintains his innocence, but he still lost crucial time against advanced hitters.
He pitched effectively upon returning to earn a promotion to Triple-A and made just one start in the Pacific Coast League before making his MLB debut on August 17.
Like Mauricio Dubon, Webb was just shy of losing his rookie/prospect eligibility when the season ended. While his 5.22 ERA at the MLB level wasn’t pretty, his peripherals left plenty of room for excitement. His 4.12 FIP and 3.89 xFIP were both very good, especially when you take into account that he won’t be 23 until December.
Webb played quarterback in high school and that above-average athleticism carries over on the mound. Originally, Webb was primarily a two-pitch, fastball-slider pitcher. However, he threw his changeup over 20 percent of the time in the bigs this year. When opponents connected, they generally squared up the changeup, but it also generated a strong 30.9 percent whiff-rate.
His slider remains his best pitch, generating a 35.9 percent whiff-rate and limiting MLB hitters to a .158 average and identical slugging percentage.
Webb has long been projected for a high-leverage relief role with a dominant two-pitch mix, but there’s a chance he can be an effective back-of-the-rotation starter even if the changeup is fringy at best. If the changeup develops further, he has the potential to be a No. 3 starter.
I first compared Webb to a young Jeff Samardzija in my midseason prospect rankings and I stand by that assessment now. The Shark began his career shifting between the rotation and bullpen and he’s had his fair share of ups and downs as the league has adjusted to him and he’s had to respond. Webb seems destined to follow a similar path.
Given the clear questions in the San Francisco Giants rotation, Webb will almost certainly be on the MLB roster in some capacity on Opening Day. Whether it’s as a traditional starter, a multi-inning bridge pitcher, or a reliever will depend on his development and the team’s offseason moves.