SF Giants MLB Draft 2020 recap: Uninspiring picks but system shows improvement
SF Giants 67th pick overall: Pitcher Nick Swiney, North Carolina State University
It did not take long for Zaidi to establish his affinity for products from North Carolina State University. Swiney is the third high pick the Giants have collected from that school in the last two years. It must be something in the water.
This is just a guess, but the Giants seem to have a preference for left-handed pitchers. At every stop in Zaidi’s career, his teams tended to lean a little more in favor of southpaws.
As a left-handed hurler, Swiney is another name to add to the mix. He has never had a problem racking up the strikeout totals as he has collected 174 strikeouts across 115.1 innings in three collegiate seasons.
With a career 4.3 BB/9 ratio, the southpaw has battled command issues at times. In his first two seasons, Swiney split time between the rotation and bullpen. However, he worked exclusively out of the rotation in his brief showing in 2020 where he demonstrated improved command.
The hurler features a three-pitch mix that includes a low 90s fastball that he pairs with a curveball and changeup. The curveball currently grades as a plus pitch while the changeup really showed improvement in 2020 before the season was suspended.
I will add that, in my experience, left-handed hurlers with good curveballs tend to do well in the lower minor league levels. I would not be surprised to see Swiney quickly ascend to the higher minor league ranks.
His future role remains undetermined since his stuff plays up out of the bullpen. Though, the hope is he can stick as a starter, especially given his high draft status.