The San Francisco Giants have agreed to a deal with third-round pick Kyle Harrison that includes a $2.5 million signing bonus.
Monday morning multiple sources informed Around the Foghorn that the Giants had agreed to pay their lone high school selection in this week’s draft, southpaw Kyle Harrison out of De La Salle High School (CA), a $2.5 million signing bonus to forego his commitment to UCLA. Roughly an hour later, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed that the Giants had signed the local product.
In our draft wrapup, the Harrison pick received the highest grade among the Giants selections, but we noted that he would receive a “well-above slot bonus.” While the Giants were able to wait until the 85th overall pick to nab him, Harrison was viewed as a mid-second round pick by many prospect rating outlets.
Still, a $2.5 million signing bonus is equivalent to the slot value between the 27th and 28th overall picks in the draft. Thus, the Giants view Harrison as at least a late-first round prospect. On the surface that appears like a large departure from industry consensus, but opinions on prep prospects, especially pitchers, have an extremely large variance. In fact, one industry source not connected with the Giants said he saw “first-round potential” in Harrison.
With the strange pandemic-shortened season, opinions on high school prospects were likely even more disparate than usual. Harrison has a stronger track record than most arms his age and his presence in the Giants backyard likely gave them the opportunity to feel extra comfortable with his prospects.
His profile isn’t too dissimilar from Trevor McDonald, an over-slot prep pitcher the Giants nabbed last year. Both players put on some weight prior to their senior seasons and already had solid reputations as pitchability prospects. Furthermore, they have both showed the ability to hold low-90s velocity on a fastball with strong spin rates that plays up.
Harrison, unlike McDonald, throws lefthanded and Harrison has a slider that has the potential to be a plus offering. His changeup is his least developed pitch, but still has the makings of an average big-league pitch. Altogether, Harrison has a clear starter’s repertoire and his ceiling will follow his body’s development.
He’s not particularly large, listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, but does appear to have a bit more projection in his body that could add velocity if he fills out further. While he is very comfortable on the mound, his mechanics aren’t as clean as one might expect and he does tend to short arm some of his pitches. Granted, it’s plausible that some dynamic development of his mechanics could further tap some velocity as well.
As with any draft prospect, Harrison has plenty of learning and development to come, but he’s no doubt a premium addition to the Giants farm system. Barring some unprecedented surprise, he will receive the second-highest bonus in the Giants class (behind first-round pick Patrick Bailey) and it likely means nearly all of their remaining picks have agreed to take below-slot bonuses.
The slot-value on the 85th pick was just $710,000, nearly $1.8 million less than the figure reported by ATF and Schulman. San Francisco had just over $460,000 to play with, per MLB rules, but that still requires the sum of their remaining picks bonuses sums up around $1.35 million under slot.