SF Giants Post-Prospect Prospects:
#6 LHP Sam Selman
Acquired: Free-Agent (2019)
Future Value: 40
Career MLB Stats: 23 G, 22.1 IP, 3.22 ERA, 4.43 FIP, 4.0 BB/9, 10.1 K/9
Sam Selman worked last offseason at Driveline to maximize his fastball velocity and slider spin rate. He caught the Giants attention at Driveline’s pro day and was soon inked on a minor league pact before the 2019 season.
In 55 frames across two minor league levels, the southpaw dominated. After striking out 94 and posting a 2.29 ERA the Giants called him up for a cup of coffee. He appeared in ten games and recorded a 4.35 ERA alongside ten strikeouts.
While his minor league success did not immediately translate to major league performance. He looked poised to be an X-factor this season and appears to be reaching his potential.
In a similarly small sample this year, Selman has produced much more favorable results. Across 12 innings, Selman has generated a 2.25 ERA with a 2.98 FIP. His line includes 15 punchouts and an impressive 31 percent strikeout rate.
While his fastball won’t blow anyone away (sitting around just 90-92 mph), his slider’s elite horizontal movement and speed disparity in its fastball (averaging 80 mph) make it a legitimate plus pitch. Over his time in San Francisco, opposing hitters are just 7-52 with 1 double and 18 strikeouts against his slider. That’ll work.
Selman’s stuff doesn’t stand out on the eye test but results are the ultimate decider. According to Baseball Savant, Selman has been one of the best relievers in baseball. His average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, expected opponent slugging percentage, and barrel-rate all rank above the 95th percentile among all pitchers.
I was expecting Selman to rank in the high 35+ tier heading into these rankings. After looking deeper into his season, it’s hard to deny he’s showing a legitimate high-leverage upside. While he doesn’t have a lot of room for error, even if this caliber of play isn’t sustainable, he looks like a solid middle-reliever.