Top SF Giants Draft Pick Throwing Heat At Instructional League

SF Giants hat. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SF Giants hat. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
SF Giants, Kyle Harrison
SF Giants prospect Kyle Harrison is posting some surprising radar gun readings in Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

The SF Giants third-round pick in the 2020 MLB draft Kyle Harrison has flashed some impressive velocity, per the team.

When the SF Giants drafted southpaw Kyle Harrison out of nearby De La Salle High School with the 85th overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft, most scouting reports described a pitchability lefty with low-90s velocity. His best tools were his advanced control and feel for a curveball.

Soon after, reports revealed that Harrison would receive an above-slot $2.5 million signing bonus to forego his commitment to UCLA and turn pro; many were surprised. Most pre-draft rankings considered Harrison a second or third round prospect without front-line upside. However, that bonus was more in-line with a late first-round pick’s slot value.Fans may have gotten their first explanation of why the Giants were so high on the local product with a video released by the team’s official prospect Twitter account on Saturday. The post shows highlights from Harrison’s most recent outing at the Instructional League in Arizona. The post says, “2020 3rd round pick Kyle Harrison struck out 4 yesterday in 2 innings, reaching 97 MPH.”

Seeing any prospect have success against professional competition after such an abnormal 2020 season is impressive. Harrison racking up four strikeouts in just two innings, fresh out of high school, particularly stands out. On top of his statistical success, a pitch velocity of 97 mph is easily the highest reading on his fastball that anyone has seen.

Given Harrison’s already advanced feel for pitching and a breaking ball, if his fastball can gain enough velocity just to sit in the mid-90s, his ceiling takes a massive jump. If he can routinely reach back and hit 97 mph, he could develop into a legitimate ace.

It’s important to remember that pitchers are well rested after not pitching in organized ball in 2020 and the Giants PR department is the only source of this information. Still, Harrison has already done something many did not know he was capable of less than six months after he was drafted. That’s a heckuva start.

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Following the draft, Kyle Harrison ranked as the SF Giants 18th best prospect in Around the Foghorn’s updated prospect rankings. However, if he continues having success and maintains this jump in velocity, he could soon be among the five best prospects in the organization. Without a clear high-upside pitching prospect already in the team’s minor-league depth, Harrison may be exactly what they need.