SF Giants Rule 5 Draft Preview

New York Yankees pitcher Trevor Stephan (81) pitches during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher Trevor Stephan (81) pitches during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports) /
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SF Giants, Addison Russ
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Addison Russ throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Could he be in the SF Giants bullpen next season? (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) /

Rule 5 Draft Pitchers: Riley Pint (Rockies), Parker Dunshee (Athletics), Paul Campbell (Rays), Garrett Whitlock (Yankees), Oliver Ortega (Angels), Dauris Valdez (Padres), David Parkinson (Phillies), Addison Russ (Phillies)

Riley Pint was a top-five pick by the Rockies who still throws hard, but has never consistently thrown strikes. Parker Dunshee has been a very effective starter at every level throughout his career, before struggling a bit at Triple-A in 2019, but his peripherals stayed respectable with the exception of home runs. He’s not a high-upside arm but could be a backend starter or long reliever if he can adjust to the juiced ball.

Paul Campbell is another unique Rays arm coming through the pipeline. His fastball sits at 92 mph and tops out around 95 mph, but he generates tremendous spin on it and his curveball, which remains his best pitch. He has never produced a high number of strikeouts but has been effective at limiting walks and hard contact as a starter. Perhaps a move to the bullpen could help him add a couple of ticks to reach another level.

Garrett Whitlock looked like a fast-moving starting pitcher but had to undergo Tommy John surgery in the middle of the 2019 season. Before his injury, he made 14 starts and posted a solid 3.07 ERA at Double-A. He has shown more consistent velocity than Howard, but it’s a straighter pitch and grades out quite similarly. Whitlock also throws a slider and changeup that could be average big-league pitches. He’s unlikely to ever be exceptional but has three potential average big-league pitches and good enough command to be a solid fourth starter.

Oliver Ortega is another pitcher with a mid to upper 90s fastball that’s been effective (but not dominant) at High-A as a starter. Paired with a 12-6 curveball he could be a close to big-league ready reliever. He’s currently pitching out of the pen at the Dominican Winter League, so teams should be able to get some better looks at the 24-year old in the role he’d likely play if he’s selected in the Rule 5.

Dauris Valdez is a burly 6’8”-254 pitcher that has the stuff it looks like he does. His fastball has touched 102 mph, he has a changeup that looks like a future above-average pitch, and his slider has come along as well. His walks were a bit high at Double-A in 2019, but far from unplayable. Even if it does not work out, he’ll be fun to watch for whichever fanbase he plays in front of. He’s also at the Dominican Winter League.

A left-handed starter drafted out of the University of Mississippi, David Parkinson has relied on mixing his pitches well and command to dominate the lower minors and find decent success at Double-A. He posted better strikeout numbers than you expect from someone with his profile so he could be a name to watch for a more analytically inclined front-office like the Giants.

Addison Russ posted a 2.54 ERA and recorded 22 saves with strong peripherals (81 strikeouts to 20 walks) at Double-A. Plus, he wears sports goggles. As a former little league pitcher with sports goggles, the Rec Specs earn him some extra attention.