SF Giants Prospects: 2021 Preseason Top 31 Rankings
SF Giants top prospects: No. 22 — RHP Matt Frisbee
Highest Level: High-A (San Jose)
Acquired: Draft (2018)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
It’s normally pretty hard for a collegiate 15th-round pick to crack prospect rankings after just one full professional season. However, that’s exactly what Matt Frisbee did after a dominant first minor-league season in 2019.
A starter for his entire career at UNC-Greensboro, Frisbee was immediately moved to the bullpen for his pro debut in 2018. In 20 relief appearances at Salem-Keizer, Frisbee struck out 36 batters and had a 2.96 ERA. Frisbee spent the following offseason preparing to work exclusively out of the bullpen.
When he returned to Giants camp, the new player development team under Farhan Zaidi had a different thought process. After a couple of relief appearances at Augusta, he was back in the rotation.
Frisbee became the second pitcher from the San Francisco Giants 2018 draft class to receive a promotion to High-A. In the California League, a hitter-friendly environment, Frisbee threw 116.1 innings, walked just 22, struck out 131, posted a strong 3.17 ERA, and earned San Jose’s Pitcher of the Year award.
His fastball sits in the 91-93 mph range and has touched 95 mph. It projects as a 50-grade pitch. His slider is his most developed secondary offering and projects as another 50 or possibly 55 offering. After struggling to find consistency with his changeup, Frisbee began implementing a splitter and reportedly made great strides in the year away from minor-league ball.
That repertoire is enough to make him a competent 4 or 5 starter if his command continues to develop. Without premium swing-and-miss stuff, Frisbee probably won’t be able to move to a high-leverage bullpen role if he’s unable to stick. However, he seems to be an ideal candidate for a Yusmeiro Petit or 9-12 out swingman role.