SF Giants Prospects: 2021 Preseason Top 31 Rankings
SF Giants top prospects: No. 14 — LHP Nick Swiney
Highest Level: NCAA (NC State)
Acquired: Draft (2020)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
SF Giants scouting director Michael Holmes built his reputation working in the Carolinas, and he’s been very keen on tapping into his experience over the past two draft cycles. When the Giants selected Nick Swiney with the 66th pick in the 2020 draft, he joined former NC State teammates Will Wilson and Patrick Bailey in San Francisco’s system.
Coming into this spring, Swiney was an intriguing pop-up prospect, moving from the Wolfpack bullpen to rotation. The pandemic shortened season left evaluators just four official starts to work off of. He was undeniably dominant, striking out 42, walking just 6, posting a 1.29 ERA across 28 innings of work, and the Giants were willing to bet on that breakout.
Swiney fits the pitching profile that the Giants have favored since Holmes took over. The southpaw doesn’t have traditional overpowering stuff. His fastball has good movement but sits in the low-90s out of the rotation. His thin 6’3” frame could be a place to look for more velocity, but weight gain will probably be more necessary to handle the wear and tear of a full season than help him add velo.
His changeup and curveball are his best offerings. The breaking ball projects as above-average and gets some plus grades. However, he made substantial strides with his changeup in the winter before his junior season, and it looks like a future above-average pitch as well. If it all comes together, he has mid-rotation potential, but his deep arsenal should play in a long-relief/swingman role if his command regresses.