SF Giants: 5 Potential First-Round Selections to Watch
SF Giants Way-Too-Early 2021 MLB Draft Targets:
2. Thatcher Hurd, RHP, Mira Costa High School (UCLA Commit)
After signing southpaw Kyle Harrison away from a UCLA commitment last year, the Giants could do so again if they target prep righty Thatcher Hurd. Hurd was originally a two-way player and committed to UC Santa Barbara. Then he exploded on the showcase circuit last summer on the mound and recommitted to the more prestigious Pac-12 program. While UCLA commits tend to be particularly hard to sign, Hurd is trending into the back of the first round. However, the Giants might view his upside on the mound as worthy of their first-round selection at 14.
Hurd is an athletic 6’4” pitcher with plenty of room to continue filling out. His motion is easy, repeatable, and generates strong-arm action. He has shown a fantastic feel for a breaking ball that looks like a potential plus pitch alongside a changeup that is still very early in its development but looks like another potential big-league offering as well. His fastball primarily sits in the low-90s, but most expect him to continue adding velocity as he matures.
Most importantly, Hurd has shown an early ability to generate elite spin on his breaking ball and fastball. The Giants have consistently bet on their ability to develop pitchers with projectable frames, a good feel for breaking balls, and high spin-rate heaters. Andrew Painter is the consensus top high school pitching prospect at the moment, but the Giants have leaned towards long-athletic pitchers with draft-year bumps in velocity. That tendency leads me to believe they might prefer Hurd if both prep arms are available when they pick.