SF Giants prospects position preview chat: Relief pitchers

SF Giants pitcher Camilo Doval (75) throws against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning at loanDepot Park. (Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports)
SF Giants pitcher Camilo Doval (75) throws against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning at loanDepot Park. (Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports) /
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SF Giants, Kervin Castro, SF Giants Prospects
Salem-Keizer’s Kervin Castro pitches during the home opener against the Boise Hawks at Volcanoes Stadium on Friday, June 14. /

Around the Foghorn contributor, Wrenzie Regodon and co-site expert Marc Delucchi are beginning the season with some discussions about the SF Giants’ minor-league depth at each position. They’ve discussed the organizations catching, middle infield, corner infield, and outfield already and now are looking at the team’s relief-pitching prospects.

SF Giants prospects position preview chat: Relievers (Part 1)

Marc Delucchi: SF Giants fans have gotten to see two of the best relievers in the system over the past week at the big-league level after Camilo Doval and Gregory Santos were promoted. I know you have a piece coming out later this week on what we saw in their debuts, but can you give a little sneak peek to readers about what you like about each of them?

Wrenzie Regodon: Yeah, I am going to write about the two that will be out in the middle of the week. It doesn’t take too much detail though, fans can see their stuff. Doval seemed destined to be a high-leverage reliever ever since popping up in the prospect ranks a couple of years ago. You can probably say the same thing about Santos in terms of stuff. Both have high-90s velocity with potential plus sliders.

MD: Yeah both are control more than command guys with premium stuff, and Giants fans saw that bite Santos in last night’s loss when Jesus Aguilar turned on a 97 mph fastball down the middle. Who else would you put in that top-tier reliever prospect with Santos and Doval?

WR: Definitely. Both never really showed fine command in the minors, especially Doval, but it takes a special pitcher to combine strong command with that kind of arsenal.

Another one that looks promising is Kervin Castro. He’s shown flashes of command when he was a starter in Salem-Keizer, the velocity ticked up when he moved to the bullpen, and is now also flashing a plus curveball while retaining that command. Like Doval and Santos, he does not have a lot of minor-league experience but he’s potentially a late-inning guy. I do wonder though why the Giants start to turn these guys to bullpen pieces so early in their careers.

M: Completely agree. Frankly, it’s a lot of service time manipulation prompted by Rule 5 draft eligibility. With fewer years before minor-league free agency, teams are incentivized to move international prospects to the bullpen before domestic players, which obviously has really negative consequences.

W: It really sucks to see that happen to be honest. I really wanted to see Castro continue as a starter because he is built for it. Even though Santos has a starter’s repertoire, I really did envision him as a power closer eventually. However, it’s a killer for them to not rack up the innings and experience.

M: To be honest, I thought we were going to see Castro get a big-league call before Santos because of his better feel for location. We’re pretty much in the same place on this it looks like since Santos, Castro, and Doval were in a tier of their own before the Melvin Adon, Tyler Cyr, and Patrick Ruotolo-type tier for me.

I was REALLY high on Santos’ prospects as a starter. Before I heard he was moved to the bullpen, he was going to rank in my top ten prospects in the organization (Castro would have ranked in the top 15). Instead, they ranked towards the back of the top 31.