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, outfield, and relief pitching already and now finish the series looking at the team’s starting-pitching prospects.
SF Giants prospects position preview chat: Starters (Part 1)
Marc Delucchi: It’s fitting that finished up these talks on the weekend minor league rosters are announced.
Wrenzie Regodon: Yeah. Great timing! I am really excited! It seems like it’s been forever since we watched some minor league games!
MD: This group seems to be gaining a lot of momentum. The starting pitching was the clearest weakness in the system not too recently, and it still isn’t on par with the offensive potential, but Kyle Harrison really seems like a game-changing prospect.
WR: I was really hyped that the Giants took the shot last year drafting the De La Salle lefty. I was watching him and Tyler Soderstrom in the U-18 World Cup and they really stood out in the competition. There’s a saying that you don’t count your chickens before they hatch but boy, oh boy. Harrison looks legit and I really believed that there’s more potential in his left arm than most said during the draft. So far, so good.
M: The velocity jump is what is really so interesting to me. Harrison’s feel for pitching and a breaking ball made him a solid prospect, but sitting in the mid-90s really gives him top-of-rotation upside. I would have said Gregory Santos had that same type of upside, but now that he’s in the pen there isn’t anyone that strikes me with ace-type stuff.
W: When Harrison started flirting in the 97 to 98 mph range with his fastball, I started to get excited. We know that it’s only on one or two-inning stints. But him raising his velocity from 88-91 mph with Team USA to 91-93 mph in the months before the draft to now likely sitting 93-95 mph in San Jose while retaining his great feel for his stuff is really promising. The velocity gains seem natural as his body develops, and the tweaks to his mechanics (quicker tempo, less dip, shorter arm action) paired with his improving feel for his secondaries (curveball flashing plus at times) gives him a top-rotation potential in my opinion.
I agree that aside from Harrison, there’s no prospect in the organization that I can confidently say can anchor a rotation. However, there are other pitchers who can play their part as mid-rotation or back-end starters.