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SF Giants prospects position preview chat: Starting pitching

Jun 21, 2018; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Caleb Kilian (32) throws against the Florida Gators in the first inning in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. (Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)
Jun 21, 2018; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Caleb Kilian (32) throws against the Florida Gators in the first inning in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. (Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Sam Long, SF Giants Prospects
SF Giants Sam Long poses during media day at Scottsdale Stadium. (MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports)

SF Giants prospects position preview chat: Starters (Part 2)

M: Yeah I’m high on Sam Long’s chances, but it’s hard to have a lot of confidence in him sticking in the rotation. Blake Rivera is another one who has that premium stuff that I like to bet on, but we’ll have to see how it plays and how long the Giants will give him to start. Plus, Rivera is not on a minor-league roster, so he’s probably dealing with an injury to start the season.

W: Long was a shrewd find by the front office, and I wish him lots of success. However, I am really still on the “Long is a reliever” boat. Age is not really on his side. It’s disappointing that we did not see Rivera in any roster. I hope the injury is not serious because when he is on, he is as good as any pitcher in the system in terms of generating whiffs.

M: Definitely. Seth Corry and Sean Hjelle have kind of gotten buried by the emergence of Harrison and Long without a minor-league season. What do you see their potential as at this point?

W: It was interesting that we did not see any Corry and Hjelle news, especially Hjelle after he was pegged as the most-ready starting pitcher in the farm system. I just keep in the back of my mind that the Giants are being considerate to Hjelle in that his newborn child was born right when the league shut down their operations last year. But this year, we’ve seen him pitch at minor league camp.

I’m still a big believer of the two, to be honest. Corry when he’s on can locate his fastball to his glove-side with a changeup and curveball that flashed above-average to plus. The question is how consistent will he be in terms of his control and command. Corry really gives me the lefty Logan Webb vibes because everything that he throws moves, is a fine athlete, but will suffer from consistency issues.

If there was a minor league season last year, it is probably safe to say that Hjelle could’ve made his MLB debut late in the season. He’s as advanced as they come, even with generally average stuff. His release height gives the Giants another unique vantage point for hitters to face. Imagine trying to hit Tyler Rogers then Hjelle! I really see Hjelle as a back-end starter with a pitchability profile. Extracting more velocity out of Hjelle might be the job for the big league coaches to figure out.

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