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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, Caleb Kilian
Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Caleb Kilian (32) throws in the first inning against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 2019 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. He was drafted by the SF Giants in the 2019 Draft. (Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)

SF Giants prospects position preview chat: Starters (Part 4)

M: So who are some names that people might not know that you could see cracking a rotation down the line?

W: There are a couple of names that I think are worthy of our attention this year. First is Caleb Kilian, the 8th round draft pick a couple of years ago. There’s innate deception in his mechanics and he has a good feel for his three-pitch mix. The velocity ticked up in pro ball, now hitting 94-95 regularly, and the curveball flashes plus at best. A sleeper that should not be slept on I should say.

The next two are really young, Conner Nurse and Esmerlin Vinicio. Nurse is being brought up slowly by the front office, but I am still a fan of him. Vinicio is the top pitching prospect signed by the Giants in the 2018-19 IFA cycle. Really projectable and has the ability to spin a curveball and replicate his arm speed with his changeup. Very promising but I am unsure how he will be affected by the DSL that looks to be only operating at half-capacity.

M: Totally agree on Nurse and Vinicio. Nurse is one of my top breakout candidates. There’s also a lot of players who this will be the last time they’ll get a chance to start too, Rivera, Jake Wong, and Prelander Berroa are obvious ones that come to mind (although I’m pretty sure Wong had an offseason surgery that could change that). Both have been two-pitch guys that haven’t dominated as starters and could follow Santos and Kervin Castro to the bullpen soon.

W: I agree with you there. I think that this the end is near for Rivera and Wong in terms of their starting pitcher aspirations. With Berroa, age is still by his side so there’s potential for him as a starter but the mechanics just screams reliever. Although to be honest, it’s pretty weird to see Wong be a reliever because of his full repertoire.

The most interesting prospect though is Chris Wright. He was drafted as a reliever but I’ve read somewhere that he now looks to be a starting pitcher heading to the 2021 season. I am unsure what to think about it, but it is interesting.

M: Sadly, I thought I saw someone from one of the teams mention that he’s a reliever, but we’ll see.

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