SF Giants Prospects Weekly Rundown: High-A
Solomon Bates: 3 G, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 7 K, 3.60 ERA
Austin Reich: 4 G, 10 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 10 K, 2.70 ERA
Ryan Walker: 4 G, 4.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1.93 ERA
With the rotation having a collective ERA of 7.79 over the past two weeks spanning 12 starts with the lowest ERA belonging to Nick Avila with a 4.35 ERA, we are going back to the best relievers. The first standout reliever over the past two weeks is Solomon Bates. Excluding his rough outing when he allowed six earned runs in a spot start on July 10, he has a 2.00 ERA this month with 10 strikeouts, five of which came in his most recent outing where he pitched two spotless innings. The 2018 eighth-round selection has been below-average this season with a 5.40 ERA, but his recent form could be an indication of something better.
The transition from Low-A to High-A ball has been seamless for Austin Reich. An undrafted free agent signee in 2019, the right-hander from Northwestern State has been dominant this season across two levels, with 63 strikeouts in 39 innings of work with a 1.85 ERA. He manages to induce a 39.3% whiff rate thanks to his mid-90s fastball, a solid changeup, and a breaking ball, and he throws all three pitches consistently for strikes with an attack mentality. He’s been one of the best sleeper relievers in the farm system this year.
Speaking of sleepers, Ryan Walker has been dominant for the Emeralds in their bullpen all season long with a 2.23 ERA with a 45:5 strikeout to walk ratio in 32.1 innings of work. The 25-year old induces plenty of weak contact and a 32.3% whiff rate this season with his highly deceptive, extreme crossfire delivery that allows his low-90s sinker and slider to play up. I’ve been saying this for the past couple of months now: he deserves a Double-A promotion before the end of the season.