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SF Giants Prospects

SF Giants pitching prospects week in review (7/25-7/31)

SF Giants pitcher Sean Hjelle (84), who is 6'11' helps out photographers so he so he fits in the seamless backdrop during spring training media day at Scottsdale Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
SF Giants pitcher Sean Hjelle (84), who is 6'11' helps out photographers so he so he fits in the seamless backdrop during spring training media day at Scottsdale Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Ryan Murphy, SF Giants Prospects
SF Giants hat in the dugout. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

SF Giants Prospects Weekly Rundown: Low-A

Notable Performers

Ryan Murphy: 1 G, 1 GS, 1 W, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K, 0.00 ERA
Prelander Berroa: 1 G, 1 GS, 1 W, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 10 K, 1.80 ERA
Juan Sanchez: 2 G, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 9 K, 1.80 ERA

Two starting pitchers in the San Jose rotation put an exclamation mark on an eye-popping July. First, is Ryan Murphy who was absolutely brilliant this month with a 1.74 ERA and struck out an eye-popping 48.7% of hitters faced and posted a 38.65% whiff rate. I got a chance to talk to Ryan before his well-deserved promotion to Eugene where he detailed the adjustments that he made to unlock a new gear on the mound. With above-average secondaries to pair with his above-average control and 91-95 MPH tailing fastball on the mound, the 21-year old had the look of a second-round pitcher if he decided to enter the draft this year.

Another pitcher who had a fantastic July is Prelander Berroa. He was incredible this month with a 1.60 ERA and he’s struck out 44 batters in 33.2 innings of work while only allowing nine walks across six starts. The thing that put Berroa slightly behind Murphy in terms of overall dominance this month in my opinion is the strikeout rate, with Berroa only striking out 33.85% of batters faced and only had a 28.4% whiff rate. His high-90s tailing fastball that he was flashing command was more than enough against Low-A competition but the 21-year old definitely needs to improve the location and execution of his vertical slider that often hangs in the upper half of the zone as well as refining his changeup. If he can do that within the next 8 months, the sky is the limit for him.

Out of the bullpen, Venezuela lefty Juan Sanchez has flashed the swing and miss stuff in the San Jose bullpen all season long with a near 40% strikeout rate and 36.2% whiff rate. Since his last nine games, however, he took his game to another level with a 1.62 ERA and a 43.33% strikeout rate. The big left-hander generates a high number of swing and miss that results to strikeouts by sticking to a simple gameplan: utilize his fastball and curveball against lefties, and his fastball and changeup to righties. He has an interesting windup with good stuff across the board. He is an interesting prospect to follow.

Before I end the San Jose Giants review, I’m going to say a few words about Ivan Armstrong. The big fella has been interesting follow out of the pen this season and he’s met my expectations this season as a big reliever with the ability to touch 98 MPH with a near side-arm slot and a pretty nasty slider. The Angels got themselves a solid relief building block as the final piece in the Tony Watson trade.

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