SF Giants Prospects Weekly Rundown: Rookie
Blake Rivera: 5 G, 3 W, 10.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 14 K, 2.61 ERA
Nick Morreale: 4 G, 4 GS, 8.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 15 K, 1.08 ERA
Cole Waites: 3 G, 1 W, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, 0.00 ERA
Ian Villers: 3 G, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 0.00 ERA
The Rookie rundown this week will mostly cover the pitchers doing their rehab assignments to switch things up. Blake Rivera is one of the most promising pitchers to breeze through the system once he gets converted to a reliever with the hopes of reaching high minors this season. However, shoulder injuries caused Rivera to miss the first three months of the season and begin his 2021 in Complex ball. He still has one of the nastiest breaking balls in the farm system with his hard knuckle-curve and now has flashed a good-looking slider to boot. Rivera could see time in the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost time.
Nick Morreale has seen competitive reps in Rookie ball after a strong start to his 2021 season in Eugene. Morreale has missed time due to an undisclosed injury that kept him from rolling through the season as a valuable part of the Emeralds rotation. He has shown the ability to hit 95 with his fastball and has a hard, cutter-like slider that he pounds the inner-third of lefty hitters. I expect him to be pitching once again in full-season ball as the season winds down.
The final pitcher that I want to highlight is Cole Waites. Entering this season, I was high on Waites and has selected him as one of my breakout prospects in pre-season as I am super impressed with his work in the offseason gaining velocity and having a sharper breaking ball. However, injuries have found their way into the right-hander that has limited his season in Rookie ball. After a dominant rehab stint in Arizona, Waites is now a part of the San Jose bullpen and I can’t wait for him to be the closer for the squad with his triple-digit heat.
Several of the 2021 draftees have started their professional careers in rookie ball as well. Hunter Dula, Tyler Myrick, Brett Standlee, and Ian Villers to name a few who have seen time and it is Villers that I am the most excited about. The 2021 eighth-round draft choice was ranked 169 in Baseball America’s 2021 Top 500 Draft prospect list. He can touch 96-97 MPH with his fastball but will sit in the low-90s for better control. He has an average slider that could turn to an above-average pitch with refinement. Villers is pitching in the bullpen right now but I could definitely see him pitch in the San Jose rotation next season as he has a full starter’s repertoire with a curveball and changeup. He is also young for the class as he is under 21 years old at draft day. The Giants have enjoyed some Day 2 breakouts under the Michael Holmes regime and Villers could be the next in line as he gets acclimated to pro ball.
Stay tuned to Around the Foghorn for the latest news and updates on SF Giants prospects.