SF Giants prospects: Midseason 2021 rankings
4. Kyle Harrison, LHP
Highest Level: Low-A (San Jose)
Acquired: Draft (2020)
Future-Value Grade: 50
The SF Giants drafted Kyle Harrison with the 85th overall selection in last summer’s draft but paid him a lucrative $2.5MM signing bonus equivalent to the slot-value of a late first-round pick to forego his commitment to UCLA. If the 2020 draft was redone today, Harrison would probably be the first prep pitcher selected.
Harrison showed excellent ability to mix his pitches at local De La Salle High School with a potential plus curveball, average changeup, and low-90s fastball. His mechanics were somewhat inconsistent, and his arm got caught behind his body at times. However, he flashed mid-rotation upside.
Then, after the draft, Harrison bulked up and came into fall instructs consistently hitting the mid-90s and even touching 97 mph. By the time his first professional season rolled around, Harrison’s more traditional loopy curveball had been refined into a sharp slider alongside some improvements in the arm action on his changeup.
Assigned to Low-A San Jose in his first professional season, Harrison’s fastball has maintained velocity in the mid-90s for the entire season while his secondary pitches have continued developing as well. Harrison has racked up 129 strikeouts in just 82.2 innings pitched, but erratic control (46 walks and 12 hit batters) has prevented him from being as dominant as his stuff and strikeout rate might suggest. Still, Harrison’s 3.70 ERA is nothing to scoff at given his youth.
Young pitchers with strikeout stuff and iffy command come with significant risks and Harrison is no different. Following the 2019 season, Seth Corry’s scouting report read a lot like Harrison’s and he’s stalled this year at High-A. Still, just because pitching prospects have a high rate of attrition, it doesn’t mean that anyone should ignore Harrison overpowering pro hitters before his 20th birthday.
While Harrison’s body seems to already be maxed out, he already has the arsenal to be an ace. Granted, Harrison’s command would need to take some immense steps forward to reach that point. Assuming his control develops at a good, but more foreseeable, rate, Harrison profiles similarly to Blake Snell, who racks up strikeouts with ace-like flashes, but has been more of a mid-rotation arm due to inconsistent command.