2022 Pre-Season SF Giants Prospects: 20-11
15. Nick Swiney
Weight: 185 lbs.
Projected Level: Eugene (High-A)
MLB ETA: 2024
Tool Grades: (Present/Future)
FB 40/45 | CH 60/70 | CB 50/55 | CMD 40/50
PV 30 | FV 40
Assigned conservatively to San Jose at the start of the 2021 season, Swiney was poised to shove through the competition with an impressive pro debut. He then suffered a concussion in a weird off-field incident that caused him to miss the next 11 weeks. After a rehab stint in the Arizona backfields, Swiney was back in San Jose and shoved through the competition during the final month of action.
Swiney has the best off-speed pitch in the farm system with his changeup that flashes plus-plus. It has plenty of fade, big velocity separation to his fastball, and commands it on both sides of the strike zone. His spike curveball is his second-best pitch that drops in like a rainbow at times but he flashes command with it, especially inside against righties. His fastball is his worst pitch, a high-80s offering with good rising action that gives a big vertical break difference to his changeup but stays relatively straight.
The expectation entering this season is to have Swiney gain weight to increase his velocity and iron out the head whack in his delivery to improve his strike-throwing. He did iron out the head whack by slowing his tempo down, particularly in the final phases of his delivery, but his frame stayed relatively the same, and with a slowed-down delivery, it is tough to imagine gaining velocity via mechanical adjustments.
Swiney will probably continue to junkball his way through the Minors because of how good his changeup is and how fringy his fastball is without the necessary velocity increase. His control of the zone improved a bit after cleaning up his mechanics, but he is still more control than command. His changeup alone will carry Swiney to the big leagues as a solid relief option, but he needs his velocity to improve to stick in a big-league rotation.