2022 Pre-Season SF Giants Prospects: 30-21
21. R.J. Dabovich
Weight: 208 lbs.
Projected Level: Sacramento (Triple-A)
MLB ETA: 2022
Tool Grades: (Present/Future)
FB 70/70 | CB 55/60 | CMD 40/50
PV 40 | FV 40
The fourth-round draft choice by San Francisco a year ago, Dabovich is looking like the first prospect out of the Giants 2020 class to make it to the big leagues as he breezed through both the High-A and Double-A levels in 2021 with his stellar pitching in relief, serving as the primary closer for Eugene before splitting time between a set-up man and closer with Richmond.
After flashing a four-pitch mix in his draft-eligible season, Dabovich shelved his changeup and morphed his slider and curveball into a power knuckle curve. Dabovich can reach 100 MPH with his fastball, usually sitting in the 95-98 MPH range, which has plenty of ride and some late, tailing movement. His mid-80s knuckle-curve is mostly an above-average pitch, flashing plus with bat-missing break.
Dabovich hides the ball well behind his body and his pitching motion has a spine tilt and an open front leg that naturally results in him staying on top of the ball consistently with an over-the-top release point. His mechanics allow him to tunnel his fastball and curveball consistently, and repeat his arm slot enough to fill the zone but have issues with fine command.
It feels like Dabovich is a finished product that is ready to hit the big leagues whenever the front office ever needed him to. His overpowering pure stuff with enough strike-throwing and tenacity projects him as a dependable member of the bullpen for the next five years with the potential of being the next long-term closer for the Giants. The only hurdle that Dabovich has to get over is facing AAA competition in a hitter-friendly environment.