Everything SF Giants fans need to know about the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels

Your in-depth guide to the Giants' Double-A roster with the deepest outfield corps in the system.
2023 breakout pitching prospect Hayden Birdsong leads the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2024
2023 breakout pitching prospect Hayden Birdsong leads the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2024 / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages
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The Richmond Flying Squirrels embarks on another season in the Eastern League in 2024. This year's roster is not as loaded as compared to the past couple of seasons that featured the biggest prospects in the SF Giants farm system in the Farhan Zaidi era, but its depth is still quite impressive and should make it a contender. Its pitching staff is one of the deepest among all Giants affiliates but the outfield talent and depth is the best with many prospects with talent and name recognition.

Everything SF Giants fans need to know about the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels

Dennis Pelfrey continues to lead the charge as the Flying Squirrels manager for the third straight season with all of the important personnel returning. The only additions are athletic trainer Tim Vigue who came via Eugene and strength and conditioning coach Michelle Kuda who came via San Jose. They shall lead the squad that has once again serious playoff aspirations but development should still be in the utmost priority as several of the prospects in the squad are looking to potentially reach the Majors in the next couple of seasons.

Prospects in the IL

Michael Stryffeler
Nick Zwack

Pitchers

John Michael Bertrand

Bertrand was a reliable presence in, San Jose, Eugene, and Richmond rotations last season. He served as some sort of a "veteran" presence for the pitching staff due to his relatively old age for the level. He has average control of his stuff with a low-90s sinker, a mid-80s slider, and a changeup that he throws from a 3/4 arm slot.

Hayden Birdsong (#12 prospect)

Birdsong soared through the ladder last season as he morphed into a potential mid-rotation starter. His fastball sits in the 92-97 mph range with good ride and some run from a high 3/4 slot. His best secondary pitch is his 81-85 mph slider with plenty of depth and some sweep that generates plenty of whiffs. His high-70s curveball is still a weapon that he generates good whiffs while his high-80s changeup needs work but flashes average at its very best. He needs to work on smoothening the edges, particularly his fastball control, but he has a prototypical power pitcher profile.

Jose Cruz

Cruz was one of the most volatile relievers in the Giants farm system last season, striking out a lot of batters but also giving up a lot of walks. His struggles stemmed from a worse fastball control while still retaining its 92-96 mph velocity from a low 3/4 arm slot. His inability to throw his fastball for consistent strikes hurt his mid-80s changeup's effectiveness. He also has yet to have a consistent pitch that moves glove-side (e.g. a slider) to become a weapon against righties.

Matt Frisbee

Frisbee continued to have a reduced role last season after crashing and burning in the second half of 2022. He still had some substantial role but was mainly limited to middle relief or as a set-up man. He's struggled to garner much strikeouts as well as limiting his walks with his low-90s fastball, slider, and changeup/splitter combination.

Nick Garcia

The Giants acquired Garcia in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft from the Rockies. One fun note is that Garcia was acquired by the Rockies from the Pirates in a trade involving former Giant Connor Joe. He struggled mightily as a starter last season and they prompted him to move to more bullpen duties towards the end of last season. He has a fastball that touches 96 mph and a mid-80s slider and changeup. One of his issues is the lack of deception in his delivery allowing hitters to barrel his relatively good stuff much more often.