First impressions on the 2021 SF Giants pitching class
Sixth-round pick: Seth Lonsway
2022 stats: 3 G, 11 IP, 4 H, 1 HBP, 0.00 ERA, 14.6 BB%, 26.8 K%
First impression: Better than what I expected.
You might look at the stats and say "oh my god, 14.6% walk rate bad! However, plainly looking at the walk rate will not tell the full story. His strike rate is actually average at 63% and when you watch his outings, he is a much better strike-thrower than his career 6.1 BB/9 in college. His fastball flashed command at times where he hit spot it glove-side with comeback sinking action, and his slider and trademark curveball are all bangers. Lonsway has so much movement with his pitches that he will get ahead in the count but walk the guy because he will throw a curveball in the dirt. That's kind of the double-edged sword that Lonsway has to play. If there is a pitch execution metric, Lonsway would fare much better as he often tends to miss the nitro zone with his pitches and he often buries his curveball in the dirt which is actually where you want it in two-strike counts. Overall, Lonsway impressed me and he might be a reliever long-term but he has the talent to make it to the big leagues as long as he can continue throwing like this but cut down on the walks to make his stats look good.
Seventh-round pick: Nick Sinacola
2022 stats: 3 G (1 GS), 9 IP, 4 H, 3.00 ERA, 11.1 BB%, 36.1 K%
First impression: As advertised (at least based on what I heard a month ago).
There was some chatter down in the Arizona backfields before the 2022 season started that Sinacola is one of the 'wow' guys. His first three starts of the season, aside from his second, have been pretty impressive and were as expected. He was sitting in the 88-91 MPH range back in college and now he's in the 92-93 MPH range, peaking at 96 MPH, with a good downhill plane. The talk about him in his college days is his propensity to throw the gyro slider a lot but I am actually impressed with the development of his third pitch that's his split-change. It is a legit weapon against both lefties and righties that gives him a legitimate three-pitch mix and he also has a true curveball as his fourth pitch. I have seen that he's been compared to Ryan Murphy as being a pitchability guy from a small school but comparing them might be a bit rich as Sinacola does not have the true command of the strike zone that Murphy has. I think Sinacola has legitimate top 30 talent, the only matter is where to slot him.
Eighth-round pick: Ian Villers
2022 stats: 3 G, 3 IP, 1 H, 1 HBP, 3.00 ERA, 25.0 BB%, 12.5 K%
First impression: A bit disappointing.
I actually have a good amount of expectation for Villers coming into the season as a young, tall guy with good stuff that could potentially make the jump from the bullpen into the rotation. It all turned sour after three outings and there is one key component driving his disappointing start of the 2022 season: control. I have seen him pitch and it seemed like he is not comfortable on the mound, his mechanics look off, and his pitch execution is nowhere the standard.
Ninth-round pick: Mat Olsen
2022 stats: 3 G, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0.00 ERA, 6.9 BB%, 41.4 K%
First impression: Has great stuff but is more of a reliever than a starter.
Olsen serves as the piggyback starter to Matt Mikulski and I am pretty impressed with his pitching so far this season. Olsen looked like ditched his windup and threw exclusively out of the stretch. Like plenty of the pitchers the Giants drafted, Olsen also had a velocity jump and has his fastball velocity peak at 97 MPH. However, it looks like he is mostly throwing fastball-curveball against both lefty and righty bats and that gives me some worry about his potential role. His up-tempo and dynamic delivery does not exactly help the cause either. I also worry about his true command as even though the strike-throwing is there, the execution has been worse than I expected. All in all, this is a dynamic arm that has enough stuff to make it to the big leagues as a reliever.
12th-round pick: Landen Roupp
2022 stats: 3 G, 10 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0.00 ERA, 8.3 BB%, 38.9 K%
First impression: Roupp can spin it.
There is a saying that "if you can spin it, you can spin it" and Roupp definitely can spin a baseball. Yes, Roupp might be 23 years old but it's easy to see why the Giants drafted him. He can really spin a breaking ball from a true slider to a slower curveball. Both pitches have good sweep and he can really toy with its movement to give hitters a variety of looks. Roupp knows his strengths as he throws his breaking ball more than half of the time, limiting a hitter's look to his low-90s fastball that has some sink but its overall shape is a bit worrying. This is a guy who can reach the Majors in their late-20s mainly because of how good his breaking ball is and the potential to shape his fastball better.
14th-round pick: Tyler Myrick
2022 stats: 4 G, 4.1 IP, 8 H, 8.31 ERA, 4.5 BB%, 22.7 K%
First impression: Looks pretty good albeit a bit wild.
Myrick's ERA seems pretty ballooned but in terms of sheer stuff, Myrick definitely has some good stuff. His fastball touches 98 MPH and he can attack hitters vertically with his power slider. The thing that separates Myrick from Roupp is their control. Myrick throws with max effort and that has an effect on his control. He does however attack the outside third of right-handed batters pretty well but there have been more missed spots than well-executed pitches. Honestly, I'll take Roupp and Myrick over Villers right now but Villers has the advantage of being younger.
17th-round pick: Brett Standlee
2022 stats: 5 G, 4.2 IP, 7 H, 2 HBP, 5.79 ERA, 7.4 BB%, 25.9 K%
First impression: A decent reliever.
Standlee is the only one in last year's draft class to start his 2022 season in High-A as he is currently pitching for the Eugene Emeralds. I think his status as a long-time closer in college earned him the bump to avoid the logjam of pitchers in San Jose. Standlee has battled some control issues so far this season and has some bad BABIP luck. However, the thing that separated Standlee from both Myrick and Roupp is that Standlee's velocity is not on par with Myrick and he also does not have as good of an ability to spin a breaking ball, unlike Roupp.
18th-round pick: Hunter Dula
2022 stats: 4 G, 5 IP, 4 H, 0.00 ERA, 10.0 BB%, 30.0 K%
First impression: Not bad, not bad at all.
The start of the 2022 season has not been bad at all for Dula who is entering his first full season of being a pitcher. Dula has a good-looking arm action, can pump his fastball up to 94 MPH with life above the zone, and has a good slider to pair up his heater. There are some strike-throwing issues that are pretty common for someone who's exclusively throwing in his first full season of pro ball, but I've seen him execute in big spots pretty well.