Organizational strikeout leader among flurry of SF Giants prospect promotions

It is the season for promotions!
The future is chugging along!
The future is chugging along! / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Summer is definitely in full swing, not because of the temperature but because of the movement of prospects all over baseball now that the first half of the season is approaching. The SF Giants are no different as they recently announced a flurry of moves in the minors. As my colleagues honed in on the big league promotions of Raymond Burgos and Hayden Birdsong, I'll cover the rest of the Minor League promotions.

Organizational strikeout leader among flurry of SF Giants prospect promotions

The Giants announced promotions to Carson Ragsdale to Sacramento, Will Bednar, Turner Hill, and Seth Lonsway to Richmond, and Cesar Perdomo to Eugene.

Ragsdale has been the definition of a warrior ever since turning pro, battling several major injuries with the thoracic outlet syndrome being the latest roadblock to his pro career. He has continued to battle amidst the flurry of injuries. 2024 is the first time since 2021 that he's eclipsed 50 innings in a single season, and the results have been terrific.

The tall righty has a 3.49 ERA with 90 strikeouts, which leads the Eastern League, in 67 innings pitched. His Eastern League opponents only batted .197 against him. The only thing that negatively affects Ragsdale is the 11.5% walk rate which might balloon in the ABS-powered PCL. However, he will certainly get his fair share of whiffs with his mid-90s fastball, his plus curveball, and a cutter to throw hitters off-balanced.

Will Bednar's year is all about aggressive promotions. After working his way through his back injury that hurt his playing time and performance over the past couple of seasons, the former first-rounder is now off to Double-A, having only pitched just over 10 innings in both San Jose and Eugene.

The numbers are there for the 2021 top pick: a 3.38 ERA across two levels and 33 strikeouts in just 21.1 innings of work. The strike-throwing declined in Eugene with him allowing eight free passes in 11.1 innings of work, the stuff that made Bednar a hot commodity in the 2021 draft is back and possibly better than ever. The fastball flirted up to 97 mph in terms of pure velocity, the slider at best still looked like a world-beater, and a new and improved splitter that gives him a third pitch to get hitters off his fastball-slider combination.

Turner Hill continues to impress as the speedy outfielder is now more just a speedy outfielder as he added a bit of thump to his swing with a sizeable jump to his isolated power. His performance this season, but especially this month, is what prompted the Giants to promote him.

This month, he's definitely in need of better pitching as he batted .319 with 13 walks to just seven strikeouts to his name. His eight stolen bases and seven doubles did help. He's now entrenched himself in the conversation of the top 30 prospects in the organization after a strong first half to his 2024 season.

Lonsway always had the stuff since he was an amateur. It just takes time to hone it all in, and it looks like 2024 is the year for it to happen. 2024 is the year that Lonsway finally broke through the double-digit walk rate with a 7.3% rate, almost cutting last season's walk rate (13.3%) by half.

It did not come at the expense of his strikeouts. In fact, it went up slightly to 20.8%. As a result, he's now pitching to the tune of 3.86 ERA in 63 innings of work. He's always had the stuff to start with a low-90s bowling ball sinker, big curveball, solid slider, and a changeup rounding out his arsenal. It's time for him to prove in Richmond that the strike-throwing strides are real and not an aberration.

Last but not least, Perdomo is the best-performing pitcher in the San Jose pitching staff this year. The Venezuelan lefty sported a 1.26 ERA across 43 innings of work with 50 strikeouts and 11 walks. He's thrown the longest scoreless streak of any San Jose Giants pitcher this season, throwing 16 consecutive scoreless innings in May and June.

Perdomo might not have the biggest stuff with a low-90s sinker, slider, and a changeup arsenal but he has the feel for pitching in a starter's role. He was the starting pitcher in his latest outing before getting promoted to Eugene, throwing five innings of one-run ball with no walks and four strikeouts. He should take the role of Lonsway which should prompt for him to be featured in the rotation in the second half of the season.