Pair of top SF Giants prospects receive early-season promotions

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants / Abbie Parr/GettyImages

If you were hoping to see pitching prospect Carson Whisenhunt in a San Jose Giants uniform, you might have missed your chance. The lefty pitcher was promoted to High-A, but he was not the only SF Giants player to be promoted. Catching prospect Patrick Bailey was bumped up to Triple-A after a hot start in Double-A.

Pair of top SF Giants prospects receive early-season promotions

Organizational promotions usually have a ripple effect as another catching prospect in Rob Emery was promoted to Double-A to fill Bailey's void. The 26-year-old prospect tallied six hits in 18 at-bats with the Eugene Emeralds before joining Richmond.

Whisenhunt was a second round pick by the Giants in the 2022 draft out of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. San Francisco thought it was getting a first round talent in the second round due in part to the fact that 22-year-old slid down the draft board from a PED suspension prior to the 2022 college season.

Plus, the pitching prospect had a pretty limited track record in college. He recorded a 4.21 ERA with an 11.6 K/9 in just 62 innings, but he was considered an advanced collegiate arm due to good command and a plus changeup.

Whisenhunt flashed that changeup along with a low 90's fastball in a solid 2023 debut in Low-A. He posted a 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.2 K/9, and a 5.00 SO/W ratio in four starts. The ERA might be a tad inflated due to one poor outing, but he allowed one or fewer runs in three out of four starts with the San Jose Giants.

Similarly, Patrick Bailey rolled a hot start into a promotion. The promotion for Whisenhunt was expected because he was too advanced for Low-A hitters, but the promotion for Bailey was mildly surprising despite a strong performance. I thought they would want to see him perform a little more against some tough Double-A pitching.

The switch-hitting proved to be one of the best defensive catchers in the minors last year as he took home the Gold Glove award at catcher. Bailey got off to a strong start as he slashed .333/.400/.482 with two home runs, 10 RBI, and nine runs in 60 plate appearances. This includes a solid 10.0 percent walk rate against a 21.7 percent strikeout rate.

The 23-year-old backstop went hitless in his debut with the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday. Could he debut for the Giants in 2023? We think that possibility remains open. For the time being, the promotions for Whisenhunt and Bailey are nice pieces of recognition for their respective strong starts.