SF Giants add 2019 first-round pick in trade with Milwaukee Brewers

Minnesota Twins v Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The SF Giants filled the last spot on their 40-man roster on Monday night. According to Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants traded for 2019 first-round pick Ethan Small from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for cash considerations.

SF Giants add 2019 first-round pick in trade with Milwaukee Brewers

The Giants had an open spot on the 40-man roster after sending Ross Stripling to the Oakland A's in exchange for infield/outfield prospect Jonah Cox last week. They did not have much bullpen depth from the left side, so this move helps to address that issue.

Of course, the Giants should still look to add another left-handed reliever or two to the mix because outside of Taylor Rogers, the rest of the group is unproven. The rest of the group now includes Small as well as Erik Miller.

In adding Small, the Giants do get a prospect with a solid draft pedigree from no that long ago. The 26-year-old pitcher was the 28th pick in the 2019 draft by the Brewers out of Mississippi State University. He had a 3.05 ERA in three college seasons while competing in a strong baseball conference and that is a quality that tends to stand out with teams.

After the canceled 2020 season, the Brewers quickly moved Small up the minor league ladder. The southpaw prospect tallied a 1.98 ERA in 77.1 innings with 92 strikeouts against 42 walks across three levels, including Triple-A.

Milwaukee was hoping that the rapid ascent up the minors along with strong numbers would feed their rotation sooner rather than later. However, that did not exactly come to fruition as he spent much of the next two seasons in Triple-A while posting above-average strikeout numbers along with high walk rates.

Small pitched briefly for the Brewers over the past two seasons, allowing 10 earned runs across 10.1 sporadic frames. That said, the former top pick is coming off of a solid 2023 Triple-A season in which he recorded a 3.18 in 38 appearances. It seems like the Brewers abandoned the idea of him being a starter this year as only two of those outings were starts.

On the mound, Small flashes an above-average changeup that has late, fading action. He pairs this with a low-90's four-seam fastball that he hides well thanks in part to a funky delivery. The lefty pitcher occasionally uses a slider, but the lack of a true third pitch and poor control means that he is probably better suited for the bullpen. Nevertheless, Small has enough upside that it is worth the roster spot for the Giants to determine if he can help out their bullpen.