The promotion wave continued on Thursday as the SF Giants announced that a pair of pitching prospects in Carson Whisenhunt and José Cruz have both been promoted to Double-A. Middle infield prospect Dilan Rosario has also received a promotion to High-A.
SF Giants bump two pitching prospects up to Double-A
Normally, teams go through a wave of promotions after the draft as organizations have a higher headcount, resulting in mid-season promotions. However, that trend is no longer the case as teams have, in general, been more aggressive with promotions and the fact that the draft takes place in July now rather than June.
The Giants have announced several promotions this season, including infield prospect Jimmy Glowenke moving up to Double-A earlier this week.
For Whisenhunt, this is his second promotion of the year and it felt like only a matter of time. At this point last year, the left-hander was preparing for the draft where he would eventually be selected by the Giants in the second round out of East Carolina University.
The 22-year-old has quickly made a name for himself as a legitimate prospect. He thrived after receiving a conservative assignment in Low-A to begin the year and continued that upward trend following a quick promotion to High-A.
Across two levels, Whisenhunt, has registered a 2.08 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 12.9 K/9, and a 4.67 SO/W ratio in 10 starts. He demonstrates good command with a mid-90's fastball along with a changeup that has nasty sinking action.
On the other hand, the Giants liked what they saw from José Cruz after he posted a 2.06 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 52.1 frames with San Jose last year and they added him to the 40-man roster in the winter. The righty pitcher was eligible for the Rule 5 draft, so the Giants selected his contract to protect him from it.
It is becoming a trend where the Giants will protect a relatively inexperienced pitcher who tallies huge strikeout numbers like Cruz did last year. For a team that likes to leverage every spot on the 40-man roster, the front office is playing a bit of a longer game with Cruz.
The 23-year-old reliever has posted a 1.93 ERA with 28 strikeouts against seven walks in 18.2 innings in High-A. He flashes a similar pitch mix as Whisenhunt such as a high-90's fastball with a lot of movement and changeup that has been tough to hit.
Both prospects will be names to watch as the season progresses and they are now one step closer to a major-league promotion.