SF Giants fans could see hard-throwing lefty prospect before the end of the season

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The SF Giants have moved Reggie Crawford aggressively up the minor league leader relative to his pro experience. And, there is a reason for that. Farhan Zaidi told Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area that Crawford could reach the majors as a reliever in 2024.

SF Giants fans could see hard-throwing lefty prospect before the end of the season

Zaidi also reiterated that the plan is to stretch Crawford out as a starter but that he will have an innings restriction this year. Developing him as a reliever is the quickest way for him to reach the majors and get that experience against advanced hitters.

The Giants have been extremely cautious with the lefty pitcher's workload since taking him in the first round of the 2022 draft out of the University of Connecticut. He missed the entire 2022 college season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Crawford returned to the mound last season but was limited to just 19 innings. During that time, he allowed six earned runs on 32 strikeouts and 10 walks. He was originally drafted as a two-way player but struggled to a .558 OPS with two home runs in 71 plate appearances during the Arizona Fall League.

In fairness, the 23-year-old hitter was raw in the batter's box. He flashed good power but needed further refinement in his approach. The Giants asked him to abandon hitting in spring training. This was done because he offers more upside on the mound.

The Giants seemingly had plans of moving Crawford up quickly after inviting him to spring training despite a lack of experience. He was reassigned without making an appearance but being in big league camp can be a good experience.

The Giants assigned him to Double-A to start the year. He allowed five earned runs in 9.2 innings with 19 strikeouts and four walks before receiving a promotion to Triple-A. On the mound, Crawford flashes a high-90's fastball with a sweeping slider. We have a more in-depth scouting report here. The Giants have high hopes for Crawford and he could be at Oracle Park sooner than you think.