SF Giants minor league pitcher in the midst of impressive run

San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers
San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

SF Giants minor league pitcher Nick Avila nearly had a shot to pitch in the majors at the start of this season. It did not work out, but the bullpen prospect is staking his case to debut for the Giants sooner rather than later after an impressive run.

SF Giants minor league pitcher in the midst of impressive run

Avila has been a steady contributor for the Sacramento River Cats in 2023. The right-handed hurler has tallied a 14-0 record, 3.38 ERA, 5.33 FIP, 1.33 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, and a 1.65 SO/W ratio across 58.2 frames.

His overall numbers are solid considering that the Pacific Coast League is an extreme hitter-friendly league. Pitching in most of the ballparks is not too different than pitching in Coors Field. It is a tough league on pitchers, but Avila has done a nice job.

The number that stands out is the 14-0 overall record. Sure, a pitcher's win-loss record does not carry the appeal it once did, but it is still a pretty cool stat to look at when you do not have a blemish. That is the case for Avila, who has been the beneficiary of the Giants' organizational approach to limiting starters to 4 - 5 innings per outing.

Oftentimes, Avila bridges the gap between the starting pitcher and the rest of the bullpen. This puts him in a position to win. A lot. And, the 26-year-old pitcher has taken advantage of it. In fact, Avila has not lost a game since August 11 of last season when he was pitching for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

He has won 16 straight games since then. It would be oddly cool to see him get a chance to win 20 games with the River Cats, but there just might not be enough time left in the season. The closest comparison I can think of in terms of a perfect record like this was Joe Roa back in 2002, who went 14-0 with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. Of course, Roa pitched briefly for the Giants way back in 1997.

Avila was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Chicago White Sox last winter. He posted a 7.20 ERA in 10 innings for the White Sox during spring training and was sent back to the Giants after not making the Opening Day roster. Given how poorly the White Sox have performed, it is a mild surprise to see that he did not make the club, but hindsight is 20/20. He could get a shot with the Giants if he continues at this pace.