SF Giants move 2021 top pick up to High-A after successful rehab assignment

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SF Giants 2021 top pick Will Bednar is moving up to High-A according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. This would mark the end of his rehab assignment with the San Jose Giants and a sign that he can finally look forward.

SF Giants move 2021 top pick up to High-A after successful rehab assignment

The Giants may not get much value from some of their top picks in the 2021 draft. Matt Mikulski (second round) has struggled badly in High-A, posting a 6.54 ERA in parts of two seasons with the Eugene Emeralds. Plus, Rohan Handa (fifth round) decided to step away from the game before throwing a pro pitch.

The good news is that both Mason Black (third round) and Landen Roupp (12th round) debuted with the Giants earlier this season. A healthy Bednar could change the outlook of that draft.

The Giants selected the right-handed pitcher with the 14th pick in the 2021 draft out of Mississippi State University. In the months leading up to the draft, he anchored the rotation on its way to the school's first ever College World Series. Bednar ended up taking home CWS Most Outstanding Player honors.

During his collegiate career, he posted a 2.93 ERA with 162 strikeouts against 32 walks in 107.2 innings at Mississippi State University.

Unfortunately, the former top pick has not been healthy since then, missing substantial time over the past couple of seasons due to a nagging back injury. The Giants attempted to make up for lost time by sending him to the Arizona Fall League in each of the past two years, but he had been shut down each time before the end of the year.

In total, Bednar has a 3.82 ERA across 70.2 frames in parts of four seasons in the minors. All of his time as a pro has been in the lower minors as he has not been able to stay on the mound long enough to find any consistently.

The Giants hope that is about to change. He recorded a 3.60 ERA with 13 strikeouts and only three walks during his rehab assignment with San Jose. According to Andrew Baggarly's report, Bednar's fastball velocity is up to 95 MPH, which is the type of velocity he flashed in college. Baseball is secondary to the fact that he is seemingly healthy again for the first time in a few years.