Usually, a high pick such as a first rounder is the first in his draft class to be promoted. However, that was not the case for the SF Giants this year as the first promotion from the 2021 draft class was selected much later.
SF Giants pitching prospect is first to receive promotion from draft class
Mat Olsen began the year in Low-A but he has been promoted to High-A after proving that his original assignment was not much of a challenge. In a bit of a coincidence, Olsen's name is similar to former Oakland A's first baseman Matt Olson.
Olsen was drafted by the Giants in the ninth round of the 2021 draft out of Central Arizona College in Coolidge, Arizona. The right-handed hurler recorded a 2.13 ERA with 133 strikeouts in 88.2 frames for Central Arizona College in 2021.
In college, he flashed a fastball that sat in the low 90's with a good changeup. However, it appears that he has added a tick or two to his fastball velocity since then:
He debuted for the Giants organization in his draft year where he recorded five strikeouts in three hitless appearances in the Rookie League. He carried that momentum into the 2022 season as he allowed just one earned run with 24 strikeouts against three walks in 17 innings with the San Jose Giants.
The 21-year-old pitching prospect was a starter in college but he has transitioned into the bullpen since becoming a pro. This could bode well for his trajectory as bullpen arms can move quickly up the minor league ladder.
For example, R.J. Dabovich, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, began the 2021 campaign in High-A, but moved up to Double-A after just 10.2 innings with the Eugene Emeralds. That type of ascent is uncommon for a player in his first full professional season, but it highlights that Olsen may not be far behind from that type of movement if he continues to excel with Eugene.
The Giants went heavily in favor of pitching in last year's draft as they selected arms with nine of the first 10 picks. Olsen was the last pitcher to be selected before the Giants finally broke the trend by picking a position player in outfielder Vaun Brown in the 10th round. As a strike-throwing with swing-and-miss stuff, Olsen has quickly emerged as a prospect to monitor as this year progresses.