SF Giants pitching prospect R.J. Dabovich discusses the draft, playing in the AFL, and adjusting to pro ball

San Francisco Giants  v Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

SF Giants pitching prospect R.J. Dabovich has been one of the fastest risers in the farm system since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 draft out of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. He recently chatted with Around the Foghorn to answer a handful of questions about pro ball.

SF Giants pitching prospect R.J. Dabovich discusses the draft, playing in the AFL, and adjusting to pro ball

Dabovich began the season with the Richmond Flying Squirrels where he registered a 2.70 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 12.8 K/9, and a 6.33 SO/W ratio before earning a promotion to Triple-A. Throughout his minor league career, the 23-year-old pitcher has posted impressive strikeout totals, averaging 14.7 K/9 as a pro.

Given his draft pedigree, how he has performed, and the fact that he is already in Triple-A, Dabovich should be a candidate to be added to the Giants sooner rather than later. He generously took time in the middle of the season to answer some questions. I hope you enjoy!

J: You were born in Pueblo, Colorado. Did you grow up as a Rockies fan? What were your thoughts on the Giants as a kid? Also, congratulations to the Colorado Avalanche for winning the Stanley Cup.

RJ: Not really, when I was young, I didn’t really like baseball that much, I was more off a football kid. When I started to actually like baseball, I was more of a fan of certain players than as teams as a whole. Was a big fan of Buster Posey and Lincecum for sure! And yea, love watching hockey and the Av’s this season!

J: What was it like being drafted? Who was with you when you got the call? Did you know the Giants were interested?

RJ: Being drafted will always be one of the best days of my life, finally getting the opportunity to achieve my dream that I’ve worked so long for is a special moment for sure. I was with my family, parents and grandparents, sister It was a really cool moment to share with all of them. Yea, we knew the giants had some interest and I had a gut feeling It would be them. Through all the meetings I really liked the sound of the giants philosophy and how they developed players and thought It would be a great fit, and It ended up working out!

J: How has joining an organization with college teammates like Carter Aldrete and Hunter Bishop helped you in your adjustment to pro ball?

RJ: It was great, I mean going into pro ball is a big task, but being being able to show up and see guys who you re friends with and played with before gives you a confidence boost and makes you more comfortable for sure.

J: What was it like playing in the Arizona Fall League?

RJ: The fall league was awsome, being able to be around that level of talent and pick everyone’s brain and see how they do things was huge for my development as a player. Also playing against that level of competition and seeing where you stack up against really lets you know where you need to get better.

J. You have moved up to Triple-A very quickly, what adjustments have you made since becoming a pro that have led to your success?

RJ: Being open to coaching and being self-aware were 2 huge things that have helped me adapt and be able to move quickly I feel like. Baseball is a hard game and a game of adjustments, so being open to suggestions from other people can change your career. Trying new things can drastically improve how you feel and how you perform so being open to coaching, asking questions and being willing to experiment and try new things to see how they work to me is a huge part of development and getting to where you want to go. Also being self aware and being honest with yourself. It’s not easy, especially when things aren’t going good, but being able to look at your performance and be honest about why It was bad and what needs to be fixed is very important.

J: What is a typicaly offseason like for you? Does San Francisco monitor your routine?

RJ: So far, I’ve only had one and It was pretty short due to the fall league, but this year its probably going to start with a little break to let the body recover and reset. After that, I work out at a place in Arizona called PUSH Performance, we work out/ throw 5 times a week and its all programmed out for me which is super nice. We sit down discuss our offseason goals and build around what they are. After that spend some time back in Colorado with the family and then start the ramp up for spring training.

J: Who has been your funniest teammate so far? Will Wilson said Casey Schmitt was his funniest teammate.

RJ: Funniest teammate so far has to be John Russell. Just always has something funny to say, always has great delivery.

J. What are your thoughts on former college teammate Spencer Torkelson? He played against the Giants recently when the Detroit Tigers were in town.

RJ: Tork is awesome, great guy and one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen in person. One of those special talents that you just know the first moment you watch him play that he’s gonna be great.

Thanks again to R.J. for taking the time to answer these questions!