We have reached a quiet point in the offseason, but this is around the time when prospect publications put out some of their best content. On Tuesday, Jim Callis of MLB.Com released his top 10 lefty pitching prospects with SF Giants prospect Kyle Harrison being ranked as the best in that category.
SF Giants pitching prospect ranked as the best lefty in minors
The 2022 season represented a meteoric rise for Harrison with respect to prospect rankings. He ranked as high as No. 75 according to MLB.Com prior to the year, but likely ranks within the top 20 at this point.
San Francisco selected the left-handed pitching prospect in the third round of the 2020 draft out of De La Salle High School in Concord, California. He was a first-round talent, but slid due to signability concerns given his commitment to UCLA.
Despite his draft slot, Harrison still inked a masive $2.5 million signing bonus. He has rewarded the Giants' hefty investment by cruising through the minor league ranks.
The 21-year-old excelled in High-A with a 1.55 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 18.3 K/9, and a 5.90 SO/W ratio across seven starts before earning a promotion to Double-A. He reached Double-A in his age-20 season and quickly proved that the competition was not overwhelming as he tallied a 3.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.6 K/9, and a 3.26 SO/W ratio in 18 starts for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Callis noted Harrison's league-leading strikeout percentage (39.8 percent) as one of the reasons he was ranked as the top lefty in the minors. This is especially impressive when you factor in age and competition level.
Harrison likely pitched well enough to begin next season in Triple-A. At that point, he should be one of a handful of prospects who can help the Giants as soon as next year. The lefty prospect is not currently on the 40-man roster, but he should be a candidate for a promotion if he continues this upward trajectory.
Given that he is playing for the Giants organization, it is hard not to see the parallels between him and Madison Bumgarner. They each have a different repertoire, but both are southpaws who were drafted out of high school.
That said, even Bumgarner was not ranked as the best left-handed pitching prospect in the minors. In looking at Baseball America's top prospect list from 2010, Baltimore Orioles lefty prospect Brian Matusz ranked ahead of Bumgarner. Bumgarner turned out to be the superior pitcher by a comfortable margin. Hopefully, Harrison can make a similar impact. No pressure, right?