Make sure to revisit our weekly SF Giants prospect rundowns to keep up with each of the organization’s minor-league affiliates.
SF Giants pitching prospects rundown (4/5 - 4/16)
If you do not feel well acclimated to the prospects throughout the farm system, you might want to revisit this year's Prospect Week articles (specifically the SF Giants 2022 prospects depth chart) or purchase the 2022 SF Giants Prospects Primer filled with scouting reports of 150 San Francisco Giants prospects from the best of the best to the unheard-of prospects. If you’re just interested in the biggest names, then the four-part 2022 pre-season top 30 prospects ranking and the thought process behind the ranking is the one-stop-shop for you.
I'm here to recap the happenings on the pitching front throughout the first week of the 2022 Minor League regular season.
River Cats Pitching Prospects
Sean Hjelle: 2 G (2 GS), 1 W, 8.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 1.04 ERA
Yunior Marte: 3 G, 1 SV, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 0.00 ERA
Gregory Santos: 3 G, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 7 K, 3.86 ERA
Look, I love Sean Hjelle. I will defend him til' death. I even made an article about him just before he threw his first pitch of the season where I ranted about his low ranking which was primarily because of his poor numbers in Sacramento as opposed to a massive regression in stuff. And after two starts, my faith in him has been rewarded with two stellar outings. In his last start against the Aces at Reno where it is a notoriously hitter-friendly, Hjelle induced 15 groundballs which is absolutely absurd. He is only throwing around 60% of his pitches for strikes but he's kept his walks low by making the crucial pitches in key counts. We'll see if that below-average strike rate will catch up to him later this season but so far, so good for Hjelle who is vying for a shot to the big leagues this year.
Speaking of vying for a shot of the big leagues, Yunior Marte actually made his big-league debut last week against the San Diego Padres. In case you have not noticed him which is completely fair, he was signed by the Giants in December 2020 as a Minor League free agent where he originally was from the Royals organization. Marte can reach up to 99 MPH with his fastball (labelled as a sinker by Baseball Savant) and a tight low to mid-80s slider. He's seen massive strides to his control early on this season and he is rewarded with a cup of coffee in the big leagues. The Giants bullpen is plenty deep so it's tough to find a role for Marte this season but he can always force his way in the mid-season.
Another one of those vying for a shot at the big leagues once again is Gregory Santos. After getting caught using Stanozolol which ended his 2021 season, Santos is back at it once again with his power stuff and his plus slider making massive waves in the River Cats bullpen. He's topped 99 MPH with his fastball but its shape is still fairly similar to last year which is not highly encouraging and his control is hit and miss as usual. Still, he is a guy with overpowering stuff and could potentially play in the Giants bullpen once again at the mid-season mark.