SF Giants pitching prospects rundown (5/7 - 5/13)
Emeralds Pitching Prospects
Wil Jensen: 1 G (1 GS), 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 7 K
Clay Helvey: 1 G, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 0.00 ERA
Prelander Berroa: 1 G (1 GS), 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
Eugene's games have been either delayed, postponed, or just canceled outright because of the absolutely awful weather in the Pacific Northwest over the past month and a half. It makes it difficult for players to get momentum, for evaluators to erm, evaluate, and for fans to enjoy the games when raincoats are necessary.
Wil Jensen is once again off to another strong start to a season, but this time a year older and a level higher. What I always liked about Jensen is his ability to not give up walks (6%) despite having a below average strike rate (61%). Jensen is simply making good pitches in hitter's counts and making hitters chase in pitcher's counts. That has resulted to his strong 34% strikeout rate and a 2.92 ERA with a corresponding 2.67 xFIP. Jensen is you prototypical crafty pitcher who can fill the zone with decent stuff where he's worked hard to turn his slider into an out pitch and his fastball can touch 95 MPH.
The Giants front office have added a ton of relief prospects that have non-zero chance of making it to the big leagues and Clay Helvey is one of them. Helvey was dominant this week with all of his outs came via the strikeout. His 4.15 ERA might be a mirage as his WHIP is only at 0.92 and he has struck out 40% of the batters that he faced while keeping his walk rate at a decent 10.9%. Helvey has a slider that flashes above-average to plus at its best and the fastball can reach up to the mid-90s. He's been a strikeout machine out of the bullpen last year in San Jose and he's been a strikeout machine this year as well for Eugene.
Let's end the Eugene rundown with a discussion on the trade that sent Prelander Berroa to the Mariners for Donovan Walton. Most of the initial reactions were mixed as the general vibe was that they sent a talented pitcher like Berroa for someone who is relatively unknown and has struggled to produce in the big leagues when counted on for. I had a similar reaction but I kind of see why the Giants did it. Yes, Berroa is talented but there's pretty much the writing on the wall for him. He had a 0.68 ERA across four starts but the walk rate has been pretty much below-average and this season is no different with a 12.6% rate and I understand if the Giants are not exactly in on it because if we think that Berroa will likely be a bullpen piece, there's a plethora of strong relief options in the farm system right now with better strike-throwing and a more consistent breaking ball than Berroa. The changeup has not developed into a pitch that would have Berroa be a legitimate rotation piece so the future is definitely in the pen. It's a sad thing to think but that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.