SF Giants Double-A affiliate, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, has received heavy reinforcements after a series of promotions were announced. Four pitchers including Ty Weber, Randy Rodriguez, Nick Avila, and Wil Jensen were bumped up to Double-A as midseason promotions.
SF Giants promote 4 pitchers to Richmond including 1 on the 40-man roster
Perhaps, the most notable name from that group is Rodriguez. The right-handed hurler had a stellar campaign in 2021 where he posted a 1.74 ERA with 101 strikeouts against 23 walks in 62 frames with the San Jose Giants.
Rodriguez was eligible for the Rule 5 draft last offseason, so the Giants protected him by adding him to the 40-man roster. The pitching prospect began the season in High-A with the Eugene Emeralds and the Giants tried to stretch him out as a starter.
However, that experiment could be coming to an end. Rodriguez tallied a 3.38 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 12.6 K/9, and a 2.96 SO/W ratio in 16 appearances including 13 starts. His last three appearances have been out of the bullpen where he has recorded 14 strikeouts in 6.1 frames. Given that he is on the 40-man roster, a transition back to the bullpen is be the fastest route to Oracle Park.
Avila, Weber, and Jensen are not as well-known as Rodriguez yet, but every one of them is having the type of season that warrants a promotion.
Avila was a 26th-round pick by the Giants in 2019 out of California State University - Long Beach. He has continued to rack up impressive strikeout totals since becoming a pro. This includes a strong 2022 campaign in which he posted a 0.95 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, and a 3.88 SO/W ratio in 28.1 innings in his second stint with Eugene.
The 24-year-old pitching prospect has already recorded a scoreless outing with Richmond. Similar to Rodriguez, Avila could potentially be an option for the Giants in the next couple of seasons given that he is a fast-rising reliever.
Weber was signed to a minor league contract in June of 2020 and he has moved up and down the minor league circuit. With Eugene, he posted a 3.86 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, and a 4.11 SO/W ratio in 17 appearances. He has already made two appearances in Double-A since the promotion.
Jensen has moved fairly quickly up the minor league ladder since being signed as a non-drafted free agent following the 2020 draft. The 2020 draft consisted of five rounds, so there was an unusually high number of non-drafted signings.
He was fantastic in his first pro season with the San Jose Giants where he recorded a 3.59 ERA with 109 strikeouts against 25 walks in 102.2 innings. He carried that momentum into 2022 with the Emeralds.
Jensen registered a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 10.9 K/9, and a 4.81 SO/W ratio in 15 appearances with the Emeralds. He has already recorded a scoreless start with Richmond.
Eugene has consistently fed Richmond this season and that is a promising sign for a farm system. Avila, Rodriguez, Weber, and Jensen will join some teammates who received promotions earlier in the season including Ryan Murphy, Kyle Harrison, and Cole Waites.