With the minor league season well underway, the SF Giants are beginning to reward fast starts with promotions. On Wednesday, their top pitching prospect was promoted to Double-A.
SF Giants promote top pitching prospect to Double-A
Left-handed hurler Kyle Harrison made a total of seven starts in High-A before earning a promotion to Double-A. The 20-year-old prospect has been one of the fastest risers in the prospect rankings in 2022, moving up from No. 71 to No. 45 according to MLB.Com.
At this rate, Harrison may very well be considered one of the top 25 prospects in baseball and in the running for the top left-handed pitching prospect by the end of the year.
The Giants originally drafted Harrison in the third round of the 2020 draft out of De La Salle High School in Concord, California. He was a first round talent who slid to the third round due to signability concerns as he had committed to the University of California in Los Angeles, California.
It took a sizable sum to sway him from that commitment as San Francisco dished out a $2.5 million signing bonus. In a way, the Giants approached that draft class by saving as much as possible with the other six picks to reel in Harrison.
In his first pro season, the southpaw registered a 3.19 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 14.3 K/9, and a 3.02 SO/W ratio in 98.2 frames in Low-A. He flashed a mid-90's fastball with an above-average slider to really dominate the competition in his age-19 season.
Harrison began the season in High-A and quickly proved that he was deserving of a promotion. With the Eugene Emeralds, he posted a 1.55 ERA with 59(!) strikeouts against 10 walks in 29 frames.
It may not be fair to compare him to Madison Bumgarner, but the similarities will continue as both were left-handed pitching prospects who were drafted out of high school. The similarities do not stop there as Bumgarner reached Double-A after just five starts during his second pro season in 2009, whereas Harrison reached Double-A after just seven outings in his second year.
While the major league team continues to churn out a competitive roster, the future might be even brighter in the not-too-distant future. Harrison is expected to headline the next wave of Giants prospects sooner rather than later.