The SF Giants have been relatively aggressive with the 2022 draft class as prospects like Wade Meckler and Carson Whisenhunt have already reached Double-A in their first full pro season. Another 2022 draftee is on the move as Jack Choate was bumped up to High-A according to the team's transaction log.
SF Giants promote yet another pitcher from the 2022 draft
The Giants went heavy on pitching in last year's draft, selecting eight college pitchers with the first 10 picks. They were relatively conservative with assignments at the start of this year with many of last year's picks beginning the season in Low-A.
For many, that proved to be an easy assignment as six of the first 10 picks have reached High-A or above. You can add Choate to that list as he will be joining the Eugene Emeralds' rotation. That rotation consists of pitchers from his draft class including Hayden Birdsong and John Bertrand.
Choate, who is not related to longtime reliever Randy Choate, was selected in the ninth round of last year's draft out of Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He debuted last year in a brief stint with the Arizona Complex League Giants where he allowed one earned run in eight strikeouts against five walks in four innings.
The left-handed hurler got off to a solid start in 2023 as he recorded a 2.30 ERA, 3.12 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 12.8 K/9, and a 3.53 SO/W ratio in 13 appearances with the San Jose Giants. California League hitters struggled to barrel him up as he allowed just one home run across 47 innings.
The 22-year-old racked up high strikeout totals despite a lack of flashing premium velocity. His fastball sits in the low 90's that he mixes with a changeup and a slider. His repertoire is not overpowering, but he releases the ball from a low, three-quarters arm slot that is tough for opposing hitters to pick up. There is a little bit of Madison Bumgarner in Choate's delivery when he flashes his offspeed pitch.
His control was subpar in college as he recorded a 5.0 BB/9 rate in three college seasons, but he has posted a tolerable 4.0 BB/9 rate as a pro.
It is not terribly surprising to see college pitchers have this type of success in Low-A. Oftentimes, they are facing competition that leans on the younger side. Nevertheless, the Giants rewarded Choate's solid performance with a nice promotion.