The SF Giants completed a trade on Tuesday, sending pitching prospect Jake Wong to the Cincinnati Reds. San Francisco acquired catcher/corner outfielder Blake Sabol from the Reds last week for a player to be named later. The player to be named later can often take months to be revealed, but the Reds only had to wait a couple of days to receive Wong.
SF Giants send former 3rd round pick to Reds to complete trade
Sabol was a busy person last week as he was selected by the Reds with the fourth pick of the major league portion of the Rule 5 pick from the Pittsburgh Pirates. A couple of hours later, he was shipped to San Francisco.
The Giants are taking a flyer on Sabol after he had a modest breakout campaign in 2022. He posted an .859 OPS with 19 home runs in 513 plate appearances across two minor league levels last season. The left-handed bat did not flash much power in college, so the Giants are hoping that they are adding a late-blooming prospect.
At the very least, Sabol will have a chance for a tryout in spring training. If he performs, then he has a good shot at making the team out of camp as he has already been added to the 40-man roster.
On the other side of the transaction, Jake Wong heads to Cincinnati. The Giants originally drafted the 26-year-old prospect in the third round of the 2018 draft out of Grand Canyon University. He posted a 1.99 ERA in 2019 in Low-A before receiving a promotion to High-A.
That proved to be a tough challenge for the right-handed pitcher as he struggled to the tune of a 4.98 ERA in 15 starts for the San Jose Giants. Normally, you want to see a college pitcher with a good draft pedigree excel in the lower levels, but that was not the case with Wong.
He underwent surgery for an undisclosed injury in 2020, which knocked him out for the following year. Wong returned to the mound in 2022 where he recorded a 4.52 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, and a 2.45 SO/W ratio in 25 appearances including 17 starts.
Development is never linear and that is the case with Wong. Some circumstances have been out of his control like injury or the cancelled 2020 season due to the pandemic. Hopefully, he sees more success with the Reds organization as he gets further away from surgery.