SF Giants top pick quietly returning to the mound after significant injury setbacks

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One SF Giants top pick is quietly making a return to the mound. Will Bednar is in the middle of a rehab assignment with the San Jose Giants after injuries have derailed his pro career up until this point.

SF Giants top pick quietly returning to the mound after significant injury setbacks

The Giants selected Bednar in the first round of the 2021 draft out of Mississippi State University. He was considered one of the best pitching prospects in that draft class and agreed to a $3.65 million signing bonus.

They were hoping that the pitching prospect would fortify a quality group of pitching prospects that the front office has assembled. This should come as no surprise as the 2021 and 2022 Giants draft classes leaned heavily in favor of pitching, especially within the first 10 rounds.

The Giants are beginning to see the fruits of the 2021 draft class with Landen Roupp and Mason Black debuting in 2024. They would like Bednar to be part of that group down the line.

Bednar has dealt with significant back ailments for much of his pro career. He has been limited to just 64.2 frames over the past four seasons. During that time, he has posted a 3.62 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, and a 2.53 SO/W ratio.

The results are difficult to evaluate because they have been sporadic. That said, the 23-year-old did flash a low 90's fastball with a quality slider that gets good downward movement that he can throw for strikes and as a chase pitch. Bednar also has a changeup that he throws infrequently.

Bednar's fastball sat closer to the mid-90's in college, but that type of velocity has not translated to pro ball. Could the lingering back ailments be a factor? Plus, the righty pitcher has not consistently thrown strikes in the minors. These are all based on limited observations because he has missed so much time.

Over the past couple of years, the Giants have tried to make up for lost time by sending him to the Arizona Fall League. He was limited to just eight rough appearances during that time and was shut down each season before the end of the season.

The Giants hope that the injury woes are behind him now. He has recorded two scoreless outings with four strikeouts and no walks across four innings. The results are not as important as the fact that he is back on the mound. And, the Giants remain hopeful that he can still factor in to their future plans.