SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi met with reporters on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming trade deadline among other topics. However, he dropped an interesting nugget about top pitching prospect Kyle Harrison.
Top SF Giants executive drops fascinating nugget regarding pitching prospect
According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, Zaidi confirmed that the Giants have not ruled out promoting Harrison to Triple-A in the second half of the season.
It has already been a meteoric rise for the lefty, but this would add another stripe to his belt for 2022. The Giants originally drafted Harrison in the third round of the 2020 draft out of De La Salle High School in Concord, California.
The 20-year-old had a commitment to UCLA, so he slid in the draft due to signability concerns. It took a massive $2.5 million signing bonus to sway him away from that commitment.
That has proven to be an excellent decision for both player and team. In his first season as a pro, Harrison registered a 3.19 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.39 WHIP, 14.3 K/9, and a 3.02 SO/W ratio across 98.2 innings with the San Jose Giants.
This was the kind of performance that thrust him into becoming one of the best preseason prospects in baseball, ranking as high as No. 75 according to MLB.Com. He has risen significantly since then with Baseball America (subscription required) placing him as the No. 22 prospect in baseball.
Harrison has excelled in 2022. He began the year High-A where he posted a 1.55 ERA with 59 strikeouts against 10 walks in 29 innings with the Eugene Emeralds. This proved to be too conservative of an assignment as he was promoted to Double-A after just seven starts.
The left-handed hurler has continued to pitch well beyond his years with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. In eight starts, Harrison has tallied a 3.19 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 22 walks in 42.1 frames.
In terms of upside, the Giants have not had a pitching prospect like this since Madison Bumgarner. And, the similarities do not end there. Bumgarner reached Triple-A in his age-20 season way back in 2010. In an odd quirk, Bumgarner originally bypassed the highest minor league level as he was promoted directly from Double-A at the end of 2009.
Could Harrison debut with the Giants in 2022? It seems like a long shot, but that idea is not as crazy as it would have sounded three months ago. Harrison is going to pitch at Oracle Park sooner rather than later.