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A ‘lightning’ young pitcher surprised his way to Giants’ pool

Gabe Kapler. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Camilo Doval will remember his 23rd birthday.

Maybe not the cake — Gabe Kapler joked it would be difficult to blow out candles with a mask — but the young righty pitcher was back on a baseball field.

The Giants added the Dominican Republic native to the roster pool on Saturday, a surprise decision for a prospect MLB Pipeline slots as 23rd in the organization. Along with higher-ranked prospects Luis Toribio and Will Wilson as well as Chadwick Tromp, Doval took part in his first workout trying to show the Giants they picked the right arm.

Doval has not pitched above High-A San Jose, his last stop last year, but “he was lightning in the minor league camp,” Kapler said on a Zoom call in explaining the decision.

Doval, like so many young fireballers, has struggled with his control, walking 34 in 56 1/3 innings with San Jose last year. But he also struck out 80 with a delivery that is nearly sidearm and a fastball that reportedly can touch 100 mph.

“His lower half reminds me a little bit of Seranthony Dominguez,” Kapler said, referring to the Phillies reliever he used to manage. “… Our minor league staff is especially excited about Camilo, and we’ve all spent a lot of time watching video. It’s a fastball-slider combination. From a stuff perspective, it’s going to play at the major league level.”

Kapler cautioned that he did not know if the 6-foot-2 righty would play there this year, though he did not rule it out. The Giants will have a lot of arms to churn through, but they’re elite churners.

Kapler has not seen much from Toribio and Wilson, the third baseman and shortstop, respectively. He noted Toribio has a “nice, sweet stroke — short stroke.” The 19-year-old is now in a major league camp after playing just three games for short-season Salem-Keizer.

Kapler on Buster Posey, who said earlier Saturday that he cannot rule out opting out.

“This is a very personal decision, and whatever Buster decides to do, myself and the organization are going to support.”

Kapler said he received a text from Hunter Bishop, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Bishop was saying, “Hope things are going well.” Kapler understood it as the outfielder missed the group.

Kapler said the intake process is not complete, the Giants still awaiting COVID-19 results from some players. The Giants expect to have all the results by Sunday. Thus far, Luis Madero has been their lone positive return.


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