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Here’s first look at Giants’ potential closer of the future

SCOTTSDALE — It’s difficult to discern pitches and pitchers oftentimes from the far-off comforts of the press box, when bodies twirl and shove and throw in ways that make so many blend together.

The potential future closer of the Giants looked a bit different.

Camilo Doval is about as whippy as pitchers get, his right arm needing its own radar gun as he lashes it out and delivers from about a three-quarters angle, if that. An actual radar gun for the pitches themselves was not available, but mid-90s sounds like a fair guess for a reliever who can touch triple-digits.

Farhan Zaidi said the 23-year-old was throwing 97-mph cutters at the alternate site in Sacramento last season, and in his first live batting practice session, he showed off a fastball that looked major league-caliber and a slower offering that resembled a slider.

There wasn’t a ton of contact generated, which has been the norm so far as pitchers are far ahead of hitters.

“Really interesting,” was the review from Gabe Kapler on Wednesday over Zoom. “I thought it was a promising early-stage pen. He did leave some breaking balls arm side, and I think that’s just about keeping his direction to the plate. But had good zip on his fastball.”

Doval made it as far as the taxi squad last year but has not debuted. He was added to the 40-man roster this offseason and projects to be a weapon at some point this season. In 2019 with High-A San Jose, he struck out 80 (and walked 34) in 56 1/3 innings.

Kapler’s other thoughts on the live-BP pitchers:

Jake McGee: “Very professional” with “sharp sliders.”

Dominic Leone: “Very professional,” and was “around the plate with his misses.” Kapler didn’t think the non-roster invite was his sharpest, which can be forgiven in the first week of camp.

Sam Long: “Nice, promising fastball at the top of the zone. Dropped some curveballs in there for strikes. Really, really like his changeup.” The Giants want the Fair Oaks native, who’s being stretched out as a starter, to feature his changeup more often.

Kapler also said Conner Menez has adjusted his mechanics this offseason.

Kapler said he could not disclose whether any Giants were not in camp, citing the COVID-19 protocols. He did say that Brandon Belt has been under the weather, which is why he has not been seen, but that is unrelated to COVID.

The Giants signed righty Jeremy Walker, as he announced on his Instagram. The 25-year-old was a fifth-round pick in 2016 and came through the Braves system as a starter, then debuted in 2019 as a reliever, during which he allowed two runs in 9 1/3 innings.


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