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2 more Giants prospects rising through system in year of rapid development



© George Walker IV / T | 2021 Jun 12

The Giants promoted two more prospects this week to Double-A Richmond, continuing a wave of impressive development throughout the farm system.

Carson Whisenhunt and José Cruz, after fanning 11 hitters across seven innings of one-hit ball, each got promoted from High-A Eugene to Double-A Richmond. Both pitchers posted sub-2.00 ERAs for the Emeralds.

Whisenhunt’s rise in particular is eye-opening. A second rounder from the 2022 draft out of East Carolina, the left-handed starter already arriving at Double-A represents meteoric progress.

Known for his changeup that’s already big league-ready, Whisenhunt needed just 10 games in A-ball this year to prove himself worthy of tougher competition. In six games at High-A, the 22-year-old struck out 36 hitters in 25.1 innings while walking eight.

Whisenhunt posted a 1.42 ERA for the Emeralds in six starts. With better opponents, perhaps Whisenhunt will be forced to develop the rest of his arsenal more thoroughly.

Cruz, a right-handed reliever, was just as effective as Whisenhunt. In 13 games at High-A this year, he registered a 1.45 ERA. The Giants signed Cruz out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 when he was 17, and he’s been a strikeout machine since 2021.

Cruz struck out 15.5 batters per nine innings in Rookie Ball, 14.8 per nine in San Jose and then 13.5 per nine with the Emeralds. He was one of six prospects the Giants added to the 40-man roster this winter to protect them from being eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

The dual promotions continue an exciting year for the Giants farm system. Last year, many of the organization’s top prospects either stagnated or dealt with injuries. This year has been quite the opposite.

Casey Schmitt arrived with the Giants and made an immediate impact. So has Patrick Bailey, who needed just 14 games at Double-A and 14 more in Sacramento to earn his debut. Luis Matos is crushing everything for the River Cats and top prospect Kyle Harrison is knocking on the door with two Player of the Week awards in the month of May. Infielders Tyler Fitzgerald and Jimmy Glowenke have also earned promotions with impressive play.

Since he got hired by the Giants in 2018, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi’s goal has been building a sustainable franchise with homegrown talent in the farm system. That seems to be coming to fruition this year.