This Giants pitching prospect is on the rise

July 15th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Maria Guardado’s Giants Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The upward mobility in the Giants’ farm system continued on Thursday, when the organization announced a fresh wave of Minor League promotions for several young prospects. Chief among them was right-hander Mason Black, who made the jump to Triple-A Sacramento after a dominant end to the first half at Double-A Richmond.

Black, a 2021 third-round Draft pick out of Lehigh University, recorded a 5.89 ERA over his first 10 starts of the year, but he’s been nearly untouchable since June 8, logging a 0.34 ERA with 38 strikeouts over 26 1/3 innings in his final six starts with the Flying Squirrels.

The 23-year-old right-hander continued to shine in his Triple-A debut on Friday night, striking out eight over five scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 3.31 over 17 starts this season. He is ranked the Giants’ No. 9 prospect by MLB Pipeline, joining left-handers Kyle Harrison (No. 1) and Carson Whisenhunt (No. 4) as one of the top arms in the organization.

“I’ve spent enough time following him to know that he’s having a great year,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s a very well-deserved promotion. It’s fun to watch the debates about who our top pitching prospects are. He certainly falls into the category of a great pitching prospect for us.”

The Giants also promoted two-way prospect Reggie Crawford (No. 8) from Single-A San Jose to High-A Eugene. Crawford, the club’s 2022 first-round Draft pick, has been ramping up slowly since completing his rehab from Tommy John surgery, logging only 11 innings on the mound and 16 at-bats at designated hitter with San Jose. The Giants will likely continue to be conservative with his workload in his first full professional season, but he should be able to put his pitching and hitting skills to the test against more advanced competition in Eugene.

Right-hander Daniel Blair, infielder/catcher Thomas Gavello, outfielder/first baseman Matt Higgins and left-hander Hayden Wynja joined Crawford in making the leap from San Jose to Eugene. Left-hander John Michael Bertrand also moved up from Eugene to Richmond.