SAN FRANCISCO -- Sergio Romo, who knows a thing or two about pitching, said the Giants have two legitimate prospects in right-hander Phil Bickford and left-hander Adalberto Mejia, who represented the organization in Sunday's Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego.Mejia was on the mound at the conclusion of
SAN FRANCISCO -- Sergio Romo, who knows a thing or two about pitching, said the Giants have two legitimate prospects in right-hander Phil Bickford and left-hander Adalberto Mejia, who represented the organization in Sunday's Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego.
Mejia was on the mound at the conclusion of the game, recording the final out of the World Team's 11-3 victory over the U.S. Team. The lefty made quick work of the U.S. Team in his only inning, striking out Astros prospect Alex Bregman to preserve the win.
Bickford, on the U.S. roster, pitched a scoreless fifth inning, working around two base runners with one hit and one walk allowed with help from two strikeouts.
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Recently promoted to Class A Advanced San Jose after beginning the season with Class A Augusta, Bickford has a combined 5-4 record. That includes a 2-0 mark with a 1.59 ERA in three starts for San Jose.
Bickford, who turned 21 on Sunday, was the Giants' No. 1 selection (18th overall) in last year's Draft. MLB Pipeline has ranked him third among San Francisco's prospects.
Romo, San Francisco's top setup reliever, made some of his injury rehabilitation appearances with San Jose and saw Bickford start twice. Said Romo, "The kid's the real deal, you know what I'm saying? You could tell that he's still trying to figure out what he can and cannot do -- his limits. That's kind of part of the process while he's still young."
Romo described Bickford's stuff as "electric," adding, "He was throwing this slider-cutter-type pitch on some of the hitters and he was overpowering them. His fastball was really live at 94-95 [mph]. I can see why they took him so high."
There has been talk of moving Bickford to the bullpen, especially if the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder adds weight and gains even more power on his pitches.
"His stuff can only get better," Romo said. "You're like, wow, put some meat on him, he's going to be something to think about."
Both Bickford and Mejia have displayed impeccable command. Bickford amassed 25 strikeouts and only four walks in his first 17 innings for San Jose. Mejia had 25 strikeouts and six walks in 24 1/3 innings with Triple-A Sacramento.
Romo likened Mejia to a "baby CC Sabathia." MLB Pipeline rates Mejia No. 10 on the organization's prospect list.
Romo, who saw Mejia pitch at Sacramento, explained the 23-year-old isn't quite as powerful as Sabathia was at his peak.
"His fastball's not 96-97 [mph]. It's more like 92-93. But his secondary stuff is very complementary. If he can command it and establish the inside part of plate, he can pitch. I think eventually you'll see him up here."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.