It has been quite the year for SF Giants left-handed pitching prospect Kyle Harrison. The San Jose native capped off his amazing regular season on Wednesday with a strong five-inning start where he surrendered just one run and struck out six. With every Giants minor league affiliate done with their regular season, Baseball America selected Harrison as the organization's 2022 Minor League Player of the Year.
This marks just the latest accolade that Harrison has received this season. Harrison was the Giants lone prospect to participate in this summer's Futures Game. Earlier this month, he was voted the best pitching prospect in the Eastern League.
It has been quite a season for Harrison, who turned 21 in August. He recorded a 2.71 ERA between the Giants High-A and Double-A affiliates, racking up 186 strikeouts while allowing just 79 hits and 49 walks. In an interview with Baseball America, Giants farm director Kyle Haines lauded Harrison for the way he has taken on much older competition this season.
“I thought Double-A would be much more of a challenge for him than what it’s been,” Haines said. “At times, it just looks like he’s on another level compared to that competition.”
Harrison's arsenal features a mid-90s fastball that plays well above its velocity because of his ability to generate excellent inverted vertical break on the pick. He also has a wipeout slider that Harrison has shown the ability to locate in the zone and use to induce whiffs.
According to Baseball America, Harrison has prioritized developing his changeup this season, trying to figure out the best way to utilize his third best pitch. It has had flashes as a potential plus pitch but is also the southpaw's most inconsistent offering. If it ever reached the level of his fastball and slider, Harrison could have three legitimate plus pitches in his arsenal.
The Giants were hesitant to push Harrison deep into outings this season, given his youth. However, he rarely showed signs of slowing down late in his outings and finished the season strong. Heading into next season, it will be interesting to see if the SF Giants give Kyle Harrison a shot to compete for a spot in the big-league rotation at spring training next year.