The Giants have officially signed lefthanded pitcher Nick Swiney to a deal with a $1,200,000 signing bonus, per Jim Callis. A source familiar with the situation informed Giant Futures that Swiney will not be joining the Giants 60-player pool. Swiney was selected with the 67th overall pick in the Compensatory 2nd Round of last month’s draft. San Francisco received the draft pick as compensation for the departure of former ace Madison Bumgarner last offseason.
Swiney received $223,300 more than the $976,700 slot for the 67th overall pick in the draft, which means the Giants will need to find some more pool savings from other picks to make up for the over-slot signing of their 3rd round selection Kyle Harrison.
Selected out of North Carolina State, Swiney becomes the third significant Wolfpack alum to join the Giants organization in the last eight months. The team added Will Wilson this offseason in the Zack Cozart trade before adding Swiney and Patrick Bailey in this year’s draft.
Swiney’s profile aligns with other pitchers the Giants have seemed to favor over the past couple drafts. While the southpaw doesn’t have traditional overpowering stuff, his fastball sits in the low-90s, there’s reason to believe it could improve. Swiney’s heater has elite vertical movement that paired with some minor mechanical adjustments could have some untapped potential.
Still, his secondary pitches remain the foundation of his success. Both his curveball and changeup project as above-average to plus pitches and should be enough to holdup in a big-league rotation even if the fastball doesn’t take substantial strides forward.
Working out of the bullpen through his first two collegiate seasons, Swiney racked up strikeouts, but it came with erratic control. As a sophomore, Swiney struck out 95 batters in less than 60 innings but walked nearly 5 batters per 9 innings.
Heading into this spring, Swiney was moved into the rotation and he made a point of reorienting his mindset. In an interview with Giant Futures Swiney said, “Out of the bullpen my sophomore year… my job was to go in and strike everyone out. This year was a different mindset. I needed to be a pitcher this year… I needed to figure out how to use my pitches to my advantage for that third time through the lineup.”
The results paid off. As a starter, Swiney didn’t lose too much velocity and showed newfound control. In his 4 starts this spring, Swiney walked just 6 batters in 28 innings of work. More impressively, he still racked up punchouts, striking out 13.5 batters per 9 innings.
Given his limited track record as a college starter, scouts remained split on what to make of Swiney’s draft stock. Keith Law of The Athletic ranked Swiney as the 22nd best prospect in the draft and thought he would have pitched himself into the first round with a full season. Others were more hesitant to read into just 4 games and tended to rank him as a 2nd to early 3rd round prospect. Still, even according to the more modest rankings, Swiney was a great value for the Giants at 67.
Swiney is now officially a member of the Giants organization and has the repertoire to stick as a big-league starter. If his fastball takes another step forward, he could exceed expectations, but otherwise he projects as a mid-rotation arm.