Chris Wright, LHP
BATS: L / THROWS: L
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2019, 12th Round
LAST LEVEL: High-A
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #5 Relief Pitcher, #32 Overall
Performance: Chris Wright had a revelation of the season. After missing 2020 as what would’ve been his full-season debut. Wright started the season in Low-A San Jose, and his stuff mostly overwhelmed hitters, as he faced 31 batters and struck out 17 of them. He had a 1.13 ERA through six games, and quickly got pushed on up to Eugene.
Through his time in Eugene, he was still dominating. After his late-May promotion, he gave up three earned runs in late June across two appearances, and then he only gave up one more earned run the rest of the season. On his last appearance of the regular season, he dipped his ERA under 1.00, and he finished with a 0.97 ERA, and 62 strikeouts to 18 walks in 37.0 innings at High-A.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Wright comes to his relief role with a low-90’s fastball, and a hammer curveball that has a great drop, and gets most of his strikeouts off of those pitches. Wright also works with a cut fastball as a third pitch that he could use in place of a changeup, but so far he hasn’t needed it.
In his 2021 season, Wright was just about equally as effective against lefties and righties, giving up nearly the exact same batting average (.125 against RHB, .128 against LHB). He also got stronger as the season went on, holding batters to less than a .100 batting average the last two months of the season.
Notably, Wright was also a first baseman in college, with raw power and a strong defender, but the Giants aren’t pursuing the two-way side.
2022 Outlook: Wright is an impressive reliever, and the Giants see him as someone who could move quickly. He’s almost certainly going to start in Richmond, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in Sacramento at some point. He may need to get that cut fastball to face more advanced hitters.
Future Profile: Wright spent much of 2021 as Eugene’s closer, collecting 21 saves, but without the velocity, he might be more suited as a guy in the setup mix who gets a ton of strikeouts and not allow a lot of hits.