In a completely unsurprising move, the San Francisco Giants have promoted their top pitching prospect Kyle Harrison to Double-A after seven dominating starts at High-A Eugene.
Harrison, just 20, had a 1.55 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in Eugene through seven starts. He had 59 strikeouts to 10 walks allowed in 29.0 innings, and was just one strikeout off the league lead despite having pitched nine less innings than the league leader Adam Macko of Everett.
Through seven starts, Harrison had allowed eight runs, five of them earned, but all but one of each came in a game where Harrison was under the weather. That was the only game in which he gave up home runs (two) and hit a batter.
Harrison was the Giants 3rd round pick, #85 overall, in the 2020 draft out of De La Salle high school in Concord, CA. Despite being drafted in the third round, he received the team’s highest bonus in order to lure him to the pros rather than pitch for UCLA. In Harrison’s debut season in 2021 at Low-A San Jose, he had a 3.19 ERA with 157 strikeouts to 52 walks in 98.2 innings.
Harrison heads to Double-A Richmond, where he is expected to make his first start on Friday, May 27th. Richmond’s broadcaster Trey Wilson notes that Harrison’s grandfather, pitcher Skip Gunn, pitched for the Richmond Braves in 1967 and 1968. Gunn played parts of three years in the Majors, debuting with the Atlanta Braves in 1968 before being the 17th pick in the 1968 expansion draft by the Expos. The Expos traded Gunn to the Houston Astros with Jesus Alou and Jack Billingham for Rusty Staub early in 1969. Gunn had a career 5.40 ERA in 35 relief appearances in the big leagues.
Harrison will be one of the youngest players in the Eastern League. Born August 12, 2001, there were only two players younger than Harrison in the Eastern League on Opening Day, and only five in all of Double-A, though those numbers may have changed with promotions since then. This puts him on pace to debut as early as sometime in 2023, with 2024 being a more reasonable season to expect.