R.J. Dabovich, RHP
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2020, 4th Round
LAST LEVEL: Double-A
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #2 Relief Pitcher, #18 Overall
Performance: Dabovich was the Giants third pitcher taken in the 2020 draft, one round behind Kyle Harrison, so he might have been a bit overshadowed, especially not getting to debut right away thanks to 2020. But Dabovich definitely made a statement in his first pro season.
Starting his career in High-A, Dabovich gave up a home run in each of his first two games, which didn’t seem to good. But those were the only two hits he’d give up while in Eugene, eventually striking out 28 of 46 batters he faced (60.9%) across 12.2 innings. He got promoted to Double-A in mid-June, and he got rocked for a 2-run home run in his first game there. He would even things out the rest of the way, despite some rocky steps, finished Double-A with a 3.66 ERA, though he missed more than a month with back tightness. Across 19.2 innings in Double-A, he struck out 34 in 19.2 innings, with seven walks.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Dabovich works with a two-pitch mix, with a high-90’s fastball and a slow curve with a ton of downward break. He uses it well to work vertically in the zone, and has an overhand delivery that has a bit of deception, which he uses to his advantage against batters.
Dabovich’s command is only average at best, but so far, he’s been able to use it to be effectively wild in games, though that suffered a bit against Double-A hitters. He used a slider in college that didn’t surface much as a pro. He also has a changeup that he could add into his repertoire.
2022 Outlook: After a successful 2022, Dabovich is probably headed to Triple-A to sit on the verge of the Majors.
Future Profile: Dabovich has some serious strikeout potential, but can he be closer material? That probably won’t be a realistic ceiling until he can work a third pitch into his stuff, to offset the subpar control. Still, a regular setup role is not a bad thing.