Promising left-handed pitching prospect Edwin Escobar is highly coveted within the San Francisco Giants‘ organization, specifically because the orange and black need another southpaw in their starting rotation.
The Giants’ rotation features four right-handed pitchers. Junk-ball left-handed pitcher Barry Zito formerly occupied an additional rotation spot, accounting for two southpaws in the Giants’ starting five. At some point, the Giants’ front office brass will be forced to balance the rotation, although it doesn’t appear as though that will happen in 2014.
San Francisco has five starters under contract for the upcoming season. Madison Bumgarner is the only left-handed starter currently listed on the projected 25-man roster. Star-studded right-handed minor league prospect Kyle Crick is frequently mentioned as the next big arm in line to join the Giants’ rotation, but Escobar could present more value, simply because of his throwing nature.
Escobar is ranked as the Giants’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB.com. The 21-year-old left-handed starter owns a mediocre 22-32 record with a stagnant 3.86 ERA in five seasons of minor league work, though. Escobar has pitched professionally since the age of 17 and has been consistently crafting his technique on the mound. He posted a 146 to 30 strikeout to walk ratio in between two minor league levels in 2013, exemplifying supreme control with swing-and-miss stuff.
Escobar features three above average pitches in his repertoire. His quick action enables his fastball, which frequently eclipses 94 mph on the radar gun. All of his pitches have sharp, downward bite. He’s able to cut and sink his fastball. His sinking changeup mirrors the downward movement of his fastball, keeping hitters off balance. He also features a three-quarters curveball that sweeps across the plate.
Escobar’s best trait as a pitcher is his ability to mix his pitches and effectively keep hitters guessing. At the moment, Esocobar is expected to compete for a possible roster spot in 2015. But if he continues to progress at a steady rate, it’s highly possible for him to earn a few spot starts in the upcoming season, especially if current starters, like Ryan Vogelsong, struggle.
The hard-throwing left-handed starter has the type of stuff that can get big league hitters out, though. If he’s granted the opportunity to start for the Giants on a temporary basis in 2014, he could steadfastly earn a permanent rotation spot, given his stingy allowance of baserunners and frequent tendency to strike hitters out.