Ex-Giants prospect perfect for six innings in AFL title game

Caleb Kilian

Former Giants prospect Caleb Kilian was perfect -- literally -- Saturday for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League championship game. 

Kilian, 24, threw six perfect innings against the Surprise Saguaros. He struck out eight batters and 48 of his 68 pitches were thrown for strikes before being taken out. Kilian was named the championship game's Most Valuable Player. 

“I think it’s one of the best outings of my life,” Kilian said after the game, via MLB Pipeline. “I don’t think there’s another time I’ve done that.”

Throughout the game, Kilian sat in the mid-90s with his fastball but he topped out at 98 mph. His fastball usually is around 94 mph. To further show how strong his start was, 16 of the 18 batters that Kilian retired were done in five pitches or fewer. 

As a Giants prospect, Kilian looked like president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi's latest gem. Zaidi selected nine hitters in the Giants' first 10 picks during his first draft with San Francisco. The lone pitcher was Kilian in the eighth round of the 2019 draft. This season, he looked like a future part of the Giants' starting rotation. 

Instead, he became a key piece to acquiring Kris Bryant. 

Kilian began the season in High-A Eugene where he had a 1.25 ERA in four starts. He had allowed only three earned runs and struck out 32 in 21 2/3 innings before being promoted to Double-A Richmond. In 11 starts with Richmond, Kilian had a 2.43 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. 

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But the Giants packaged Kilian and outfielder Alexander Canario in a trade to add Bryant from the Chicago Cubs on July 30. 

Fans were ecstatic to see the Giants to add Bryant at the deadline. They can't fault them now if Bryant ends up elsewhere this offseason as a free agent, all while Kilian looks to be on the fast track to the big leagues.

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