Bailey, Harrison open eyes in Giants minor league camp

Patrick Bailey

In the Giants' past two games, both wins, fans have seen a glimpse of their bright future with the non-stop fun known as Camilo Doval. 

The 23-year-old reliever is hurling 98 mph fastballs by big league hitters and making them look silly with a wipeout slider. He also is giving hilarious answers in the postgame press conference. Doval is the latest example of how the light at the end of the tunnel is growing larger by the day, and he won't be the last. 

As top prospects like Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos are at the Giants' alternate site in Sacramento, a handful of others still are in Arizona participating in minor league camp before the season begins on May 4. And their top two prospects from the 2020 MLB Draft are opening eyes. 

Patrick Bailey is yet to play in a minor league game after the season was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That doesn't mean he hasn't impressed the Giants in the meantime. 

The young catcher spent Summer Camp with the Giants and then trained at the alternate site where he also learned how to play first base alongside Bart. Bailey was a non-roster invite to big league camp this spring and struggled at the plate, notching just one hit in 13 at-bats. That's expected from someone who was facing ACC pitchers the spring before and missed a year of in-game development. 


Now at minor league camp, the No. 13 overall pick from last year's draft has shown why the Giants coveted him despite already having Bart in the system.

Bailey went 1-for-2 with a walk and home run that had a 103 mph exit velocity on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels. He previously went 3-for-3 against the A's Double-A squad on Thursday, and was a triple shy of the cycle. The homer had a 105 mph exit velocity and the double came off the bat at 100 mph. 

"We continue to see him work on his approach getting the ball in the air to the pull side, particularly from the left-handed batter's box," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said in March. 

That clearly has transferred to games in the past week. Bailey is an advanced catcher who is a switch-hitter with a smooth swing and power potential. It's easy to see him as a fast riser through the farm system. 

While the Giants drafted local prep star Kyle Harrison 72 picks later, they paid him like a first-rounder to keep him from signing with UCLA, and it's clear why. 

Harrison, who starred at De La Salle High School in Concord, stood out to the Giants for his increased velocity during the Fall Instructional League. In high school, the left-hander threw in the low-90s. But in the fall, he was up to 97 mph. 

On Monday, Harrison was sitting at 96 mph and topped out at 98 against the Angels' Low-A team. He struck out five batters in two innings, showcasing that fastball mixed with a nasty breaking ball. 

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His high school coach compared him to Chris Sale, and it's easy to see the similarities. Another positive is it looks like Harrison added muscle to his frame, which certainly can be a factor in increasing the velocity on his fastball. 

The Giants were extremely happy they were able to land Harrison in the third round of the draft, and they clearly targeted Bailey with their first-round pick. Though both are yet to play in a real minor league game, they're making the front office look smarter each day in Arizona.

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