Giants prospect Seth Corry named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year

Giants prospect Seth Corry named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year

The Giants' biggest breakout pitching prospect was honored Tuesday for a sensational season. The South Atlantic League named Seth Corry its Pitcher of the Year. 

Corry, 20, is 9-3 with a 1.74 ERA this season in Class A with the Augusta GreenJackets, and still has one start left. He has 161 strikeouts in 114 innings, a 1.05 WHIP and opponents are batting just .160 against him. 

"We are incredibly proud of what Seth has done this season and his ability to attack each day to continue getting better. It's been a pleasure to watch him work this year," GreenJackets manager Carlos Valderrama said in a team statement. "He's so competitive and every time he's taken the mound, he's given us a chance to win the baseball game." 

Corry, the Giants' third-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, has been unhittable at times this season. He pitched 32 straight scoreless innings from July 13 to August 16, and didn't allow an earned run in five of his six starts in July. 

The young left-hander was named Pitcher of the Week twice in the SAL this year, and was named the league's Player of the Month for July. 

Corry has baffled opposing batters all season long, especially so since the All-Star break. Before the All-Star break, he went 1-2 with a 2.74 ERA. But in the second half, Corry is 8-1 with a miniscule 0.97 ERA. 

This season truly has been a breakout year for Corry. He always possessed a strikeout arsenal, but struggled with command. Prior to this season, Corry had 80 strikeouts and 54 walks in two seasons, good for just a 1.48-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

That number has shot up significantly this year, with Corry allowing only 57 walks. In Augusta, he has a 2.82-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

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As Corry's strikeout numbers have gone up and his walks down, he has climbed up prospect rankings. Corry entered the year as the Giants' No. 26 prospect, and MLB.com now has him all the way up at No. 9. 

With the likes of Logan Webb and other young arms entering the Giants' rotation, there's no reason Corry can't do the same in a few years himself.

Giants prospect Logan Webb more motivated than ever after PED suspension

Giants prospect Logan Webb more motivated than ever after PED suspension

Logan Webb needed something to clear his mind. The Giants' top pitching prospect played a lot of video games -- mostly Madden and NBA 2K -- and even took up a little golf in Arizona. Mostly, he turned to his friends and family whenever he could. 

"Honestly, the best thing I could do is lean on my family. That was the main thing. Lean on my teammates and my friends back home," Webb said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday. "That was big for me because a lot of the time I felt almost alone. Just kind of a lonely feeling.

"But there was a lot of great guys down there in Arizona." 

The great guys in Arizona he's referring to are at the Giants' spring training facility to rehab an injury or play in either extended spring training or the Arizona Rookie League. Webb, however, was there for an entirely different reason. 

After a phenomenal start to the season in Double-A Richmond, the 22-year-old was suspended 80 games on May 1 after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing substance. Webb denied ever knowingly taking a PED when the suspension was announced, and he's sticking to his side of the story. 

"I’m gonna stand by it forever. That will never change," Webb said. 

Shortly after the news was announced, Webb packed his bags and headed to the desert. He's been throwing the entire time and has worked extensively with the training staff to stay in shape. While in Arizona, Webb says he worked more on his changeup and really was able to refine his mechanics. 

He also had someone right there with him he could turn to at any time of the day. 

"Obviously my family, but a guy I could really lean on is [Giants pitching prospect] Mac Marshall. He’s been a huge help. We’ve been best friends since we’ve been drafted. Unfortunately, he was in Arizona too (rehabbing an injury). He’s been a huge help. Being able to talk to him and hang out with him a bunch, he’s been unbelievable in helping me get over it." 

While he pitched in extended spring training games, Webb was back on the hill in a real game setting for the first time since being suspended when he joined the AZL Giants Orange in Rookie League on July 12. He allowed one earned run and struck out six batters over five innings. 

Webb also pitched in front of a few of the other top Giants prospects, including 17-year-old Marco Luciano and the team's top pick this year, Hunter Bishop. 

"[Luciano's] a stud," Webb said. "I got to play with a lot of those guys. I got to play with Bishop a little and he’s great. All of those guys are great. [Luciano's] gonna be a superstar."

Throughout his three-game "rehab assignment," Webb played with some of San Francisco's best young talent. He can feel the excitement of the whole organization as the farm system clearly is on the rise, saying "it's pretty impressive to see." 

Webb pitched once in the AZL and twice with Low Class-A Augusta during his rehab assignment before he was re-instated Saturday and back on the bump Sunday with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. In his first game back in Double-A, Webb went 4 2/3 innings while allowing two earned runs and recorded six strikeouts. Webb now is 2-3 with a 1.93 ERA and has 52 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. 

The Rocklin native was rising up the rankings at the start of the season. Now, he finds himself more motivated than ever. He's always had a chip on his shoulder, but never one this big. 

"That’s kind of my mentality -- proving people wrong," Webb said. "Just going out there and proving who I am and who I was is the same guy. Finish what I started. Pitch my heart out pretty much." 

Webb believes his suspension could serve as fuel to the fire. It's a label he'll always carry with him and he'll always have to find the light with a dark shadow cast over him.

At the same time, it's also something he doesn't wish upon anybody else. 

"It’s the worst thing ever and I’m still not truly over it," Webb said. "In a way, I’m gonna use that -- it’s the only thing I can do. Use this as a chip on my shoulder like I have been my whole life. I'm just excited to prove myself." 

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Throughout our talk, Webb used words like confusing and frustrating to describe the past few months. He still doesn't know why or how this happened to him. I asked Webb what word best chronicles his mindset while dealing with the suspension. After a few long pauses sprinkled in with some "umms," he found his answer.

"Motivated." 

The mound is the last place Webb feels lonely. His safe haven is back. Now it's up to him to use his motivation to finish what he started on his road to San Francisco.

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Giants pitching prospects from 2018 MLB Draft impressing in 2019 season

Giants pitching prospects from 2018 MLB Draft impressing in 2019 season

The Giants are playing the waiting game with their top two prospects, catcher Joey Bart and outfielder Heliot Ramos. Both players are currently injured but expect to be back in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, several other prospects have been impressive as the Giants shuffle through roster changes. It all starts with the players that San Francisco selected right after Bart in the 2018 MLB Draft. 

After taking Bart with the No. 2 overall pick, the Giants then selected four straight pitchers last June. Three of the four have formed an impressive trio in Class A for the Augusta GreenJackets with the fourth, Keaton Winn, not too far behind. 

Here's a look at the progress of the first three arms the Giants took behind Bart last year. 

Sean Hjelle

FanGraphs released their most recent scouting reports Friday on Giants top prospects and they describe Hjelle's body as a "young Pau Gasol." That's both hilarious and true. The evaluation also praises his athleticism for someone who stands 6-foot-11 and weighs 215 pounds. 

The long and lanky Hjelle is off to a great start this season. Through eight starts, he's 1-2 with a 2.50 ERA and has 40 strikeouts compared to eight walks in 36 innings pitched. 

Hjelle, 22, usually sits in the low 90s with his fastball, but his extension creates an uncomfortable at-bat for hitters.

Oh, and his sock game is incredibly strong. 


Jake Wong

Wong, 22, is in the midst of a second stellar minor league season after the Giants selected him in the third round of the draft last year out of Grand Canyon University. So far, he's been nearly perfect. 

Or at least unhittable. Literally. 

He was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week on May 6 after going 12 straight innings without allowing a single hit. Over those two starts, Wong struck out eight batters and only allowed two walks. 

Wong is 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA over eight starts this season. Opposing batters are only hitting .186 off him and he has just a 0.91 WHIP.

Blake Rivera

The third of this trio is Rivera, whose numbers aren't quite as eye-opening as the previous two but they're nothing to scoff at. And the Giants like him so much, they've actually drafted him twice. 

After being selected by the Giants in the 32nd round as a freshman at Wallace State Community College in 2017, he returned for his sophomore season and was then drafted by San Francisco in the fourth round. 

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Rivera, 21, is 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA, though that's largely due to control issues. He's walked 21 batters this season but also has 33 strikeouts in 29 innings. Opposing batters are only hitting .204 against him. 

Down the road, Rivera might turn into a reliever. For now, he's a live arm that's worth watching.

The Giants' big-league roster is in flux as they look to get younger and start a new era. They built their success on young arms, and could soon do so again.