Jason Bahr

Down on the Farm: Giants lose promising pitching prospect in trade with Rangers

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MiLB

Down on the Farm: Giants lose promising pitching prospect in trade with Rangers

In a bit of a surprise, the Giants made big roster moves Sunday in a trade with the Rangers that will send Austin Jackson and Cory Gearrin to Texas. The third name in this trade is the one to know, and the one the Giants hope they won't regret. 

This trade was essentially a salary dump as the Rangers will reportedly take on all of Jackson's remaining salary. With handing off money to the Rangers' bank account comes the loss of an emerging prospect. Somewhat lost in the shuffle of the Giants' moves is the loss of starting pitcher Jason Bahr. 

At 23 years old, Bahr is one of the Giants' highest risers on the bump. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of the University of Central Florida, Bahr has stifled batters at two levels this season and how he got here is quite the story.

In college, Bahr stepped on to campus as a walk-on in 2014, redshirting the same year. He recorded three walks and two strikeouts in 2015 and was then cut the next year. That didn't stop Bahr though and somehow didn't stop his career as a Golden Knight.

After impressing a new coaching staff over the summer, Bahr was back at UCF as a redshirt junior in 2017 and finished the season second in Division I with 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Bahr appeared in 24 games, making five starts, and struck out 98 batters in 60.2 innings with a 0.94 WHIP. 

With low mileage on his raw right arm, Bahr is only getting better. And it's showing this season. The lanky 6-foot-5 right-hander started the season off in Augusta and impressed after 13 starts. In his time with the GreenJackets, Bahr went 6-4 with a 2.75 ERA and struck out 88 batters in 68.2 innings. His time in Class A prompted a promotion to Advanced Single-A and Bahr kept on rolling in San Jose. 

"It's really not normal for us with our past practices," GM Bobby Evans said on the Giants trading Bahr. "It's the price of doing business for us. Jason's going to do well wherever he goes and obviously we wish him well. It's just important to get Duggar and Black up here and compete in this division."

Jumping a level, Bahr didn't allow a single earned run in his first two starts for the San Jose Giants, striking out 10 and walking one in those 12 innings. His final start with San Jose, Bahr allowed three earned runs on three solo home runs and still racked up five strikeouts in four innings. Overall, Bahr is 8-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 84.2 innings this season with Augusta and San Jose. He has also totaled 103 strikeouts to 23 walks with a 1.03 WHIP. 

The Giants are going young, fresh and exciting with the additions of Steven Duggar and Ray Black all while saving money to possibly make a move at the trade deadline. There's always risk with rewards and the front office has to be crossing their fingers that losing Bahr will be worth it in the long run.