All Logan Webb needed last year was 63 innings in the minor leagues for the Giants to call him up to the majors at 22 years old. The front office didn't waste time with the young right-hander, and it has paid off.
Webb, who struck out four and only allowed one earned run over five innings Wednesday in the Giants' 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies, has been San Francisco's best starting pitcher early on this season. The Rocklin native often gets overlooked among the Giants' top prospects as Joey Bart, Marco Luciano and Heliot Ramos steal the spotlight. If Webb, with a 2.13 ERA through three starts, keeps this up, that won't happen much longer.
The Giants were aggressive in getting Webb through the minors, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi expects the same mindset with several other young pitchers in the near future.
"It's a little bit easier for pitchers I think to demonstrate dominance in smaller samples than it is for position players," Zaidi said Wednesday night on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto and Kolsky" show. "Pitchers have the ability to move more quickly, and that certainly factors into our thinking as well."
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When looking at lists for the Giants' top prospects, the farm system appears hitter heavy. Bart, Luciano and Ramos lead the way. Alexander Canario, Patrick Bailey and Luis Toribio aren't far behind.
But Zaidi expects a handful of Giants pitching prospects to help the big league club as soon as next season.
"We've got some guys like Sean Hjelle, Tristan Beck -- who we acquired last year -- Seth Corry, who are guys who could be in our rotation in the near future. I wouldn't even rule out 2021.
"There's certainly guys in the pipeline ... we definitely have some guys we're excited about making an impact for us next year."
None of the above names are at the Giants' alternate site in Sacramento as they believe pitchers are able to develop easier than hitters without live at-bats. Director of player development Kyle Haines did tell NBC Sports Bay Area recently that Hjelle would be game-ready if needed right now. The 2018 second-round pick made it to Double-A Richmond, and he and Beck are more pro-ready than Corry.
Among those three, Corry easily has the highest upside, though. Corry, who was only 20 years old last season, went 9-3 with a 1.76 ERA in Single-A Augusta. He was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year for his dominant season.
Jeff Samardzija is a free agent after this season. Johnny Cueto could be a free agent after 2021. Plenty of young arms might be joining Webb soon in San Francisco.
Farhan Zaidi expects Giants to be aggressive with pitching prospects originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area