Kyle Harrison, Giants' top pitching prospect, promoted to Double-A Richmond

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Giants promote top pitching prospect Harrison to Double-A originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- When it comes to promoting top prospects to the next level, the Giants look for dominance, for consistent signs that a level is too easy for a player. That was certainly the case over the last couple of months for Kyle Harrison.

The 20-year-old lefty demolished the competition in High-A and on Tuesday became the highest-profile promotion of the minor league season for the Giants thus far. Harrison's next start will be for Double-A Eugene, getting him a big step closer to the big leagues.

Harrison made seven starts in High-A, posting a 1.55 ERA and striking out 59 of the 118 batters he faced. In 29 innings, Harrison allowed just 19 hits and walked 10.

Harrison was a strong UCLA commit heading into the 2020 draft, but the Giants took him in the third round and went under slot with other signings so they could offer Harrison $2.5 million, which was the slot value for a late first-round pick. The move appears to have been one of the best this new front office has made.

Harrison didn't get to pitch in 2020 because of the pandemic, but last year he had a 3.19 ERA in 23 starts at Low-A and struck out 14.3 batters per nine innings. After getting into better shape in the offseason and seeing more consistent velocity on his fastball, Harrison was even more overpowering at High-A. He relies on a mid-90s fastball, hard slider and developing changeup.

Harrison is a consensus top 100 prospect already and is quickly rising through the ranks. He was already three years younger than the average player in his league, and now will face stiffer competition. Harrison won't turn 21 until August, but a strong run in Double-A the rest of this year could set him up for a 2023 big league debut.

That would mean he matches his idol, Chris Sale, who reached the big leagues at 21. Even as a high schooler at De La Salle in Concord, Harrison drew some Sale comparisons.

"From that arm slot, I always wanted a sweeper-slider like him," Harrison said this spring. "I've kind of gotten a lot of comparisons to him but I just like the way he attacks guys. He's a hard-throwing lefty just not really caring what's behind him or anything, just attacking the zone. That's the mindset that I want to have."