The SF Giants selected NC State left-handed pitcher Nick Swiney with the 67th overall pick.
That was the same selection the Giants acquired as compensation for losing Madison Bumgarner in the offseason. Coincidentally, Bumgarner is a fellow southpaw from North Carolina.
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It’s funny how those things tend to work out.
Primarily a reliever during his time with the Wolfpack, Swiney was suddenly inserted into the starting rotation in his junior season where he thrived before the season was canceled.
The SF Giants were intrigued by Nick Swiney’s newfound success as a starter.
In his first two seasons at NC State, Swiney struggled to keep his ERA below 4.60 while pitching almost exclusively in relief. But in four starts in 2020, the North Carolina native went 4-0 with an exceptional 1.29 ERA while striking out 42 batters in 28.0 innings.
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All of a sudden, it appeared as though Swiney was finally putting it all together before the season reached its premature conclusion. And many believe that he would’ve forced his way into Round 1 consideration if the year had been played out.
However, the vast majority of other rankings had him at or around 80th overall. Not bad, but it would be considered a reach at this spot.
Swiney has a three-pitch repertoire that consists of a fastball, changeup, and curveball. The fastball can reach speeds of up to 95 mph but comfortably sits around 92-93 mph.
He struggled mightily with his control as a reliever but cleaned it up as a starter in 2020 all while maintaining his velocity. For that reason, many see Swiney as a potential third or fourth starter in the majors down the line.
Swiney’s ability to retain his velocity, continue to strike out a high percentage of batters, and improve his control upon moving to the rotation gives hope that a spot in an MLB rotation could be in his future.
Perhaps he doesn’t have quite the same upside as the last lefty out of North Carolina that the Giants drafted, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him become a fixture of the rotation some point in the future.
At the very least, Giants fans will be hoping for the Bailey/Swiney battery to be reunited again in San Francisco.