Minor League Prospect Note: Chris Heston, RHP, San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants prospect Chris Heston had a terrific game on Sunday for the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, throwing 7.2 shutout innings against Bowie, allowing just one hit and three walks, fanning 11. Overall, he is 8-5 in 21 starts with a 2.20 ERA and a 114/30 K/BB ratio, allowing 105 hits and only two homers in 123 innings, posting a 1.62 GO/AO ratio. He leads the Eastern League in ERA and ranks fourth in strikeouts.
Heston is a 24-year-old right-hander, listed at 6-4, 185, born April 10th, 1988. Drafted in the 12th round in 2009 from East Carolina University, he's moved steadily through the Giants system and has pitched well at every level, including a 12-4, 3.16 ERA with a 131/40 K/BB in 151 innings for High-A San Jose last year.
Heston has always pitched well, but scouts have been slow to give him his due. Lack of plus velocity is the culprit: he works in the mid-to-upper-80s. However, his fastball sinks, and he has three solid secondary pitches with a curve, slider, and changeup. His command is excellent and so far he's adapted to each level. Pre-season, I had him as a Grade C, with the note "put a good defense behind him and some interesting things could happen." I'd make him a Grade C+ now.