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Giants rookie Derek Law: What happens next?

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Rookie right-hander Derek Law was one of the bright spots in the San Francisco Giants bullpen in 2016. He averaged less than an inning per appearance, collecting 55 frames in 61 games, but he was very effective in those 55 innings with a 2.13 ERA, 50/9 K/BB, just 44 hits allowed, and a 2.53 FIP. He contributed 1.1 fWAR, which is quite nice for a rookie middle reliever.

Normally a 26-year-old bullpen arm, even a successful one, isn't going to receive a lot of attention. I've always found Law interesting, though, due to high strikeout rates dating back to his days in college. We profiled him back in late April when he first reached the Show, noting his

fastball up to 95-96, a big-breaking curve in the upper-70s, a slider in the 80s. He throws strikes. All of this is well-known but scouts have long been concerned about his arm action.

He's smoothed out the delivery some since college. It is still unusual, but it works for him.

The question going forward: will Law remain "merely" an effective short and middle reliever, or can he close eventually? He did see some brief action in that role this year, collecting one save in two opportunities, but will there be more to follow?

I think it is very possible. Law actually has a persistent track record of reverse platoon splits in the minors and he did that in the majors again this year, holding lefties to a .188/.193/.325 mark. Right-handers hit .232/.278/.320. Lefties show more isolated power against him but struggle with contact and getting on base. Right-handers don't have much luck either. If that remains true going forward, I don't see any reason why he can't close eventually.