Last night the San Francisco Giants promoted right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton to the major league roster. Let’s take a quick look at what he offers.
The Giants originally drafted Stratton in the first round in 2012 from Mississippi State University. At the time he was expected to advance quickly but his progress was initially slower than expected. He improved in 2015 and 2016 with decent seasons in the high minors, including a 3.87 ERA with a 103/39 K/BB in Triple-A in ‘16. He appeared in the majors briefly last season, pitching 10 innings of relief with a 3.60 ERA and a 6/5 K/BB.
Stratton ranked 13th on the pre-season San Francisco Giants 2017 Top 20 prospects list with the following commentary:
13) Chris Stratton, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 26, first round pick in 2012 from Mississippi State, 3.87 ERA in 126 innings in Triple-A, 103/39 K/BB, 120 hits; posted 3.60 ERA in 10 major league innings; long-standing prospect with little left to prove in minors; fastball has steadied at 90-94; has curve, slider, change; all pitches generally average but not weak, it works when his command is sharp; like Blackburn, a potential four/five starter but might show more per-inning dominance if used in bullpen. ETA 2017.
Nothing has changed since then, Stratton making two starts for Triple-A Sacramento, giving up nine runs in 10 innings but with good control, walking just one. He gave up eight runs in eight innings for the Giants in spring training, but fanned nine while walking one.
There’s nothing spectacular about Stratton. He has four adequate pitches and he throws strikes. He won’t dominate, but he is versatile, a good 11th man on a staff for mop up and long relief work who can make some starts if necessary.