Giants rookie Kyle Harrison delivers electric Oracle Park debut

Aug 29, 2023, 8:59 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 28: Kyle Harrison #45 of the San Francisco Giants pitches agains...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Big things were expected from San Francisco Giants rookie Kyle Harrison following the young left-hander’s call-up to the big leagues.

Two starts into his Major League Baseball career, Harrison has delivered in every way possible.

In his first start in front of Giants fans at Oracle Park, Harrison put on a show by striking out 11 batters over 6.1 scoreless innings during San Francisco’s 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Although the southpaw was supposed to be limited to 85 pitches, Giants manager Gabe Kapler let Harrison go back out for the seventh inning after finishing the sixth at 78 pitches. Harrison ended up tossing a season-high (at all levels) 91 pitches.

“It felt like this was a historic performance at that point, and one that warranted an additional up, even though it wasn’t totally comfortable,” Kapler said of Harrison’s outing. “He was that good and that deserving.”

“It was about as an electric performance by a pitcher as we’ve seen since I’ve been here in San Francisco, right up there with any pitching performance.”

Harrison, the top prospect in the Giants’ system, became the youngest San Francisco pitcher to record 11 strikeouts since Madison Bumgarner did so on June 26, 2011.

The 22-year-old made it clear that fans were in store for a special night after he set down the first five Reds batters on strikes. By the end of the third inning, Harrison had struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced.

Harrison, who secured his first MLB win on Monday, only allowed three hits and walked two batters during his dominant performance–one that rookie catcher Patrick Bailey says he wasn’t surprised to see.

“The funny part is I think everybody’s kind of shocked, like, ‘Oh man, wow, this is incredible,” Bailey said of his longtime minor league teammate in Harrison. “I’ve been seeing this for three years and have been part of it for three years. It’s been really cool to just see him do it on the biggest stage in front of a really good crowd.”

Harrison credited his longtime teammate in Bailey for his performance during the win, citing that the plan was to be aggressive toward Cincinnati’s lineup.

“I just went out there, and the game plan with [Bailey] was just to attack these guys,” Harrison said. “I stuck to the game plan and had some great plays behind me. Yeah, it was a great day.”

Giants fans hoped Harrison, who has been hyped as the organization’s next great pitching prospect, would follow through on the notable expectations.

Two starts into his career, Harrison is holding up his end of things.

About San Francisco Giants top prospect Kyle Harrison

Age: 22

Throws: L

Height: 6’2

Weight: 200 lbs

Born: San Jose, CA

High School: De La Salle | Concord, CA

Draft: 2020, 3rd round, 85th overall selection

Career stats in Minors: 9-9 record, 3.32 ERA, 69 games, 279.1 IP, 452 strikeouts, 14.6 K/9

Pitch mix: Four-seam fastball, slider, changeup

Harrison, San Francisco’s top prospect and the 20th-ranked prospect in all of Major League Baseball, posted a 4-3 record and 2.71 ERA while striking out 186 batters over 113 innings pitched at the AA and High-A levels in 2022.

Over 18 starts with AAA Sacramento in 2023, Harrison holds a 4.52 ERA to go along with 109 strikeouts (sixth-most in the Pacific Coast League) over just 67.2 innings pitched.

Upcoming San Francisco Giants Schedule

  • Monday, August 28th-Wednesday, August 30th – vs. Cincinnati Reds
  • Thursday, August 31st-Sunday, September 3rd – @ San Diego Padres
  • Monday, September 4th-Wednesday, September 6th – @ Chicago Cubs
  • Friday, September 8th-Sunday, September 10th – @ Colorado Rockies
  • Monday, September 11th-Wednesday, September 13th – vs. Cleveland Guardians

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