The San Francisco Giants are sending their top two 2012 draft picks to their first full-season assignments this season, and the Augusta GreenJackets are the recipient.
The GreenJackets rotation will be led by Giants first-rounder Chris Stratton and second-rounder Martin Agosta, two right-handed college arms with strong fastballs and sliders.
Stratton and Agosta highlight an Augusta pitching staff that features four prospects within the top 30 in the Giants system, according to Baseball America. All four are 2012 college draftees, a trend that is seen in the Giants’ most recent draft.
“I think our rotation is going to be pretty good coming out of the chute,” first-year GreenJackets manager Mike Goff said on Tuesday. “It’s definitely going to be one of our strengths.”
Stratton was selected 20th overall out of Mississippi State. The 6-foot-3, 22-year-old is ranked third in the system by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, featuring a fastball in the low-90s with a strong slider and developing curveball and changeup.
“I pretty much just to try to mix them up and try to get outs,” Stratton said. “It really doesn’t matter how it happens. My slider was my put-out pitch last year. I worked hard in spring training trying to get my curveball up to where it should be, and the changeup, as well.”
The 21-year-old Agosta was taken in the second round out of St. Mary’s. He features an arsenal very similar to Stratton’s, as well as a similar outlook on what needs work.
“I try to get five pitches in there,” Agosta said. “I used to have (a cutter) in college, but in instructs I threw it too much and they didn’t like it. They wanted me to work off my changeup more. It’s coming along. I never really threw it until junior year of college. I started to develop it in instructs and it came pretty good.”
Goff said the rest of the rotation will feature Joan Gregorio, Jose Reyes, Kendry Flores and Joseph Biagini.
The bullpen includes two flamethrowers in Steven Okert and Stephen Johnson. Okert is a fourth-rounder who throws a mid-90s fastball and hard slider from the left side. Johnson is a sixth-rounder who throws between 94-98 mph while reportedly touching 101 mph.