Hall Has Abnormal History

Giants 19th-round pick has minimal pitching experience





SAN FRANCISCO—Cody Hall didn't play baseball in his last two years of high school. He had never thrown a pitch before walking on at Baton Rouge CC. When he showed enough size and arm strength to earn a scholarship to Southern, the Jaguars didn't have a pitching coach to help him along.

But Hall's arm is for real, and the 19th-round draftee will encounter a familiar face when he arrives in Scottsdale, Ariz., for his first professional spring training. The Giants' roving pitching instructor is former all-star reliever Lee Smith, who along with former World Series ace Dave Stewart takes a week out of every year to volunteer with the Jaguars.

Smith didn't do any bird-dogging work on Hall, though. The Giants knew him because their Midwest supervisor, Arnold Brathwaite, is a former Southern player and assistant coach who takes several trips a year to see his alma mater.

"Arnold knew there was a lot to work with," scouting director John Barr said. "He has a chance to close at (low Class A) Augusta next year."

Hall has a fastball that can reach the upper 90s and he learned two offspeed pitches while playing in the Florida Collegiate Summer League. He shows promise with a slider that has good tilt when he doesn't overthrow it. A fiery competitor, he has decent control when he keeps his emotions in check. When he doesn't, he tries to muscle the ball and his shoulder flies open.

"Most power pitchers have to learn that control so they have a consistent, nice, easy delivery that allows him to stay healthy," Barr said. "He's athletic, strong, big torso. He doesn't look 220 pounds. He was one of our pitchers at (short-season) Salem. We felt he had a really good arm there."

And now he's got the coaches to help him get the most out of it.

GIANTICS

• Triple-A Fresno manager Steve Decker will swap roles with hitting coordinator Bob Mariano next season. Decker, who runs a hitting camp in Oregon over the winter, will benefit from a more flexible schedule and the Giants will benefit from his ability to work with the entire system.

• The Giants took righthander Luis Rojas from the Mets in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. They didn't lose any of their own players.