Caleb Kilian's Strike-Throwing Ability Stands Out
Righthander Caleb Kilian’s numbers in 2021 are much too good to ignore, but he nevertheless tries to ignore them.
“I’ll glance every now and then at some of them,” Kilian said, “but I try to stay away from looking at them, getting caught up in the numbers.
“I just try to go out there and hit the glove as many times as I can.”
Hitting the glove is something the 6-foot-4, 180-pound righthander does extremely well. As of July 30, when he was traded with outfielder Alexander Canario to the Cubs for third baseman Kris Bryant, Kilian had thrown a combined 84.2 innings for High-A Eugene and Double-A Richmond and had issued all of nine walks.
“He’s got an unbelievable ability to just command his fastball to wherever he wants to throw it,” Giants farm director Kyle Haines said. “That sets up so many other pitches as well.”
Kilian’s other numbers of note through those 84.2 innings: a 2.13 ERA, 96 strikeouts and a mere 60 hits allowed.
The Giants drafted Kilian in the eighth round in 2019 from Texas Tech.
In college, Kilian’s fastball sat in the low 90s. Because of increased strength and weight, Kilian’s fastball now typically registers in the mid 90s.
“I’m also able to keep my velo longer in the game,” Killian said. “At Tech, I kind of lost a mile an hour every inning, it seemed like.”
Haines enthused about Killian’s combination of control and stuff, saying it’s impressive “to see a guy who’s in the mid 90s with multiple offspeed (pitches), and the first thing you talk about is how well he commands the baseball . . .
“He gets ahead, stays ahead and then his stuff just allows him to put the (hitter) away when he gets him down in the count.”
The 24-year-old Kilian clearly pitched well enough to intrigue officials in the Cubs organization, and it shouldn't take long before he arrives in Triple-A and gets one step closer to the big leagues.
— The Giants promoted outfielder Heliot Ramos from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A Sacramento on July 21. Ramos, the Giants’ first-round pick in 2017, hit 10 homers and slashed .237/.323/.432 in 236 at-bats with the Flying Squirrels this season.
— Righthanded reliever R.J. Dabovich, the Arizona State product whom the Giants selected in the fourth round in 2020, was averaging nearly two strikeouts per inning this season. In a combined 24.1 innings with High-A Eugene and Double-A Richmond through July 22, Dabovich racked up 47 strikeouts. He had converted nine of 10 save opportunities.