Chris Wright Excels In Full-Season Debut
Because of the pandemic-forced shutdown of the minor leagues last year, lefthander Chris Wright spent much of 2020 working at Hop’s Athletic Facility in his native Rhode Island.
“We really broke down everything that I do,” Wright said. “Not necessarily going from the ground up, but definitely refining almost every part of my delivery, my pitches and whatnot.
“I came into this season really thinking I was going to . . . try to show everybody what I’ve got.”
The 22-year-old Wright quickly showed the ability to strike out hitters in bunches. After racking up 17 strikeouts in eight innings over six appearances with Low-A San Jose, Wright earned a promotion to High-A Eugene.
In his first outing there on May 28, Wright faced eight Spokane hitters. He walked one and fanned the other seven.
Through 15 appearances, Wright had a combined 41 strikeouts in 19.1 innings for the two Class A teams and had converted all eight of his save opportunities.
Giants farm director Kyle Haines said Wright throws a low-90s fastball that plays up “because of the extra life on it” and “a double-plus curveball.”
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Wright has added a cutter and a changeup to his pitch mix as well.
He was a first baseman and pitcher at Bryant, but because of his struggles on the mound (9.45 ERA) as a freshman in 2017 and because the Bulldogs lacked infield depth in 2018, he made just three pitching appearances as a sophomore.
His career arc changed after his 2018 performance in the Cape Cod League. He hit .187 in 75 at-bats but struck out 21 batters in 11.2 innings on the mound.
“I was like, ‘Oh, wow. Maybe I am going to be a pitcher again,’ ” Wright said.
Wright struck out 64 hitters in 34.1 innings in 2019, and the Giants selected him in the 12th round that year.
Haines said Wright's delivery and pitch repertoire resemble that of Giants rookie Sammy Long, who struck out 16 hitters in his first 15 big league innings.
— Through June 29, catcher Joey Bart was thriving at the plate for Triple-A Sacramento, slashing .331/.385/.565. The main negative for the second overall pick in 2018: Bart had struck out 41 times in 135 plate appearances, or 30% of the time.
— Double-A Richmond righthander Sean Hjelle, the Giants’ second-round pick in 2018, went on the injured list on June 18. The previous night at Somerset, the 6-foot-11 righty had to be helped off the field because of an apparent leg injury with one out in the first inning.