Frank Rubio Knows His Role Models

College seniors who get drafted in the 29th round and whose fastballs sit around 90 mph don’t often get a lot of attention.

These numbers, though, will pop more than a few eyes: 31.1 innings and one earned run.

That translates to an 0.29 ERA, and it earned righthander Frank Rubio, a 2017 draft pick, a promotion from high Class A San Jose to Double-A Richmond on June 12.

In those 31.1 California League innings, Rubio struck out 36 and allowed 20 hits. He converted all seven of his save opportunities.

“I know my stuff may not scream ‘closer,’ ” Rubio said, “but I definitely want the ball in the big situations because I think I’m going be able to throw strikes and compete.”

The 6-foot, 220-pound Rubio throws sidearm, using mainly two pitches: an 88-92 mph fastball and a slider. He likens himself to sidearmers Joe Smith of the Astros and Steve Cishek of the Cubs.

A Florida native who often saw Cishek pitch when he came up with the Marlins, Rubio was a walk on at Florida. As a senior in 2017, Rubio recorded a 4.15 ERA in 24 appearances as the Gators won the College World Series.

Rubio’s staff-mates at Florida included first-round pitchers A.J. Puk, Alex Faedo, Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar. He also was teammates with righthander Shaun Anderson, who now is a starter in San Francisco.

“To be in that environment around those great players, I was able to learn a ton,” Rubio said. “I tried to watch every bullpen that those guys threw.”

Those Florida teammates have helped Rubio in pro ball as well.

“I’ve been able to bounce ideas off them,” he said, “ask what it takes to be successful at each level.” Rubio recently talked with Anderson about trying to thrive at Double-A.

The Giants drafted a righthander in the 28th round in 2005 who didn’t have a dominating fastball, but Sergio Romo became a key reliever for three World Series champions because of his nasty slider and fearless demeanor. 

“If one day I could be as good of a competitor as he (is), I’d love it,” Rubio said.


— The Giants acquired yet another outfielder on June 10, when they dealt minor league righthander Franklin Van Gurp to the Padres for Alex Dickerson, a 29-year-old lefthanded hitter. The Giants assigned Dickerson to Triple-A Sacramento, then brought him to the big club on June 21. In his first two games with San Francisco, Dickerson went 5-for-9 with two doubles, a triple and a grand slam. He drove in nine runs. 

— Low Class A Augusta righthander Blake Rivera put together consecutive scoreless starts against Kannapolis (June 6) and Lexington (June 12). The 2018 fourth-round pick threw a combined 11.2 innings in those starts, allowing three hits and striking out 17. 


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