The San Francisco Giants drafted lefthanded pitcher Kyle Harrison of De La Salle High School in the third round of the Major League Baseball draft. He was the 85th player taken and the second Bay Area high school player.
Harrison, 6-2, 200 pounds, committed to attend UCLA last year but is expected to sign a contract with the Giants, who also drafted former Spartan and UC Santa Barbara outfielder Armani Smith in the seventh round last year.
He was the fifth player selected by the Giants and the first high school player.
‘Giants are getting a winner’
His De La Salle coach David Jeans posted on Twitter: Giants are getting a winner and a great kid. One of the most competitive kids that I ever coached. Couldn’t be happier for Kyle and his family.
Harrison went 21-1 with a 1.19 ERA and 192 strikeouts in his high school career. The Spartans won the North Coast Section championship in his sophomore and junior seasons. This spring’s campaign, of course, was cut short as Harrison was 2-0 in DLS’s four games. De La Salle was ranked second nationally in 2019.
De La Salle coach Jeans calls Harrison “the best pitcher in the state” and gave a scouting report on his prized lefty to Melissa Lockard for The Athletic:
A left-hander with a low-90s fastball that was clocked as high as 94 this summer and three playable secondary offerings (curveball, changeup and slider), Harrison has the potential to be a fixture in a major-league rotation. Jeans says what sets Harrison apart is not just his physical gifts, but his ability to remain confident and calm no matter how big the situation.
“He’s unbelievably mature and competitive. He might be the best baseball player I’ve ever coached in terms of not getting too big for the moment,” Jeans said. “He truly believes that he’s better than the guy that he’s facing. He’s a special talent.”
He was 10-0 with a 1.26 ERA as a junior for the Spartans and Jeans says Harrison was poised to be even better before the coronavirus pandemic cut his senior season short. Last summer, Harrison had the top ERA in the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup while pitching for Team USA. He didn’t allow a run in 10 innings, striking out 12.
Adjusting to higher levels of competition
Jeans says Harrison didn’t participate in a lot of showcase/prospect-type summer events before last summer, but Harrison had no trouble adjusting to the higher level of competition.
“He didn’t force his hand and his parents didn’t force his hand and this past year, some opportunities came to him and he got on the stage and he didn’t shy from it,” Jeans said.
Harrison also underwent physical maturation over the past year, adding 15-20 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-2 frame.
“If Kyle had been a kid who had been seen all spring and had a full season, I think he’d be a guy being talked about in the mid-first round,” Ryan Ozella, former California area scout for Prep Baseball Report and founder of Ozella Baseball Consulting told Lockard. “He knows how to pitch. Every time I see him, his work ethic just keeps showing up.”
Even without the benefit of a full senior season, Harrison was ranked 63rd by MLBPipeline among top draft prospects and is expected to go in the top two rounds.
“He understands the business side of it. He’s ready for whatever happens,” Jeans said. “He’s ready to move on in whatever direction he needs to go. If someone calls his name early or can offer him enough from a financial standpoint to walk away from UCLA, he’s ready for that. But he’s also ready to go to UCLA.”