by Charlie O. Mallonee
Right-handed pitcher Sam Coonrod is ranked the fifth best player in the Giants farm system, and Sam is having a very good 2016 season.
Coonrod started the year off in San Jose in the high Class-A California League. That assignment had him right on schedule for player development as he had spent 2014 the in short-season rookie league and 2015 at Class-A Augusta.
By June 12th, Coonrod had made 11 starts for San Jose and had posted a record of 5-3 with 1.98 ERA. That outstanding start earned him a promotion to the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels in mid-June.
Since being promoted to Richmond, Coonrod has continued to be successful. He has made 10 starts and has posted a record of 4-2 with a 2.80 ERA. In 61.0-innings pitched, he has 19 runs (14 earned) off 45 hits. Coonrod has allowed just five home runs. The one area that needs immediate improvement is his walk to strike out ratio. He has walked 29 and struck out 34 batters in those 10 starts for the Flying Squirrels. Coonrod has a WHIP of 1.21 and a batting average against of .209.
The 23-year old Coonrod is 6-foot-2 and weights 225 pounds. He was selected by the Giants in the fifth round (148th overall) of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Southern Illinois.
The fastball is is Coonrod’s number one pitch. He throws it in the 91-96 mph range with good command. His second pitch is a plus-slider that hits the mid-80’s. The change-up is Coonrod’s third pitch and it is a work in progress. He will need to master that change-up in order to remain a candidate to be a starter.
Coonrod’s accelerated progress to the Double-A level has moved up the timeline for him to make it to the major leagues. Based on his current success, fans should expect to see Sam Coonrod in a San Francisco Giants uniform sometime in 2017. That would mean he would start the year in Triple-A at Sacramento and move up the show sometime after the All-Star Break and no later than the September call-ups.