Back in June of 2018, former Kentucky pitcher Sean Hjelle was drafted in the second round to the San Francisco Giants.
Just 13 months later, the former Wildcat has already been promoted four times, with his most recent coming yesterday afternoon.
Hjelle, who had been with the San Jose Giants (Class A-Advanced) since May, is now set to move up to Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
HUGE news, as Sean Hjelle has been promoted to Double-A and is headed to join the @GoSquirrels! That's his second promotion this season, his first full campaign in pro ball. #WeAreUK #CatsinthePros #MLBTrainingGround pic.twitter.com/xdWnK9yLkB
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) August 8, 2019
In San Jose, Hjelle posted an impressive 2.78 ERA in 14 starts with the team. This comes after posting a 2.66 ERA to go with 44 strikeouts and just nine walks in 40.2 innings the stop before.
According to MLB.com, the former Kentucky star is the No. 6 overall prospect for the Giants and the third-best pitcher they are grooming in the minors before making the jump to the MLB.
On his official MLB.com prospect scouting report, they raved about the 6-foot-11 pitcher’s unique size, control, and pitch selection:
Hjelle doesn’t fit the prototype of a tall pitcher because his polish stands out much more than his power. His fastball sits at 91-94 mph and peaks at 96, with the unusual angle he creates with his extra-large frame more notable than his velocity. He has outstanding body control for someone his size, allowing him to repeat his delivery with ease and throw strikes with all of his offerings.
Hjelle’s best pitch is his low-80s knuckle-curve, which earns plus grades from some evaluators. He also uses a cutter/slider to give him a harder breaking ball and shows feel for a changeup. While he still could add some strength to his lanky frame, his floor stands out more than his ceiling and he’s likely to settle in as a No. 4 starter.
Hjelle still has two jumps to go before he’s officially taking the mound as an MLB pitcher, but he’s certainly knocking on the door.