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SF Giants’ Arizona Fall League participants headlined by 2 first-round picks

SF Giants’ Arizona Fall League participants headlined by 2 first-round picks

The San Francisco Giants are sending eight prospects to the Arizona Fall League, baseball’s annual six-week molding ground for young players, with the group headlined by a pair of recent first-round draft picks.

The most notable name, and one of the most intriguing prospects across the AFL, is Reggie Crawford, the two-way player San Francisco selected 30th overall last July. Crawford, who returned from Tommy John surgery this season to pitch in 13 games with 2.84 ERA between Single-A San Jose and High-A Eugene, will exclusively serve as a hitter in the fall.

Crawford, 22, logged 19 innings on the mound but only 17 at-bats, recording four hits, including his first home run at a full-season affiliate. His hitting was all but shut down following his promotion, and now in the AFL will shift gears. His pitching progression is complete for the season, farm director Kyle Haines said, so his focus in the fall league will be on getting hitting reps.

The other first-rounder is right-hander Will Bednar, who has also been limited by injury. Bednar, the 14th overall pick in 2021 and younger brother of Pirates All-Star closer David Bednar, hasn’t pitched since last June, besides four appearances this year in the rookie-level Arizona Complex League, as he battles a stress reaction in his back.

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They will be joined by 22-year-old LHP Jack Choate, a ninth-round pick from 2022; 23-year-old RHP Marques Johnson, acquired from the Red Sox for Mauricio Llovera; 23-year-old catcher Zach Morgan, a seventh-round pick in 2022; 24-year-old LHP Seth Lonsway, a sixth-round pick in 2021; and OF Carter Howell and LHP Hayden Wynja, two 24-year-old undrafted free agents from the 2022 class.

Choate, listed at 6-foot-6 and 249 pounds, posted a 2.25 ERA in 68 innings between San Jose and Eugene but hasn’t pitched since June. Johnson, a San Jose native drafted by Boston in the 11th round in 2022, didn’t allow an earned run in 18⅓ innings with San Jose after joining the organization in June.

Despite playing exclusively outfield for San Jose and Eugene, Howell was listed as an infielder on the roster. That was a clerical error, Haines said.

The Giants’ prospects will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions, along with those from the Cardinals, Phillies, Nationals and Angels. Play begins Oct. 3 and runs through Nov. 11.