SF Giants Prospect Profile: RHP Chris Heston

We're taking an in-depth look at our top 20 Giants prospects. Let's start with #20: 23-year-old sinkerballer Chris Heston.

Chris Heston is a 6-foot-4 righty out of Sanford, Fla. who broke into professional baseball at age 21.

He posted some good number for the AZL Giants in 2009, progressed in low-A Augusta in 2010 and posted a stellar 2011 campaign with the high-A San Jose Giants.

His 3.16 ERA was tops in the California League last year.

Heston hopes to continue his progression in 2012, starting out the year at double-A Richmond.

All indications are that Heston a pitcher rather than a thrower. And yet he's consistently been able to rack up the strikeout numbers while keeping walks to a minimum.

In his age 24 season, he'll shift to the Eastern League, which is deep in pitching talent. The 3.16 ERA from last year may take a hit, but we believe his strong K/BB ratios will translate on the East Coast.

Heston has been remarkably consistent over the last three years -- posting low walk rates (2.23 BB/9) and high strikeout rates (7.7 K/9) across all three stops.

Heston put in work this offseason at DeLuca's Sport Performance in Florida, where he's been focusing on strengthening his lower body and his core. The training is in line with DeLuca's idea that pitchers win with their legs.

If he continues to exhibit growth in Richmond, Heston isn't too far off from being a solid back-of-the-rotation guy in San Francisco. We think the promise is there for more.

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