The Giants went with a pitcher from Yale in the fifth round.
The San Francisco Giants officially have a trend in the 2021 MLB Draft: pitchers. San Francisco selected Yale left-handed pitcher Rohan Handa with their fifth-round pick — No. 146 overall — on Monday. It made it five pitchers in as many picks for the Giants.
Handa is 21.4 years old, 6’3”, and 210 pounds. And he’s one of the more fascinating Giants picks in recent memory.
Why? Because he’s only ptiched 22 innings, anywhere, since 2019.
Handa pitched only 5 innings for Yale in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the college season. In those 5 innings he allowed 8 hits, 1 walk, 4 runs, 1 earned run, and had just 1 strikeout.
The Ivy League canceled their 2021 season due to the pandemic, so Handa took his talents to the New England Collegiate Baseball League (doesn’t have quite the ring to it that “Cape Cod League” has, but we’ll allow it).
In the NECBL, Handa pitched 17 innings, and allowed just 9 hits, 8 walks, 2 runs, and 1 earned run, while striking out 25. Those are pretty nice numbers.
Drafting a college arm who didn’t get to pitch in college this year is a pretty solid way to take a chance on getting someone who would have been drafted much higher in a normal year. Of course, it’s also a way to risk getting someone who would have been drafted much lower, but presumably the Giants scouted Handa heavily and saw something they really liked.
According to New England Baseball Journal, Handa speaks three languages (Chinese, English, and Hindi), started a charity to promote child literacy, and was preparing for a career outside of baseball prior to his 2021 performance.
Welcome to the squad, Rohan.
Giants 2021 Draft Results
R1, No. 14: RHP Will Bednar
R2, No. 50: LHP Matt Mikulski
R3, No. 85: RHP Mason Black
R4, No. 115: RHP Eric Silva
R5, No. 146: LHP Rohan Handa