Garvin Alston Jr.
Left-Handed Relief Pitcher
SSS rank among all left-handed relief pitchers in the system: 7
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Rank: 85
Garvin Alston Jr. is the son of long-time respected pitching and bullpen coach Garvin Alston, so he’s had baseball in his veins since birth. After struggling in two seasons as a reliever with Arizona State University, Alston transferred to the University of South Carolina-Aiken for his junior and senior seasons.
As a senior in 2019, Alston was converted to the Pacers rotation and fared reasonably well despite a serious lack of control. In 16 appearances spanning 70 innings, he allowed 78 hits (.276 OBA) and 53 walks (15.3%) while striking out 63 (18.2%). The White Sox liked Alston, though, enough to select him in the 37th round of the draft. Ironically, he was drafted in that exact same round in 2015 by the White Sox, when he opted for Arizona State.
Alston seemed like a new pitcher with the AZL White Sox. In 13 relief outings totaling 18 innings, he compiled a solid 3.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP by ceding 18 hits (.254 OBA) and just four walks (5.3%) while striking out 22 (28.9%). Lefties hit just .238 against his offerings this year, while righties fared a bit better at .260. When hitters made contact against Alston, they hit grounders at a frequent 51.1% clip.
A limited repertoire of a fastball and curveball may mean he’ll be a reliever going forward, but that’s likely Alston’s best opportunity to ascend the ranks anyway. Look for him to begin the 2021 season with with Kannapolis.