Forjet about it: Righty shuts down Nuts

Giants prospect strikes out eight over six frames for San Jose

By Josh Jackson / Special to | June 3, 2013 11:11 PM ET

Don't tell Jason Forjet the California League isn't a friendly circuit for pitchers.

The 23-year-old right-hander made his first start with the Class A Advanced Giants on May 22, and it hasn't taken him much time to get acclimated.

"I like it a lot," he said. "We have a great bunch of guys here. We have great chemistry, and we have a lot of fun. It's just a bunch of good guys who work really hard and want to win."

On Monday, that group blanked Modesto, 5-0, and Forjet improved to 2-0 by permitting two hits and two walks while striking out eight over six innings.

Forjet, whom San Francisco drafted in the 31st round out of Gulf Coast University last year, has allowed four runs -- three earned -- in 15 Cal League innings.

His eight strikeouts Monday weren't part of his game plan, but he doesn't regret them either.

"I'm not a big strikeout guy, but guys were striking out a lot. I usually try to let me defense work for me, and they played really well," he said. "[But] I was able to throw all of my pitches for strikes. I was locating my fastball well."

Forjet also induced seven flyball outs, another anomaly he welcomed.

"I work more down in the zone. I try my best to get ground balls," he said, "but once the ball leaves my hand, I really have no control over what happens."

He began the game by retiring the first eight batters he faced. When the Nuts' Niko Gallego singled to left, Forjet promptly picked him off. He went on to work a 1-2-3 fourth, and after a two-out walk to Jared Simon in the fifth, got No. 8 Rockies prospect Will Swanner to fly out to right.

Gallego singled again with one out in the sixth, and one out later, Forjet walked third-ranked Colorado prospect Trevor Story. The runners moved up on a wild pitch, but Forjet got another fly ball, this one from Taylor Featherston.

Despite the shaky sixth, Forjet didn't feel fatigued and had hoped to keep pitching.

"I didn't know they were going to pull me after six until I got to the dugout," he said. "That's the coaches' decision, and I understand what they're doing. They have my best interest and the best interest of the team, so I respect that, and I have no problem with that whatsoever."

Forjet threw 9 1/3 innings in the rookie-level Arizona League last year, going without a decision and posting a 1.93 ERA. He opened the season in extended spring training, and he didn't know he was going to end up in the California League until the day before his first start.

"After practice one day in extended," he said, "they called me into the office and told me I had a flight to San Jose in an hour-and-a-half."

Angel Villalona went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored and Mac Williamson homered for the Giants.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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