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Right-hander Heston drawing crowd in first camp


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The interest generated by right-hander Chris Heston continued to grow Monday.

Before Heston began throwing his batting-practice session, three members of the Giants' baseball operations staff were watching activity on the auxiliary diamond where he was due to appear.

By the time Heston released his first pitch, eight of the Giants' top scouts and talent evaluators, including general manager Brian Sabean, were on hand. Moments later, manager Bruce Bochy arrived to watch Heston, who's in his first big league camp.

"You want to try to block that stuff out as much as you can, though sometimes it's kind of hard," said Heston, who turns 25 on April 10. "And I'll be the first to say I think everybody's a little nervous out there to start. But it kind of comes with the growing part of it. Getting to be around these guys and throwing for these guys is a great opportunity. You kind of make the best of it."

Heston, 9-8 with a 2.24 ERA for Double-A Richmond last year, likely will begin the season in the Minors. But with the Giants seeking starting pitching depth, his development has grabbed the organization's attention.

"I'm pretty lucky to come in with the type of pitchers that the staff has," Heston said. "If I can learn something from everybody, it'll be a successful spring."

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