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SF Giants Minor Lines, July 21

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Have you ever noticed how your team scoring runs in bunches puts you into a happy mood? This is a Happy Mood edition of Minor Lines.

Trade season: when the minor league faithful guiltily yet furtively pray for their favorites to suffer a two week mini-slump in front of the assembled throngs of scouts...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">YOU GUYS <a href="http://t.co/lrJMYSV6m6">pic.twitter.com/lrJMYSV6m6</a></p>&mdash; Kristin (@legaleagle88) <a href="https://twitter.com/legaleagle88/status/623688447610327041">July 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Fine... go ahead and be awesome. But I'm warning you young man, you are living on the edge!!!

HIGHLIGHTS: Mac Williamson 2 for 4 with a HR in his return. Austin Slater had three hits. Luis Ysla threw 5 hitless innings in relief with 8 Ks. Tyler Horan had three hits including double and HR.

Sacramento lost to El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), 6-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

LF

Nori Aoki

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

CF-LF

Ryan Lollis

4

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.355

RF

Mac Williamson

4

1

2

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

.256

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Ty Blach

6.0

3

3

2

4

5

0

0

2

4.17

84

48

Cory Gearrin, BS 3, L, 2-1

1.0

2

2

2

1

0

0

1

0

4.10

27

16

Welcome back, Mac!

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I'm not going to say that was the best played ball in CF I've ever seen (which is one reason why it can be hard to keep those minor league BABIPs up when players reach the big leagues); still, love the swing, love the speed, love the desire, love the return.

Nori Aoki, come back soon!

Somebody seriously jammed Ty Blach's radar last night, as the control specialist walked a season high 4 batters and threw 2 WP! He threw nearly 40 balls last night! Seriously, Ty, you ok buddy? At least he did go 1 for 3 with the bat. I'm with Kristin on this one.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I blame the wave for that walk Blach just issued.</p>&mdash; Kristin (@legaleagle88) <a href="https://twitter.com/legaleagle88/status/623699229207179264">July 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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* * *

Richmond beat the Akron Rubber Ducks (Indians), 8-0

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

CF

Engel Beltre

5

1

2

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

.310

SS

Rando Moreno

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

3

0

1

1

.296

3b

Mitch Delfino

4

1

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.252

2b

Austin Slater

4

2

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.307

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Joan Gregorio

4.0

1

0

0

0

3

0

0

1

3.61

52

31

Kyle Crick

1.0

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

0

3.10

21

10

Stephen Johnson

2.0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

3.43

31

17

Derek Law

0.2

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

4.91

22

14

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Look what&#39;s here! Make sure to come out tonight for our 7:05 game to take a picture with the 2014 World Series <a href="http://t.co/HEE17hAF8W">pic.twitter.com/HEE17hAF8W</a></p>&mdash; Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoSquirrels/status/623587412262940672">July 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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It was get a picture with the World Series trophy day in Richmond and in celebration the Squirrels swept past Akron and into third place in their division just a game back of first. They go for a four game sweep this afternoon before hitting the road.

This was actually a pitcher's duel for most of the game, started by the once and, I don't know, maybe future starter Joan Gregorio? Gregorio started out with 4 strong, one-hit innings and I'm really confused as to what exactly they're doing with him right now. I'm not usually very tin-hatty, but possible this was a showcase game? I've noted before that his early 40 man status makes him a definite trade candidate just like Edwin Escobar and Kendry Flores were (because options are running out faster than development time).

Gregorio, Kyle Crick, Stephen Johnson, Jose Casilla, Derek Law, and Phil McCormick ultimately combined on a two hit shutout. Crick's performance seemed ok to begin with. He got through one inning with 1 BB, 1 K. But then he came out for a second inning and immediately walked old friend Ryan Rohlinger and that was it. The light hitting Rohlinger is somewhat amazingly sporting a .411 OBP in the EL despite hitting just .214 as he's apparently adopted a strategy of just daring pitchers to throw 3 strikes before they throw 4 balls to great effect. Anyway, back to Crick:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Kyle Crick (<a href="https://twitter.com/K_Crick49">@K_Crick49</a>) tonight: IP, 21 pitches. 2 BB, K. Still shaky out of the pen. Story on his transition to reliever coming soon.</p>&mdash; Josh Mathews (@SquirrelsRVA) <a href="https://twitter.com/SquirrelsRVA/status/623662255448662016">July 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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I'd say we're into a phase where training him to try to blow the doors out for one inning at a time is where we're at with Crick, and I still think it's possible he can be successful in that role at some point.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/GoSquirrels">@GoSquirrels</a> mid-rally in the 8th inning, seven runs in, now up 8-0. Big blow by Austin Slater, who&#39;s 3-4 tonight with two RBI. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RVA?src=hash">#RVA</a></p>&mdash; Josh Mathews (@SquirrelsRVA) <a href="https://twitter.com/SquirrelsRVA/status/623669048686059521">July 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Squirrels launched a huge 7-run 8th inning rally that turned the 1-0 affair into a laugher. Slater's big day boosted his EL BA over .300 and his season line to .295/.333/.397. The 59 K/17 BB peripherals are a bit of a concern but his hard hit rates definitely make him an interesting bat if he can stay in the dirt. His fellow SJ grad Hunter Cole talks about making the transition to AA here:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">READ: Interview with <a href="https://twitter.com/GoSquirrels">@GoSquirrels</a> newcomer Hunter Cole (<a href="https://twitter.com/hcole6">@hcole6</a>). Drafted last summer in 26th round, already in AA: <a href="http://t.co/GWk0lnrHDK">http://t.co/GWk0lnrHDK</a></p>&mdash; Josh Mathews (@SquirrelsRVA) <a href="https://twitter.com/SquirrelsRVA/status/623683397949505540">July 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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* * *

San Jose beat Lancaster JetHawks, 10-2
sweeping their four game series, 4-0

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

3b

Brandon Bednar

4

1

2

3

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

.235

SS

Christian Arroyo

3

0

1

3

1

0

0

2

0

0

0

.333

RF

Tyler Horan

5

2

3

1

1

0

1

0

2

0

0

.245

CF

Seth Harrison

4

2

2

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

.249

2b

John Polonius

4

1

2

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

.223

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Ray Black

1.0

1

2

2

2

3

0

0

1

3.86

33

17

Luis Ysla, W, 1-4

5.0

0

0

0

2

8

0

0

0

6.27

74

46

Jeff Soptic

2.0

0

0

0

3

2

0

0

0

3.78

48

27

Ian Gardeck

1.0

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

4.22

14

11

Going into the afternoon game, the day's headliner was hard throwing Ray Black, but the show was stolen by Luis Ysla. Black, who actually showed pretty good command out of the pen last year and at the start of this year, has really struggled to throw strikes since they've put him on the regular schedule starting routine. Over his last six games since his first start (one of which was in relief) he's walked 18 batters in 11 innings of work. Yesterday he walked the first two batters he faced. He was also uncharacteristically reading low on the radar gun those first two batters (94-95) so perhaps his warmup routine was a little off. He ramped it up to 97-99 and K'd the next two batters before a triple just off the outstretched glove of Tyler Horan at the wall brought in the two runs. He K'd the next batter to finish the side, but having gone over 30 pitches in the inning that was it for his day.

At that point Ysla entered and he really had himself a day. Ysla entered the year with huge promise but quickly pitched his way out of the rotation. Gradually, he's adjusted to life in the bullpen and turned his season around. Yesterday he threw 5 innings of hitless ball, while K'ing 8 and really showed what kind of a weapon his arm can be. He also looked like he has toned down some of the violence in his delivery. I think his day is worth getting a look at in the extended play treatment, so let's watch his entire final inning of work, picking up after he has walked the leadoff batter.

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Of course, this game wasn't just about pitching. The Giants bats set off their own fireworks, celebrating one of the best homestands this organization has ever seen. SJ collected 22 baserunners in this game on 14 hits and 7 BBs (1 HB). Five members of the starting lineup reached base at least 3 times! Everybody had a hit except catcher Jeff Arnold and he still reached base twice.  Brandon Bednar got the leadoff spot for perhaps the first time this year, and he set the tone with three hits including two doubles. Christian Arroyo had an excellent game with a double, two walks, and even a blistered line out, plus no Ks. But the leader of the pack was Tyler Horan, who's really had himself a homestand. His three hits included a double and his 11th HR, his fourth HR in the past 6 games.

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Time to take this show on the road and see if they can keep up the roll down in my old haunts of Kern and Tulare counties.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SJGiants?src=hash">#SJGiants</a> are 17-8 in the second half and within one game of .500 overall (47-48) for the first time since April 13 (2-3 record).</p>&mdash; Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeRitzo/status/623641182644609024">July 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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* * *

Augusta had a scheduled off day

* * *

Salem-Keizer lost to the Tri-City Dust Devils (Padres), 15-8

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

RF

Steven Duggar

5

2

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.293

1b

Christopher Shaw

4

1

2

3

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

.286

DH

Miguel Gomez

4

1

2

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

.374

3b

Jose Vizcaino

5

1

2

2

0

0

1

0

2

0

0

.349

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Nolan Riggs

4.0

6

5

2

1

4

1

0

0

2.25

Charles Owen, BS, L, 0-1

1.1

6

6

3

0

1

2

1

0

20.25

E.J. Encinosa

1.1

5

4

4

0

1

0

0

0

6.00

Bullpen say: Kaboom!

Come to think of it, so did the offense. And the defense kind of did as well. Let's focus on the offense!

The Volcanoes banged out 12 hits, including 3 XBH along with 5 BBs. Steven Duggar, Chris Shaw, and Miguel Gomez each reached base 3x (including Gomez' 2nd BB of the year, getting his OBP back over his BA). Jose Vizcaino reached base twice, including his 4th HR of the year, which ties him with Shaw and Shilo McCall for team lead. His .976 OPS is 2nd in the NWL. Viz III was also named the NWL Player of the Week for last week's play.

He was also, however,  a contributor to the porous defense that hurt the club as four SK errors contributed to six (6!) unearned runs on the night.  This included two from SS Hinojosa, who now has 9 already on the year.  Poor D at UTexas was part of the reason Hinojosa dropped so far in the draft this year.

However, the pitching staff, which gave up 19 hits including 3 HRs in this game, had little reason to point fingers. This year's 19th round pick Charles Owen made his A ball debut in this game, and suffice to say it did not go well.

Speaking of Vizcaino, the Volcanoes TV crew chats with Jose in this somewhat late series recap of the recent Boise series:

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One final note on the Volcanoes. The Tri-City PR folks came up with this amazing stat regarding Monday's game, which implies either some serious Volcano power, or some super weird environmental conditions up there (or both!).

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/TC_DustDevils">@TC_DustDevils</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/SKVolcanoes">@SKVolcanoes</a> combined to hit 4 HRs last night, most at the pitcher-friendly Gesa Stadium since 8-5-08 (also 4 HRs).</p>&mdash; Chris King (@ChrisKingSports) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisKingSports/status/623637067990466560">July 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Seven years of baseball games is a long time to not do something. But here's the crazy part: if you were paying close attention to my recap, you may have noticed that the two teams ALSO combined for 4 HRs in last night's game which means that that thing that didn't happen for 7 years was just done on back to back nights.

In the accelerated pace of the NWL, SK now sits 1 game out of first place with less than two weeks to go in the first half as they try to clinch a playoff berth before August begins.

* * *

AZL Giants beat the AZL Athletics, 5-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

SS

Jalen Miller

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

1

0

.270

DH

Kelvin Beltre

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

1

.225

2b

Everth Cabrera

2

1

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

.333

LF

Byron Murray

4

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

.270

1b

Dillon Dobson

4

1

2

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.238

CF

Mikey Edie

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

.259

3b

Nathanael Javier

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

.151

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Phil Bickford

2.0

2

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

5.40

Jake Dunning

3.0

1

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

1.50

Kendry Melo

0.0

0

2

2

3

0

0

0

0

5.84

Matthew Pope

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Heath Slatton, S, 4

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1.13

Wow, you wouldn't think a guy could go 0 for 5 with 5 Ks, and still manage to find time to make an out on the base paths would you? And yet Kelvin Beltre managed to produce just that ugly line in last night's game. As if to put an exclamation mark on his forgettable performance, Beltre's 5th K of the night should have been the third out of the 9th inning, but he reached on a WP and given the second chance he made the actual third out of the 9th inning getting caught attempting to steal 2b.

Weird game as the Giants produced 5 runs on just 6 hits and 11 Ks. They also produced 4 RBIs despite going just  1 for 8 with RISP.

Of course, the centerpiece of this game is another Phil Bickford performance. I'd love to see him in SK before the summer's out, but he's a bit younger than most college kids, so I've of the "just getting his work in" approach to watching Bickford's 2015.  However, every time he's in a game I get to post pictures of him, and seriously, is this not a face that Giants' fans can love?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="ht" dir="ltr">Phil Bickford AZL <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SFGiants?src=hash">#SFGiants</a> vs AZL A&#39;s&#10;2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO&#10;100 degrees at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ <a href="http://t.co/kDkA2yzioc">pic.twitter.com/kDkA2yzioc</a></p>&mdash; Karen Rambat (@rambat) <a href="https://twitter.com/rambat/status/623692041948565504">July 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/PhilBickford">@PhilBickford</a> it was great to meet you today and thanks for signing &amp; taking pics with my mom &amp; I <a href="http://t.co/FaHatbKmzc">pic.twitter.com/FaHatbKmzc</a></p>&mdash; Robert Freedman (@DodgerRob22) <a href="https://twitter.com/DodgerRob22/status/623004559225393152">July 20, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Keeping the goofy quotient high!

Jake Dunning can come back and pitch in real games any old time he wants now.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pictures of RHP Jake Dunning, who is in the AZL on a rehab assignment, via <a href="https://twitter.com/rambat">@rambat</a> <a href="http://t.co/7osI8DGrBm">pic.twitter.com/7osI8DGrBm</a></p>&mdash; GiantsProspectTalk (@giantsprospects) <a href="https://twitter.com/giantsprospects/status/622452580145213440">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote>

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On the other hand, oh Kendry Melo.... I am forced to shake my dang head in your general direction.

* * *

DSL Giants beat DSL Orioles2, 8-4

Age

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

DH

18.7

Mecky Coronado

5

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

.379

3b

17.4

Francisco Medina

4

2

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.266

SS

17.2

Jose Rivero

4

1

2

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

.216

LF

17.8

Brayan De Pena

4

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

.154

Age

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

19.7

Raffi Vizcaino, W, 6-0

5.0

6

3

2

0

5

0

0

1

1.54

20.5

Alejandro De La Rosa

3.0

2

1

1

2

3

0

0

0

0.93

20.9

Hengerber Medina

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1.69

Mecky Coronado's best defensive position would appear to be DH, which is not something you really want to say about a 17-18 year old athlete. But at least at this low level he has shown an aptitude for punishing a baseball. That's a .379/.445/.505 line he's currently sporting in 110 PA this year, and over 67 games the last two years he's got a career .870 OPS.

Francisco Medina's offensive strengths and weaknesses seem pretty clear at this point: lots of swing and miss, poor approach, excellent game power. For a skinny little 17 year old infielder, that seems pretty good to be getting on with. Let's slap him up good with the "POTENTIAL" stamp.  Jose Rivero enjoyed having two hits including an XBH so much he did it again. I approve, Jose!

Somebody asked the other day who I thought the best candidate for a DSL-Augusta promotion next year might be. Since it almost never happens, the best answer was clearly "nobody." But if I was forced to pick somebody, I might put my money on Raffi Vizcaino. Vizcaino was signed for $200k as an 17 year old during the 2012-13 signing period, and he threw 47 innings for the DSL team in 2013 (he was a teammate of Michael Santos and Luis Castillo, since traded to the Marlins). But he barely appeared at all in 2014 (2 IP), presumably because of arm issues. Now healthy again, and on his third year in the DSL, he's tied for 5th in the league in Ks, tied for first in the league in Wins (with Victor Concepcion), has a 5.6 K/BB ratio and just generally is showing the promise that the Giants invested in. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants attempt to move him along a bit next year.

* * *

Final thought: following in the footsteps of Garrett Broshuis, Giants org catcher Matt Pare is showing himself to be a prodigious talent at writing about the experience of being a pro athlete.  I can't recommend the article linked below too highly (and it's first part, which you can find linked within). It combines pathos and awe-inspiring in equal measure. The science behind contemporary pro sports is ah-maze-ing!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">*New Post* Self-tracking, blood analysis, and making effective behavioral changes &#10;&#10;<a href="http://t.co/Zccll5ixmq">http://t.co/Zccll5ixmq</a> <a href="http://t.co/Txtijk4F1r">pic.twitter.com/Txtijk4F1r</a></p>&mdash; Matt Paré (@HipHip_Pare) <a href="https://twitter.com/HipHip_Pare/status/623342598632120321">July 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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