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SF Giants Minor Lines, July 29

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Someone could be about to get voted off the Minor Lines island.... who will it be?

History happened yesterday as Mike Hessman of the Toledo Mud Hens tied the all time record for minor league HRs, and wonderfully, he had the crustiest old-timey type radio announcer ever to make the call.

It was often said that the least believable part of Bull Durham was the notion that Crash could have set that record without The Sporting News or Baseball America taking note. Good job being on the case, Twitterverse!

Hessman was a 15th round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves way back in 1996 out of Mater Dei HS in Santa Ana.  He's played in more than 2000 minor league games and has nearly 8500 minor league PA. In addition to his 432 minor league HRs, Hessman hit 6 HRs in Japan (he played just 48 games there), and I'm sure you're all excited to know, he also has 14 major league HRs in his career, in 250 sporadic PA spread out between 2003 and 2010.

HIGHLIGHTS: Clayton Blackburn throws 7 shutout innings, homers. Mike Broadway struck out the side for save. Keury Mella struck out a season high 9. John Riley had three hits including a HR.

Sacramento beat Las Vegas 51s (Mets), 4-2

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

CF

Everth Cabrera

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

.333

LF

Ryan Lollis

4

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.349

1b

Adam Duvall

3

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

.279

P

Clayton Blackburn

2

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

.200

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Clayton Blackburn, W, 6-3

7.0

5

0

0

1

5

0

0

0

3.50

94

63

Mike Broadway, S 9

1.0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0.95

17

10

Two words: Yeah! Baby!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4AkfOW5-htA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Should we talk about the hitting exploits of the RiverCat pitchers for a moment? In 160 PA this year, the staff en masse is hitting .198/.245/.267 with 6 Runs scored, 13 RBIs, 8 BBs, 3 doubles and now 2 HRs (you may remember earlier this year when Kevin Correia hit the first HR of his professional career). Leader of the pack is Chris Stratton, who boasts a whopping 1.100 OPS in 13 PA. Ty Blach has batted the most, with 38 PA and has done quite well, with a .581 OPS that includes an OBP over .300.  However, Blackburn's titanic blast has boosted his SLG up to .350, allowing him to leapfrog Blach in OPS at .623. Special notice should be made for Clay Rapada, who has a perfect 1.000/1.000/1.000 line on the season, singling in his only PA, and for Cody Hall who managed to work a walk in one of his three PA, giving him a stylish .000/.333/.000 line. The Sacramento pitcher hitting magic even rubbed off on Jake Peavy while he was in town. A notoriously terrible hitter (due, no doubt, to his Mr. Magoo level vision), Peavy went 2 for 6 while in Sacramento and has gone on to craft a pretty incredible three game hitting streak now with San Francisco.

Oh yes, and Adam Duvall homered, too. His 26th. Ho hum

Blackburn did quite well in his day job, too, throwing 7 shutout innings for his best start of the year. It was only the second time he'd gone 7 innings (his previous start being the other), and only the second time all year he'd had a start without giving up any runs. He is showing, however, his lowest peripherals of his career, as his K9 has fallen to 7.0 and his BB9 has risen to 2.3. With the exception of his year in SJ (when his BB9 spiked up to the highest of his career), Blackburn has seen a gradual but persistent decline in both numbers every step of the way up the ladder.

Mike Broadway finished things up by striking out all three batters he faced.

I'm in agreeance with Kristin on this one.

Oh one other thing about last night's game, which was true for a lot of the system last night:

* * *

Richmond lost at Altoona Curve (Pirates), 1-0
getting swept in their three game series, 0-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

SS

Juan Ciriaco

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

.205

1b

Ricky Oropesa

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

.260

LF

Devin Harris

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.229

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pitches

Strikes

Matt Gage

6.1

3

1

1

2

2

0

0

0

1.56

70

45

Kyle Crick

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

2.92

8

6

Once again, a comprehensive list of all the Squirrels baserunners. They backed up Tuesday's 3 hits, 2 walks, 0 runs with Wednesday's 2 hits, 2 walks, 0 runs in getting swept out of town. Worth noting that Ricky Oropesa was the only member of the team to reach base twice in each of these games (important grammatical distinction: each, not both). And in each game, one his Oropesa's safe trips to base was via a walk. Oropesa, who had a 1.5% walk rate at one point fairly deep into the season, has his walk rate up to 7.5% now and his OBP up to .314. Nicely done Ricky. Sadly, in one of his times on base he did this:

Matt Gage was the tough luck loser here, but his performances at the AA level have almost certainly endeared him to the org and ensured he'll spend the summer in AA. Kyle Crick was a strike throwing demon yesterday, with 6 strikes in 8 pitches. It's disappointing that he seems to have fallen away from being a viable starting alternative, but his fastball can still have a long and productive career out of the pen potentially.

Now Richmond heads back home to try to recapture their mojo after a very disappointing trip. Speaking of home, I'm not normally one to question promotions but...

Do they realize how ungodly hot it is in the Diamond in August? Fleece blankets???? I'll grant you they'll come in handy for October trips to AT&T, but...

* * *

San Jose lost 5-4 in 11 innings

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

SS

Christian Arroyo

5

1

1

3

0

0

1

0

2

0

0

.322

DH

Brian Ragira

5

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

.251

CF

Seth Harrison

5

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

.235

C

Jeff Arnold

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

.254

Keury Mella

5.2

5

3

2

3

9

1

0

1

3.31

Jake Smith, BS, 3 L, 4-3

0.1

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2.58

Yup. Hot here, too. But not the Giants bats as they followed up Tuesday's 16 strikeout performance with 18 more strikeouts on Wednesday. After winning the first game of the series, SJ had strong hopes to take their first series victory in Visalia in more than two years, but it wasn't to be as they lost the rubber match in brutal, extra innings fashion.

Christian Arroyo's three-run HR in the 5th tied the game up at 3-3 and there it stayed until the 11th. Then SJ scratched out a run when Dan Carbonell reached on an infield hit, and came around on two more ground ball singles.  But with Jake Smith on the mound to close it out, Carbonell dropped two fly balls, leading to two unearned runs and quite probably the most painful loss of the year. Dan Carbonell, you are the prospect goat of the Giants 2015 system!

On the mound, Keury Mella had an excellent start, throwing 5.2 innings with a season high 9 Ks. No doubt, in front of a few scouts, I would guess. Will Keury still be here to make his next SJ start? Stay tuned...

Manager Russ Mormon talked about Mella's development on his weekly interview with Joe Ritzo on yesterday's pregame show (as expected, he also said "You know what...." a lot):

* * *

Augusta had a scheduled off day

* * *

Salem-Keizer beat Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 5-4 in 10 innings

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

RF

Steven Duggar

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

.271

SS

C.J. Hinojosa

5

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.252

CF

Ronnie Jebavy

3

2

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.250

3b

Miguel Gomez

5

0

2

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

.267

1b

John Riley

4

1

3

2

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

.194

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Michael Connolly

6.0

6

4

4

1

2

0

0

1

3.35

Cory Taylor

2.0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1.74

Caleb Smith, W, 1-1

2.0

0

0

0

1

4

0

0

0

2.13

After ending his franchise record-setting hit streak the night before, Miguel Gomez got right back ont he horse with two more hits, including the game-winner in walk off style:

Let the merriment commence! John Riley had one of his best games of the year while hitting his 1st HR for Salem Keizer (2nd of the year). The 21 year old has hard contact in his bat, when he can make contact.  156 Ks in 410 career at bats points to the problem in that equation.

Coming all the way back from an 0-4 deficit, the extra innings walk off was made possible due to four innings of high octane relief out of the Volcanoes bullpen from Cory Taylor and Caleb Smith. Smith, who came into last year's draft out of U of South Carolina-Aiken with a reputation for wildness to go with premium stuff from the left side, has shown much more of the premium stuff this year than the minus command. At Coastal Carolina (same college Heath Hembree came from) and USC-Aiken Smith walked 8 batters per 9 innings in his college career (while striking out more than 13 per 9). With 8 walks in 14.2 IP this year he's not exactly Ty Blach-level command certainly, but it's playable when combined with the 26 Ks out of 54 batters faced on the year. Smith's a guy you might see make a big leap up the org chart in 2016.

The Volcanoes TV staff talked with Miguel Gomez after the end of the game:

Worth noting that Chris Shaw's playing time has been pretty sporadic of late in addition to the absence of Jose Vizcaino, as injuries seem to be piling up in the lower levels of the system.

* * *

AZL Giants beat the AZL Athletics, 2-1 in 10 innings

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

CF

Jalen Miller

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

1

1

.217

1b

Dillon Dobson

4

1

2

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

.278

PR

Byron Murray

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.270

3b

Nathanael Javier

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

.193

PR-3b

Tyler Brown

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.353

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Nicholas Gonzalez

5.0

3

0

0

2

4

0

0

0

0.00

Julio Benitez

1.0

2

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

3.00

Dylan Brooks

1.0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

3.78

Matthew Pope

1.0

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0.90

Heath Slatton, W, 1-0

1.0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0.84

Another game, another walk off. Though they only managed five hits in the game, the AZL Giants managed an extra innings win with two walks and a single from Phil Bickford's college roommate Tyler Brown. Jalen Miller's slump with the bat continues in his first pro summer. Perhaps of more interest though is the position he took yesterday, leaving the infield for the first time as the Giants no doubt begin to think about how the future will look as they try to develop the many 18 year old SS that they currently have in the depth chart. Byron Murray PR in the 10th inning of this game, his first appearance since July 21.

Nicholas Gonzalez, who began the year in the Augusta rotation, and who was the opening night starter for Salem-Keizer, has finally found a level where he can succeed this year, but the summer has to have been a bitter pill for the 23 year old LHP, whose fellow rotation mates from April can now be found in San Jose and Richmond.

20 year old RHP Julio Benitez appeared in his first game since July 3. Benitez had a terrific year in the DSL in 2014 with an 0.84 ERA out of the bullpen and a strikeout per inning.  After I noted that Dylan Brooks is struggling a bit in his return to the AZL, he made a great start on getting his K9 back in line by striking out all three batters he faced.

* * *

DSL Giants beat the DSL Mets1, 5-4

Age

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

BA

2b

19.4

Robert Antunez

5

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

1

.347

DH

18.7

Mecky Coronado

5

0

3

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

.387

SS

17.3

Jose Rivero

3

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

.212

LF

17.5

Beicker Mendoza

5

1

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.307

CF

17.7

Jose Patino

4

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

.241

Age

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

19.8

Norwith Gudino

5.0

7

3

3

0

6

0

0

0

3.89

20.5

Alejandro De La Rosa, W, 2-0

4.0

3

1

1

0

5

0

0

0

2.08

And how 'bout we end the day with one more walk-off, the fourth of the night! Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the 8th and in danger of their third consecutive loss, Beicker Mendoza started a game-tying rally, singling to lead off the 8th, and coming around to to score on a PB and a single from Marco Guzman.  In the 9th, Jose Rivero led off with a walk and with two outs, Beicker Mendoza would play the hero again, singling in the winning run with his fourth hit of the day.

The Giants had 14 hits in this game, including 13 singles, along with 2 walks. Mecky Coronado had three more hits, but he also had 2 more Ks, nearly doubling his season K total in the past two games.

Norwith Gudino makes another start as the Victor Concepcion watch continues. Concepcion has missed the entire month of July now.

* * *

Sacramento has a TBD listed for today. This should have been Nik Turley's start. Turley was crushed for 9 runs in 4 IP in his last outing, so possibly there's a medical condition there. If Turley can't go it will be interesting to see what they do as the rain delay on Sunday pushed their pitchers up a day with Blach and Stratton both having pitched just three days ago. Wonder what's up with Austin Fleet these days. He hasn't pitched since May.

Elsewhere, Adalberto Mejia takes the mound for Richmond, and Andrew Suarez in SK with Jason Forjet and Chris Johnson filling out the slate of scheduled starters.

EDIT: Mejia will not be taking the mound for Richmond tonight as we have late breaking news: