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SF Giants Minor Lines, 9/7/15

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Ending on a bang, plus one very special HBP. And playoffs are underway in the NWL.

HIGHLIGHTS: Mac Williamson reached base 4x and hit 2 HRs. Devin Harris had two hits including a HR. John Polonius had a double and a HR. Andrew Cain reached base 3x including a HR and made a spectacular catch.

* * *

Sacramento beat Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 11-0
winning their four game series, 3-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Other

CF

Darren Ford

5

1

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.261

CS

1b

Ryan Lollis

3

3

2

0

1

0

0

1

1

.330

SB (6)

3b

Kevin Frandsen

5

2

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

.280

RF

Jarrett Parker

3

1

1

3

0

0

1

2

1

.283

LF

Mac Williamson

3

2

2

3

0

0

2

2

1

.249

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Nik Turley, W 7-8

7.0

2

0

0

4

8

0

0

0

4.56

Matt Cain

2.0

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

3.20

Eddie Butler was twice a top 100 prospect on BA's list including #24 just two years ago when he featured a nasty mid-90s sinker among the rest of his arsenal. But the day after his major league debut in 2014 he reported soreness in his shoulder that put him on the DL. He ended up missing the AFL last year  and his 2015 has been a major disappointment featuring some reduced stuff. The Sacramento lineup faced Butler today and sent him into his winter with some very unpleasant memories as they beat him relentlessly, pinning 8 runs on Butler in five innings including 3 HRs. The HRs included a very big day for Mac Williamson who went deep twice against Butler among four times reaching base.

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Over two levels Williamson hit .275/.368/.433 this year with 13 HRs. He posted a 129 wRC+ in the Eastern League and was at about 110 in the PCL. Contact is still something of an issue for Mac, as his K rate spiked up to 25% in the PCL (where his walk rate also ticked up). Where his K rate settles in at the next level will be the big question for Mac, as it does limit him getting to his considerable raw power in games.  Still, it was a successful comeback year for Mac and he's on track to help the big league club in 2016. More development to come.

In all the RiverCats piled up 13 hits, including 7 XBH, and 5 BB for their runaway 11-0 win. Jarrett Parker hit his team leading 23rd HR, a three-run shot in the 3rd that got the team out to a big lead early.

Matt Cain threw 32 pitches, going two innings in his final (obviously) rehab appearance before rejoining SF on Thursday. Afterwards, he did awesome Matt Cain stuff:

Sacramento really enjoyed the pleasures of home down the stretch as they went 13-3 at home over the final month. Were it not for a disastrous 1-7 trip to Omaha and Iowa near the end of August that would have been good enough to get them over .500. As it is, they ended the year 71-73.

Other notes, more congrats are due to Clayton Blackburn who won the PCL ERA title:

kdl noted these yesterday, but for the sake of completionism:

* * *

Richmond beat the Reading Fightin' Phils, 2-1
winning their four game series, 3-1

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Other

RF

Myles Schroder

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.252

.303

.347

SB, CS

1b

Ricky Oropesa

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

.254

.311

.424

LF

Devin Harris

3

1

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

.240

.301

.418

C

Adam Sonabend

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.333

.000

HBP

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Matt Lujan W 9-6

6.0

7

1

1

3

5

0

0

1

3.18

Pedro Rodriguez, S, 3

3.0

1

0

0

1

4

0

0

0

2.21

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Devin Harris ended the year on an up note, hitting four HRs over the last 9 games and raising his line over that time from .225/.291/.382 to this final line. Getting that OBP over .300 on the final day and pushing the SLG well past the .400 line is a nice September's work.   Myles Schroder also got his final OBP over .300 the last two days.

Ricky Oropesa knocked in the winning run in this game and in doing so he tied the Richmond Flying Squirrels all-time single season RBI record with his 76th of the year. Oropesa also fell just one short of tying the single season HR record with 17. Mario Lisson set the RBI record last year and Lisson also tied the HR record last year; he and Jarrett Parker each hit 18 in a season.

The guy with the best day on this final day of the season had to be Adam Sonabend who got the first at bats of his professional career. Sonabend, who had been serving as (and blogging about) an org catcher (serving in various minor league bullpens to warm up pitchers) was put on the active roster to replace Jackson Williams and got the start on the last day. Prior to this he had been in only one game, earlier with San Jose, catching two innings but never coming to bat. Adam's tweet the day Ryan Lollis was first promoted to the majors tells you something about the kind of season he had, always inactive, but always traveling and working.

So here's to Adam and his first times at the plate getting to swing a bat in anger at the professional level. Unfortunately he wasn't able to get a hit, but he did accumulate an OBP, the hard way.

The Flying Squirrels finished the year at 72-68 and though they weren't able to push through to the playoffs they took it down to the penultimate day of the year which was a considerable accomplishment given the way the year began. Joe Biagini (2.42) finished 2nd in the EL ERA race behind Michael Fulmer (who the Mets traded to Detroit for Yoenis Cespedes, which moved Fulmer from the top of the EL standings to the bottom). Kelvin Marte finished 4th (2.63).

And, once again, they had championship quality fans:

* * *

San Jose lost to Bakersfield Blaze (Mariners), 4-2
getting swept in their four game series, 0-4

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

SS

John Polonius

4

1

2

1

1

0

1

0

0

.204

LF

Daniel Carbonell

4

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

3

.279

1b

Angel Villalona

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

.249

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Jarrett Leverett L 0-1

2.0

3

2

2

1

1

0

0

0

5.79

Tyler Rogers

2.0

1

1

1

0

2

1

0

0

1.47

Ray Black

1.0

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

2.88

Jose Reyes

1.0

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

5.86

Dan Slania

1.0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

3.53

Ian Gardeck

1.0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

3.54

San Jose decided that setting up their team for the mini-series was more important than trying to gain the homefield advantage. So they went with a bullpen game, giving a spot start to Indy ball vet Jarrett Leverett and giving lots of arms some work. Included in that group was #5 starter Jose Reyes who seems likely to be working out of the pen for the playoffs.

They also gave a much needed day of rest to Christian Arroyo, who had been scuffling of late. John Polonius took advantage of his rare start by providing most of the Giants offense on the day. His double and HR were a third of the team's hits and two of their three XBH. And with the big day John got to see his BA go over the Mendoza line for the year.

Like Richmond, San Jose ends the year at 72-68 and like Richmond they came from way back to do it.  SJ was 13 games under .500 in the first week of the second half and they poured it on down the stretch. And also like Richmond, they ended up leading their league in team ERA. They came very very close to matching Blackburn with the league leader in ERA as well:

Christian Arroyo finished 7th in the league in BA. Ian Gardeck's appearance at the bottom of the table above was notable as it gave him the league lead in appearances and tied the all time SJ Giants record for appearances in a season (61).  He'll be a big part of whatever success they have in the postseason.

San Jose opens the playoffs at home on Wednesday night, with games 2 and (if necessary) 3 in Stockton on Thursday and Friday nights. Go support them!

* * *

Augusta lost to Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), 2-1 in 10 inn
losing their five game series, 2-3

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Other

2b

Richard Rodriguez

5

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.330

.343

.381

3b

Jonah Arenado

5

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

2

.264

.292

.367

SB (1)

LF

Andrew Cain

2

1

1

1

0

0

1

2

1

.218

.305

.394

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Pat Young

6.0

3

0

0

3

4

0

0

0

3.39

Rodolfo Martinez

1.2

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

2.54

Raymundo Montero, BS, 2 L 3-6

2.0

5

2

2

2

2

0

0

1

3.22

Andrew Cain gave the last day fans their money's worth here with a very nice all around game. He hit his 11th HR of the year, he reached base three times to join the throng of players boosting his OBP over .300 on the last day. And he gave his all on defense as well.

Otherwise the Greenjackets didn't have much going on. Jonah Arenado picked up two hits and he also stole a base. You may recall that on the second game of this year Arenado hit the first HR of his pro career (in fact, he hit the first and the second that night). And he ends the year, checking another column on his personal stat sheet by collecting the very first SB of his professional career. How 'bout that.

Augusta had a 1-0 lead entering the 9th, but an old bugaboo from early in the year got them again: the blown save. Raymundo Montero allowed a game tying run in the 9th and then he gave up the game losing run in the 10th on a WP.

Augusta really tanked it down the stretch, ending up at 65-73, the worst record in the system.

David Lee's thoughts on the game?

Like Joe Biagini, Mark Reyes (2.13) finished 2nd in the league in ERA, just 3/100s of a point from the lead. Sam Coonrod was 8th in the league (3.14).  He was also 4th in the league in Ks (114). Aramis Garcia, despite spending most of the last month in San Jose was 7th in the league in HRs (15), just four off the lead. And Johneshwy Fargas finished second in the league in SB (59) well behind the Yankees' Jorge Mateo (71).

* * *

Salem-Keizer beat Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 4-2
Taking a 1 game to 0 lead in their best of three series

Name

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

BA

1b

Christopher Shaw

4

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.500

SS

Jose Vizcaino

3

1

2

0

1

0

0

1

1

.667

Name

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

HB

WP

ERA

Michael Connolly W 1-0

6.0

9

2

2

1

5

0

0

0

3.00

Caleb Smith

2.0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0.00

Ryan Halstead, S, 1

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.00

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Groundskeepers at <a href="https://twitter.com/SKVolcanoes">@SKVolcanoes</a> preparing for tonight&#39;s playoff Game 1 against <a href="https://twitter.com/HillsboroHops">@hillsborohops</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MiLB?src=hash">#MiLB</a> <a href="http://t.co/RIxHXboXMm">pic.twitter.com/RIxHXboXMm</a></p>&mdash; Jared Ravich (@JaredRavich) <a href="https://twitter.com/JaredRavich/status/641052979513044992">September 8, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Like a good Giants' affiliate the Volcanoes used the ground attack to great affect last night, scoring four runs on a wide assortment of dinks, doinks, and opponent miscues. The tone was set right from the beginning, when back to back nubbers to 3b resulted in a 1st and 3rd, nobody out situation. In all their runs were scored on a Sac Fly, an error from 1-1 pick Dansby Swanson, a suicide squeeze, and a WP.

Two guys who were making a lot of solid contact however, were Chris Shaw and Jose Vizcaino in the middle of the lineup. Vizcaino reached base three times, including the Volcanoes sole XBH. Shaw lined two clean singles, both of which contributed to scoring rallies, and drove a deep fly ball out to CF.

They're going to need this kind of opportunism (and a few of their signature HRs wouldn't hurt either) as the lineup has been shortened a bit lately. C.J. Hinojosa was last seen being hit by a pitch and he's been placed on the 60 day DL, so I think we can assume there was a broken bone involved there. His absence has forced them to play Vizcaino out of position at SS which has a ripple affect through the lineup (Gomez at 3b, Pujadas at C). In addition, regular 2b Richard Amion was promoted to SJ and Chase Compton who provided infield depth and some pop ended up in Augusta. Time and again in last night's game newly promoted Byron Murray found himself at the plate in a crucial situation, and so far the promising young OF has struggled with the new level, going just 2 for 24 since coming up from the AZL.

On the mound, Michael Connolly had some magic going, working his way through six innings of near constant danger. Connolly lived in the stretch last night, as there were runners on in every inning and multiple runners on in three of the six. But with help from his defense and the timely at'em ball he lived to tell the tale. Ronnie Jebavy in particular made a great running catch, and both Jebavy and Duggar prevented runners from scoring on doubles because of the threat of their arms.

Once Connolly had given them six it was smooth sailing as Caleb Smith and Ryan Halstead threw three very easy innings. Smith, according to the radio crew was throwing mid to upper 90s velocity in retiring all six batters he faced. That's gonna be a major league arm, I think, barring injuries.

Speaking of velo, one of the pitchers who threw for Hillsboro last night was former Giants hand Ariel Hernandez who was released last winter. Hernandez spent five years with the Giants without ever making it out of rookie leagues, but the Diamondbacks have picked him up and tried to milk the promise out of his huge arm strength. Reportedly, he's thrown 100 for them in the NWL this year, though overall he didn't have much success at preventing runs.

The rest of the series now shifts to Hillsboro where the Volcanoes need to win 1 of 2. It's going to be a challenge. Hillsboro is the defending league champs and they have quite a few members of last year's championship team still on the roster, in addition to Swanson, who's been fantastic, and the league's best pitching staff. It'll be no small feat taking down the dominant force in the league the last two years.

And finally, since I was noting the various league leaders for the other teams: Miguel Gomez led the NWL in RBIs (52) and he also finished four hits away from Joe Panik's club record for hits (92), though his 24:5 K:BB ratio doesnt much resembled Panik's 25:28 at SK.  Chris Shaw led the league in HRs and Ronnie Jebavy was top 5 in the league in both HRs and SBs, for a nice dual threat in addition to his fantastic defense.

* * *

That's it for the season. We'll keep the lines going through the playoffs. Only game tonight is Game 2 of the SK/Hillsboro series, then San Jose opens tomorrow night at the Muni.