Before we get too deep into this, the Giants have had a Dominican-born pitcher win a World Series game in the last few years, and there are two teams that haven't even been to a World Series. So the Giants are way ahead of the pack in some respects.
However, this is an amazing, curious fact.
Johnny Cueto is the 1st Domincan-born pitcher to win a start for the #SFGiants since Sergio Valdez (1995) pic.twitter.com/w7RpKH8Gjr— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) April 6, 2016
Sergio Valdez! A player so forgotten, that I haven't even referenced him in a stupid joke yet.
The first reaction is surprise. The second reaction is probably an alanistic expression of irony. The Giants were synonymous with Dominican players succeeding in the majors. They had an entire freaking outfield of Alou brothers. Their star pitcher and future Hall of Famer was known as "The Dominican Dandy." It seems weird that they could span decades without developing a Dominican starter.
The third reaction is to scowl at the process that led to this factlet. Wait, why have the Giants done so poorly developing their international prospects? Since Valdez's win, here are the Dominican starting pitching prospects who made Baseball America's annual list of the Giants' top-10 prospects:
- Felix Diaz
- Francisco Liriano
- Merkin Valdez
- Alfredo Simon
- Henry Sosa
- Keury Mella
- Adalberto Mejia
That's three pitchers who won for other teams -- four if you include Kendry Flores with the Marlins -- but the Giants have been shut out of impact international prospects for years.
The fourth reaction is to punch a wall and complain about the A.J. Pierzynski trade again.
The fifth reaction is to get up and pour a bowl of cereal because I'm hungry. Crispix is the best one to satisfy the sweet tooth without feeling guilty, imo.
The sixth reaction is to be happy about Johnny Cueto's win and happy that he gets to continue the Giants' proud Dominican legacy. It was a weird gap, but this was a fine way to end it.
Let's just stick with that last reaction, then. Good work, Johnny Cueto.