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SF Giants Minor Lines, 8/21

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Drama abounds! Three final at bat comebacks including two walk offs.

Does everybody have subscriptions to Baseball Prospectus? You really should! If you did this morning you could read quick line items on Austin Slater, Cory Taylor, Steven Duggar, and Jordan Johnson, plus a first-hand scouting report on Bryan Reynolds in the Monday Morning Ten Pack for the price of a latte a month! You'd find great quotes like this:

It’s probably time to take this guy more seriously

and this!

on the short list for best athlete and best prospect in the xxx League this summer.

Highly recommended! One of the above quotes is talking about this guy, who continues to go off:

HIGHLIGHTS: Steven Duggar had a 4 hit game;

* * *

Sacramento won at Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 11-9

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG*

OBP

SLG

a- Ryan Lollis

PH-CF

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.256

.327

.331

Jarrett Parker

RF

4

2

1

0

1

0

0

1

2

.266

.353

.576

Austin Slater

LF

5

3

3

2

0

0

2

0

1

.290

.374

.459

Travis Ishikawa

1B

4

2

1

0

0

1

3

1

1

.253

.340

.448

Ruben Tejada

SS

4

1

3

2

0

0

2

0

0

.275

.313

.396

Ty Blach

P

3

1

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

.214

.333

.214

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Ty Blach

6.0

7

4

4

1

7

1

3.58

Jake Dunning (H, 5)

0.2

1

0

0

1

0

0

4.14

Matt Reynolds (H, 3)

0.1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.00

Tyler Rogers (H, 3)

0.1

2

3

2

0

1

0

4.87

Jean Machi (BS, 2)(W, 4-2)

1.2

4

2

2

0

2

0

3.72

Yup, this is what a trip to Reno looks like, alright! A topsy-turvy affair that featured a four-run inning and two different five-run innings. Ten runs were scored in the 8th and 9th innings alone. Long before that, Ty Blach was scuffling threw his second consecutive four-runs allowed effort. Three of those came in the bottom of the first. In fact, Blach allowed more runs in the first inning of this game than he had in any of his eight starts between June 27 and August 10, an inning that featured an RBI double from rehabbing star A.J. Pollock and a two-run HR to slugging 1b Kyle Jensen (his 28th). That was the first HR Blach had allowed since June 22, the last poor start before he started his excellent two month run. At least Ty got a little bit of his own back by going 2 for 3 with an RBI and run scored. #Pitcherswhorake ftw!

Fast forward to the bottom of the 8th. With the RiverCats leading 7-4, Jean Machi was brought in to a bases-loaded, one-out jam. Four singles later, Sacramento was down 9-7 heading to the top of the 9th. But it turned out that Machi was just cleverly setting himself up for the Wi...LOL can't even say it!

Because in the top of the 9th Sacramento came back strong. A Ryan Lollis single, a walk to Jarrett Parker, and the smoking-hot Austin Slater's third hit of the game (an RBI single) set up Travis Ishikawa for the first dramatic comeback of the day:

That's Ishi's 11th HR with the RiverCats and 17th overall this year as he's decided he really likes AAA pitching!

Machi made it through the bottom of the 9th unscathed and there you have a pretty classic little PCL meet up.

* * *

Richmond beat the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 6-5
winning their three game series, 2-1

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG*

OBP

SLG

Steven Duggar

CF

4

3

4

2

0

0

1

0

0

.335

.395

.435

Brandon Bednar

2B

5

1

3

0

0

0

1

0

0

.267

.286

.364

Christian Arroyo

3B

5

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.272

.316

.364

C.J Hinojosa

SS

5

1

2

0

0

0

1

0

1

.241

.303

.324

Darren Ford

LF

3

0

2

1

0

0

0

1

1

.237

.319

.324

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Nestor Molina

6.0

4

4

2

2

5

0

2.84

Carlos Alvarado

1.0

1

1

1

0

1

0

2.08

Preston Claiborne

1.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2.61

Joe Nathan (W, 1-0)

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.00

You know when 9th inning comebacks are even more enjoyable? When they're walk-offs, of course, for maximum Happy Drive entertainment value.

Personally, I'm not sure that "streaks" is the verb I would have chosen to describe Villalona's running there, but it works Jay Burnham! Trailing 5-3 entering the bottom of the 9th, Steven Duggar led off the comeback with a double as seen above, his fourth hit and second double of the game. Much of that damage came against the excellent Nationals' prospect and former 1st round pick Erick Fedde, so Duggar's not just compiling numbers, he's showing he can barrel up premium stuff as well. Singles from Brandon Bednar and Christian Arroyo kept things going, but then a Tyler Horan double play looked like it would cut the rally short. But Angel Villalona walked -- don't act shocked, Angel has almost as many walks (5) as hits (6) this year. And then a WP brought Bednar home with the tying run and moved Villalona into position to streak home with the game winner, when the 1b couldn't handle Hinojosa's hard smash. Ball game.

Back to Duggar, his .335 batting line would be leading the Eastern League is he had enough PA to qualify. Across two levels he's slashing .305/.390/.451 in his full season debut, and even more impressively he's hit better in the Eastern League than he did in the Cal League (.284/.386/..462) so long as you accept that the HR spike was a Cal League mirage, which seems probable. Still that hit tool and the walk rate combined with range and instincts enough to play CF are a major leaguer of some stripe, and a pretty exciting 6th round development find.

On the mound, Richmond featured a whole lot of veteran grit yesterday, as they ran out four pitchers who collectively aged well over 100. Carlos Alvarado, at 26, was the spring chicken of the group. Nestor Molina, who the Giants obtained the rights to in the winter but who had spent the year pitching for two different teams in the Mexican League (not very well for either), was once upon a time (the time being 2011) the #2 prospect in the White Sox' system after they obtained him from Toronto for Sergio Santos.  At that time he was considered something of a Yusmeiro Petit "command over stuff" guy, so you never know? The Squirrels late comeback made a winner out of Joe Nathan, making his second appearance with the system. No word yet on what kind of stuff Joe's featuring with Richmond, but it sounds like he's being a great teammate for the youngsters already.

Finally, Chris Shaw got an offday yesterday, but if you think I'm going to skip the opportunity to note his body of work on Saturday (a double, a HR, and two walks in five PA), you don't know Roger (my first ever 3rd person reference!).

* * *

San Jose lost to Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers), 8-1
losing their three game series, 1-2

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG*

OBP

SLG

Jonah Arenado

1B

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

.268

.299

.447

Miguel Gomez

DH

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.244

.278

.462

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Jordan Johnson (L, 8-9)

6.0

6

3

3

2

6

3

5.53

Jeff Soptic

1.1

5

5

5

2

0

0

7.35

Because their division features a couple of really terrible teams (in Modesto and Stockton) and also because the Cal League let's more than half the league into their post-season, the Giants are assured of a post-season berth. Though as the 2nd wild card team, they'll go in with an extremely disadvantageous travel schedule that will begin with a mini-series in Bakersfield, a location they are becoming very familiar with. They just finished a road series in Bakersfield last Thursday and they return there to begin another one tomorrow night. In fact, they will play just the Blaze and their own personal bête noire, the Visalia Rawhide, for the rest of the season. We know they're going to the playoffs, but it still remains to be seen whether they can continue their streak of winning seasons as yesterday's loss keeps them perilously close to the .500 line at 65-62. Of course, with 6 games left against Bakersfield there's still an outside chance they could take the 2nd half title (they trail Bakersfield by 5 games) but they'll need to play better these final two weeks to accomplish that feat (plus Visalia's between the two teams in second place).

Jordan Johnson had another Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde performance, fanning 6 in 6 innings, but also surrendering 3 solo HRs. Is that the Cal League gonna Cal League? Or is this more of Jordan's "Tim Lincecum circa 2012" imitation? Time will tell.

The offense suffered through a miserable day with just four hits and no walks against 9 Ks. Which is a pretty good recipe for getting yourself a drubbing.

Here, let's let TJ Bennett sum up the experience of the game:

Yup. One of those days.

But I'm burying the lede here. The big drama in Bakersfield this week isn't going to be on the field, it's going to be off the field... forever it would seem.

This news has been coming for a long while, and particularly earlier this year when it was learned that the both the Astros and Rangers were in discussions with potential Carolina League locations.

With just eight teams the California League will join the Texas League as the smallest leagues in the minors.

* * *

Augusta lost at Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 5-2

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG*

OBP

SLG

Jean Angomas

LF

5

1

3

1

0

0

1

0

0

.254

.297

.341

Jalen Miller

2B

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

.235

.283

.339

Bryan Reynolds

CF

5

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

.125

.125

.250

Dillon Dobson

3B

4

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

.272

.317

.500

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Grant Watson (L, 3-7)

2.2

4

4

4

2

3

1

4.62

Ryan Koziol

2.1

2

1

1

0

3

0

2.83

Charles Owen

1.0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Ryan Halstead

2.0

0

0

0

0

3

0

4.22

Jean Machi (BS, 2)(W, 4-2)

1.2

4

2

2

0

2

0

3.72

You know, Augusta had a five game lead and was cruising to an easy 2nd Half title when I handed the keys over to Kevin last week (ahem!). What happened here?! A five-game losing streak and a concurrent four-game winnin gstreak for the second place Rome Braves has disintegrated that lead down to the nub, and the Greenjackets will take the field tonight clinging to a slim half-game lead and trying hard to avoid a five-game sweep at the hands of the Fireflies.

This has been an equal-opportunity blame losing streak, as the pitching staff has allowed 5 or more runs in all but one of the losses, while the two runs the offense put on the board in this game was their biggest total of the five games (doubling their previous high!).

Bakersfield's own Grant Watson continued his woes as his ERA seems to be on an inexorable climb up to the 5.00+ mark. After a terrific month of April, Watson's season has really slid the wrong way.  The offense produced just seven hits, though four of them were doubles.  They combined two of those doubles (from Angomas and Dobson) to get a run in the 3rd, but had little success the rest of the game. Angomas, with three more hits, continues what's been a second half renaissance for his season that began with his assignment to Salem Keizer.  After his torrid week in the NWL (hitting .389 in 36 ABs) he returned to the Sally a new man. On June 30, he took the field for the Greenjackets with a .204 average and .533 OPS on the season. But he produced an improved .273/.289/.375 line in July and upped that to .339/.377/.452 mark thus far in August.  The 21 year old has a swing geared to line drive contact, so his power will likely never be enough to be more than a role player (though he does have decent speed), but he certainly deserves credit for the way he's turned around what was a very rough first half into an encouraging full season debut.

And speaking of encouraging debuts, let's enjoy Bryan Reynolds whacking a ball around as well:

The Greenjackets inopportune losing streak has them in a dogfight and this race will most certainly be determined on the field, as Augusta and Rome play each other seven times in the final ten days of the season, including a season ending four-game series in Rome.

* * *

Salem-Keizer lost at Tri-City Dust Devils (Padres), 6-3

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG*

OBP

SLG

Manuel Geraldo

2B

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

.296

.332

.365

Ashford Fulmer

CF

4

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

.281

.399

.369

Gio Brusa

LF

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.257

.299

.474

Heath Quinn

RF

4

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

.333

.413

.533

Ryan Howard

SS

4

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

.273

.307

.369

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Victor Concepcion (L, 4-6)

5.0

7

4

4

1

7

0

5.47

Rayan Hernandez

2.0

1

0

0

1

2

0

2.78

Hoping to build on his last outing, Victor Concepcion posted his best peripherals of the season, with a season-high 7 strikeouts against just one walk (though he also hit a batter). And for the most part those peripherals were matched with a lot of zeroes on the board as well, but in his final inning of work Concepcion ran into wall or some tough luck or maybe a wall built of tough luck. Anyway, he let his first five batters of the 5th inning reach base on four singles and a walk leading to a three-run outburst. And really, had it not been for a Dust Devil comitting the cardinal sin of getting thrown out at 3b for the first out of the inning (on an ill-fated SB attempt) things could have been even worse.  As it is one might see the last two outings as some progress for the slight RHP, were one so inclined.

There's no doubt, however, which Volcanoes unit carries the larger portion of blame for their lackluster season. The offense has consistently been one of the best in the league. They're second in the league in team batting, OPS, Runs, and HRs (in each case, they are second to the same team, the Northern division leading Everett AquaSox), while being third in the league in OBP and 1st in SLG. The reason the Volcanoes are sitting in last place in their division is quite clearly the guys standing on the bump, as they've allowed the most runs, the most ER, the most walks of any staff in the league. Their 43 HRs allowed (in 62 games) is just one off the league lead in that category (the next worst team has just 28 HRs surrendered). And to wrap it all up, they're one of the worst strikeout staffs in the NWL, with just 481 Ks, very nearly 100 off the pace of the Spokane Indians' total of 568. Add it all up, this is a team that can only really compete in shootout style baseball, which is tough to sustain. And thus the 27-35 record.

Lastly, a shout-out to Heath Quinn who has reached base now in 32 out of his last 33 games. Indeed, Quinn has failed to reach base in just four of his 47 games played this year with Salem-Keizer. The league leader in average and OPS has also been a model of consistency in his pro debut.

Quinn's 2016 draft-mate Gio Brusa (Lodi's own!) joins Bill Harrington on the newest Inside the Dugout.

* * *

AZL Giants beat the AZL Angels, 5-4 in 12 inn

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG*

OBP

SLG

Malique Ziegler

LF

6

1

2

0

1

0

1

0

0

.278

.375

.426

Kelvin Beltre

SS

4

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

2

.222

.222

.444

Jeffrey Parra

C

5

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

.333

.417

.476

Beicker Mendoza

1B

5

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

.271

.301

.318

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Alex Bostic

4.0

5

3

3

3

4

0

5.11

Sidney Duprey

3.0

0

0

0

2

1

0

0.49

Sandro Cabrera (W, 2-2)

5.0

3

1

0

1

2

0

2.82

Let's end the night with another come-from-behind walk off! After the two-teams traded early run-scoring rallies, the score sat 3-3 in the 4th inning. And it stayed that way for a looong time. In the 12th inning, Sandro Cabrera, working his 5th inning of relief (the second time he's done so this year) was touched up for an unearned run. An inning-opening throwing error OF/sometime 3b Nick Hill started things off, but Cabrera contributed to the undoing with an ill-timed WP that moved the runner to 3b where he scored on a Sac Fly. Still, 1 unearnd run over 5 innings is a pretty fine outing for the little lefty.

And he was rewarded for his efforts when the offense got him off the hook in the bottom of the 12th. The Giants immediately got that run back when 24th round pick Jeffrey Parra (Catcher out of Ramapo HS in New Jersey) launched his first professional HR to lead off the inning. The 18 year old has received extremely limited playing time this summer (just 21 ABs), presumably as the Giants work with him on the defensive aspects of his game.

Following Parra's shot, Beicker Mendoza picked up his third hit of the game and Malique Ziegler his second. A bunt and an IBB later, Sandro Fabian came to the plate with the bases loaded and a chance to deliver the walk off victory and he delivered, lofting  a Sac Fly to LF to end it.

Ziegler, a speedy 19 year old OF out of Northern Iowa CC (22nd round) has put together a very solid debut. You can read a good article about him in the Des Moines Register here:

and you can watch him swing it here:

The dramatic victory against the division leading Angels put the Giants within a whisper of 1st place as they continue  a late playoff push.

* * *

So the screws turn for some of the Giants' low-level teams, fighting for the playoffs, while for others it's just pushing through the end of the season, trying to develop, trying to catch the org's eye, trying to fight through to the end.

Today's Matchups:
Sacramento: TBD vs.Matt Buschmann
Richmond: Sam Coonrod vs. Tyler Alexander
San Jose: Off
Augusta: Dom Mazza vs. Gabby Almonte
SK: Mac Marshall vs. Joey Lucchesi
AZL, DSL: TBD