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SF Giants Minor Lines, 8/29

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Tyler Beede paints his masterpiece to put an exclamation mark on a fantastic second season.

Whoa! That was some game! Complete Game. Shutout. Two-hitter. Career high 11 Ks.

Beede had a couple of rough outings right around the All Star break, but he's been on a roll since the end of July. Even counting his previous start, where his fastball command wandered on him and he allowed four runs, here's his last six starts (since July 29): 39.2 IP, 7 ER, 49 Ks. That uptick in Ks has come with a concurrent increase in BBs as he's walked 19 over that same stretch, but yesterday he pounded the zone, walking just 1 while throwing 70 of 94 pitches for strikes. Good golly.

As someone who was famously skeptical of the pick I'm happy to eat crow over this one. Tyler Beede, with the Giants' help, has worked himself into a legit major league asset and one not too far away from contributing. He's very likely going to be seeing major league starts in 2017 and is the clear heir apparent to the Matt Cain spot in the rotation. He'll be the #1 prospect in the Giants' system on some people's lists, and very legitimately. You want velocity -- he's got a flash of upper 90s back in his arm. You want strikeouts -- he leads the Eastern League in Ks (133). He's also second in the league in ERA. Beede brings the most complete starter's repertoire in the system and on his best days works with three plus pitches and an above average fourth.

HIGHLIGHTS: Beede! Heath Quinn homered and walked twice; Garrett Williams had 8 Ks in 6 IP.

* * *

Sacramento lost to Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 6-1

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Mac Williamson

LF

3

1

2

1

0

0

0

1

0

.273

.315

.502

Ruben Tejada

SS

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

.283

.313

.383

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA*

Chris Heston (L, 2-9)

4.2

7

6

6

3

2

1

4.24

Jake Dunning

2.1

1

0

0

2

3

0

4.06

Josh Osich

1.0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1.29

Exciting pitching performances dominated the night in the system, but that trend unfortunately did not extend to Chris Heston's outing in Sacramento.

I don't know. That doesn't sound like a guy the Giants are going to be too anxious to find a spot on the 40 man for in the next week. Heston struggled with is command, throwing just 57 of 93 pitches for strikes, got behind too often, and was hurt because of it. Though possibly even more concerning is groug's report of the fastball velocity. That doesn't sound like a guy who's anywhere near rehabbed yet.

More rehabbed sounding though, is a guy who can make a real difference to the Giants' lineup starting on Thursday:

Williamson reached base three times yesterday, and over his last six games is now 8 for 25 with two HRs, a double, and three walks. Of course, the more important thing is how his shoulder is feeling. Days ago it was still sore enough that they brought up Gorkys Hernandez instead. Hopefully Mac will be ready to play the major league game by the end of the week. His ill-timed shoulder injury was a real blow as he'd been getting more and more comfortable at the major league level on both sides of the ball just before he went down.

See more of this soon, Mac!

* * *

Richmond beat the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies), 4-0

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Christian Arroyo

2B

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

.276

.319

.376

Chris Shaw

1B

4

2

1

0

0

1

1

0

2

.242

.289

.412

C.J Hinojosa

SS

4

1

3

0

0

1

2

0

0

.251

.311

.342

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA*

Tyler Beede (W, 7-7)

9.0

2

0

0

1

11

0

2.87

Are there questions emanating from Tyler Beede's outing last night? Indeed, a very important one:

Did he kick Hartford's behind, or did he paddle it? Pity poor Hartford, which has gone through the entire 2016 calendar without ever having a home game, or indeed a home. It can't be a great development environment for these guys, and it's just piling on for me to be making butt paddling jokes at their expense. Still given Beede's dominance, the question remains: did he kick it, or paddle it?

Beede should have one more start to make this year. What can he do for an encore?

It was a good night for Richmond's other 1st rounders as well. Christian Arroyo is trying to end his season on an upnote. Another candidate for the system's #1 prospect, Arroyo now has a 7-game hitting streak going down the stretch, a week of hitting that includes three more doubles and his third HR of the year. Last night, against the Rockies rehabbing starter Tyler Chatwood, Arroyo singled and walked in two good looking at bats.

Chris Shaw, who has hit a AA speed bump in his impressive first full season, jumped on a hanging breaking ball from Chatwood and showed his carrying tool, and CJ Hinojosa followed him up and said "Me, too!"

Shaw and Hinojosa were in the middle of the Squirrels other rally as well, when they hit back to back choppers (following a walk to Arroyo) neither of which resulted in an out. Originally, Shaw's bouncer up the middle was ruled a hit and Hinojosa's nubber to 3b was ruled an error, but during the course of the inning both of those calls were changed so that Shaw had reached via error and Hinojosa had an infield hit. Either way, Chatwood was no doubt thinking "these guys ain't exactly Tulo and Arenado back here."

The two teams go back to work against each other tonight in what was supposed to be a double header, making up a rain out from early May. But the rescheduled game has been cancelled because, apparently, nobody cares to play it. So they'll just play the one game that was originally scheduled tonight. That's what happens when two teams in the minors are playing out the string.

* * *

San Jose had their final off day of the season

Augusta had their final off day of the season

* * *

Salem-Keizer won at the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 13-4

Player

Pos

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Manuel Geraldo

3B

5

2

2

0

1

0

4

0

1

.295

.327

.367

Heath Quinn

RF

2

1

1

0

0

1

2

2

0

.330

.419

.560

Kevin Rivera

2B

5

1

2

0

1

0

1

0

0

.320

.355

.429

Zack Bowers

C

4

3

3

1

0

1

3

0

1

.215

.322

.306

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA*

Garrett Williams (W, 1-1)

6.0

3

1

1

2

8

0

4.63

Jeff Burke

2.0

3

3

1

1

3

0

3.38

Patrick Ruotolo

1.0

1

0

0

1

1

0

1.00

The Volcanoes delivered a pretty good kicking themselves to the NWL's worst team (though Salem's record is just three games better than Vancouver's).  Manuel Geraldo has shown that his hits come in bunches throughout the year, and he's surely collecting a bunch of them right now as he had his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. He's gone 9 for 20 in that span and even picked up a triple in this game.

On the other hand, Heath Quinn has been the model of consistency in his inaugural season, reaching base in 50 of his 55 games as a pro. That's really pretty incredible! You don't see transitions to the wood bat this seemingly easy very often, and coming from a small college makes it even more impressive. Quinn is looking like  a really polished college bat right now. He showed his patience and power combination to perfection in this game, hitting his 9th HR of the season and walking twice. Should we do the Quinn statistical roundup one more time? 3rd in the league in average, 2nd in OBP, 1st in SLG and OPS, 2nd in HRs, 4th in doubles. Standing ovation!

On the mound, the Volcanoes got a very exciting performance out of Garrett Williams, probably the leader of the pack of "plus plus stuff, minus, minus command" pitchers the Giants picked this year in their middle rounds (an excellent high risk/high reward strategy to hunting for pitchers in the mid-rounds).  Williams, who features excellent velocity from the left-hand side and a funhouse breaking ball, had easily his best start as a pro as he set career bests in both IP and strikeouts while allowing just 1 ER. He had just one other outing with SK allowing 3 or fewer hits and that came in his first start which went just 3 innings. Williams is a wild man, but like Krook, he's a big pop-up candidate next year if the Giants' can help tame his mechanics.

* * *

AZL Giants did not play

The AZL Angels won their game against the Reds (same Reds team that just swept a DH against the Giants -- thanks for nothing, Reds!), eliminating the Giants. Their season is now over.

DSL Giants season is over

* * *

The focus for the final week shifts to A ball, where the Greenjackets have 7 games to retake first place from the Rome Braves including four head to head matchups to end the year, while San Jose tries to avoid their first non-winning year in 13 seasons as they head for their own post-season.

Today's Matchups:
Sacramento: Chris Stratton vs. TBD
Richmond: Andrew Suarez vs. TBD
SJ: Jordan Johnson vs. Tyler Pike
Augusta: Heath Slatton vs. Gerson Garabito
SK: TBD vs. Denis Diaz

So, that's probably it for me for this year of Minor Lines. Kevin will take it home. So if you'll indulge me, let me do a quick One Man's State of the System assessment.

In 2016, the Giants dipped into their impressive depth to try and bolster the major league squad for another run at glory. This is one of the main purposes for a farm system and hopefully will pay dividends in helping the big club compete in this and following seasons. But no doubt the org talent level took a definite hit this summer and a step back and will need some quick restocking.  From BA's midseason top 10 the Giants gave up their new #1 (Phil Bickford) and two other top 10 prospects, including the system's best athlete (Lucius Fox). At the same time, the year has seen a couple of serious regressions, particularly from the Brothers Johnson, both of whom's 2016 devolved into morass's of mechanical issues.

The good news is that the top of the last few drafts has performed exceptionally well. The top two picks from 2016 both fell to the Giants a round lower than many projected and both have posted something like a "best case scenario" debut. Indeed, Reynolds and Quinn's selections and debuts have been so good, it's almost as if the Giants didn't surrender a pick for the Smardzija signing at all. At the same time, Chris Shaw, while hitting a speed bump in AA, looks like a real Guy for the top of the 2015 draft, and a couple of his lower-round brethren (Duggar and Hinojosa) have had serious pop up years, though 2014 8th rounder Austin Slater has outdone them. I'm not going to suggest that there's an embarrassment of riches here by any means, but there is the start of solid group of position player prospects, including the further away guys like Jalen Miller and his teenaged friends.

On the downside though, it's hard to remember a Giants' system being this thin on pitching in many many years. Tyler Beede's stepped up his development this year for sure, but after him it gets thin fast. Sam Coonrod is probably the next best pitching prospect and there's considerable debate as to whether he can remain a starter. Indeed, other than Andrew Suarez, it's unclear if they have another legitimate major league starting prospect right now. Ty Blach is on the short list for best pitching prospects in the system. To put it in perspective, when the Augusta Greenjackets face the Rome Braves this week, they could legitimately face more potential major league starters (Rome has a legit 5 guys who could be big leaguers) than the Giants currently have in their system. Now, on the good side of things what the Giants have is mostly in the upper minors and fairly close to big league ready, which is a benefit whether they plug holes on the Giants roster or get used as trade chips. But after the AA trio and Blach, you get into dreaming on the Garrett Williams and Matt Krooks and Mac Marshalls of the world pretty quickly, which is not a great place for an org to be. I would guess the 2017 draft will see the Giants grabbing pitchers fast and furiously, and hopefully the kids who take the big leaps forward next year will be some of the arms (Jorday Johnson, Raffi Vizcaino, Cory Taylor etc).

This isn't a system that's in the "who are the worst systems in the game" conversation by any stretch. It's light on elite talent though and its depth took a big hit this summer. Get back to work next year bulking it back up.

More work to be done. But as always, a good year in the minor lines.

Oh and let's go Augusta and San Jose!