Great Friday night of baseball with terrific performances up and down the system. But the night belonged to Dillon Dobson, the 2015 23rd round pick out of Appalachian State (where he was coached by Ryder Jones’ father). One night after returning from the DL, Dobson made himself a little history with a stunning display of power.
This is the 30th season of San Jose Giants baseball if you were wondering (1988-2017). You might think the “first SJ Giants player to hit 3 HRs ... at home” distinction is a tad pedantic, but the Muni has historically been tough on power hitters, particularly LH, so the accomplishment is real. For the complete list of 3-HR games for San Jose players Joe Ritzo has us covered:
3-HR games in #SJGiants history— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) April 29, 2017
- Adam Witter 8/3/07 at Bakersfield
- Hector Sanchez 5/23/11 at Stockton
- Dillon Dobson 4/28/17 vs Stockton
Hector! You may recall, that Sanchez game took place the same week as Buster Posey’s ankle injury and precipitated Sanchez’ rapid (and possibly ill-fated) promotions first to AAA and then to the majors within a matter of two months. That probably won’t happen to Dillon.
HIGHLIGHTS: Sam Coonrod K’d 7 in 6 IP; Dillon Dobson hit three HRs and four hits; Melvin Adon K’d 6 over 6 two-hit innings.
Sacramento lost at Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners), 2-1
|1- Wynton Bernard||PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.176|
|Michael Roth (L, 2-2)||5||6||2||2||2||0||0||4.08|
After a big series against Las Vegas, Sacramento’s bats have struggled to get anything going in the great Northwest, as they’ve scored just one run in their first two games in Tacoma (well, one and a half really). The team managed just seven baserunners on six hits and a walk and rarely got any of them past 1b. They only had five ABs with a RISP and went 0 for 5 in them. Ageless Juan Ciriaco, who was recently added to the roster, knocked in their lone run with a Sac Fly. Ciriaco’s sac brought in Carlos Moncrief whose leadoff double was the team’s only XBH.
Two of the team’s six hits came from Jae-Gyun Hwang, lifting his average up over .300. Hwang’s now slashing .303/.346/.395.
The quiet bats wasted a fine night of pitching for the Rivercats including another scoreless inning from Bryan Morris. Michael Roth gave the team a quality start, with DJ Peterson’s (Mariners #13 prospect) two-run double being the only damage he allowed; but that was enough to hang himself with the loss. In a moral victory, the team held Mariners #2 prospect Tyler O’Neill hitless. The power hitter used to wear out the San Jose Giants staff two years ago when he was in Bakersfield.
The game was closed out by old friend Jean Machi, who picked up his 4th save for the Rainiers.
Well, it’s ok guys. Hug it out and get ‘em tomorrow.
Jae, HUG ME BRUTHA #MakeTodayBetterIn4Words pic.twitter.com/guAmsK1XP3— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 28, 2017
Richmond lost at Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies), 2-1
|Sam Coonrod (L, 0-2)||6||4||2||2||1||7||1||3.15|
Featuring some of the shortest dimensions in the Eastern League, the new Hartford stadium has thus far looked to be an offensive haven, with an average of nearly 14 runs per game being scored their in the Yard Goats first homestand. But Sam Coonrod and Rockies #17 prospect Yency Almonte made it play big in last night’s pitcher’s duel.
Coonrod once again had the swing and miss going, picking up 7 more Ks in 6 IP and once again he stayed in the strike zone, walking just one. After a 2016 in which he walked 4.5 per 9, Coonrod’s gotten the peripherals going in the right direction so far in 2017, with a sensational 25 to 2 K/BB ratio in just 20 IP. Here he is sending the Rockies #9 prospect, and reigning EL Player of the Week, Ryan McMahon down in the 1st inn.
McMahon would, unfortunately, get his measure of revenge back in the 6th inning when he snuck a hard grounder past Chris Shaw and down the RF line to knock in the game’s winning run.
The only time the short dimensions got Coonrod in trouble came in the 5th, when he left back to back pitches up and both of them were sent to the seats. However, only one of them actually arrived there. Have I mentioned that Slade Heathcott is athletic?Watch him go get this!
If you keep an eye on ESPN, there’s a chance you might see that play make a Sportscenter appearance:
Hey @GoYardGoats you get that @heathcott_slade catch on film? https://t.co/p3IWWOG74j— Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) April 29, 2017
Richmond would come right back to tie the game when Dylan Davis opened up the 6th by lacing a long single off the 308’ RF wall and then coming around to score when Hunter Cole hit his second double of the game.
Cole started the year in a brutal slump, but he’s been turbo-charged in the last week, hitting .400/.500/.640 over the past seven games, going 10 for 25 with six doubles and five walks in that spell.
Unfortunately that was all the offense the team could muster behind Coonrod’s performance, dropping him to 0-2 on the year despite his excellent work.
San Jose beat Stockton Ports (A’s), 11-4
San Jose Bats
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||2||.194|
San Jose Arms
|Mike Connolly (W, 2-2)||7||6||2||2||0||5||1||1.69|
Here’s some runs! San Jose got a huge amount of production from the middle of the order, as the 4-5 hitters, Gio Brusa and Dillon Dobson reached base six times, clubbed four HRs, and knocked in eight RBI between them. Most of that damage, of course, came from Dobson’s tremendous night. But the two of them got it started together in the first inning, when they went back to back.
It’s interesting that Clark was on hand for this performance. You may or may not remember that last year during a Giants’ broadcast, Krukow asked Clark about his recent trip to watch the Augusta Greenjackets and Will specifically picked out Dobson as a player who had caught his eye.
Will Clark just mentioned 1B Dillon Dobson as a player he was impressed with in Augusta.— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 15, 2016
Impressing the Thrill is a great strategy for advancement in the org, Dillon! That’s some smart thinking! After a single in his next turn at bat, Dobson showed off some tremendous opposite field power in the 6th:
Hm.... one to RF, one to LF, you know what’s left don’t you?
#SFGiants prospect Dillon Dobson accepts his teammates' challenge on a three-homer night for @SJGiants. https://t.co/eah2RVhVpF pic.twitter.com/BiLpuN2TD2— MiLB.com (@MiLB) April 29, 2017
Yep, Dillon’s teammates told him he needed to complete the trifecta by going out to CF and he did just that. Amazing night! This kid has some serious juice in his bat. If he can hold his own at 2b and 3b, there’s a path to success for him, even if it’s as a UT bat off a bench.
I may be missing something but I believe the last 3-HR game in the system came last May 1st from Jarrett Parker.
The Giants now have three players tied for 3rd in the Cal League with 4 HRs (Garcia, Brusa, Dobson). As a team, their 21 HRs are second in the league behind Rancho Cucamonga.
Interestingly, manager Nestor Rojas had just been talking to Joe Ritzo about how the return of Dobson would help the lineup on Thursday night. You can hear that conversation here, which also involves Rojas’ memories of coaching Christian Arroyo in rookie ball.
Augusta beat the Greenville Drive (Red Sox), 3-2 in 10 inn
|Frandy De La Rosa||1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.211|
|Sandro Cabrera (H, 2)||1.1||1||0||0||0||3||0||1.54|
|Jeff Burke (BS, 2)(W, 1-0)||2.2||3||1||0||0||2||0||1.84|
Ok, back to the pitchers’ duels. And back to another tremendous power pitching performance. Who would have guessed back on April 9th, when Melvin Adon walked four batters in the 2nd inning of his first start, that at the end of the month we’d be talking about a pitcher with a 0.85 WHIP for the season. That’s incredible. Since that perhaps overamped season debut, Adon has walked just 3 batters over his next three starts combined (16 IP). And he’s been exceptionally difficult to hit as well, surrendering just 7 hits in that stretch. In fact, he’s allowed just 8 hits all year, holding opponents to a .131 BAA.
It’s been a sensational three starts for Adon, allowing just two earned runs (3 total), striking out 20 against the 3 walks in three starts. He also was much more pitch efficient in last night’s game as he matched exactly his previous outing’s pitch count of 84 pitches. But in this game he went an inning and a third longer, reaching a season high of 6 IP. For a guy with the reputation of extreme rawness, this is a tremendous early season run of success. Hopefully, it’s giving Melvin confidence to sustain some of that success through the year. But I can’t say enough about the way he’s kept the baserunners down while running up the swing and miss in these three games. Man, I’m already jacked about his next start. When’s Happy Melvin Day come back again!?!
Adon was backed up well by lefty Sandro Cabrera, who continues to find success in the pen. The older of the two Sandros K’d 5 in 1.1 IP last night, giving him 15 in 11.2 IP for the year.
The offensive star of the night was 2b Kevin Rivera, who singled in the Greenjackets’ first run and came all the way around to score a LLHR when the left fielder let the ball scoot by him to the wall. Rivera got the chance to be the hero when he came to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the 10th and runners on 2b and 3b. He wasted no time in providing the walk-off, lining a clean single to RF on the first pitch he saw. The 14th round pick of the 2014 draft out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, Rivera has had a nice little run this week, hitting .348/.423/.391 over his last seven games. He’s also controlled the strike zone well in that stretch with 3 BB to 4 Ks (5/9 for the season).
As a final note before leaving Augusta, Joe Ritzo during the SJ game last night said he’d been talking with Shane Turner about Mazza’s perfect game. If you want to know how closely the head office follows the nightly goings on around the system, Turner told Ritzo that in the final innings of that game the Giants were calling the Augusta dugout between every inning to ask about the pitch count and the fatigue levels they were seeing in Mazza. The Giants had a strict pitch count for Mazza, but they didn’t want to deprive him of his opportunity to go for history. Fortunately, Mazza breezed through his innings so quickly and kept the count down so low it never became a serious dilemma for the org.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Dan Slania vs. Sam Gaviglio
Richmond: Matt Lujan vs. Parker French
San Jose: Heath Slatton vs. Angel Duno
Augusta: TBD vs. Michael Shawaryn
Couple of guys trying to get their seasons turned the right direction in Slania and Slatton, while Augusta seems to have uncertainty. This has been Caleb Baragar’s spot in the rotation so far this year.
Will anybody end today with this kind of smile?
Have a night @_ddob, and a pie to the face! 4-4, 3 HR and 5 RBIs. @MiLB @SJGiants @SFGiants @MLBPipeline https://t.co/xZ6KJpgBf8 via MiLB pic.twitter.com/XKtiCApYsV— Tim Cattera Photo (@TimCatteraPhoto) April 29, 2017
Back to Back Home Runs for #SJGiants Gio Brusa & Dillon Dobson! pic.twitter.com/ihqwAI2oRT— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) April 29, 2017