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The Prospect Round-up, 6/18/17

Salem-Keizer gets underway as we look ahead to the second half

Prospect Roundup Cover Image Kevin J. Cunningham

2nd Half Guys To Watch

All-Star teams are starting to be announced in the minors, so we’re approaching that midpoint of the season. With that in mind, I’d like to suggest seven names to keep an eye on in the 2nd half.

Note: Top prospects Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede are obvious, so I won’t bother mentioning them. So is top draft pick Heliot Ramos, and last year’s top pick Bryan Reynolds. I don’t need to tell you to follow those guys, so I won’t.

  1. Mac Williamson - Williamson has had it rough this year, as a lot of people thought he’d be in the mix to be an answer in SF, but injuries and promotions and demotions have not let him get a rhythm. But despite having played in just 33 games at Sac, he is short of the team lead in home runs by 1, with 7 home runs. (Orlando Calixte has 8, in 48 games.) This is Williamson’s last chance to stand out, and he still has power.
  2. Kyle Crick - Crick has finally switched to relief, and finally he’s showing sustained changes to his control problems. In 29.1 IP, he has 13 walks and 39 strikeouts, and 24 hits allowed. Crick will make the major league team this year, and frankly, he could take over the spot of the embattled Hunter Strickland as a fastball-pumping guy with velocity.
  3. Ryder Jones - There are a lot of guys on the cusp but with uncertainty in Sacramento, but Jones stands out. Mostly, it’s because now that he’s in Triple-A, he’s only just now putting together well-rounded numbers, with a .386 OBP above a .289 batting average. Oh, and power. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep it up.
  4. Miguel Gomez - Gomez remains a hitting machine, although his batting average has dipped to .313 this year in Richmond. But don’t watch him just for the hitting, it’s the defense. He has been only a second baseman this year, after playing all over the diamond in the years before. It’ll be interesting to see if second bec omes his future professional home.
  5. Heath Quinn - Quinn was on fire upon his return to the San Jose Giants. Although he’s cooled a bit, the third round pick has an excellent well-rounded profile. He could move right along with teammate Bryan Reynolds.
  6. Matt Krook - Krook has as high a ceiling as it comes, but this year he’s struggled mightily with control, in ways that Kyle Crick even never has. But he’s begun to turn it around in his last few games. He’s not dominating, but the team is seeing a lot more consistency from him. If Krook can transform into a good prospect, it takes some pressure off the system.
  7. Raffi Vizcaino - The 21-year old Vizcaino has barely pitched this season, but he brings some excitement to a team in Augusta that really needs it. With a 9-strikeout shutout performance last week, he showed that he has some real potential to dominate. Now, he just needs to do it with consistency.

Salem-Keizer Preview

Salem-Keizer got their season underway this week in unusual circumstances, thanks to a later-than-usual MLB draft. Often, Salem-Keizer debuts with at least some of the current year’s draftees on the team. But, with the late draft, practically no one has signed. So, the team, for now, features a number of previous year draftees. This isn’t terribly unusual, draftees usually take their time to filter into the league. But it does give us a less-than-exciting initial roster.

That said, the star of this team at the moment is certainly Gustavo Cabrera, the 21-year old highly-rated outfielder who suffered a hand injury that set his career back in 2014. He struggled to a .241 batting average between Augusta and Salem-Keizer last season, marred by hand irritation from his injuries. This year, they held him back from Augusta entirely. It will be interesting to see if he is ready to play a regular role. So far, in three games, he’s only been in one.

Also, keep an eye on CF Mikey Edie. As a 17-year old in the AZL in 2015, he had a .290/.369/.319 batting line, after putting up a .298/.424/.383 line as a 16-year old in the DSL. But last year, he only hit .217 in the AZL. He now is getting his chance in Salem-Keizer, and he could be as talented as any of the other players on the team.

Almost The Worst Thing To Happen In The Farm This Year - Christian Arroyo Hit By A Pitch

Wednesday featured a pitch that nearly became the headline of the week, month and year in the farm system. In his first at-bat on Wednesday, he was hit near his wrist by a pitch, and was removed from the game.

The good news is that Arroyo’s X-Rays were negative, and as of Saturday night, has not been put on the DL. However, Arroyo hasn’t yet appeared in a game since then. Every day from here on will be that watch to see when Arroyo comes back. But the Giants will very likely be very cautious with Arroyo.

Andrew Suarez Promoted

Andrew Suarez finally earned his next step up. The 24-year was the Giants’ 2nd round pick from 2015, behind Phil Bickford and Chris Shaw, and other than former first round pick Tyler Beede, Suarez is the top pitcher in the system. So, after posting a 2.96 ERA in 11 starts with Richmond, Sacramento came calling. Some of his peripherals aren’t perfect, with just 55 strikeouts in 67 innings, and 72 hits (a .276 batting average allowed).

So, how’d he do?

Well, he started by getting peppered with hits.

However, after that, the hits got harder, as Suarez may have wilted in the Sacramento heat. Suarez struck out the side int he fourth, but in the fifth he gave up four singles, two on line drives and two on ground balls. But in the sixth, he gave up a triple and a double back-to-back, leading to his removal.

In all, Suarez gave up 10 hits in 5.2 innings, although his 8 strikeouts and one walk looked good. The 10 hits tied a season high that Suarez set in early May, but the reality is that Suarez has given up more hits than innings pitched in four of his last five starts.

In all, Suarez’s season won’t hang on just his first Triple-A start. But hopefully there’s more hope here than other starter who crossed the line between AA and AAA.

2017 Draft Signings

You’ll notice we haven’t talked too much about the draft here. Partially, that’s because a lot of stuff has been written already, including an amazing draft roundup. Partially it’s because there’s not much to say yet.

The Giants announced an agreement to sign their top pick Heliot Ramos almost right away, although the two big draft databases don’t have him officially listed as signed yet. No one else has been announced as signed, which is not unusual less than a week after the draft. We’ll keep an eye on the important signings over the next couple of weeks in the Round-Up.

As far as Ramos goes, there’s been no official word on what level he’s headed to (of course), but the smart money is that he’ll start his career in the AZL. That’s where most high schoolers start, including the last Giants’ first round high schooler, Christian Arroyo. Also, it might help Ramos, who worked on learning English in the last year, playing at a level that is traditionally heavier in players from Latin America.

California League All-Stars!

The San Jose Giants, as tough as of season as they’ve had, were announced to have 6 California League All-Stars named to the North Division team. RHP Mike Connolly and Ryan Halstead, LHP Conner Menez, OF Bryan Reynolds, SS Ryan Howard and C Aramis Garcia were all named to the team.

If you’re wondering why so many, it’s because of a change to the All-Star Game format. With this past offseason’s changes to the California League, the All-Star Game is no longer an affair between the California League and the Carolina League. So, instead of 10 teams contributing to one team, there are 4 teams contributing to each division’s All-Star team. So, more players will get to go. This year’s contest will be this Tuesday, June 20th, in Visalia.

Jean Angomas - Big Games/Small Season

22-year old Jean Angomas got a late start on the season, getting to Augusta only in early June. He struggled for quite a few of those games, but on Thursday and Friday this week, he put together a couple of big numbers you rarely see.

On Thursday, he stole 4 bases in one game. Those were, naturally, his first four stolen bases of the season. He’s already 25% of the way to his 16 stolen last year, a season high.

On Friday, Angomas hit two triples in one game. Of course, over his 10 games this season, those were his only triples of the year. They are also his only extra-base hits of the year.

Otherwise, Angomas has a .214/.214/.310 line in 10 games. It’s not a lot to go on, and much came from the poor start, so maybe he can get rolling. Angomas combined for a .272/.308/.365 line between Salem-Keizer and Augusta last year.

Hitter of the Week - Ryder Jones

Although he ended the week with an 0-for-4, Ryder Jones was on a tear this week. Jones had home runs in three straight games, but he also had a double whent going 5-for-20, with a .800 slugging perecentage. With that, he added 3 walks, and had a .300/.391/.800 batting line on the week.

On the season, Jones has raised his batting line to .289/.386/.550, and has a great rounded nature to his numbers, unmatched in any of his other seasons. The 2nd round pick from 2013 has only broken .300 on his on-base percentage in his rookie half-season in 2013 in the AZL. Jones is definitely having his best season on his career, so it will be interesting to see if he can keep up this production.

Pitcher of the Week - Marco Gonzalez

It’s not often one of the DSL players gets featured in our players of the week, but Marco Gonzalez but up some gaudy numbers.

Pitching 10 innings over two games, Gonzalez struck out 14 while walking four. Combined with 8 hits allowed and just one run, he had a great week in a week that was filled with many disappointing pitching performances.

The 19-year old has turned around some of his numbers from last season. He walks 15 in 14.2 innings, so that despite a .118 batting average against, he had a 4.91 ERA. This year, he’s been hit more, but the walks are down (6 in 13.1 IP). Also, this year Gonzalez has nearly matched the innings pitched from last year in 3 starts, whereas he was a reliever in 11 appearances last year.

Saturday’s Lines


Albuquerque 8 14 0
Sacramento 4 9 0


Richmond 1 1 1
Harrisburg 2 5 3

San Jose

High-A R H E
High-A R H E
Visalia 8 7 0
San Jose 2 10 2


Low-A R H E
Low-A R H E
Asheville 2 6 0
Augusta 7 13 1


Short-A R H E
Short-A R H E
Tri-City 9 13 3
Salem-Keizer 4 9 1


DSL Giants 4 7 4
DSL D-Backs1 5 10 0

Saturday’s Notable Hitting Lines

SAC Orlando Calixte 2B-SS 5 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.304
SAC Mac Williamson RF 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.237
SAC Chris Shaw LF 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.253
SAC Tim Federowicz C 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.319
SAC Juniel Querecuto SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.248
SAC Wynton Bernard CF 4 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.224
RIC C.J Hinojosa 3B-SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.236
SJ Ryan Howard SS 5 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.326
SJ Aramis Garcia C 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.278
SJ Heath Quinn RF 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.290
SJ Dillon Dobson 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.222
SJ Jonah Arenado 3B 4 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.262
AUG Brandon Van Horn SS 5 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.244
AUG Kelvin Beltre 2B 3 3 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.288
AUG Skyler Ewing C 3 0 2 1 0 0 2 1 0 0.222
AUG Sandro Fabian RF 4 0 2 1 0 0 4 0 0 0.247
S-K Malique Ziegler CF 4 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.417
S-K Robinson Medrano LF 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.500
S-K Mikey Edie RF 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.500
DSL Omar Medina 1B 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.292
DSL Andrew Caraballo 3B 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 0.333

Saturday’s Notable Pitching Lines

SAC Andrew Suarez (L, 0-1) 5.2 10 5 5 1 8 0 7.94
SAC Matt Reynolds 1.0 1 2 2 0 1 0 2.25
RIC Dan Slania 7.0 4 1 0 2 7 0 0.69
RIC Collin Balester (L, 1-4) 1.2 1 1 1 1 3 0 3.45
SJ Conner Menez (L, 5-3) 3.1 5 7 7 4 3 0 3.99
SJ Michael Cederoth 3.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00
AUG Caleb Baragar (W, 1-5) 8.0 6 2 1 1 4 0 4.47
S-K Sidney Duprey (L, 0-1) 6.0 8 5 4 3 1 0 6.00
S-K Matt Pope 2.0 5 4 4 2 3 0 18.00
DSL Marco Gonzalez 6.0 5 0 0 1 6 0 1.35
DSL Jorge Labrador (BS, 1)(L, 0-2) 1.2 3 5 0 0 1 1 7.36
  • The headline of the day was certainly the Triple-A debut of Andrew Suarez, who right now is probably one of the top two most promising pitching prospects in the system.
  • Orlando Calixte continued his hot hitting with a triple on two hits. Since returning to Sacramento, Calixte is 12-for-31 (.387) with two doubles and three triples.
  • Matt Reynolds had a rough game in a meaningless 9th inning. He hit a batter and then gave up a triple and a sacrifice fly, bumping his ERA over 2 for the first time since late April.
  • While Suarez came up, Dan Slania returned to Richmond, a demotion he earned. Slania gave up less than 4 earned runs only twice in 11 Sacramento starts. But before that, he had a spectacular first start in Richmond, with 8 strikeouts one 1 run allowed in 6 innings. What did he do back in Richmond? 1 unearned run in 7, with 7 strikeouts. Maybe all Slania needs is a reminder of how good he is in Double-A.
  • Too bad the Squirrels only managed two baserunners, a hit and a walk.
  • In San Jose, Ryan Howard had his sixth multi-hit game in his last nine. The 22-year old is continuing a fine season, with a batting average that has been fluctuating between .310 and .330.
  • Conner Menez, meanwhile, suffered his worst start of the year. He gave up 7 runs on just 5 hits, with 4 walks and 2 hit batters helping contribute to the season-high in runs.
  • Michael Cederoth made his third appearance of the season, and his longest, having gone just a single inning the previous two starts.
  • Augusta had a bit of an offensive explosion, with Kelvin Beltre leading the way, getting on base all four times he came up. It was Beltre’s 2nd 3-hit game in three games, but he also had his seventh straight game with at least one walk. Beltre has 25 walks and 44 strikeouts in 208 at-bats, and has a 21-game on-base streak.
  • Caleb Baragar had his longest start of the season by innings (8), but did it in only 80 pitches. It was Baragar’s second straight start with just one earned run, giving him a good run after he had two-straight 10-run games in late May.
  • With Salem-Keizer, Malique Ziegler had another good game at the top of the Volcano lineup. He had his second multi-hit game in a row, and also his second with a walk. The 22nd round pick from last year hit .290 in the AZL last season.
  • Robinson Medrano has had a good start to the season. The 21-year old has three straight 2-for-4 game. He is listed as a first baseman, where he played last year, but has been in left this season.
  • 19-year old Mikey Edie got into his first start with the Volcanoes, after batting .217 last season in the AZL.
  • Sidney Dupree, the 20-year old 35th round draft pick from last season, had a rough first start to the year. Dupree had a 2.28 ERA in mostly relief appearances last season between the AZL and Salem-Keizer.
  • Marco Gonzalez had his first start without allowing a run, and his longest start of the season, going 6 innings. The 19-year old Venezuelan has had a good start to the season.
  • The DSL Giants lost, however, in the 9th inning thanks to a lot of errors. The 9th inning featured three errors (and a wild pitch) to the first three batters, followed by a home run and a single, which took the game from a 4-0 lead to a 4-4 tie. All those batters were on the record of Jorge Labrador, and although he was relieved by Jose Yan, the final run came in on a bases-loaded walk by Yan to lose the game.