Hi there! Perhaps I should re-introduce myself, as I’ve been gone for a bit of time. I’m Roger. And I’ve been lolling around in Europe whilst Kevin’s been shouldering the load here on Minor Lines wonderfully. I assume all’s been going well, everybody’s shot up to the top of their divisions and player development is humming along. Yes, yes. Excellent job, Kevin!
There’s a short slate today, so let’s lead off with some overview. Farm Director Shane Turner stopped by and gave a long interview to San Jose’s Joe Ritzo, which you can hear on the latest Inside the San Jose Giants Podcast. Shane gives his, always interesting, perspective on how the season’s going and talks about guys like Chris Shaw, Tyler Beede, Bryan Reynolds, Gio Brusa, Aramis Garcia, and Jonah Arenado as well as the upcoming draft and other topics. It’s worth a listen, so go listen to it right now. Go ahead! I’ll wait.
New "Inside The SJ Giants" Podcast! @JoeRitzo & @justinallegri are joined by SF Farm Director Shane Turner. Listen: https://t.co/52wLNf7FBn— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) June 5, 2017
Hi again! See I’m still here. Not leaving again any time soon.
HIGHLIGHTS: Jae-Gyun Hwang homered and drove in four; Heath Quinn had three hits.
Sacramento beat the Houston Grizzlies (Astros), 7-3
|Kraig Sitton (W, 4-1)||2.1||2||1||0||1||1||0||3.72|
|D.J. Snelten (H, 2)||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.86|
Hey, I’m not the only one back! Christian Arroyo is back, too. And like Mac Williamson before him, he didn’t bring his big league troubles with him back to the PCL. His first at bat in returning to Sacramento produced some familiar results: hard contact to RF (would have loved to see more of that in SF, Christian!)
The path of the RF there makes me a little unsure of exactly how well that ball was hit, still it’s good to see Arroyo having success again hitting the ball hard to RF which has always been a calling card of his in the minors.
But the big game here belonged to Jae-Gyun Hwang, manning 1b in this one. Hwang broke a 3-3 tie with a single in the 6th inning, and then he provided the breathing room in the bottom of the 8th.
Hwang actually came to bat there in a 4-3 game with runners on the corner, but one pitch before his blast, Christian Arroyo was WP home on the third WP of the inning (the previous two had advanced Arroyo to 2b and 3b). Since hitting his first HR of the season on May 13, Hwang is putting up an impressive .300/.316/.656 line over the last almost-month. The sixteen points of secondary OBP isn’t looking so hot (that’s a 19K/2BB ratio) but the power certainly does. He’s going to make somebody have some difficult decisions soon. With Eduardo Nunez currently swinging one of (if not THE) best bat in the Giants’ lineup, and Christian Arroyo probably ahead of Hwang in the 3b depth chart, how Hwang fits into the long-term picture is very much “answer unclear: ask again later.” It sounds like he has an opt-out coming up at the end of the month, which is too early for a Nunez trade to open things up. Tough questions abound.
Sacramento’s offense should be in pretty good shape right now with Hwang and Federowicz going well and recent additions of Shaw, Williamson and now Arroyo. Williamson, whose been on fire since returning to Sacramento, didn’t homer in this one but he walked twice (showing a good eye both times) and doubled. He’s been in a homer groove since the demotion, and while I know the voice of the crowd wants to see full-time Slater in the Giants’ LF picture these days, I still believe a whole lot of seeing what Mac can do in the majors is what needs to be happening the rest of 2017. They’re starving for this level of power:
"Oh. My. Goodness. Mac Williamson just unloaded one of the longest home runs in this ballpark's history." ⚾️☄️ #ClawsUp #RiverCats pic.twitter.com/WfAifMQnPS— River Cats (@RiverCats) June 4, 2017
A Shaw and Williamson corner OF in 2018 with Slater backing up both would be just ok by me as far as mini-rebuilds go.
The Rivercats had to scramble a bit on the mound, as scheduled starter Michael Roth went to the DL rather than to the bullpen to warm up, and a bullpen game was the result. Hard throwing Roberto Gomez handled the opening innings, but it was the later ones where the pitching shined. Kraig Sitton, DJ Snelten, and Kyle Crick combined to retire the final 13 batters of the game, with Crick closing it out with a perfect 9th. Crick ended things by striking out a guy some industry folks were nominating for ROY before the 2016 season
Crick’s fine season in relief continues. The command still needs refinement and as you can see, consistency with the secondaries does as well, but the swing and miss fastball with life is there. He’ll be taught some lessons by big league hitters I have no doubt, just as some of his teammates have been. The teaching will be there, will the learning? These are the questions we ask.
Richmond had a scheduled off day, as they travel to upstate New York to start a six-game road trip in Binghamton against the B-Mets.
But there was still some action at the Diamond, as the Squirrels and the city of Richmond announced a pretty cool collaboration, continuing the great job that Richmond’s ownership group has done weaving themselves into the fabric of their home city. The Giants are really fortunate to be partnered with this group.
Artists will brighten The Diamond, an old gray lady, in conjunction with September's RVA Street Art Festival. https://t.co/CWm32ux6lE pic.twitter.com/fiMD3tUDdv— John O'Connor (@RTDjohnoconnor) June 5, 2017
San Jose lost to Lancaster Jet Hawks (Rockies), 4-0
San Jose Bats
San Jose Arms
|Mike Connolly (L, 3-5)||8||7||3||3||1||6||1||3.63|
The San Jose offense, which has been humming along lately with the return of Heath Quinn, came to sudden halt yesterday as they were shut out for the first time since April 30. The team had 7 hits, including two doubles, but rarely got two runners on at the same time, as they had just 4 AB in the game with runners in scoring position. They also ran up 14 strikeouts on the day (vs. 0 BBs). Ouch!
One of their best opportunities came in the first, when Bryan Reynolds reached via catcher’s interference and Heath Quinn immediately shot a double to RF.
As you can hear from Joe Ritzo’s call, Reynolds’ mental error (not running with two outs) cost them a run on that play, and then Dillon Dobson stranded both as he struck out looking on three pitches to end the inning and so died their best scoring threat of the game. (that would be manager Nestor Rojas in the video screencap up there having a word with Reynolds at the end of the play, something like this I would imagine: “uh, son, do you happen to know how many outs there are?”)
That was the first of three hits for Quinn, who first 75 PA of the year have resulted in a nice .297/.350/.581 start to the year. Bryan Reynolds grounded a single into LF to keep his 14 game hitting streak alive, but mostly the Giants’ power bats were kept in check as young Peter Lambert, the Rockies 2nd round pick in 2015 (and #11 prospect coming into the season) shoved it pretty well, striking out 10 in 7 shutout innings.
Michael Connolly, who’s been the Giants best pitcher by far this year (by FAR... further....further.....) tried to match Lambert inning for inning, and he took a shutout himself into the 8th. But he hiccuped in the 8th and took the tough luck loss. The rally started with a leadoff single that deflected off the glove of diving 2b Jalen Miller. After a Sac Bunt, Connolly made a crucial error, WP the lead run to 3b and then the Jet Hawks played some small ball to take the lead.
Then came the big hit, when Brendan Rodgers, the Rockies #1 prospect and 3rd overall pick of the 2015 draft, took a tiring Connolly very deep.
Rodgers was Baseball America’s #16 prospect in the game coming into the year, and he’ll likely be a top 5 or 10 player next winter. That’s what a top 5 pick can do for you when you hit on it, which can sometimes be the silver lining in these kinds of years. Keep the faith.
Before we go, you listened to Shane Turner talk about Heath Quinn above, now hear what Heath has to say about his season himself, by listening to his pre-game interview with Joe Ritzo here.
And lastly, if you want something to look forward to and have a burgeoning bobble head collection, you’ll want to take note of these two dates:
What a great pair of #HomegrownGiants .. and you can collect them both on June 17th & July 8th to commemorate San Jose's #30GiantSeasons! pic.twitter.com/PCDFE6fPpl— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) June 5, 2017
That picture always brings a smile to my face.
Augusta had a scheduled off day.
The team with pro ball’s best record returns to Lake Olmstead tonight to take on the Rome Braves.
DSL Giants lost to DSL Reds, 11-6
|Wascar De Leon||DH||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.286|
|a- Victor Cairo||PH-C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||.000|
|b- Martin Doria||PH-2B||2||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||.500|
|Jerson Severin (L, 0-1)||1.2||2||3||1||1||3||0||5.40|
The DSL Giants had a rough home and away with the Reds to start the year, getting outscored 18-11 in their opening series. Not too much exciting to pin point in this game, as the hitters managed just 6 singles on the day (though in classic DSL game style, they did walk 10 times!). Meanwhile on the mound, the Giants have thus far used nothing but older or returning Pitchers in their first two games, with somewhat minimal success.
So let’s do a few get acquainted exercises and check out some of the new guys we might want to keep an eye out for. A lot of turnover happened this year as much of last year’s team has been moved up, including big bats for the 2016 Giants like Angeddy Almanzar, Francisco Medina, and Ismael Munguia, and a lot of really young kids like Ricardo Genoves and Diego Rincones and on the mound, young Johan Herrera. So let’s meet a few interesting 2017 newbies by checking out BA’s Ben Badler’s scouting reports. Due to the Lucius Fox signing, the Giants were restricted to a max of $300,000 singing bonus and they had four players to whom they dished out the max:
Ismael Alcantara, [who received a bonus of $300,000], a 16-year-old whose standout tools are his power and arm strength. He’s a big, strong power hitter at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds from the left side, with a power-over-hit profile right now as his game skills catch up to the tools. His strong arm should allow him to play right field.
Samuel Jorge is a 17-year-old Dominican third baseman the Giants signed for $300,000. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds with a strong build and thick lower half, Santos has quick hands and a chance to hit for power from the right side. He’s an offensive-oriented player with good hand-eye coordination and a knack for putting the ball in play.
Ghordy Santos, 17, is the third Dominican prospect the Giants got for $300,000. Santos is an athletic shortstop with a lean, tapered build (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) and stands out in the field, where everything he does shows quick-burst athleticism. He’s an above-average runner with quick hands, quick feet and a plus arm. Santos is a righthanded hitter with good bat speed and doubles power, with his defense more developed than his hitting.
In Panama, the Giants signed switch-hitting shortstop Enoc Watts for $300,000. Watts is a below-average runner who doesn’t have the same explosive first-step quickness as Santos, but he has great instincts at the position for a 17-year-old. Watts is a heady player who has a knack for being in the right spot defensively, with his plus arm another weapon in the field. Watts is a skinny 6 feet, 160 pounds, so while he does make contact in games, getting stronger will be important for his offensive development.
Word is the Giants have been very excited by the performances of Santos and Jorge in camp. Another J2 signing who had an exceptional camp was RHP Rafael Martinez, who’s apparently been so impressive that he’s skipping the DSL entirely and moving up to the AZL for his debut. Here’s what Badler had to say about Martinez:
Rafael Martinez, a 16-year-old who got $250,000. He’s 6 feet, 160 pounds with room to fill out, easy arm action and should be able to add to a fastball that sits 88-91 mph and has reached 92. He also shows feel for a spike curveball that isn’t consistent yet but has good shape and downward rotation.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Dan Slania vs. Mike Hauschild
Richmond: Sam Coonrod vs. Donovan Hand
San Jose: Matt Solter vs TBD
Augusta: Stephen Woods, Jr. vs. Bryce Wilson
DSL: Who knows?!?
Before we go, for subscribers, today’s Baseball Prospectus’ Notes from the Field has a first-hand report on Reyes Moronta which notes among other things, that the fastball is down a bit from last year (possibly leading to his recent DL stint?) and that the slider is a potential plus pitch in the majors.
Also, it’s not follow Friday or anything, but a great and highly recommended twitter follow is @TimCatteraPhoto, who does a lot of fantastic work photographing the San Jose Giants. You should definitely check out his work:
Did @RonbonJebavy make the leaping catch or didn't he?? Not this time, the ball cleared the fence. @SJGiants @MiLB #sjgiants #MiLB pic.twitter.com/tmpdWj2BLA— Tim Cattera Photo (@TimCatteraPhoto) June 3, 2017
See you tomorrow everybody. Promise!