I’ve been opining of late on various formats that the Giants really need to add some athleticism and big tools to the org in next weeks draft. But I don’t want to give the impression the system is totally bereft of athletes. You want to see a nice scouting report? Take a look at this one:
[REDACTED] was one of the few true five-tool players available in the [REDACTED] draft, but knee and shoulder injuries limited him last spring and makeup concerns scared some clubs off him completely. The [REDACTED] pounced on him and signed him for $2.2 million, the largest bonus they've ever given to a hitter or a high schooler out of the draft. [REDACTED] has strength and fast-twitch athleticism. He offers big raw power from the left side of the plate and the bat speed to catch up to quality fastballs. He's a plus-plus runner with a strong arm that delived 94-mph fastballs during his prep pitching career, and [REDACTED] believes he can play center field. [REDACTED] will need at-bats to translate his tools into consistent performance. His all-out playing style has made him injury-prone, leading to ... surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and a jammed throwing shoulder that limited him to DH for most of his senior season. The [REDACTED] believe in [REDACTED]’s talent and ... he could become a superstar if he can stay on the field.
Pretty nice, eh? That, of course, was Slade Heathcott waaaaay back in 2009, when he was the Yankees’ #4 prospect. Six years later, after myriad injuries and off-field issues (mostly involving a troubled childhood homelife), Slade’s scouting report looked like this:
Heathcott's troubled past has been well documented. He's had issues with family and alcohol, and his career on the field has been marred by repeated injury. Non-tendered by the Yankees after the 2014 season, he was free to sign with any club. He chose to stay with the Yankees on the condition that he'd be allowed to use his preferred medical staff to help him recover from injuries. He made his major league debut in May 2015 but quickly strained his right quad and didn't resurface in the majors until September. As the Yankees battled down the stretch for a playoff spot, Heathcott hit a key home run to tie a game against the Rays. The scouting report on Heathcott is the same as ever. He's an above-average defender in center field, has an above-average arm, remains a plus runner and can spray the ball around the park with more than a little bit of power. He's the prototype grinder, too, and plays with an all-out style that has lent itself to his injurious past. The Yankees' crowded outfield makes it hard to see a big league role for Heathcott in 2016, so he'll head back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
All hail to Slade, then, who’s rising above it and chasing the dream. And he is putting himself together one heck of a nice AA season in 2017. Go Slade! (#betterthanGorkys?)
HIGHLIGHTS: Tyler Beede grinded (YES!) through 7 IP; Slade Heathcott hit 2 HRs; Melvin Adon had longest outing of career.
Sacramento lost to Fresno Grizzlies (Astros), 6-5
|Kyle Crick (BS, 5)(L, 0-2)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0||0||3.28|
So, the big Pitcher’s duel I hyped yesterday didn’t quite come to fruition. First of all, Fresno scratched Francis Martes amid rumors of a call up to Houston (Dallas Keuchel also had been scratched for the Astros earlier in the day).
And then Tyler Beede appeared for all the world like he wasn’t going to make it out of the 1st inning. Beede, who came into this start off two rugged outings in which he gave up 11 ER in 12 IP, was behind 2-0 two batters into the game, following a single and Tyler White’s two-run HR. And then the inning turned into a real slog for Beede, who couldn’t find the zone at all consistently with his fastball. By the time he issued a five-pitch walk to Teoscar Hernandez to load the bases, Beede had thrown 27 pitches, just 13 of which were strikes. The RiverCats had action in the bullpen as Beede crossed the 30 pitch mark, but he got out of the jam with his 3rd K of the inning (along with 2BBs and 1 HR in 8 batters: quite the TTO inning):
In the lower minors that would have been the end of Tyler’s night, as the Giants, like most organizations, pull any pitcher after a 30 pitch inning to protect them. But in AAA, the Giants believe it’s time for pitchers to begin to understand what will be demanded of them in the majors, and in the big leagues, a starter who throws 30-some pitches in the 1st has got to figure out a way to deliver some innings and protect the bullpen.
So out Beede came in the 2nd to try to figure out a way to deliver some innings. After a 33-pitch first inning, Beede delivered 6 more innings of work pretty efficiently, throwing just 75 more pitches the rest of the game. His 108 pitch night was a high for the team this year. Beede ended up with his own season highs in IP, Pitches, and Strikeouts (8). Unfortunately, there was one more season high for Tyler in this game, and that was HRs allowed, as the Grizzlies touched him up three times with the long ball, accounting for all four of their runs scored against him.
And it looked like that was going to be enough to hang Beede with the loss. Despite a 12-hit night (including 8 hits from the top three in the order), the RiverCats were down 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the 8th. That’s when Tim Federowicz continued his strong offensive campaign, coming up with the big hit:
It wouldn’t be enough however, as Dusten Knight and Kyle Crick couldn’t hold down the lead in the 9th. Sacramento hoped to get two innings of work out of Knight to end it, but after opening the inning with his 3rd K, Knight walked Max Stassi. And then Federowicz undid some of his heroics by allowing Stassi to 2b on a PB. That was Fed’s 4th PB of the year (and you might have noticed in the clip of Beede’s escape in the 1st that he very nearly had one on that pitch as well), which could suggest that while the bat might be ready, the glove has some lingering concerns.
A ground ball moved Stassi to 3b, which brought Crick out of the pen to try to save it. But Tyler White lined a clean single to tie the game and then White showed some heady base running, scoring from 1b on a broken bat flare into no man’s land between SS/2b/CF. Wynton Bernard made a sliding attempt at the catch and then a desperate spin throw that was more toward the dugout than home plate, and the comeback was undone.
Still, on a night when it looked like everything was going to go wrong for the system’s best pitching prospect, he showed some big league ability to make adjustments, which was encouraging to see.
Richmond beat the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets), 8-2 in Gm 1 (7 inn)
Richmond Bats Gm 1
|a- Ryan Lollis||PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.211|
Richmond Arms Gm 1
|Sam Coonrod (W, 2-6)||6||6||2||2||1||4||0||4.81|
Richmond lost to Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets), 3-0 in Gm 2 (7 inn)
Richmond Bats Gm 2
Richmond Arms Gm 2
|Cory Taylor (L, 2-5)||6||7||3||3||2||3||0||4.80|
Sam Coonrod rebounded from a 5 walk, 5 Run performance in his last outing, and went a season high 6 innings for the win in Game 1, allowing just 2 runs and walking just 1. He was backed by plenty of offense, including three more hits from Miguel Gomez and two run scoring doubles from newcomer Jerry Sands. But the opener really belonged to Slade Heathcott, who had three hits including two booming HRs. Heathcott’s 9 HRs leads the Squirrels and is now 11th in the EL. Let’s give him an encore!
Cory Taylor’s performance in game 2 was statistically, almost an exact match of Coonrod’s, but unfortunately for Taylor he didn’t receive the same support. That game was mostly notable for Mets #22 prospect Chris Flexen making his AA debut and making it count, with a 7 inning CG shutout. Flexen will get the headelines for his performance, but he had plenty of help from his friends.
We don’t often highlight the opponents on Minor Lines, but check out these defensive gems! First the play of the game, as Dylan Davis came to the plate with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 4th:
Two things worth noting there: 1) that was a heck of a play; 2) Dylan Davis is REALLY slow.
And then there was this beauty to deny Cory Taylor of a hit in the 5th. Again, not a speed runner, but this is really fun to watch.
San Jose had a scheduled travel day
They open their final road trip of the 1st half in Visalia tonight.
An off day is the perfect chance to catch up on all the Matt Paré Homeless Minor Leaguer videos you’ve been missing, you know.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel, Homeless Minor Leaguer!https://t.co/ox803zwUMh pic.twitter.com/Y8yXvFTqn4— Matt Paré (@HipHip_Pare) June 7, 2017
Augusta beat the Rome Braves, 5-2
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.298|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||4||1||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.222|
|Melvin Adon (W, 1-5)||7.1||5||2||1||2||6||1||3.35|
|Patrick Ruotolo (S, 4)||1.2||0||0||0||0||4||0||1.40|
Melvin Adon threw a career high 7.1 IP in picking up his first Win of the year. Adon showed a great deal of efficiency in reaching the high. It was the third consecutive start in which he’s finished with 87 pitches, but in the last outing that only got him through 4 innings (and 6 innings in the previous one). Adon was throwing a shutout until he was touched for a solo HR in the 7th, and would ultimately allow an unearned run after he left in the 8th (VERY unearned, as it took both Adon’s errant pickoff throw and a second errant pickoff throw from Catcher Will Albertson to bring the run around).
You could make a pretty strong case that this was the best start of the 22 year old’s career. For the season Adon now has a 3.35 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, with 36 Ks and 17 BBs in 43 IP. Not at all a bad first full half season, Melvin. Good work!
Adon was backed up by another brilliant effort from reliever Patrick Ruotolo (4 Ks in 1.2 IP) and a good bit of offense from the new look lineup that now includes Sally league vets Cristian Paulino, Jean Angomas, and Skyler Ewing, as well as Cal League vets like Jose Vizcaino, Jr. The Greenjackets knocked out 12 hits, including six from the bottom of the order: C Will Albertson and SS Brandon Van Horn.
Kelvin Beltre picked up two more hits. He has five hits the past two games, all of them singles. Beltre has an 8 game hitting streak going on now and since May 25 he’s hitting a scalding .395/.460/.488 in 50 PA with 8 Ks/6 BBs. Pushing for a promotion, Kelvin? Hey this one never gets old:
Here's an open view of Kelvin Beltre singling last night against Greensboro. #giants pic.twitter.com/bFwKsxmHAH— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) April 22, 2017
DSL Giants lost to DSL Blue Jays, 5-4 (10 inn)
|b- Wascar De Leon||PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||.182|
|a- Raiber Gutierrez||PH-CF||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.167|
|Jorge Labrador (L, 0-1)||0.2||0||2||1||1||1||0||16.20|
First time we’ve gotten to see some “starts inning at 2b” action this year!
The Giants had just 4 hits in this game, but they benefitted from an amazing 10 walks, a HB, four WP, and a run scoring balk. Do I need to say this every day? Yeah, it’s the DSL.
The game entered the 7th a 1-0 squeaker, but from then on the team’s traded runs in nearly every half inning. The Blue Jays tied it at 1-1 in the top of the 7th and from the top of the 8th on every half inning produced at least one run. 2-2 after 8. 3-3 after 9. Finally in the 10th, with the help of the “starts inning at 2b” rule, the Jays scored two runs, and thanks to a Nishell Gutierrez double play ball, the Giants weren’t able to respond in the bottom of the inning.
The Giants have gotten off to a rough start. In the 40 team DSL they are currently 36th in OPS. They are dead last in the league in TB (28) and SLG (.211), and next to last in Team Batting Average at just .188. Meanwhile, on the Pitching side of the equation, they are 37th in the league in Runs allowed. That’s a tough way to make a living.
But it’s early still. We shall see what we shall see. The hitters are first in the league in drawing walks. Though it’s good to have some success when you actually swing the bat as well.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Chris Stratton vs. David Martinez
Richmond: Matt Gage vs. Corey Oswalt
San Jose: Matt Krook vs. Jose Almonte
Augusta: Garrett Williams vs. Joey Wentz
DSL: They’re playing!
Double dip of the Wild Thing lefties from the 2016 draft headlines today’s slate. Both Krook and Williams have been looking good of late and both have really good matchups today. Krook squares up against the Diamondbacks #18 prospect, while Williams is going up against the pitching-rich Braves #15 prospect. Should be some good ball!
And keep an eye on the twitter feed today. Could be the day the Cal League announces it’s All Star rosters. Not only is the Cal league two teams smaller this year, but they’ve stopped their long connection with Carolina league for a combined All Star game. That means that just four teams in each division will make up a full All Star roster, and the Giants will, by necessity if nothing, else have plenty of representatives.