Apparently yesterday was National Best Friends Day. Who knew?
or perhaps, in the spirit of international love and respect, this is the better one:
Either way, it’s always Happy Baseball Day at Minor Lines.
HIGHLIGHTS: Ryder Jones hit his 7th HR; Bryan Reynolds extended his hit streak to 16 games; Heath Quinn reached base 4x with HR.
Sacramento lost to Fresno Grizzlies (Astros), 9-2
losing their four game series, 1-3
After taking the first game of their Highway 99 rivalry series, the RiverCats were waxed in the final three, losing by a cumulative score of 20-9. Despite the protection of the most HR suppressing park in the PCL, Sacramento pitching allowed 8 HRs in the series, while the bats his 4 HRs of their own (though just two in the final three games). The Astros #9 prospect Derek Fisher hit HRs in each of the last two games to give him 16 for the year, one off the PCL HR lead.
After a 1-2-3 1st inning, Chris Stratton was in the stretch for most of the rest of the night, though he held Fresno in check for the most part until he ran into a buzz-saw 5th. Trailing just 1-0 after 4, Stratton opened the 5th with back to back walks, and then came two well-placed singles. A Sac Fly ended his night, as he’d already climbed to nearly the 100 pitch mark, and Kraig Sitton allowed both his inherited runs to score. That ended the competitive portion of the game.
DJ Snelten had his fourth consecutive scoreless outing, picking up 2 Ks. The big lefty has 7 Ks, 2 BBs, and 2 Hits allowed in his 8 IP in the PCL.
Ryder Jones provided something of an Orlando Cepeda special, hitting a solo HR in the 8th inning to bring the game to it’s final score. It was Jones’ 7th HR of the year.
Ryder continues to make positive strides this year in almost every area of his offensive game. His BB rate has more than doubled from last year (which was already the best he’d managed in a full season) and that improved selectivity has helped boost his Iso up to a career best (by far) .245. Coming into this year, Jones had never had a .300 OBP at any level since rookie ball; he’s currently sitting on an OBP of .377. And, interestingly enough, he’s getting the lion’s share of starts at 3b these days, having started 8 of the last 9 games there. Jae-Gyun Hwang has more or less taken over as 1b and Christian Arroyo is seeing his time at SS. In Wednesday night’s game of this series, Fresno showed Jones respect by intentionally walking him in the 9th with the tying run on 3b, to pitch to Mac Williamson. It was a platoon move, but still an interesting example of Jones’ growing reputation.
And speaking of platoons, one of the most fascinating elements of Jones’ season thus far is that he’s showing a dramatic reverse platoon. Tiny sample size, of course, but Ryder is destroying LHP in the PCL (you may have noticed the video!). Three of his four HRs have come off lefties in just 22 ABs, and he’s posting a 1.150 OPS against them. Versus RHP he’s a much more pedestrian .279/.369/.488 on the year.
Sacramento has the second worst record in the PCL, with only the New Orleans Baby Cakes (AAA squad of the worst system in baseball, the Marlins) worse than the RiverCats .390 winning percentage.
Richmond beat the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets), 6-3
winning their three game series, 2-1
|a- Ryan Lollis||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.205|
The Squirrels exploded for six runs in the 2nd inning and rode that huge frame to a series victory. Binghamton starter Corey Oswalt was removed from the game while warming up for the 2nd inning, and Richmond feasted on his replacements. The big blow in the inning was Jeff Arnold’s three-run HR. It was the 2nd of the year for Arnold, whose career has been derailed by years of injuries.
Arnold was followed shortly by yet another HR for Slade Heathcott, his 3rd of the series, not quite as majestic as the two yesterday, but still enjoyable.
Matt Gage cruised through an effective 7 innings, tying a season high with 7 Ks. He was followed by Bakersfield’s Jarrett Martin (another minor league vet the Giants signed recently to try to stabilize the Richmond roster) and Tyler Cyr, who continued his sensational AA campaign. Cyr has allowed just 1 ER (and just two Runs total) in his last 17 appearances, covering 16.2 IP. He has 24 Ks and 9 BBs in that time, but the walks have tended to come in bunches as he’s had two different 3 BB appearances (though he didn’t surrender a run either time). Apparently Tyler likes to get a wild hair up his nose, as Krukow would say.
The road series win against the second best team in the EL is a nice way to start the road trip. Richmond has climbed their way into a tie for 5th in the division and has, like Sacramento, the second worst record in the league.
San Jose Bats
Big night for the 2016 draft class as the Giants opened with a win in a park that has been their personal house of horrors for the last few years.
Matt Krook battled through 5 fairly successful innings, striking out 5 and inducing 11 ground ball outs — no reports whether he was continuing the trend of going pretty exclusively with the power sinking fastball.
That was good enough for the victory because for the second consecutive game the offense piled up 15 hits. Heath Quinn’s addition pumped some life into the Giants lineup, and now the return of Ronnie Jebavy at the top of the order seems to have it humming on all cylinders. The only batter in the lineup who didn’t have a hit yesterday was Jalen Miller, and he reached base three times on two walks and a HBP.
Jebavy led the hit parade with 3 singles. It was his third consecutive multi-hit game. He’s hit in all five games since returning, going 9 for 24 with 4 doubles. He does also have 8 Ks in those 24 PA and 0 walks, which bears paying attention to.
And of course, it was yet another fine game for the top two picks in last year’s draft:
Bryan Reynolds (2-4 tonight) extends his hitting streak to 16 games. Heath Quinn now with 6 HR's in 81 at-bats w/SJ (.321 AVG).— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 9, 2017
Heath Quinn continues to be a monster at the plate. He’s posting an Iso in the Cal League just a hair under .300 (.296) and for his pro career it’s .240. Quinn reached base four times last night, with a Homer, single, and two walks. He has an 8% walk rate thus far in the Cal, with a fairly reasonable 21% K rate. For his pro career his walk rate is right about 10% and he’s looking like every bit of the power corner bat the Giants hoped for when they drafted him (and desperately need). Even with the late start I won’t be shocking if the Giants push him to the AA challenge before the year’s out (as they’ve done the last couple of years with Slater, Cole, Shaw, Duggar, and Hinojosa).
And before we leave Visalia, Ryan Howard connected for his 5th homer of the year. Howard is 6th in the Cal league in average and he is tied for the league lead in hits. The 5th round Giants re-draft is another 2016 kid who I could be watching in Richmond before the year is out.
Augusta beat the Rome Braves, 7-6
sweeping their three game series
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||DH||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||.190|
|Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||.288|
|Brandon Van Horn||SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.224|
The Garrett Williams/Joey Wentz matchup proved a bit uneven, as neither pitcher made it out of the 4th, and both ran up nearly 80 pitches doing that even. Williams, who has been very successful at finding the strike zone since being activated, struggled with control in this one, walking four and throwing just 41 of 7 pitches for strikes.
And, hey look! An old friend attended the game with his radar gun. As a committed Braves fan David Lee was there to get a look at Wentz, but he was coaxed into a comment or two on Augusta as well:
Williams is a nice lefty. Stuff is limited depth-wise, but FB is low-90s with sink from a tough angle. Enough for MLB potential.— David Lee (@David11Lee) June 9, 2017
I admittedly need better looks, but Fabian hasn't done much to impress me.— David Lee (@David11Lee) June 9, 2017
Like Richmond, Augusta used the big inning — a six-run 4th pushed them to the win. It wasn’t without drama as Sandro Cabrera really struggled in the late innings and with the help of big Nolan Riggs, coughed up the lead in the 8th. But they were able to get the walk off win when Jose Vizcaino Jr. beat out a double play attempt allowing Cristian Paulino to score the winner from 3b and give Augusta their first sweep of the year.
The “elder-ing” of the Augusta lineup continued as Shawon Dunston, Jr rejoined the team in an effort to help make it more competitive. Youngsters Fabian and Beltre did their parts though, reaching base twice each.
A just a strange note before leaving, Frandy de la Rosa is now listed on the Augusta roster as “suspended.” That gives the team currently four suspended players (with Anthony Marks, Tyler Brown, and Cameron Avila-Leeper). Marks and Brown have been suspended for a good long time now. There’s no official word that I’ve seen to help us understand this situation or interpret it’s meaning.
|Wascar De Leon||2B||4||0||2||2||0||0||1||0||0||.267|
The DSL Giants picked up their first win of the year, though it was a bit hair-raising at the end as the club nearly blew a 6-0 lead in the 9th inning. Walk/single/single/walk/walk/single/walk turned the game into a 6-4 squeaker with the bases loaded and just one out. But a couple of ground outs ended it, with the tying run on 3b and the go ahead on 2b. Whew!
The Giants also got their first HR of the season, when 17 year old RF Alexander Canario went deep with a solo shot in the 6th inning. 17 year old Venezeulan 1b Omar Medina picked up a hit and two walks. At 4 for 11 on the year, Medina leads the team in hits.
19 year old Willian Suarez, a big strong left hander was, I believe just the second teenager to appear on the mound for the team this year. Suarez struck out two in his first appearance of the year.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Joan Gregorio vs. TBD
Richmond: Jordan Johnson vs. Alex McRae
San Jose: Grant Watson vs. Cody Reed (no, not that one)
Augusta: Dom Mazza vs. Kyle Hart
DSL: ??? Possibly after today we’ll have a handle on the complete rotation
And before we leave, it’s time to get out the vote with an annual tradition: