Let’s kick off the second half with some of the best and the craziest moments of minor league ball from the beginning of 2017. Sacramento makes two appearances of this list of wonder:
HIGHLIGHTS: Aramis Garcia had 3 hits with double, HR; Garrett Williams threw 7 shutout innings;
Sacramento and Richmond are both on All Star Breaks
Watching Gov T Rogers in the AAA all star game!! Big Congrats! pic.twitter.com/yCti0k24ao— Travis Janssen (@TJanssen06) July 13, 2017
Tyler Rogers pitched a scoreless inning yesterday in the AAA All Star game (which the PCL won 6-4), walking one and striking out one.
Richmond’s Western Division was squashed in the Eastern League All Star game by a score of 7-1. Slade Heathcott started and lead off for the West division, going 1 for 4 with 3 Ks. CJ Hinojosa subbed in and went 0 for 1, while Tyler Cyr pitched one perfect inning with a K.
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Aramis Garcia broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the 10th with his 14th HR of the year, a two-run shot that looked to put the Giants over the top in this one.
However, Dylan Rheault, who has really lived on the edge with some of his recent saves, fell off it in the bottom of the 10th, allowing a single and a HR to the first two batters he faced to tie it back up again. Ibandel Isabel hit the game tying shot, his 18th of the year putting him one behind his teammate DJ Peters for the league lead.
Carlos Diaz would allow all three batters he faced in the bottom of the 11th to reach base, giving up the walk off without acquiring an out.
Bryan Reynolds, fresh off his Futures Game appearance had an impressive start to the second half as well, reaching base three times and hitting his 6th HR of the year, giving an impressive show for Baseball Prospectus’ Wilson Karaman who was on hand.
Bryan Reynolds having a nice night. Hit, walk, tracked a 3-2 hook & deposited it over the RF fence. Lo-fi player, solid all 'round #Giants— Wilson Karaman (@vocaljavelins) July 13, 2017
Garcia and Reynolds were about the only ones who could muster much against the Quakes Dennis Santana, who is turning into something of a popup prospect for the Dodgers’ system this year.
Dennis Santana thru 8 on 94 pitches, still 94-96, threw tightest hook of night in 8th (83). Wobbled in 6th, but strong all night #Dodgers— Wilson Karaman (@vocaljavelins) July 13, 2017
Eduardo Nunez finally made his first rehab appearance since an aborted attempt in Richmond on June 30. He’s supposed to be ready to play in SF tomorrow night, but he was DH only in this game. We’ll see. Meanwhile, he supplied some extra entertainment for the night:
High A bench erupting in celebration after High A pitcher whiffs rehabbing big leaguer is— Wilson Karaman (@vocaljavelins) July 13, 2017
Heath Quinn has really been in the tank since his DL stint for a wonky shoulder. Since returning to active duty he’s now 1 for 19 with 10 Ks. Ouch! That is not the “stay hot” sort of direction you want to be going, Heath. “Don’t stay cold!”
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One guy who is on the right path, however, is lefty Garrett Williams. Stay hot, Garrett! That’s back to back starts of 7 shutout innings for Williams, who hasn’t given up a run now in his last 16 innings. Over his last three starts, Williams has allowed just 2 ER over 20 innings, while striking out 15 and walking just 3. Three!
In his previous three starts, Williams had lasted just 11.1 total innings and walked 13. Improvement! I like it!
For the season, Williams now has 47 Ks and 22 BBs in his 50. 2 IP with a sparkly 2.13 ERA (which would be 5th in the league if he had enough innings to qualify. The FIP is a bit higher thanks to all the walks, but it still clocks in at right around 3.00. When throwing the ball over the plate Williams has proved very hard to hit this year, allowing a BAA of just .231 and he has yet to allow a HR in the Sally. He has the stuff to attack guys in the zone when he can find it.
The offense managed to scratch just enough support for him, thanks to six hits (all singles) and six walks and a little speed on the bases. Back to back singles to open the game from Ashford Fulmer and Jean Angomas led to a first inning run when Kelvin Beltre had an RBI groundout. Beltre himself would score the second run when he singled, stole 2b (8th steal of the year) and then took the next two bases on successive fly outs.
It’s hard to know exactly what to make of Beltre’s return year in the Sally. He’s stayed healthy thus far (knock on wood), added to his walk rate and cut his K rate significantly. All of which are undeniably good things. At the same time his Iso has dropped pretty significantly from .156 last year to .115 so far this year and his overall offensive performance (even with the strong walk rate of 11%) is just over league average. Definitely some encouraging trends, but it would be nice to see the improvement in plate discipline show up in some other places in his offensive portfolio. Still, a step in the right direction.
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Down 10-1 going to the bottom of the 8th, the Volcanoes managed a stirring rally that came up just a hair short. The first eight batters of the 8th inning all reached base thanks to five hits, a walk and two errors.
Malique Ziegler, who would single twice in the inning, opened it up with a hit and Logan Baldwin followed with his 2nd pro HR, both of which have come in the last two nights. It wasn’t a rally killer though, because Bryce Johnson then doubled and Ryan Kirby singled and oh, just everybody hit and hit. When Ziegler knocked in the 8th run of the inning with still just one out it looked like they could be on the verge of a miracle win. But Malique got caught stealing trying to get into scoring position and Baldwin grounded out to finish the outburst. In the 9th they went down quietly, 1-2-3 to end it.
Ziegler has been CS his last three attempts and now hasn’t stolen a base since July 1. However, his three hits on the night jumped him back up over teammates Kirby and Geraldo into the league lead in batting average. The three Volcanoes are 1-2-3 in the league in average
Alex Bostic continued his tough 2017, ballooning his NWL ERA up to 7.52 (his Sally ERA was 7.71 so he’s showing some consistency in that category). This time it wasn’t walks that killed him but the longball, as he surrendered three HRs. That was a bit of a surprise as he’d allowed just one HR prior to last night in his 26.2 IP on the year.
Fellow 2016 draft-mate Nick Deeg would allow a 4th Boise HR as a part of his 3 innning/4 ER stint. The only pitcher who didn’t allow a run was Logan Webb, who continues a pretty nice stretch of rehab appearances coming back from TJ. Since allowing two hits and a run in his first appearance of the year on Opening Night, Webb has thrown 7 scoreless innings over five games, allowing just three hits over that time. Amazingly for a guy coming off TJ, Webb hasn’t walked a batter this year (control is typically the last thing pitchers regain off TJ) while striking out 9. So far, so well!
And lastly, Ryan Kirby was well rewarded for his crazy hot stretch last week:
Kirby named NWL Player of the Week | Salem-Keizer Volcanoes News https://t.co/8DWCE47OX3— Patrick Kirby (@patrickckirby) July 11, 2017
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Heliot, Heliot, wherefore art thou, Heliot! (that makes a lot more sense if you mispronounce, Ramos’ name in your head like I do — I should probably stop that).
Jose Layer made his first appearance of the year though, and not at SS, but rather taking Ramos’ normal CF position:
Layer, coming off a hand injury in XST, got in two PA and whacked a double. Replacing him was the torrid Aaron Bond who would pick up three hits and three RBI the rest of the game.
This was a seriously crazy game that ALSO featured a late, 8-run inning. The Giants scored eight runs in the 7th to take an 8-2 lead and talked on another in the 8th to push the lead up to 9-2 and then pitchers Reagan Bazar, Franklin Van Gurp, and Olbis Parra preceded to cough up seven runs in the bottom of the 8th and 9th to send it extra innings. There the Giants put up another huge inning with 5 runs in the 10th and as they only allowed one more in the bottom of the 10th that put the stake through it.
All in all the Giants hitters collected 17 hits with Bond and Catcher Chris Corbett leading the parade with three apiece. Tyler Brown, Ricardo Genoves, Beicker Mendoza, and Mikey Edie (demoted back down to the AZL for his third year in the complex league) had two each. Fourteen of the 17 hits were singles.
Poor Jacob Gonzalez was HBP for the third time already in just his 10 pro games. Ouch already. Leave the poor guy alone and let him hit!
He also got himself one of these, though:
One of the Padres’ pitchers in this game was old friend Jake Smith who the Pads claimed off waivers from the Giants last year. As you may recall, Smith spent most of his time with San Diego working out in their AZL camp last year before getting a very bizarre big league promotion briefly in September. He’s back in the complex league trying to work things out after having pitched 5 innings earlier this year for San Diego’s PCL and Texas league affiliates.
Norwith Gudino’s been pounding the strike zone with Samardzija-like regularity this season. This was the third time this year that the right-hander has struck out at least 8 batters while walking none (though he did issue a free base via a HBP). He outdid himself in this one, though, also throwing 6 shutout innings in his best start of his best year. For the season, Gudino’s peripherals are now up to 45 Ks/ 5 BBs in 40 IP. That puts him 1 K behind teammate Marcos Gonzalez for second in the league.
The Giants got a great effort from their six-figure signings from the 2016 J2 class (other than the MIA Ismael Alcantara) as Ghordy Santos ($300k), Samuel Jorge ($300k), Keyberth Mejias ($230k) and Andrew Caraballo ($170k) went a collective 5 for 10 with 3 walks, a HB and the team’s only XBH (Mejias’ triple). Santos got in his first game action since July 4th, though he exited after two times to the plate (a single and a walk). Though he reached base in each of his PA, he mitigated that effort somewhat by getting thrown out stealing 2b each time.
It now appears conclusive that Brayan De Pena is undergoing a Pitcher conversion as the former power-hitting 1B made his second pitching appearance of the year (with no appearances as a hitter). Control has been an issue for him as he’s now walked two and hit one of the six batters he’s faced.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Richmond: Dan Slania vs. Taylor Hill
San Jose: Matt Krook vs. Adam Bray
Augusta: Melvin Adon vs. Oddy Nunez
Salem-Keizer: Stetson Woods(?) vs. John Valek
AZL: Deiyerbert Bolivar(?)
DSL: Francis Pena
No word on who’s heading to the mound in the Sacramento game in Salt Lake (that’s just Salt Lake, not Salt Lake City as the Bees have reached out to let me know!). The Volcanoes also officially are listing TBD although it should be Stetson Woods’ turn in the rotation so we’ll keep an eye on that. Matt Krook and Melvin Adon provide the meat for tonight’s meal.
I’ll probably put up my own mid-season Top 10 for the Giants in the next couple of days as we head into the second half of the year. But just for the fun of being mean, a little object lesson in prospects going bad from Rob Mains over at B-Pro today, a list of the 50 biggest prospect busts ever (I met Rob recently at a BPro get together and he’s just as nice and as interesting as an old time baseball lover could be, so read his fine work):