Having broken with our parochialism yesterday, maybe I’ll just keep that up today and pose a little prospect trivia quiz. There are three players in the minors who have posted 20/20 seasons this year. All three are tremendous, elite-level prospects in the game. Do you know who they are?
Closer to home, the Giants org has one player who’s had a 10/10 season. Do you know who that is? I’ll answer both in the comments section with a spoiler box.
HIGHLIGHTS: Mac Williamson reached base 5x; Patrick Ruotolo struck out the side; Logan Baldwin reached base for 30th straight game; Ghordy Santos reached base 4x with triple, SB; Norwith Gudino struck out 8 over 5 shutout innings.
Sacramento won at Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 7-3
winning their four game series, 3-1
|Melvin Upton Jr.||CF||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||2||.250|
|a- Slade Heathcott||PH||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||.293|
Mac Williamson loves him some Reno! The big RF went 4 for 4 with a walk to help lead the RiverCats to the series victory. Sacramento went with a singles heavy approach in this one, with only two XBH among their 11 hits. For the series, Mac went 9 for 17 with two doubles and two HRs, raising his OPS 51 points over the four games. In another nice late season push, Williamson is hitting .368 over his last 10 games.
It wasn’t just Mac, though. Sacramento got great production from their 2-3-4 hitters who accounted for 9 of the team’s 11 hits. Conor Gillaspie was the table setter, going 3 for 5 and scoring 3 runs. While Williamson and Shaw teamed up to drive in 5 runs on six hits. That included back to back two-out RBI singles in the 7th to break a 3-3 tie and give Sacramento the lead for good.
As has been true all series, the RiverCats were also playing strong defense. Here’s the forgotten man, Melvin Upton Jr. showing off the wheels for a, somewhat controversial out.
All in all a nice showing against the first place Aces.
Richmond’s game against Akron (Indians) was suspended by rain in the top of 2nd
Richmond leads 7-0 after a huge rally in the bottom of the 1st. The game will be completed today as part of a double header.
GAME POSTPONED. WILL RESUME TOMORROW. Gates open @ 3:30 & game @ 4. Tonight's tix good 4 any regular season game based on availability. pic.twitter.com/vKcdM0Bk9i— Squirrels Baseball (@GoSquirrels) August 19, 2017
San Jose Bats
Well, you have to do better than that, guys. After gaining a share of 1st place Wednesday night, the Giants have thrown two incredibly flat performances out in front of the home crowd. Perhaps they are reminding us that, although a small league and a weak division is giving them the opportunity for a playoff chase, they’re still the team with the worst record in the Cal League (56-69).
Conner Menez started the year fairly strong, but he’s clearly leaking oil down the stretch. Menez has now surrendered at least four runs in six of his last seven starts and this was the fifth time in that stretch that he’s failed to make to 5 IP. He hasn’t gone more than 5 innings since an 8 inning performance way back on June 30.
The offense started out looking like it would do some damage against the Diamondbacks midseason #3 prospect, Joe Duplantier. Steven Duggar welcomed Duplantier with a leadoff double and then Bryan Reynolds drew a walk. But Duplantier shut that hope down quickly, retiring the next 9 batters in a row, 4 of them via the K. In all the RHP struck out 8 Giants and allowed just 3 more hits after the leadoff double in 5 innings.
So, was there anything good about this game? Matt Krook went a solid 2.2 shutout innings, striking out 4, throwing his sinking fastball in the 89-91 range.
Oh, here’s an interesting note!
Rodolfo Martinez hits 100 MPH tonight out of the bullpen for the #SJGiants. Has eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings since joining SJ.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 19, 2017
Yeah I’m protecting this arm if I’m the Giants.
I’m open to suggestions that that ungodly mess they were wearing last night was entirely responsible for the lousy game. With two straight losses, the Giants are now in a three-way tie for 2nd just one game behind Modesto. Times ticking away on your opportunity to make hay at home, fellows. Let’s get some Ws!
|Shawon Dunston Jr.||LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||.252|
|a- Jacob Heyward||PH-LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.228|
Highlight reel! (well, RiverDogs highlights anyway)
After Nolan Riggs allowed the tying and go ahead runs in the bottom of the 8th, Augusta launched its own two-run rally to take the lead, and ultimately the game, back in the top of the 9th. Jean Angomas opened the inning with a single and Skyler Ewing’s double set the Greenjackets up. Sandro Fabian singled in the tying run and, after a Kelvin Beltre strikeout, Michael Bernal brought in the winner with a Sac Fly.
Patrick Ruotolo then slammed the door shut with a perfect 3 up/3 K’d inning. He tied for the league lead with his 15th Save. This was the sixth time this year that Ruotolo had struck out every batter he faced. The former UConn pitcher continues to put up tremendous numbers as a pro. His career K rate is north of 35% and his career K9 is over about 13.5. This year he’s piled up 57 Ks against just 9 unintentional walks in 41.1 innings of work. Pretty crazy stuff. He’s not big and he’s not overpowering, but he keeps the ball out of the middle of the plate and he really competes with what stuff he has.
Augusta is already hard at work building anticipation for next season’s move. Their home debut at the new park is going to be next April 12 against the Lexington Legends. They unveiled a pretty good looking sneak peak of their new home yesterday. Of course, they should have sent Heliot out there to hit a ball into the woods, like the Giants did with Barry Bonds the day they broke ground at AT&T.
If you build it they will come! Season Seats on sale now, join the excitement coming to the CSRA! https://t.co/LQ3QF67g7w— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) August 18, 2017
Salem-Keizer beat the Boise Hawks (Rockies), 4-3
sweeping their three game series, 3-0
|Frandy De La Rosa||DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.111|
|a- Dalton Combs||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
Talk about a pro debut: Logan Baldwin reached base for the 30th consecutive game last night. Baldwin has, by the way, played in just 37 games as a pro, and in one of those his only action was as a Pinch Runner. Baldwin and Bryce Johnson have given Salem-Keizer a incredibly dynamic top of the order since showing up.
For his part, Johnson has reached base in 38 of the 42 games he’s played as a pro, including three games in which his only appearance was as a Pinch Hitter. Though they do it differently, both Baldwin and Johnson have OBP above .400 (Johnson has by far the better walk rate) and they can run when they get there.
In the finale of this showdown with Boise, the offense didn’t explode like it had in the first two games. Instead they did just enough to pull off the sweep. Kevin Rivera, Johnson, and Baldwin opened the 3rd inning with three straight singles, starting a three-run rally.
And then in the 7th in a 3-3 game, Rivera and Johnson again made things happen. Rivera led off with a single and then Johnson used his speed to put pressure on the defense. Johnson laid down a bunt single and Rivera scored all the way from 1b when the Catcher threw the ball into the RF corner.
That would get the job done as Logan Webb came on and gave three innings of sterling relief, striking out 4 and allowing no runs. It was Webb’s second straight three inning appearance, as the Giants are perhaps stretching him back out with an eye on returning him to a rotation in 2018.
With the sweep over Boise, the Volcanoes, like San Jose, are now in a three-way tie for 2nd place, just one game behind Hillsboro. And they have the opportunity to take things into their own hands with Hillsboro coming to town for a four-game series starting tonight. That series, will include one of the most talked about promotions of the minor league schedule, of course, on Monday morning.
AZL Giants had their regular off day.
Sorry. But, here, enjoy this video and some notes on Seth Corry and Camilo Doval:
Estuery Ruiz sequences vs. Seth Corry and Camilo Doval pic.twitter.com/UQWPx2YUbj— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) August 18, 2017
Corry w/ decent depth to 1-7 CB; throws for strikes arm/gloveside; more liberal with it L/R. Still late, shorter; inconsistent from stretch— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) August 19, 2017
Camilo Doval T97 w/ good life, extension, natural cut. Better feel, tightened cmd gloveside. Bastard splitter 89-92 w/ command of pitch— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) August 19, 2017
Weilly Yan 93-94 out of pen w/ feel; fastball w/ tail and depth. Loose, whippy arm w/ medium swing; stiff, firm, open front w/ cross body— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) August 19, 2017
After Miguel Gomez I’m not going to make assumptions about players who repeat the DSL, even multiple times. And after Melvin Adon I’m not going to make too many assumptions about pitchers’ ages down there. Taken together, I plan on remaining positively agnostic on Norwith Gudino, 21 year old RHP now in his third DSL season. I don’t really know why Gudino hasn’t made his way to America yet but I hope he will after this year.
What we do know is that he’s performed extremely well in the league and he has pretty decent stuff. Over three years he’s posted an ERA of 2.75 overall — it’s down to 2.00 this year — and he’s had a pretty incredible K/BB ratio of 167 to 30 in 171 innings.
Gudino kept the Giants desperate late season run rolling, throwing the first 5 innings of a three-hit shutout and striking out 8. He now leads the DSL in strikeouts with 73 on the season, while walking just 10 (two of those intentionally). He was a little sloppy with the control yesterday, as he walked 20% of his season total. Hopefully this is the year Norwith makes it to Scottsdale. Because of course I love writing “Neither without, Norwith Gudino...”
The pitching had plenty of support as the Giants knocked out 14 hits and stole 5 bases. Ghordy Santos led the attack with a terrific day. He had two hits including the teams only extra base hit (his 4th triple of the year). He also walked twice and stole his 15th base of the year. Santos has been a big part of the Giants’ 14-2 Augusta record, slashing .391/.509/.630 this month. The batting average hasn’t looked so hot this year, but nearly half of his hits have gone for extra bases, he has more walks than strikeouts, and he came into the year as a SS who’s glove was considered ahead of his bat. Keeper! I’m on Team Ghordy!
Raiber Gutierrez and Samuel Jorge each had three hits as well, while Franklin Labour had yet another two-hit effort.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Casey Kelly vs. Yency Almonte
Richmond: TBD; Dan Slania vs. Luis Lugo
San Jose: Mark Reyes vs. Bo Takahashi
Augusta: Raffi Vizcaino vs. Freicer Perez
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Tyler Vail
AZL: Miguel Figueroa
DSL: Francis Pena
Sacramento and Augusta hitters both get to measure themselves against pretty strong pitching prospects. Almonte was #9 on the Rockies midseason list for Baseball America, while Friecer Perez is a tremendous low-level sleeper prospect in the Yankees’ system (he’s handled Augusta pretty well previously this year). Richmond, which has been struggling to fill innings unfortunately had to burn a starter last night with Nate Reed getting just 4 outs before the rains came. I’d assume they’ll have to turn to Seth Rosin and other bullpen options to get through one of their two games tonight and then have to hope that Dan Slania can give them some innings in the second one.
Enjoy the weekend everybody! Kevin will be here as usual tomorrow and then be back with a special in person report on the Eclipse Game.
In the meantime, enjoy this delightful story on our own celestial phenomenon, the comet known as Timmy: