Apologies for the late post today. I’m in Oregon on a vacation, and for the eclipse game tomorrow. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera battery on my trip, so the pictures and videos I had planned to take won’t be here. My sincere apologies. However, let’s get started. Hello from Salem-Keizer!
Things I’ve Noticed
One of the biggest things one will notice watching Short-Season ball is that the level of play is noticeably different. A lot of rallies start or end thanks to mistakes by the other team. There’s just too much to take it all down, though luckily it was more on Boise/Hillsboro’s side than the Volcanoes.
- Volcanoes manager Jolbert Cabrera is working the ground game. In Saturday’s game, after a Malique Ziegler single, Bryce Johnson laid down a great bunt for a hit, moving Ziegler to third (he’d advanced on a wild pitch). Then the #3 hitter and the team’s top hitter Logan Baldwin bunted for a safety squeeze, getting the run home on the sacrifice.
- The Volcanoes stadium gun is borked. I didn’t see a single pitch by anyone listed in the 90’s, so I’m not going to quote any velocity.
- Stetson Woods looked good with his fastball, but was having problem locating his breaking pitch. At this level, though, he was easily overpowering the opposing hitters.
- Aaron Phillips, this year’s 9th round draft pick, throws with a high-effort delivery. He’s a bit wild with his breaking stuff, but his fastball is big. Even with a borked stadium gun, his fastball was getting the highest velocity numbers in the two games I’ve seen.
- Greg Jacknewitz (22nd round draft pick this year) started Friday’s game. He’s struggled all season, and his control put him in a lot of holes in this game. He had a tendency to be wild when runners got on. However, he settled down late in this game and had one of his better outings this year.
- Logan Webb gave up 6 hits in 3 innings on Friday, but a few of them were infield hits that might usually be outs.
- On that note, my impression on Manuel Geraldo at shortstop was not good. On Friday, he wasn’t showing range and was showing no arm strength at all from the hole. However, some season-ticket-holders I was chatting with said he was usually very impressive, and that he seemed to be having an off-night.
- Saturday featured a couple of nice defensive plays early. Shane Matheny had a diving grab of a line drive at third to his left. And on a single to right center, right fielder Logan Baldwin got to it, and fired a strike to nail the runner at second.
- On Saturday’s game, Malique Ziegler jammed his wrist on a diving catch in the 7th, but stayed in the game.
- Other than his speed, I didn’t get a great look of Bryce Johnson. I didn’t see him really square up any balls all night, but his speed put pressure on his opponents. He did work counts well, though, and showed a great bunt on one at-bat. It was noted by fans that his defense was tentative when he wasn’t in center, as he is often displaced by Ziegler.
A Quick Note on Woods Leaving The Game Quick
Stetson Woods left early on Saturday with no clear reason. It is possible the Giants are limiting his innings; although Woods is 22 and has been in the system for 3 years, he has thrown more innings this season (63.2 IP) than in the previous 3 seasons combined (42.2). This is his first full season starting. Woods also left his previous start, Monday, relatively early.
Fangraphs put up an updated Giants Top 10 Prospects
Fangraphs put up an updated list, and I’ll let you click over and read it for yourself. Every list has some quirks, so here are my reactions
- Heliot Ramos slotted in at #4 overall. That may be as low as we see him in any list before the start of 2018. It could be argued for him over Bryan Reynolds (I’d agree with that), and possibly over Tyler Beede (I’d listen on that, not sure I agree).
- Andrew Suarez is quickly becoming a pitching prospect of some note, and he earned that #6 spot.
- Joan Gregorio on the list at #10? After his suspension, I’m not sure what to think.
- The bottom 4 on the Fangraphs list (Sandro Fabian, Steven Duggar, C.J. Hinojosa, Gregorio) are all easily arguable and replaceable, but that’s the part of the Giants system where things get very murky. Guys like Austin Slater, Garrett Williams, and Miguel Gomez (to start) all are a part of that debate.
Rodolfo Is Still Throwing Heat
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
This is good news, as he comes back from injury. There’s still a lot of promise in that arm.
Augusta promos their new ballpark
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
Roger posted this before, but it’s worth watching. Lake Olmstead Stadium has never really been a stadium, with more metal bleachers than anything else…though it still had its charms.
This new waterfront ballpark looks very interesting. The village around it won’t be ready next year (I’m not sure the tall building that will dominate the area behind left field will be either), but the stadium will be a go for 2018, as you can see by the construction. I plan to visit sometime next year to see what it is like, and this time, I’ll bring my camera battery.
Quick Aaron Bond scouting report
Aaron Bond can hit. Barrel control and hand eye evident; more spread out, rotational at plate. Legitimate bat speed, strong wrists; athlete— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) August 17, 2017
Aaron Bond is currently raking in the AZL, where he is batting .314/.376/.533 and has a 9-game hitting streak going. At 20, he’s a tad older than the rest of the kids in the AZL, but not obscenely so. The 12th round pick is from San Jacinto College, the former JC of a certain Brandon Belt, though it’s too early to debate whether Bond will be as controversial.
Heliot Ramos Update!
I’m sure I’d be strung up if I didn’t include something on Heliot, so here you go!
Definitely check out the stuff at Baseball Census for reports on the AZL. And I do love those AZL Jerseys!
ICYMI - Giants Showing Strong Interest in Top Dominican Prospect
I have nothing to add on top of Grant’s excellent article that you can read here. It sure would be nice to see the Giants spend big money with a big result (more than Angel Villalona or Rafael Rodriguez).
That said, it’s a far cry to say that the Giants are interested, and that they’ll actually sign him. But hey, this season is about nothing if not hope for a far-off future.
Hitter of the Week - Mac Williamson
This was a close one, as I could have put in Heliot…but Mac had the longer week, and did it without the strikeouts.
Mac was 12-for-28 with 3 doubles and 2 home runs this week, and added 2 walks while striking out just twice. That was enough for a .429/.483/.750 batting line. He did much of his damage in Reno, including a 2-home run game there, and a 4-for-4 game there.
The week comes as Mac tries to turn around the toughest season of his career. He started the year on the DL when he was expected to compete for a Major League job, and has hit poorly after coming off of it. He’s hitting just .243/.300/.415, even with this week factored in, in 82 games at Sacramento. He hit just .156/.229/.250 in the Majors in 12 games. Perhaps one hot run at the end of the year, and a September callup, could earn him one more chance?
Pitcher of the Week - Dan Slania
This was another tough decision, as Norwith Gudino put up the same number of K’s in less innings, but Slania allowed less baserunners in more innings.
Dan Slania’s Saturday consisted of him pitching Game 2 of a suspended-game doubleheader, and he pitched a complete (7-Inning) game for his unquestioned best game of the year. He allowed 2 hits, matching a season low he had done twice, walked just 1, and tied a season high with 8 strikeouts (done thrice before). He also didn’t allow a run, a feat he had done just once before this season.
For Slania, the game is a welcome change to the troubles he has had all year. He lowered his Richmond ERA to 2.54 in 11 starts, while he had a 7.82 ERA in 12 starts at Sacramento. This year has been difficult after Slania’s big year last year, but he’s starting to show some of his 2016 self in Richmond. He’ll likely get another shot at Sacramento next season.
|AAA||R||H||E||AA (Game 1)||R||H||E||AA (Game 2)||R||H||E||High-A (10 Inn.)||R||H||E|
|AAA||R||H||E||AA (Game 1)||R||H||E||AA (Game 2)||R||H||E||High-A (10 Inn.)||R||H||E|
Saturday’s Boxes Continued
|Augusta||0||2||0||Hillsboro||0||4||1||AZL Athletics||5||6||2||DSL Giants||4||6||3|
|Charleston||5||12||0||Salem-Keizer||6||10||0||AZL Giants||10||15||1||DSL Orioles||5||10||2|
|SAC||Melvin Upton Jr.||CF||5||2||2||0||0||1||1||0||1||0.268|
|AUG||Jose Vizcaino Jr.||1B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0.237|
|SAC||Casey Kelly (W, 6-5)||6.0||5||0||0||2||7||0||4.47|
|RIC-1||Seth Rosin (W, 2-1)||1.2||2||0||0||2||2||0||4.12|
|RIC-1||Tyler Cyr (S, 17)||1.0||2||1||0||0||0||0||2.23|
|RIC-2||Dan Slania (W, 4-3)||7.0||2||0||0||1||8||0||3.54|
|SJ||Caleb Simpson (W, 1-5)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.45|
|AUG||Raffi Vizcaino (L, 4-6)||5.0||7||2||2||1||4||0||5.43|
|S-K||Alejandro De La Rosa (W, 3-3)||2.0||1||0||0||1||3||0||4.57|
|S-K||Aaron Phillips (H, 2)||3.0||0||0||0||2||4||0||4.35|
|AZL||Keenan Bartlett (BS, 1)(W, 4-0)||3.0||1||2||2||2||2||0||1.21|
|DSL||Jose Yan (BS, 2)(L, 0-4)||1.0||2||2||2||3||1||0||3.2|
- The River Cats powered their way to a big win back home against the ‘Topes.
- Jae-Gyun Hwang hit a Grand Slam in the first, his 9th home run in Triple-A this season, as part of a 6-run inning to put Sacramento on top.
- Melvin Upton, Jr. also hit his first of his injury-shortened season. This is only his 11th game of the year.
- Meanwhile, Casey Kelly made the bet start of his time in Sacramento, notching his first for the River Cats without allowing a run.
- Richmond completed the game suspended on Friday as part of their double-header, despite having taken a 7-0 lead in the first inning of that game.
- 5 different Squirrels had 2 hits: Caleb Gindl, Myles Schroder, Jerry Sands, Hunter Cole, and Brandon Bednar.
- Schroder’s 7th inning, 2-run home run, his 6th of the year, proved the difference for the squirrels as the bullpen let Akron close the score difference late.
- Game 2 was all Dan Slania, who threw a 7-inning complete game for his unquestionable best start of the year.
- San Jose bounced back from a tight game to win a tight game in 10 innings.
- Mark Reyes had one of his toughest games, giving up 6 runs or more for the 5th time this season. He continues to lose it on hits given up, with a .303 batting average against.
- Jonah Arenado was 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, giving him 32 on the year. He is slugging .434 on the season.
- Gio Brusa also managed 2 doubles, giving him 25 on the season.
- Ronnie Jebavy connected for just his 2nd home run of the season in 64 games.
- There just isn’t much to say about the GreenJackets. The most notable was a rough outing for Melvin Adon, giving up 5 baserunners in just 1 inning of work.
- For Volcanoes notes, please see above.
- The AZL Giants had a huge game, with almost everyone on offense getting a hit.
- Heliot Ramos was 2-for-3 with his 11th double and 6th triple of the year.
- Diego Rincones was 3-for-5 with 2 doubles, raising his average to .315
- Francisco Medina hit his first home run of the year, in his 32nd game.
- Keenan Bartlett gave up his first runs since near the beginning of the year, on July 5th, a span of 9 scoreless games.
- Luigi Pichardo was the only DSL player to manage more than 1 hit, and he now has a modest 4-game hitting streak.