Well, at least one thing came out of this season, a wonderful eclipse experience with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.
The Volcanoes staff put together a wonderful experience for the fans, and it was truly an amazing experience. On a non-baseball kick, the next total solar eclipse in North America is 7 years away. I can not recommend experiencing a total eclipse enough, it truly is magical. Also, based on my experience in Oregon…start booking that hotel now.
The Story of The 2017 SF Giants Farm System
More brutal luck for Giants: Heliot Ramos, who was crushing in rookie league, has a concussion. He got hit by a pitch Sunday.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 23, 2017
Yeah, that happened. The Giants top draft pick, Heliot Ramos, apparently took a pitch to the helmet and has a concussion. It’s thought that the Giants will shut him down for the rest of the year, which admittingly isn’t very long, but it’s just another result of a horrible season.
I was there at Opening Day and heard the disgusting thunk as Buster Posey got hit in the head with a pitch, and while I had many thoughts in that moment, I didn’t realize that this would an ominous note for the entire system. Within a week, Ryder Jones took a pitch to the helmet in an exhibition game, and Kyle Crick was hit with one in the head in the dugout.
Of course, it hasn’t just been pitches to the head. Pitches to the hand were disgustingly common. Add in a few more common injuries (like the groin), incidental breaks from hitting objects in the field (like the collarbone), and one that I’d never heard before (torn adductor muscle tearing off the hip bone), and this season has been so much about injuries it’s ridiculous. You could fill up a pretty damned good prospect list with these injuries. You could almost fill up a lineup of players we all know and have good hopes for.
Left Field: Austin Slater (Torn Adductor Muscle)
Center Field: Heliot Ramos (Concussion from HBP)
Right Field: Jarrett Parker (Broken Collarbone)
3B: Ryder Jones (Broken Hand from HBP)
SS: Christian Arroyo (Broken Hand from HBP)
C: Aramis Garcia (Undisclosed Injury)
SP: Tyler Beede (Groin)
RP: Kyle Crick (Concussion)
You could put major leaguers like Brandon Belt and Joe Panik in those first and second base positions. Or put Austin Slater at second, and add Mac Williamson at first base. There are that many outfielders that were injured. Williamson, Steven Duggar, Heath Quinn, and hell, even Melvin Upton counts on that list.
So, when we look back at this season and feel bad, how will we feel about these injuries? Can we take a deep breath, knowing that injuries like these are (supposed to be) rare, and that in the future, these players will be able to move beyond these injuries?
Melvin Upton Jr. opted out of minors deal with giants in hopes of hooking on with contender. Has playoff experience. Good defender w/ speed.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 21, 2017
Yeah, Melvin joined the Giants thinking he was joining a contender that needed a left fielder, he got injured, and…well, 2017 happened. So Melvin bounced. As of yet, Upton has not signed with a team.
Bryce Johnson Running All Over The NWL
Although the Volcanoes have been slipping in the standings lately, Bryce Johnson has still be running on the basepaths, and he pulled off an amazing feat this week.
On Thursday, Johnson stole 4 bases in 1 game. Even more amazingly, he did it without a hit (he got on base once by walk, and once by being hit by a pitch). Two of those were on double steals with Logan Baldwin (who was batting in the order behind Johnson). Johnson stole two more bags on Friday, and one more Saturday, giving him 7 in 3 days, with 25 steals on 34 attempts. Notably, not long ago Johnson went 13 games without even attempting a steal. In the 6 games since, he has 8 stolen bases and was caught just once, so perhaps manager Jolbert Cabrera has worked with him on efficiency.
Johnson now is tied for the team lead in steals with Malique Ziegler (who has 25 on 33 attempts). The two are tied for 3rd in the leage, one behind second place Reggie Pruitt of Vancouver (Toronto), and 8 behind league leader Steven Linkous, who has 33 for Boise (Colorado).
Chris Stratton Making an Impression
Sure, he’s in the majors now, so he’s not REALLY a prospect, but he’s still so recent that there’s no guarantee he’ll stick. But Chris Stratton does have a couple of tools really standing out for him, as Eno Sarris points out in the new The Athletic.
Chris Stratton can spin it and that gives the Giants pitcher a chance to be good, via @enosarris https://t.co/H07gVMFVXf— The Athletic (@TheAthleticSF) August 25, 2017
Though I like the idea of The Athletic…come on guys, find a regular SF Giants writer.
Three San Jose Giants Make the End of Season CAL League All-Star Team
#SJGiants C Aramis Garcia, SS Ryan Howard and reliever Dylan Rheault named to the postseason California League All-Star team.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 22, 2017
Well, that’s something for the year. There have been some good performances this season, and this highlights three of them.
Aramis Garcia hasn’t been with San Jose for a month, but he is a bonafide catching prospect. He had a .272/.314/.497 batting line in San Jose, and has recently turned it on in Richmond (See Below).
Ryan Howard has spent most of the year as the Giants’ top hitter for average, although as of today Bryan Reynolds is tied with him at .308. The 2nd base prospect has a .308/.342/.396 batting line, with 8 home runs, and 21 walks against 76 strikeouts in 120 games. Howard, at 120 games, has played more games than all but one San Jose player this year (Jonah Arenado has played 122).
Reliever Dylan Rheault has a 2.72 ERA in 51 games, and has converted 20 of 22 save opportunities this year. The 25-year old Rheault didn’t overpower opposing hitters, with 44 strikeouts and 21 walks in 56.1 innings, but he held them to a .222 average against.
No Flying Squirrels made the Eastern League. Wow. But, honestly, not surprised.
Saying Goodbye to Lake Olmstead
@Jeff_Eiseman @GreenJackets A little of the video we shot this am. pic.twitter.com/HqFwv18Enf— Kevin Faigle (@kevinfaiglewrdw) August 25, 2017
Some beautiful footage of a park that we will be saying goodbye to soon. It’s a humble field, and I can not call it a stadium unless using its proper name, but it was a nice place to watch baseball.
Still, can’t wait for the new park next year. Which will be known as SRP Park. I have no idea who SRP is. Maybe I’ll google it one day, but should I let the Capitalists win?
Hitter of the Week - Aramis Garcia
It was a little more than two weeks ago that Garcia made his move up to Double-A Richmond. This week, he started to really hit there.
Garcia went 7-for-19 on the week, with 6 of them being doubles. He also added five walks on the week, giving him a batting line of .368/.500/.684 for the week. He did, however, have 8 strikeouts as well on the week.
The big week raised Aramis Garcia’s batting line in Richmond to .258/.347/.403, with 9 doubles. He’s also walked 8 times while striking out 19. He had a .272/.314/.497 batting line in San Jose before his promotion.
Pitcher of the Week - Norwith Gudino
Norwith Gudino has been one of the DSL’s best pitchers, and he finished it with his best game of the year.
In the second to the last game of the season for the Dominican Summer League team, Gudino went 7 innings without allowing an earned run (there was 1 unearned run). He also struck out a season-high 10 without walking anyone, alongside 5 hits.
The result saw Gudino’s season numbers end with a 1.82 ERA in 13 games, with a 6-1 record for all it matters. He had 83 strikeouts against 10 walks in 74.1 IP. Gudino had a 2.84 ERA last year in the DSL and a 3.52 ERA
|AAA-Gm 1||R||H||E||AAA-Gm 2||R||H||E||AA||R||H||E||High-A (10 Inn)||R||H||E|
|AAA-Gm 1||R||H||E||AAA-Gm 2||R||H||E||AA||R||H||E||High-A (10 Inn)||R||H||E|
|El Paso||4||8||0||El Paso||1||6||1||Trenton||14||18||0||San Jose||8||14||1|
Saturday’s Other Boxes
|Greenville||4||10||1||Spokane||5||9||2||AZL Giants||1||4||2||DSL Giants||4||10||0|
|Augusta||3||9||0||Salem-Keizer||3||9||2||AZL Mariners||15||18||0||DSL Reds||6||10||3|
|AUG||Jose Vizcaino Jr.||DH||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||0||2||0.252|
|SAC-1||Casey Kelly (W, 7-5)||6.1||8||4||4||1||2||2||4.55|
|SAC-2||Roberto Gomez (L, 3-9)||5.0||4||1||1||2||2||0||4.19|
|RIC||Matt Lujan (L, 4-4)||5.2||10||6||6||1||6||0||4.76|
|SJ||Rodolfo Martinez (W, 2-0)||2.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.48|
|AUG||Yordy Cabrera (L, 1-3)||7.0||8||4||4||2||1||0||4.00|
|S-K||Julio Benitez (L, 1-6)||8.0||9||5||3||0||3||1||4.19|
|AZL||Sidney Duprey (L, 4-3)||1.1||5||6||6||1||1||0||5.36|
|DSL||Jose Maita (L, 1-2)||1.0||2||2||2||1||0||0||3.90|
- Sacramento split two very different games in a double-header.
- Steven Duggar hit his first home run at Triple-A (in his 5th game). Duggar had 4 home runs in 29 games at San Jose in his return from injury.
- Orlando Calixte hit his 14th home run of the season in 91 games with Sacramento. That’s second-best on the year for Sacramento, breaking a tie with the promoted Ryder Jones and putting him two behind Chris Shaw.
- The River Cats also picked up two 3-hit games, from Conor Gillaspie and Tim Federowicz.
- Casey Kelly went 6 shutout innings, before giving up a triple, a double and two home runs all while getting just one out in the 7th.
- Derek Law went two uneventful batters to finish the game. Not bad for a guy trying to go into September and earn his major league job back.
- In Game 2, a total of 1 run was between the two teams. Roberto Gomez had a solid game, giving up just 1 run in 5 innings, but that was enough.
- We won’t talk about Richmond’s pitching. But Myles Schroder hit his 7th home run of the season in the first inning, giving the Squirrels a short-lived lead.
- Home runs powered San Jose’s win. Ryan Howard hit his 8th of the season and first since July 17th.
- Heath Quinn put up his 10th home run of the year as he tries to bring his season back to average. It officially gives him more than the 9 he had last season.
- Jonah Arenado has his 3rd straight game with 2 hits, and his first home run since August 14th, and his 12th of the season. His 3-run home run powered a 5-run 9th to tie the game late.
- Dillon Dobson’s single in the 10th gave the Giants a walk-off win. The win puts San Jose in a 3-way tie for first place in the North, with the Modesto Nuts and Visalia Rawhide (all at a disappointing 30-32 record).
- I don’t want to linger on the negatives, but Mark Reyes 7-walk outing was his first game of more than 3 walks in his last 7 starts, previous to which he’d had three games with at least 4 walks. He has 77 walks against 60 strikeouts.
- Yordy Cabrera made just his 5th start of the year as he converts to starter with Augusta. 7 innings was his longest.
- As Augusta’s offense comes to a screeching halt at the end of the year, Jose Vizcaino Jr. and Shawon Dunston picked up the only two 2-hit games of the day for the GreenJackets.
- Manuel Geraldo had a 3-hit game in the Volcanoes loss, as the 20-year old is putting on a nice late-season surge. He is 12-for-23 in his last 6 games, having raised his batting average from .266 to .290.
- The loss really hurts the late push the Volcanoes were making for the playoffs, as they are back in last place, 4 games back of first place Hillsboro, with an elimination number of 4.
- The string of poor starts for the AZL Giants continued with Sidney Dupree giving up 6 runs in 1.1 innings. The Giants have not gotten a start of at least 2 innings in their last 4 games.
- Aaron Bond had the lone offensive highlight with his 6th home run of the season.
- In the final game of the year for the DSL, Francis Pena put up 8 strikeouts in 5 innings to finish his year. Pena had 60 strikeouts against 18 walks in 58.2 IP.
- The DSL Giants finished the season at 41-30, tied for 2nd place in their division, 3.5 games back of the Blue Jays squad.
It’s only right that today’s wrap up be a wrap up of the Dominican Summer League season. The DSL is notable for a lack of scouting reports, video, and a league filled with free swinging and uncontrolled youngsters who have a lot of potential and yet a lot of refinement to go. So here’s some quick hits:
TOP PROSPECT - Norwith Gudino. He’s a bit old for the league at 21, and this was his third season there, but he has a spectacular season by all measures. He’ll be in the U.S. next season.
TOP HITTER - Franklin Labour. The 19-year old outfielder had a .317/.412/.495 batting line in his second DSL season. Look at that OBP. He had 26 walks against 30 strikeouts in 186 at-bats, a very notable number in the DSL. He added a team-lead-tying 5 home runs, and 19 extra-base hits out of 59 (32.2% XBH rate). He even added 13 steals (on 21 attempts).
TRADE RESULTS - Gregory Santos made 4 starts after the Giants acquired him from the Red Sox, and he had a 1.93 ERA with 17 strikeouts and 5 walks in 18.2 innings. Believe it or not, that’s worse than how he did with the Red Sox team (0.89 ERA in 8 starts). Overall, he ended the year with a 1.29 ERA. It’s unclear if the 17-year old will repeat the DSL; this was already his second season at the level.
THE CLOSER: Orleny Quiroz had 13 of the team’s 25 saves, with a 2.25 ERA in 30 starts. He notably had 52 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 36 innings of work.