Things To Look For In The Final Month
It’s the first weekend in August, which means we have about one more month left in this season of Minor League Baseball, postseason not withstanding (and we won’t have to worry about that with this system). Since this has been one of the worst seasons throughout the system, from Majors to the rookies, I don’t think anyone will be very sad of its impending end.
With that coming, let’s talk about a few things to look for as the season comes to an end:
Chris Shaw: A confluence of events have led to Shaw to seem to be the left fielder of the future. But will he? His last month of baseball will fuel not only the team’s informed decision, but also all the debate you’ll see all offseason.
Garrett Williams: Keep giving us hope for some starting pitching prospects. Any prospects below AA.
Tyler Rogers: I know not everyone here sees a big future for Rogers, but his use and effectiveness, as well as still having a huge need in the bullpen, he could be looked at for 2017. Seeing if he can keep his hits allowed down and strikeouts up in August will be worth watching.
Reyes Moronta and Rodolfo Martinez: The two big power arms in the bullpen hunt have both spent much of the season injured. Just being healthy will be enough to look for.
Tyler Beede and Christian Arroyo: Just get healthy, guys.
Steven Duggar: Now that he’s healthy, let’s just see a flash of last year from him.
Arizona Fall League Announcements: The primary thing about the AFL is sending top prospects there for a little extra work; the secondary thing is using it as a way to help guys injured during the season to get a little extra work. It’ll be interesting to see who gets named, especially from the five listed above.
Jacob Gonzalez: The bloodlines are there. The pre-draft reviews are there. The strong plate discipline is there. You know what hasn’t been there? A single home run. Let’s see one of those.
C.J. Hinojosa: Just about everyone who had been performing really well at Richmond has been promoted, except Hinojosa. Seeing if he can finish the season with more walks than strikeouts (as of right now, he has 25 of each) will at least be interesting.
Bryan Reynolds: Just get more stolen bases than caught stealing, man.
Ryan Howard: One of the few guys that has really catapulted himself in the prospect rankings, let’s see if he can take a few more walks to fill out his batting line a bit more.
Stetson Woods: Lets see a few more strikeouts from the NWL ERA leader to feel better about him.
Heliot Ramos: Hope. Just watch him for hope.
The Northwest League defeats the Pioneer League, Not Much Help By The Volcanoes
In the 2nd ever Northwest League-Pioneer League All-Star Game, the Northwest League came out on top, 5-4. Salem-Keizer’s four representatives all were starters, including their pitcher, but none had a huge impact in the final.
CF Malique Ziegler and DH Ryan Kirby each went 0-for-2, while SS/3B Manuel Geraldo went 1-for-3 with a single. Geraldo’s hit had nothing to do with any of the NWL’s runs, all of which came in a single inning. Ziegler did contribute with a nice defensive play, though.
Check out how unpadded that center field fence was.
Meanwhile, Stetson Woods got the start for the NWL, and pitched a strong first inning. Like most All-Star Game pitchers, he got just the one inning, but it was a good one for the league’s leading pitcher by ERA. Woods also got two strikeouts out of the 3 batters he faced.
A Huge Comparison for Heliot Ramos
"And when I saw Heliot hit that ball, right away I went, 'Man that reminds me of Cespedes' homer in the Dominican.’"
Borg was talking about Ramos’ 3rd home run of the year, coming against the Reds’ AZL affiliate at Goodyear Ballpark on July 20th. He was comparing it to when he was a home run he watched Cespedes hit in Santiago for the Aguilas Cibaenas, which he was coached for the Toros del Este. That home run was hit over the back wall in left field.
MLB.com had the metrics data they love using on that home run. On an 82-mph pitch, Ramos hit it with an exit velocity of 110 mph, and a 32-degree launch angle. That ended up 473 feet away, which was out of the stadium in Goodyear.
Borg said that Heliot Ramos is the best Puerto Rican player the Giants have had in the past decade and a half (to be honest, there hasn’t been a lot of competition, save for Angel Pagan). But the comparison to a certain Cuban seems more interesting.
"They have the same type of body, strong body, same type of player," Borg said. "I know Cespedes is more of a free swinger. I believe Heliot can be more solid, but when you hit a 400-plus homer like that at 17 years old, there's something special there.”
Well, in a season of downs, it sure feels good to have something like that to look forward to.
Draft Pick Race
Draft Pick Race
|Chicago White Sox||41||67||0.380|
After briefly taking the spot for the top draft pick, the Giants have won 3 of 4 games. That’s pushed the Giants slightly behind the White Sox for the 3rd pick in the draft. The Phillies have gotten slightly worse this week, so the Giants will have a lot of games to make up. Or to lose. Something like that.
Hitter of the Week - Jonah Arenado
His brother might get a lot of MVP votes for the NL, but Jonah has not yet forced his way out of San Jose. This week was a start to that.
Arenado was 13-for-26, collecting four doubles a triple and a home run, and added four walks while striking out just once. Those numbers added up to a .500/.580/.846 batting line on the week.
On the season, Arenado has struggled a bit. He came into the week batting .239, but has raised it up to .257. His one home run has gotten him up to 9 on the season, in 103 games. He had 17 last year at San Jose in 128 games.
Pitcher of the Week - Garrett Williams
Technically, it wasn’t a start. But it was Garrett Williams making an impression after a promotion.
Williams struck out 10 in 6 shutout innings on Wednesday, coming in after an inning of work by the rehabbing Mark Melancon. He walked three and gave up five hits, but kept the opponents off the board in his first appearance at San Jose.
After a late start to the season, last year’s 7th round pick has been one of the best pitching performers from that draft. He had a 2.25 ERA in 12 appearances with Augusta, with 58 strikeouts and 25 walks in 64 innings.
Saturday’s Boxes Pt. 2
|AUG||Shawon Dunston Jr.||LF||3||2||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||0.240|
|SAC||Kraig Sitton (BS, 2)||1.0||3||1||1||0||0||0||3.86|
|SAC||Reyes Moronta (W, 1-0)||1.0||2||0||0||0||1||0||3.60|
|SAC||Tyler Rogers (S, 6)||2.0||1||0||0||1||3||0||1.96|
|SJ||Matt Solter (W, 4-0)||2.2||6||4||4||0||1||2||3.76|
|SJ||Caleb Simpson (H, 9)||1.1||1||2||2||1||2||1||4.84|
|SJ||Dylan Rheault (S, 19)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.49|
|AUG||Connor Kaden (W, 1-0)||2.1||0||0||0||0||4||0||0.00|
|S-K||Alejandro De La Rosa||3.0||2||0||0||0||3||0||5.40|
|S-K||Andy Rohloff (L, 0-1)||0.0||2||4||4||2||0||0||14.40|
|S-K||Garrett Cave (BS, 1)||2.0||1||0||0||1||5||0||4.20|
|AZL||Deiyerbert Bolivar (L, 0-2)||4.0||4||1||1||0||5||0||5.32|
|AZL||Franklin Van Gurp||1.0||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.38|
- Chris Shaw, the prospect I think everyone’s going to be talking about in the offseason, picked up his 12th home run of the year in a Sacramento win. It was Shaw’s second home run in 4 games, and continued a 9-game hitting streak.
- The broadcasters were saying that Ryder Jones might have taken it personally when the Giants signed Pablo Sandoval. Maybe Jae-Gyun Hwang took it personally that Sandoval got the call-up over him. In his second game back in Sacramento, and first since Sandoval’s call, Hwang hit his 8th home run in Sacramento this year, in his 73rd game played there.
- Slade Heathcott has responded well to his callup to Triple-A. With today’s 3-hit game, he’s 5-for-9 (.556) in three games at Sacramento.
- Roberto Gomez had a pedestrian start for Sacramento, but two of the relievers were notable. Reyes Moronta got the win in his 4th game at Sacramento, and he’s had three scoreless outings since giving up a pair of runs in his debut at the level. Tyler Rogers went two innings for the second straight outing, getting the save.
- Richmond was postponed in New Hampshire due to summer rain, and will try to make it up with a doubleheader on Sunday.
- Let’s just talk offense for San Jose, where there was plenty at Municipal Stadium. Jonah Arenado was 2-for-3 with a home run and a pair of walks to continue his recent tear. He’s 8-for-17 in the last three games, but the home run was his first of the stretch.
- Dillon Dobson was 3-for-4 as the other big hitter of the game, getting his batting average back up to .240, for the first time since July 4th.
- Ryan Howard backed up his 4-hit game yesterday with another multi-hit game, adding a walk for good measure. His batting line is .326/.361/.415 on the year.
- The pitching, meanwhile, was ugly. But Dylan Rheault picked up his 19th save of the year with an inning of quiet work, and has picked up saves in each of his last five appearances.
- In Augusta, Sandro Fabian and Jean Angomas each went 3-for-4 with a double; the difference being Angomas picked up 3 RBI while Fabian got none.
- Jose Morel made his second start of the season (the first came on June 25th), and he reached a season-high in IP (3.2) and pitches (53).
- Connor Kaden was moved down from San Jose to Augusta, and made his first appearance, striking out 4 and allowing a baserunner only by hitting a batter in 2.1 IP.
- The Volcanoes picked up a first inning grand slam in a wild loss. Manuel Geraldo collected it, just his second home run of the year.
- Logan Baldwin continued his hot strang of batting, extending an 8-game hitting streak that’s gone through the All-Star Break. His two doubles give him 6 on the season in 25 games.
- All-Star Ryan Kirby was 3-for-4, raising his average to .295.
- Shane Matheny had a career-high 4 hits, raising his season average to .372.
- Heliot Ramos continues to cool in Arizona. He had his third 0-for-4 in his last three starts, with only a pinch hit single breaking it up.
Deiyerbert Bolivar took the hard luck loss. He had allowed 2 earned runs in each of his last 5 starts, for his first game allowing less, along with a season-high 4 innings of work, he still got the loss. His 5 strikeouts and 0 walks makes his peripherals look better. He now has 18 strikeouts in 22 innings, with 10 walks allowed.