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They Might Be Giants

SF Giants Minor Lines 6/30/18: Raising The Bahr

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I bet we’ll hear that pun for seasons to come...

minor lines

It was a pitcher’s day in the system. No overwhelming hitter performances, but there were some nice things happening on the mounds across the Giants system. So, let’s dive in.

Highlights: Jason Bahr has another great start; Sean Hjelle made his debut.


Sacramento was defeated by Fresno (Astros), 4-3

Although they took a loss, the River Cats h ad some nice hitting on display by their hitters, both by former and surely future big leaguers.

Let’s start with the future. Chris Shaw hit his 15th home run of the season. That gives Shaw 8th place among the PCL leaders. He’s still very strikeout prone (90 in 230 at-bats), but his power continues. He’s had five home runs each month this year. Steven Duggar has a 6-game hitting streak as he collected his 25th double of the season. Duggar finishes June with a .287/.374/.500 line, his best month of the year particularly for slugging as he finished with 10 doubles, two triples and two home runs in the month.

In between the former and future is Miguel Gomez. He was 2-for-4 and continues to hit well in his return to Triple-A. He’s now 5-for-13 (.385) since returning to Sacramento. Meanwhile, Gregor Blanco got his second double in Sacramento. Kelby Tomlinson had a pair of hits, breaking out of a 1-for-17 slump he was in.

On the mound, Casey Kelly had a solid start other than giving up two home runs. Kelly has given up 15 home runs on the season, nearly matching his career high of 16 last year. Before this season, he’d never given up double digits. But the real news was some of the bullpen.

yler Beede had another solid stint in relief, and looks like he’s showing off some of the velocity that made him a first round pick. Of course, if you want to talk velocity…

ell, if the Giants say that Ray Black is on their radar. He’s definitely on their radar guns.


Richmond defeated Harrisburg (Nationals), 4-3

It was a ninth inning bit of a ground game that got the Squirrels a tight win on the road.

Matt Lipka had a one-out single, and he advanced to second on a Caleb Gindl groundout. He scored on Ali Castillo’s single to center, and that would end up being all the Squirrels would need. For Castillo, it was his second hit of the game. The 29-year old leadoff hitter is batting .246/.312/.322 on the season.

The biggest hit of the game was Aramis Garcia hitting his 7th home run of the year. The 25-year old catcher has finished June with some heat. He’s 10-for-24 (.417) over his last seven games, but with four home runs. Garcia, batting .222/.266/.382, is really in danger of falling down prospect rankings with what is his first full season at Double-A, but perhaps he’s showing signs of heading to the second half going strong.

Shaun Anderson was on the mound, and had a pretty average game, allowing three runs over seven innings. He was without a walk for the second time in his last three starts, and now has 91 K’s and 21 walks in 91 innings. 26-year old Dillon McNamara picked up the relief win, and has gone seven consecutive appearances without allowing a run. He has a 1.29 ERA in 16 appearances at Double-A after having a 9.00 ERA in six Triple-A appearances.

Patrick Ruotolo picked up his third save in as many opportunities with Richmond. With 16.2 IP in Richmond, he has 22 strikeouts against 7 walks. With his next appearance, he’ll have as many in Richmond as he did in San Jose, and it’s worth looking at how consistent his numbers are between the levels (except for two big numbers):

The differences? That GO/AO ratio is striking, and that leads to the other big difference, the home runs given up. Ruotolo had given up just three home runs combined in his previous two seasons (all in Augusta last year). Still, despite giving up the big hits, the rest of his numbers remain remarkably similar with a couple fewer innings. The Giants’ pitching staff and prospects are starting to get very crowded, but Ruotolo is showing that he will be getting into that mix in the next couple of seasons.


San Jose defeated Visalia (Diamondbacks), 3-1

So, Jason Bahr has definitely made for a good run now that he’s in High-A. In two starts, he remains unscored upon, going six innings each way. Not bad at all. He hasn’t been getting the strikeouts (10 in 12 innings, compared to 88 in 68.2 in Augusta), but the 5th round pick from last year is definitely off to making his first full season an excellent one.

Special middle-bullpen shoutout to Nolan Riggs, striking out five in two innings without allowing a baserunner. That gives Riggs 39 strikeouts in 40.2 innings, though the 22 walks aren’t so great.

Offensively, the Giants managed three extra-base hits out of their six, which helped the team get this win. Brandon Van Horn picked up 2 RBI, one of which came off of his fifth home run of the season. His other RBI came on a groundout that happened because of Johneshwy Fargas and his speed. Vargas got on base for an error, and stole his way to third base to be in place for that groundout. Vargas stole three bases to get to 24 steals on the season.

Sandro Fabian also picked up a pair of hits, including his 12th double. Fabian now has a 6-game hitting streak, raising his batting average from .225 to .238 over that span.

Oh, and the Giants took the win against one of the best pitchers in the California League:


Augusta was defeated by Columbia (Mets), 3-2

It was a quiet day for Augusta. Joey Marciano had a perfectly solid start, going five innings for the fourth straight game, but he had the lowest pitch count total since mid-May (69 pitches). Marciano finishes June with a 2.77 ERA, and while it’s not as special as the 0.78 ERA he carried in April, he’s put together a nice first half so far. 24-year old Ryan Koziol has gone at least two innings of relief in six of his last seven appearances.

There’s not much to talk about offensively. Heliot Ramos had another game with a hit, and he remains absolutely room temperature over his last ten games. He has hit .272/.336/.408 in June however, so you’re starting to see him come out of the struggles from the start of the season. His strikeout rate has also begun dropping.

April: 30.6%

May: 31.8%

June: 26.2%

That’s still a concerning rate, but it’s headed in the right direction.

Manuel Geraldo broke a 7-game hitting streak, but he did draw a pair of walks. Geraldo actually finishes a very difficult June, batting .229/.283/.267 for the month after having hit .384/.413/.626 in May.


Salem-Keizer was defeated by Vancouver (Blue Jays), 3-2

The debut of Sean Hjelle! It…wasn’t great, nor long, but the Giants’ 2nd round pick made his debut.

Hjelle gave up singles to the first two hitters he faced. After getting a pair of outs, he gave up a third hit that scored one, but Mikey Edie hit his cutoff man leading to an out at the plate. There’s not much to draw on from this very short stint, but the future will be interesting.

Stetson Woods took the loss following Hjelle up in a weird sort of outing. He gave up a home run to the first batter he faced in the second, and then to the third batter of the same inning. Yet, those would be the only batters to reach base against him in his six innings of work. It did lower his ERA from 5.87 to 5.06. The home runs have been an interesting development for Woods. He’s given up 7 in 21.1 innings at S-K this season. He had just five given up across his previous four seasons, including four at Salem-Keizer last season. He’s got a couple of months left to prove he can keep the ball in the yard.

Just like some other games today, there weren’t any standout offensive players. The only extra-base hit was Jose Layer hitting a double in a pinch hit. It was his sixth double of the season, now given him more doubles than he has in either of his previous seasons, doing it in two less games played. Trevor Abrams picked up a single after his 7-game hitting streak ended yesterday. Diego Rincones also went hitless, just his second such game of the season.


AZL Black was defeated by the AZL Athletics, 14-3

The Giants Black team gave up runs in a couple of bursts, most notably recovering pitcher Tyler Herb. Herb made his first appearance since April 23rd, when he was with Sacramento. Herb was unable to get out of the first inning, giving up three hits and two walks leading to four runs. Similarly, Luis Amaya in relief was pounded, giving up five hits and a walk while collecting just one strikeout.

There was a bright side on the mound. Connor Nurse had his first strong game, going five innings and striking out nine while allowing just one run. Nurse had given up four runs in each of his first two starts, but in this start, he began to show off his strikeout potential.

Alexander Canario’s slow start to the season continued with a single. Canario’s strikeout numbers continue to rise. He’s had multiple strikeouts in six of the eight game he’s played, and is striking out at a 40% rate. He had a 17% strikeout rate in the Dominican Summer League last season, so that’s a big change.

Kwan Adkins hit his first triple of the season, also his first extra-base hit of the young season. While Adkins is hitting just .160, he has drawn 7 walks against 8 strikeouts with 25 at-bats. So despite his .160 batting average, he has a .364 on-base percentage. At the back of the batting order, Jose Rivero continues to hit well. He’s 6-for-16 in five games played, and hit .284/.349/.311 last season in the AZL.


AZL Orange were defeated by the AZL Rangers, 6-5

A tough game for a few of the young players among the Orange, and most notable were two 0-fers in the middle of the lineup. Both Joey Bart and Beicker Mendoza were 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Bart had taken a couple of games off, but he got his first full game behind the dish for the Giants. Mendoza had his second 0-for-4 day in a row, blunting what had been a hot start to the season, though his average comes down to a still-nice .367.

It was another tough start for 21-year old Francis Pena. Pena has been giving up a lot of hits, now 19 in 12 innings of work, allowing for a batting average allowed of .373 over his first three starts. In relief, Chris Heston saw his third appearance in the AZL. Heston remains unscored upon as he recovers, and has yet to give up a walk in his four innings as well.

Tyler Flores collected his first professional home run on a 2-for-3 day, raising his average to .393. When he hits, it’s usually multiple hits in a game, as he only has one game in which he only had one hit.


The DSL Giants defeated the Tigers2, 5-4 (7 innings, Game 1)

The DSL Giants defeated the Tigers2, 4-2 (7 Innings, Game 2)

A sweep for the Giants, with each team taking a turn as the road team.

You won’t find any big performances today, just players getting the hits needed for the win. Only three players for the Giants played both games in the Dominican sun (Ghordy Santos, Luis Toribio, Martin Doria), and none got hits in both games. The only Giant with two hits on the day was Samuel Jorge, who also had three RBI in Game 1. The 18 year old is batting .311/.407/.419 in 21 games this season, improving on a .232/.317/.331 line last year.

The only Giant extra-base hit was 18-year old Richgelon Juliana, who hit his third triple of the season and later had a steal. He has three doubles, three triples and two home runs on the year, and five steals in five attempts. Toribio had a combined 1-for-5 on the day with a walks and a strikeout. That dipped his batting average back under .300 to .293.

Game 1 saw Randy Rodriguez tie his season high with four innings and two runs given up on two hits. Despite a 4.26 ERA, he has a .191 average allowed, and 27 strikeouts against six walks in 19 innings. Yhonson Rojas got the win with a DSL inning of relief: two runs allowed on no hits and two walks.

Game 2 had Melvin Martinez take the start for two innings, but Jesus Gomez earned the win with four innings out of the bullpen without allowing a runner. That was a season-high in innings for the 17-year old. Gomez now has 17 strikeouts against six walks in 13.2 innings of work. Meanwhile, Martinez is struggling with walks. He’s walked nine in his last 5.2 innings, and has 20 walks and eight walks in 13.1 innings on the season.


Today’s Scheduled Starters

Sacramento: Mike Connolly vs Josh James

Richmond: Taylor Hill vs. Jason Long

San Jose: Sandro Cabrera vs. Connor Grey

Augusta: TBD vs. TBD

Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Elio Silva

Mike Connolly will be making his second start and fourth appearance with the River Cats, while James is coming off a season-worst start against El Paso for the Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Taylor Hill will make his second start for Richmond as he gets moved down to Double-A. (7.77 Triple-A ERA for Sacramento) Hill, funnily enough, still has a photo in a Harrisburg uniform on his stat page, as he’ll face the Senators on Jaron Long, who has a 3.77 ERA in Harrisburg.