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SF Gians Minor Lines 7/14/18: Jalen Miller does it again

The breakout keeps breaking!

minor lines

It’s Future’s Game Day! Perhaps the highest point of the Prospect Year calendar. The All Stars of tomorrow get their chance to shine today. And your humble narrator will be in the stadium for my first live Future’s Game. Very exciting. Good luck to Heliot and Shaun. Wow ‘em boys!

HIGHLIGHTS: Jalen Miller had double and homer among three hits; John Gavin struck out 9 over 5 IP; Jacob Gonzalez homered in two hits; Yorlis Rodriguez had four hits including two doubles;

Sacramento lost to Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 3-2

The Force has most definitely not been with the RiverCats lately. The short-handed Cats managed just 8 hits and two runs in yesterday’s matchup, which saw the organizational debut of former Angel and Cardinal Peter Bourjos. An alert Minor Lines reader yesterday noted that Bourjos is the son of former “blink and you missed him” Giant Chris Bourjos who played for four years in the Giants’ system before getting into 13 games with the big club in 1980. Bourjos Pére hit .294 over seven minor league systems.

Michael Connolly gave Sacramento a fine start. But with two outs and a man on in the 6th he hit his pitch count and exited with a 2-1 lead. The lead vanished in the most painful of manners as Steven Okert walked three consecutive batters to almost literally push across the tying run. Okert threw just 2 of 14 pitches for strikes. The left-hander’s ERA is now up to 6.48 for the year. It’s really been a backwards couple of years for Steven.

Tyler Rogers was able to get out of the bases loaded jam that Okert created, but extending to a third inning proved Rogers undoing as he let the winning run come across in the 8th.

Anyway, do you want to hear the terrifying truth or would you rather watch Chris Shaw sock a baseball?

Thought so.

Bourjos wasn’t the only transaction recently affecting Sacramento’s roster. There have been a whole raft of moves in the org this weekend, including a sad farewell.

Given how many rotation holes in the org need filling just at the moment, I find myself wondering with transactions like this whether the org or the player made the decision? I guess we’ll never know, but good luck to Matt in whatever direction he pursues, whether he keeps chasing it or hangs ‘em up.

Richmond lost at Trenton Thunder (Yankees), 5-3

That was the set up for last night’s start, but if the plan was to extend Chase to five innings again, it did not come to fruition. Johnson was run out early after a disastrous 5-run 1st inning. Chase got BABIP’d a bit, as he allowed five singles in the inning, several of the seeing eye variety. However, he also uncorked three different wild pitches during the inning, so things were clearly off for the right-hander.

In his 11 starts since coming back from TJ, that’s now the third time that Johnson has failed to get out of the 1st inning. In those three games he’s recorded two outs each time while allowing a total of 14 runs. In his other 8 starts he’s allowed a total of just 4 runs in 28.0 IP.

Dylan Davis and Aramis Garcia paced the offense with two hits apiece, including Davis’ 9th homer of the year. Garcia has a modest streak going now with hits in each of his past four games including two HRs.

San Jose beat Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 10-2

San Jose got out their whacking sticks yesterday and they delivered a pounding on the Rawhide pitching staff. The Giants bashed out 11 hits including 8 extra base hits. Once again the charge was led by San Jose’s break out star Jalen Miller. The 2b picked up three more hits including a double and his 12th homer of the year. That’s now three homers in five games for Miller who has taken a huge step forward this year in the power department as he’s growing into his strength.

Following Bryce Johnson’s third walk of the game to lead off the 5th, Miller started a middle innings explosion when he blasted his no doubter, and Wander Franco followed up with his second homer in two days. And the rout was on.

Kelvin Beltre opened up the 6th with yet another home run, which was his second in four games. Beltre is still working to find his timing however. He’s hitting just .200 in 65 ABs since getting his delayed start to the year.

Dillon Dobson had two doubles, including a two-run job in the bottom of the 1st which started off the scoring for San Jose.

But it wasn’t all about the offense at the Muni yesterday. They flashed some nice D as well. Check out this fancy 3-6-1 double play, featuring an athletic bit of footwork at the end from pitcher Dom Mazza.

Augusta beat Rome Braves, 6-1

With good buddy Heliot Ramos off to DC for the Future’s Game it was up to Jacob Gonzalez to carry the torch for the Class of ‘17. Jacob took the challenge seriously, launching a first inning two-run homer that helped propel the Greenjackets to a 6-1 win.

Augusta didn’t need a ton of offense as John Gavin was cruising. The young and somewhat raw Rome lineup is catnip for Gavin’s kind of polished left-hander with strong secondaries and he cut through it with ease, striking out 9 over 5 innings. He got hurt just one time, by Wilson Contreras’ dynamic little brother William who touched the lefty up for a solo HR (if you want to read more on Contreras just follow old friend David Lee on twitter — he’s a big Contreras fan).

But that was all Rome would get on this night and Augusta kept adding on sprinkling nine hits through the lineup. Though they went just 1 for 11 with RISP, some Rome generosity helped them move runners across. And Jeffry Parra went ahead and drove himself in with his 5th HR of the year. Parra has smooth actions behind the plate and some real raw strength with a bat in his hands — he should be hitting better than .185 however. That’s not gonna cut it Jeffry!

Camilo Doval nailed it down with a two-inning save, picking up three more strikeouts. That’s 51 in 34.1 IP for one of the liveliest arms in the system (with Moronta and Black on the big league club and Melvin Adon on the DL I might not need to qualify that any at the moment—he probably IS the liveliest arm in the system right now).

Salem-Keizer lost at Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 8-2

Joey Bart showed a little offensive variety last night, mixing in a single to his attack. Just one hit for the night though — don’t want to do too much new stuff all at once, Joey! That is two straight games without a home run though. The biggest slump of his career so far!

The AquaSox have really cooled the Volcanoes attack down the past couple of nights. Salem-Keizer took just five at bats all night with a runner in scoring position. Still the game was mostly close throughout until the late innings. Reliever Alex DuBord allowed Everett four runs in the bottom of the 7th, blowing things open.

The Volcanoes have gone just 3-7 over their last ten (apparently the top of the 2018 draft class had had a bad influence on the team’s fortunes!) dropping down to third place in their division.

AZL Giants Black lost to AZL Cubs2, 7-1

AZL Giants Orange beat AZL Reds, 11-2

Yorlis Rodriguez and Beicker Mendoza each exploded for four hits in helping the Orange team win running away. For Rodriguez, the offense has been pretty constant since his debut. He has just three games this year (out of 15 played) in which he’s failed to record a hit, and he has reached base at least once in every game he’s played. The Cuban is slashing .375/.455/.464 to start his career. He hasn’t shown much power so far but yesterday’s outburst included his 4th and 5th doubles of the year.

Another player who’s finding a lot of success in the desert for his pro debut is Frankie Tostado who picked right back up a day after breaking his 15 game hit streak. With two more hits including a double Tostado is now 26 for 68 in his debut, good for a slash line of .382/.405/.529. Pretty impressive Frankie!

Alexander Canario contributed with two more hits. After a disastrous start he’s now 13 for 39 over his last two weeks—of course he still has 11 Ks in that time as well. But good too see the hits starting to come. Now for the extra base hits Alex! Love me some Canario swing!

The AZL action included two very welcome sights on the mound. Dusten Knight got in some work with the Orange time for the third time this month. Knight had been on the DL since May 9th before showing up in the desert on the 4th of July

A much more notable line was the one inning from Victor Concepcion. That was Victor’s first outing in a league game since September of 2016 — nearly two years! Concepcion had one of the great DSL years in recent memory for the 2015 League Champs when he posted an 0.42 ERA and 0.88 WHIP with 45 Ks and just 7 BBs in 43 IP. He had a rough NWL season the following year and missed all of 2017 with an unknown injury. Great to see Victor back pitching!

According to Ray Black we can look forward to another long lost friend next month when Ian Gardeck is scheduled to pitch competitively for the first time since 2015. The emotions these guys have to process and the work they have to put in is truly humbling and amazing to consider. I can’t recommend enough listening to Ray Black’s recent interviews, either with Alex Pavlovic on his podcast or on MLB Radio. Talking about going back to work on his family’s farm in Pennsylvania because he could no longer justify spending the money on a winter workout facility since he didn’t believe he was really healthy or ever would be again. Playing catch in a greenhouse around the plants standing on a bunch of loose rocks. It’s incredible stuff.

Not sure if that whole interview is available anywhere, but here’s a piece of it:

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Chris Statton vs. Griffin Canning
Richmond: TBD vs. Trevor Stephan
San Jose: Joey Marciano vs. Emilio Vargas
Augusta: TBD
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Jheyson Caraballo
AZL: Luis Moreno (Black) Seth Corry (Orange)

Tremendous pitching matchup in Sacramento today where Chris Stratton returns to AAA to face Griffin Canning, who’s had a huge jump up prospect lists this year. The former UCLA star didn’t pitch at all after being drafted last year due to some arm issues but showed up in the Cal League with increased velocity and sharper stuff. He’s jumped all the way to the verge of the majors in half a season.

Meanwhile Seth Corry looks to keep rolling along in his repeat of the AZL. As Bill Mitchell mentioned the other day, he’s definitely angling for inclusion on the AZL Top Prospect List this year. And he put in a lot of hard work in the winter to help get here. Those fancy workout facilities that Ray Black didn’t feel like he could justify last winter? Here’s what they look like: