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SF Giants Minor Lines, 7/1/18: Gregory Santos keeps impressing

The hits were all bunched around the middle of the system.

minor lines

Happy J2 Day! Time to add to the org’s coffers of talent once again. By the time you read this, or shortly thereafter, the Giants are highly expected to have added this prodigious talent (as well as others).

I like prodigious talents!

HIGHLIGHTS: Jacob Heyward doubled and homered among three hits; Gio Brusa doubled, homered, and drove in 4 runs; Gregory Santos struck out 6 over 7 solid innings.

Sacramento beat Fresno Grizzlies (Astros), 3-1

Despite striking out 16 times vs Fresno starter Josh James and his relief squad, and despite being outhit 10-3 in the game, Sacramento managed to sneak away with a 3-1 win on Sunday. In all there were 27 strikeouts in this whifftastic affair. There were also 9 walks, so the game was heavy on at least two of the Three True Outcomes, though light on the third. James took the lion’s share of the glory, striking out 12 in his 5 innings of work.

Kelby Tomlinson walked to start both of the RiverCats scoring rallies. In the first he collected the team’s only hit in the first 5 innings, and then stole 2b, advanced on a throwing error, and then came home on WP. In the 6th, Sacramento received three straight free passes (two walks and a HBP) to start the inning, and brought two runs in on a Chase D’Arnaud single and a groundout.

That was enough for the W as Michael Connolly and a raft of relievers managed to hold the Grizzlies to just 1 unearned run despite allowing 10 hits and 4 walks. In the immortal words of Grant Brisbee, baseball sure can drink.

Mac Williamson has been struggling with his timing every since returning from the DL with concussion syndromes and I’m still a little worried about how his vision (and ultimately his brain) is doing. This weekend he hasn’t put a ball in play over his last three games. Over 11 PA, Mac has walked three times, been hit once, and struck out the other 7. I have no idea whether playing or not playing is best for him right now, but I sure do hope he feels better soon.

Richmond lost at Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 2-0

Ain’t that always the way of it? Are you ready for some offense!?!?

And there you have it — a complete compendium of the Squirrels’ hits for the days. We seem to be a little light on the hits so far! Richmond added two walks to that total (with Hinojosa claiming half of those as well), but Harrisburg pitchers faced just two batters over the minimum in the shutout victory.

Hinojosa has really given the Richmond lineup a strong on-base presence at the top of their lineup since joining the team. Over his first 16 games in his return to AA he’s posted a .388 OBP, as well as a .466 SLG which is more than 100 points higher than he had last year (.340). And he’s still got his signature stat line going—he has 9 BBs to 7 Ks with the Squirrels.

It looks like Garrett Williams has, indeed, been moved to the bullpen for the foreseeable future, in an attempt to work out his troubles in a different context. Yesterday, the left-hander who entered the year as the Giants’ #7 prospect made his second consecutive relief appearance. The good news is Williams hasn’t walked anybody in his two relief efforts. The less good news, however — he has surrendered a home run in each of them.

San Jose lost at Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks), 14-7

Ah, here are the hits! They were hiding out down in A ball!

Jalen Miller and Jacob Heyward each blasted solo HRs in the top of the first as the Giants tried to strike a decisive blow right out of the gates, but it turned out to be just a flesh wound. The balls they were a-flying in the Valley last night.

The Rawhide pummeled pretty much every pitcher the Giants offered up, scoring 12 times in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings. Sandro Cabrera was run from the game with two outs in the 3rd inning. Jeff Burke saved Cabrera’s stat line somewhat, by getting out of a two-out bases loaded jam, but when he tried to return for the 4th things went really sideways. Burke pitched to five batters to start the 4th and retired none of them—they would all come round to score and then some!

But it was a good night to be a hitter. Heyward followed up his first inning homer with two more hits, including a double. Heath Quinn doubled twice, and Gio Brusa had a couple of very loud swings, including a mighty three run homer that very briefly gave the Giants a 6-2 lead and dreams of glory.

Visalia just continues to be a House of Horrors for San Jose. But they have two more chances to try to win a series here for the first time in many years. Of course, since they won the first two games of this ultra-rare five-game set, that means Visalia has two more chances to snag a series win away from the Giants yet again.

Augusta beat Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 11-2

More offense! The Greenjackets piled up 13 hits and 11 runs — 6 of them unearned — in a runaway win that was well worth cheering for!

Heliot Ramos had a highly productive day out of the leadoff spot. He started a four-run rally in the 1st with a leadoff walk and drove in a run in the 2nd with his 17th double of the year. And he drove in another run as part of a four-run 5th inning when he drew a bases loaded walk. All that and he gunned a runner down on the bases, too. Nice work Heliot! Ramos is coming off a June in which he hit .272/.336/.408.

Manny Geraldo picked up two hits including a double to drive in three (he also reached on an error as part of the 1st inning rally). And Ryan Kirby led the team with three hits, also including a double (his 19th), driving in two. Pretty much a get well day for everybody swinging a bat as Jeffry Parra was the only Greenjacket in the lineup to come up hitless.

Since striking out 19 batters over two starts at the beginning of June, Jose Marte has had 2 or fewer Ks in four of his last five starts. Possibly getting to that part of the first full season where the gas tank is signalling empty. A short DL stint to gas back up in order? Marte’s mostly been keeping opponents off the board even with reduced swing and miss stuff, allowing just 1 earned run in three of those starts.

Let’s hear it for Camilo Doval who got his season ERA down under 4.00 yesterday! In his first three appearances of the year, Doval allowed 11 Runs and walked 8 in a grand total of 1.1 IP. In 22 games since then, he’s allowed just 5 earned runs, with 17 scoreless appearances. And since that dreadful first week in which he walked 8 of the 19 batters he faced (and allowed hits to 6 others), he has walked just 6 batters the rest of the season, while striking out 42. That’s a ratio!

Salem-Keizer won at Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 5-4 in 10 inn

It’s important to note that Gregory Santos is very very young for the Northwest League. The lineup he faced yesterday had four players who are 22. There were three who turn 21 this month. He faced one teenager. He’s 18 and he’s more than holding his own against much older competition. The kid’s a stud. He’s allowed just 7 earned runs in 22 IP so far this year and is showing peripherals well beyond his experience, with 20 Ks to just 3 BBs. He’s tied for 4th in the NWL in Ks but he’s just two strikeouts off the leader’s pace. Stud.

(Psssttt....he has a pretty curve, too!)

Robinson Medrano picked up his 5th HR of the year—2nd best in the NWL—and an RBI single to help lead the Volcanoes to their 11th victory of the season. We’ll just recycle this imminently enjoyable and relevant tweet.

The win took a little drama as recently signed San Francisco native Mack Meyer let a two-run lead slip away in the bottom of the 8th. Salem-Keizer would regain the lead in extra innings on an error, and former Catcher Jesus Tona notched his 3rd save of the year, probably telling the (extra innings freebie) runner at 3b: “You. Stay. There!”

But the real story of the game, again, was Santos who’s going to be flying up Giants’ prospect lists this winter (perhaps rivalled only by Logan Webb). So you probably want to know more about him, don’t you fictional reader? Of course you do:

AZL Giants Black beat AZL Angels, 4-2

AZL Giants Orange beat AZL Cubs1, 4-3

The Giants AZL teams picked up a sweep on the day, as both received very strong starting pitching to set the pace.

Jasier Herrera signed for $150,000 way back in 2014 (the same class as Sandros Fabian and Cabrera and the now departed Brayan De Pena). The beanpole RHP out of Colombia was a very skinny 6’5” upon signing, and the Giants slow played his development through two years of low workload in the DSL in 2015 and ‘16. He missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. But the 20 year old now appears healthy and ready to take on a little more workload and he’s shined so far this year in the AZL. He’s pitched at least 5 innings in each of his three starts so far, and has allowed only 2 earned runs (5 runs overall) while striking out 12. He set a new high with 6 Ks yesterday and picked up his first career Pitcher Win.

Back at the home complex, the Giants got another fine start out of young Israel Cruz, the fire-balling youngster picked up in the Matt Moore trade with Texas this year. Cruz opened the year with a 3 inning/6 run outing, but he’s been much better in his past two starts, allowing just 3 earned runs while striking out 10 over 10 IP. Yesterday he was touched up for a solo HR but that was all he allowed in 6 excellent innings of work.

On the offensive side, triples were the word as the Giants’ hitters collected four three-baggers on the day. Two of those belonged to the best hitting prospects, Catcher Joey Bart (his only hit in 5 PA) and Alexander Canario. Canario appears to be righting the ship somewhat as he’s picked up five hits in his last three games. He reached base three times yesterday including a walk and most significantly didn’t strike out — that’s just the second game this year in which he’s avoided a whiff. It’s just the third game this year in which he’s avoided multiple whiffs. Good to see!

Here, enjoy a little scouting report on the raw, toolsy 18 year old:

And a little more recent action of Canario (doing a bunch of swinging and missing) that comes with a bonus HR from Abdiel Layer:

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jeff Samardzija vs. Brock Dykxhoorn
Richmond: Conner Menez vs. Kyle McGowin
San Jose: Carlos Sano vs. Tyler Keele
Augusta: Garrett Cave vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Sean Wymer
AZL: Marco Gonzalez (Orange), Jerson Severino/Johan Herrera (Black)
DSL: Juan Sanchez vs. TBD

Whoever posted the Sacramento pitching matchup just won Minor League Scrabble.

Happy J2 Day everybody!