Congratulations to all the new teenaged international signings! The scouting reports for Luciano, Matos, Pomares and others are better found elsewhere (like Baseball America, for instance). But for now, if you don’t already (and good god! what are you waiting for) you have to follow our good friend @giantsprospects twitter feed so you can get lots and lots of great happy photos and videos of the new players. Sample teaser to whet the appetite:
CF/LHH Jairo Pomares (17.10Y, Cuba). Signed for $975K. BA's 11th best prospect, Fangraphs 31st.— GPT (@giantsprospects) July 2, 2018
Fangraphs Grades (Current/Future):
That’s the tiniest sampling possible — just go check it out all of GPT’s amazing day! There’s lots of happy faces and new Giants there to be found.
And when you’re done with all that, you may want to check out this story, on an 18 year old with one professional appearance and a 13.50 ERA. Who says those national prospect writers only pay attention to the mega-hype dudes? They are out there beating the bushes for interesting prospects!
To the Lines!
HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw delivered an extra-inning walk off win; Matt Lipka doubled and homered among three hits; Ryan Kirby doubled twice in three hits; Sean Roby doubled among three hits; Joey Bart picked up two hits.
Game time and the sharks are out pic.twitter.com/RHnO4s1NGF— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) July 3, 2018
Jeff Samardzija found the going a touch more easy going back down at sea level, though he did still manage to give up two home runs in what is presumed to be his final rehab game. That was all he allowed though, and he stretched out to 90 pitches. He struck out three in the game and threw just 54 of his pitches for strikes, so it wasn’t exactly vintage Shark out there just yet (well, except for the two home runs I suppose). But he should be back this weekend and will need to work the rest of his way back at the major league level.
Bruce Bochy said this is a big day for the Giants in Sacramento. Samardzija starting, Cueto throwing a bullpen. He expects to have a plan for both by tomorrow.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) July 2, 2018
Shark’s outing was just the table setting for what turned out to be a thriller for the fans. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Chase D’Arnaud doubled in the game tying run. It looked like the RiverCats had wasted a great opportunity to finish it right there, as Ronnie Freeman and Eury Perez left the winning run at 3b with consecutive Ks to send it to extras.
Ray Black entered for the 10th, and though he struck out three in the inning, a wild pitch contributed to the go ahead run on a fielder’s choice grounder to 2b. Black had his normal velocity, but struggled with his control last night, throwing just half of his 23 pitches for strikes.
Down a run again in the bottom of the 10th, Chris Shaw made sure there was no missed opportunity this time. Bat Flip City, baby!
It was Shaw’s org-leading 16th HR of the season and it sent the crowds home happy. In many ways Shaw’s second year in the PCL has been disappointing, but he’s sure showing off the one carrying tool he has.
Back to Ray Black, his eye-popping performances of late have gotten him all kinds of new admirers:
Team of the Week: https://t.co/MbTm4mU2Fr— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 2, 2018
#Padres' Paddack & Allen
#STLCards O'Neill & Montero
#Tigers' Robson pic.twitter.com/2pKzFZOaBW
A back and forth affair ended up going the Senators way as the normally reliable Squirrels’ bullpen just couldn’t shut Harrisburg down in the late innings. Starter Conner Menez’ season is developing a consistent pattern of running up fairly big strikeout totals while also giving up lots of runs. Since his promotion to AA Menez has struck out 22 batters in 19 IP, but he’s also surrendered four or more runs in each of the past three starts, despite throwing 5 innings in just one of those. For the season, Menez has 101 Ks in just 80 IP, but he also has an ERA that is scraping up against the 5 run mark (4.91)
Matt Lipka had a huge game to help bring Richmond back repeatedly. The speedy CF reached base four times, collected three hits, scored three runs, and gave the Squirrels a short-lived 7th inning lead with his third home run of the year.
But Patrick Ruotolo gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to give the lead right back, and Sam Wolff allowed a tack on run in the 8th that proved to be the winner. Homers have proven to be a bugaboo for Ruotolo in AA, as he’s now allowed four in just 17 innings since his promotion.
#SJGiants need a victory tonight or tomorrow to win a series in Visalia for first time since 2013. SJ has played 65 games at Rec Park (20-45 record) since their last series win here. Ty Blach was the winning pitcher in 4/7/2013 game that gave SJ their last series win in Visalia.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 2, 2018
It was right there for the taking! Their first series win in five years in Visalia. The Giants went to the bottom of the 9th with a 5-3 lead and then simply came unglued.
Rudolfo Martinez walked two of the first three batters and threw a wild pitch to advance them both into scoring position. Wander Franco was able to gun a runner down at home on a chopper to 3b, bringing them within one out the victory. But then the Giants committed back to back errors to allow the Rawhide to tie up the game. Rudolfo Martinez dropped a throw from 1b Gio Brusa covering first. And on the following play, 2b Kelvin Beltre booted a grounder. Given two extra lives, the Rawhide put the dagger in when Pavin Smith’s single brought in the game winner. Just brutal.
The Visalia curse alive and well for the #SJGiants. Back-to-back errors with two outs in the bottom of the ninth lead to three Visalia runs as San Jose falls in stunning fashion 6-5. #SJGiants will have one more chance tomorrow to win their first series here in 5 1/2 years.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 3, 2018
Prior to the ugliness, San Jose used the long ball to build up their lead, getting home runs from Gio Brusa, Johneshwy Fargas and Heath Quinn. Brusa’s was his team-leading 13th, but Quinn is getting hot on his heels. Quinn has five home runs in his last 12 games, raising his SLG up 52 points in that stretch. The slugger did pick up a hat trick last night, and it’s worth noting that he has been DHing pretty regularly this year, which is something to keep an eye on for a guy who doesn’t have a great scouting reputation for his athleticism.
I don’t do this often, but I’ll give myself a shout out:
This is actually a really difficult line to accumulate! pic.twitter.com/I2yaV9gDaA— Roger Munter (@rog61) July 2, 2018
Yes, Garrett Cave had quite the adventurous 1st inning—hitting three batters and allowing a Grand Slam within the ten batters he saw in the first inning. Cave missed bats ok, picking up another six strikeouts to give him 64 for the year (60 IP). But when he wasn’t missing bats, things didn’t go so well. He ended up hitting four batters and doubled his season total of long balls (from 2 to 4). And the home runs allowed weren’t the easy kind to swallow—they accounted for 7 of the runs scored against him. Ouch!
With Cave’s difficulties, this game was decided fast (it was 11-1 at one point), but Augusta batters seemed to find the hitting environment pleasurable too. Manny Geraldo, Jacob Gonzalez, and Ryan Kirby all had three hits — with Kirby picking up his 20th and 21st doubles of the year. Gonzalez and Heliot Ramos also had doubles—accounting for all the team’s extra base hits. For Ramos, it was his 18th double of the year.
So let’s enjoy some defense. This was actually from Sunday’s game, but it’s never too late to appreciate fine effort:
The Volcanoes snoozed their way through an education day affair — apparently the Volcanoes only erupt at night because that’s a lazy 0 for 2 in day affairs the last two days.
Starter Norwith Gudino, who came into the game with the third lowest WHIP in the NWL, was humming along through another gem—striking out 7 in 4 IP, no runs allowed—when he suddenly ran into a buzz saw of a 5th inning. Gudino started the fateful 5th by giving up his 3rd HR of the year (in 20 innings in the NWL) to break up the shutout. He allowed singles to three of the next five batters and a wild pitch seemed to signal the end for him. Doug Still came in and instantly allowed a two-run homer to end Gudino’s day with a stunningly ugly line, after what had been a beautiful day.
Trevor Abrams, the undrafted free agent out of Sonoma State (and before that St. Mary’s of Moraga, and before that Rocklin, CA, where he no doubt played against San Jose pitcher Logan Webb) keeps on hitting. Abrams, a Driveline Baseball reclamation project,
Thank you team Orange — I was starting to think I should have just quit today’s Lines after the Sacramento game! Joey Bart picked up two hits and an RBI in what was almost certainly his final rookie league game before heading on to the NWL. Bart was one of seven hitters in the Orange team’s lineup to collect multiple hits in this game.
The hit parade was led by the Giants’ 5th round pick Patrick Hilson who is slowly showing some signs of adjustment to pro ball. After going just 1 for his first 19 with 11 strikeouts, Hilson now has hits in each of his last four games and just one K now in his last three games. Progress! This was HIlson’s first multi-hit game as a pro and he also picked up his first RBI. Nice!
Orange Team’s other speedster, Anyesber Sivira picked up two doubles in the leadoff spot. Yorlis Rodriguez, the Cuban free agent signing who skipped over the DSL, keeps on hitting. Yorlis has had hits in six of his eight games, including three multi-hit efforts.
For Team Black, 12th rounder Sean Roby led the way with three hits including a double while 30th rounder Kwan Adkins picked up his second triple of the year.
Venezuelan left-hander Sonny Vargas stretched out to a career high 5 innings yesterday in his second start. The 17 year old is your typical projectible lefty, and reputed to be a pretty strong kid. Here’s what international maven Ben Badler had to say about Vargas last spring:
Venezuelan lefthander Sonny Vargas, 17, was dominant at a Nations Baseball Showcase in the Dominican Republic in November, then signed with the Giants the next month for $150,000. Vargas has a strong frame (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), quick arm speed and throws a lot of strikes with an 88-92 mph fastball. His mid-70s curveball has average potential and is more advanced than his changeup.
Basically sounds like a lot of American high school kids who got drafted in the upper rounds last month and signed with an extra figure on their bonus. From the organization’s point of view, you grab a dozen of these guys on the international market for a fraction of the price and see what happens. That’s what yesterday (and the days ahead) were mostly about—the Sonny Vargases, the Jesus Gomezes. Who knows which of these guys will suddenly perk our interest a few years hence:
Big lefty Ismael Alcantara kept up his sweet swing of late. He’s now 8 for his last 14, with four doubles, five walks, and just one K in his last six games. The 2016 $300,000 signing has the potential to grow into above average power.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Jordan Johnson vs. Cy Sneed
Richmond: Chase Johnson vs. Tyler Mapes
San Jose: Raffi Vizcaino
Augusta: John Gavin vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Randy Pondler
AZL: Seth Corry (Orange), Luis Moreno (Black)
DSL: Juan Sanchez vs. TBD
Jordan Johnson makes his AAA debut against the guy the Astros once traded Jonathan Villar for. While the other Johnson tries to stretch out a bit in Richmond.
Looking forward to tomorrow, we have a promotion so good they made it a national holiday: