Starting from the bottom up to break our upper system jinx! Let’s see if it works!
HIGHLIGHTS: Frankie Tostado has 12 game hitting streak; David Villar hit his 3rd HR in 8 games; Ryder Jones had 4 hits with HR;
Extremely large teenaged human Ivan Armstrong impressed once again. In his last three outings he’s thrown a 5 inning no-hitter, allowed 6 runs (but only 1 earned) in 3 innings, and then gone 6 innings, surrendering just 3 hits. He’s struck out 29 this year over 26.1 IP—a generous but not eye popping number. But what can you say about a 17 year old who is listed as 6’5” and 250 lbs? You wait for the body to stop growing and see where you are, I suppose.
On the other side of the equation, don’t sleep on the guy who pitched to just one batter in this game. I’m sure several of you have already seen this, but it’s worth repeating the words of our good friend GPT had to say on the left-hander
Four strong innings from LHP Jesus Gomez (17.2Y) for the DSL Giants today. Season: 13.2IP 9H 6BB 17K. Very projectible, raw arm, up to 91 already. This is the type of pitcher that it wouldn't be surprising to be a top ten prospect in the system in a couple of years.— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 30, 2018
Repeat DSLer Andrew Caraballo is having quite the week. He’s gone 5 for his last 9 with three doubles, a homer, and four walks (against just 2 Ks). The outburst had raised his OPS from .726 on Monday to .923 this morning! The 18 year old Venezuelan hit just .204 with a .255 SLG in 2017.
The rookie league Giants are starting to string together some victories as both Colors are at or near the .500 line now. Alex Canario is still, oddly, not showing much feel to hit at this low level, which is starting to get a bit distressing. He is showing off other tools, with another SB and another OF assist. But this kid should be having more success against this level of competition.
Another toolsy, raw CF, saw a combination of success and failure. Patrick Hilson smoked his first professional HR, but he also struck out three more times, giving him 20 Ks in 43 ABs so far.
.@HilsonPj Patrick Hilson (17) OF Giants Orange 2018 6th Round #giants #sfgiants #sfg #sanfranciscogiants #giantsfans #sfgiantsfans #giantsfan#draft2018 #mlbdraft #mlbdraft2018 pic.twitter.com/ZqohtOS8qw— Phrake Photography (@phrakephoto) July 3, 2018
Greater offensive success is coming from a couple of Junior College draftees. Frankie Tostado picked up three hits and Little Taco Bell two, bringing both of the OF to batting averages of .340. Tostado has the better OPS of the pair, .841 to .757. Tostado has yet to experience at 0-fer, as he’s collected a hit in all of the 12 games he’s played as a pro. Bell is right behind him, having gone 0 for 3 in his debut before starting an 11 game hitting streak.
.@GeorgeMBell98 George Bell (38) OF Giants Orange 2018 13th round Dominican Republic #giants #sfgiants #sfg #sanfranciscogiants #giantsfans #sfgiantsfans #giantsfan— Phrake Photography (@phrakephoto) July 5, 2018
More photos here https://t.co/kUoDLH7tRm#draft2018 #mlbdraft #mlbdraft2018 @milb#connorsJC #ConnerJCBaseball pic.twitter.com/cHTW47Vsnk
Julio Rodriguez, the 18 year old RHP with the “Seth Lugo curveball” (according to Eric Longenhagen), struck out 4 over 2 innings of work. Jordan Scott, one of several undrafted free agents the Giants signed in the last week, made his pro debut with a clean inning, striking out 2. Scott hails from Southeastern University in Florida.
The Volcanoes let an early 3-0 lead slip away. And though they came back to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th, they eventually went down in extra innings. The winning run came when Hops 3b Jose Caballero beat out what could have been an inning-ending double play in the 10th.
11th round pick David Villar mashed his 3rd HR in just 8 games with the Volcanoes to give them a 3-0 lead in the first. In the 8th, down 4-3, Villar picked up his second big hit, driving in the tying run with a two-out single. However, he couldn’t do it a third time. In the bottom of the 10th, the Volcanoes went down quietly with Joey Bart, Villar, and Robinson Medrano all failing to drive in the tying run from 2b.
Villar has just 8 hits with the Volcanoes, but half of them have gone for extra bases. That’s good for a .563 SLG and an eye-popping .313 Iso a week into his NWL campaing.
Jose Layer and Diego Rincones continued to swing hot bats. Layer picked up two hits including a triple, while Rincones’ three hits drove his batting average to a lusty .408. This is a solid roster!
2nd rounder Sean Hjelle threw an inning, allowing just a ground ball single. After throwing 100 innings for Kentucky this year, I wouldn’t expect to see that many innings out of Hjelle the rest of the summer.
Augusta suffered through an ugly loss yesterday, committing four errors which led to 4 unearned runs. The Greenjackets got a little lift from a couple of recent imports from the northwest. Trevor Abrams doubled, walked and scored half of the team’s runs. While Randy Johnson lookalike Stetson Woods pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of a somewhat ineffective Joey Marciano.
At Memorial Day the Greenjackets had the league’s best record, but it’s been a long, hot slog, downwards since then, and Augusta now sits just 1 game over .500 for the year and at the bottom of their division in the 2nd half with a 5-10 record. This looks like a tired bunch right now. Heliot Ramos has gone 0 for 9 the last two games with 3 Ks as his numbers trend back down a bit.
The Greenjackets suffered a defeat off the field as well as their social media account was hacked on the 4th and haven’t been able to reclaim it yet (by the same folks who hacked Sonny Gray).
Shoot, shouldn’t have used up my “ugly loss” line on Augusta. Now THIS is an ugly loss. The Giants committed as many errors as they had hits—two of them coming in a brutal 5-run 10th inning that also included another Rodolfo Martinez melt down (three hits, a walk, a WP).
Three was definitely the magic number for San Jose in this game as they had 3 runs, 3 hits, and 3 errors. Jason Bahr completed the set by allowing 3 HRs in the game, including two to Quakes 2b Omar Estevez. Bahr also hit two batters in what was a much sloppier performance than his San Jose debut.
Any other factors of ugliness we can find here? Oh yes, the Giants struck out 19 TIMES!!! In an entire baseball game they put balls in play just 11 times. Holy cow! San Jose is now on a 5 game losing streak and like Augusta they sit at 5-10 in the second half and seven games under .500 for the season — and without the Georgia heat to use as an excuse!
Let’s see what Joe Ritzo and Justin Allegri have to make of the team’s fortunes at this point, in the latest edition of Inside the San Jose Giants podcast:
New podcast with guests #SJGiants outfielder Heath Quinn on his bounce back season & former manager Lenn Sakata on his induction into the Cal League Hall of Fame. @JustinAllegri and I also discuss the latest team news on this episode. Listen here: https://t.co/zwXNPm34kR— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 5, 2018
Another season that appears to be going down to dust, as the early leaders in their division are now two games under .500. Like San Jose, Richmond has now lost five in a row. I really feel like a broken record today as negative patterns seems to be rippling and repeating throughout the full season affiliates (the short season folks are still in the early burst of glory sections of their years).
The Squirrels showed some life in this one at least. They got down early 4-0 before mounting a comeback in the middle innings. It turned out that a tagalong run allowed by Ryan Halstead in the 5th was the difference. The Squirrels scored three times in the 6th to make it a one-run game but could never close that final gap.
Caleb Gindl, who had the Squirrels only hit on Wednesday, came up with three more yesterday, including a two-run double in the 6th, to lead the attack. Gindl also pitched this week, as the one time Milwaukee Brewer and one-time Indy League player continues to prove indispensible to Richmond.
CJ Hinojosa picked up a single in the game, keeping his streak in tact. He’s reached base in all 19 games he’s played with Richmond this year. The Peskiness Personified middle infielder has a .388 OBP, as he’s collected 12 walks in just 85 PA with the Squirrels this year.
The real excitement for Richmond, however, came at the back of the pen collectively struck out 6 of the 11 batters they faced. These are two very live arms with very legitimate chances of being in major league pens. The Giants pen is getting to be a little crowded with guaranteed contract guys (some unfortunately so) but they have depth in the upper minors of arms who could help somebody.
Richmond bullpen velos from tonight:— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) July 6, 2018
RHR Sam Wolff—FB 95-97, SL 83-86; impressive first few outings back from injury.
RHR Dillon McNamara—FB 92-95, cutter/slider hybrid 86-90. #SFGiants @giantsprospects @giant_potential @rog61 @McCoveyChron
Former #Rangers farmhand Sam Wolff, now a RHR in #SFGiants system. FB 95-97 with heavy late run, especially when he’s low and downhill. Hard SL 84-87. Legitimate MLB relief prospect from tonight’s look. @giantsprospects @giant_potential @giantsprospects @lonestarball @scottrlucas pic.twitter.com/zNtWfYUSL6— Adam McInturff (@2080adam) July 6, 2018
Ok, so now jinx broken here today. The RiverCats also were forced to mount a comeback, coming back from an 8-0 deficit. Unlike Richmond, Sacramento did come all the way back to tie the games at 9-9, but fell to defeat regardless on a bases loaded sac fly from Yasmany Tomas in the bottom of the 9th.
Long balls were the story of the game. Starter Daniel Camarena gave up a 3-run jack to Arizona’s #22 prospect Kevin Cron in the 1st and allowed a 2-run homer to Kris Negron in the 2nd.
The Sacramento comeback was fueled with long ball power too. Ryder Jones kicked off a 5 run rally in the top of the 6th with his 8th HR of the season
Jones had a huge game, boosting his season line up to .301/.354/.449 with four hits including that HR. His fourth hit tied the game at 9 apiece in the 8th inning.
Chris Shaw hit his 4th HR in his last 6 games and 18 overall in the 7th to bring Sacramento within a run.
Ray Black continued his push towards the realization of a childhood dream with another dominant outing, striking out 2. How good has Ray been? Mighty good!
Ray Black's last 11 outings: 11.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 18 K. That's a 46.2 K%— Giant Potential (@giant_potential) July 6, 2018
So good, in fact, that he got a very rare honor for a 28 year old prospect.
Still waiting to see if he'll go. "We're out here in Sacramento and the game's out in D.C. as you know, so it's a lot of travel for one day to throw one inning." https://t.co/4DhwmMCLZn— Dalton Johnson (@DaltonJ_Johnson) July 5, 2018
Man would I love to see Ray out here on the big stage! (Who’s gonna be at the Future’s Game? This guy is!)
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Casey Kelly vs. TBD
Richmond: Taylor Hill vs. Jake Paulson
San Jose: Melvin Adon vs. Isaac Anderson
Augusta: Jose Marte vs. Miguel Yajure
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. Matt Tabor
AZL: Israel Cruz (Black), Jasier Herrera (Orange) vs. TBD
DSL: Melvin Martinez
Ok, so my jinx busting strategy didn’t work. We have losing streaks everywhere, top prospects floundering, and once promising first place seasons are drifting down towards the bottom of their leagues and/or divisions.
It’s times like these that the former English student in me comes out and I must console myself with poetry:
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
- Robert Frost