Let’s open up today by getting a little less parochial than usual. The 2018 minor league season has really been dominated by one player who is making a run at a historic season. No minor league player has had a .400 season in more than 50 years. But a kid who is just six months older than Heliot Ramos is making a run for it at the top levels of the minors. All hail to Vladdy Jr.
HIGHLIGHTS: Diego Rincones had 3 OF assists; Solomon Bates struck out 5 in 4 IP; Ismael Alcantara had a 5 hit day; Luis Toribio hit his 10th HR.
Jordan Johnson won his first game in eight starts with the RiverCats, going a season high 7 IP and holding the ‘Topes to just 1 earned run. Johnson’s 1 K was a season low but he matched it with just 1 walk and six of the seven hits he allowed were singles.
The battle of last place teams was tied at 2 in the 8th, when Aramis Garcia flared a two-out single into RF to bring home the winners. Walks to Cesar Puello and Brock Stassi had loaded the bases to set up Garcia’s RBI hit.
Miguel Gomez led Sacramento hitters with three hits. The 2b is hitting just .269 in 167 ABs with Sacramento. Except for his time in San Francisco, Gomez has hit over .300 at every level he’s played since his debut season in the DSL back in 2012.
Richmond won at Bowie BaySox (Orioles), 6-3
splitting their series, 2-2
Chase Johnson survived a somewhat shaky 5-inning, 5 walk performance to earn his second win of the year (Every Johnson gets a Win Night, apparently). Bowie bailed Johnson out of his worst jam in the 3rd, when they ended the inning with a particularly bad TOOTBLAN, with Ryan Mountcastle breaking for home (unsuccessfully) during a rundown between 1b and 2b.
Matt Lipka hit his 4th HR of the year and the Squirrels also received RBI doubles from Luigi Rodriguez and Caleb Gindl and oh god there are absolutely no real prospects on this team are they why am I even writing about this.....?
Sorry! Little existential crisis there to start my day! Ryan Howard singled and stole a base! That’s good! And uh... Ryan Halstead and...oh, let’s go look at some other teams, shall we?
San Jose was off
They start a very brief three game homestand tonight and then on Monday will have their final off day of the year. We’re getting down to it.
The Intimidators lived up their name last night, running roughshod over the Greenjackets. Through six innings Augusta had just one hit — a two-out single from Malique Ziegler who was immediately thrown out trying to steal 2b. By the time they collected their second hit of the game, they were down 10-0. Not exactly a competitive loss.
Garrett Cave had a reasonably strong outing, limiting the walks and striking out 6. He’s now at 96 Ks for the year (in 97 innings) and almost certainly will surpass 100 for the year (joining rotation mates Jose Marte, John Gavin, and somewhat surprisingly, Aaron Phillips). He ran into trouble in his final inning of work however, mixing fatigue with some bad luck. He opened the frame with a solo HR and followed that with three consecutive singles, only one of which was particularly well hit. The end result was a three-run inning that finished his night’s work with 4 runs allowed.
That would have been enough to do it on this night, but Keenan Bartlett and Orleny Quiroz teamed up on a true disaster inning, allowing 6 runs in the 6th inning on five hits (including three doubles), two walks, a wild pitch, and a Jacob Gonzalez throwing error. Not their night.
Diego Rincones has made news this year with his powerful bat, but he’s also been displaying a pretty powerful arm and it was that tool that made a profound difference in last night’s game. Rincones picked up three OF assists, including gunning runners out at home twice to help short circuit Boise rallies. Rincones now has 9 assists for the year as he’s proving to be a force from LF with his ability to throw strong and accurate.
That helped make the difference on a night when Boise had 13 hits and took an incredible 16 ABs with runners in scoring position on the night. Volcanoes pitchers helped themselves out with the ability to miss bats when they needed to, striking out 11 Jet Hawks on the night. That included 5 more Ks from Solomon Bates who has 38 Ks now in 23.2 IP. Despite running up a 5.32 ERA, the reliever now has a perfect 5-0 record — that’s you LOLWins stat of the night!
The well-traveled Nick Hill was assigned to Salem-Keizer, as both Jose Layer and Mikey Edie were placed on the DL. Hill, who’s played most of the year in Augusta but also had a short stint in Richmond, celebrated his new level by hitting his 2nd HR of the season, a two-run shot in the 8th that gave the Volcanoes a little breathing room.
Aaron Bond hit his 5th triple of the year — that’s one off the league lead for three baggers.
Salem-Keizer is 11-10 in the 2nd half, two games behind the Hillsboro Hops. As Hillsboro won the first half, and SK was second then too, they are currently sitting in position for a Wild Card spot. They head home tonight to face the 1st place Hops, a chance to take over the position — or get knocked back into a scrum.
WIth their 11th and 12th round picks this year the Giants took shots at two different 3b with some decent power potential from out of the way schools, and they’ve seen both make solid debuts. University of South Florida 11th rounder, David Villar is second in the NWL in HRs with 11. Down in the AZL, 12th rounder Sean Roby is having a quieter, but still notable debut. The Arizona Western JC alum hit his 4th HR of the year yesterday, boosting his rookie league line up to .283/.368/.459. Very nice beginning for Sean.
Fabian Peña, the 25th round pick out of U-Manhattan is also having a strong debut, though at 21 he’s a good deal old for the complex league. Peña blasted his 3rd HR and is now hitting .320 with a .941 OPS.
Both of the Giants AZL teams got strong starting pitching performances yesterday, with Johan Herrera and Francis Peña combining to allow just 3 runs over 11 IP with 14 Ks.
The Black squad is among four teams separate by just 1.5 games at the top of their division — that includes the two teams who tied for the division lead in the first half, and I have no idea at all how the AZL deals with that. The Orange squad is lurking 3.5 games back though with time quickly running out in their schedule.
Luis Toribio’s season has slowed down a good deal in the second half. After hitting .317/.485/.574 prior to the DSL All Star game, he’s stumbled to a .205/.336/.375 line since. But during that he has continued to swat HRs and yesterday he became the first DSL Giant to reach double digits in HRs since Rey Duran way back in 2009. The achievement is a notable one for a 17 year old. The only two other Giants players who we have record of reaching double digits (Duran who hit 11 in 2009 and Sundrendy Windster who hit 10 in 2008) were both 19 year olds who were playing in their second or third DSL campaigns.
Of course we all remember the story of Francisco Mediña, who as a 17 year old DSL player hit 6 HRs in the first month of his career, and has managed just 7 more in the 3.5 years since then, and has yet to play his way out of rookie ball. So we are once again thrown back on the insufficiencies of DSL stats for providing any insight. But this is a numbers game and an landmark is a landmark — so congratulations Luis! Quite an achievement.
Video of 3B Luis Toribio (17.8Y) HR from yesterday's DSL Giants game. It was his third straight game with a HR. pic.twitter.com/BJgYxblg8N— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 8, 2018
Ismael Alcantara had a perfect day at the plate yesterday — going 5 for 5 with a walk. That continues a hot week in which he’s raised his batting average 35 points in just four games, going 9 for 16 over that period. Only two of the nine hits have gone for extra bases (both doubles). The big 18 year old lefty has had trouble tapping into his raw strength so far.
With a four walk performance, Yovanny Moronta has now walked 29 batters in just 18 innings. For a 22 year old in the DSL, that’s not a great sign! Kid throws hard, but at some point you have to have an idea where it’s going.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Shaun Anderson vs. Peter Lambert
Richmond: Logan Webb vs. Frank Duncan
San Jose: Dom Mazza vs. Matt Dennis
Augusta: Caleb Baragar vs. Yosmer Solorzano
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. TBD
AZL: Luis Moreno (Black), Jasier Herrera (Orange)
DSL: Ivan Armstrong
Quite a contrast, with two hard throwing right-handers at the top followed by two soft tossers for the A Ball teams. Anderson and Webb, almost certainly the two top starting pitching prospects currently active in the system, both show their wares on Friday night starts. Only three weekends left in the 2018 season. Crazy!
If you’re in the Salem area this weekend, you might want to head out and see the Volcanoes on Saturday night and say hello to old #36, Gaylord Perry himself.
Fans, don't forget this Saturday, Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry will be at Volcanoes Stadium signing free autographs. Don't miss your chance to meet a Baseball legend! Game time 6:35 for more info and tickets call 503-390-2225.#GOSKV pic.twitter.com/4OPd08AssO— S-K Volcanoes ⚾ (@SKVolcanoes) August 14, 2018