At this point, let’s just try to have some fun as the season comes to a close…
Highlights: If you want doubles, call for Wander Franco. Yes, that one. Also, the other one.
A 9th inning comeback was wasted in this game, which pretty much features a lot of players you might be seeing in September.
RBI singles by Ryder Jones and Miguel Gomez tied the game in the bottom of the 9th with two out, though the win would not to be. For Jones, it was a 2-hit game, and he is now 5-for-11 over his last three games. Gomez’s game-tying single was his only hit of the game, and is 1-for-10 over his last three games.
The pitching staff featured three of the team’s future 40-man roster. Casey Kelly made the start, and had a solid game, although his ERA at Triple-A has stayed right at the 4.76 level, with only slight fluctuations over the last four games. Meanwhile, Tyler Beede had a quiet two innings of work. He gave up three earned runs in his last appearance, but was able to bring his ERA back under 7. Meanwhile, Derek Law had a quiet ninth inning.
RVA Acorns: How about a little positive news? Dillon McNamara has not allowed an earned run in 18.1 innings pitched. McNamara now with a 1.27 ERA in 31 appearances with RVA.— Jay Burnham (@Burnham_Jay) August 27, 2018
Positive news is welcome, as this was an ugly game for Richmond, scattering just four hits in the game as they got shutout.
Let’s get through the names to check out. Shortstop Ryan Howard picked up a hit, maintaining his batting average right around .273. Howard has been having a nice bounceback after slumping hard in July (.210 batting average). He’s been hitting .308/.370/.484 for the month in 25 games. Meanwhile, his middle-infield partner picked up a double. C.J. Hinojosa had his 13th double in 61 games at Richmond. Hinojosa is batting .255/.328/.346 in Double-A, but he also committed two errors in a single play to give him 13 on the season.
Those errors didn’t help his pitcher, as Taylor Hill gave up four unearned runs all in the second inning after that 2-error play. Hill would escape with no earned runs, lowering his ERA from 5.81 to 5.40, but the damage reduced his record in Richmond to 0-8.
One notable spot in the bullpe was Sam Wolff, who is struggling in his return from Tommy John surgery. He was unscored upon in 1.2 innings, stringing together three scoreless appearances. With the two walks, he now has 34 strikeouts against 15 walks in 25 innings. He has allowed 30 hits though, a .300 batting average allowed.
One late season move, with reliever Nolan Riggs getting a promotion.
#SJGiants roster move: RHP Nolan Riggs promoted to AA-Richmond. Riggs 4.08 ERA in 41 relief appearances w/SJ this season, 73 SO/33 BB in 64 IP, .229 opp AVG, six saves. Went 107 IP without giving up a HR from August 2016 to May 2018.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 27, 2018
San Jose pulled off the late win in Modesto, as Wander Franco (no, the other one) hit a leadoff single in the 10th to put the placed runner on third, and Jacob Heyward hit a sacrifice fly to score the winning run. For Franco, it capped a 3-for-5 day with his 39th double, making his team-leading double count also tied for the league lead (with Rancho Cucamonga’s Omar Estevez). Heyward has 24 doubles for San Jose, and collected multiple hits for the fourth time in five games.
Finally, you’ve got center fielder Johneshwy Fargas, who is showing off a skill rarely seen in the Giants’ system. Fargas picked up two more stolen bases, giving up 45 in 61 attempts (73.7% success rate). That isn’t just league-leading, that leads the league by a full ten steals.
On the mound, John Gavin had a solid start as he tries to even out his numbers in San Jose. He gave up eight runs in his first two starts at the level, but has allowed just four earned in 14 innings since, and has a respectable 26 strikeouts against eight walks in 23.2 IP. Sam Coonrod had a very nice comeback. He gave up four earned while getting just one out in his last appearance, but he struck out the side and all three batters he faced in this game.
Sam Coonrod with his best outing since returning to the #SJGiants. Struck out the side in a 1-2-3 inning tonight with an impressive FB/slider combo. FB 95-96, topped at 98. Coonrod still less than 12 months out from his Tommy John surgery.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) August 28, 2018
Let’s skim that pitching box score. Garrett Cave has given up seven earned runs in each of his last two starts, and his ERA is skyrocketing. For 19-year old reliever Jorge Labrador, after seven earned runs in this game, and three earned in 2.2 innings in his last appearance, his ERA in Augusta is 15.88 over three total appearances. Labrador had a 4.33 ERA in 11 relief appearances in the AZL with the Orange team.
At the plate, Heliot Ramos bounced back from a hitless game, for two more hits. He’s inching his batting average closer to .250. Ramos is finishing his first full season with his best month, batting .303/.323/.528 in August, and that’s good news for a Giants organization needing positivity.
Speaking of strong Augusts, Logan Baldwin had a 2-hit game, pushing just past that .250 average. Baldwin is batting .324/.387/.559 in the month of August, picked up his season. Trevor Abrams picked up his first home run with Augusta in 26 games at the level. Abrams is batting .241/.298/.322 in 26 games at the level, after batting .361/.391/.574 in 15 games at Salem-Keizer.
Speaking of top prospects, Joey Bart wasn’t collecting hits, but he collected a pair of walks for the second time in three games. Bart now has 10 walks in 164 at-bats, against 36 strikeouts. He has a .372 OBP on top of a .305 batting average in the Northwest League.
Meanwhile, arguably the hottest hitter in Keizer is 21-year old Wander Franco (Yeah, that one). After a 2-for-3 day gives him a 15-for-34 (.441) batting average over his last eight games. He also picked up his 21st double, which gives him a share of the team lead with Kyle McPherson. *checks notes* Excuse me, his 21st double gives him a share of the league lead with McPherson.
On the mound, 2nd round pick Sean Hjelle was back on the mound after a rough stretch. Giving up a run in two innings isn’t great, but after giving up seven earned in his last 5.2 IP, it’s an improvement. Hjelle also gave up a walk, the second straight game with one. In 19.1 IP, Hjelle has walked only 3 with 19 strikeouts. But, he needs to work on the hits allowed, with 23 allowed (and 4 of them for home runs).
In the ‘pen, 5th round pick Keaton Winn bounced back from giving up a season-high four earned runs to go three with just an unearned run. Winn has 31 strikeouts against 12 walks in 39 innings. Meanwhile, Jesus Tona continues to be strong in the bullpen, picking up his 12th save in his 12th appearance. Tona has 39 strikeouts in 29.1 IP, with eight walks.
In the last game of the season, the last draft pick of the year for the Giants got his last word.
40th round pick Abdiel Layer went 3-for-4 with his 9th double of the short season (43 games), finishing a solid season for the brother of Jose. Layer finishes the year batting .289/.358/.428 for a .786 OPS, which won’t blow the world away, but again…40th round pick. It’s a nice story.
Also finishing the season strong was 19th rounder Randy Norris, also with a 3-for-4 with a double (his 3rd in 42 games). It wasn’t just this game, as Norris finished 6-for-14 (.429), and bumping his batting average from .244 to .262. The 21-year old outfielder didn’t show much power, with just five extra-base hits (two triples plus three doubles), but he did show some speed to back up his .329 OBP, with 10 steals in 13 attempts.
On the mound, Israel Cruz picked up the final start, not giving up an earned run for the second time in his last three games, and he dropped his ERA from 5.11 to 3.97 by giving up one earned run in 15 innings over those three games. Cruz finishes the season with 66 strikeouts and 26 walks in 59 IP.
23rd round pick Ben Strahm finished the season with his first save of the year (second opportunity) with a 2-strikeout ninth inning. Strahm had 20 strikeouts against 10 walks in 19 IP, but did also give up 19 hits.
The Orange Crush showed some crushing to finish the season, and let’s start with 26th round pick Jacob Lopez on the mound. The 20-year old finished very strong; combine his last two starts, and he struck out 16 in nine innings, giving up three hits and two walks. The southpaw finishes the year with 34 strikeouts and six walks in 25.1 IP, with 18 hits allowed. Quite a finish for him.
Catcher Fabian Pena (25th round pick) finished strong himself, with his 10th double and 5th home run in 28 games…and that’s after two hitless games before this final game put him in a mini-slump. The 21-year old finishes with a .309/.376/.588 batting line. He’s not exactly going to overtake Joey Bart as the top catcher in the farm…but, well, one can’t complain.
Finally, 19-year old Yorlis Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with his 9th double in 41 games. The Cuban third baseman was in his debut season, and he held up well skipping the DSL. He finishes with a .323/.409/.445 batting line, and 25 strikeouts and 19 walks in 155 at-bats. He needs to work on stealing bases, stealing just six in 12 attempts, though.
The DSL Giants Season Is Over
Today’s Scheduled Starters
Sacramento: TBD vs. TBD
Richmond: Logan Webb vs. Harold Arauz
San Jose: Domenic Mazza vs. Evan Manarino
Augusta: Caleb Baragar vs. Jackson Kowar
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. TBD
Easily, the star of Tuesday’s starts is Logan Webb, who has emerged as one of the most interesting pitching prospects in the Giants’ system. He has a 2.25 ERA in four starts, and overall has 90 strikeouts against 45 walks in 94 innings.
Tomorrow, only five games. The AZL is done. It will soon be the end of the season, so enjoy this as long as it lasts.