The point of all of this, of course, is graduations. So let’s take a moment to appreciate:
The Best Thing About Minor Lines 2018, Part 1:
And the Best Thing About Minor Lines 2018, Part 2:
Ray Black, painted 99mph Fastball, on the....black. ️ ️ pic.twitter.com/oWyEx0MheP— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 3, 2018
Maybe I have those reversed. Not sure. What do you think?
HIGHLIGHTS: Chase Johnson struck out 4 in 5 shutout innings; Sam Wolff struck out 5 in 2 inn; Joey Bart had two doubles among three hits; David Villar doubled and homered; Kwan Adkins doubled and homered.
Former Oakland A’s starter Chris Bassitt thoroughly shut down the denuded Sacramento attack. On a night when their pitching really did give them an excellent chance at a win, the RiverCats offense managed just three hits. Sacramento has scored 2 or fewer runs six times in their last 11 games.
Here’s the best swing of the night, from a guy who’s waiting for his next shot at the big leagues:
An interesting aspect of Jones’ season: in the second half of his 2016 season in AA and then especially last year in Sacramento, Ryder’s walk rate jumped up much higher than it had ever been previously, up to 10.6% in Sacramento. This new-found discipline seemed to drive improvements in his line across the board, especially in a career high Isolated Power (.262). This year, however, his walk rate has dropped back down to previous career norms — it’s currently at 5.7% — and so has his Iso (.136). Does correlation, indeed, imply causation in this case? We can’t assume...but it is suspicious.
One of the most interesting aspects of their double-header sweep of last-place Portland was who didn’t play for the Squirrels. Catcher Aramis Garcia appeared in neither game and one must imagine that this is connected to Buster Posey’s concussion protocols. While Ronnie Freeman was in Arizona on the taxi squad last night in case of emergency replacement, if Buster were to go on the DL, the complicated and delicate calculations of the CBT come into play. Somebody who is already on the 40 man costs fewer dollars against the CBT than putting a new player on the 40 man would. So I’m guessing that Garcia was likely winging his way west yesterday (or Friday night) just in case? Possibly Aramis will log a lot of air miles this weekend.
Chase Johnson took another step in the right direction in the nightcap yesterday, going 5 scoreless innings. That matches his longest outing of the year and the 4 Ks is his second highest total this season. Since coming off of his 3rd DL stint of the year (for blister issues), Johnson has now thrown 8 shutout innings in which he’s allowed just two hits and one walk, while striking out 6.
Johnson teamed up with Sam Wolff, who’s still trying to work the kinks out in his rehab from surgery on his flexor tendon. Wolff’s been getting knocked around a bit in AA so far, but he flashed the stuff that made him an interesting trade acquisition yesterday, striking out 5 of the 8 batters he faced in the game.
Here he gets the Red Sox’ #9 prospect Bobby Dalbec, who was making his AA debut yesterday after hitting 26 HRs in the Carolina League (2nd most in the minors).
Jonah Arenado had another three hit game in the opener — his third game of three or more hits in a four game stretch.
The losses continue to pile up for San Jose, which is just staggering it’s way to the year’s conclusion.
San Jose native John Gavin allowed just four hits and struck out 7 in his Cal League debut — that’s the good news! The bad news is that three of the four hits he surrendered left the building and that was the difference in the game.
It was a battle of the long ball — of the 12 hits that the two teams produced fully half of them left the yard. Two different players for the Storm hit two home runs, 1b Brad Zunica (the Pads #31 prospect entering the year) and CF Edward Olivares (the #14 prospect of the Blue Jays entering the year).
San Jose hit just two HRs, but one of them was a sight to see. The Giants went up against the flame throwing Michael Baez (who entered the year as the Pads #3 prospect but has fallen in the midseason review of the stacked system to #8). Baez mostly had his way with San Jose, striking out 8 while allowing just 2 hits in 6 innings. But Sandro Fabian timed up the big righty’s fastball and gave the home fans a thrill:
The estimated 450’ shot was Fabian’s first long ball since May 27. Fabian hit four HRs in a seven-game stretch in late May and then went more than two months without repeating the feat. This was the RF’s third straight game with an extra-base hit, after enduring a 1 for 22 skid previous to that. The 20 year old OF will likely give the Cal League another try next year, when he’ll still be young for the league.
After the game, fans got a different kind of thrill when a long time favorite of Giants’ fans everywhere spoke with the crowd
Tomorrow is Fellowship Night at the ballpark. Special guest Dave Dravecky will be throwing out a first pitch and sharing about life, faith, and baseball after the game. Don't miss out! pic.twitter.com/bpLkMwLbrU— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) August 4, 2018
Starter Caleb Baragar dispensed with the competitive portion of this game early, surrendering 8 runs over the first three innings — a deficit for which the struggling Greenjackets offense had no answer.
Orlando Garcia kept up his hot-hitting road trip with three more hits. Garcia has 7 hits in his last four games now including a homer and a double.
Ismael Munguia hit the second homer of his pro career in the 8th — a solo shot to give the game it’s final score.
Pittsburgh’s pop up prospect Cal Mitchell, a second round pick of a San Diego High School last year, showed off his skills for Augusta, going 2 for 3 with a walk and throwing Heliot Ramos out at home on a double.
What do we think the protocol is here for how frequently I can make use of the phrase: “the Volcanoes erupted”? I do try to go sparingly with it — but it surely applies today.
Salem bashed out 18 hits including eight for extra bases in demolishing the Dust Devils. Aaron Bond and David Villar each hit a three-run homer. Bond’s was his third in the last five games, and 5th overall in just 22 games in the NWL. He’s SLG .568 in Salem-Keizer. Villas has a .553 SLG in Salem and his 8 HRs are third in the league, right behind teammate Joey Bart and Spokane’s Curtis Terry. Villar is also 2nd among qualified hitters behind Terry in SLG (Bart doesn’t yet qualify).
All Stars Bart and Diego Rincones had three hits apiece. For Bart, as usual, they came with extra bases as he hit two more doubles. For good measure, he stole his first base as a pro. Were he to qualify, his .727 SLG would lap the field. The easy power to all fields is plenty on display this summer. Next summer, he’ll likely want to work on being more discriminating as he’s walked just 5 times in 100 at bats in the NWL despite striking fear into the hearts of pitchers.
.@SFGiants’ top prospect, Joey Bart, doing work in his 1st 2 at bats tonight. RBI 2B then this 2 strike, opposite field rbi double. He then stole 3rd and scored on a throwing error. #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/X9RLbv5Ik0— Alan Hoshida (@AHoshidaSports) August 5, 2018
All Star starter Diego Rincones had three more hits to push his average up to .355, third in the NWL. He also picked up his 4th assist of the year, throwing out a runner at home. Rincones .500 SLG is 4th in the league, again of qualified hitters.
Hunter Strickland got in his first game action since breaking his hand back on June 18. Strickland struck out 2 in an inning of work. He won’t be eligible to return to the majors for another two weeks so we’ll see how quickly they move him out of Scottsdale.
Strickland was followed by a fine showing from normal starter Johan Herrera who struck out 4 over 5 three-hit innings. The 19 year old Herrera had an excellent season in 2016 in the DSL, but missed all of 2017 with an undisclosed health issue.
Junior College 3b Sean Roby went deep for the third time as a pro. The 20 year old from Western Arizona JC is hitting just .286 in the complex league but he is showing some power with a .448 SLG.
Another 20 year old RHH with some pop is OF Franklin Labour, but so far all of Labour’s power has been of the doubles variety. He’s hitting .321/.411/.513 in 78 At Bats this year, but has yet to hit a HR. This follows an excellent 2017 campaign in the DSL where Labour posted a .906 OPS with 5 HRs.
Speaking of folks who had strong DSL campaigns, Deiyerbert Bolivar was the star pitcher of the 2014 DSL Giants, but he’s been stuck in Scottsdale ever since. Yesterday he made his first appearance of 2018.
30th round pick Kwan Adkins had a fine day, stealing a base as a pinch runner in the first game and then coming back with a double and his first professional HR in the second.
Former NSU Demon .@Kwanstan22 Kwan Adkins (8) OF AZL Giants Black 2018 30th round #giants #sfgiants #sfg #sanfranciscogiants #giantsfans #sfgiantsfans #giantsfan #draft2018 #mlbdraft #mlbdraft2018 #milb pic.twitter.com/kxmQsWyvcP— #NeverYield (@NSUDemonsFans) July 30, 2018
After the explosions of Friday’s game, the Giants tried to win a Pitcher’s Duel yesterday morning. But the pen couldn’t hang onto a 2-1 lead in the late innings, and the offense was much more subdued, collecting just six hits.
Robinson Batista picked up his third HR of the week, and also stole his 9th base of the year (Combo Meal!). The 19 year old OF posted a .953 OPS in limited play last year. In more regular play this year, his OPS has dropped by .200 points, but he’s picking it up for a final month push.
Ismael Alcantara had a third of the team’s hits and a SB, but the big left-hander really has shown much hit-ability yet this year, as the 1b is batting just .221 in 122 at bats.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Daniel Camarena vs. Daniel Mengden
Richmond: Logan Webb vs. Teddy Stankiewicz
San Jose: Dom Mazza vs. TBD
Augusta: Norwith Gudino vs. Hunter Stratton
Salem-Keizer: TBD (Seth Corry) vs. Cole Bellinger
DSL: OFF DAY
Several level debuts today to provide the excitement. Logan Webb who was hanging out doing 1 inning relief stints in short-season ball a year ago makes his AA debut in Portland this afternoon, while Norwith Gudino will take the ball for his first start in the Sally.
Salem-Keizer as usual is listing a TBD, but this should be the short-season debut for Seth Corry as they head into their All Star Break. With Corry’s promotion the Volcanoes pitching staff now includes 5 of the 6 pitchers drafted in the top 5 rounds of the last two drafts (not including Jason Bahr who is no longer in the organization). Hopefully that staff will start to show some improvement over the second half of the year and give the turbo-charged Volcanoes offense some support.
Have a great Sunday everyone! Let’s make some more memories:
First @MLB home run for Steven Duggar!— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 5, 2018
The #SFGiants No. 3 prospect launched a solo shot to right field in the 4th inning against the @Dbacks tonight for his first big league homer.
He wasn't even phased by the silent treatment.@SFGiants Top 30: https://t.co/PPziFQRwZ9 pic.twitter.com/l6s1FZxfML