It’s the penultimate Minor Lines of the year but we’ve still got new things (and players) to discover! First up, Joey Bart’s HR swing — we’ve waiting all year for one of these video highlights!
HIGHLIGHTS: Miguel Gomez doubled twice in three hits; Juan De Paula struck out 9 over 5 one-run innings; Aaron Bond homered twice.
Miguel Gomez is likely going to end the year with a batting average under .300, breaking a five year streak. Including his time in Richmond he’s close to the mark, hitting .294 overall for the year. But he’s hit just .278 in Sacramento, and with just 2 walks in 227 ABs he’s posted just a .284 OBP with the RiverCats. He’s also struck out just 35 times, as usual, going with a “maximum balls in play” philosophy of hitting. Gomez led the attack for Sacramento with three hits including two doubles. Tonight will likely be an anxious time for Miggy—with 40 man spots being decided in the coming weeks it’s never a great sign to be one of the 40 men guys who isn’t called up from AAA at the end of the year.
Ryder Jones spot on the 40 man is safe for another year, but he, too, had a disappointing 2018. Jones regressed in nearly every statistical measure from his breakout 2017 — in particular his walk rate and Iso both dropped back down to his historical norms, making the 2017 marks look a little more flukish and less developmental. Jones brought the power yesterday, though, with a double and his 11th homer of the year—a game tying shot in the 8th (unfortunately Roberto Gomez would surrender a game untying shot in the bottom of the inning).
Has Jordan Johnson done enough to earn himself a spot on the 40 man? That’s a very interesting call that the powers that be must be wrestling with in the coming weeks. Johnson has had mercurial career, going from 23rd round pick who barely pitched in college to Giants’ Top 10 prospect overnight, before suffering through a couple of very long seasons in San Jose and Richmond. The Elk Grove native was mostly solid this year, though command once again plagued him. He walked 64 in 137 innings, and his peripherals looked particularly rough once he was promoted to AAA, as he struck out just 37 to 33 BBs in 58 IP. He still possesses the system’s finest change up as a calling card.
Logan Webb ended his season allowing a season high 6 runs in 4.2 innings. It was just the second time this year the right-hander had allowed more than 3 runs in a game. Hey, AA is tough! One thing in particular that was noticeable about Webb’s time in Richmond — he allowed 4 HRs in his 30 innings in AA after allowing just 2 in 74 innings with San Jose. Webb served up two gopherballs yesterday, accounting for four of his runs allowed. Webb is an easy 40 man call this winter, as the former 4th round pick has taken a big leap forward since returning from Tommy John surgery. If you could somehow gift Webb Jordan Johnson’s change up you’d have a serious major league starter. For 2019 it’s all about refinement. You can read more about Logan in this Richmond Times-Dispatch feature:
One of those homers came from Harrisburg 1b Drew Ward who really punished the Squirrels yesterday with 6 RBIs across the double header. He tripled in three runs in the first game to break a 1-1 tie and then gave the Senators the lead for good in the second game with a two-run homer off Webb that immediately followed a two-out error from 1b Dillon Dobson.
Between the games Ryan Howard was named Richmond’s team MVP. Howard is having an excellent close out to his 2018, hitting .291/.348/.447 in August following a July in which he struggled to a .210 average. He’s boosted his power numbers this year, with 40 extra base hits including 32 doubles. He played 2b and SS yesterday and is perfecting his UT infielder skills—skills that seem likely to be on display in the majors in the not too distant future. Howard doesn’t need to be added to the 40 man this year, but I do wonder if his presence effects the equation for CJ Hinojosa any. Howard is the better left-side defender, and at this point it looks like he’s the better hitter as well. Hinojosa’s time in the AFL in October could be an important factor.
In a significantly less exciting game than the previous night, San Jose collected four hits in getting shut out for the ninth time this year. Jalen Miller added on to his org-leading total bases with two more hits. Johneshwy Fargas added on to his org-leading stolen bases with two more thefts—that’s 47 for the year — can he hit 50 today?
Also Heath Quinn was named the Bubba Burger Offensive Player of the Year! Seriously!
Sam Coonrod’s comeback continued with another clean inning and a couple of whiffs. He’s struck out 13 and walked just 2 in his 6.1 innings with San Jose. He’s a very likely 40 man add this winter.
Augusta lost to Columbia Fireflies (Mets), 1-0
It’s never too late for debuts! With just one day left in the season, Juan De Paula made his SF Giants organizational debut just two days after coming over from the Yankees. If you’re going to have just one game to impress the new bosses — hey why not go out and strike out a bunch of people?
It’s probably worth noting that Columbia has been exceptionally whiff-tastic this series, striking out a total of 52 times already in four games. That’s an average of 14 Ks per game and one of those games only lasted 7 innings! Still, De Paula’s live arm came as advertised and we are very happy to have him on board! The right-hander had one mistake in this game — a 2nd inning solo HR — and it was enough to saddle him with the loss. Welcome to the Giants, Juan!
Meanwhile, the Greenjackets struck out 17 times while managing just two singles. Ugh! If you came here for some offense — please proceed to the next game...
Well, we got offense here alright—a little too danged much offense in fact!
The Volcanoes erupted (I use it sparingly!) for five home runs in jumping out to a 7-2 advantage in this game, and yet still weren’t safe from their pitching staff’s ability to burn any lead at any time.
The opening innings were a fusillade of long balls from Salem-Keizer’s big bats. Bart, David Villar, and Aaron Bond all hit their 13th of the year, and Bond would add his 14th in his second AB to climb within one of the league lead. Villar added his 22nd double of thee year — he’s had 36 extra base hits in just 62 games played in his debut (Bart is right behind him with 31)! And Wander Franco added his 22nd and 23rd doubles along with his 5th homer of the year.
I’d love to show you all of them, but Hillsboro’s beautiful HD video system crapped out in the middle of the 1st inning. Go figure.
But once again, the arms let the team down. They had been up 6-1 and 7-2 but when the tide turned it turned with a vengeance. Keaton Winn started the slippage with three runs over his final two innings, and then Sidney Duprey wiped out the rest of the lead without recording an out in the 7th. When Cooper Casad allowed two 8th inning runs to surrender the big lead.
Along with a Eugene victory in Boise, that ended the Volcanoes hopes for a post-season appearance. The historical record gets a little sketchy pre-2005, but I’m pretty sure that this is now the first season in the 21st century in which no Giants affiliate has appeared in their league’s post-season—and that streak goes back at least several years into the 90s as well. In all likelihood, it’s been more than 20 years since this has happened. In those 20 years the system has seen 14 league championship titles (and, of course, three World Series championships). Good stretch! Let’s get back to that next year.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Tyler Herb vs. PJ Conlon
Richmond: Conner Menez vs. Logan Darnell
San Jose: Carlos Sano vs. Austin Hutchison
Augusta: Norwith Gudino vs. TBD
Salem-Keizer: TBD vs. TBD
Conner Menez takes aim at 180 strikeouts for the year and everybody gets one last chance to polish up the stat line that will live on their baseball card forever. Goodbye 2018!