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SF Giants Minor Lines 4/10/19: Heliot Ramos hits 2 HRs

Richmond keeps walking it off, while the A ball teams brought the offense

minor lines

April 10, 2019: “Sorry about the swearing” meme enters Giants’ fans lexicon, to be used for all subsequent Heliot Ramos HRs (NSFW).

Lots of highlights today so let’s get to it.

HIGHLIGHTS: Jalen Miller doubled, singled, stole a base, scored a run and drove in a run; Heliot Ramos hit 2 HRs, BB twice and drove in 3 runs; Frankie Tostado had four hits including double, homer.

Sacramento lost at Las Vegas Aviators (A’s), 5-1

Coming off a spectacular offensive series to open the year, Sacramento has gone over the mountains to one of the most hitter friendly environments in the PCL and the bats have gone silent. #Can’tPredictBaseball.

Tyler Beede took the mound for his second start of the year, and was a little less sharp than he’d been in previous outings, though he wasn’t getting a lot of help from his friends either.

Beede still missed bats, striking out 5 of the 18 batters he faced, but ran enough high pitch counts that his night was over before he got out of the 4th inning. In all he used 79 pitches to get through 3.2, with 3 BBs and 1 ER credited against him.

The game was close throughout, but the RiverCat bats just couldn’t get anything going against Aviator pitching. Abiatal Avelino and Stephen Vogt had nearly all the offense, reaching base five times collectively. The duo had four of the team’s six hits, both of its extra base hits, and Avelino swiped his first bag of the season.

For Vogt, not only is the swing getting locked in, but the rest of his game is as well.

There’s another roster decision coming there soon.

Richmond beat Bowie Baysox (Orioles), 3-2
Splitting their series, 1-1

Who’s ready for a little morning baseball? Well Jalen Miller sure was!

The 2b was in the middle of all the action in this final game of the opening homestand. He opened the day with a deep drive to the wall that knocked in the Squirrels’ first run.

And later he singled, stole his 2nd base of the year, and came around to score the team’s second run on Jacob Heyward’s double.

Since taking an 0-fer on Opening Day, Miller has gone 6 for 16 over the last four games, while stealing two bags and playing excellent D. Yesterday was his first XBH of the year, and he has yet to walk, but the big AA year is off to a nice start for the 2015 3rd round pick. Even the strikeouts are in check so far (3 in 20 PA).

Heyward too is off to nice start to open the year, with 6 hits in his first 17 ABs. True to his nature, Heyward has also walked 5 times, though he’s also struck out 7. Hasn’t quite gotten to his third true outcome yet in AA but he has doubled twice.

Logan Webb was sharp in his 5 inning stint, striking out 4 and walking nobody — a significant improvement over his opening day start when he walked 5. He actually left the game having allowed no earned runs, but after the game a scoring change was made, granting a single to what had previously been scored a Jonah Arenado error, tagging Webb with 1 ER. He did have trouble with the one significant prospect in the Bowie lineup. Yusnial Diaz, the Orioles #1 prospect and the biggest chip that came over from LA in the Manny Machado deal, doubled off Webb in both of their matchups, the second one driving in Bowie’s first run.

Richmond got excellent relief work as well, particularly from Kieran Lovegrove who smoked through two perfect innings, striking out 4 of the 6 batters he faced and hitting 98 on the stadium gun.

Richmond hurt itself some with sloppy defense in the game. Aside from Arenado’s misplay and an error on Webb himself, Ryan Howard threw away a ball on whatever the “can of corn” analogy is for ground balls, that let in Bowie’s second run of the day.

That set up a happy ending for the homestand though. Dylan Davis led off the 9th with a four pitch walk and managed to move his way around to 3b with two outs. A Johneshwy Fargas hard chopper got down the RF line to drive Davis in with the game winner, and joy ensued.

San Jose won at Stockton Ports (A’s), 6-3
sweeping their series, 3-0

Have a day Heliot Ramos! In what was quite possibly the finest offensive day of his young career. Ramos hit two monster home runs AND he walked twice without a strikeout. The 19 year old OF’s power stroke helped lead San Jose to the series sweep, with his home runs accounting for the go ahead runs in each of the last two games.

His big night started subtly, with a terrific at bat in the first — an 8 pitch at bat in which he spoiled three straight two strike pitches before drawing his first walk of the night. That would help set up 1b Ryan Kirby, who got San Jose on the board with a two-out 3-run blast.

Ramos next two times up though, he made some very loud contact.

Heliot now has four hits on the year with all of them going for extra bases — 3 HRs and a double. And just as significantly, he’s drawn 6 walks against his 9 strikeouts. Previously, Ramos had walked just 45 times in 686 professional PA. Clearly he’s working on refining his approach this year and looking to do damage. For the first week at least, Ramos had been a real Three True Outcomes hitter with 18 of his 28 PA resulting in a K, BB, or HR. I don’t suspect he’ll be quite that dramatic, but it’s exciting to watch his develop his offensive game. Nice going young man!

Kirby, whose HR was his 2nd of the year, also chipped in with a double as he had a nice power stroke going in front of his proud Dad. Kirby normally shows some TTO tendencies himself, but he’s drawn just 1 walk on the year so far. His career rates tend to around 10% walk rate, so we’ll assume that’s just an early season blip as he and Cal League pitchers learn each other. He has struck out in half his PA so far. Let’s hope that’s a blip too.

Reliever Raffi Vizcaino continued to be one of the eye-opening arms in the system in the early going, as he is going Next Level on Cal League hitters out of the pen.

If Raffi keeps this up his return to San Jose may be short lived.

Augusta won at Greenville Drive (Red Sox), 9-8
splitting their series, 1-1

Blake Rivera’s 2019 debut was imminently forgettable — but fortunately for Blake there was so much action in this one that most people had forgotten it before the night was over. Greenville can play small, and it certainly did so in this wild one which collectively featured 26 hits, 14 walks, 17 runs and 5 lead changes.

Diego Rincones’ second RBI single of the night finally put Augusta up for good in the top of the 8th, and Solomon Bates and Jesus Tona clamped down on Greenville for the final six outs.

Rincones—who has put the ball in play in 25 of his 26 PA this year—was one of six Greenjacket hitters who collected multiple hits in the game, and four batters (Jose Layer, Aaron Bond, Frankie Tostado, Jeffry Parra) reached base safely at least three times. But it was Tostado who stole the show in this one, with a powerful four-hit night.

Tostado contributed to a three run rally with this booming shot off the CF wall.

And in his next at bat, Tostado swatted one the opposite way over the Greenville Monster, a truly impressive swing of the bat.

The 2017 19th round pick out of Oxnard Community College (my sleeper prospect pick for the team if I recall correctly) is off to a terrific start again this year — you may recall that after missing 2017 with Tommy John surgery, Tostado started his career last year in rookie league with a 15 game hit streak, and hits in 20 out of his first 21 games. And he’s at it again now, having collected at least one hit in each of his first five games, going 8 for 21 overall with three XBH. The Big Crunch!

Dingers and walk-offs, man, there’s just nothing better! Let’s see what Thursday has to bring us!

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Shaun Anderson) @ Las Vegas (Paul Blackburn)
Richmond: OFF DAY
San Jose (Caleb Baragar) vs. Visalia (TBD)
Augusta (Gregory Santos) @ West Virginia (Ryne Inman)

Even with a short schedule, we have two of the best starting pitching prospects in the system to look forward to. And you can get ready for Anderson’s start by reading this Melissa Lockard feature on him: