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SF Giants Minor Lines, 5/13/19: More power in Richmond

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Plus, you guessed it, more newcomers!

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Want more roster intrigue?

According to Milb.Com, the Giants signed two players out of Independent ball yesterday and assigned them to Sacramento, including Hawkins, the 13th overall pick of the 2012 draft. The other is CJ McElroy, son of former long-time LHP Chuck McElroy.

If you’re asking yourself right about now whether Sacramento has need of two more OF? That does seem like a solid question.

Hawkins has struggled mightily to hit — or make contact — much as a pro, but at the time of the 2012 draft he was a high riser who was considered something of an athletic freak. He’ll turn 26 in the fall.

HIGHLIGHTS: Mike Yasztremski hit his 8th HR of the month; Gio Brusa reached base 4x including his first AA HR; Aaron Bond went 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored.


Sacramento lost to El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), 5-3

Mike Yasztrzemski led off the 1st with his 11th HR of the year and 8th of the month May (which still has some Maying to do yet!). Yaz would also double later in the night. But despite his big night, the RiverCats went down to defeat as they couldn’t muster much offense the rest of the night.

Andrew Suarez is still looking for his 2018 form. In his second start off the IL, Suarez surrendered 9 hits and 5 runs in 5.1 innings. He also served up Padres #3 prospect Luis Urias’ third HR of the series.

Sacramento’s best moves of the night came on defense, once again featuring Yaz:

Though 3b Ryan Howard showed off some nifty moves of his own.

If you’d like to get to know Yaz a little better, enjoy this interview with the hot-hitting OF where he discusses the family legacy and his desire to carve out his own story. Sure looks like Grandpa!


Richmond won at Erie SeaWolves (Tigers), 6-5

The surprisingly power-laden Richmond team bashed their way to victory, smashing three home runs in Erie to account for 5 of their 6 runs. The power display — from the team with the 2nd most HRs in the EL — helped the Squirrels overcome a brutal day with their gloves. Richmond committed an astounding 7 errors in the game, including 3 from the normally sure handed Brandon Van Horn.

Richmond jumped out on top right away, with newly-signed Will Maddox getting a measure of sweet revenge to lead off the game. A 2018 Eastern League All Star for Erie, Maddox was released by the Tigers just two weeks ago. So what did he do with the first pitch he saw from his former teammates?

Gio Brusa would make up for his contribution to the error parade with a perfect day at the plate. Brusa went 2 for 2, drew a walk (plus the more painful free route with a HBP), and stole a base in addition to going deep for his first time as a Squirrel.

But it was Chris Shaw who had the big blast. Shaw crushed a 3-run shot that broke the game open. It was Shaw’s 7th of the year. He’s still hitting a middling .276 (in a third season in AA), but the 18/12 K/BB is a big step up from last year’s performance in AAA.

On the other side of the equation, Jacob Heyward has fallen into an epic cold streak this week. Over the past four games the recent Player of the Week has gone 0 for 14 with an astounding 12 Ks!!! That’s hard to do! I mean, it would be easy for me to do; it would be easy for you to do. But it’s hard for a professional baseball player to do! Fight again another day, Jacob!

Richmond withstood an Erie comeback attempt thanks to 4 innings of stellar relief from Sandro Cabrera, Tyler Cyr, Raffi Vizcaino, and Melvin Adon (that’s three members of the 2015 DSL Championship rotation plus Tyler Cyr for you old timers). Adon had a nice bounceback performance from his tough outing in Bowie on Friday. Though in constant peril from the sloppy defense, they managed to sneak away with the win by limiting Erie to 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.


San Jose beat Inland Empire 66ers (Angels), 8-4

Newcomers ruled as San Jose captured a rare victory back in front of the homecrowd. Peter Maris, another Minor League Rule 5 pickup, finally made his organizational debut and he made it a good one.

Maris’ big night was supported by another newcomer, 1b Zander Clarke who also had two hits and a walk and drove in a pair of runs. The newbie combo combined with Logan Baldwin to provide a powerful top of the order. The 2-3-4 hitters had 6 of the team’s 9 hits and scored 6 of their 8 runs.

Closer Frank Rubio had a little hiccup but was able to close out the win regardless. Both of Rubio’s runs were unearned thanks to a 1-out error from Clarke, which helped keep Rubio’s ERA at an amazingly low 0.39. The RHP has allowed just 4 runs (1 earned) in 23.1 IP with 28 Ks to just 5 unintentional BBs. Looks like a strong candidate for the Cal League All Star team.

Couple of more notes.

Kirby was a 12th round pick in 2016 out of University of San Diego and was the MVP of the 2017 Salem-Keizer team, as well as a NWL All Star that year.

In happier news, there’s another player of the week honor in the organization:


Augusta won at Lexington Legends (Royals), 2-1
winning their series, 2-1

In the top of the 4th, Diego Rincones rolled a ball to SS and got out of the box very slowly. By the time he was to 1b, he was in some obvious discomfort and was helped off the field by his 1b coach. The issue appeared to be his ankle and after a few steps he was walking more or less under his own weight again. Hopefully, the issue won’t be a long-term issue for Rincones and the Greenjackets and the LF will be back in the lineup soon.

For at least one day though, the incident turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the team. Substitute Bond would go on to pick up two hits including the team’s only XBH, score both their runs and for good measure he started a relay to throw a runner out at home. All of which helped add up to a 2-1 nailbiter for Augusta.

Bond and Jacob Gonzalez combined for 23 of the team’s hits and the pair teamed up for the game winner, when Bond raced home on a Gonzalez infield hit off the 1b’s glove.

Sean Hjelle labored a bit through his 4.1 innings of work — it was his third shortest outing this year but he hit a season high in pitches with 86. The big right-hander was just a little looser with the strike zone and in particular, the Lexington batters were able to make him work by fouling off pitches repeatedly. By the stadium gun, Hjelle’s fastball sat in the 92-93 range for most of the game and he did strike out 4 batters, with two of those of the backwards K variety.

Hjelle walked just 1 batter though and now has a terrific 40 to 8 K/BB ratio on the year (36 IP). I’ll just state again that in IMHO this is too low a level for last year’s SEC Pitcher of the Year.

20 year old lefty Luis Amaya finished things up with 2 more scoreless innings which made him a winner. Amaya hasn’t allowed an earned run now in 10 IP and has a sparkling WHIP of 0.60, with just 7 hitters reaching base against him thus far.

Oh and don’t worry too much about Diego:


Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Shaun Anderson) vs. El Paso (Jerry Keel)
Richmond (Caleb Baragar) @ Erie (Anthony Castro)
San Jose (Matt Frisbee) vs. Inland Empire (TBD)
Augusta (Keaton Winn) vs. Columbia (Willy Taveras)

Matt Frisbee puts his Pitcher of the Week honor on the line — hope he fairs better than Heyward has since his honor. With all the maneuvering going on in San Francisco, Shaun Anderson could be pitching for a major league audition if he picks things up a notch in the next outing or so. And Keaton Winn is back from the Temporary Inactive List to lead Augusta in their return home.

And a couple of final notes. Not specifically Giants related (though I’d say there’s a relevance to longtime Minor Lines’ readers), but this story in the Athletic regarding a major change in MLB’s technology partners is definitely worth a read:

And as we await the return of the top two prospects in the system, a reminder that the highly anticipated debut of the last of the Big Three is a little more than a month away.