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The SF Giants Prospect Roundup - The Wait is Almost Over

Plus, the draft coverage coming soon!

Prospect Roundup Cover Image Kevin J. Cunningham

So Desperately Waiting

As the Giants struggle and talk is more and more about a coming (or present) rebuild, Giants fans haven’t been able to look down in Minor Lines and see what the best hopes to be the next Giants stars have been doing. That should soon change.

NBC Sports posted a story this week updating fans with the status of Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos, and the news is about as good as it gets.

San Jose Giants radio broadcaster Joe Ritzo said “They are both down in Arizona right now rehabbing their injuries. And the rehab is going as scheduled for both players so far. So that is very good news and they are each on track to return to the San Jose Giants in early June.”

Both players still have some rehab to go through, and will spend some time playing in Extended Spring Training, but early-to-mid June was the early estimated timetable for both players, so hearing they are both on track is very good news. And, hey, that’s right around the MLB Draft, so hopefully Giants fans will be getting a healthy dose of hope in a few weeks.

Draft Coverage

Hopefully, this week you noticed that Roger and I posted our takes on the guys the Giants might take with their first pick in this year’s draft. If you didn’t, for heaven’s sake, click here and go read it!

As draft week approaches, we here at McCovey Chronicles are desperate for content in these horrible baseball times going to be providing you with a lot of content over the next couple of weeks. Roger and I are reviewing some of the past years of the draft, I’ll be putting up a look at some of the second round possibilities the Giants may be looking at, and much more. So please keep checking back to McCovey Chronicles over the next two weeks to get hype for the draft!

Further Reading

Let’s start with Fangraphs, who waited until Mid-May to let Giants fans know what FG thinks about the Giants’ farm system. And it’s appropriately unique.

There’s not a lot of surprise in the Top 3 being Bart, Ramos and Luciano. But after that, it’s easy to see that Fangraphs likes ceiling, with Alexander Canario being rated #4, even as they say “this type of prospect often fails to fully actualize” about him, after his struggles in the AZL, posting a .250/.357/.403 line in 2018.

If there’s any real surprise, it’s the #10 ranking of CF Patrick Hilson, the Giants’ 6th round pick in the 2018 draft. Drafted out of high school, Hilson is very raw but has a ton of physical talent. He hit .186/.280/.335 in his AZL debut last season, with 67 strikeouts in 161 at-bats (41.6% of the time), so he has a long ways to go.

Bryan did his own write-up of the Fangraphs top list that you can read here.

Speaking of 2018, the top pitchers the Giants drafted got some recognition for the work they’ve done this year.

A nice piece by Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports on the three pitchers drafted behind Joey Bart in the 2018 draft. There’s not much new to discuss here, but it’s nice to see the pitchers the Giants picked up get some recognition. There’s not a future ace in the group, but all three are showing signs of being good future Major Leaguers. Sean Hjelle’s height gives him a very unique throwing angle that he is doing well at taking advantage of. Jake Wong had a nice long stretch of being unhittable and overall has great numbers, and Blake Rivera is flashing some of the strikeout stuff that made him the Giants 4th round pick.

Roster Updates

First, the big 40-man update:

One start in Richmond for Andrew Moore, and he’s already off to his next adventure. Moore was originally a Mariners prospect before heading to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Denard Span deal in 2018. The Giants picked him up from Tampa Bay off waivers on May 5th, and gave up 5 runs in a 1.2 inning start in Double-A. The Giants then DFA’d him as they claimed OF Aaron Altherr (who just got DFA’d on Sunday). Good luck to him finding his way back to the Majors!

Top Prospect Updates

Jake Wong

Week: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
Season: 40.2 IP, 26 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 2 HR, 1 HBP, 11 BB, 34 SO, 1.99 ERA, 0.91 WHIP

After a rough outing that broke his no-hit streak, Wong was back to not allowing runs and increasing his meager strikeout tale.

Sean Hjelle
Week: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3.86 ERA, 1.93 WHIP
Season: 40.2 IP, 41 H, 16 R, 12 ER, 3 HR, 1 HBP, 9 BB, 44 SO, 2.66 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

Hjelle had a rough start this week, giving up a season-high eight hits and a pair of earned runs. Hjelle’s season numbers aren’t as overwhelming as some, but he continues to get outs.

Mike Yastrzemski
Week: 10-for-20, 8 R, 5 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, 1 CS, .500/.565/1.050
Season: 41-for-120, 36 R, 10 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 29 SO, 2 SB, 2 CS, .342/.430/.742

Carl’s grandson is having a hot streak, and his best season as a pro so far. The 29-year old has never been to the Majors, or even all season at Triple-A, but he may just convince the Giants to give him a cup of coffee.

Austin Slater

Week: 8-for-20, 7 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 9 SO, 1 SF, .400/.480/.900
Season: 39-for-123, 27 R, 9 2B, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 28 BB, 40 SO, 6 SB, 1 CS, .317/.338/.610

Austin Slater’s 2-home run Sunday powered his week and his season is also one of his best, so far.

Gio Brusa

Week: 9-for-20, 3 R,1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB, 2 HBP, .450/.541/.800
Season: 16-for-91, 14 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 16 BB, 44 SO, 5 SB, .176/.318/.363

Look at that difference between Brusa’s season numbers (across three levels), and it speaks volumes about Brusa’s week (at Double-A). The converted first baseman will need many more weeks to prove themselves.

JJ Santa Cruz

Week: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 1 W, 0.00 ERA, 0.69 WHIP
Season: 27 IP, 24 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 2 HR, 2 HBP, 13 BB, 29 SO, 3.33 ERA, 1.37 WHIP

Santa Cruz has been up and down the system, and spent the last three games in Low-A Augusta dominating in his last two games. The 23 year old left-hander is a bit old for the level, but you can’t argue with the results.

Pat Venditte

Week: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.27 WHIP
Season: 18.2 IP, 13 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 2 HBP, 7 BB, 26 SO, 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

Venditte came back to the minors after a pretty disastrous run in the Majors, giving up a lot of runs (and giving a lot of bruises, 3 HBP in 3.1 innings). He’s picked up, stronger than ever, striking out 8 of 12 batters faced

Sunday’s Lines

Sacramento Litter Box

Game 1

Game 2

  • The player of the doubleheader easily goes to Austin Slater, who combined to go 3-for-8 with two home runs (a 2-run homer and a grand slam). Slater’s nine home runs are 2nd best of his career (He had 18 in 109 games in 2016), although everyone should have a saltshaker ready looking at power stats in Triple-A.
  • Mike Yastrzemski was 4-for-7 with two doubles and a walk, and continues his own hot streak. He is 23-for-49 (.469) over his last 14 games, with six doubles, seven home runs, eight walks and 10 strikeouts.
  • Tyler Beede was back in Sacramento and had a mixed day. Seven hits in five innings was bad, three runs allowed was okay (in PCL terms), and seven strikeouts was nice. The three runs in a game matches his Triple-A high, as did his three walks allowed, but the seven hits allowed more than doubled his previous single-game high.
  • Carlos Navas made his third start with Sacramento (out of 12 appearances), lowering his ERA to 4.11.
  • Pat Venditte made his second appearance since returning to Sacramento, and had his best appearance. He struck out five of the six batters he faced. He has 26 strikeouts and seven walks in 18.2 innings this season.
  • Sam Coonrod is back to looking good again, striking out three of the four batters he faced, and now has four scoreless outings after a bad string of games at the start of May.

Richmond Nuthouse

  • Starting at the end, Melvin Adon had one of his best outing yet this season, striking out the side in the ninth earning his fourth save of the season. Adon has struggled in giving up both hits (21 in 19 innings) and walks (15), but he now also has 26 strikeouts and was hitting 100 in this inning.
  • Caleb Baragar had another solid start, though he had one of his weakest strikeout games of the season. Baragar has a 3.93 ERA across all three higher levels this season working as a journeyman, with 38 strikeouts and 13 walks in 34.1 IP.
  • After his cold streak, Jacob Heyward is getting hotter again. With a 2-hit game, Heyward is 7-for-18 (.389) in his last five games, with two walks and four strikeouts.
  • Chris Shaw picked up two more singles. Shaw’s return to Double-A has not been as dominating as one would hope, but despite a .264 batting average, he has a respectable .844 OPS.

San Jose Footprints

San Jose will get a home away from home! At least, they will for two games. With Sunday’s scheduled doubleheader, the games will now be made up in Lake Elsinore in two different doubleheaders during the May 30th through June 2nd series. The Giants will be the home team in the second game of each doubleheader.

Augusta Putt-putt Course

  • Ismael Munguia had a very nice game as he continues his strong season. He hit his second and third triples of the year, halfway to his season-high set last year. He also managed three RBI to lead the team from the leadoff spot.
  • Diego Rincones had his third 2-hit game in his last four, and added his seventh double. Rincones still is without a home run this season, 38 games in.
  • Jesus Ozoria had a start that went just 0.2 innings for the second time this season, though this one was longer in terms of pitches, 38 this time to 33 last time. Ozoria threw less pitches (37) in his last appearance, a three inning relief appearance. Ozoria now has nine walks to seven strikeouts in 12.1 innings…that many innings are spread across five appearances, four of which were starts.
  • It’s rare that the fourth pitcher of a game works the lion’s share of innings, but Luis Amaya did in this one. The 4.1 innings were his longest appearance of the year. He has yet to give up an earned run in 15 innings of work, with 17 strikeouts and three walks, and just seven hits allowed.
  • The GreenJackets have won three straight against the first place Charleston team, and are now 0.5 games back. They have one game left with Charleston, with 27 games total remaining in the first half.

The Wrap-Up:

I cannot wait.