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SF Giants Minor Lines 5/23/19: Scoring is hard

Scoring freeze throughout the system leads to lots of Ls

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As we approach the annual amateur draft, it’s been a fascinating week for the sport’s ongoing attempts to suppress player signing bonuses. First came the stunning news of Scott Boras and Carter Stewart’s bold and brilliant end run around the draft, which our own Kenny Kelly explored yesterday. It sounds like this is an “agreement” and the deal hasn’t been officially signed yet, which means there could still be some posturing involved here. But Buster Olney’s remark that this reminds him of Andy Messersmith’s and Dave McNally’s historic move isn’t completely hyperbole. Kiley McDaniel has a few thoughts on the matter here.

In the same week, MLB appears to be doubling down on trying to reduce potential bonuses for players seeking to enter their industry as Ben Badler brings word that MLB is working with Latin American trainers to institute an international draft that would hard slot 450 new players every year, with an eye towards implementing this in the next two seasons.

It would be interesting to see Japan get involved in the Dominican market, too (of course, NPB clubs currently have caps on how many foreign players can be rostered).

That’s a lot of big news for a holiday weekend!

HIGHLIGHTS: Ray Black returned; Bryce Johnson had four hits; John Gavin struck out 5, allowed one hit over 4 IP.

Sacramento lost to Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 7-1

I hope you weren’t coming here looking for offensive highlights this morning because they are nowhere to be found! Sacramento was one of three affiliates that managed just 1 run last night. In fact, the RiverCats managed just three hits in this game which under 2019 PCL rules is, I believe, cause for instant relegation down to the Cal League.

After pushing across their lone run of the night in the third on an Abiatal Avelino ground ball, Sacramento watched as Salt Lake ran off 6 unanswered runs the rest of the night, most of them off Ty Blach who is really scuffling with his return to AAA. Blach’s 2019 ERA is now up to 6.41, which is bad, even in the PCL-universe.

The best news for the Cats came out of the bullpen. LHP Sam Selman continued his dominance, throwing a perfect 1.2 innings with 3 Ks. Selman has allowed just 3 earned runs on the year (split between Richmond and Sacramento) over 24 IP. With Sacramento he’s featuring a tiny 0.71 WHIP, with just 5 walks and 7 hits allowed in 17 innings while striking out 27. Another pretty nice lefty option. Hang around, Sam, there may be some open spots for LH relievers coming later on in the summer.

And then this happened!

Black had some rust which showed in his control and wasn’t at his normal peak-Black velo. He started out around 96 or so, but gradually warmed his way up a bit:

Richmond lost to Reading Fightin’ Phils, 6-1
losing their series, 1-2

Up to six hits...progress! But yeah, otherwise, it’s “second verse...same as the first...”

Chris Shaw and Jonah Arenado managed two hits apiece, which was two-thirds of the team’s offense. The pair teamed up on the lone run of the night thanks to an extraordinarily unusual occurance. Allow me to draw your attention to....

That would be the first stolen base of Shaw’s minor league career in 443 games played. Astonishingly, he does have a major league SB in his 22 game stint last September. So now the accounts are balanced. Chris will apparently do anything to get out of Richmond! Anyway, that led to the highlight:

Jacob Heyward, recently moved up to the leadoff spot, took a hat trick in the game. His K/BB ratio is starting to get a tiny bit out of balance at 40/26 now, so hopefully he can right that ship again going forward. Jalen Miller had one of each last night — his 11% walk rate this year is nearly twice his previous career high, though the batting average has slipped down to .241.

Perhaps after a dud of a game, it’s only right to take a moment to spotlight a man who’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes every day of the Squirrels’ existence to give the players and fans the best experience possible.

San Jose beat Modesto Nuts (Mariners), 6-1
winning their series, 2-1

Finally! My kingdom for some runs! San Jose continued their abrupt season turnaround, and fitting the Organizational Theme of 2019, they’re doing it with some major roster churn.

Four members of yesterday’s box score (Peter Maris, Courtney Hawkins, Fabian Pena and Randy Norris) have played 7 or fewer games this year, and two of them (Maris and Hawkins) have made their organizational debut within the last week. Heck, Zander Clarke, who came up from XST back on May 10 is practically old hat by now — and hitting just .184 he’d better watch out that New Hat doesn’t come along to replace him pretty soon.

Maris has been on fire since joining the Giants, going 9 for 21. Coming off his first hitless game it was time to take thing up a notch, so the DH went deep for his first time on the year. Though hardly known as a slugger, Maris is belting out a cool .810 SLG thus far with San Jose.

The Giants got tremendous pitching from both ends of their piggy back tandem. Aaron Phillips set the tone, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits over 5 innings. Then lefty John Gavin played a little one-upsmanship, going 4 scoreless on just 2 hits, while striking out 5. The hometown kid is enjoying a fine season in long relief in his return to San Jose. His ERA is down to 3.26 and he’s K’d 34 against just 13 walks in 30.1 innings.

Augusta lost to Rome Braves, 3-1

Yep, now we’re back to “you’ve lost that loving feeling” as the runs dried up again. But speaking of “who the heck are these guys?” Augusta had two different organizational debuts on the mound last night as they look to replace the pitchers who’ve moved on up, so let’s introduce, thanks to the inestimable GPT:

Again, improving organizational depth and talent is the goal of 2019 (and likely 2020 and 2021). There should be no confusion about what the brass thinks of the talent that was on hand when Bobby Evans was dismissed. The world is going to keep on churning...

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Tyler Beede) vs. Salt Lake (Patrick Sandoval)
Richmond (Caleb Baragar) @ Akron (Tanner Tully)
San Jose (Casey Meisner) @ Visalia (TBD)
Augusta (TBD) vs. Rome (Gabriel Noguera)

Well that was a rather lackluster and disappointing Minor Lines. Get that groove back tonight fellows!