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SF Giants Minor Lines 5/28/19: Heliot Ramos goes deep

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Now this is more like it...

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In his first plate appearance of the night, Heliot Ramos ripped a liner into LF, where Lancaster JetHawk LF Todd Czinege was able to come in and make an excellent sliding grab. That was Ramos’ out last night. Despite missing about half the season, the 19 year old leads San Jose in HRs, and boasts a 1.048 OPS. That’ll do, Heliot!

HIGHLIGHTS: Heliot Ramos went 3 for 4 with 6th HR; Garrett Cave struck out 5 in relief; Aaron Bond homered for 3rd time in three games.


Sacramento won at Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 7-2
sweeping their series 4-0

After three straight helium-filled nights in Isotopes Stadium, something like sanity returned to Albuquerque for the series finale. Ty Blach and two relievers held the ‘Topes to 2 runs for the night, and even the Sacramento bats seemed tired out from all their hitting this series — until they hung a 5 spot in the 6th to break a 2-2 tie and get out the brooms. The four game road sweep was a thing of beauty for the RiverCats, who outscored Albuquerque 45-21.

SS Levi Michael provided the key hit of the night — a bases loaded, go ahead triple. Hidden behind some of the gaudier numbers of his teammates, Michael quietly had an excellent series himself, going 7 for 16 with 9 RBIs. That included two homers, a double, a triple and a walk. If you want some numbers, get ye to Albuquerque young man!

Anthony Garcia picked up another two hits, finishing the series 10 for 17 with four walks.

Blach had his best start in over a month, and considering the circumstances it might well have been his best start of the year. It was just the third start this year in which Ty has allowed fewer than 3 runs, and ironically two of those three have come in high altitudes (he gave up just 1 ER in Salt Lake back on April 12).


Richmond lost to Binghamton Rubble Ponies (Mets), 2-1 in 10 inn

Melvin Adon surrendered a two-out, opposite field single in the top of the 10th to drive in the game winning run, ending a frustrating return home for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Despite a night of offensive futility, Richmond was on the verge of a 1-0 victory with two outs and nobody on in the top of the 9th. But Sam Wolff allowed three consecutive two-out singles — including one that never left the infield — to tie up the game and send it to extras. Down to their final at bat, Hamlet Marte committed a Cardinal sin on the bases, getting thrown out at 3b for the first out of the inning. The Squirrels would go down quietly with Jacob Heyward ending the night with his third K.

Chris Shaw was once again the plate setter for the team. Shaw singled and doubled and would come around to score the team’s lone run (third time this week he’s done that) when Jalen Miller poked a single to Right Field. Shaw’s OBP is up to .367.

Since switching to relief Raffi Vizcaino has been a revelation. The 23 year old RHP has allowed just 6 hits and 3 runs over 25.1 IP this year while striking out 43. He hasn’t hit any speed bumps in the move up to AA either, striking out 13 and walking just 2 in 9.1 with Richmond, where he has yet to allow a run. Last night Raffi went a perfect 2 innings. It’s been a long slow development burn for Vizcaino, who has frequently been slowed by health issues, but he and his three-pitch mix might finally be in the fast lane.


San Jose lost to Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies), 9-4

San Jose suffered it’s first home loss since May 4, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t things to celebrate. Heliot Ramos stole the show in his second night back, picking up three hits including a monster two-run shot in the bottom of the 8th for his team-leading 6th HR in just 21 games played.

Almost thought we were gonna get a bat flip there, but it seemed Heliot wasn’t sure what to do with his club, perhaps lay it gently in a place of honor for a job well done. The teenager is now batting .296/.429/.620 in what continues to be a revelatory start to his 2019 campaign. That 1.048 OPS would lead the league by over 100 points if he had enough at bats to qualify — of course that’s a big If, as keeping performance up over the long haul is the great challenge of this great game. Just 21 games, but things are looking very very UP for the youngster.

On the other side of the equation, Manuel Geraldo is suffering through a dismal beginning to his Cal League career, hitting just .171 with a .459 OPS through his first 43 games. He managed to get into the HR column yesterday though, with a slicing liner the opposite way that just crept inside the pole and over the fence.

That was all the offense San Jose could muster though, as Ramos had half of the team’s hits. The pitching side wasn’t much better with one major exception.

After allowing 13 runs and walking an unbelievable 18 batters in his first 17 IP this year, the Giants finally pulled the plug on the Garrett Cave starting experiment. Newly converted to relief, where it’s always appeared he belonged, perhaps Cave, like Vizcaino, will find a comfortable new home in the bullpen. His second relief outing was definitely an eye opener, as Cave set down 7 of the 8 batters he faced, walked just one and struck out 5 in a dominant outing. That included striking out the side in his final inning on just 10 pitches.

This is the arm the Giants hoped they were getting out of the 2017 4th rounder from the University of Tampa.


Augusta lost to Greenville Drive (Red Sox), 7-6
losing their series, 1-4

As wit their Richmond brethren, Augusta was on the precipice of pulling out a tight 1-run victory last night. Through a see-saw battle that saw four lead changes, the Greenjackets got to the 9th with a 6-5 lead and their almost perfect closer Jesus Tona on the mound. Tona had been scored upon in just one of his 14 appearances on the year (24 IP) so things seemed in hand. But there’s a reason why 2018 1st rounder Triston Casas is considered one of the better hitting prospects in baseball. The 19 year old who is #5 on the Red Sox prospect lists, drove a 1-0 pitch deep into the night for a game winning two-run homer. That sent Augusta to a demoralizing fourth loss in this five-game series that has badly damaged their hopes to grab a 1st half title.

Prior to that crushing conclusion however, there were many moments of joy. The Greenjackets offense, which has struggled over much of the first two months, was humming with 11 hits and 4 walks against just 5 Ks. The rejuvenated Aaron Bond reached base three times, including his 3rd home run of the series, tying him for the team lead with 7.

The average is still languishing on the wrong side of the Mendoza Line (.174) but maybe we’re starting to see Bond get adjusted to this level.

Three different batters had two hits including a double last night: Jose Layer, Andres Angulo, and Jacob Gonzalez. Gonzalez was once again playing 1b, which is likely his permanent defensive home, and maybe taking the pressures of 3b off his mind is something that will help him settle in offensively. The 20 year old had his third multi-hit effort in his last six games.


Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Tyler Beede) vs. Reno (Tanner Anderson)
Richmond (Caleb Baragar) vs. Binghamton (David Peterson)
San Jose (Aaron Phillips) vs. Lancaster (Ryan Rolison)
Augusta: OFF

Interesting slate up today. We’ll be watching Sacramento closely to see if Tyler Beede, indeed, does take the mound as scheduled, or whether he might pop up somewhere else entirely instead.

Next up, Heliot gets to test himself against one of the best college pitchers in the 2018 draft, the former University of Mississippi (and current Rockies #7 prospect) LHP Ryan Rolison. Richmond, meanwhile, gets the Mets #6 prospect, former University of Oregon LHP David Peterson.

Let’s end today with a couple of heart-warmers, shall we? You’ve probably already seen Andrew Baggarly’s excellent piece on Johnny Cueto taking the Giants’ young Dominican pitchers under his wing, but if somehow you missed it, it’s a must read:

And if you’re the type who loves a good underdog story of perseverance, this Joe Ritzo interview with OF Randy Norris is definitely for you.