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They Might Be Giants

The SF Giants Prospect Roundup: The Wait for Luciano Has Ended

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Marco Luciano’s debut (Finally!), plus some speed in the system!

Prospect Roundup Cover Image Kevin J. Cunningham

Marco Luciano’s Slow Start Turns To Explosion

Last season, Giants fans were excited after the team signed one of the Top 2 prospects in the International Free Agent market last July, Marco Luciano. But it’s been a long wait for him to get into games (at least, recorded games where we get box scores). Nearly a full year later, Luciano got into a game.

And he went 0-for-5. And then he did it again.

There may have been a hot moment where fans got worried about the 17-year old fulfilling our expectations. There were a few tweeting about their worries, which quickly got shot down (and apparently deleted, as I can’t find them now).

But the quickest to shoot them down was Luciano himself.

Okay, that’s a lie. That home run wasn’t from Luciano’s first game with a hit. Sorry, we are lucky to get the video highlights that we get. That’s from his second day. But Luciano’s first game with a hit was a 3-for-5 day with a double, a triple, a home run, and a walk.

All he did was homer again on the next game he played, oh, and he also went 4-for-4, as this video shows one of those three singles.

Luciano went on to homer in the next game as well, going 1-for-5. Today, Luciano broke that home run streak, but still went 2-for-4 with a double, with another walk.

With six games under the AZL belt, Luciano is batting .385/.448/.885 with three home runs, two doubles and one triple, plus two walks against six strikeouts. That’s an excellent start no matter what, but especially after starting 0-for-10.

There’s still months left in the season. And Luciano is 17. There is inevitably going to be highs and lows for him, and we’re likely among some of those highs right now. It’s going to be a wild ride for him, and we’ll get to watch it. But let’s not get too impatient. Just excited.

And, if you need more hype video since the AZL doesn’t show any, here’s this video again for the 378th time.

Speed!

Earlier this week, Johneshwy Fargas stole three bases in a game. And that wasn’t even his season high. But don’t be too hard on him, he only did it without collecting a hit.

It’s been a heck of a season for Fargas. While his hitting is not good at all (.226/.314/.309), Fargas has been absolute fire on the basepaths. Fargas now has 31 steals in 42 attempts on the season, and it isn’t even a competition for the league lead. The next highest steal total is teammate Jalen Miller at 18. Fargas has more than twice as many steals as the nearest non-Squirrel (Jared Oliva, with 15 for Altoona).

Fargas is on pace to beat the 47 steals he had in 2018, in 89 games with San Jose. It may be tougher for him to beat his career high 59, which he had with Augusta in 2015. But whether or not the hitting will be enough for Fargas to show his speed at a higher level is the bigger question. Fargas had a breakthrough in San Jose last season, batting .288/.354/.421, but he hasn’t followed it up as well this season. Still, a pinch runner with real speed might be a nice tool to have.

Jalen Miller’s season has been his best, speed-wise, even though he’s gone ice-cold at the plate over the last month. Miller’s 18 steals so far is already a career high, and he’s evenly stolen six bases in each month of the season, even as he hit just .202 in May and .185 in June. Those 18 steals are still good for second best in the Eastern League, but the hitting will have to come back around to keep it up.

Fargas aside, there’s another Giants’ prospect leading his league in steals…at least, co-leading, and it might be a surprising name. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have shortstop Simon Whiteman co-leading the league with five steals (along with DeAires Moses of Everett, a Mariners prospect). The former Yale captain had 71 steals in his 4-year career at the school, including a perfect 34-for-34 in 41 games his Senior season. He’s only been successful in five of nine attempts, so he’s facing some better catchers among the pros, but he might be able to pick up on beating them even better.

Further Reading and Viewing

John Calvagno, writer of Notes From The Sally, released his SAL League Top 40 midseason prospects. Not surprisingly, this list is light on Giants prospects, especially since Jake Wong and Sean Hjelle were promoted early in the season. Only Gregory Santos makes the list, at #20. He doesn’t even get a blurb, but it’s wroth seeing how he ranks in a stacked SAL league, even after an injury cost him several weeks.

Here’s a quick video look at Grant McCray, currently the highest signed Giants pick from 2019.

And a little memory that’s in the Hall of Fame from last year. The Bi-Cycle will live on for a long time!

Salem-Keizer’s New Play-By-Play Voice

Does youth count as a quality outside of the dugout?

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have hired a new play-by-play announcer, and he’s a young one. In fact, he just graduated high school.

Payne Patchett is the youngest play-by-play announcer in professional sports, and will join the Volcanoes for the entire season. MiLB.com has a nice article about how the young man got into announcing, which is worth a read. Patchett also has a twitter account, so hopefully we’ll get first hand news and updates the same way we do from some of the other system’s play-by-play guys.

Top Prospect Updates

Joey Bart

Week: 3-for-13, 2 RBI, 4 SO, .231/.230/.231
Season: 22-for-90, 15 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 6 BB, 19 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, .244/.313/.478

In a short week, Bart started to pick up a few hits over the weekend. Hopefully he is beginning to come out of his slump.

Heliot Ramos

Week: 2-for-17, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 8 SO, .118/.210/.118
Season: 41-for-149, 23 R, 10 2B, 8 HR, 21 RBI, 19 BB, 45 SO, 2 SB, 5 CS, .275/.366/.503

Ouch, this week coming off of the All-Star Break as been tough. It started with a 4-strikeout day the frist day after the break, and barely got any better. Hopefully, this won’t last.

Marco Luciano

Week: 10-for-28, 11 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO, .357/.400/.821
Season: 10-for-28, 11 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO, .357/.400/.821

Read the first part of this story for all you need to know.

Jake Wong

Week: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 7.71 ERA, 1.71 WHIP
Season (SJ): 27.1 IP, 27 H, 18 R, 15 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 12 BB, 23 SO, 4.94 ERA, 1.43 WHIP

This was one of Wong’s worst games of the season, and over the last two starts, his ERA in San Jose has shot up from 3.43 to 4.94.

Sean Hjelle

Week: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Season (SJ): 34.2 IP, 32 H, 13 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 5 HB, 8 BB, 31 SO, 2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

In comparison to Wong, Hjelle came in with one of his best starts, and has been trending upward lately.

Gregory Santos

Week: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR, 1.80 ERA, 0.60 WHIP
Season: 15.2 IP, 15 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 11 SO, 2.87 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Santos had his second good start since coming back from the IL, giving up his first run since his return. The strikeouts have not quite returned, but he’s keeping runs off the board.

Conner Menez

Week: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO, 1 HR, 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
Season (SAC): 16.1 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 31 SO, 3.31 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

If you want strikeouts, Menez is your man, close to averaging two per inning. The home run ball has been a problem for him in Triple-A, but that’s baseball in Triple-A this year.

Sunday’s Lines

Sacramento Litter Box

  • Zach Green was the clear power leader for the River Cats tonight, going 2-for-4 with two home runs, giving him 14 on the season. It was the second 2-home run game for Green in his last eight, as he did the same feat on June 12th.
  • Chris Shaw was only 1-for-4, but his single in the eighth was the game’s difference, knocking in two runs. Shaw has cooled off lately, but is still batting .275/.370/.507 in 18 games with Sacramento.
  • This game was the SF organization debut of Joey Rickard, recently claimed off waivers from Baltimore. Fun note: Rickard was born in Las Vegas, and the 28-year old made his Sacramento debut playing in his hometown.
  • Enderson Franco had the start, putting together a solid start in the desert. The six strikeouts is his highest total since May 25th, and he now has 58 strikeouts and 20 walks in 62.2 IP.
  • Rehabbing Travis Bergen gave up a run on two hits while getting just one out. He’s got a 6.23 ERA in four Sacramento appearances.
  • Fernando Abad struck out four of the five batters he faced to earn a save, coming in with the tying run on in the eighth. He has 35 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.

Richmond Nuthouse

  • Jonah Arenado picked up his 12th double and 2nd triple of the season in a good day at Binghamton.
  • Jalen Miller hit his eighth home run of the season, and his first since May 10th.
  • Garrett Williams had another scoreless start, his third in the last four games (around a four-run start). Williams’ ERA has dropped from 5.18 to 4.05 during the four starts.
  • Raffi Vizcaino struck out one in 1.2 as he continues to work off his Richmond ERA, down to 3.20 from 4.97 back on June 8th.

San Jose Footprints

  • Sean Hjelle had his best start in San Jose, and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts. Hjelle has 31 strikeouts and eight walks in 34.2 IP.
  • Jean Angomas had one of his biggest days of the season, collecting a season-high four hits and his second home run of the year. His first was back on April 17th.
  • David Villar had his second straight 2-hit game, raising his average to .258. Villar is 12-for-39 (.333) over his last ten games.
  • Joey Bart was 1-for-4 with a HBP (in the first) in this game.

Augusta Putt-putt Course

  • Frankie Tostado was the only hitter with multiple hits, picking up his second triple of the season. It was Tostado’s first extra-base hit since June 2nd, a span of 15 games.
  • Ismael Munguia also had a triple, his fourth of the season. Munguia’s been just 3-for-34 (.118) over his last eight games, dropping his batting average from .296 to .266.

Salem-Keizer Crater

  • Franklin Labour picked up his first triple of the season, and he’s had hits in nine of his ten games played. He also has five walks to seven strikeouts in 39 at-bats.
  • Yorlis’ Rodriguez’s fourth double of the season extended a small hitting streak to five, and Rodriguez also has hits in nine of the ten game he’s played.
  • Alex DuBord took another tough start, giving up four in his second start. DuBord has allowed seven runs in 3.2 innings to start this season.

Arizona Black Adders AND the Arizona Orange Order

  • The two AZL Giants teams had their first of six faceoffs this season, and this time, the Orange team came out on top.
  • Marco Luciano’s 2-hit game continues his run of hitting (with his second double), but this was the first time in four games he didn’t hit a home run. He’s batting .385/.448/.885
  • Javeyan Williams was 1-for-3, but picked up his first two steals of the year, as well as two walks. Williams has six walks against three strikeouts in 15 at-bats.
  • Heath Quinn’s rehab continues with two doubles. In six rehab games, Quinn is 6-for-22 (.273) with two doubles and two home runs in the AZL.
  • 19-year old Ghordy Santos hit his first home run of the season. He’s only played three games, but is 6-for-18 with two doubles and one home run.
  • 18-year old Jairo Pomares was 2-for-5 with his first triple. Pomares has collected at least one hit in every game he’s played, and is batting .364/.440/.500.
  • 23-year old Matt Malkin is 7-for-17 (.412) with three straight 2-hit games for the Noir squad.
  • Carter Aldrete had his second 2-hit game, and his double was his first extra-base hit of the season (six games, for him).
  • Juan Sanchez had the start for the Orange squad, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks. He’s given up a .324 batting average allowed in his first two starts.
  • Miguel Figueroa picked up another six strikeouts, and now has 11 in 6.2 IP, with two walks.
  • Sonny Vargas started for the Noir Squad, giving up his first earned run, but four unearned. Vargas has given up five unearned runs in his first two starts.