At Minor Lines, we spend a lot of time celebrating the thrill of dingery, but occasionally, we should pause and give a thought to the agony of defeat
Ok, that’s enough empathy for now — from here on out it’s pure Celebration of Dinger City! And there will be a lot of Dingers to celebrate!
HIGHLIGHTS: Chris Shaw and Zach Green were a triple shy of a cycle; Courtney Hawkins had four hits with homer, double; Conner Nurse struck out 5 over 5 shutout innings; Alexander Canario homered again.
Sacramento lost at El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), 17-6
The top of the first was high times for the RiverCats who jumped out to a lead thanks to back to back homers from Chris Shaw and Zach Green — each of whom ended the day with three hits, including a double and a homer, and two RBIs.
(Parenthetically, I love El Paso’s innovation of having the stadium gun readings pop up in the graphic on each pitch! Everybody on MiLBtv needs to adopt this!)
It was all downhill from there, though. Both teams used an “opener” strategy in this game, and Sam Coonrod had just about the same luck at keeping El Paso off the scoreboard as Robert Stock had with Sacramento. But when it came time for the “starters” to enter, a real separation took place.
Andrew Suarez no doubt has LOTS of empathy with that poor Asheville Tourists pitcher above, as the left-hander was hammered mercilessly in the continuation of a season that has really gone sideways. El Paso would bash out 8 hits and 8 runs of Suarez in just 3 innings, and the RiverCats would never recover from the 10-3 deficit.
All you can really do in El Paso is try to keep putting runs on the board because it’s going to be a video game by the end of 9. I’m reminded of a piece I read on Fangraphs’ yesterday. It’s time to fix the baseball.
We’ve Reached the Point of “Too Many Homers” https://t.co/J7HUYkbEeX— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) June 27, 2019
Richmond jumped out to a 5-1 lead, scoring single runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. But the pitching couldn’t hold it down and the team ultimately went down to defeat in extra innings.
But prior to that sad ending, the offense got a punch of adrenaline from a couple of newcomers. Bryce Johnson started things off with a bang, going deep to start the first, on his way to a 3-hit day.
Get us started, Bryce Johnson— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) June 27, 2019
He leads off the first with his first Double-A homer pic.twitter.com/tzWtjHRf3q
And for the second straight day, Peter Maris, drove home a run.
They also had contributions from some of the early season stars. Jacob Heyward broke an 0 for 13 slump with two hits. And Jalen Miller followed up Wednesday’s two-hit day with a serious power stroke.
That’s three hits for Jalen in the last two days, including one walk and a K. Baby steps, Jalen. Let’s get this thing turned around! The homer was Miller’s 9th of the year — putting him in good shape to best his high of 14 this year.
But starter Brandon Lawson immediately got in a jam in the top of the 7th, putting the first two runners on base, and Tyler Cyr wasn’t able to bail him out. Before Cyr’s night was over Hartford had come back to tie it and Raffi Vizcaino would give up back to back singles in the 10th to bring in the losing run.
Though the game offered an appealing starting pitching matchup — with the Giants power right-hander Jose Marte going up against the former Yankees #16 overall pick James Kaprielian — it was all offense was things got going.
Kaprielian, the former UCLA ace with a huge power arsenal, has seen his career beset by endless injuries and is just getting back into action after missing all of 2017 and 2018. His fastball, which was near triple digits in AFL action back in 2016, was sitting around 90 and he leaned mostly on his slider. The Giants touched him up, scoring 4 runs in his 2.1 inning stint, including homers from Courtney Hawkins and David Villar. Hawkins, like Chris Shaw and Zach Green, finished “a triple shy of a cycle” (my future band name).
Jose Marte, meanwhile, showed his power stuff with 7 Ks, but couldn’t keep runs off the board. So it turned into slugfest. San Jose put up a season high 10 runs in the game (odd that that’s their season high) to outlast the Ports and take their third straight win. Every member of the lineup collected at least one hit, with Hawkins leading the way with 4.
But we have lots of video of our favorite pair, including BP swings, so let’s get to the fun stuff:
BP from last year’s #2 overall pick, Joey Bart (@JBart9GT). Strong as an ox, he doesn’t have standout bat speed but can really put backspin on a ball to carry it over the fence. Does pull off sometimes in game and even in BP, something to monitor as the 22-year-old develops. pic.twitter.com/Q5x2AljaKW— Jacob Zweiback (@TheReelJZ) June 28, 2019
Couple power cuts to end Bart’s BP; good look at how he can let the ball travel and then do damage to center field pic.twitter.com/7WdgAMorfm— Jacob Zweiback (@TheReelJZ) June 28, 2019
The power swing is always in evidence with Bart, though you really do have to regret the lost development time to the fluke injury — time that’s needed for working on his game swing and approach. It does feel like we’ll end up seeing the #1 prospect in San Jose for the duration this year, which almost surely wouldn’t have happened without the bad break.
Although on that score, it seems Mr. Zaidi had some thoughts yesterday:
Interesting observation: Zaidi said the goal ideally is to get both Bart and Ramos to AA before the end of this season. Isn’t surprising to hear that about Bart, but Ramos it is given his age #sfgiants— Jeff Young (@BaseballJeff1) June 28, 2019
My 4th game here in San Jose and first time the @SJGiants have taken the field for BP. So, here’s the @HeliotRamos footage you’ve all been asking for: above avg bat speed, let’s go with one hand, wide stance that might limit his power since he’s mostly muscling up w/ upper body pic.twitter.com/YXbkXhlS6x— Jacob Zweiback (@TheReelJZ) June 27, 2019
After @stocktonports Will Gilbert jams him with a 1-0 fastball at 88 mph, @HeliotRamos hits this 1-1 back up the middle for a single. Ramos continues to make in-game and in-AB adjustments, this time bouncing back from a poor K his previous time up. Funny reaction at 1st! pic.twitter.com/GEnYANFnBM— Jacob Zweiback (@TheReelJZ) June 28, 2019
In addition to the single, Ramos picked up his 21st walk of the season — he’s keeping his walk rate at an impressive 11% this year, while the K rate has stayed steady at the same 25% we saw in Augusta.
More slugfesting! And another season high for runs! Augusta broke loose with a huge 9-run rally in the 3rd inning on their way to laugher. They banged out 10 hits including a bases clearing triple from Shane Matheny that kicked off that big third inning.
Seth Corry wobbled a tiny bit in the opening innings, allowing 3 runs in the first two innings. But once the offense started to come to life, Corry locked things down. He retired 9 of his final 11 hitters (one of whom reached on an error) and ended with 6 more Ks, giving him 86 for the year in just 59 innings. Now the 42 walks could use a little work, but the swing and miss is definitely there. He leaned heavily on his bender last night to put batters away, and it really is a beauty of a pitch when he’s commanding it (though the augusta video feed doesn’t help us appreciate it much).
Seth Corry picks up the first of his 6 Ks pic.twitter.com/TAALwmWOXu— Roger Munter (@rog61) June 28, 2019
In the bottom of the 2nd, down 3-0, Frankie Tostado began the comeback when he drilled the first pitch he saw deep to RF for his 12th HR of the year. Adam Duvall’s 22 HRs are I believe the Greenjackets record in the time that it has been a Giants’ affiliate. Chris Dominguez also had a 20 HR season with Augusta, but that is, I think the list. Tostado has a chance to join those two and, of course, both of them were college hitters slumming it in the Sally.
Frankie Tostado crushes his 12th homer Of the year. pic.twitter.com/UbnFtagalH— Roger Munter (@rog61) June 28, 2019
In the third the Greenjackets would collect five hits, including run scoring extra base hits from Matheny, Zander Clarke and Ismael Munguia who had two hits in the inning. They also received some help with a couple of walks, a HB, and two fielding errors. Diego Rincones chipped in with one of his two doubles on the night.
Finally, in the 4th the offense would come to a close with Jacob Gonzalez 4th bomb of the year. After a brutal May, in which Gonzalez posted just a .514 OPS, he’s shown some improvement with a .276/.329/.447 month of June. Still, it’s been a struggle to master this level for the 2017 2nd rounder.
Salem-Keizer beat Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 4-2
winning their series, 2-1
Harrison Freed homered for his second straight game since arriving in Oregon, and the Volcanoes pitching took the lead in helping Salem-Keizer take the series clincher over Hillsboro. The game was delayed by rainy conditions, but once they took the field young starter Jesus Ozoria delivered a near quality start with 5.1 more strong innings.
The Volcanoes had just five hits of their own, but with five walks and a hit batsman as well, they were able to make the offense count. Hillsboro also contributed with three errors in the game.
The series win pushed Salem-Keizer into 1st place in the NWL South division over Hillsboro. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more talent arriving in Oregon soon, as we await the signing of Hunter Bishop and more imminently, the promotion of Alexander Canario. Speaking of which...
Did Alex homer? Yes he sure as heck did! That’s now 4 homers in his last three games. To say his 6 HRs leads the league is an extreme understatement as there are currently 13 TEAMS in the AZL who have fewer HRs than Canario.
MR CANARIO, PLEASE REPORT TO PHOENIX-SKY HARBOR AIRPORT FOR A PLANE DEPARTING TO SOME OTHER LEAGUE!
Meanwhile, Conner Nurse might also be campaigning for a summer in Oregon. The repeat rookie leaguer who won’t turn 20 for another month, has opened up 2019 with three straight fantastic outings. He’s gone 5 innings in each start, allowing just 1 run on 10 hits so far for the season. He’s also struck out 16 in his 15 innings of work, to just 4 BBs. The 2017 34th rounder has been on an extremely conservative track so far, but he’s shown he can master rookie league hitters pretty well. It might be time for a new challenge for the 6’6” right-hander.
Youngsters Ghordy Santos, Jairo Pomares, and this year’s #5th rounder Garret Frechette all contributed two hits to Team Black’s efforts in a losing cause. Santos’ and Frechette’s lines both included their first triples of the year. Pomares two hits boosted his average up to .400. He’s hit in each of his 7 games this year, including multi-hit efforts in four of them.
Huh. I’m looking ... but I’m just...not ....seeing.... huh. Very little of interest seemed to happen here. I’m looking. I’m looking. I’m seeing Victor Bericoto doubling and walking. But even his daily nudge to the ol’ OPS is hard to get too excited about — especially when it comes with a shocking 2 Ks (still at 25 BB to 19 K for the season) and his first two errors of the season.
Whelp, try again tomorrow.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Enderson Franco) @ El Paso (TBD)
Richmond (Alfred Gutierrez) vs. Hartford (Jack Wynkoop)
San Jose (Sean Hjelle) vs. Stockton (TBD)
Augusta (Keaton Winn) vs. Lexington (TBD)
Salem-Keizer (Alex DuBord) @ Boise (Wander Cabrera)
AZL Giants Orange (Juan Sanchez) vs. AZL D-Backs
AZL Giants Black (Sonny Vargas) @ AZL Dodgers Lasorda
DSL Giants (Jose Mullings) @ DSL Royals2 (TBD)
I feel personally insulted just having to type that stupid AZL Dodgers team name. What kind of name is that anyway? We don’t have an AZL Giants Pierzynski team!
Future’s Game Rosters are announced today. Get ready to see your favorite Giants’ prospects on the big stage! A little Joey Bart in Cleveland, anybody? How about Heliot Ramos? Melvin Adon? Exciting!