Big News from yesterday, as the Giants get both of their best prospects into the only All Star game that matters for us this year:
Awesome! Last year I got to watch this event in person (including BP which is really the best part). This is finally the year that the Giants contingent matters, including maybe the first Giants starter ever at a Future’s Game? (I’d have to check this but off the top of my head I think that’s right?). Joey Bart is much higher up most prospect rankings than other NL Catchers Daulton Varsho or Miguel Amaya and that likely means we could see him at the game’s open. Stay tuned!
HIGHLIGHTS: Johneshwy Fargas had four hits, two SB; Sean Hjelle struck out a career high 9; Keaton Winn allowed no earned runs in 6 IP;
Sacramento lost at El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), 9-5
losing their series, 1-3
Zach Green homered for the 6th time in 8 days, but otherwise the team once again couldn’t keep pace with the fast motor of the Chihauhaus.
It was a rough night for the pitching on the whole, though relievers Ray Black and Sam Selman stood out. Those two stalwarts combined on 2.2 shutout innings with just one hit while they struck out 5. Otherwise it was Runs ‘R Us for the rest fo the staff.
Travis Bergen’s rehab assignment will end next weekend, just as the team goes to the break. I assume the Giants continue to want to maintain control of the lefty and will return him the majors, but it does present a difficult decision of precisely how to do that. And given that he hasn’t been all that impressive over the last month, it could be a decision they’ll weigh carefully.
Anyway, here’s your daily Zach Green socking a dinger highlight. Green, by the by, has struck out in about 33% of his PA in AAA over the last two seasons while posting a BABIP of around .390. I am well past the point of having any understanding of what AAA performance means this year to be honest, but he sure is showing off some right-handed power.
Zach Green goes deep for the 6th time in 8 games pic.twitter.com/wx116GKhiw— Roger Munter (@rog61) June 29, 2019
The Squirrels have gone to a Jolt of Lightning lineup with speedsters Bryce Johnson and Johneshwy Fargas at the top and it paid off last night in a big way. The pair combined for nearly all the offense for the Squirrels with Fargas having a particularly large game.
Johnson and Fargas provided six of the team’s eight hits, both of their extra base hits, all three of their runs scores, and two of their RBIs. That’s how you jump start a lineup!
Fargas had the second four-hit night of his career, twice driving in Johnson in front of him. And Johneshwy being Johneshwy, he also stole two more bases. That gives him 33rd for the year — a whopping 15 more than any other player in the league. He literally has more than twice the amount of SB of the third best player in the league. You know my mantra with Fargas: he doesn’t have to hit a lot to find a way to provide value, he just has to hit some.
Knock on wood, but Melvin Adon’s season seems to be rounding into shape as we get into the summer. He now has 50 Ks in 38.1 IP with a 30% K rate. The command has been very shaky and the walks too high (he’s issued 19 unintentional ones), but he’s mostly trending in the right direction. Over the past two weeks Adon has 10 Ks to just 1 BB over 6 IP. And aside from a 4 BB meltdown back on June 6 he’s been in the strike zone more often than not this month. More importantly, he’s been putting zeros up on the board. Over 20.1 innings stretching back to May 16, Adon has allowed just 3 earned runs, and never more than 1 run (earned or not) in an appearance.
From the prospect development perspective a lot of good things happened in last night’s San Jose game. From a baseball perspective, a bullpen collapse led to an ugly defeat for the team. But let’s start with the positive!
B8| Joey Bart singles and moves Ramos over to second. 1 out. And we are tied 8-8. pic.twitter.com/zinbnblwjP— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) June 29, 2019
The Giants’ two new representatives to the Future’s Game celebrated by collecting 5 hits in the game. Heliot Ramos knocked in three runs and added a walk. Ramos even found a way to be impressive when he was striking out!
Ooh, Heliot Ramos just struck out and broke his bat over his leg.— Julie (@phibear35) June 29, 2019
On the mound, Sean Hjelle set a career high with 9 Ks over 5 innings. He allowed a solo HR to Ports DH Josh Watson (who caused all kinds of problems for the Giants last night) and also created a unearned run with his own errant pickoff throw, but otherwise the Tall Man was on point last night in his finest pro effort to date.
After Hjelle left, however, things took a turn for the worse. The Giants held an 8-2 lead going into the 7th inning and let it all slip away. It’s good to see Mac Marshall back on the mound, but in his 2nd inning of work, he gave up two runs to start the comeback. And then in the 8th, Joey Marciano struggled to get anybody out. Marciano deposited a giant mess in Camilo Doval’s lap — coming into a bases loaded, one out situation. Doval would strike out two of the three batters he faced in the inning, but ultimately all three inherited runners would score thanks to a Joey Bart passed ball and a two-out single. That tied things up and in extras Garrett Cave would give up back to back triples (how often do you see that?) to key a three-run rally and lead the Ports to victory.
That’s a rough one.
Still, a great Hjelle start. Some nice swings from Bart and Ramos. Marshall back on the field and Doval lighting up the radar gun are all pretty positive development signs, even though the night was discouraging in the standings. The pen really is the one area where this team doesn’t appear particularly strong, and it took a hit yesterday when Solomon Bates revealed on twitter that his season is over due to an injury to his right leg or knee.
But for now, enjoy a little Joey Bart and Amy G!
The Greenjackets offense wasted a fantastic start from Keaton Winn, breaking up the team’s perfect homestand. Augusta had won the first four games of this nine game stretch at home.
Winn, the 5th round pick from last year’s draft (as well as the 20th round pick from the 2017 draft), ran in a lot of traffic last night, but managed to dance out of danger nearly every time. The only run scored against came on a two-out Jeffry Parra passed ball. Winn leaned heavily on an 87-88 MPH slider last night to get him out of trouble. The tall Iowan righty matched his career high with 6 Ks while picking up six ground ball outs.
Winn hit a tiny rough patch in the end of May, but he’s been very strong in June. Over his last four starts he’s surrendered just 4 ER over 22.2 IP striking out 20. He’s mostly been a very efficient strike thrower, with just two games this year in which he’s walked more than 1 batter.
All that said, even the best pitchers have to rely on a little help from their friends from time to time.
PSA: Do not run on Diego Rincones. This will result in an out. pic.twitter.com/RTYolfQKwR— Roger Munter (@rog61) June 29, 2019
The Volcanoes put a spin on San Jose’s ugly loss. In this case, it was Salem-Keizer who made the big comeback, scoring 5 runs in the top of the 9th to take a one-run lead. But they couldn’t hang onto it as Trevor Horn allowed single runs in both the 9th and 10th innings for rough loss. Horn actually almost ended it in the 9th, but Harrison Freed came up with a clutch throw to cut down the potential winning run at the plate. That just postponed the inevitable though, as the Volcanoes great effort came to naught.
The dramatic swing of the bat came from Ricardo Genoves, who has definitely transitioned from a young batter with an off-field approach just trying to stay alive, to a slugger up there looking to do damage. We had heard from extended about Genoves growth into plus raw power blossoming (mentioned prominently in Eric Longenhagen’s writeup for Fangraphs) and he has been putting that power on display in games this year in the NWL. His clutch two-out, three-run, game tying shot last night in the 9th tied him with teammate Franklin Labour for the league lead.
#DidAlexHomer? NO! Shocking upset, I know. He just picked up three hits with a double — everybody has an off night, nothing to panic about people!
But Seriously! Kyle! Plane ticket. Oregon. Now!
(Editor’s Note: I know perfectly well they’re monitoring the health of his shoulder and don’t mean to be flippant about his health and long-term benefits. But I have to stay true to my bit!)
Twenty year old RHP Jorge Labrador had a huge relief outing for Team Orange, throwing three perfect innings and striking out 6 of the 11 batters he faced. Labrador now has 15 Ks in 11.1 innings this year with just 3 runs allowed. The Giants signed the RHP for $250,000 back on July 2, 2015 — the same J2 class that brought in Genoves and Diego Rincones, and most momentously, Lucius Fox. Possibly he’s now starting to grow into the physical maturity the Giants projected four years ago and could be an arm to watch this summer.
George Bell was sent back down to the complex league, after hitting just .149 over 50 PA in Salem-Keizer. In his first game back in the AZL he went deep for his first professional HR. Fifth round pick Garrett Frechette picked up his first double, and second extra base hit, of his career. The 1b has gone 5 for his first 16 as a pro — so far he’s transitioning to pro ball a little easier than 3rd rounder Grant McCray, who has gone just 3 for 30 out of the gates.
The AZL Giants Orange team is now 8-2 and has the league’s best record.
Blown late inning leads was apparently the theme of the day in the system, and the tone was set early when the DSL Giants failed to hold an 8-4 lead entering the 9th inning. This game will be completed on July 10. Estiven Encarnacion suffered through a wild 9th that included lots of walks, lots of wild pitches, and a nearly incomprehensible play that ended up in the game logs looking like this:
Does that sound like any play you’ve ever seen on a baseball field? No, me neither. Anyway, the heaven’s opened just after a wild pitch had moved the tying and winning runs into scoring position, and a subsequent ground out had tied the game up. When it resume there will be two outs in the 9th and a runner on 3b.
Luis Matos picked up a hat trick for the time in his pro career, though he also doubled to keep his SLG at a robust .649. Victor Bericoto doubled to push his hit streak to 11 games. He also walked twice more. Bericoto has yet to have a game in which he failed to reach base by either a hit or a walk, a streak that is up to 23 games to start his career. Victor knows how to catch a President’s eye!
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Yoanys Quiala) vs. Albuquerque (Tim Melville)
Richmond (Garrett Williams) vs. Hartford (Brandon Gold)
San Jose (Aaron Phillips) vs. Stockton (TBD)
Augusta (Adam Oller) vs. Lexington (TBD)
Salem-Keizer (Kervin Castro) @ Boise (Jordan Spicer)
AZL Giants Orange (Jesus Gomez) @ AZL Dodgers Mota (TBD)
AZL Giants Black (Ivan Armstrong) vs. AZL Dodgers Lasorda
DSL Giants (Jose Bonilla) vs. DSL Pirates2 (TBD)
Legendary pinch-hitter extraordinaire Manny Mota was originally a Giant. This name seems perfectly acceptable. Aaron Phillips steps back into the Giants rotation with his first start since June 4. Kervin Castro looks to keep his great start going. Castro’s 1.20 ERA is second best in the NWL while his 17 Ks are tied for 5th, but just three off the lead.
Enjoy the weekend everybody. Here’s a little enjoyable light reading for you while you’re waiting for the games to start: