This is what we’ve been wanting — this is what we’ve been missing — this is what we’ve been waiting for. Let’s hop on the BART!
HIGHLIGHTS: Heliot Ramos went 4 for 4 with two doubles; Joey Bart homered in first game back.
Long-time former RiverCat Shane Peterson helped sink Sacramento with a triple and a homer to help Oklahoma City take the first game of this series.
Sacramento had trouble getting much offense going against the Dodgers #8 prospect Tony Gonsolin. But Zach Green continued his powerful return to the RiverCats lineup with two doubles. Green has gone 4 for 13 since coming back off the IL, with three of those hits going for extra bases. There’s a chance that Zach could get his shot at the Giants’ lineup this year before it’s all said and done.
Chris Shaw is still waiting for his first AAA hit of the year, but he did pick up two walks yesterday, his first in three games back with Sacramento against 5 strikeouts.
From a prospect perspective, the highlight of the game came in the bottom of the 6th when Ray Black announced his presence with authority to the Dodgers:
Ray Black was straight up nasty last night pic.twitter.com/AWr4keyRKj— Roger Munter (@rog61) June 5, 2019
In a supremely frustrating loss to Portland, Richmond out-hit the SeaDogs 11-5 and got the benefit of a Portland defensive error, but missed chance after chance to put runs on the board and ultimately fell 5-2. The difference in the game was free passes: Richmond pitchers Conner Menez and Raffi Vizcaino would hand out 8 free baserunners in the game and four of those would come around to score. Menez would walk two batters to start Portland’s first rally in the 4th, and his night would end when he walked and then hit the first two batters of the 7th. The four walks were a season high for Menez who was clearly not as sharp as normal.
Raffi Vizcaino then gift-wrapped Portland’s two-run rally in the 8th with three consecutive walks to start the inning (with a WP tossed in the middle for fun).
That would really hurt when the Squirrels loaded the bases with 1 out in the 9th, though like most of their other rallies in the game that came to nought when Jacob Heyward struck out and Will Maddox ended the game with a harmless comebacker. Richmond went just 2 for 10 with RISP and they actually needed some assistance on the 2. Gio Brusa brought in the first run of the game when he bounced a two-out grounder off the 2b base bag:
Gio Brusa gets the scoring started— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) June 4, 2019
We’re ahead 1-0 in the 2nd pic.twitter.com/rBnd5OsmhU
and then Johneshwy Fargas would regain the lead for Richmond thanks to Portland playing a rather inexplicable “infield in” defense with 1-out in the 5th.
RBI single from Johneshwy Fargas and we have a 2-1 lead in the fifth pic.twitter.com/7XxTAjMN3V— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) June 5, 2019
Fargas also walked and stole his Eastern League-leading 16th base of the year. Teammate Jalen Miller is right on his tail-lights with 14.
Jonah Arenado had two more hits in this game. Since May 27, Arenado is batting .387 (12 for 31) with just 2 strikeouts. He seems to be sacrificing power for contact though, as he has just one extra base hit (a double) during that stretch.
San Jose takes it’s place as one of the focal points in prospect watching this week as Joey Bart’s return from the IL to join Heliot Ramos in the Giants lineup coincides with Modesto coming to town with their superstar prospect Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic, the 6th overall pickin last year’s draft and the cornerstone of the big Edwin Diaz-Robinson Cano trade this winter, has been one of the sensations of the 2019 season, earning an early promotion to the Cal League after destroying the Sally.
But it’s worth remembering that the 2018 high school pick is actually two months older than our own 2017 pick Heliot Ramos and Heliot wanted to make sure everyone remembered that he’s doing some pretty sensational things this year too.
The 19 year old Ramos had the fifth four-hit game of his career — and the first since last June 16 — going a perfect 4 for 4 with two doubles.
The Dynamic Duo of Ramos and Bart were clearly happy to be back together. Combined they went 7 for 8 with two doubles, a home run, a walk, six runs scored and five runs driven in. The only out made by either of them was Bart’s blistered liner to the 2b in his first plate appearance. In the 3rd, Bart followed Ramos’ two-run double with a ball that nobody was going to catch
Two words: KA POW!
The excitement is back at Excite and the new look Giants are rolling. Enjoy the vibes while they last people! (which is my way of saying — get these kids to Richmond where I can see them!)
For the “Call ‘Em Folks,” (and who isn’t?) San Jose hitting coach Thomas Neal had some great insights for Joe Ritzo on last night’s pregame show, on what he’s looking for out of his talented tandem before they move to the next level and what they can expect to find once they get there. That Neal’s first comment is about sustaining focus is really telling about what it’s like to be inside baseball on a daily basis. What’s the Willie Mays quote? Anybody in this game can be great for one day, but to be truly special you have to go out and be great every day.
Pregame interview with #SJGiants hitting coach Thomas Neal on Joey Bart's return tonight & what makes the top prospect such a good hitter, Heliot Ramos' first week back, veteran bats Peter Maris & Courtney Hawkins + making the jump from High-A to Double-A https://t.co/0ydeemrmtk— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 4, 2019
The life of an organizational player: after spending the first two months of the year in extended spring training, 24-year old Dalton Combs got a day in AAA helping out the RiverCats OF until Chris Shaw could get there, and then took his bat and traveled down to the Sally league to fill in for Aaron Bond in Augusta’s.
Last night Combs proved to be just the shot in the arm that the Greenjackets needed as he provided nearly all of the offense in a thrilling come from behind win. Combs’ shocking 6th inning, two-out Grand Slam brought Augusta back from a 4-0 deficit. And when the game went into extra innings tied 5-5, he once again provided the impetus with an 11th inning tie-breaking single to bring in Frankie Tostado. Jose Layer followed with grounder to SS that was booted for an error that would score Nico Giarratano with the ultimate winning run.
Jackets win their 3rd straight, now 5-2 in their last 7. They’ve struck out only 47x in their last 7 games. OPS in the last week of .730 for a group that has a .647 OPS for the season.— Rylan Kobre (@RylanKobrePxP) June 5, 2019
2 games out of 1st with 12 to play in the 1st-half. Plate approach has been off the charts.
Combined with Charleston’s loss that moved Augusta to within two games of 1st place with 12 games to play before the All Star break that divides the season’s two halves.
And speaking of the All Star break — congratulations to Seth Corry, Jesus Tona, and Ismael Munguia for well-deserved honors in making the Sally Southern Division All Star squad (though Munguia had to be replaced in last night’s game — we’ll see what that was about):
Congrats to Jesus Tona, Ismael Munguia and @SethCorry on being selected to play in the 2019 South Atlantic League All-Star Game! #BigMoves— Augusta GreenJackets (@GreenJackets) June 4, 2019
Read More here: https://t.co/laBxjoD8CH pic.twitter.com/mcv5XuDxAD
Adolfo Valdez’ perfect career run is no more as he took an 0 for 4 in his second game. But he’s still rocking a 1.762 OPS!
Luis Matos had his first big game as a Giant, producing a combo meal with his 1st professional HR combined with his 2nd SB. Actually the CF combined even more things as he also made his first error (one of 5 for the team). Matos also added a double on the day (one of 5 XBH for the team!).
Matos was one of seven players in the Giants’ lineup with two hits apiece. That list included Victor Bericoto who reached base in all five of his plate appearances yesterday including a double and three walks. In his International Review for the Giants 2018-19 J2 class, Ben Badler wrote:
One lower-profile sleeper from the class is 17-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Victor Bericoto, who signed on July 2. He’s 6-foot-1, 170 pounds with an easy swing and loft power, hitting well as an amateur and carrying it over when he stood out at Dominican instructional league. He projects as a right fielder.
Bericoto has played 1b thus far for the DSL team.
Luis Castillo made his first professional start, striking out 4 and walking 1 while allowing just 2 unearned runs in 3 IP. Castillo will be 16 for the entire DSL season and may well be the youngest active player in professional ball this year.
Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Andrew Suarez) @ Oklahoma City (Daniel Corcino)
Richmond (Alfred Gutierrez) @ Portland (Danyi Reyes)
San Jose (Sean Hjelle) vs. Modesto (Logan Gilbert)
Augusta (Keaton Winn) @ Asheville (Colten Schmidt)
DSL Giants (TBD) @ DSL Royals2
You want to put more excite into Excite? How about a pitching matchup pairing the 14th and 45th overall picks from the 2018 draft? Pitching to three of the best hitters in the league in Bart, Ramos, and Kelenic? What are you doing reading this....you should be buying tickets to the San Jose game RIGHT NOWWWWWW!
Have a great day everybody!