Are you seeking refuge from the tornado that is NBA free agency? Wondering how the retooled Warriors will continue to compete? What if they decide to look to San Jose to find a new 6’11” player……
I don’t think you’re ready for this Hjelle, I don’t think you’re ready for this Hjelle pic.twitter.com/iRYHpmpwU1— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) June 29, 2019
(Really, did they need an angle that made him look even taller? That shadow is about 65’ long…)
Okay, so no, the Warriors aren’t coming down to San Jose looking for a new center. But it’s been a week of big news in the system. Are you ready for this…uh, news?
Bishop, Wyatt both sign…what’s next for the 2019 draft?
You may have heard of this, as it was some of the big news this week. Bishop’s signing was joined by 2nd round pick Logan Wyatt, 4th rounder Tyler Fitzgerald, and 8th rounder Caleb Kilian. This means that all of the Giants’ picks from the top 10 rounds have now signed. But there are still quite a few players the Giants haven’t signed. So let’s answer about what’s left for the 2019 draft picks.
When will we see Bishop, Wyatt and the others on rosters, and where?
All four of these players are college players, three of whom were just playing in the recently finished College World Series. They are likely to need very little time to get back into playing shape. I’d expect to start seeing at least a couple of those players on rosters this week.
As far as where, that’s easy: They will make their debuts in the Arizona League. It’s unlikely Bishop will stay there long, and probably not Wyatt either, as both should head up to Salem-Keizer after not too long. As for Fitzgerald and Kilian, whether or not they get a promotion will depend on performance.
How many players are left unsigned?
The Giants still have 12 players left unsigned. 11th round pick Trevor McDonald is the only unsigned pick higher than the 24th round.
Will any of them sign?
Based on estimates of the bonuses signed, the Giants have around $650K remaining to spend, and they wouldn’t have left it on the table, if they weren’t planning to spend any of it. There have been hints that McDonald, a high schooler committed to the University of Southern Alabama. But others are definitely not signing, as GPT on Twitter runs down:
McDonald appears to be signing. Sharp, Brewer, Lee, Weiss, Rigney have indicated that they will not sign. Colopy (Cincinnati), Repetti (Cal State Fullerton), Heinrich (JC -> S.Carolina) have strong commitments. Lanzilli was a draft eligible sophomore. Rodriguez best bet to sign— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 29, 2019
By my guess, I wouldn’t expect more than McDonald to sign, but getting Connor Beichler would be a nice get. I don’t think there was ever any hope of signing any of the young players drafted in the 28th round or later.
When do they need to be signed by?
The signing deadline is July 12th, by 5 pm ET.
Looking ahead to July 2nd and the International Free Agent Signing Period
Tuesday starts what used to be a madhouse of international signings, but no longer.
Given the circumstances, we are taking a new approach to covering 2019 international signings. This one hurts to write, but I think it's the right thing to do. https://t.co/EX2LGOrRwO— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) June 26, 2019
More and more, players and their signing happen so long before the signing period begins that it’s not about them happening days before July 2nd, it’s about the signings happening years before. The date is just a name now. And forget about tampering rules, if there actually are any, they’re about as ignored as speed limits. It’s made the system break a little. The Giants are not avoiding this, it’s how Marco Luciano’s signing happened.
As you can see above, Baseball America isn’t even going to bother ranking the top prospects as they have. MLB.com’s Pipeline did, however, as well as name the teams that players are connected to. Unlike this year, there isn’t any big names to expect.
By MLB’s list, the Giants’ only connection in the Top 30 is to 23rd ranked Esmerlin Vinicio, the highest ranked left-hander. Maybe there’ll be some surprises, but they aren’t likely.
That said, it’s becoming increasingly real that there are some real prospects that come without big bonuses. Alexander Canario, for instance, got a $60,000 bonus in 2016. Gregory Santos, currently among the Giants’ top pitching prospects, got $275,000 in 2015. Luis Toribio (the #8 prospect on Pipeline) got $300,000 in 2017, which was the max level the Giants could hand out due to punishments. Melvin Adon got $50,000 in 2015.
Who will come out of this period? We’ll see. We probably won’t see them play until 2020. We might not have hints of who is any good until 2021 at the earliest. But, we’ll still be watching.
Bart, Ramos named to the MLB Futures Game
Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos will represent the Giants at the All-Star Futures Game.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) June 28, 2019
This almost feels like old news after the last few days, but, in case you missed it, the Giants will have two prospects in Sunday’s MLB Futures Game. Heliot Ramos and Joey Bart will be part of the NL team. This is a new feature, as in the past the teams were broken up by USA prospects and “World” prospects (basically, anywhere that wasn’t the US).
If you’d like to read more about my thoughts, they were posted just yesterday. Please, click right here and give it a read!
The game will be played on Sunday, July 7th at 4 pm PT from Cleveland. It will air on MLB Network, if you’re interested.
Lenn Sakata’s number is retired in San Jose
It's a special day in San Jose as former #SJGiants manager Lenn Sakata to have his number 14 retired in a pregame ceremony.— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) June 30, 2019
Sakata managed 7 years in SJ (99, 01, 04-07, 14), won 3 championships & holds franchise record for wins. Will be first number retired in #SJGiants history.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been writing about the Giants’ minor league system for nearly 20 years, and one of the ways I got to know about minor league baseball was through Lenn Sakata’s San Jose Giants.
On Sunday, San Jose retired his number 14, and many of his former players (one of whom just happens to be the Giants’ farm director) spoke or delivered videos on his behalf.
A few images from Lenn Sakata’s number retirement ceremony here in San Jose. pic.twitter.com/K9bjBQI1Db— Joe Ritzo (@JoeRitzo) July 1, 2019
In all my time covering the Giants system, I do not know of a manager I have seen that’s more beloved by his players besides Bruce Bochy. I would go down to Spring Training, and I saw many coaches working with players, and have seen players talk. Many coaches get a lot of respect (Felipe Alou has always inspired a look of awe in his players). Some, not so much (no, I won’t name names).
But if you saw Lenn Sakata on the field, you’d think he was one of the players. He managed with the energy that we wish the players would always play with. Players would laugh with him, and keep talking with him on the trudge back up to the Spring clubhouse. And Sakata was a big part of the short-lived Hawaiian Winter Baseball system that saw prospects play in Sakata’s home state.
15 years ago, I thought Sakata was going to become the first Asian-American manager in MLB, based on how everyone spoke of him, from players to Baseball America. That honor would not go to him, but I’m sure if Sakata ever chose to pursue managing again, he’d have no ceiling above him. But for now, he’s a Hawaii Sports Hall of Famer, California League Hall of Famer and has his number retired in San Jose. There’s no disappointment there.
The Giants continue to face Lasorda in the AZL
Last year, when the Giants expanded their compliment of AZL teams from one to two, one of the more fun but harmless diversions was how the naming would work. At the time, there weren’t many AZL organizations with two teams, and in leagues where there were, teams were named 1 & 2. The Giants, instead, went Orange and Black.
There are now seven AZL organizations with two teams, out of 14 total. (There were four doing it last season, and only the Padres did it in 2017). While most teams have gone with colors as their names (the Indians had 1 & 2 last season, and are now red and blue), the Dodgers are a bit different.
Rather than having a “White Team”, or trying to convince people that red is their secondary color, the Dodgers have named their squads after two longtime coaches: Lasorda and Mota. Tommy Lasorda, or course, has been a player, coach, manager and executive for the Dodgers for 70 years as of 2019, and his name makes Giants fans bristle. Manny Mota was a player for the Dodgers from 1969-1980 and 1982, and a coach for the Dodgers for 34 years, from 1980 to 2013. He’s currently a minor league hitting instructor and Spanish-language broadcaster for the Dodgers. He’s also a former Giant, playing his rookie season for the black and orange in 1962.
Honestly, it’s a nice honor, and stands out amongst the colors. (I can’t wait to see who wins between the Athletics Gold and Brewers Gold!). And it’s too big for the website’s box scores (which is honestly the least of the technical difficulties MiLB has)
But damn, I do still grit my teeth a little seeing Lasorda’s name.
Question for everyone in the comments...if the Giants did this, who deserves to be honored with those names?
RHP Solomon Bates has injured his right leg & is out for the rest of the 2019 season. Started the season in Augusta & pitched his way into a promo to SJ ~4 weeks ago. https://t.co/RXWkCnhHFM— Darryl Zero (@Darryl_Zero) June 28, 2019
Bad news for Solomon Bates. It’s not clear what the injury is, but the 22-year old was having a fine first full season. He’d had a 3.81 ERA in 13 relief appearances at Augusta, and a 3.60 ERA in eight relief appearance in San Jose. Overall, he had 57 strikeouts and just nine walks in 41 innings.
The 8th round pick from last season was showing a little promise, but all of us will have to wait until next year to see if he can keep it up.
Further Reading and Listening
Carmen Kiew isn’t a writer here at the McC anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to her anymore! In addition to Triples Alley, check out this interview with Sean Hjelle!
or reading above the Arizona League, here’s a little bit about Jalen Miller, one of the early stars at Richmond (though he’s cooled off a bit):
It all began w/ a toy bat from SeaWorld for @EasternLeague All-Star @Jalen_Miller4. The youngest player on the @GoSquirrels roster, Miller has stayed impressively even-keel during his first Double-A season. #SFGiants— Jake Eisenberg (@JakeEisenberg_) June 29, 2019
: @JamesLoving pic.twitter.com/AFjXLI8CIy
nd, while not strictly reading, here’s some photos of the new #23 prospect on the MLB Pipeline list!
Top Prospect Updates
Week: 8-for-24, 5 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 4 SO, .333/.333/.542
Season: 30-for-114, 20 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 6 BB, 23 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, .263/.317/.491
Bart has begun to wake up again, after a couple of weeks slump. A little slump is not a big deal, especially after an injury. Hopefully those walks go up and the strikeouts go down though.
Week: 11-for-28, 10 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 6 SO, 2 SB, .393/.470/.536
Season: 52-for-177, 33 R, 11 2B, 0 3B, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 23 BB, 51 SO, 4 SB, 5 CS .294/.383/.508
Ramos has had some ups and downs since the All-Star Game, but he’s back to the upside. And he’s starting to steal without getting caught.
Week: 3-for-13, 4 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 7 SO, 1 CS, .231/.473/.462
Season: 13-for-39, 13 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 13 SO, 1 SB, 3 CS, .333/.456/.744
The hitting numbers were rough this week, but that walkrate is nice. Even more so when it’s a 17-year old showing that polish.
Week: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR, 5.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Season (SJ): 32.1 IP, 33 H, 21 R, 18 ER, 2 HR, 12 BB, 28 SO, 5.01 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
Wong has begun to struggle in the California League, having given up 10 runs in his last three starts (11.1 IP). But it’s still just a hiccup for now, especially after a great SAL run.
Week: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR, 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Season: 39.2 IP, 37 H, 15 R, 9 ER, 2 HR, 9 BB, 40 SO, 2.04 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
Hjelle has been going the other direction, posting two of his best strikeout performances over his last two starts.
Week: 10.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, 0.90 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Season: 25.2 IP, 24 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 HR, 7 BB, 18 SO, 2.10 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
Santos continues to keep runs off the board, but he’s not getting the strikeouts one would hope for at the low level. It’ll be interesting to see whether that improves over the season as he gets stronger.
Week: 9-for-24, 8 R, 1 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 6 SO, .375/.375/.1.042
Season: 17-for-43, 13 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1 SB, .395/.435/1.000
Well, it’s not hard to say who had the best week in the system. Canario is coming back from a shoulder issue, but clearly, the rest of the AZL is overmatched when Canario is at the plate.
Week: 10-for-25, 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO, .400/.444/.880
Season: 17-for-54, 7 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 3 BB, 8 SO, .315/.373/.648
The 20-year old is in his second season at Salem-Keizer, but his strength has come in. His previous home run high was 2, in 2017; he passed that in just this week.
Week: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 13 SO, 1 HR, 2.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP
Season: 10.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 HR, 9 BB, 16 SO, 6.30 ERA, 1.70 WHIP
The 18-year old had as good a second week as he had a bad first one. The strikeout stuff is real, but those walks are a concern.
- Mike Gerber had his second straight 2-hit game with a home run, giving him 17 on the season. Gerber is batting .318/.383/.605 on the season for Sacramento.
- Austin Slater is 10-for-26 (.385) over his last seven games, but his double today is his first extra-base hit in that time.
- Steven Duggar’s rehab continued with another hit. He’s now 2-for-7 with zero walks and three strikeouts, but both of his hits are for extra bases with a double and a triple.
- Ty Blach’s control has improved lately, even if it hasn’t led to keeping runs down. He’s allowed just one walk or less in his last five starts, but on Sunday he at least kept the runs down with just two earned runs.
- Richmond lost a pitching duel, after one of Caleb Barager’s best games in Double-A. The 9th rounder allowed just one earned run in 6.1 innings, giving up three hits, two walks and one hit batter. It was a good bounceback after he gave up four runs in his last start.
- The game’s deciding run was scored without a hit. With Dillon McNamera on the mound, a sacrifice bunt and a fielder’s choice hit to second led to the unearned run in the tenth, with the runner on. McNamera has a 2.08 ERA in five games at Double-A.
- Bryce Johnson continues to hit, getting just one hit but also picking up his first two walks at the Double-A level in his fifth game. His batting average lowered to .421 (from .438), but his OBP jumped form .412 to .455.
- Johneshwy Fargas picked up a single and stole his 34th base, in his 46th attempt. He has three steals in his last three games.
- Joey Bart picked up his sixth home run, and first since hitting a pair on June 8th. He has a 7-game hitting streak, batting 11-for-33 (.333) with a triple and a home run on it.
- David Villar got three doubles on a 4-hit day to give him 15 on the season. In 10 games since the All-Star Break, Villar is batting .341/.364/.659. with five doubles, a triple and two home runs.
- Heliot Ramos picked up another 2-hit game, his fourth multi-hit game in the last six. He’s 11-for-25 (.440) over that span, though with just one double and one home run. Ramos also got his fourth stolen base of the season.
- Rehabbing Heath Quinn had a perfect day, with three hits and two walks and a double. Quinn may be ready to make his return to Double-A, where he was batting .206/.301/.330 before going down.
- Matt Frisbee threw seven shutout innings, giving up just three hits and a walk. It was Frisbee’s best game since mid-May.
- Gregory Santos had a very Santos-like start. Santos has allowed just one run or less in all four of his starts since returning from injury. Santos has averaged three strikeouts in every start across three starts, from three innings in his first start to a season-high six innings on Sunday.
- Sandro Cabrera had an excellent outing, with three innings and a season-high-tying five strikeouts. He has 49 strikeouts and 18 walks in 30.1 innings across three levels this season, including his difficult run in Richmond.
- Anyesbar Sivira had his second 3-hit game of the season, while hitting his first home run of the season. That doubles his 2+ year career total, after he had one in 43 games in the AZL last season.
- Andres Angulo tied his season high with his second home run, which he matched in 2015, his first pro season in the DSL. Angulo has been under the Mendoza line in almost all of May and June, but three 2-hit games over his last four have gotten him over that line for now, at .209.
- Ismael Munguia is 8-for-16 over his last four games, with three walks and one strikeout. He’s batting .279/.342/.380 on the season.
- Catcher Ricardo Genoves continued a string of good hitting. He’s had multiple hits in each of his last three games, going 7-for-14. The 20-year old catcher hit .243 last season, but is .315/.373/.648 in 13 games this season.
- Yorlis Rodriguez had his first game with multiple hits since June 17th, picking up his fourth double.
- 20-year old Sean Roby has gone hitless in just two of 17 games this season, and has eight walks to 17 strikeouts after getting two walks today.
- Jacob Lopez’s ERA is up to 4.91 after starting the season with 10 innings of being nearly perfect. In 18.1 innings, he has struck out 18 and walked two.
Arizona Black Adders and Arizona Orange Order had the day off
The AZL had its usual every-fourth-day-off on Sunday, so no Marco Luciano and Alexander Canario fixes for you today.
Let’s wrap up with something totally fun. The San Jose Giants are becoming the San Jose Churros this season as part of the Copa de la Diversion. This is a great uniform, with a nice story behind it, but once again I have to call out the opportunity they took with the piping that runs down the pant legs. Most baseball fans likely wouldn't be able to tell you off the top of their heads whether or not their favorite team even had piping or not.
But San Jose, the new piping...is a Churro. And it’s fantastic! See you next week!