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SF Giants Minor Lines 7/16/19: Franklin Labour can’t be stopped

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In a landmark day, every team in the org who took the field of play came away with a win.

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Minor Lines coming atcha! Get ready to make the play!

HIGHLIGHTS: Aramis Garcia homered twice among four hits; Bryce Johnson doubled and homered; Franklin Labour hit his 13th homer.

Sacramento lost at Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 12-5 in Gm 1 (7 inn)

Sacramento won at Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 8-6 in Gm 2 (7 inn)

Sacramento slugged their way to a double header split as the two clubs combined for 50 hits and 31 runs over 14 innings of play.

After starter Enderson Franco and reliever Rodolfo Martinez (making his AAA debut) were taken to the woodshed in the opener, Sacramento relied on the bullpen to keep things in check in game 2. Opener Tyler Rogers gave up a 4-spot in the 1st inning but he and his followers then held the Bees scoreless for four straight innings allowing the offense some room to roam.

The game was tied 6-6 heading into the final inning after Fernando Abad surrendered two runs in the bottom of the 6th. Abad has hit a rough patch, allowing 5 runs in just 2.2 IP in his last two games.

But following Chris Shaw’s third hit of game 2, Aramis Garcia delivered the game winner, his second long ball of the long day.

Mike Gerber had three hits, including his 18th home run, in the opener, and Abiatal Avelino went deep for the 9th time in the nightcap.

Richmond won at Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies), 7-4

2017 6th rounder Bryce Johnson seems to have literally and figuratively taken his game to a new level this month. After spending the first half of the year in what was no doubt a disappointing return assignment to the Cal League, Bryce Johnson has blossomed with a mid-season promotion to AA.

In Johnson’s first game with Richmond he posted an 0 for 4. That was back on June 26, and he hasn’t had a game like that since, as he’s now reached base in the following 17 straight games.

As he starting to close in on the 100 PA mark at the new level, the speedy switch-hitter is posting a career best walk rate (14.6%), a career best K rate (20.6%) and a by far a career best Iso (.226). The latter is the unlikeliest, and almost certainly the least sustainable, but as a speed and defense type, showing any kind of power can help clear a path to a productive future. And, I mean, Hartford is the EL’s version of Coors Field, but a double and an opposite field HR are still pretty eye-opening, in any location! Hit from both sides of the plate, strong defender in all three OF spots, excellent base runner, and a tiny little bit of punch? There’s a profile for that kind of guy!

The Squirrels also got HRs from Johneshwy Fargas and Jonah Arenado (somewhat amusingly it was the 4th of the year for both) to help take the middle game of this series. They also were flashing some serious leather, which always helps.

San Jose had an off day to travel back home

Allowing us a moment of pause to say congratulations to one of our favorite people (and most frequently repurposed twitter follows) Joe Ritzo, who had a major league debut to remember on Monday!

Augusta beat Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), 4-1

A BABIP fueled slew of well placed balls and a little sloppy defense led to a 3-run rally for the GreenJackets in the 1st inning and they rode that rally all the way to the Win. In the wake of promotions, Indy baller Adam Oller has really provided the Greenjackets with a consistent presence in the rotation. The 24 year old RHP has a 1.50 ERA now in four starts this month. JJ Santa Cruz, Luis Amaya, and Jesus Tona completed a strong effort, thoroughly dominating the RiverDogs lineup.

Tona has allowed just 2 runs since May 31 and just 7 runs overall this year in 42 innings — or put another way, he’s been scored on in just 3 of his 27 appearances. The All Star has been a dominant presence at the back of Augusta’s pen, striking out 60 to jus 16 unintentional walks on the year while converting 16 of 18 save opportunities.

With 8 hits in his last four games, Diego Rincones has popped his batting average over the .300 mark. The 20 year old hitting savant is currently sixth in average in the Sally on the year.

Salem-Keizer won at Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 8-2
losing their series 1-2

The Volcanoes salvaged the final game of their series in Hillsboro, pulling back into a tie as they head towards the final weekend of play. However, the twist is that with the series win Hillsboro captured the tiebreaker between the clubs, so Salem-Keizer will need to finish a game ahead in order to take the first half crown.

The Volcanoes applied relentless offensive pressure on the Hops right from the beginning, with a very familiar star setting the pace in the first inning.

The degree to which Labour is lapping the league is almost comical. Only four players in the NWL currently have more than 3 home runs — and three of them are Volcanoes (the fourth is the Hops Kristian Robinson, the #6 prospect in the Diamondbacks system). Labour’s 13 HRs are nearly double his two teammates in 2nd place (Ricardo Genoves and Tyler Flores) who have 7, and close to triple the Robinson in 4th place who has 5. Incredible.

That dominance of the home run leaderboard is just one slice of SK’s offensive prowess in the NWL this year. The lead the league in team average by 20 points. They lead the league in team OBP (by a slender 5 point margin). And they are stomping the league like the Jolly Green Giant in team SLG, with an extraordinary 70 point lead over the second place team (in all cases, the second place team is the Hops). By comparison, the Hops margin over the worst team in the league in team (Tri-City) SLG is merely 49 points.

Beicker Mendoza played a big role in the offense, contributing RBI doubles to two different three-run rallies. Mendoza hasn’t gotten on the field very much this year, but when he has he’s hit. In just seven starts on the season, the 1b has three multi-hit games and has hit four doubles.

AZL Giants teams had an off day

But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t news. With both the Cubs1 and Athletics Gold teams losing last night the AZL Giants Orange clinched their first half division title and will be in the AZL playoffs. Yay!

DSL Giants beat the DSL Mariners, 15-7

At one point in this game the Giants had scored 12 runs on just 5 hits, which was going to allow me my standard opening gambit, a cheap gag about DSL level of play. But then they had to ruin things by evening up the ratio with a 5-run 8th. Fine, I’ll dig deeper!

Victor Bericoto had his second four-hit day in the last month, boosting his average back over the .300 line. After his last four-hit effort (June 26) he went into a tailspin, picking up just 3 hits in his next 29 ABs. He’s got things heading back in the right direction over his last seven games, going 10 for his last 28. All 10 of those hits have been singles and he’s interestingly drawn just 2 walks in that time. Perhaps some tinkering with his approach for a player who leads the league with 35 walks and at one point earlier in the year walked twice a game for six straight games.

Sixteen year old LHP Luis Castillo had just his second scoreless start of the year, allowing just five baserunners over 4 innings. Castillo has paired 4 Ks with 2 BBs in each of his last three starts. For the year he’s at 28 Ks and 13 BBs in 28.2 IP. With 33 hits and 2 HB, he’s put a lot of runners on base this year (1.60 WHIP) and he’s also allowed a somewhat high (for the DSL) 4 HRs.

(and yes, of course, Luis Matos did have two hits with a double, what else? His 14 doubles are second in the league)

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Yoanys Quiala) @ Salt Lake (TBD)
Richmond (Garrett Williams) @ Hartford (Jack Wynkoop)
San Jose (Jake Wong) vs. Rancho Cucamonga (Gerardo Carillo)
Augusta (TBD) vs. Charleston (Luis Medina)
Salem-Keizer (Luis Moreno) vs. Boise (Breiling Eusebio)
AZL Giants Orange (Jesus Gomez) @ AZL Cubs1 (TBD)
AZL Giants Black (TBD) vs. AZL Reds (TBD)
DSL Giants (Jose Mullings) vs. DSL Tigers2 (TBD)

The Volcanoes return home for their final push for the 1st half crown. They’ll start by facing off against the Rockies #26 prospect Breiling Eusebio, who has had a tough time escaping from the NWL (this is third season in the level). San Jose also gets a low level prospect as they go up against the Dodgers #20 prospect to start their homestand. And Diego Rincones and friends get a stiff challenge — no doubt in front of a lot of scouts — as they take on the Yankees #11 prospect Luis Medina, a prime trade chip over the next couple of weeks.

Until tomorrow, let’s close the book on another edition of Minor Lines!