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SF Giants Minor Lines 7/3/19: Now that’s what I call a Labour Party!

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Happy 4th of July everyone!

HIGHLIGHTS: Melvin Adon came a pitch away from Immaculate Inning; Sean Hjelle threw career high 6.2 innings; Franklin Labour hit his 10th HR; Luis Matos had 4 hits.

Sacramento beat Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 1-0
winning their series, 4-1

Hey look! The fans went to see the PCL and a baseball game broke out! (apologies to Rodney Dangerfield).

Before the game, there were roster moves:

And during the game, as a newly fledged RiverCat, Steven Duggar went deep to provide the game’s lone run. Duggar’s blast came off left-handed starter Kyle Freeland, who has to be wondering where 2018 went at this point. One of the NL’s best starters last year, Freeland has been demoted back down to AAA and is getting pounded to the tune of an 8.80 ERA in six starts.

A year ago this matchup would have come in an NL West game — now it’s two struggling guys trying to get back to the majors (I assume both will). Duggar’s blast ended up being the lone extra base hit for either team in this game.

The RiverCats are not fairly regularly going with an opener strategy (shades of Giants’ baseball 2020?) and yesterday it was Sam Selman’s turn to open up. Selman’s hitless inning set the tone for excellent pitching from Sacramento throughout with Enderson Franco going the bulk of the way.

With the dominating series win, the 44-41 RiverCats leapt back into 1st place in their division over the rival Fresno Grizzlies.

Richmond won at Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 3-1
losing their series, 1-2

After giving up double-digit runs in each of the first two games of this series (both Harrisburg routs), Richmond took the finale of their road trip with a good old fashioned “pitching and defense” approach:

Like Sacramento, the Squirrels got strong performances by a whole host of pitchers, with the bullpen coming on particularly strong. Caleb Simpson, Sam Moll, Tyler Cyr, and Melvin Adon threw 4 hitless — and nearly perfect — innings to close out the game, striking out 7 batters over the final four frames. Let’s enjoy shall we?

Adon was particularly great, nearly coming up with an immaculate inning. The big right hander threw 10 pitches — all strikes — to strike out the side. He established his fb at 100 mph at the outset and then leaned heavily on his slider, using the pitch 8 times, including the final 7 pitches of the inning.

Hang on, I think I need to isolate in on Dante Bichette, Jr.’s attempt to hit that slider

Yes I thought we all really needed that! The struggles of the early season appear to be behind Adon, who now has 54 Ks in 40.1 IP. With Ray Black heading to the Giants (for a few days at least) my dream of a fire-breathing Moronta-Black-Adon bullpen remains intact!

San Jose lost to Modesto Nuts (Mariners), 2-0
losing their series, 1-2

The Giants were shutout by Nuts pitching for the second game in a row, dropping the home series vs. Modesto. After bombing Stockton pitching, San Jose managed just 3 runs over this 3 game series and none in the final 19 innings. San Jose batters had just 12 hits combined over the two shutouts — and four of those came from Heliot Ramos.

Ramos is pushing his average back up to the .300 mark, having six multi-hit efforts in his past nine games. Ramos has gone 15 for 35 in that stretch, though interestingly the last 13 of those hits have all been singles. Perhaps a little swing or approach adjustment going on? Regardless, the 19 year old still has a SLG above .500 and an .887 OPS for the year, despite being the fifth youngest player in the league (and youngest who isn’t a member of the Lake Elsinore Storm). Ramos will head off to Cleveland soon for the Future’s Game, where he’ll again be one of the five youngest players on the roster — despite it being his second appearance at the Future’s Game. Reminder, that this kid is still really young!

The flat offense ruined another fine effort from Sean Hjelle who has been a model of consistency in 2019. In 14 of his 17 starts this year he has allowed 2 runs or fewer. Since allowing 10 hits and 4 earned runs in his second start with San Jose back on May 30, Hjelle has been touched up for just five earned runs total over 35.1 IP. Though not much of a swing and miss pitcher, he’s clipped along at about a K per inning this year, with 90 Ks to just 19 walks in 87 IP.

Augusta won at Charleston RiverDogs, 11-8
winning their series, 2-1

On a long, stormy night that included rain delays, dramatic skies, and constant lightning flickering in the distance, Augusta outlasted the RiverDogs to take the series. The Greenjackets scored double digit runs for the second consecutive night — the first time they’ve accomplished that this year — blasting NY Yankees #11 prospect Luis Medina in the 3rd inning. Augusta piled up nine hits overall, though no hitter had more than 2, and Zander Clarke’s 1st inning home run was the long extra base hit.

Fifth round pick Keaton Winn had a rough start. He struggled through a 32 pitch first inning during which he took a low liner off the shin, which prematurely brought his evening to a close.

The Greenjackets have started out the 2nd half strong and head home in 1st place in the Sally Southern Division.

Salem-Keizer won at Spokane Indians (Rangers), 7-6
sweeping their series, 3-0

Spokane is no doubt thrilled to see Franklin Labour get on the team bus to leave town as the OF torched Spokane over the three game series. Labour hit 5 HRs in 14 At Bats over the past three days. Let’s see if we can put in perspective just what the 21 year old has done this month:

Kevin PIllar leads the SF Giants with 12 HRs this year. If you strip away the looniness taking place in the PCL for a moment, the Giants non-PCL organizational leaders in HRs would be Frankie Tostado, with 12, Gio Brusa with 11, and Labour with 10. Labour has played in just 19 games this year!

Labour leads the NWL in most offensive categories other than AVG and OBP, posting a crazy .747 SLG and 1.135 OPS. What a coming out party for the right-handed hitter.

Labour’s HR was one of three on the night, including Kwan Adkins first of the year. None were hit by Alexander Canario, who’s still getting settled in to this college pitcher heavy league. Canario did, however, steal his first bag as a Volcano.

AZL Giants Orange beat AZL White Sox 14-11

AZL Giants Black lost to AZL Padres1, 14-9

The scoreboard was cranking out runs like a pinball machine in the desert last night — much to the chagrin of lefty starters Juan Sanchez and Sonny Vargas who collectively allowed 16 runs — 12 earned — in less than 6 IP. Giants pitching got their first view of two of the best prospects in the league going up against the Padres CJ Abrams and the White Sox Andrew Vaughan (the 6th and 3rd picks in this year’s draft, respectively). The pair did well, picking up 5 hits against the young Giants arms.

Big innings were the story in both games: the Padres used an 11-run rally to run away early against Team Black. While Team Orange surged to victory with an 8-run rally in the 8th inning.

Conner Cannon, the Giants ginormous 17th round pick out of UC Riverside his 2 HRs and drove in 5 to boost Team Orange. The Orange men also got 3-hit nights out of Luis Toribio and PJ Hilson (a nice multi-hit night for the youngster). Hilson used the opportunities on base to show off his plus plus speed, stealing two bags on the night (5 for the season).

Team Black was showcasing the Giants SS-focussed draft as both 4th rounder Tyler Fitzgerald and 6th rounder Dillon Rosario socked a double and a homer. Rosario’s got a reputation as a very strong glove, so signs of offensive potential are a very good thing from the young Puerto Rican.

Jairo Pomares had yet another two-hit game — that’s an 11 game hit streak to start the career and 18 for 47 overall (.383).

Austin Reich, undrafted free agent who was just signed out of Northwestern State came out of his pro debut with the highly unfortunate infinity ERA, failing to retire any of the five batters he faced. Get ‘em next time Austin!

With an 11-3 start, the Giants Orange Team is yet another affiliate with an early 1st place in the standings. Hopefully somebody will break into the post-season, after the entire organization went playoffs free in 2018 for the first time in decades.

DSL Giants beat the DSL Mariners, 14-7

Luis Matos didn’t stop at two hits yesterday, pushing all the way to a 4 hit day in this runaway. Matos downshifted in the final innings — he was 4 for 5 at one point in this game. Matos has a 7 game hit streak going and has just two hitless efforts in his past 22 games. His OPS is up to 1.018.

Adolfo Valdez — you may remember — started his career off with home runs in each of his first two professional at bats. It took awhile but he finally went deep again yesterday, hitting his 3rd HR as well as a triple in a 3 RBI day.

Sixteen year old left-hander Luis Castillo had a nice 3-inning effort, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 4. Nearly half of Castillo’s 11 earned runs this year came in his second start of the year. Aside from that effort, he’s allowed just 6 earned runs in 17.2 IP, striking out 18 in those games.

Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Yoanys Quiala) @ Reno (Riley Smith)
Richmond (Garrett Williams) vs. Reading (David Parkinson)
San Jose (Casey Meisner) vs. Visalia (TBD)
Augusta (Adam Oller) vs. Kannapolis (Sam Long)
Salem-Keizer (Kervin Castro) vs. Vancouver (TBD)
AZL Giants Black (Ivan Armstrong) @ AZL Athletics Green (TBD)
AZL Giants Orange (Jesus Gomez) vs. AZL Dodgers Mota (TBD)
DSL Giants (Jose Mullings) vs. DSL Tigers2 (TBD)

Have a safe and happy 4th of July everybody! Fireworks for everybody!