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SF Giants Minor Lines 7/31/19: Diego Rincones powers up

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As a crazy deadline day passes, we see challenges met and unmet

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Hoot, what a day! We got some incoming! And outgoing...

For those who wanted to bulk up the farm, the Giants’ system jumped up five places on Fangraphs dynamic organizational rankings yesterday, adding five new players to their top 21 prospects with estimated Future Value’s of 40 (roughly major league role player) or better. For those who wanted to go for it this year, the Giants ended up hanging onto Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith and bringing in potential upgrade help at 2b and the OF. Farhan Zaidi’s first deadline day was quite a performance!

HIGHLIGHTS: Francisco Peña hit two home runs among three hits; Diego Rincones homered twice; Alexander Canario homered among three hits, walk.


Sacramento won at San Antonio Missions (Brewers), 5-2

How fun was the trade deadline? Mauricio Dubon, our new #6 Giants prospect on Fangraphs rankings, played in San Antonio Tuesday night against the Sacramento RiverCats, and last night he played in San Antonio FOR the Sacramento RiverCats! At least it was an easy day for him!

Let’s hear it for Francisco Peña! The former backup Catcher in St. Louis (he’s also seen short stints in Baltimore and Kansas City) has giving the RiverCats excellent production since coming over early in the year from Memphis. The 29 year old back-up backstop is posting an OPS of 1.025 with Sacramento over nearly 50 games and 176 ABs. And last night he had his second multi-homer game of the year to help lead the Cats to the 5-2 win. God love the PCL!

Peña and Chris Shaw went back to back in the 4th inning off of Missions’ pitcher Bubba Derby, who I’m absolutely hoping is nicknamed “Home Run” — he should be, he’s given up 18 of them in less than 100 IP this year!

Sacramento finished the month of July 17-10, a stretch that has seen them move into a power position in the Northern Pacific division, which they now lead by 6 games heading into the final month of play. If they make it to the PCL playoffs, one of the teams they could face there is this same Missions club, which at 68-41 sits atop the American Southern division.


Richmond lost to Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox), 4-2

At 46-61, the Portland Sea Dogs are the second worst team in the Eastern League this year. But even they are having a pretty easy time against the Flying Squirrels, who are still trying to claim their 40th victory of the season. Now at 39-67, the Squirrels are nearing another ignominious milestone of a franchise low 30 games below .500. It has just been a tough slog through 2019 in Richmond.

Yesterday they had a moment to grasp when they loaded the bases with 1 out down 3-1. Jacob Heyward’s bases loaded walk moved them to within a run. But a popup and a strikeout ended their chance to seize the day.

Speaking of that walk, I noted yesterday that Heyward has been in a prolonged slump, but one thing he has continued to do during his downturn is control the strikezone.

Now if he can just improve on attacking balls in the zone again!

I also pointed out Jalen Miller’s prolonged downturn yesterday, so it’s only fitting I note that he led the team with two hits.


San Jose lost to Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres), 5-0

Well, as we all learned from The Big Lebowski: sometimes you eat the bahr, and sometimes...well.. the bahr eats you. And last night, going up against the filthy stuff of Padres’ #3 prospect Luis Patiño, Heliot Ramos definitely got eaten by the bahr — and his San Jose teammates didn’t fare so well from the encounter either.

Patiño mowed through the Giants, finishing just two outs shy of a 3-hit shutout while striking out 9. Four of those strikeout victims were Ramos, who wore a Sombrero home after failing to put a ball in play all night.

Joey Bart joined Heliot in the 0 for 4 department, though he was at least able to make contact most of the night. David Villar continued his hot hitting by at least managing a sinle against Patiño, while Heath Quinn’s double was the team’s lone XBH, extending his hit streak to 10 games.

The bear will have his fill. All you can do is tip your cap and say:


Augusta beat Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies), 8-7

In the wildest game of the night, Augusta continued to show its resilience, bouncing back from a gut-check of a 6th inning. Dylan Davis came into a tie game in the top of the 6th and gave up four runs to put the team down 7-3. Simon Whiteman’s error didn’t help Dylan any, but he wasn’t an innocent victim, giving up five hits in the inning including a bases-loaded triple.

But the GreenJackets are really feeling it lately, and they weren’t stymied for a moment by the sudden deficit. They got two-run homers in each of their next two at bats to tie it up and secured the victory in the 8th on an error, a Sac Bunt, and a soft line drive single.

The hero of the night was Diego Rincones who put the finishing touches on a torrid July with his first two-homer night of the year.

Yes that WAS a mighty bat flip! Good call, anonymous twitter person! Rincones posted a .909 OPS in July, hitting .333/.365/.544. That includes four of his five HRs on the year, all of which came since July 15. The 20 year old continues to show excellent bat to ball skills, hitting .300 for the year with an excellent 13% K rate. He’s also boosted his BB% rate into the acceptable realm (6.5%). The last line on the To Do list is a biggie though — show some corner OF power. That’s been slow coming, but the .211 Iso in July gives hope that it still might arrive! Diego’s a Rule 5 eligible player this winter (stupid rules that punish IFAs!) and while I wouldn’t think he’s a player the Giants are in any danger of losing in that draft at this stage of his development, he’s definitely getting a few more scouting eyes following him with his strong Sally campaign.


Salem-Keizer beat the Tri-City Dust Devils (Padres), 10-0

On NWL All Star selection day, the Volcanoes celebrated their four new All Stars with a statement game about who the dominant team in the league is this year. All Star Kervin Castro threw six shutout innings, while All Stars Franklin Labour and Ricardo Genoves contributed four of the team’s 15 hits, including a double for each.

But the big night came from midseason join Alexander Canario. Canario reached base four times, on three hits and a walk, including his 4th HR with the Volcanoes and 11th this year in just 36 games. And to top it off, this was just the 5th time Canario has started a game for Salem-Keizer and not collected a strikeout. The walk was Canario’s 14th in 117 PA with Salem-Keizer, an 11.6% BB rate — that’s in line with his career norms as he’s always his swing and miss propensity with excellent BB rates. Pitch recognition and timing that lightning quick swing of his are the frontier of his development. With the home run, Canario boosted his Iso with SK up to .217. Smile, Alex!

All in all, another good night in Keizer! And congrats to all the Stars!


DSL Giants beat DSL Colorado, 9-3

Luis Matos has had 22 games this year with two or more hits, but yesterday he did something he had never done before — he walked two times! Matos season has been sensational in nearly every regard, hitting, hitting for power, and showing excellent contact ability (just a 12% K rate as a 17 year old). The one thing he hasn’t done too much of so far is work to control the zone, as his BB% was just a touch below 5% entering the day. That’s a very minor consideration in the big picture of what Matos has done both on the stat sheet and scouting buzz sides of things, but it’s still nice to him flex a little OBP muscle (he also reached base the more painful type of free ride, getting HBP).

Seventeen year old C Ronaldo Flores continued his excellent debut season, picking up two hits including his 2nd HR of the year. Flores is hitting .326 for the year, though with little secondary average as this was just his ninth XBH of the season and he’s walked just 3 times in 141 AB (against 21 Ks).

As suspected, the Giants Tuesday game was lost to rain.


Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento (Conner Menez) @ San Antonio (Burch Smith)
Richmond (Alfred Gutierrez) vs. Portland (Matthew Kent)
San Jose (Matt Frisbee) vs. Lake Elsinore (Osvaldo Hernandez)
Augusta (Keaton Winn) vs. Lakewood (Ethan Lindow)
Salem-Keizer (TBD) vs. Tri-City (Ethan Elliott)
AZL Giants Orange (TBD) vs. AZL Athletics Green (TBD) Double Header
AZL Giants Black (TBD) @ AZL Brewers Gold (TBD)
DSL Giants vs. DSL Colorado (TBD)

Salem-Keizer with a real TBD as their normal #2 starter got sent to Tampa Bay yesterday. Minor league life after the trade deadline! Conner Menez tries to reacquaint himself with the PCL while waiting for his next chance at the big leagues, while Keaton Winn and Matt Frisbee hope to continue their strong campaigns.

And so with July 31st behind us we say Welcome to our new Baby Giants, and Good Luck and Thank You to our friends who seek their fortunes elsewhere. Good luck especially to long time Minor Lines favorite Ray Black. Hopefully we’ll watch you sizzle in the MLB playoffs soon, Ray!