Normally Tuesdays are a slow day for Minor League roundups, as the AA, High-A, and Low-A leagues all have Monday off as they travel to their next series. But Monday was an exciting day in the Minors, as it marked the start of the season for the artist formerly known as the Arizona Rookie League. The AZL has been rebranded as the Arizona Complex League, ominously known as ACL.
The San Francisco Giants still have two teams: Giants Black and Giants Orange, and there are a fair share of exciting prospects there, including recently demoted catcher Patrick Bailey (who did not play on Monday), and a huge amount of international signings.
Let’s get into it.
AAA Sacramento (20-26)
The River Cats offense on Monday was made up almost entirely out of two infield depth pieces (even if they weren’t both playing the infield in this game) who have spent time on the MLB roster this year, and likely will again. Second baseman Jason Vosler (No. 42 CPL) and left fielder Thairo Estrada accounted for 70% of the team’s 10 hits, 33% of the team’s 3 walks, 100% of the team’s 3 extra-base hits, and 100% of their 4 runs batted in.
Vosler also had a homer, which he’s done a few times at the MLB level this year.
On the pitching side, starter Matt Frisbee (No. 39 CPL) only allowed 4 baserunners and 2 runs in 5 innings, but also only registered a single strikeout. Conner Menez, who I genuinely could not remember if he was in Sacramento or with the Giants, had a rough relief outing as he gave up 3 home runs and 4 earned runs in an inning of work.
Jay Jackson had another scoreless inning as he continues his rehab assignment, and he looks great so far in 4 games: 5 innings, 2 hits, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts, 0 runs.
ACL Black (1-0)
ACL Giants Black beat the ACL Athletics 6-3
In a year of Minor League baseball where it’s expected that pitchers will dominate and rack up the strikeouts, the Giants hitters at all levels have done a pretty solid job avoiding the K. That was the case in the Giants Black season opener, as they struck out just 6 times (though they drew just 3 walks).
Third baseman Yorlis Garcia, a 2017 J2 signing, was the star on offense, as he went 2-3 with a walk, a double, and a triple.
Freddery Paulino started the opener for the Giants and was solid, allowing 6 baserunners and 3 earned runs in 5 innings, while striking out 6. Jose Mullings had a terrific relief appearance of 3 innings, 1 hit, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 0 runs.
ACL Orange (1-0)
ACL Giants Orange beat the ACL Rockies 2-1 (8 innings)
Giants Black may have exhibited the strikeout to walk ration that the organization looks for in its hitters, but Giants Orange did not play along, as they drew a single walk while striking out 10 times.
But it was still good enough, thanks to an excellent day on the lump, as the Giants gave up just 1 run and 0 earned runs. Trevor McDonald (No. 23 CPL) got the start and pitched 5 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3.
On offense it was a good day for designated hitter Rayner Santana (No. 41 CPL), who went 3-4 with a double. Good enough for a win, as both teams scored their runs in the eighth and final inning.
Only one home run to report on Monday.
AAA Jason Vosler (5)
Sacramento: vs. Reno Aces, 7:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. Binghamton Rumble Ponies, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: @ Hillsboro Hops, 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ Stockton Ports, 7:05 p.m. PT
ACL Black: vs. Rockies, 6:00 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: vs. Cubs, 6:00 p.m. PT