The San Francisco Giants affiliates had just three games on Wednesday, since AAA Sacramento had an off day, as did both Arizona Complex League teams. The three remaining affiliates went just 1-2, but there were plenty of highlights to be found, so let’s dig in.
Link to the 2021 McCovey Chronicles Community Prospect List (CPL)
AA Richmond (26-24)
Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) 6-2
Just a sloppy day all around as Richmond rounded out the month. The Flying Squirrels hitters drew just 2 walks while striking out 14 times. In a funny twist, starting pitcher Trenton Toplikar had one plate appearance and drew a walk. His spot in the lineup was then replaced by three pinch-hitters, who all struck out. Insert your favorite anti-DH sentiment here.
The Flying Squirrels also committed three errors on the day and, in their best imitation of the MLB squad, hit 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Forgettable all around.
Especially forgettable for center fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 3 CPL) who finished his rough June by going 0-5 with a strikeout hat trick. Ramos — who rocked a .892 OPS in May — hit just .155/.261/.268 in June, with 6 extra-base hits in 97 at-bats, 12 walks to 32 strikeouts, and no multi-hit games. Here’s hoping July looks a bit better for him.
High-A Eugene (32-17)
Eugene Emeralds beat the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 6-3
Sometimes it’s not about having a lot of hits, but having the right hits. Baseball is certainly trending in that direction. The Emeralds only had 6 hits on Wednesday, but half of them cleared the wall.
Two of those came off the bat of left fielder Armani Smith (No. 44 CPL), who is now sporting a .988 OPS in 12 games since getting promoted from Low-A to High-A. That promotion is looking smart for the De La Salle alum.
This was a truly righteous dong from @maniBo888 today. Four straight dubs by the Ems. 12-2 over last 14 games. #GoEms #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/ft0EVC3bb5— Alex Stimson (@AlexStimson) July 1, 2021
Wanna see some fun video from yesterday's Eugene-Hillsboro game? Here are both of Armani Smith's HRs from the open side. #Giants pic.twitter.com/QuXzLk9eRb— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) July 1, 2021
Seth Corry (No. 6 CPL) once again struggled with command, as has been the case all season. The lefty gave up just 2 hits and 2 runs in 5 innings, but walked 6 batters (and struck out 6). He now has 42 walks in 41.1 innings this season. The silver lining to that is I was just listening to the Baggs and Brisbee Podcast yesterday, and Grant Brisbee and Andrew Baggarly were remarking on how Randy Johnson, while in the Minors, walked 94 batters in 119.1 innings in 1986, and 128 batters in 140 innings in 1987. So if you’re looking for the next MLB pitcher to reach 300 wins, it’s gonna be Corry.
San Jose (34-16)
San Jose Giants lost to the Stockton Ports (A’s) 4-2
Another day, another dinger for shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL). Between Luciano and Brandon Crawford, the Giants organization might now have the best homer-hitting shortstops in MLB history. Don’t fact check that please.
Luciano also drew a pair of walks and his OPS has now reached .952. It was a stellar June for the team’s top prospect, as he hit 27-94 with 8 home runs, 14 extra-base hits, 18 walks to 22 strikeouts, and a 1.026 OPS.
Yesterday I mentioned how undrafted signee Brett Auerbach has been awesome, playing all over the diamond and hitting well. He rewarded my praise on Wednesday, as he started at catcher, hit 3-4 with his 11th double of the year, and stole his 12th base. I have no idea what position his future holds — or if he can maintain this success at higher levels — but I do know that sporting a .970 OPS in your debut professional season, while playing almost every position (including catcher) and stealing a ton of bases is a pretty good way to make yourself indispensable.
The ever-exciting left-handed pitcher Kyle Harrison (No. 9 CPL) took the mound for the Baby Giants and didn’t have his best stuff, allowing 6 hits, 3 walks, and 4 earned runs in 5 innings, while striking out just 4. There’s obviously a lot to work on, but through 10 games Harrison has a 3.24 ERA with 67 strikeouts to 27 walks in 41.2 innings. That’s a darn solid debut for an arm coming out of High School.
Request to be excited granted.
Here’s Wednesday’s dingers:
High-A Will Wilson (10)
High-A Armani Smith, 2 (2, 3)
Low-A Marco Luciano (13)
Sacramento: @ Las Vegas Aviators, 7:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. Binghamton Rumble Poneis, 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. Diamondbacks, 6:00 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: vs. Athletics, 6:00 p.m. PT