My goodness was there a lot of action on the San Francisco Giants farm on Thursday, with all eight teams playing.
Let’s dive straight into it.
AAA Sacramento (28-38)
Sacramento River Cats beat the Tacoma Rainers (Mariners) 8-7
We know that depth is the name of the game for the organization, and that’s especially true right now given the amount of players on the Injured List. So the focus of this Sacramento game, win or lose, was on the rehabbing players.
Tommy La Stella made his third attempt at starting his rehab assignment, and hit 2-2 with a walk from the designated hitter position. RHP Aaron Sanchez got the start as his rehab continues, and while the results weren’t good, he was able to stretch it out, which is important: 5.1 innings, 8 hits, 1 walk, 5 earned runs, and 4 strikeouts. And RHP Reyes Moronta pitched for the first time since April 10, and allowed 0 hits, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout in 0.2 innings.
Solid rehabbing, pals.
The River Cats scored all of their runs in the first 3 innings, highlighted by a 2-run home run from shortstop Mauricio Dubón. Dubi has been hitting for average exceptionally well since being optioned, but the power has been lagging, so that’s a good sight.
He also added a single and a pair of walks, raising his OPS to .955 in 84 plate appearances. Seems like playing every day has been helpful.
First baseman Joe McCarthy had a 3-hit day and drew a walk, and continues to look like a solid outfield/first base depth piece should the Giants ever need him.
Center fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 3 CPL) made his AAA debut after a promotion and went 1-5 with a pair of strikeouts. Welcome to Sacramento, Heliot.
AA Richmond (38-31)
Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland) 6-5
Richmond did their best attempt at mimicking San Francisco, entering the eighth inning trailing 6-1 and almost pulling off the comeback. But it fell just short.
Shortstop Simon Whiteman was the offense, with 3 of the team’s 7 hits (including a double), and a walk. His OPS is .710, which isn’t exactly sterling, but is starting to round into shape after struggling when first promoted in mid-June. He’s got an .882 OPS in July so far.
Third baseman Will Wilson (No. 10 CPL) is still looking for his form, and went 1-5 with a walk and 2 errors. Center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe (No. 33 CPL) went 0-5 with 3 strikeouts in his season debut at AA after starting the year rehabbing in the Arizona Complex League.
RHP Sean Hjelle (No. 11 CPL) made the start and it wasn’t his best, as he gave up 5 hits, 3 walks, and 4 earned runs in 5 innings, while striking out 4. Even so, he has a 3.59 ERA, with 60 strikeouts to 16 walks in 52.2 innings. Not good enough to have anyone whispering about the MLB debut that some thought might come this season, but still decently encouraging.
High-A Eugene (40-28)
Just as was the case with the MLB Giants, it was late-inning drama for the Emeralds. It was a 1-1 game heading into the ninth inning, but Eugene — and RHP Austin Reich, specifically — allowed a pair of runs.
But they countered in the bottom half of the inning with a game-tying 2-run blast from second baseman Carter Aldrete, to send the game into extras.
RHP Taylor Rashi kept Hillsboro’s ghost runner at bay, and a sacrifice bunt from center fielder Ismael Munguia forced an error that won the game for Eugene.
It might be time for the High-A team to consider changing their name to the Eugene Auerbachs. Third baseman Brett Auerbach homered for the third straight game, and added a walk (the Emeralds only walk against 16 strikeouts) and a stolen base as well. It wasn’t a cheap home run, either.
I don’t think Auerbach was on many people’s radar entering the season, but now feels like one of the most exciting prospects in the system. A .970 OPS in Low-A, followed by a .991 OPS in High-A is a helluva way to start your pro career. My guess is we’ll soon be seeing how he can do in AA.
Low-A San Jose (44-25)
San Jose Giants lost to the Stockton Ports (A’s) 10-5
A good offensive day for the Baby Giants, but a rough day on the mound, starting with RHP Wil Jensen, who got tattooed for 6 earned runs in 4.1 innings of work. Jensen has had a good season, but Thursday was not part of it. But it was a bit poetic: Jensen started the game and had an uncharacteristically bad game, while LHP Haydn King ended the game and had an uncharacteristically good game, with 2 perfect innings to lower his ERA to 7.88.
The offense had 14 hits, and left fielder Harrison Freed had a lot of them, going 4-4 with a home run.
END 6— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) July 23, 2021
Giants 3 | Ports 9
Call him Apollo Freed cuz he knocked that one out! pic.twitter.com/KolhlLhHsO
Designated hitter Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) had a 3-hit day with a double, while first baseman Luis Toribio (No. 12 CPL) and third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 21 CPL) both had 2-hit days with doubles.
ACL Orange (7-10)
ACL Giants Orange lead the Athletics 10-2 (suspended)
The Arizona Complex League apparently has different rules about games that can’t finish than MLB does, because the Giants Orange game is listed as “suspended — lightning” — and the team has not been awarded a win — despite leading 10-2 in the ninth inning.
And if you think San Francisco had an impressive ninth inning, the Giants Orange squad put up 9 runs in the ninth — and hadn’t yet recorded the final out when the game was suspended.
That ninth inning was fueled by center fielder Edison Mora (20, 2018 7th round), who had a grand slam. Designated hitter Grant McCray (No. 26 CPL, 20, 2019 3rd round), catcher Adrian Sugastey (19, 2019 J2), and first baseman Garrett Frechette (No. 27 CPL, 20, 2019 5th round) all had 2-hit games with doubles.
RHP Manuel Mercedes (18, 2019 J2) had an interesting start, allowing 7 hits, 0 walks, and 2 earned runs in 5 innings, but striking out just 2 batters. RHP Willian Suarez (23, 2015 J2) struck out the side in an inning of relief.
ACL Black (10-8)
ACL Giants Black beat the Diamondbacks 4-3 (8 innings)
Continuing the theme of weird endings/non-endings in the Arizona Complex League, Giants Black had a walk-off win ... in the eighth inning. A single by right fielder Javeyan Williams (24, 2019 22nd round) scored a run, thus automatically ending the game in the eighth inning. Baseball!
The offense didn’t have any extra-base hits, but Williams, shortstop Diego Velasquez (17, 2020 J2), and first baseman Ronaldo Flores (19, 2018 J2) all had 2-hit games.
It was a great day for the pitchers, as a pair of errors resulted in all of the Diamondbacks runs, meaning no Giants pitched got tagged with an earned run. LHP Esmerlin Vinicio (18, 2019 J2) was fantastic, striking out 9 batters in 5 innings while allowing just 3 hits and 1 walk. He has a 1.61 ERA, with 25 strikeouts to 16 walks in 22.1 innings.
RHP Jorge Labrador (22, 2015 J2) struck out 5 in 2 innings while allowing just a hit batter, and LHP Marvin Brown (20, 2018 J2) struck out the side in his inning of work.
DSL Orange (2-4)
Just a bad game all around for Giants Orange. They used 5 pitchers, and only RHP Brayan Palencia (18, 2019 J2) kept the opponent off the board. No one had more than 1 strikeout, and as a team the Giants issued a mere 4 Ks while walking 6 batters.
No one on offense did much of note either, as the team had neither an extra-base hit nor a batter with multiple hits. Shortstop Ramon Peralta (17, 2020 J2) and right fielder Fabio Villadiego (17, 2020 J2) both had a single and a pair of walks, which is the only thing of note.
DSL Black (3-5)
Also nothing of note on offense for Giants Black, who had just 2 hits — both singles, and both off the bat of right fielder Juanel Urena (17, 2020 J2). However, their pitching was much better than the Giants Orange squad, thanks to a nice outing from RHP Yonathan Ochoa (18, 2019 J2), who allowed 5 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run in 5 innings, while striking out 4.
A few moves over the last few days.
Transactions:— GPT (@giantsprospects) July 22, 2021
OF Heliot Ramos: AA -> AAA
OF Drew Robinson: Active -> Retired
OF Luis Alexander Basabe: ACL (rehab) -> AA
RHP Ronnie Williams: Active -> Suspended
RHP Ty Weber: AAA -> A
C Fabian Pena: AAA -> A
AAA Mauricio Dubón (1)
High-A Carter Aldrete (6)
High-A Brett Auerbach (6)
Low-A Harrison Freed (4)
ACL Edison Mora (2)
Sacramento: @ Tacoma Rainers, 7:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ Akron RubberDucks, 4:05 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. Hillsboro Hops, 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. Stockton Ports, 6:30 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: vs. Diamondbacks, 6:00 p.m. PT
ACL Black: vs. Cubs, 6:00 p.m. PT
DSL Orange: vs. Brewers2
DSL Black: vs. Phillies White