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Minor League round up, Aug. 10

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A round up of the San Francisco Giants Minor League affiliates.

NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 02 Lexington Regional - Kentucky v Ohio
RHP Sean Hjelle made his AAA debut for the Sacramento River Cats
Photo by Mat Gdowski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lots of fun action on the San Francisco Giants farm on Tuesday, as all eight teams were in action. Let’s jump into it.

Link to the 2021 McCovey Chronicles Community Prospect List (CPL)

AAA Sacramento (37-47)

Sacramento River Cats beat the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) 6-3
Box score

Awesome day all around for the River Cats featuring the AAA debut of 6’11 RHP Sean Hjelle (No. 11 CPL), the team’s second-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Hjelle was good but not dominant in AA, and that continued in his first start with Sacramento, as he went 6 innings and allowed 7 hits, 4 walks, and 3 earned runs, while striking out just 2 batters. Not great, but hey ... welcome to AAA!

There were two other pitching performances of note. RHP Reyes Moronta made his eighth rehab appearance, and struck out 2 in a scoreless inning. He’s now given up 2 hits, 6 walks, and 1 earned run in 7 innings, with 6 strikeouts. And LHP Sammy Long (No. 38 CPL) struck out 3 in a scoreless inning of relief (though he allowed 3 baserunners), so it seems as though the Giants are preparing him to be used as a reliever if he gets called up again this year.

On offense, rehabbing right fielder Jaylin Davis (No. 20 CPL) had the big hit of the day, a 3-run home run that puts his OPS at 1.005.

Left fielder Braden Bishop and first baseman Jason Vosler joined Davis on the home run train, with the former adding a single to raise his OPS to .859 and the latter having a walk to raise his OPS to .997. The depth in this organization is silly.

Center fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 3 CPL) is still searching for his first home run since getting promoted, but he had a pair of doubles (he now has 7 in 18 games) to bump his OPS to .743, and had yet another outfield assist.

AA Richmond (43-42)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) 6-3
Box score

Richmond followed the Sacramento blueprint, winning 6-3 with a trio of home runs. I like this approach.

Left fielder Sandro Fabian (No. 31 CPL) had a 2-hit day that featured a home run, as he tries to raise his OPS (.725) closer to promotion land.

Third baseman Mitchell Tolman and catcher Brandon Martorano also added home runs while drawing walks, and right fielder Diego Rincones (No. 37 CPL) had a 3-hit day to raise his OPS to .825.

RHP Trenton Toplikar had one of his better starts of the season, allowing 6 baserunners and 1 earned run in 6 innings, with 5 strikeouts. RHP Patrick Ruotolo struck out 2 in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving him a 2.48 ERA and a gorgeous 41 strikeouts to 4 walks in 29 innings.

High-A Eugene (49-36)

Eugene Emeralds lost to the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 3-2
Box score

The Emeralds jumped out to an early lead courtesy of a 2-run home run by center fielder Franklin Labour, but couldn’t hold the lead late, giving up runs in the fifth and seventh innings before being walked off in the ninth.

It was a very nice pitching performance from RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 18 CPL) who allowed 5 hits, 2 walks, and 1 earned run in 5.2 innings, while striking out 9. Teng’s giving up a lot of runs (4.86 ERA) and walks, but he also has 89 strikeouts in 63 innings.

Third baseman Sean Roby (No. 32 CPL) had a strong day, drawing 2 walks and hitting a double, but it was a rough day for shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) who hit 1-4 with the strikeout hat trick. The team’s top prospect has an OPS of just .492 since getting promoted.

Low-A San Jose (54-31)

San Jose Giants beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 4-0
Box score

A shutout is always exciting, so let’s start with the pitching. The dominant day began with the pitcher who is the Giants top pitching prospects on many people’s lists: LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 9 CPL). Harrison pitched just 4.2 innings but allowed only 1 hit and 2 walks, while striking out 9 batters. That got his ERA back in the 3s, and gave him 111 strikeouts in 72.2 innings, with 42 walks. For a player so young (he turns 20 on Thursday), the Giants have to be stoked about his debut season.

RHPs Wilkelma Castillo and Brooks Crawford both struck out 4 batters, the former in 2.1 innings and the latter in 2 innings. Castillo now has a 2.73 ERA, with 31 strikeouts to 10 walks in 26.1 innings, and Crawford has a 2.32 ERA with 42 strikeouts to 5 walks in 31 innings.

Center fielder Luis Matos (No. 5 CPL) was the only Giant with multiple hits, going 2-4 with a double to raise his OPS to .846.

Catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 8 CPL) and first baseman Luis Toribio (No. 12 CPL) both drew a pair of walks.

ACL Orange (16-15)

ACL Giants Orange beat the Cubs 11-2
Box score

A very solid game for the Giants Orange team, which featured some big hits from some players who are fairly new to the system. Center fielder Vaun Brown (23, 2021 10th round) had a triple, while second baseman Damon Dues (23, 2021 UDFA) had a 2-run double and knocked in 3 runs on the day.

It was a nice day for shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 28 CPL, 18, 2019 J2), who hit 2-5 with a double. Arteaga had been slumping a tiny bit after a brilliant start to the season, but a strong day pushed his OPS back to 1.009.

LHP Sonny Vargas (20, 2017 J2) had a nice start, allowing 2 hits, 0 walks, and 2 earned runs in 5 innings, while striking out 7. RHP Cole Waites (23, 2019 18th round) made a rehab appearance and struck out all 3 batters he faced, giving him 7 strikeouts in 3 innings, with 0 hits and 2 walks allowed.

ACL Black (17-14)

ACL Giants Black lost to the Rockies 8-5 (8 innings)
Box score

The Giants Black squad took a 4-4 tie into the final inning, but gave up a 4-spot in the top of the eighth, and could only get one run back in the bottom half of the inning.

But it was no fault of the top of the order, which was brilliant. Center fielder Alexander Suarez (19, 2018 J2) hit 4-4 with a home run to raise his OPs to .898, second baseman Ghordy Santos (21, 2016 J2) was 2-4 with a triple to raise his OPS to 1.290, and rehabbing left fielder Hunter Bishop (No. 4 CPL, 23, 2019 1st round) went 1-2 with a walk. Bishop hasn’t played well in the Arizona Complex League, but he’s played 7 games without getting re-injured, so we might see him back on a Minor League team soon.

On the pitching front, LHP Esmerlin Vinicio (18, 2019 J2) pitched 4 innings, and allowed 4 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run, with 4 strikeouts. He has a beautiful 1.89 ERA, though the strikeout to walk ratio (40 to 21 in 33.1 innings) isn’t ideal. RHP Ian Villers (20, 2021 8th round) made his professional debut and pitched a perfect inning with 2 strikeouts.

DSL Orange (6-10)

DSL Giants Orange lead the Pirates Gold 6-0 (suspended)
Box score

For the second consecutive day, the Giants Orange squad had their game suspended early on due to weather. But this one started brilliantly, as the Giants scored 6 runs in the top half of the first inning ... and the game was suspended before the third out was recorded.

It was rally central for the Giants, who had neither an out nor an extra-base hit the first time through the order. They started the game with 2 walks, then had 5 straight singles, then had 2 more walks before recording some outs the second time through the order.

DSL Black (7-7)

DSL Giants Black beat the Tigers 2-0 (7 innings)
Box score

It was a dominant performance for LHP Johnny Grullon (19, 2019 J2), who gave up just 2 baserunners in 5 innings while striking out 5. It was just his third game of the year, but Grullon now has 6 hits, 4 walks, and 1 earned run in 12.2 innings, with 11 strikeouts.

No position player reached base more than one time, but right fielder Estanlin Cassiani (18, 2019 J2) had a triple to raise his OPS to 1.071.

Home runs

AAA Jaylin Davis (11)
AAA Jason Vosler (11)
AAA Braden Bishop (6)
AA Sandro Fabian (10)
AA Brandon Martorano (4)
AA Mitchell Tolman (1)
High-A Franklin Labour (12)
ACL Alexander Suarez (4)

News

The Giants released infielder Nolan Dempsey, first baseman Tyler Flores, and LHP Bryce Tucker.

Wednesday schedule

Sacramento: Off
Richmond: @ Bowie Baysox, 9:05 a.m. PT
Eugene: @ Hillsboro Hops, 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. Modesto Nuts, 1:00 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: Off
ACL Black: Off
DSL Orange: Off
DSL Black: Off