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Minor League round up, Aug. 17

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

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs Vanderbilt
Infielder Tyler Fitzgerald had his 17th homer of the year for High-A Eugene
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento River Cats scheduled game on Tuesday was postponed, but it was still a full and exciting day on the San Francisco Giants farm.

Let’s dive into it.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AA Richmond (44-47)

Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 2-1 (10 innings)
Box score

It was a rather uninteresting day for Richmond. They scored a run in the 1st inning to take the lead, then allowed the tying run in the 2nd inning, then watched seven innings go by without a run, then allowed the ghost runner to score in the 10th and that was it.

Suffice to say it was a strong pitching day, starting with RHP Aaron Blair, who pitched 5 innings and gave up just 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run, with 5 strikeouts. LHP Luis Amaya, who has struggled a bit this year (5.53 ERA) had a dominant relief appearance, with 5 strikeouts in 3 perfect innings.

But needless to say, the offense didn’t do much, and the team scored their lone run on a wild pitch, so there wasn’t even an RBI. Three batters reached base twice though: right fielder Diego Rincones (No. 37 CPL) and shortstop Mitchell Tolman, who both had a pair of singles, and first baseman David Villar who had a double and a walk.

Tolman, Villar, and second baseman Simon Whiteman combined for one helluva defensive play, too.

High-A Eugene (53-38)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Everett AquaSox (Mariners) 10-9
Box score

The Emeralds overcame a 7-0 deficit in a single inning, which was pretty cool.

After sporting a sensational 1.122 OPS in Low-A, left fielder Jairo Pomares (No. 14 CPL) made his High-A debut on Tuesday and wasted no time getting settled in. The sweet-swinging lefty hit 3-4 with a double, and also recorded an outfield assist at third base. Have yourself a debut!

Joining him in the land of 3 hits was first baseman Sean Roby (No. 32 CPL), who added a triple to raise his OPS to .771.

But the offensive star was, as has been the case for so many games recently, third baseman Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 40 CPL), who hit 2-4 with the team’s only home run. Fitzgerald’s OPS is up to .905 on the year, in large part because of the 1.222 mark he’s put up in August.

Shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) had a double and a walk as he’s starting to find his form a little bit in High-A.

The pitchers didn’t do so well, with RHP Aaron Phillips giving up 4 earned runs and lasting just 1 inning. Eugene’s pitchers gave up 4 homers on the day, though they didn’t issue any walks.

Low-A San Jose (56-35)

San Jose Giants beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers) 6-3
Box score

Even at the Low-A level, it’s always worth celebrating with the Giants beat the Dodgers.

The tone got started in the 1st inning when center fielder Luis Matos (No. 5 CPL) blasted a 3-run home run to give the Baby Giants a lead they would never relinquish. It was Matos’ only hit of the day, but he sure made it count, and his OPS is now .876 as he tries to state his case to join Marco Luciano and Jairo Pomares in Oregon.

Third baseman Yorlis Rodriguez had his best game since getting promoted, hitting 3-4 with a double to raise his OPS to .638. It was also a strong day for left fielder Harrison Freed, who drew a walk and hit a homer, though his OPS still sits at .654.

RHP Prelander Berroa had another start that makes me think he doesn’t have many more left in San Jose before getting promoted. Berroa gave up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 1 earned run in 5 innings, while striking out 8. He now has a 2.89 ERA (albeit with a 4.39 FIP), a 1.29 WHIP, and 107 strikeouts to 38 walks in 74.2 innings. RHP Clay Helvey earned the save with a dominant performance, retiring all 6 batters he faced, 5 of which he struck out. He now has 66 strikeouts to 17 walks in 41 innings.

Two players made their Low-A debuts: shortstop Ghordy Santos, who hit 0-5, and RHP Cole Waites, who pitched a perfect inning with 2 strikeouts.

ACL Orange (19-17)

ACL Giants Orange lost to the Athletics 4-0 (7 innings)
Box score

The Giants Orange team failed to score a run despite doing a fabulous job controlling the zone: the struck out just 3 times, while drawing 5 walks. But you (usually) need hits to score runs, and they mustered just 4 of them, all singles.

The top of the lineup was fine: Center fielder Grant McCray (No. 26 CPL, 20, 2019 3rd round) hit 1-1 and drew 2 walks, raising his OPS to .845; designated hitter Edison Mora (21, 2018 7th round) hit 1-2 with a walk, raising his OPS to .772; and shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 28 CPL, 18, 2019 J2) drew 2 walks, moving his OPS to .969.

But spots 4 through 9 in the order combined to hit 2-17 with 0 walks.

On the pitching front, it was a tough day for RHP Trevor McDonald (No. 23 CPL, 20, 2019 11th round) who gave up 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs, and 2 earned runs in 4 innings, with 2 strikeouts.

RHP Tyler Myrick (23, 2021 14th round) made his professional debut and struck out 2 in 1 inning, but also gave up 2 hits and 1 earned run.

ACL Black (18-18)

ACL Giants Black lost to the D-backs 8-6
Box score

On paper the Giants Black team didn’t get much going on offense, with just 5 hits, and 4 walks against a whopping 16 strikeouts. Still, they managed to turn that into 6 runs, which was almost enough.

After falling behind 6-1, they popped off for a 5-run 8th inning to tie the game, sparked by a 3-run home run courtesy of catcher Max Wright (23, 2021 UDFA), the first of his career. Center fielder Alexander Suarez (19, 2018 J2) was the only player to have multiple hits, as he went 2-5 to keep his nice season going (.948 OPS).

It wasn’t enough, as the Giants gave back 2 runs in the 9th inning to lose. Two recent draftees appeared on the mound, and both pitched scoreless innings to keep their 0.00 ERAs intact. RHP Hunter Dula (22, 2021 18th round) allowed a walk and a hit but struck out the side, while RHP Ian Villers (20, 2021 8th round) gave up no walks or hits (though he hit a batter) and struck out 1.

DSL Orange (10-10)

DSL Giants Orange beat the Brewers2 7-0
Box score

Another good bat control game, as the Giants Orange team drew 7 walks to 9 strikeouts. They also scored 6 of their 7 runs in the 9th inning, with the big hit of the day coming from third baseman Derwin Laya (17, 2020 J2), who hit a grand slam. Laya finished with a 3-hit day, raising his OPS to .860. It was also a nice offensive day for left fielder Samuel Reyes (18, 2019 J2) who hit 2-3 with a double and a walk to raise his OPS to .699.

The Giants used five pitchers to combine for a shutout, despite striking out just 4 batters all day. RHP Rolfi Jimenez (18, 2019 J2) led the way, allowing 5 baserunners in 5 innings, but striking out just 1. That’s been Jimenez’s season: he has a 0.74 ERA, but just 17 strikeouts in 24.1 innings.

DSL Black (9-9)

DSL Giants Black beat the Phillies White 4-1
Box score

Leading the Giants Black team to victory was third baseman Jose Ramos (18, 2019 J2) who hit 2 home runs, drew a walk, and knocked in 3 of the team’s 4 runs. That’s a damn good day at the office.

Ramos is only 10 games into his professional career, but my goodness is he showing off, as he’s hitting 11-30 with 3 home runs, 1 triple, 2 doubles, 3 walks, and just 4 strikeouts.

Second baseman Gustavo Cardozo (17, 2020 J2) also had a nice game, hitting 2-3 with a walk and stealing 2 bases.

The pitchers issued 7 walks, but still limited the Phillies White squad to just 1 run. The charge was led by LHP Ricardo Estrada (19, 2020 J2) who allowed 3 baserunners in 3 scoreless innings, while striking out 4. He has a 1.32 ERA in his debut season, though he’s allowed 10 walks in 13.2 innings.

Home runs

High-A Tyler Fitzgerald (17)
Low-A Luis Matos (12)
Low-A Abdiel Layer (9)
Low-A Harrison Freed (6)
ACL Max Wright (1)
DSL Jose Ramos, 2 (3)
DSL Derwin Laya (2)


A few players were let go on Tuesday.

Wednesday schedule

Sacramento: Off
Richmond: vs. Erie SeaWolves, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. Everett AquaSox, 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, 6:30 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: Off
ACL Black: Off
DSL Orange: Off
DSL Black: Off