The Arizona Complex League and Dominican Summer League were both off on Sunday, but the San Francisco Giants four Minor League affiliates were in action, and played might well. Let’s jump in.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (40-53)
Sacramento River Cats beat the Tacoma Rainers (Mariners) 7-5
A solid and exciting win for the River Cats, who used a 4-run 7th inning to turn a 2-run deficit into a 2-run lead. There were two big hits in that inning that made the magic happen. First it was a game-tying 2-run single by designated hitter Heliot Ramos (No. 3 CPL). Ramos finished 2-4 on the day, and also stole a base. His .761 OPS in a hitter-friendly environment isn’t going to have anyone clamoring for an MLB debut, but he’s holding his own against players much older than he is.
One batter later it was left fielder Braden Bishop, who hit a go-ahead 2-run home run to give Sacramento a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Bishop’s OPS now sits at .879.
There were also strong offensive days from shortstop Mauricio Dubón, who hit 2-5 with a double to raise his OPS to .889, and right fielder Jaylin Davis (No. 20 CPL) who hit 1-3 with a triple and 2 walks to move his OPS to .950.
RHP Sean Hjelle. (No. 11 CPL) made his third start since getting promoted to AAA, and it went similarly to the other two. In 5 innings he gave up 10 hits, 3 walks, and 5 earned runs, while striking out just 2. His ERA of 6.23 isn’t good, but isn’t really cause for concern this early. What is concerning is the continued lack of strikeouts, as he’s now struck out just 5 batters in 17.1 innings.
AA Richmond (49-47)
Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 5-2
In yesterday’s Minor League post, valued commenter and longtime community member quincy0191 pointed out that people need to start valuing Diego Rincones (No. 37 CPL) a little bit more. On cue, Rincones blasted a home run on Sunday.
DIEGO RINCONES GIVES US THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/4xOHwll0r2— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) August 22, 2021
In roughly the same number of plate appearances, Rincones has a .888 OPS in AA compared to the .756 OPS that Heliot Ramos put up prior to his promotion. And Rincones is less than three months older than Ramos.
In other words, permission to be really excited about him.
It was a stellar day for designated hitter Heath Quinn, who finished a triple shy of the cycle. Quinn is only three games into his promotion but is hitting 4-10 with 2 home runs, a double, and a walk.
Also nice to see center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe (No. 33 CPL) start to get going after suffering an injury in Spring Training and initially struggling in his rehab. He had a 2-hit day with a double and an outfield assist, raising his OPS to .787.
RHP Aaron Blair had a fine start, pitching 5 innings and allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs, with 7 strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 3.52. After registering just 2 strikeouts in his first 3 starts of the year (8 innings), Blair has now struck out 16 in his last 3 starts (15 innings).
RHP Patrick Ruotolo pitched a perfect 9th inning to lower his ERA to 2.81, and give him 44 strikeouts to 5 walks in 32 innings.
High-A Eugene (57-40)
Eugene Emeralds beat the Everett AquaSox (Mariners) 6-4
The Emeralds did all of their damage in the 4th inning. After giving up 3 runs in the top half of the inning, Eugene answered with a 6-spot in the bottom half, highlighted by a 3-run home run courtesy of third baseman Carter Aldrete.
Two Emeralds hitters had multi-hit days, and they were the players you really want to be doing well: recently promoted exciting prospects, shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) and left fielder Jairo Pomares (No. 14 CPL). Luciano added a walk to raise his OPS to .649, and Pomares bumped his OPS to .963.
RHP Aaron Phillips went deep into the game, pitching 7 innings and allowing 7 hits, 1 walk, and 3 earned runs, with 6 strikeouts. It was an uncharacteristically good start for Phillips, who has a 7.06 ERA with just 48 strikeouts in 72.2 innings.
But a characteristically good relief appearance from LHP Chris Wright, who gave up just 1 walk while striking out 2 to earn the save. Wright has a 1.20 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 30 innings.
Low-A San Jose (60-36)
The lone loss of the day comes from the Baby Giants, who failed in their attempt to sweep the series. It was a bad offensive day for San Jose, as they mustered just 4 hits, all singles. Two hitters reached base twice: center fielder Grant McCray (No. 26 CPL) who had a hit and a walk in his third game since getting promoted, and second baseman Jimmy Glowenke (No. 34 CPL) who had a pair of singles to bump his OPS to .775.
RHP Prelander Berroa struggled in the start, giving up 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 runs, and 4 earned runs in 4 innings.
AAA Braden Bishop (8)
AA David Villar (16)
AA Diego Rincones (8)
AA Heath Quinn (2)
High-A Carter Aldrete
Sacramento: vs. Tacoma Rainers, 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: Off
ACL Orange: vs. Padres
ACL Black: vs. Indians
DSL Orange: vs. Colorado
DSL Black: vs. Cubs Red