The season is over for five of the San Francisco Giants Minor League affiliates: AA Richmond, both Arizona Complex League teams, and the pair of Dominican Summer League squads.
But it marches on for AAA Sacramento, High-A Eugene, and Low-A San Jose, the latter two of which are in the Championship Series in their respective leagues.
Let’s jump into it.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (52-65)
Sacramento River Cats beat the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) 8-4
It would seem that Alex Dickerson is ready to return to the Majors. Dickerson has been rehabbing in AAA for almost two weeks now, which makes me think he’s suiting up for Sacramento less because the Giants think he needs more rehab time, and more because the Giants aren’t sure if he should be on the roster, as he’s been a below league average hitter this season.
Days like Tuesday certainly help his case, as Dickerson hit 3-4 with a home run and 2 doubles. That might be just the performance needed to snag Steven Duggar’s roster spot.
Speaking of MLB depth pieces, two other players who have been on the roster this year had strong hitting days, with third baseman Jason Vosler (No. 42 CPL) hitting 2-4 with a double and a walk, and shortstop Thairo Estrada recording a pair of singles.
Interestingly, the River Cats gave Jaylin Davis (No. 20 CPL) a day at first base, though unfortunately his bat continues to struggle since returning from injury.
It was a bullpen game for Sacramento, which was originally slated to start LHP Scott Kazmir before the Giants decided they might need him against the San Diego Padres. Some nice pitching performances, including 2 perfect innings from RHP Tyler Cyr to start the game, but unfortunately RHP Reyes Moronta struggled yet again, with the recently-outrighted pitcher allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run in an inning of work.
Eugene Emeralds beat Spokane (Rockies) 15-7
Eugene leads High-A W Championship Series 1-0
It’s a bummer that even in the Minor Leagues, postseason statistics don’t count towards a player’s tally. Because a whole bunch of Eugene hitters would have increased their stat lines on Tuesday.
The Emeralds took the first game of the five-game Championship Series thanks to 20 hits, 9 of which went for extra bases. They set the tone early and essentially won the game before Spokane even had a chance bat, hitting 3 home runs and knocking in 8 runs in the top of the 1st inning alone.
In a game full of stars, catcher Ricardo Genovés (No. 29 CPL) shined the brightest, hitting 3-4 with 2 home runs and a double. Genovés finished the year with a .658 OPS after earning a promotion thanks to tearing the stitches off the ball in San Jose.
But his teammates also shone bright. Center fielder Ismael Munguia, one of the breakout stars of the farm this year after posting an .868 OPS, had a 5-hit day that included a home run.
Shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) and first baseman Sean Roby (No. 32 CPL) had 3-hit days, with Luciano (who had a .577 OPS in High-A) finishing a home run shy of the cycle, and Roby (who ended the year with a .789 OPS) adding one of the first-inning bombs (as did right fielder Franklin Labour).
What a day.
On the pitching front, it was an encouraging performance from LHP Seth Corry (No. 6 CPL), who is starting to find his groove after a rough start to the season. Corry pitched 3 innings and allowed 1 hit, 0 walks, and 1 earned run, while striking out 5.
In 5 July starts, Corry had an 11.50 ERA, with 17 walks in 18 innings. He then missed a month due to injury, and in the 5 (admittedly short) starts since has pitched 11.1 innings while allowing 4 hits, 4 walks, and 1 earned run, with 16 strikeouts.
Low-A San Jose
San Jose Giants beat the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies) 3-1
San Jose leads Low-A W Championship Series 1-0
LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 9 CPL) may be just one season into his professional career, but it’s safe to say the Giants organization is already dreaming of him making the type of postseason MLB starts that have made a few Giants heroes in the last decade. And Tuesday was a glimpse of that.
After posting a 3.19 ERA, with 157 strikeouts to 52 walks in 98.2 innings in his debut season, Harrison took the bump for the best-of-five Championship Series opener and went 6.1 strong innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run, while striking out 6. The future is bright (hey, so is the present!).
Two relievers having phenomenal seasons finishing things off. RHP Randy Rodriguez, who had a 1.74 ERA with 101 strikeouts to 23 walks in 62 innings, gave up 0 hits and 1 walk in 1.1 innings, while striking out 1. RHP Cole Waites, who had a 0.87 ERA with 24 strikeouts to 4 walks in 10.1 innings was perfect in a 4-out save while striking out 2.
Big strikeout for Cole Waites as he closes out Game 1. pic.twitter.com/kAyNOx7HlG— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) September 22, 2021
Offensively it was the Luis Toribio (No. 12 CPL) show, as the first baseman had the go-ahead hit with a double in the 4th inning, and provided the insurance in the 7th inning with a solo home run.
A look back at Luis Toribio's key home run in tonight's Game 1 victory. pic.twitter.com/xcudyWwIZV— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) September 22, 2021
Shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 28 CPL), playing in his second Low-A game after the Arizona Complex League season ended, hit 2-4 with a triple. Not bad for someone who is still half a year away from celebrating his 19th birthday.
It is very fun to dream about just how many of these Baby Giants could be quality MLB Giants one day.
Sacramento: Off day
Richmond: Season over
Eugene: @ Spokane, 6:30 p.m. PT (High-A W Championship Series Game 2)
San Jose: @ Fresno Grizzlies, 6:50 p.m. PT (Low-A W Championship Series Game 2)
ACL Orange: Season over
ACL Black: Season over
DSL Orange: Season over
DSL Black: Season over