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Minor League round up, Sept. 8

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

2018 Major League Baseball Archive: PDP
Kyle Harrison had another dominant start for Low-A San Jose, allowing just 4 baserunners in 6 innings while striking out 8
Photo by Peter DaSilva/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Just three games for the San Francisco Giants affiliates on Wednesday, with off days for AAA Sacramento, the Arizona Complex League, and the Dominican Summer League.

But my goodness those three games were fun! So let’s dive into them.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game

AA Richmond (53-50)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland) 3-1
Box score

For a low-scoring game, the Flying Squirrels had some fun offensive performances, and as a team had 9 hits and 4 stolen bases. The star, though, was third baseman David Villar, who knocked in all 3 of Richmond’s runs.

First it was a game-tying solo home run in the fifth inning, which gives him 19 on the year. That’s a big number! So big that no one else in Richmond’s history has done it.

An inning later, Villar provided the go-ahead run and the insurance run, in the form of a 2-run double that set the final score.

Villar is up to an .884 OPS on the year, though the cold water on that is he’s 24. But that water isn’t very cold, I’d say.

Also having a nice day was designated hitter Sandro Fabian (No. 31 CPL), who hit 3-4 to raise his OPS to .770.

But while Villar was the star, the game was won with the solid pitching, which featured one of the stronger starts of the year from RHP Akeel Morris, who went 5 strong innings, allowing 4 hits, 0 walks, 1 earned run, and striking out 8.

The bullpen pitched 4 shutout innings, and it featured the return from injury of RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 36 CPL), who picked up where he left off, allowing no hits or walks in an inning of work (though he hit a batter), with 2 strikeouts. Dabovich is now at 27 strikeouts to 7 walks in 15.2 innings with Richmond, after starting his career earlier this year with 28 strikeouts to 6 walks in 12.2 High-A innings.

RHP Patrick Ruotolo pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout, lowering his ERA to 2.73 and giving him 45 strikeouts to 5 walks in 33 innings.

High-A Eugene (63-48)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Everett AquaSox (Mariners) 11-5
Box score

What a great offensive day for Eugene. Eight of the nine position players recorded a hit, with all nine reaching base successfully. Seven of them reached base twice, and in all, 14 hits were recorded to go along with 4 walks and 3 stolen bases.

It was the top of the order that did the damage, with hitters 1-4 combining for 9 hits and 3 extra-base hits. Let’s take them one by one.

Leading off was center fielder Ismael Munguia, who continues to shine, hitting 2-5 with a double to bump his OPS to .840.

Next up was second baseman Brett Auerbach. He’s been one of the best stories this season, but has also hit a little bit of a rough patch. So it was nice to see him go 2-5 with a home run, which raised his OPS to .875.

Batting third was left fielder Jairo Pomares (No. 14 CPL), who had a 2-hit game, as he continues to look very comfortable swinging the bat in High-A after a recent promotion. His OPS is .864.

And hitting cleanup was first baseman Sean Roby (No. 32 CPL), who, like Villar in AA, bopped his 19th dinger of the year, as part of a 3-hit day that raised his OPS to .793. He is on fire lately.

It was an encouraging start for LHP Seth Corry (No. 6 CPL), who made just his third appearance since returning from the Injured List. Corry has struggled massively with walks this year, allowing nearly 1 per inning, so his performance — 3 innings, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 runs, 3 strikeouts — was very encouraging.

Low-A San Jose (68-42)

San Jose Giants beat the Stockton Ports (A’s) 8-1
Box score

It was a veritable dinger party in San Jose, yet the pitching was still the story, as three exciting pitchers combined for what can only be described as a dominant performance.

It started with the most exciting — and in the eyes of most people, best — pitching prospect in the system, LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 9 CPL). Harrison pitched 6 innings, allowing just 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run, while striking out 8 batters.

Harrison’s ERA of 3.36 is nice, but it’s the strikeouts that give you reason to get very excited: He now has 149 of them in 93.2 innings. The 49 walks might be the answer to the obvious question — why hasn’t he been promoted yet? — but for a debuting player who turned 20 less than a month ago, you’ll gladly take the walks when they come with those K numbers and run prevention (and hard contact prevention: Harrison has given up just 3 homers on the year).

First out of the pen was RHP Randy Rodriguez, who has been quietly dominant. He pitched 2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 1.94 and giving him 91 strikeouts to 23 walks in 55.2 innings.

And finally it was RHP Cole Waites, who gave up 0 hits and 1 walk in 1 inning, while striking out the side. Waites now has 7 appearances and 7.1 innings in Low-A and has yet to give up a hit. And on the season, counting 3 appearances in the ACL, has pitched 10.1 no-hit innings, allowing 6 walks and 1 earned run, while striking out 23.

On offense it was homer central, and the Giants took control with a 5-run third inning, when shortstop Abdiel Layer had a 3-run home run, raising his OPS to .642, and left fielder Carter Williams followed it with a 2-run blast, raising his OPS to .748 and putting San Jose firmly in control.

Third baseman Yorlis Rodriguez, who continues to impress since a promotion from the ACL, had both a homer and a double, push his OPS to .800.

Three games, three wins!

Home runs

AA David Villar (19)
High-A Sean Roby (19)
High-A Brett Auerbach (13)
Low-A Abdiel Layer (11)
Low-A Carter Williams (7)
Low-A Yorlis Rodriguez (3)
Low-A Grant McCray (2)

News

High-A Shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) was the first overall pick in the Dominican Winter League draft.

Thursday schedule

Sacramento: @ Tacoma Rainers, 7:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. Akron RubberDucks, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. Everett AquaSox, 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. Stockton Ports, 6:35 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: vs. D-backs
ACL Black: vs. Cubs
DSL Orange: vs. Brewers2
DSL Black: vs. Phillies White