The Arizona Complex League and Dominican Summer League have still not gotten underway, but the San Francisco Giants four other Minor League affiliates were all in action on Wednesday.
Let’s dive into the action.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (5-3)
The bats came to play for Sacramento, which was playing its final game before outfielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL) rejoins the team following his first MLB stint.
The River Cats had 12 hits and 6 walks on the day, and kept their foot on the gas all game. Two players had 3-hit games, which is always fun. Center fielder Bryce Johnson had his best game of the season, hitting 3-6 to bump his slumping OPS to .627, while also stealing 3 bases. How fun!
Bryce with RBI base hit!— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 14, 2022
2-0 Cats! pic.twitter.com/COButh6AlH
And designated hitter Ka’ai Tom hit 3-5 with a double, raising his OPS to 1.072 ... he looks like he could provide some left-handed depth for the outfield at some point this season, if the team has some injuries.
Tom getting it started‼️— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 14, 2022
1-0 Cats pic.twitter.com/UDgEGr7YLP
But the real offensive star was right fielder Jaylin Davis, a day after he had a donut and I pointed out that his placement on the 40-man roster was hanging in the balance. Davis responded on Wednesday with a big day, hitting 2-4 with a home run, a walk, a stolen base, and 3 runs batted in. His OPS is still at just .671, but that’s a huge bump over where it was a day ago. Would be great to see him put together some nice plate appearances and make a case for a call-up, especially now that Ramos has clearly passed him on the depth chart.
RHP Sean Hjelle (No. 30 CPL) made his second start of the year, and while it wasn’t nearly as dominant as his first, he was solid in preventing runs and baserunners, as he gave up just 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run in 5 innings ... though he only struck out 1 batter. Hjelle’s line on the season is 8.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 1 earned run, and 6 strikeouts, good for a 1.04 ERA and a 3.04 FIP. The Giants will be happy with that, but it would definitely be nice to see some more strikeouts at some point.
It was not, however, a good outing for RHP Gregory Santos (No. 32 CPL) who allowed 4 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs in 1.2 innings.
AA Richmond (3-2)
Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Altoona Curve (Pirates) 10-6
Hello home runs! Richmond might play in a poor offensive environment, but that didn’t stop them from bopping 5 balls over the fence on Wednesday en route to a 10-run game. And 4 of those came in the same inning!
The big star was third baseman Sean Roby, who hit 2 of them, while also having a single, which not only resulted in 3 runs batted in, but bumped his OPS to 1.141. Roby is replacing David Villar at third base in Richmond, and already looks like he has his sights set on Villar’s franchise record of 20 home runs that he hit last year.
Also hitting a dinger was designated hitter Brandon Martorano, and I would like to use this space to give him his flowers. Martorano is a catcher, and it’s pretty hard to stand out as a catcher in a system that has Patrick Bailey, Ricardo Genovés, Brett Auerbach, Adrian Sugastey, and Juan Perez, all with Joey Bart in his rookie year. But Martorano has been on fire to open the season, hitting 4-13 with a home run, a double, and 2 walks.
Second baseman Shane Matheny had a perfect day, hitting 3-3 with a home run and a walk, bumping his admittedly tiny sample size OPS to 1.345.
On the other side of things it was strikeout city for Richmond, as their pitchers recorded 12 Ks with just a single walk. RHP Gray Fenter got the start and whiffed 8 batters in 3 innings, and RHP John Russell struck out 2 in as many innings. RHP Blake Rivera, still trying to work off his injury struggles in 2021, made his second appearance of the year, and it went much better than the first, though still a lot to work on, as he allowed 4 baserunners in 2 innings, with 1 unearned run, and 1 strikeout.
RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 16 CPL), who had 62 strikeouts in 32.1 innings last year, had a rare K-less game, but his inning of work was perfect.
High-A Eugene (0-3)
Eugene Emeralds lost to Spokane (Rockies) 5-2
From pure prospect stardom, Eugene is the most exciting Giants affiliate, so it was good to finally see them back in action with their first full game since Saturday (their Sunday game was postponed after 3 innings, Monday was on off day, and their Tuesday game never started due to rain). It would have been nicer if they could have picked up their first W of the season, but oh well.
It wasn’t a particularly interesting game for Eugene, truth be told. LHP Seth Corry (No. 33 CPL) made his first start of the year, and unfortunately was plagued by the same walk issues that he dealt with all last year. Corry, formerly the top pitching prospect in the organization, had 63 walks in 67.2 innings last year, and started 2022 by doling out 2 of them in 2.1 innings. He also allowed 3 hits and 1 earned run, while striking out 1.
Offensively, the Emeralds had 11 strikeouts with just 1 walk drawn. Catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 9 CPL) was the only player to not strike out in the game, and designated hitter Armani Smith (No. 41 CPL) was the only player with multiple hits, as he bopped a pair of singles.
The only runs of the day came off the bat of second baseman Jimmy Glowenke (No. 43 CPL), who hit a 2-run home run in the 3rd inning to give Eugene a lead that RHP Ty Weber would eventually blow.
Low-A San Jose (4-1)
San Jose Giants beat the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies) 7-3
Like the Flying Squirrels, the Baby Giants got it done with the long ball, with 3 big flies. They also did a good job of having competitive at-bats, as they struck out just 6 times ... and drew 6 walks.
Three players had the hat trick for reaching base, as right fielder Vaun Brown, catcher Adrian Sugastey (No. 27 CPL), and shortstop Dilan Rosario all hit 2-4 with a walk. Sugastey was the star, as one of his hits cleared the fence and one went for a double, raising his OPS to 1.012. Sugastey, who didn’t turn 19 until late October, is coming off a 126 wRC+ season in the ACL. If he keeps hitting the ball like this in San Jose, he is going to start flying up prospect lists with alarming speed.
One of Brown’s hits was a home run as well, which was great to see, as the 2021 10th-round pick had really been struggling to start the season. Prior to this game Brown was just 1-16 on the season, with no extra-base hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Sometimes it takes a few games to settle in. That was also the case for designated hitter Alexander Suarez (No. 37 CPL), who homered to dust off a slow start.
END 6— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) April 14, 2022
Giants 7 | Grizzlies 1
Alexander Suarez’s dinger extends the Giants lead! pic.twitter.com/xlSB4E6S2s
The defense started with two pitchers who every prospector will have their eyes on this year. RHP Eric Silva (No. 38 CPL), a 4th-round pick last year, kicked things off by allowing 2 baserunners and 0 runs in 2 innings, while striking out 4. Quite a good first game for him.
He was relieved by RHP Manuel Mercedes (No. 23 CPL), whose season debut was a bit rockier, as he issued 5 free passes in 2.2 innings, with a hit and a run as well, and didn’t strike anyone out. RHP Trevor McDonald had a nice outing, striking out 4 in 2.1 scoreless innings.
AAA Jaylin Davis (1)
AA Sean Roby, 2 (3)
AA Shane Matheny (1)
AA Jacob Heyward (1)
AA Brandon Martorano (1)
High-A Jimmy Glowenke (1)
Low-A Adrian Sugastey (1)
Low-A Vaun Brown (1)
Low-A Alexander Suarez (1)
Sacramento: @ Reno Aces, 11:05 a.m. PT
Richmond: vs. Altoona Curve, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. Spokane, 7:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. Fresno Grizzlies, 6:30 p.m. PT