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Minor League round up, April 17

Recapping Sunday’s action from the Giants Minor League affiliates.

Scottsdale Scorpions v. Mesa Solar Sox
RHP Tristan Beck struck out 6 batters in 5 innings for AA Richmond
Photo by Buck Davidson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Sunday was not a super fruitful offensive day for the San Francisco Giants affiliates. But with four games of action (the Arizona Complex League and Dominican Summer League have yet to start), we’ve still got plenty of action to cover.

Let’s dive in.

Link to the 2022 McCovey Chronicles Community Prospect List (CPL)

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (7-5)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) 1-0
Box score

A day after hitting 5 home runs, recording 22 hits, and scoring 18 runs, the River Cats’ bats went dead silent in their series finale. Sacramento had just 3 hits all day long, all of which were singles, went 0-6 with runners in scoring position, and failed to score the single run that would have been required to force extra innings.

Only 2 Sacramento players reached base multiple times, as second baseman Alex Blandino hit 1-2 with 2 walks to raise his OPS to .647, and shortstop Arquímedes Gamboa was 0-1 with 2 walks to raise his OPS to .738.

Needless to say, it was a better day on the pitching front, beginning with the starter, LHP Michael Plassmeyer. He struggled with command, walking 4 batters, but held Reno to 1 run in 4.1 innings, while striking out 5 batters. That’s been the story of his season so far: good strikeout numbers, bad walk numbers.

The bullpen used 3 pitchers and was excellent in 3.2 shutout innings: RHP Mauricio Llovera allowed 1 hit in 1.2 innings with 3 strikeouts, RHP Gregory Santos (No. 32 CPL) allowed a hit and a walk in an inning, and RHP Kervin Castro (No. 26 CPL) allowed a walk in an inning. Castro has yet to allow a hit in 4 innings of work this season, but has also walked 4 batters.

AA Richmond (6-3)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Altoona Curve (Pirates) 6-2 (10 innings)
Box score

Like Sacramento, Richmond only had 3 hits during their game. Unlike Sacramento, they were able to find an extra-base hit, and it came courtesy of one of baseball’s rarest and greatest plays: the walk-off grand slam.

Shortstop Will Wilson (No. 18 CPL) came to bat in the bottom of the 10th with the game tied and the bases loaded. With only one out, all Wilson needed was a decent fly ball to end the game. But he was 0-4 with 3 strikeouts on the day, and clearly looking for something a little more redeeming, so he went the exciting route and blasted one over the fence.

With the exception of that swing, it was a poor offensive showing for the Flying Squirrels. Second baseman Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 35 CPL) joined Wilson in the strikeout hat trick club, and that’s become a somewhat worrying trend for him, as Fitzgerald now has an eye-popping 20 strikeouts in 35 plate appearances to start the season. The sample size is still very small, but Fitzgerald had a fair number of strikeouts last year, too, when he posted a 32.2% K rate in High-A.

The pitching was exciting for Richmond, as RHP Tristan Beck made his second start of the year and shined. Beck was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the organization when the Giants acquired him in 2019 in the Mark Melancon deal, but between the lost season of 2020 and a combination of injuries and struggles in 2021, has lost some of his shine. In perhaps his best showing since 2019, Beck allowed 2 hits, 0 walks, and 2 earned runs in 5 innings, while striking out 6 batters. He now has 12 strikeouts in 9 innings on the year.

RHP Tyler Schimpf had a 3-strikeout perfect inning, and RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 16 CPL) pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 baserunner. But Dabovich’s strikeouts have not yet come in the droves they did a year ago, as he has just 4 in 4 innings, after posting 62 in 32.1 innings in 2021.

High-A Eugene (4-4)

Eugene Emeralds lost to Spokane (Rockies) 8-1
Box score

Eugene kept with the theme with a poor offensive showing. They managed a lot more hits than Richmond and Sacramento, as they had 8 of them, but a home run by right fielder Hunter Bishop (No. 10 CPL) was the only notable offense of the day, and the only run for the Emeralds. Like Wilson, Bishop supplemented his dinger with a strikeout hat trick, giving him 11 in 29 plate appearances this season. Despite the home run, he has an OPS of just .466, so his attempt at a bounce back season is off to a slow start.

Speaking of slow starts, first baseman Luis Toribio (No. 39 CPL) has had one, but he’s started to turn it around in the last few games, and had 2 hits in this one, though he also committed an error.

LHP Nick Swiney (No. 17 CPL) made his first appearance of the year, and it was a little bumpy. He allowed 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 runs, and 4 earned runs in 4 innings, with 3 strikeouts and an error (he also had a pickoff). He’s one of the most exciting pitchers in the system, so hopefully he can have a better second start of the season.

Low-A San Jose (5-4)

San Jose Giants lost to the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies) 2-1
Box score

More offensive struggles! The Baby Giants had just 6 hits and 2 walks in their journey to a lone run. Despite that, 3 players reached base multiple times. Shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL) continued his decent start to the season, hitting 2-4 with a double and raising his OPS to .789. Catcher Max Wright and second baseman Abdiel Layer, who have both been struggling this year, also doubled, with Wright adding a walk that bumped his OPS to .495, and Layer adding a single that bumped his to .438.

But the excitement was on the mound, as LHP Matt Mikulski (No. 14 CPL) made his second start of the year. The 2021 2nd-round pick allowed 3 hits, 0 walks, and 0 runs in 4 innings of work, though he struck out just 1 batter. On the year he’s allowed just 7 baserunners and 1 earned run in 8 innings, with 6 strikeouts, good for a 1.80 ERA and a 4.27 FIP.

RHP Mat Olsen, a 9th-round pick in 2021, had a nice showing in relief, with 2 scoreless innings in which he allowed 2 baserunners and struck out 2.

Home runs

AA Will Wilson (2)
High-A Hunter Bishop (1)

Schedule

Sacramento: Off day
Richmond: Off day
Eugene: Off day
San Jose: Off day