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Minor League round up, April 21

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

Salt River Rafters v Scottsdale Scorpions
Middle infielder Will Wilson had a home run and two doubles for AA Richmond in their Thursday doubleheader.
Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Just three games for the San Francisco Giants Minor League affiliates on Thursday, as High-A Eugene had a game postponed due to rain for the fourth time this season.

Let’s dive into the action.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (8-7)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers) 8-3
Box score

Sometimes you have to try and make a statement, and that seems to be the case for second baseman Luke Williams. Playing in his first game for Sacramento after getting optioned, Williams made it a point to prove he belongs back in San Francisco, hitting 3-4 with a double and a stolen base. Catcher Jhonny Pereda, who will likely be the name called if the Giants have an injury at the position, also hit 3-4 with a double, raising his OPS to .667. All of Pereda’s hits knocked in runs, and he finished with 4 RBI on the day as Sacramento used some very late offense to get the job done.

Center fielder Bryce Johnson had a pair of hits, and while he’s not having a great hitting season (his OPS is .676), he’s showing the ability to do damage once on base, as he stole his 7th base of the season.

It was strikeout city for the River Cats pitchers, with RHP Raynel Espinal striking out 9 in 5 innings, RHP Corey Oswalt striking out 4 in 3 innings, and LHP Joey Marciano striking out 2 in 1 inning.

AA Richmond (7-5)

Richmond Flying Squirrels split a doubleheader with the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers), losing 3-2 then winning 8-3
Game 1 box score
Game 2 box score

The Flying Squirrels split a doubleheader, with both games coming down to the final inning which, in the Minor Leagues, is still the 7th for doubleheaders.

In the first game, RHP Frank Rubio allowed a pair of hits and a pair of walks in the 7th, culminating in a walk-off win for Erie before an out was even recorded. It spoiled a very nice start from LHP Jake Dahlberg, who went 6 strong innings, allowing 5 hits, 0 walks, and 2 earned runs, while striking out 9. Dahlberg now has 21 strikeouts to just 3 walks in 14.1 innings, good for a 3.14 ERA and a 4.28 FIP. At 28 Dahlberg is not exactly a young prospect, but he’s doing very Giantsy things right now.

In the second game, the Flying Squirrels were again tied going into the final inning, but home runs by right fielder Franklin Labour and shortstop Will Wilson (No. 18 CPL) helped Richmond put up a 5-spot to cruise to victory.

It was a great day for Wilson, who played at second base in the first game. He hit 3-8 with a home run and 2 doubles, raising his OPS to .857. A year after having a wRC+ of 65 in AA, Wilson has a 134 wRC+ this season, and has lowered his strikeout rate by a bit as well.

Speaking of infielders who are trying to turn things around, it was also a pretty decent day for Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 35 CPL), who played shortstop in the first game and third base in the second game. Fitzgerald went 2-4 on the day, finishing with a home run, a double, and a walk. He’s still struck out in more than half of his plate appearances, but days like Thursday will help him turn his ugly batting line (his OPS is now .507) around.

RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 44 CPL) started the second game, and it was up-and-down, as has been his season. He struck out 6 batters in 4.1 innings, but also issued 5 free passes, resulting in 3 runs, and 2 earned runs. He has a 2.57 ERA and a 3.51 FIP, but has allowed 9 walks in 14 innings this season.

A nice relief outing from RHP Solomon Bates, who struck out 4 in 1.2 scoreless innings.

Low-A San Jose (8-4)

San Jose Giants beat the Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks) 5-2
Box score

2022 is serving as the introduction to the fanbase for RHP Will Bednar (No. 8 CPL), who was the team’s first-round pick in 2021 but only pitched 7 innings in his debut season. And so far it’s a very nice introduction.

Bednar made his 3rd and best start, allowing 2 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run in 4 innings of work, while recording 6 strikeouts. He now has 14 strikeouts to 3 walks in 11.2 innings on the season, good for a 2.31 ERA, though just a 6.03 FIP. The FIP is brought down by a very odd issue: he’s hit 6 batters already this season.

Bednar was replaced by another 2021 draft pick, 6th-round LHP Seth Lonsway, who allowed no hits in 4 innings, issuing 2 walks and giving up an unearned run. Lonsway has allowed only 4 hits and no earned runs in 11 innings this year, though he’s walked 6 batters.

It was a slightly funny day for the offense, which registered 8 hits and 8 walks, but also struck out 17 times. Catcher Max Wright, who was 1-2 with 2 walks, raising his OPS to .733, was the only player who didn’t strike out.

Second baseman Dilan Rosario reached base 4 times, hitting 1-2 with 3 walks to raise his OPS to .879, and stealing a base. But the best offensive performance came from third baseman Abdiel Layer, who hit 2-4 with a triple, a walk, and a stolen base. It’s been a rough season for Layer, who has a .550 OPS, but days like Thursday help right the ship.

Home runs

AA Will Wilson (3)
AA Brett Auerbach (3)
AA Tyler Fitzgerald (1)
AA Franklin Labour (1)

Friday schedule

Sacramento: vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers, 6:45 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ Erie SeaWolves, 3:05 p.m. PT
Eugene: Doubleheader @ Vancouver Canadians, 1:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ Visalia Rawhide, 6:30 p.m. PT