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Minor League round up, April 24

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

Salt River Rafters v Scottsdale Scorpions
High-A Eugene catcher Patrick Bailey hit 2-4 with a home run and a walk on Sunday
Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Not the most notable day for the San Francisco Giants affiliates, but some good performances to highlight, so 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 (10-8)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers) 2-1
Box score

The strong season for RHP Sean Hjelle (No. 30 CPL) continues. In his 4th start of the year, the 6’11” Hjelle got stretched out to a full 6 innings, and allowed just 4 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run, with 4 strikeouts. The lack of strikeouts still give him the vibe of a pitcher from a different era, but right now you can’t argue with the results: 18.1 innings, 16 hits, 3 walks, 4 earned runs, 10 strikeouts, a 1.96 ERA, and a 3.90 FIP.

The Giants are preferring to run with Jakob Junis and Sammy Long for now, but with every strong start it becomes more and more likely that we see Hjelle, who is on the 40-man roster, in San Francisco this season.

RHP Gregory Santos (No. 32 CPL) had a clean inning of relief. It was his 2nd straight appearance without allowing a walk, after issuing 5 in his first 4 outings.

The offense didn’t do much, but they did do just enough, with 9 hits. A double by left fielder Ka’ai Tom was the team’s only extra-base hit, and a 2-4 day by first baseman Jason Krizan was the only multi-hit game. But rallies in the 1st and 2nd inning put runs on the board, and that was all the River Cats needed.

AA Richmond (8-7)

Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 4-1
Box score

It was a very uninteresting series finale for the Flying Squirrels. On offense they mustered just 3 hits (all singles) and 4 walks, while striking out 14 times. Designated hitter Sean Roby, who has been absolutely obliterating the baseball this season (1.128 OPS) had the rare ugly day, hitting 0-4 with all 4 outs coming by way of strikeout. Center fielder Michael Gigliotti got in on the action with a strikeout hat trick (though, like Roby, it’s still been a good season for him, as he sports a .900 OPS).

And, continuing his trend, third baseman Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 35 CPL) hit 0-4 with 2 strikeouts, giving him 29 in 54 plate appearances this season.

Things were a little rosier on the pitching front, with RHP Matt Frisbee performing well in the start. Making just his 2nd start of the year, Frisbee allowed 3 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run in 3 innings, though he had just 1 strikeout. But the wheels came off a little with RHP Frank Rubio, who allowed 2 earned runs without recording an out.

High-A Eugene (7-6)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays) 8-4
Box score

Hey, finally we arrive at an exciting game! Leave it to Eugene, the Giants most talent-stacked affiliate, to get the job done with a compelling victory (and a come from behind one at that, as they trailed going into the 7th inning).

It was, however, a little bit of a funny day, in that a lot of players bucked their season trends. Left fielder Armani Smith (No. 41 CPL), who has been the Emeralds’ best hitter this season, was the only player to not record a hit, though he did draw one of the team’s 9 walks. That lowered his still sky-high OPS to 1.111. One of the team’s other hottest hitters this year, third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 24 CPL) hit just 1-5 ... though the “1” was a home run. His OPS now sits at 1.024.

But players who have been struggling had breakout games. Center fielder Luis Matos (No. 3 CPL), who has been ice cold, hit 2-4 with 2 walks, raising his OPS to .453. Catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 9 CPL), who has not had the start to the season he was looking for, hit 2-4 with a home run and a walk, raising his OPS to .564.

And second baseman Jimmy Glowenke (No. 43 CPL), who is starting to turn things around after a rough beginning to the season, was a perfect 2-2 with 3 walks, bumping his OPS to .722.

And then, of course, is the organization’s top prospect, shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL), who hit 1-4 with a walk and the absolute obliteration of a baseball, raising his OPS to .981. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him in AA soon.

LHP Nick Swiney (No. 17 CPL) had an up-and-down start, allowing 2 hits, 3 walks, 2 runs, and 1 earned run in 4.1 innings, with 4 strikeouts in his 2nd appearance of the season. RHP Cole Waites struck out the side in a perfect 9th inning, giving him an eye-popping 13 strikeouts in just 5 innings, though he’s allowed 6 hits and 4 walks too.

Low-A San Jose (10-5)

San Jose Giants lost to the Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks) 7-3
Box score

The Baby Giants fell behind early and could not recover. It was a not great day on the pitching front for 3 exciting prospects. RHP Eric Silva (No. 38 CPL) made his 3rd start and got rocked in the first inning, ultimately allowing 5 hits and 4 earned runs in 3 innings. The bright side is he didn’t issue a walk, and he struck out 3 batters, giving him 11 Ks in 7.2 innings this season, good for a 5.87 ERA and a 3.50 FIP.

He was followed up by RHP Manuel Mercedes (No. 23 CPL), who continues to struggle, allowing 4 hits, 3 walks, and 2 earned runs in 3 innings, with 4 strikeouts. Mercedes is still very young — he won’t turn 20 for another 5 months — but a 7.04 ERA and 7.67 FIP were not the start to the season he was hoping for.

Finally it was RHP Trevor McDonald, who allowed his 1st run of the year in 2 innings of work. Still and all it’s been a great year for him, as he’s allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks in 9.2 innings, with 15 strikeouts.

San Jose only had 5 hits, but 4 of them went for extra bases, including a home run from second baseman Dilan Rosario, which bumped his OPS to .844. Left fielder Najee Gaskins hit 2-4 with a double, raising his OPS to .674.

Home runs

High-A Marco Luciano (3)
High-A Casey Schmitt (3)
High-A Patrick Bailey (2)
Low-A Dilan Rosario (1)

Monday schedule

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