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Minor League round up, April 26

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

San Francisco Giants v Chicago White Sox
Ka’ai Tom had 2 home runs for AAA Sacramento on Tuesday
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The ACL and DSL seasons still haven’t started, but the San Francisco Giants four other affiliates were in action on Tuesday, so let’s dive right in.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (11-8)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies) 9-7
Box score

It was a good day for two AAA bats that are trying to make their case to join the roster at some point this season: Ka’ai Tom and Austin Dean.

Right fielder Dean, who was an offseason waiver claim, and later DFA’d and outrighted to Sacramento, hit 2-4 with a double and 3 runs batted in, raising his OPS to .809 and his wRC+ to 97. It certainly hasn’t been a great year for him, but he’s started showing some really good signs, and some things to build on.

But it has been a great season for Tom, Tuesday’s designated hitter, and that continued in this game as the lefty hit 3-4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI, raising his OPS to .970 and his wRC+ to 149.

Tom has an uphill battle to find his way to San Francisco, given that he he’s currently in Sacramento despite the Giants being without left-handed hitting outfielders LaMonte Wade Jr., Mike Yastrzemski, and Steven Duggar, but more days like Tuesdays and he could get his name called.

Speaking of Wade, he made his second appearance for Sacramento as part of his rehab assignment. He singled and walked in his only plate appearances before being replaced by Bryce Johnson, who hit 2-2 with a double to raise his OPS to .819.

The pitching wasn’t great in this game, but RHP Patrick Ruotolo made his second appearance since getting promoted to AAA and shined, allowing 1 hit, 0 walks, and 0 runs in 2 innings, with 2 strikeouts.

AA Richmond (9-7)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) 8-0
Box score

The quest continues for third baseman Sean Roby. A year after David Villar (No. 19 CPL) set the Flying Squirrels franchise record with 20 home runs (in 446 plate appearances), Roby is set to one-up his predecessor at the hot corner. A solo home run in the 1st inning gave Roby a whopping 7 long balls already this year ... in just 58 plate appearances.

Add in a lovely walkout rate of 15.5%, and Roby is sporting a 1.142 OPS and a 196 wRC+. We’re not yet at the point of reassessing if Roby has become one of the team’s better prospects ... but that point is definitely now in sight.

Joining Roby in the home run party was shortstop Will Wilson (No. 18 CPL), who also drew a walk. Wilson continues to shake off his very brutal 2021, and looks to be reclaiming his spot as a high-quality prospect.

Wilson finished last year in AA, where he had a .587 OPS, a 65 wRC+, a 36.7% strikeout rate, 10.0% walk rate, and 5 home runs in 221 plate appearances. So far this year he has a .799 OPS, a 118 wRC+, a 29.4% strikeout rate, a 13.2% walk rate, and 4 home runs in 68 plate appearances. Great bounce back season so far for the former first-round pick.

Richmond’s pitchers only had 8 strikeouts to 5 walks, but allowed just 4 hits and no runs. LHP Jake Dahlberg had another strong outing, giving up 4 hits and 3 walks in 6 shutout innings, with 3 strikeouts. He now has 24 strikeouts to 6 walks in 20.1 innings this year, to go with his 2.21 ERA and 4.11 FIP.

RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 16 CPL) struck out 2 batters in a perfect inning for one of his best appearances of the young season.

High-A Eugene (7-7)

Eugene Emeralds lost to the Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels) 1-0
Box score

Eugene may be stacked with offensive talent, but it sure was not on display on Tuesday. The Emeralds had only 2 hits all game, and drew not a single walk while striking out 11 times. The only hits came from designated hitter Armani Smith (No. 41 CPL) and left fielder Jairo Pomares (No. 7 CPL). Smith has been the team’s best hitter this year, and now has a 1.054 OPS, and Pomares’ hit was a double, which moved his OPS to .744.

And that was the entirety of the offense.

The pitching was quite nice, however. LHP Wil Jensen, a 2020 undrafted free agent, allowed just 1 hit and 0 walks in 3 innings, while striking out 6. He did give up an unearned run, putting him on the hook for one of the rougher losses you’ll see. Jensen has now allowed 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run in 9.1 innings this year, with 15 strikeouts. Excellent start.

He was replaced by RHP Ty Weber, another undrafted 2020 signee. Weber gave up 3 hits and 0 walks in 4 shutout innings, while striking out 4, which was his best outing of the year.

But the worst day in the system belonged to first baseman Luis Toribio (No. 39 CPL), who struck out in all 3 of his plate appearances while committing 2 errors, which led to the only run that either team scored.

Low-A San Jose (10-6)

San Jose Giants lost to the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 6-4
Box score

It wasn’t a very exciting day for the Baby Giants on either side of the diamond, though the 7th inning offered excitement in the form of back-to-back home runs courtesy of right fielder Victor Bericoto (who raised his OPS to .694) and second baseman Abdiel Layer (who bumped his OPS to .706).

Also a nice day from left fielder Vaun Brown, who hit 3-4 and stole a base. Brown started the season ice cold, but has been turning it on in a hurry. and is currently riding a 5-game hitting streak.

Not much of interest from the pitchers, who mostly struggled. LHP Esmerlin Vinicio (No. 40 CPL) continued his rough start to the year, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run in 1.1 innings, with 1 strikeout. He now has a 7.50 ERA, but is sporting a 3.35 FIP. Given that he turned 19 less than 3 months ago, the future looks quite bright for him.

RHP Julio Rodriguez struck out the side in a perfect inning of work, giving him 9 strikeouts in 6 innings this year.

Home runs

AAA Ka’ai Tom, 2 (2)
AAA Wyatt Mathisen (2)
AA Sean Roby (7)
AA Will Wilson (4)
Low-A Victor Bericoto (2)
Low-A Abdiel Layer (1)

Wednesday’s schedule

Sacramento: @ Albuquerque Isotopes, 5:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. Bowie Baysox, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: @ Tri-City Dust Devils, 6:30 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. Modesto Nuts, 6:30 p.m. PT