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Minor League round up, April 27

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

Pittsburgh Pirates v San Francisco Giants
RHP Will Bednar pitched 5 no-hit innings for Low-A San Jose on Wednesday
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Some interesting action for the San Francisco Giants Minor League affiliates on Wednesday. The ACL and DSL seasons have not yet started. Let’s jump into the four teams that are playing.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (11-9)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies) 6-3
Box score

After starting the season on a home run flurry, third baseman David Villar (No. 19 CPL) has cooled off a bit lately. He had a 2-homer game on April 16, but since then had had only 1 multi-hit game, and no home runs.

Well, he’s back to doing rude things to the baseball, folks, as he went 2-4 on Wednesday with a big fly.

After setting the AA Richmond franchise record for homers in 2021, Villar looks hell bent on setting the AAA Sacramento record ... or better yet, getting the call to San Francisco. Villar is now sporting a .980 OPS and a 151 wRC+.

Speaking of homers, first baseman Wyatt Mathisen hit one for the 2nd day in a row, while also singling. He’s still having a down offensive season, with a .628 OPS and a 55 wRC+, but it sure looks brighter than it did 2 days ago.

But the rest of the offense was mostly useless, as the other hitters in the lineup combined for just 4 hits, and no one on the River Cats drew a walk.

There was little excitement on the pitching front. Sacramento didn’t use any hot prospects, or players knocking on the door of the Majors, and the performances were meh. RHP Luis Ortiz, who has been getting rocked to start the season, had a nice appearance, allowing 4 hits, 0 walks, and 1 earned run in 3.1 innings, with 5 strikeouts.

But the best news from the game? It was the third rehab appearance from designated hitter LaMonte Wade Jr. We should be seeing him back in SF pretty soon.

AA Richmond (9-8)

Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) 10-0
Box score

Well, this was a fairly awful game, so no use dwelling on it too long. Richmond couldn’t get anything going, with just 5 hits, all singles (though they also drew 5 walks). The best offensive day belonged to catcher Brandon Martorano, who hit 2-4 with a walk and a stolen base. First baseman Frankie Tostado also had a 2-hit day, while left fielder Jacob Heyward drew a pair of walks.

It was a rough start for RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 44 CPL), who in 4 innings allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and hit 2 batters, while giving up 6 runs. It was definitely his worst start of the young season. RHP Blake Rivera, trying to right the ship after injury struggles in 2021, also got rocked, giving up 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 hit batter, and 2 earned runs in 1.2 innings.

High-A Eugene (8-7)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels) 2-0
Box score

A dominant pitching display by Eugene, as 5 Emeralds pitchers combined to allow just 3 hits, 1 walk, and 0 runs. There was a lot of quality relief work, but the star was the starter: RHP Prelander Berroa (No. 31 CPL).

It hasn’t been a good week for the Sam Dyson trade that the Giants made with the Minnesota Twins a few years ago. They got three players back in that trade: one of them, Kai-Wei Teng, was rocked on Wednesday. Another one, Jaylin Davis, was designated for assignment earlier in the week. And the third? Well the third was Berroa, who single-handedly tried to reaffirm the goodness of the trade by pitching 4.1 no-hit innings, allowing a single walk and striking out 4.

Berroa is 3 starts into his High-A tenure and has allowed 3 hits, 5 walks, and 1 earned run in 10.1 innings, with 12 strikeouts. Not an ideal walk rate, but an ideal everything else, it seems.

RHP Cole Waites had 2 strikeouts in an inning of work, which remarkably lowered his strikeout rate this season, as he now has 15 Ks in just 6 innings.

The offense scored a pair of runs in the 1st inning — on an error and a wild pitch — and that was all the support that Berroa and the bullpen needed. Shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) and third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 24 CPL) both hit 2-4, and second baseman Ghordy Santos had a triple.

Low-A San Jose (11-6)

San Jose Giants beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 5-3
Box score

Are you ready for a wild stat? The Baby Giants had only 2 hits in this game, and drew just 1 walk ... and scored 5 runs. Minor League Baseball, folks!

Both of the hits came from designated hitter Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL), who hit his first home run of the year. And that was it. But also apparently enough, thanks to a pair of Modesto errors.

The pitching was more exciting, thanks to a start from 2021 first-round pick, RHP Will Bednar (No. 8 CPL), who pitched 5 no-hit innings, while striking out 5 and walking 2. Bednar’s line is tremendous this season: 16.2 innings, 5 hits, 5 walks, 3 earned runs, 19 strikeouts. That said, he hit a batter for the whopping 7th time this season, which is very odd.

Given that he was hailed as being a pitcher who could move up a system quickly when he was drafted, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bednar in Eugene sooner rather than later.

He was relieved by LHP Seth Lonsway, a fellow 2021 draftee (6th round), who had been excellent in his first 3 outings of the year. But he was not excellent in this one, as Lonsway managed to get beat up in every way possible: in 3 innings he allowed 2 hits, 4 walks, hit a batter, and had 5 bases stolen while he was on the mound. Yes, 5!

But the Baby Giants won. Weird game. But a good day for McCray and Bednar, who are exciting prospects.

Home runs

AAA David Villar (6)
AAA Wyatt Mathisen (3)
Low-A Grant McCray (1)

Thursday schedule

Sacramento: @ Albuquerque Isotopes, 10:05 a.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