It’s opening week in baseball, and while the San Francisco Giants season doesn’t start until Friday (at the same time as most of their affiliates), the AAA season kicked off on Tuesday.
Which means our Minor League coverage is back! Let’s jump into the whopping one game to cover.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (1-0)
It didn’t take long for the River Cats to excitedly welcome baseball back into our lives. In the bottom of the first, right fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL), just the second hitter of the game for Sacramento, smashed a ball over the fence the other way.
Vamos Ramos!— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 6, 2022
First homer of the year! pic.twitter.com/G5ep8DPQfT
It was an encouraging start to the season for Ramos, who had just 4 home runs in 229 plate appearances with Sacramento a year ago. He also had just 15 walks to 65 strikeouts with the River Cats in 2021, so him drawing a walk on Tuesday, but not striking out was also a nice sign. Most people expect Ramos to make his MLB debut this year, but in order to get there he’ll need to make some big improvements on last season, when he had a wRC+ of 80 in AAA ... safe to say he’s off to a strong start.
Speaking of players who might debut this year, third baseman David Villar (No. 19 CPL) also homered the other way in the opener, while drawing a walk and hitting a single as well.
Villar smash— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 6, 2022
Second homer of the night for the River Cats! pic.twitter.com/4Ix7B4gipN
Villar set the Richmond Flying Squirrels single-season home run record a year ago, and if his introduction to AAA is any indication, he’s picking up right where he left off. He also got to play the hero in his Sacramento debut, as his single walked the game off.
Walk off on Opening Night ✅— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 6, 2022
David Villar with a walk off base hit! What a game! pic.twitter.com/VYniDXxL5F
Designated hitter Jaylin Davis has long since made his MLB debut, but he’s still on the 40-man roster, so he also has legitimate hopes of playing in the Majors this year. Hitting 2-5 with a double and no strikeouts will help him get there.
Overall, the offense was very Giantsy, as the team drew 7 walks while striking out just 6 times. Catcher Ricardo Genovés (No. 20 CPL), who skipped AA and got assigned straight to AAA, drew a pair of them, while also knocking a single.
With the offensive excitement covered, we move to the less fruitful part of the game: the pitching. Not only was it less fruitful, but it was the inverse of the offense, as the MLB hopefuls really struggled.
Veteran RHP Jakob Junis, who was somewhat surprisingly optioned after the Giants had signed him to a Major League contract, started the game and got rocked, allowing 5 earned runs in 3.1 innings, and striking out just 2 of the 17 batters that he faced. It’s unclear if the Giants intend to bring Junis up to the bullpen at some point, or if he’ll stay in Sacramento until they need a starter, but either way they’ll be expecting better performance moving forward.
RHP Matt Carasiti, who has a solid chance of joining the bullpen at some point, allowed 3 baserunners and an earned run in an inning of work.
Sacramento: vs. Sugar Land Space Cowboys, 6:35 p.m. PT