Happy Opening Day! Not only for the San Francisco Giants, but for their AA, High-A, and Low-A affiliates, too.
We’ll cover what they’re up to in the coming days. For now we return to the only Giants affiliate that played yesterday. Thankfully, they keep on winning!
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (3-0)
Well hello, Sean Hjelle! Thursday was quite a reintroduction for the 6’11” right-handed Hjelle (No. 30 CPL) who got the start in Sacramento’s third game of the season.
Hjelle earned a midseason promotion to AAA a year ago and struggled in a big way. His run prevention was bad (5.74 ERA, 5.77 FIP), but more worrying was the total lack of strikeouts — he had just 35 in 53.1 innings, with 29 walks to boot.
But if Thursday was a sign of what 2022 has in store for the 2018 second-round pick, then every Giants fan should be excited. Hjelle is getting worked in slowly, like most pitchers, and only went 3.2 innings. But he didn’t allow a hit in those innings, and issued just 1 walk. In all, he retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced, and struck out 5 of them.
5️⃣ strikeouts in 4️⃣ innings for Sean Hjelle! pic.twitter.com/M21WpwIqYk— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 8, 2022
RHPs Corey Oswalt, Peter Tago, Kervin Castro (No. 26 CPL), and Taylor Williams completed the shutout, with the River Cats allowing just 3 hits (all given up by Oswalt in 2.1 innings) and 2 walks, while striking out 11. Elite pitching is an extra important thing for Sacramento, given how often the Giants call on Minor Leaguers to shore up the bullpen.
Offensively, third baseman David Villar (No. 19 CPL) once again showed off his power, hitting a home run and drawing a walk. After setting the Richmond Flying Squirrels franchise record in dingers a year ago, Villar has 2 in his first 3 AAA games. So far the power is translating, and if it stays that way, he absolutely will have an MLB career ahead of him.
DV with the rocket to left!— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 8, 2022
David Villar with the 2 run jack! 5-0 Cats! pic.twitter.com/Ps4ND5vwi6
Center fielder Jaylin Davis, who is fighting to stay on the 40-man roster, was the only River Cat with multiple hits, as he had a pair of singles. Right fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL) had a double and a walk as he continues to his hot start to the season.
Holy Heliot— River Cats (@RiverCats) April 8, 2022
Ramos with the double to knock in two runs! 2-0 Cats pic.twitter.com/UjbUt005iQ
Hey, the River Cats are undefeated! That’s cool.
AAA David Villar (2)
Sacramento: vs. Sugar Land Space Cowboys, 6:45 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ Bowie Baysox, 4:05 p.m. PT
Eugene: @ Everett AquaSox, 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ Modesto Nuts, 7:05 p.m. PT