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Minor League round up, May 10

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

Giants prospect Isan Díaz playing the infield while with the Marlins
Isan Díaz homered for AAA Sacramento
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Three games for the San Francisco Giants affiliates on Tuesday, as High-A Eugene had the day off, and the ACL and DSL seasons have yet to begin. 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 (15-16)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) 11-7
Box score

The River Cats had to do most of their offensive work late, because El Paso’s starting pitcher was none other than 2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, making a rehab appearance, and performing about as well as you would expect a Cy Young pitcher to do against a AAA team.

Sacramento had their own MLB All-Star on their side, as second baseman Tommy La Stella made another rehab appearance, and hit 1-4. We’re probably not too far from seeing him back in San Francisco.

La Stella was replaced by recently acquired second baseman Isan Díaz, who homered in his only at bat.

A very nice offensive day for first baseman/left fielder Kevin Padlo, who hit 2-4 with a pair of doubles. He only has 31 AAA plate appearances since the Giants traded for him, but has a 1.208 OPS and 176 wRC+ in that time.

Also a nice day for catcher Ricardo Genovés (No. 20 CPL), who hit 2-3 with a double. He now has a .800 OPS and a 96 wRC+. At the risk of repeating myself over and over, those are pretty exciting numbers for a defensively-talented catcher who skipped AA and turns 23 this weekend.

But not a good day for center fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL), who continues to scuffle, hitting 0-5 with 3 strikeouts. He now has a .611 OPS and a 71 wRC+, though his strikeout and walk numbers continue to look really good, despite the hat trick.

Rough day all around for the pitchers, as RHP Luis Ortiz got the start and got rocked, and LHP Michael Plassmeyer, who normally is a starter, was the final act of relief and also got rocked. In between, LHP Sammy Long (No. 21 CPL), making his first appearance since being optioned, got rocked the hardest, giving up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 4 earned runs in 1.2 innings.

AA Richmond (17-11)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 2-0
Box score

Quite an impressive start for RHP Bryan Brickhouse, who had a few clunkers earlier in the season. The long-standing MiLB veteran (he was drafted in 2011 and has yet to make his MLB debut) is in his first year in the Giants organization, and this was clearly his best performance, as he allowed just 4 hits, 0 walks, and 0 runs in 6.2 innings, with 10 strikeouts. It lowered his ERA to 6.46 and his FIP to 4.37.

He’ll need a lot of performances like that to get his first MLB call up, but what a cool story that would be.

LHP Chris Wright (No. 29 CPL) picked up the save, allowing a walk, a hit, and no runs in 1.2 innings, with 1 strikeout. He’s still looking for the magical numbers he had a year ago, when he had 79 strikeouts to 21 walks in just 45 innings. This year he has 10 strikeouts to 9 walks in 12.2 innings.

Not much of note on offense, as the Flying Squirrels did enough, but very little. First baseman Frankie Tostado doubled, which was the only extra-base hit for Richmond, and he now has a .804 OPS and a 128 wRC+.

Left fielder Simon Whiteman, who has had a brutal start to the season, had one of his best games, hitting 2-3 and stealing a base.

Low-A San Jose (16-12)

San Jose Giants lost to the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) 3-2 (10 innings)
Box score

The Baby Giants may have lost, but this was still a game with some really exciting performances.

The pitching was highlighted by RHP Mason Black (No. 42 CPL), who allowed just 3 hits, 1 walk, and 0 runs in 5 innings, while striking out 6 batters. Last year’s 3rd-round pick now has 34 strikeouts to 6 walks in 23.2 innings, and a 2.28 ERA and 2.17 FIP. Pretty darn strong debut season.

RHP Landen Roupp gave up 4 baserunners and 1 run in 3 innings, but struck out 6 batters as well, giving him 28 strikeouts to 9 walks in 19 innings.

Offensively San Jose had a pair of stars, and they’re both players who have been lighting it up lately. Shortstop Abdiel Layer, who had a slow start to the season, has caught fire in recent games, and had a perfect day (on offense, at least, as he had an error on the other side of things), hitting 3-3 with a home run, a walk, and a stolen base. Plus, his homer was a game-tying shot in the 9th inning, which is fun, even if the Giants lost.

After sporting a .605 OPS in April, Layer has responded with a 1.208 OPS in May, hitting 7-20 with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, and 4 walks. That brings him up to a .756 OPS and a 100 wRC+.

And then there’s center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL) who looks ready for a promotion. Unlike Layer, McCray isn’t bouncing back from anything ... he’s just been awesome all year. He continued the awesomeness on Tuesday, hitting 1-3 with a home run and 2 walks, while stealing his 5th base of the year.

That nice days raised his OPS to .964 and his wRC+ to 153. Not bad at all for a 21 year old who plays strong center field defense. He might want to check and see what the weather is like in Eugene this time of year (spoiler: not good).

Home runs

AAA Isan Díaz (1)
Low-A Grant McCray (5)
Low-A Abdiel Layer (3)

Wednesday schedule

Sacramento: @ El Paso Chihuahuas, 5:35 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ Harrisburg Senators, 3:30 p.m. Pt
Eugene: Off
San Jose: vs. Lake Elsinore Storm, 6:30 p.m. PT