We’re still a little ways away from the ACL and DSL seasons getting started, but the San Francisco Giants four A-ball affiliates were in action on Sunday, so let’s jump in.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (18-18)
Sacramento River Cats beat the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) 11-8
Wow, what an incredible offensive performance from the River Cats. They drew 7 walks and had 13 hits ... 10 of which went for extra bases.
It was a particularly good day for the MLB depth, as the players who are hanging around as AAAA options really shined. Right fielder Austin Dean was the star, hitting 3-5 with all 3 of his hits clearing the fence. He became the second Sacramento player this year (David Villar being the other) to have a 3-homer day.
Dean was one of the organization’s nifty roster finagles, as the Giants claimed him off of waivers in the offseason, designated him for assignment to clear a 40-man spot in March, and then took advantage of the league-wide Spring Training roster crunch to outright him.
He started off slow, but has been great in May, hitting 9-32 with 4 home runs and 1 triple. He’s drawn just 1 walk to 13 strikeouts on the month, but still has a 1.022 OPS during that time.
Another depth piece is second baseman Isan Díaz, whom the Giants acquired from the Seattle Mariners at the end of April. He hit 2-4 and, like Dean, all of his hits left the yard.
Hilariously Díaz’s numbers are the same as the ones I just gave you for Dean: since joining the Giants he’s 9-32 with 4 home runs and 1 triple. But unlike Dean, he has 5 walks and just 8 strikeouts.
Rounding out the strong offensive performances from Major League depth pieces were the designated hitters. It started with Tommy La Stella, who hit 2-2 with a double in another rehab appearance before handing things over to Jason Krizan, who hit 3-4 with 2 doubles.
A pair of other offensive performances to note: center fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL) hit 1-5 with a home run and a walk. He’s been really struggling on offense, so good to see him have a nice day, which raised his OPS to .597 and his wRC+ to 59.
And left fielder Ka’ai Tom did a little bit of everything, as he had a double, a walk, a stolen base, and an outfield assist.
Nothing much of note from the pitchers. RHP Gregory Santos (No. 32 CPL) failed to get through an inning, giving up 4 runs, though all of them were unearned. LHP Sammy Long (No. 21 CPL) pitched 1.1 no-hit innings, though he gave up a walk and had no strikeouts. And RHP Matt Carasiti, while not doing well — he gave up a hit and hit a better in just 0.1 innings — had his 4th straight scoreless appearance, after opening the season with 10 earned runs in his first 8 appearances.
AA Richmond (20-13)
Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 12-1
A very, very rough day all around for Richmond. The offense mustered just 2 hits and 2 walks, with 11 strikeouts. No one reached base twice, and a double by center fielder Shane Matheny was the only performance of note ... but Matheny currently has an .883 OPS and a 150 wRC+.
Left fielder Armani Smith (No. 41 CPL) made his AA debut after a promotion, and hit 0-3 with a walk.
The pitching was a bullpen game, as starter RHP Bryan Brickhouse only survived a single inning, so the Flying Squirrels had to use 7 different arms. The only arm of note was RHP Trenton Toplikar, who made just his 2nd appearance of the year (the 1st was in AAA) after missing the start of the season with an injury. He gave up a hit in an inning of work, but struck out the side.
High-A Eugene (16-12)
Eugene Emeralds beat the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays) 10-0
Richmond’s game may have been awful on both sides, but Eugene’s was excellent on both sides.
It starts with the pitching, which was exciting going into the game, because it was the season debut of RHP Ryan Murphy (No. 13 CPL), who was the organization’s breakout star of 2021. He was the Giants final pick in the truncated 2020 MLB Draft, and didn’t seem to be on many people’s radar. The consensus seemed to be that the Giants had gone a bit underslot with their final pick to help facilitate the signing bonus of LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 5 CPL), Murphy’s now-teammate in Eugene.
But he debuted last year and it was fireworks, as he had a 2.52 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and 164 strikeouts in just 107.1 innings across Low-A and High-A.
A back injury sidelined him for the start of 2022, but his season debut was worth the wait: he went 4 strong innings, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk, while striking out 7 batters. What an incredibly exciting rotation this is with Murphy and Harrison.
RHP Jake Wong relieved Murphy and tried to one-up him, throwing 4 no-hit innings with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. Wong is starting to get on track after not pitching in 2020 or 2021, and now has a 3.72 ERA and a 3.27 FIP.
The offense was also exciting, and also featured something of a return. Right fielder Carter Williams, an undrafted free agent in that same 2020 draft, played in his second game of the year after beginning the season on the Injured List, and hit a home run.
Second baseman Jimmy Glowenke (No. 43 CPL), from the same draft class, also homered. He’s been struggling this season, so perhaps that can jump start him.
But the star of the show was the 1st-round pick from that draft, catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 9 CPL), who hit 3-4 with a double. It’s been a struggle of a year for Bailey, after a struggle of a 2021, but days like Sunday will help him get back on track. He now has a .641 OPS and an 89 wRC+.
Shortstop Ghordy Santos, who is not one of Eugene’s myriad highly-touted prospects, but has been one of their best hitters this year, went 3-5 with a pair of stolen bases, raising his OPS to .838 and his wRC+ to 144. An excellent season for him.
Low-A San Jose (21-12)
San Jose Giants beat the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) 10-0
Another 10-0 victory! What fun!
This one was a little less exciting than Eugene’s, but was again anchored by some great pitching performances. RHP Mason Black (No. 42 CPL), last year’s 3rd-round pick, continues to look like the real deal. He gave up 2 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings, striking out 3, which lowered his ERA to 1.88 and his FIP to 2.52. He now has 37 strikeouts to 8 walks in 28.2 innings this season.
RHP Mat Olsen pitched 2 perfect innings of relief with 3 strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 0.53 and his FIP to 1.69. He has a gorgeous 24 strikeouts to 3 walks in just 17 innings, and has allowed only 13 baserunners. Very good stuff. Finishing off the strong pitching day was RHP Landen Roupp, who gave up just 1 walk in 2 innings, with 2 strikeouts, giving him 30 strikeouts to 10 walks in 21 innings, dropping his ERA to 2.14 and his FIP to 2.52.
Offensively it was another nice day for third baseman Abdiel Layer, who hit 2-4 with a home run.
BOT 3— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) May 15, 2022
Giants 5 | Storm 0
See ya Layer ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/VHLM012osJ
Layer has been having an odd season ... he has 40 strikeouts in 118 plate appearances, but has 14 extra-base hits. When he makes contact, it’s often loud, and despite the whiff issues he has an .804 OPS and a 107 wRC+.
But no one in San Jose is hitting the ball better than left fielder Vaun Brown, who went 1-3 with a walk and a triple, and is now sporting a 1.037 OPS. Obligatory reminder that he’ll turn 24 next month, but after having a 185 wRC+ in the ACL last year, he has a 168 wRC+ in San Jose, so ... maybe he can just hit.
BOT 1— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) May 15, 2022
Giants 2 | Storm 0
Vaun Brown running on that premium fuel ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/jmOELZfh9P
First baseman Victor Bericoto, who is starting to turn his season around after a slow start, hit 3-4 with a walk. But a tough day for center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL), who has been nothing short of a star this year. He hit 0-5 with 4 strikeouts ... though he did draw a walk and steal a base. They can’t all be good days, and McCray is still having a phenomenal season.
AAA Austin Dean, 3 (8)
AAA Isan Díaz, 2 (4)
AAA Heliot Ramos (3)
High-A Jimmy Glowenke (3)
High-A Carter Williams (1)
Low-A Abdiel Layer (5)
San Jose: Off
- Following his stellar relief appearance for San Jose, RHP Mat Olsen was promoted to Eugene.
BREAKING NEWS: Mat Olsen has been added to the Emeralds roster! Yes! THE RHP Mat Olsen. You all were thinking the same Mat Olsen right? pic.twitter.com/MYe6bE6P2h— Eugene Emeralds (@EugeneEmeralds) May 16, 2022
- Sacramento third baseman David Villar (No. 19 CPL) was named the Player of the Week in the PCL.