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Minor League round up, May 3

Recapping Tuesday’s action from the Giants Minor League affiliates

LaMonte Wade Jr. running the bases Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Just three games for the San Francisco Giants Minor League affiliates on Tuesday, as High-A Eugene had a second straight day off.

Let’s jump into the action.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (14-11)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) 4-3
Box score

Most of the time Minor League games are about prospect development. But sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re about the Major League team, and that was the case for the River Cats, as the first three hitters in the lineup were key Giants who are on rehab assignments.

Left fielder/first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. played all 9 innings in what might have been the final game of his rehab assignment. He drew a pair of walks, and has now hit 5-17 with 1 home run, 2 doubles, 7 walks, and 0 strikeouts. I’d say he’s about ready, though he’s staying in Sacramento for at least one more game.

Second baseman Tommy La Stella and third baseman Evan Longoria were next, making their first rehab assignments. Each player hit 1-3.

David Villar (No. 19 CPL) replaced Longoria at third and had a double, which was Sacramento’s only extra-base hit of the day. He now has a 1.047 OPS and a 161 wRC+. There were three hitters in this game who have already appeared in games for the Giants — and that doesn’t include the three players on rehab assignments. Villar’s time could be coming soon.

Recently-acquired second baseman Isan Díaz made his Sacramento debut, and had a very nice defensive play.

The pitching wasn’t great, despite allowing just 1 earned run, as they gave up 8 hits and 6 walks. LHP Enmanuel De Jesus was fine in his start, but still looks a bit more like AAA filler than MLB depth.

RHP Patrick Ruotolo made his 4th appearance with Sacramento and struck out 2 in 1.1 innings, but also gave up a hit and 2 walks.

AA Richmond (14-8)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Akron RubberDucks (Guardians) 5-4 (10 innings)
Box score

Ahh, the long-awaited matchup between the Flying Squirrels and the RubberDucks. Gotta love Minor League Baseball.

Let’s start with the pitching, which was super solid. RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 44 CPL) continues to look like an exciting strikeout artist. He gave up 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 runs, and 2 earned runs in 6 innings, but struck out 9 batters. He now has 30 strikeouts in 24 innings, though his WHIP (1.46) is a touch concerning.

RHP Solomon Bates struck out 3 in 2 scoreless innings, giving him 17 strikeouts in 12.2 innings, with just 11 baserunners allowed. And LHP Chris Wright (No. 29 CPL) struck out 2 in as many innings, though he also allowed a run. Wright hasn’t recaptured last year’s strikeout magic, when he fanned 79 hitters in 45 innings ... he has just 8 strikeouts in 10 innings this season.

Offensively it was a great day for center fielder Michael Gigliotti, who hit 2-3 with a triple and 2 walks. Gigliotti started the season hot, then slumped, and is now finding his form again. The good news? He has an .823 OPS, which in the pitching environment of the league is good for a 132 wRC+. And he also has a walk rate of 17.3%. The bad news? He’s 26.

Third baseman Sean Roby has been known this season for hitting home runs, but he showed off the other skills in this one, with a hat trick of singles. He’s sporting a .968 OPS and a 161 wRC+ ... between Roby and Villar, the Giants third base depth is suddenly starting to look good.

Another nice game for second baseman Shane Matheny, who hit 2-4 with a double and a walk, raising his OPS to .951 and his wRC+ to 166. Like Gigliotti, he’s on the older side ... he’ll turn 26 soon. But he’s now drawn as many walks as strikeouts this season, which surely has the eye of the front office. And having a walk-off hit is never a bad thing.

Not a good day for right fielder Franklin Labour, who struck out 4 times. Yikes.

Low-A San Jose (12-10)

San Jose Giants lost to the Stockton Ports (A’s) 9-8 (10 innings)
Box score

Well if there’s one player who feels better after watching this game, it’s Franklin Labour and his 4 strikeouts. Because this game featured shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL) hitting 0-6 with 5 strikeouts. You do not see a 5-strikeout game very often.

Center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL), on the other hand, had himself a game, hitting 4-5 with a home run, a double, and a walk. That mega day raised his OPS to .894, and his wRC+ to 136. If he keeps it up, the 2019 3rd-round pick could be in line for a midseason promotion.

First baseman Garrett Frechette joined McCray in the dinger party, though it was his 1st of the year. He’ll need more of those, given his position, but the season is young. A 2-5 day with a homer and a walk is a good way to turn around his cold start.

Also reaching base 3 times were a few players trying to get their offense going: catcher Adrian Sugastey (No. 27 CPL), who raised his OPS to .635; right fielder/first baseman Victor Bericoto, who raised his OPS to .583; and second baseman Abdiel Layer, who doubled, raising his OPS to .653.

The pitchers gave up a lot of runs, but it was still a very encouraging start from RHP Will Bednar (No. 8 CPL), who allowed 1 hit, 3 walks, and 2 earned runs in 4 innings, with 6 strikeouts. Bednar’s WHIP is an elite 0.68, though it looks worse when taken with the context that he’s hit 7 batters in 20.2 innings. But he has 25 strikeouts in that time, and has a 2.18 ERA (though a 5.44 FIP). Wouldn’t be surprising to see him in Eugene soon.

The bulk of the damage was done against LHP Seth Lonsway, who allowed 5 runs in 3.1 innings. But he also struck out 7, giving him 23 strikeouts in 17.1 innings.

Home runs

Low-A Grant McCray (3)
Low-A Garrett Frechette (1)

Wednesday schedule

Sacramento: vs. Las Vegas Aviators, 12:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. Akron RubberDucks, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. Hillsboro Hops, 7:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ Stockton Ports, 7:05 p.m. PT