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Minor League round up, June 12

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

Michael Papierski in the batter’s box
Catcher Michael Papierski hit 3-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk for AAA Sacramento
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The ACL and DSL were off on Sunday, but the San Francisco Giants four A-ball affiliates were all in action.

Let’s jump into it.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (24-36)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) 10-5
Box score

Sacramento ended their series with Reno in style, absolutely teeing off to the tune of 10 runs, 15 hits, and 8 extra-base hits.

And the best day came from someone who, interestingly, has a very tenuous grip on his 40-man roster spot: catcher Michael Papierski. When they Giants optioned Joey Bart they traded for Austin Wynns, which pushed Papierski to fourth on the depth chart. Considering that the Giants are often comfortable with just two catchers on the 40-man roster, Papierski can’t feel great about holding his spot.

But he made a strong case for it on Sunday, hitting 3-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk.

Also having an excellent day was second baseman Isan Díaz, who hit 2-5 with a homer and a double, raising his OPS to .951 and his wRC+ to 123. He’s in that middle area where he’s not forcing the issue, but is a nice option should the MLB squad have injuries.

Rounding out the nice offensive days were right fielder Ka’ai Tom, who hit 3-5 with 2 doubles, and designated hitter Steven Duggar, who had his best game since starting his rehab assignment, hit 3-5 and stole a base.

RHP Raynel Espinal allowed 4 walks in 5 innings, but only gave up 1 hit and 1 run while striking out 8. That’s pretty in line with his season: he has 69 strikeouts (nice) in 50 innings, but also has 22 walks, and sports a 3.96 ERA and a 4.96 FIP.

AA Richmond (33-24)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 5-4 (10 innings)
Box score

It’s not every day that you strike out 17 times and still win, but then again, the Flying Squirrels are not every team. Designated hitter Diego Rincones (No. 15 CPL), who hit 3-5 with a double, and third baseman Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 35 CPL), who hit 0-2 with 2 walks avoided strikeouts. Every other Richmond batter struck out multiple times.

But they found a way to score, highlighted by a 2-run shot from shortstop Will Wilson (No. 18), who now has a .852 OPS and a 132 wRC+. Really, really great to see how strong he’s bounced back this year.

And Rincones provided the walk-off hit:

First baseman Sean Roby continues to cool off, as he hit 0-4 with 2 strikeouts, lowering his season numbers to a .773 OPS and a 106 wRC+. After positing a 1.012 OPS in April, Roby has followed it up with a .646 OPS May and a .632 OPS June.

Talk about a hitter that represents modern baseball: Roby is 4-33 this month, with 17 strikeouts and all 4 of his hits being homers. He has just 1 walk during that time.

On the mound, RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 44 CPL) continued to struggle with walks, issuing 5 of them in 5.1 innings, while allowing 3 runs and striking out 4. He’s now walked 32 batters in 55.1 innings this year.

The bullpen, however, was quite nice.

High-A Eugene (31-21)

Eugene Emeralds beat Spokane (Rockies) 7-2
Box score

Quite a lovely pitching performance from LHP Nick Swiney (No. 17 CPL), who gave up 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 runs, and just 1 earned run in 5 innings, while striking out 9 batters. Swiney’s ERA doesn’t look great (4.08), but his FIP (2.88), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (45 to 15 in 35.1 innings) surely have the Giants smiling.

Closing the door was RHP Mat Olsen, who struck out 3 in 2 scoreless innings. Olsen has 21 strikeouts to 8 walks in 15.1 innings since getting promoted a few weeks ago.

Offensively there were plenty of performances of note, but none more so than that of designated hitter Jairo Pomares (No. 7 CPL), who hit 2-4 with a homer run, a double, and a walk.

Pomares has not been having a bad season, but has not been having a particularly standout season either, and games like Sunday’s are a reminder as to the star potential in his bat. He now has a .729 OPS and a 111 wRC+.

Shortstop Ghordy Santos reached base 4 times, hitting 2-3 with 2 walks, and third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 24 CPL) hit 1-3 with a double and a walk, moving his OPS to .862 and his wRC+ to 148.

But yet another tough day for second baseman Simon Whiteman, although hitting 1-4 with a strikeout actually increased his OPS. A year after posting a 122 wRC+ in High-A, and getting promoted to AA, where he had a 93 wRC+, Whiteman started the year in AA and posted a 39 wRC+, only to get demoted back to High-A, where he has a wRC+ of 2 (albeit in just a handful of games).

Low-A San Jose (32-25)

San Jose Giants lost to the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) 6-2
Box score

Just a tough day all around for the Baby Giants. The pitching wasn’t good. The hitting wasn’t good. And the fielding wasn’t good, as they committed 4 errors, including 2 by shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL).

On offense they mustered just 7 hits, 6 of which were singles, and drew 0 walks while striking out 10 times. First baseman Riley Mahan hit 1-4 with a double, which was the team’s only extra-base hit. Second baseman Dilan Rosario was the only player to reach base multiple times, hitting 2-3.

On the pitching front, RHP Will Bednar (No. 8 CPL) had a rough go of it, as he lasted just 3 innings, and gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, 4 runs, and 3 earned runs, with 1 strikeout. Last year’s 1st-round pick also hit 2 batters, which now gives him 12 in as many starts.

But a very nice performance from RHP Evan Gates, who had a perfect 2-inning stint, striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced.

Home runs

AAA Isan Díaz (11)
AAA Michael Papierski (2)
AA Will Wilson (8)
High-A Jairo Pomares (8)

Monday schedule

Sacramento: Off
Richmond: Off
Eugene: Off
San Jose: Off
ACL Orange: vs. D-backs Black
ACL Black: vs. Angels
DSL Orange: vs. LAD Bautista
DSL Black: vs. PIT Black