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Minor League round up, June 22

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

Jhonny Pereda at media day
Catcher Jhonny Pereda had his first 2 homers of the season on Wednesday
Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Just three of the San Francisco Giants affiliates were in action on Wednesday, as the Arizona Complex League and Dominican Summer League teams had the day off, while AA Richmond got rained out.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (28-40)

Sacramento River Cats beat the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) 13-5
Box score

It is apparently home run season in Sacramento. And there should be no surprise as to who is leading the charge: third baseman David Villar (No. 19 CPL). Villar reminded everyone that he’s perhaps the best power prospect in the organization, but also showed that he’s more than that, by hitting 2-3 with a pair of 3-run homers and a pair of walks.

A year after setting the AA Richmond franchise record with a 19-homer season, Villar already has 20 this year ... though admittedly Sacramento plays in a drastically different environment. But even so, 20 homers in 236 plate appearances is 20 homers in 236 plate appearances, and it’s worth celebrating.

With a 1.044 OPS and a 150 wRC+, one would think that Evan Longoria’s good health and solid production is the only thing keeping Villar from getting added to the 40-man roster and making his MLB debut.

But while the team’s top home run hitter having a multi-homer day was predictable, it was much less predictable that catcher Jhonny Pereda — who had yet to hit a big fly this season — would also hit a pair of home runs (while drawing a walk as well).

Also getting in on the action was shortstop Arquímedes Gamboa, who started the game on the bench but made the most of his limited action, hitting 2-2 with a dinger and a walk.

Despite all those awesome days, the most exciting performance might have come from DH LaMonte Wade Jr., who hit 2-5 with a home run and a double. He looks about ready, so that is very exciting.

And speaking of MLB players in AAA ... first baseman Yermín Mercedes made his Sacramento debut after the Giants claimed him off waivers, and hit 2-5. Mercedes had a .909 OPS against left-handed pitchers last year, in his only MLB season (save for the 1 plate appearance he got in 2020). The Giants are hoping they got something very exciting for free.

On the pitching front it was another nice performance for RHP Shelby Miller, a 9-year MLB vet whom the Giants signed to a minor league deal a few weeks ago. He pitched a perfect 9th inning, and has allowed just 5 baserunners and 1 run in 7 innings since joining Sacramento.

But RHP Gregory Santos (No. 32 CPL) had another tough day, giving up 2 runs in an inning of work, which raised his ERA to 4.08 and his FIP to 5.76.

High-A Eugene (38-24)

Eugene Emeralds swept a doubleheader against the Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels) 2-0 and 3-2
Game 1 box score
Game 2 box score

Lots of fun performances in the mini-sweep for Eugene. But it started with stellar pitching from a pair of young, exciting prospects.

In the first game it was RHP Ryan Murphy (No. 13 CPL) who was nothing short of dominant. Murphy pitched 6 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5.

After a breakout 2021, the consensus was that Murphy might be ready for AA Richmond to start 2022. But he began the year on the Injured List, and his stint in Eugene is serving at least a little bit as a rehab assignment. In 7 starts, Murphy has a 2.90 ERA, a 1.95 FIP, a 1.03 WHIP, and 47 strikeouts to 12 walks in 31 innings. Time to see what Richmond has to offer him.

In the second game it was RHP Mason Black (No. 42 CPL), last year’s 3rd round pick. He also went 6 strong innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, and 1 run, with 3 strikeouts. This is Black’s debut professional season, and after dominating in Low-A San Jose, he’s finding his groove in High-A. Through 5 starts he has a 3.33 ERA, a 5.27 FIP, and 27 strikeouts to 10 walks in 27 innings. He hasn’t been dominant yet, but pretty darn good for someone a few months into their career.

Offensively, it was a brilliant first game from right fielder Hunter Bishop (No. 10 CPL). The Emeralds only had 5 hits in the game, but Bishop hit 3-3 with a home run, and knocked in both of the team’s runs.

He went 0-3 in the 2nd game, but even so has an .868 OPS in June, and is starting to really turn his season (last few seasons, really) around. He now has a .702 OPS and a 106 wRC+. Here he comes!

But the best offensive day came from first baseman/third baseman Carter Aldrete, who hit 3-5 over the 2 games, with a double in a Game 1, and a game-typing final inning home run in Game 2.

With the excellent day, Aldrete moved his season OPS to .901 and his wRC+ to 152. He’s old for the level, but I’d be curious to see how he does in Richmond.

Low-A San Jose (39-26)

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

Apparently home runs were in the air in a certain segment of California. While AAA Sacramento was at home hitting 6 dingers, Low-A San Jose traveled 50 miles south of Sacramento to Stockton, where they hit 5 homers. Good stuff!

The most notable came off the bat of — who else — Vaun Brown, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning and immediately tied the game. He is good, folks. And don’t listen to me, listen to his 1.063 OPS and 172 wRC+.

Third baseman Riley Mahan hit 2-5 with a homer, while right fielder Alexander Suarez (No. 37 CPL) homered and stole a base. After a very nice May, Suarez has been struggling in June, so good to see him have a nice game.

Also big flies for DH Victor Bericoto, who drew a walk as well, and first baseman Garrett Frechette, who is sporting an .822 OPS in June.

It was a rough start for RHP Eric Silva (No. 37 CPL), who allowed 7 runs in 3.2 innings. But RHP Manuel Mercedes (No. 23 CPL) continues to bring down his ERA after a tough start to the year, as he allowed just 1 hit, 1 run, and 0 earned runs in 4 innings, while striking out 7. Mercedes did walk 3 batters though, which has been an issue for him this season, as he’s issued 32 free passes in 35.1 innings.

Home runs

AAA David Villar, 2 (20)
AAA Arquímedes Gamboa (4)
AAA Jhonny Pereda, 2 (2)
AAA LaMonte Wade Jr. (2)
High-A Carter Aldrete (11)
High-A Hunter Bishop (8)
Low-A Vaun Brown (14)
Low-A Alexander Suarez (7)
Low-A Victor Bericoto (7)
Low-A Riley Mahan (4)
Low-A Garrett Frechette (3)

Thursday schedule

Sacramento: vs. El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
Richmond: Doubleheader vs. Portland Sea Wolves (Red Sox)
Eugene: vs. Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels)
San Jose: @ Stockton Ports (A’s)
ACL Orange: vs. ACL Athletics
ACL Black: vs. ACL Royals
DSL Orange: vs. DSL BOS Blue
DSL Black: vs. DSL Brewers 2