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Minor League round up, July 24

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

Luis Matos in the batter’s box
Luis Matos hit 2-6 with a home run for High-A Eugene
Photo by David Durochik/Diamond Images via Getty Images

No ACL or DSL games on Sunday, but the San Francisco Giants A-ball affiliates were all in action, so let’s take a look at what went down.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (40-53)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers), 12-3
Box score

It wasn’t a good offensive day for the River Cats, despite the fact that they managed to strike out just 3 times all day long. That’s mighty impressive, even if it didn’t result in much.

The top offensive day went to second baseman Isan Díaz, who hit 2-3 with a double and a walk, raising his OPS to .927 and his wRC+ to 123. He continues to look good enough to be MLB depth, while not good enough to force his way onto the roster.

Catcher Andrew Knapp, a free agent signing from a few days ago, played in his 2nd game for Sacramento and hit 1-3 while drawing a walk, while right fielder Austin Dean hit 2-4 with a double (still a mediocre year for him though: .776 OPS, 87 wRC+).

On the big league front, third baseman Tommy La Stella made another rehab appearance, hitting 1-3 with a walk. He reportedly has a locker for tonight’s game, so he may be activated.

On the pitching front it was another difficult day for RHP Sean Hjelle (No. 30 CPL), who gave up 6 hits, 4 walks, 1 hit batter, and 3 runs in just 4 innings of work. Hjelle continues to be a player who is considered better than his numbers, which is good, because the numbers are hard to look at: 5.27 ERA, 5.32 FIP, and just 54 strikeouts in 66.2 innings.

A pair of relievers made their Giants organization debut. RHP Kyle Tyler, a 25-year old who was recently designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres, gave up 1 hit and 1 run in 1 inning, while striking out 2. And RHP Tobias Myers, a 23-year old whom the Giants acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Guardians, struggled with command, walking 3 and allowing 1 hit and 3 runs in just an inning ... though he also struck out 3 batters.

AA Richmond (47-43)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) 7-6
Box score

The Flying Squirrels were reliant on the long ball and it paid off, with 6 of their 7 runs being scored on home runs.

The 1st, a 3-run shot in the 3rd inning, came off the bat of catcher Ricardo Genovés (No. 20 CPL).

It was his only hit of the day, but still raised his OPS to .786 and his wRC+ to 111. He’s handled his “demotion” (quotations because he was very young in AAA and had not played a day in AA, so it doesn’t really feel like a demotion) quite well.

Next up was a solo blast by second baseman Brett Auerbach (No. 28 CPL), who has been colder than ice lately. And while the strikeout issues continued (he had 2 of them), drawing a walk and hitting a big fly is a great day at the office. The positionless (in a good way) player has a .644 OPS and a 78 wRC+ on the year.

And rounding it out was a 2-run blast by left fielder Jacob Heyward, who also drew a walk.

Heyward might need many more days like this to stay in the organization. He has just a .565 OPS and a 58 wRC+, and will turn 27 in a week ... and the Giants have some draft picks to work into the fold.

Also having a nice day — again — was DH Diego Rincones (No. 15 CPL), who hit 2-4 with a walk.

After destroying pitching last year, Rincones was cold to start the season as he dealt with a wrist injury. But now he has turned it on in a big way. While his season-long numbers are still mediocre (.698 OPS, 90 wRC+), his recent ones are very nice. In his last 7 games, Rincones is hitting 11-29 with 2 home runs, a double, a walk, and just 4 strikeouts. Since June 7, he’s hitting 44-120 with 7 home runs, 6 doubles, 3 walks, and 15 strikeouts.

An awful start for RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 44 CPL), who gave up 9 baserunners (5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 hit batters) and 6 runs in just 2 innings of work. But RHP Cole Waites struck out the side in a perfect inning of relief, giving him a 2.57 ERA, a 2.65 FIP, and 22 strikeouts in 14 innings, albeit it with 10 walks.

Also nice relief days from RHPs Blake Rivera and Ryan Walker.

High-A Eugene (52-35)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Everett AquaSox (Mariners) 12-7
Box score

It would seem that third baseman Riley Mahan enjoys High-A. The left-handed hitter had an excellent day in his 5th game with the Emeralds, hitting 3-6 with a home run and a double, which gave him a 1.110 OPS and a 196 wRC+. That’s fun to see, though I’ll temper expectations by pointing out that A) he only had a 102 wRC+ in Low-A, and B) he turns 27 this year.

But someone on the other side of things — low age, low numbers — also had a nice game, which is thankfully becoming the norm again. Center fielder Luis Matos (No. 3 CPL) hit 2-6 with a home run. After a very, very slow (and injury-filled) start to the year, Matos is reminding people why he’s one of the organization’s excellent prospects. In his last 8 games, Matos is hitting 8-32 with 4 home runs, 1 double, 3 walks, and just 3 strikeouts. He also stole a base in this game.

Joining Matos with a stolen base was right fielder Vaun Brown, who hit 2-4 with a double, a walk, and a hit by pitch, bumping his OPS to 1.017 and his wRC+ to 179. He continues to handle the promotion to High-A brilliantly.

All in all, 7 of the team’s hitters had multi-hit days, including second baseman Simon Whiteman, who hit 2-4 with a walk. It’s a sign of the very difficult season Whiteman has been having that that classifies as clearly one of his best games of the year.

The pitching was not so hot, with RHP Mason Black (No. 42 CPL) getting rocked. Black allowed 9 baserunners and 4 runs in just 3 innings, with 3 strikeouts. The bullpen was fine, but didn’t really stand out.

Low-A San Jose (52-38)

San Jose Giants beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 8-2
Box score

Nice pitching in this one, led by RHP Eric Silva (No. 38 CPL), who struck out 8 batters in 5 innings, while giving up just 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs. Silva is still rocking a pretty high 5.43 ERA and a 4.51 FIP, but 76 strikeouts in 64.2 innings is pretty exciting for someone who is still a teenager.

RHP Ben Madison, who returned midseason after missing all of 2021 with an injury, was phenomenal, pitching 2 perfect innings and striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced. In 10.2 Low-A innings this year, Madison has allowed just 4 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 21.

On the offensive front, right fielder Jared Dupere is adjusting quite nicely to A-ball. Last year’s 13th-round pick started the year in the ACL, and has only played in 7 games since getting promoted, but he’s been awesome in those 7. A 2-4 day with a home run raised his OPS to 1.346 and his wRC+ to 238.

Left fielder Carter Williams, who has eaten pitchers alive since moving from High-A to Low-A had another home run, and now sports a 1.167 OPS and a 192 wRC+ in 145 plate appearances, with nearly as many walks (17) as strikeouts (19).

And another great day at the office for center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL), who hit 3-5 and stole his 24th and 25th bases of the year. An .869 OPS and a 122 wRC+ look darn nice when you pair them with excellent defense and that sort of baserunning.

Home runs

AA Brett Auerbach (10)
AA Ricardo Genovés (4)
AA Jacob Heyward (4)
High-A Luis Matos (6)
High-A Riley Mahan (2)
Low-A Carter Williams (7)
Low-A Jared Dupere (3)

Monday schedule

Sacramento: Off
Richmond: Off
Eugene: Off
San Jose: Off
ACL Orange: vs. ACL Rockies
ACL Black: vs. ACL D-backs Black
DSL Orange: vs. DSL Cardinals
DSL Black: vs. DSL Marlins