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Minor League round up, July 26

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

Grant McCray running the bases
CF Grant McCray hit 5-7 with a home run for Low-A San Jose
Shelly Valenzuela - San Jose Giants

Seven of the San Francisco Giants eight Minor League Baseball affiliates were in action on Tuesday. Only AA Richmond was off, as their game was postponed due to bad weather. They’ll make it up with a doubleheader on Thursday.

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 (41-53)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Round Rock Express (Rangers) 5-1
Box score

What an awesome pitching performance in Sacramento, with all 4 River Cats pitchers excelling. The best performance came from the starter, RHP Tristan Beck, who gave up just 3 hits, 0 walks, and 1 unearned run in 6 innings of work. Beck only struck out 4 batters, but he also needed a mere 65 pitches to cruise through 60 innings. With a 6.27 ERA and a 4.26 FIP, Beck hasn’t exactly been feasting in his first AAA stint, but there’s a ton to like. His control is really rounding into form — after issuing 19 walks in his first 10 AAA games (44.1 innings), Beck has given up just 3 free passes in his last 5 games (26 innings). He’s also going a lot later into games, throwing at least 5 innings in each of his last 5 games.

Next up was LHP Alex Young, a 28-year old former 2nd-round pick whom the Giants recently acquired from the Cleveland Guardians. He pitched a 1-hit inning with 1 strikeout in his 2nd appearance for Sacramento.

Then it was RHP Kervin Castro (No. 26 CPL), who struck out 2 in a scoreless inning, giving up 1 hit. Castro’s control is also rounding into form, as it marked the 6th time in his last 7 appearances that he hadn’t given up a walk ... after walking 22 in his first 20 games of the year.

Finishing things off was LHP Joey Marciano, who had a strikeout in a 1-hit, scoreless inning, lowering his excellent ERA to 2.56 (though his FIP is 4.01).

It was another great day by first baseman Jason Krizan, who hit 2-5 with a home run and a double.

Krizan’s been having a bit of a middling year (save for the wonderful excitement of making his MLB debut), but he’s been on fire lately: in his last 9 games, he’s hitting 15-36 with 4 home runs, 1 triple, and 4 doubles.

Another strong day for second baseman Isan Díaz, who homered and walked, bringing his OPS up to .936 and his wRC+ to 125.

He continues to occupy that funny space of being good MLB depth but not forcing his way onto the roster.

And recently acquired catcher Andrew Knapp, playing in his third game in the organization, hit 2-4 with a double.

High-A Eugene (53-35)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 5-4
Box score

It was all about the 5 through 7 hitters for the Emeralds on Tuesday. First up was catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 9 CPL), who hit 1-3 with a double and a walk. Still a tough season for the 2020 1st-round pick — he has just a .666 OPS and a 91 wRC+ despite being 23 — but he now has a 3-game hitting streak. Still, that hasn’t been able to fix what’s been an awful July, as he has just a .508 OPS in the month.

Next up was third baseman Luis Toribio (No. 39 CPL), who hit 2-4, with a home run, bumping his OPS to .788 and his wRC+ to 122.

Unlike Bailey, Toribio has been catching fire this month, as he sports an .879 OPS in July. Could that earn him a late-season promotion? Stay tuned.

And then it was designated hitter Robert Emery, who hit 3-4 with a double. The downside about Emery, an undrafted free agent following the 5-round 2020 draft, is that he turns 26 in 3 months. The upside is that, after putting up very nice numbers in a 35-game run in AA, he’s keeping things going down at Low-A (where he was moved to around the time that Ricardo Genovés got put in AA), as he has an .865 OPS and a 155 wRC+.

Also having a nice day was right fielder Vaun Brown, who hit 1-3 with a double, a walk, and an outfield assist. His phenomenal year continues.

The pitching was less impressive, with starting LHP Nick Swiney (No. 17 CPL) only making it through 2.1 innings (though only 1 of his 4 runs was earned) after struggling with command and walking 5 batters. He has 34 walks in 62 innings this year, though he also has 77 strikeouts.

Low-A San Jose (53-38)

San Jose Giants beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers) 18-4
Box score

The actual Giants may be awful right now, but I’m still taking pleasure in the Baby Giants destroying the Dodgers Low-A affiliate. Don’t take this from me. It’s all I’ve got.

It was an offensive explosion in San Jose, as they had 18 hits and drew as many walks (8) as strikeouts.

As has been the case so many times this season, it began with center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL) who had a 5-hit day. A 5-hit day! 5-7, specifically, with a home run and his 25th stolen base of the season.

It gave him an .888 OPS and a 127 wRC+, as he continues to get his excellent season back on track after a little bit of a summer dip.

Also having a huge day was third baseman Yorlis Rodriguez, who hit 4-6 and finished a triple shy of the cycle.

With a .738 OPS and an 89 wRC+, it hasn’t been a great season for Rodriguez, who turned 23 a week ago. But July has been kind to him, and he currently has a 4-game hitting streak. In his last 10 games, Rodriguez is hitting a blistering 16-43 with 3 homers, 1 double, and 4 walks.

But that’s only half of the homers that were hit! Shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL) also hit one, finishing the day 1-4 with 2 walks, which gives him a .774 OPS and a 102 wRC+.

And left fielder Alexander Suarez (No. 37 CPL) hit 2-4 with a big fly, a walk, and a hit by pitch.

Suarez’s season hasn’t been great — he has a .713 OPS and an 82 wRC+ — but like so many in the system, he’s heating up, and has an .865 OPS in July.

The pitching didn’t do as well, with the piggybacking starters both struggling with control — RHP Nick Sinacola walked 3 in 4 innings, while also giving up 4 hits and 2 runs, while LHP Esmerlin Vinicio (No. 40 CPL) walked 5 in just 2.2 innings, while also allowing a hit and 2 runs.

ACL Orange (9-26)

ACL Giants Orange beat the ACL D-backs Red 2-0 (7 innings)
Box score

A fairly dominant pitching performance, as the Giants Orange pitchers gave up 3 hits and 0 walks all day. A trio of pitchers were appearing in just their 2nd game of the season after missing a lot of time with injures: LHP Daniel Tillo, a 26-year old who was signed as a Minor League free agent at the start of the year; RHP Tanner Andrews, a 26-year old whom the Giants traded for in December; and RHP Jorge Garcia, a 20-year old 2018 international signing. All 3 pitchers pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout. Consistency!

The offense only had 5 hits, though they only struck out 3 times. Left fielder Donovan McIntyre (19, 2021 11th-round) led the charge by hitting 2-2 with a double, which raised his OPS to .559 and his wRC+ to 65.

First baseman Logan Wyatt had another tough day on his rehab assignment. The 24-year old, who was a 2nd-round pick in 2019, missed the first few months of the season, but recently returned for his rehab stint. He hit 0-3 with a strikeout in this game, and is now 6-32 with no extra-base hits and 9 strikeouts on the year. On the one hand it’s just a rehab assignment. On the other hand, he wasn’t good last year, either, so this is a touch concerning.

ACL Black (23-11)

ACL Giants Black lost to the ACL Rockies 10-1
Box score

Some bad news in this one, and it’s not the lopsided score. RHP Carson Ragsdale (No. 36 CPL) was making a rehab start, and faced just 1 batter (a strikeout) before leaving the game due to injury. That’s tough, and hopefully it’s not too serious.

RHP Rolfi Jimenez (19, 2019 J2) stepped in to take over, and things went very poorly for him, as he surrendered 11 hits, 1 walk, 9 runs, and 8 earned runs in 4.2 innings. But then things got better again, with RHP Cristian Acosta (22, 2017 J2) allowing just 1 hit and 1 unearned run in 2 innings, while striking out 4 (he has 17 strikeouts to 6 walks in 12.2 innings).

The offense came from center fielder P.J. Hilson (21, 2018 6th-round), who hit 1-4 with his 2nd home run in as many games, which bumped his OPS to .898 and his wRC+ to 136. Hilson’s one weakness has always been his contact skills, and after hitting .196 in the ACL last year, he’s up to .248 in 2022 (he’s also bumped his slugging percentage massively, from .277 to .538).

Second baseman Dilan Rosario (21, 2019 6th-round) also had a nice day, hitting 2-4 with a double to give him a .554 OPS and a 59 wRC+. It’s been a pretty tough year for him, after he started the year in Low-A but got demoted.

DSL Orange (16-21)

DSL Giants Orange beat the DSL Nationals 9-3 (7 innings)
Box score

We have a hot streak going for someone, and that’s worth celebrating. Second baseman Dennys Riera (17, 2021 J2) hit 2-4, homering for the 2nd day in a row. He got off to a very slow start to the season, as he dealt with injuries while also being quite young, even for the DSL (he turned 17 in mid-February).

Riera has only played 14 games this season, the first of his career. In the first 9 games he hit 0-22 with 0 walks. In the 10th game he hit 0-4 but drew a walk. And in the 4 games since, he’s 5-13 with 2 homers, 1 double, and 2 walks. Talk about progress!

Also 2-hit days for center fielder Estanlin Cassiani (19, 2019 J2), who is having a very nice season, and right fielder Erick Arosemena (17, 2021 J2), who is starting to put together some nice games.

RHP Samir Chires (18, 2020 J2) went 5 innings deep, but allowed 4 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs (though just 1 earned), with 4 strikeouts. Still, he has a very nice 2.30 ERA on the year, with a 3.32 FIP.

DSL Black (14-24)

DSL Giants Black lost to the DSL Angels 9-1
Box score

Well, a bad game. So let’s not talk about it much. The Giants Black squad had just 4 hits. A double by third baseman Jean Carlos Sio (18, 2021 J2) was the only extra-base hit, and gave him a .656 OPS and a 78 wRC+. First baseman Guillermo Williamson (18, 2021 J2) was the only player to reach base twice, hitting 1-3 with a walk. He’s having a very nice season, with an .814 OPS and a 119 wRC+.

Mostly bad pitching, but another scoreless inning (with 1 hit allowed and 1 strikeout) by RHP Luis Yepez (20, 2019 J2). Yepez has allowed just 11 hits, 6 walks, and 1 run in 18.2 innings of work this year.

Home runs

AAA Isan Díaz (18)
AAA Jason Krizan (6)
High-A Luis Toribio (15)
Low-A Grant McCray (15)
Low-A Aeverson Arteaga (9)
Low-A Alexander Suarez (9)
Low-A Yorlis Rodriguez (9)
ACL P.J. Hilson (6)
DSL Dennys Riera (2)

Wednesday schedule

Sacramento: @ Round Rock Express (Rangers)
Richmond: vs. Somerset Patriots (Yankees)
Eugene: vs. Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks)
San Jose: vs. Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers)
ACL Orange: Off
ACL Black: Off
DSL Orange: vs. DSL Phillies White
DSL Black: vs. DSL Nationals