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Minor League round up, August 18

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

Carson Whisenhunt smiling
Carson Whisenhunt struck out 2 in a perfect inning in his pro debut
Set Number: X164091 TK1

AAA Sacramento had Thursday off, but the San Francisco Giants seven other Minor League Baseball affiliates were all in action. Let’s dive into it.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AA Richmond (53-57)

Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) 7-4
Box score

Not great pitching, highlighted by a very Kai-Wei Teng start from RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 44 CPL). Teng struck out 7 in 5.1 innings, but also allowed 7 hits, 4 walks, and 5 runs. His season has been almost identical to last year when he was in High-A, which is to say it has some awful, some mediocre, and some great.

The awful is the walks. After issuing 53 in 95.2 innings last year, Teng’s given up 62 in 109.1 innings this season. The mediocre is the run prevention. He had a 4.33 ERA and a 4.54 FIP last year; those numbers are 5.10 and 4.43 this season. And the great is the strikeouts. He recorded 142 of them last year (13.7 per 9 innings) and has 130 this year (10.7 per 9 innings).

The offense didn’t do much, but there were a pair of homers. One came from catcher Brandon Martorano, who now has a .722 OPS and a 97 wRC+. He looks like a decent depth piece.

It’s worth noting that Martorano’s homer came off of Dedniel Núñez, the RHP whom the Giants selected in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, and kept around last year as he rehabbed an injury.

The other home run came from first baseman Riley Mahan, who was also hit by a pitch.

9 games into his AA promotion and Mahan has a 1.014 OPS and a 175 wRC+. Personally, I hope he keeps it up.

Designated hitter Armani Smith (No. 41 CPL) hit 1-3 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base. Smith has struggled to find his footing in AA after an early season promotion, but he’s putting it together in August, hitting 16-52 with a home run, 3 doubles, and 6 walks, good for an .802 OPS. Would love to see him really find his stride to end the season.

High-A Eugene (66-42)

Eugene Emeralds lost to the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 10-1
Box score

The return of the Marc! Shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) made his 1st start in High-A since early June, when he suffered a back injury. He’d been rehabbing for a little while in the ACL, and played on Wednesday as a late-game replacement. But he started in this one, hitting 1-4 and putting the ball in play in all 4 of his plate appearances.

And since it’s been a while, let’s remind you of his numbers this year, which have been lovely. He has an .852 OPS and a 136 wRC+, while still being just 20. His strikeout rate of 22.5% is pretty nice for a power hitter who is young for his level.

Not much else happened. Third baseman Luis Toribio (No. 39 CPL) and first baseman Robert Emery both singled and drew walks, while second baseman Jimmy Glowenke (No. 43 CPL) and designated hitter Max Wright both doubled. Right fielder Vaun Brown returned to the lineup after missing about a week.

RHP Mason Black (No. 42 CPL) got rocked, allowing 11 baserunners, 8 runs, and 6 earned runs in just 3.1 innings of work. Pretty rough run prevention since getting promoted, as he has a 4.55 ERA and a 5.16 FIP, but 111 strikeouts to 29 walks in 93.2 innings is pretty awesome considering it’s his first season of pro ball.

RHP Tyler Myrick — last year’s 14th-round pick — made his High-A debut and pitched a scoreless inning, issuing a walk and recording a strikeout.

Low-A San Jose (62-49)

San Jose Giants lost to the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels) 11-9
Box score

Stay hot Yorlis Rodriguez! A day after the third baseman hit 3-4 with a home run and 2 doubles, Rodriguez hit 3-5 with another dinger. I joked yesterday that more days like that would bring his line up in a hurry, and he apparently took that to heart!

Rodriguez started the season very slow, but has been absolutely crushing the ball lately. In July and August he’s hitting 42-141 with 8 home runs and 6 doubles. He only has 5 walks in that time, but that’s because he’s putting the ball in play — he also only has 21 strikeouts. He’s hit safely in 28 of those 35 games. Amazing.

Also amazing was shortstop Damon Dues, who crushed his 1st Low-A appearance. An undrafted free agent a year ago, Dues got promoted to Low-A to help make space in the ACL for the rookies, and in his debut hit 2-3 with a double, 2 walks, and a stolen base. Heck yeah.

Speaking of great days, second baseman Anyesber Sivira hit a perfect 3-3 with a home run, raising his OPS to .785 and his wRC+ to 101, and catcher Adrian Sugastey (No. 27 CPL) hit 3-4 and was hit by a pitch, bumping his numbers to .722 and 94, respectively.

RHP Nick Sinacola had a rough game, giving up 7 runs in 3.1 innings, and RHP Yoniel Ramirez had a funny game — he pitched 1.2 no-hit innings, but issued 3 walks and hit 2 batters. And got the win.

ACL Orange (15-36)

ACL Giants Orange beat the ACL Angels 3-2 (11 innings)
Box score

Funny game for the Giants Orange squad, as they were tied 0-0 after 9 innings, before both teams scored in the 10th and 11th innings. I guess that’s what the Manfred Man was supposed to accomplish. I still don’t like it, though.

But it gets wilder! The Giants Orange team, planning out their bullpen based on a 9-inning game, didn’t want to waste any arms, so they turned to position player Irvin Murr III to pitch the extra innings. He allowed both of the Manfred Men to score, but no one else, and recorded the win in what might be the only pitching appearance of his career. Minors!

LHP Carson Whisenhunt (21, 2022 2nd-round) made his professional debut by leading off the game with a perfect inning in which he struck out 2 batters. Most publications see Whisenhunt as the team’s top prospect from last month’s draft, so great to see him take the mound.

Another recent draftee, RHP Hayden Birdsong (20, 2022 6th-round) struck out 4 in 2 innings of work, allowing just a hit. Birdsong’s given up just 2 hits and 0 walks in 4.2 innings, with 9 strikeouts. Lovely stuff.

Also lovely stuff from RHP Gerelmi Maldonado (18, 2020 J2), who struck out a whopping 9 batters in 5 scoreless innings, though he issued 3 walks to go along with 2 hits. He has a 2.39 ERA, a 3.98 FIP, and 12.9 strikeouts per 9 innings. Not bad for an 18 year old.

The offense did very little, and was led by a 3-hit day from third baseman Andrew Kachel (21, 2022 16th-round), who is 7-21 with 3 walks to just 1 strikeout. Shortstop Will Wilson (No. 18 CPL) doubled in his 7th rehab game, while designated hitter Donovan Walton also made a rehab appearance.

ACL Black (35-15)

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

A lot of good offensive performances in this one. Let’s start with the 2 guys at the top of the order: left fielder P.J. Hilson (21, 2018 6th-round) and center fielder Wade Meckler (22, 2022 8th-round), who both hit 2-4. Hilson had a triple and was hit by a pitch, bringing his OPS to .931 and his wRC+ to 148. It might be San Jose time. Meckler added a double and a walk, and is now 10-26 with 4 doubles, 6 walks, and just 4 strikeouts. Looking like a mighty fine draft pick, albeit after a humorously small sample size.

Also strong offensive days for catcher Thomas Gavello (21, 2022 13th-round), who hit 1-1 with 2 walks and a hit by pitch; second baseman Dilan Rosario (21, 2019 6th-round) who hit 1-2 with 2 walks and a stolen base; and first baseman Javier Francisco (19, 2019 J2), who hit 1-2 with 2 walks.

A pair of pitchers made their debut. RHP William Kempner (21, 2022 3rd-round) gave up 3 hits and a run in an inning of work, but struck out the side. RHP Davis Hare (23, 2022 UDFA) struck out 2 in a perfect inning.

DSL Orange (24-30)

DSL Giants Orange lost to the DSL TEX Blue 13-3
Box score

We’re gonna skip half of this game, as the pitching was awful and the defense committed 6 errors. Just lovely!

But a few nice hitting performances, namely from catcher Juan Perez (17, 2021 J2), who hit 2-4 with a home run. Perez’s debut season has been slow, which is understandable given his age. He’s a very exciting prospect though, and now has a .581 OPS, a 68 wRC+, and a 5-game hitting streak.

Third baseman Jose Astudillo (18, 2020 J2) and left fielder Oswaldo Ladera (19, 2019 J2) both hit 2-4 with doubles. Astudillo has a .774 OPS and a 108 wRC+, while Ladera has a .734 OPS and a 106 wRC+.

DSL Black (19-36)

DSL Giants Black lost to the DSL Phillies Red 2-1 (7 innings)
Box score

A very nice outing from RHP Mauricio Estrella (18, 2021 J2), who is having a lovely season. He gave up 9 baserunners in 5 innings, but limited the damage to 2 runs and 1 earned run, while recording 7 strikeouts. He’s sitting on a 3.36 ERA and a 3.22 FIP in his debut season, with 61 strikeouts to 13 walks in 59 innings. He’ll be fun to keep an eye on in Arizona in 2023.

Limited offense with just 4 hits. The best day came from center fielder Luis Frias (18, 2021 J2), despite the fact that he only played half the game. He reached base in both plate appearances, with a single and a walk, and stole a base, his 19th this year. He has a .661 OPS and a 91 wRC+.

Home runs

AA Brandon Martorano (9)
AA Riley Mahan (2)
Low-A Yorlis Rodriguez (14)
Low-A Anyesber Sivira (4)
DSL Juan Perez (3)

Friday schedule

Sacramento: @ the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s), 7:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets), 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: @ the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels), 6:30 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: vs. the ACL Athletics
ACL Black: vs. the ACL Royals
DSL Orange: vs. the DSL Tigers 2
DSL Black: vs. DSL BOS Blue