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Minor League round up, August 21

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

Brett Auerbach holding his catcher’s mask
Brett Auerbach hit 2-5 with a double for AA Richmond

No ACL or DSL games on Sunday, but the San Francisco Giants A-ball affiliates were all in action. So let’s jump into the organization’s Minor League Baseball round up.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (50-67)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) 6-3
Box score

The River Cats employed the big-hit approach on Sunday. They only had 7 hits and 1 walk, with no batters reaching base multiple times. But 5 of those 7 hits went for extra bases, and all 3 of their runs were scored on solo homers.

Most notable was a dinger from first baseman Yermín Mercedes, who’s trying to earn his way back to San Francisco.

Mercedes has struggled since getting optioned, hitting just 6-32 with 3 walks and 10 strikeouts. This was his first extra-base hit since getting sent down in early August.

Also homering were right fielder Austin Dean and left fielder Drew Jackson.

Dean continues to hover around league average, with an .832 OPS and a 103 wRC+ on the season. And Jackson, who signed with the organization a few weeks ago, continues to be all about the power ... he has just a .200 batting average in 10 games with Sacramento, but a .533 slugging percentage.

The River Cats would have won were it not for an ERA-spiking performance from RHP Cody Carroll, who gave up 5 earned runs in just 0.1 innings. RHP Randy Rodriguez (No. 22 CPL) also struggled, pitching 1.2 innings and allowing 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 hit batter, and a run. His future is quite bright, since he’s still 2 weeks from his 23rd birthday, but his introduction to AAA has been a rude one, as he’s issued 7 walks and allowed 5 runs in just 5.2 innings.

AA Richmond (55-58)

Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) 6-5
Box score

The most exciting part of this game was RHP Landen Roupp’s introduction to AA. Roupp, who was a 12th-round pick last year, and started the season in Low-A before demolishing competition there, getting promoted to High-A, and demolishing competition there as well, made his Richmond debut.

It certainly wasn’t the smoothest game, as he gave up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs in 4 innings, but he struck out 6.

It certainly seems like his strikeout stuff plays anywhere, and if he can keep up his performance at AA, he could be in line to join the Giants rotation sometime next season.

With so many quality starters, the Flying Squirrels have gone to a piggybacking approach, so taking over for Roupp was RHP Matt Frisbee. Frisbee had been hot and cold in his prior 2 starts, following up a franchise-record 13 strikeouts in a 1-hit outing with a 7-run game. In this one he slotted firmly in the middle, striking out 7 in 5 innings, while allowing just 3 hits and 2 runs. A very nice performance for Frisbee, who now has a 5.18 ERA and a 4.90 FIP, but has walked only 33 batters in 114.2 innings.

An excellent day for left fielder Jacob Heyward, who hit 1-2 with a home run and 2 walks.

Heyward just turned 27 and is still struggling, sporting just a .596 OPS and a 67 wRC+, highly disappointing numbers considering he had a 114 wRC+ at the same level in 2019. But he’s been finding his stride in August, hitting 9-45 with 3 home runs and 10 walks, good for a .762 OPS, and trying to make his case to stay in professional baseball.

Awesome performance from first baseman Ricardo Genovés (No. 20 CPL), who hit 2-3 with a double and a walk, raising his OPS to .712 and his wRC+ to 93. Catcher Brett Auerbach (No. 28 CPL) hit 2-5 with a double, and now has a .681 OPS and an 86 wRC+. After struggling through the summer, Auerbach is finding his rhythm again, with an .891 OPS in August.

High-A Eugene (68-43)

High-A Eugene Emeralds beat the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 8-3
Box score

Center fielder Luis Matos (No. 3 CPL) continues to turn his season around. Matos only had 1 hit in this game, but it was a 7th-inning grand slam that turned a small lead into a blowout for the Emeralds.

Every one knows how much Matos struggled out of the gates. But since July 16 he’s hitting 27-115 with 5 home runs, 1 triple, 7 doubles, 5 walks, and 21 strikeouts. The Giants are hoping to get his average back up, but seeing the power start to come around again, to complement the very low strikeout total, is quite exciting.

A prospect who didn’t struggle out of the gates is right fielder Vaun Brown, who hit 2-2 with a triple and a double, while being hit by 3 pitches (ouch!). With a 1.090 OPS and a 196 wRC+, it just might be time to see what he can do in AA.

Brown also stole his 20th base in just 41 High-A games, after 23 stolen bases in 59 Low-A games. He’s only been caught stealing 6 times against those 43 successes.

LHP Nick Zwack made his 3rd appearance for Eugene after coming over in the Darin Ruf trade and had a delightful outing, striking out 8 batters in 5 innings while allowing 5 baserunners and 2 runs. He has 17 strikeouts to 5 walks in 13.1 innings since the trade.

RHP Tyler Myrick made his 2nd appearance since a promotion, and struck out a batter in a perfect inning.

Low-A San Jose (63-51)

San Jose Giants lost to the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels) 5-0
Box score

A day after winning 16-1, the Baby Giants got shut out. The offense was very quiet, with only 1 notable day, courtesy of second baseman Anyesber Sivira, who hit 1-2 with a double and was hit by a pitch. The 22-year old is looking comfortable 31 games into his promotion, with an .802 OPS and a 107 wRC+.

Another mediocre performance from RHP Manuel Mercedes (No. 23 CPL), who gave up 7 hits, 4 runs, and 3 earned runs in 5 innings, with just 3 strikeouts. He avoided walking anyone, though. Mercedes has a 5.95 ERA and a 6.32 FIP, with as many walks as strikeouts — 54 of each in 65 innings. It’s been a rough introduction to Low-A for him, but then again he’s only 19. There’s a lot of talent in that arm.

Home runs

AAA Austin Dean (14)
AAA Drew Jackson (4)
AAA Yermín Mercedes (3)
AA Jacob Heyward (7)
High-A Luis Matos (9)


AA infielder Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 35 CPL) has been named the Player of the Week in Richmond’s league.

And some updates on former Giants prospects:

Monday schedule

Sacramento: Off
Richmond: Off
Eugene: Off
San Jose: Off
ACL Orange: vs. the ACL Cubs
ACL Black: vs. the ACL Padres
DSL Orange: vs. the DSL Tigers 2
DSL Black: vs. DSL Colorado