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Minor League round up, August 22

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

Carson Whisenhunt throwing a pitch
Carson Whisenhunt struck out 5 batters in 2 scoreless innings
Set Number: X164091 TK1

No games for the San Francisco Giants A-ball affiliates on Monday, but some very fun performances in the Arizona Complex League and the Dominican Summer League. 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.

ACL Orange (17-37)

ACL Giants Orange beat the ACL Cubs 7-3
Box score

Is it too early to get excited about LHP Carson Whisenhunt (21, 2022 2nd-round)? The recent draftee, considered by most prospecting publications to be the Giants best player from the draft, made his 2nd pro appearance and it was, once again, dynamic. After striking out 2 batters in a perfect inning in his debut, Whisenhunt pitched 2 innings in this one, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5.

It is very, very early in his career, but I would say that striking out 7 of the first 10 batters you face is a pretty solid start.

RHP Mikell Manzano (19, 2019 J2) had the exact same line: 2 innings, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts. Manzano’s season has flown under the radar a bit, but it’s been excellent, as he has a 3.93 ERA, a 3.25 FIP, and 81 strikeouts to 17 walks in 55 innings. He’s been one of the team’s best pitchers, despite being a few months away from his 20th birthday.

Also pitching was RHP Ken Giles, the former MLB standout closer, whom the Giants just signed to a Minor League contract. He gave up 2 runs in an inning of work, striking out 2.

Another good day for shortstop Will Wilson (No. 18 CPL), who hit 2-3 with a double and a hit by pitch. He’s now hitting 14-28 with a home run, 4 doubles, and 4 walks in 9 rehab games. Time to return him to AAA!

But the big hit came from third baseman Derwin Laya (18, 2020 J2), who entered the game halfway through and only had 2 plate appearances: an RBI sacrifice fly, and a 3-run home run. Laya’s been struggling to find his bat — he has a .533 OPS and a 56 wRC+ — so nice to see a big fly. He’s still very young!

Right fielder Matt Higgins (23, 2022 UDFA) hit 2-3 and was hit by a pitch, bringing his OPS up to .983 and his wRC+ to 165. Excellent start to his pro career, albeit he’s just 40 plate appearances in.

ACL Black (37-16)

ACL Giants Black beat the ACL Padres 6-5
Box score

Have yourself a freaking game, left fielder P.J. Hilson (21, 2018 6th round). Hilson has been making a case for a promotion all year, and he punctuated it on Monday by hitting 3-5, with home runs in back-to-back innings.

With the strong day, Hilson now has a .953 OPS and a 153 wRC+. It’s easy to overlook him because he’s been in the organization for 4 years, but he’s still younger than many of the team’s recent draft picks. He turns 22 on Thursday ... maybe his birthday gift will be a plane ticket to San Jose?

Second baseman Dilan Rosario (21, 2019 6th-round) and center fielder Wade Meckler (22, 2022 8th-round) both had 3-walk days. It bumped Rosario’s OPS up to .699 and his wRC+ to 97, while Meckler — who also singled and stole a base — sees his numbers at .941 and 171, respectively, albeit with just 46 plate appearances.

A spectacular performance from LHP Nomar Medina (19, 2020 J2), who gave up just 1 hit in 5 scoreless innings, striking out 6 batters. Medina has been an under-the-radar star this year, with a 2.22 ERA, a 3.24 FIP, and 70 strikeouts to 16 walks in 65 innings. He’s seen a massive improvement in control since last year, which is always very exciting.

Strong relief appearances from a pair of rookies. RHP William Kempner (21, 2022 3rd-round) made his 2nd pro appearance and gave up 1 hit, 2 walks, and 0 runs in 2.1 innings, while striking out 2 batters. And RHP Liam Simon (21, 2022 5th-round) struck out a batter in a perfect inning. In 7 innings Simon has allowed 3 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs, while striking out 7 batters.

DSL Orange (25-32)

DSL Giants Orange beat the DSL Tigers 2, 4-2 (7 innings)
Box score

A pretty nice game for the Giants Orange squad, with some nice hitting performances from recent signees. Catcher Juan Perez (17, 2021 J2), widely viewed as the team’s 2nd-best signing from the latest international signing period, hit 2-3 with a pair of doubles, bringing his OPS up to .606 and his wRC+ to 73.

Perez is finding his groove in August, where he has an .816 OPS. Since August 6 he’s hitting 11-36 with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 1 walk, and 11 strikeouts.

Shortstop Dennys Riera (17, 2021 J2) hit 2-3 with a triple. His season numbers are poor — .517 OPS, 43 wRC+ — but he’s had some good days after a brutal start to his debut season.

A delightful outing from RHP Samir Chires (18, 2020 J2), who gave up just 4 baserunners and 2 unearned runs in 6 innings, while striking out 6. Chires doesn’t have great strikeout totals, as he has just 38 in 44 innings, but he has a lovely 2.45 ERA, albeit with a 3.82 FIP.

DSL Black (20-38)

DSL Giants Black beat DSL Colorado 9-2 (7 innings)
Box score

Some awesome, awesome performances in this one. First baseman Guillermo Williamson (18, 2021 J2) was the star, hitting 2-4 with a home run and a double. He doesn’t have a great batting average (.231) but his power has led to a .762 OPS and a 106 wRC+.

Right fielder Saul Bautista (18, 2020 J2) was also on the extra-base train, hitting 2-3 with 2 doubles, a walk, and a stolen base, giving him a .787 OPS and a 119 wRC+. He doesn’t have too much power, but does have a 16.4% walk rate this year, which is awesome.

Third baseman Jean Carlos Sio (18, 2021 J2) hit 1-1 with a double, 2 walks, and a stolen base. He’s not having a great year — .604 OPS, 75 wRC+ — but certainly a great game.

Not much on the pitching front. RHP Carlos Gomez (17, 2021 J2), who has been getting rocked in his debut season, had the longest and best outing of his very short career, issuing just a walk in 2.1 innings, while striking out 3.

Home runs

ACL P.J. Hilson 2 (9)
ACL Derwin Laya (3)
DSL Guillermo Williamson (7)

Tuesday schedule

Sacramento: vs. the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks), 6:35 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ the Akron RubberDucks (Guardians), 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: @ the Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels), 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ the Modesto Nuts (Mariners), 7:05 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: vs. the ACL Giants Black
ACL Black: vs. the ACL Giants Orange
DSL Orange: vs. the DSL Cardinals
DSL Black: vs. the DSL Twins