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Minor League round up, August 28

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

P.J. Hilson swinging a bat while in high school
Outfielder P.J. Hilson had a walk-off hit to win the ACL championship
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the first time in a long time, there are no Minor League Baseball games for the San Francisco Giants today. But there were five games yesterday, including the conclusion of the Arizona Complex League season.

Let’s jump in.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (55-68)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) 5-2
Box score

Baseball is unpredictable, which is how the River Cats ended up doing almost all of their damage from the back of the lineup. Hitters 7 through 9 had all 3 of the team’s extra-base hits, and 4 of the team’s 5 RBI.

Right fielder Austin Dean got the party started with a 2-run homer in the 2nd, giving him an .863 OPS and 102 wRC+.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Giants tried to keep him around next year for some additional depth.

Also homering was shortstop Dixon Machado.

After a slow start to his Sacramento tenure, Machado has caught fire in the last 8 games, hitting 10-26 with 3 home runs, 3 doubles, and 1 walk.

And finally, catcher Jhonny Pereda hit 1-2 with a double and a walk, driving his OPS up to .749 and his wRC+ to 92. He’s been a decent depth piece at the position.

RHP Ronnie Williams made his 4th appearance for Sacramento this year, and it was a quality outing, as he gave up just 4 hits, 0 walks, and 2 runs in 5 innings, with 5 strikeouts. RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 16 CPL) had his 2nd-consecutive strong outing, striking out a batter in a perfect inning. His introduction to AAA didn’t go smoothly, but he’s starting to figure it out.

AA Richmond (57-62)

Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Akron RubberDucks (Guardians) 5-2
Box score

The Flying Squirrels played the RubberDucks 6 times in this series, and they lost 5-2 in 3 of those games. Go figure.

It’s always an event when LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 5 CPL) takes the mound. For the 2nd straight game, Harrison wasn’t at his sharpest, though he brought his strikeout stuff as he always does. He K’d 7 batters in 5 innings, but gave up 3 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs.

It’s pretty obvious what Harrison’s positives are, as he has a 2.96 ERA, a 3.82 FIP, and 108 strikeouts in 73 innings since getting promoted. It’s always obvious what his weaknesses are, as this was his 9th time in his 15 games with Richmond where he’s issued at least 3 walks, and in total he’s given up 36 free passes in those 73 innings.

He’s become a top 2 prospect in the system, but it’s clear where the Giants are hoping to see improvement before he makes his MLB debut.

The offense belonged to shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 35 CPL), who hit 2-4 with a triple and a walk, and drove in both of the team’s runs. His season numbers don’t stand out — he has a .762 OPS and a 107 wRC+, but he is really putting things together to end the year.

Fitzgerald has been red hot in August, sporting a .983 OPS. Since July 2 he’s hitting 48-159 with 12 home runs, 1 triple, 7 doubles, and 10 walks. It’s also come with a huge dropoff in his strikeouts. Here are his K numbers by month:

April: 32 strikeouts in 62 at-bats
May: 31 strikeouts in 84 at-bats
June: 35 strikeouts in 77 at-bats
July: 30 strikeouts in 74 at-bats
August: 20 strikeouts in 85 at-bats

If he keeps this up, I’d guess that he begins 2023 in AAA.

Also a good day for catcher Brandon Martorano, who hit 2-4 with 2 stolen bases, bringing his OPS to .720 and his wRC+ to 96.

High-A Eugene (71-46)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels) 6-3
Box score

Pretty much all the offensive work was done by someone who didn’t even start the game: left fielder Carter Williams. Williams replaced Jairo Pomares (No. 7 CPL) after just 1 at-bat ... I haven’t seen anything about Pomares, but hopefully he’s okay.

Williams came into the game and hit 3-3 with a double and 2 RBI. He has a .730 OPS and a 100 wRC+ on the season, but it’s been a .757 OPS since returning from a wildly successful stint in Low-A.

Williams’ day accounted for 3 of the team’s 4 hits. The other was a double off the bat of designated hitter Jared Dupere, who collected his 2nd hit in his 3rd game since a promotion.

A bullpen game, with the Emeralds turning to 8 different pitchers. A good day for some older players trying to prove themselves in the lower Minors, as RHP Tanner Andrews, RHP Nick Morreale, and LHP Daniel Tillo all had very nice outings.

Low-A San Jose (67-53)

San Jose Giants beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 5-4
Box score

A late rally for the Baby Giants, as they scored 4 of their 5 runs in the final 2 innings.

Shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL) is a certified doubles machine. In addition to being very young (he doesn’t turn 20 until March) and a defensive stud at a premier position, Arteaga seems to hit doubles all day.

He hit just 1-4, but his double gave him 5 in as many games, and a whopping 34 on the season, while pushing his OPS to .752 and his wRC+ to 96.

But for as good of a day as he had, it was nothing compared to left fielder Damon Dues, an undrafted free agent from last year. Dues hit 1-2 with a double, 2 walks, and a stolen base. He’s only 7 games into his Low-A career following a recent promotion, but is hitting 6-21 with 2 doubles, 10 walks, and just 2 strikeouts.

Speaking of 2021 UDFAs, RHP Joe Kemlage made his 10th appearance for San Jose, and it was his best, as he gave up just 2 hits in 4 scoreless innings, while striking out 6 batters. His season numbers are bad, but that’s a big step in the right direction.

Not a step in the right direction for RHP Eric Silva (No. 38 CPL), who gave up 3 hits, 4 walks, a hit batter, and 3 runs in just 3 innings, while striking out only 1. It bumped his ERA all the way up to 5.88, and his FIP to 5.00.

ACL Black

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

Champions! The ACL Giants Black overcame a 1-0 hole in a best-of-3 series to win, and they are now champions of the Arizona Complex League. Thus ends the half season of rookie ball and the Dominican Summer League.

They rode an amazing start by RHP Nomar Medina (19, 2020 J2), who put the feather in the cap of a brilliant 2nd professional season. After finishing the regular season with a 2.22 ERA, a 3.23 FIP, and 70 strikeouts to just 16 walks in 65 innings, Medina put the team on his back on Sunday, throwing 5 scoreless innings in which he allowed just 1 hit and 2 walks, while striking out 7 batters. Looking forward to seeing how he does in San Jose next year ... or perhaps next week, we’ll see.

The offense was led by 2 players: center fielder Wade Meckler (22, 2022 8th-round) and left fielder P.J. Hilson (22, 2018 6th-round).

Meckler hit 2-4 and stole a base. In 12 regular season games after getting drafted, Meckler had an .855 OPS and a 149 wRC+, and in the postseason hit 7-16 with 2 triples and 2 walks.

Hilson hit 2-3 with a double and was hit by a pitch. He sported a .944 OPS and a 151 wRC+ this year, and in the postseason hit 8-15 with 4 doubles and a triple. And he ended the season in dramatic fashion, with a walk-off single!

Home runs

AAA Austin Dean (16)
AAA Dixon Machado (3)


Fresh off the aforementioned brilliant ACL season, outfielder P.J. Hilson has been promoted to Low-A San Jose to finish off the season.

Monday schedule

Sacramento: Off
Richmond: Off
Eugene: Off
San Jose: Off