The ACL and DSL seasons may be over, but Minor League Baseball marches on for the San Francisco Giants A-ball affiliates. Tuesday was a fun day. Let’s chronicle it.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (55-69)
AAA Sacramento River Cats lost to the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) 8-5
Another outing with a lot of runs for RHP Sean Hjelle (No. 30 CPL), though it came with some encouraging peripherals. He may have allowed 4 runs in 5.1 innings, but he didn’t walk any batters and he struck out 6. That’s been his weakness this year — he has just 75 strikeouts to 37 walks in 95 innings — so very good to see. Now it’s time to work on that ERA and FIP, which sit at 5.02 and 5.33, respectively.
A tough relief appearance for RHP Michael Stryffeler, who was part of the Curt Casali trade. In his 9th appearance with Sacramento, Stryffeler walked 4 of the 5 batters that he faced. He’s now issued 15 free passes and allowed 9 runs in 8 innings since joining the organization.
On the offensive front it was yet another home run from catcher Andrew Knapp, who scored 3 with a big fly.
Knapp, crackle, POP!— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) August 31, 2022
Knapp’s 3-run shot puts us on the board and in the lead! pic.twitter.com/Fpqny32eum
After having a .682 OPS, with 4 home runs in 88 plate appearances with Tacoma this year, Knapp has been lights out since signing with the Giants organization. He has a 1.007 OPS and 8 home runs in 102 plate appearances in Sacramento, good for a 142 wRC+. Could he end up being the team’s backup catcher next year?
It’s been a similar story for second baseman Ford Proctor, who also homered and drew a walk.
A doctor swears to do no harm.— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) August 31, 2022
A Proctor swears to harm all baseballs.
Proctor pulls us within 3! pic.twitter.com/DiMG3ZR8yB
Proctor has been a sneakily excellent pickup for the Giants, as they only gave up Jeremy Walker for a player who Fangraphs has slotted as their No. 14 prospect. He had a .635 OPS, 78 wRC+, and just 6 home runs in 311 plate appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays’ AAA affiliate this year. Since coming to Sacramento he has a .796 OPS, a 93 wRC+, and 5 home runs in just 71 plate appearances. Everything looks great except his batting average, which I wouldn’t be concerned about: his hit tool is his best tool, and he’s rocking an unsustainably-low .189 BABIP, after never being below .304 at any other stop. Very exciting.
Right fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL) played in his 4th game since his little coaching hiatus, and while he hit 0-3 he did draw a walk and didn’t strike out. Designated hitter Willie Calhoun hit 2-3 with a walk.
AA Richmond (57-63)
Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 8-4
Home run season has returned for first baseman Sean Roby, who is 2nd in the organization (at any level) in home runs this year, and now has blown past the Richmond single-season franchise record.
Yet despite that, a slump and an injury made Tuesday’s home run Roby’s first since July 9 — a span of 52 days, and 16 consecutive homerless games for the power bat. Roby has been fixing his contact issues after being the epitome of an all-or-nothing swinger earlier in the year. He has a 5-game hitting streak, and has recorded a hit in 9 of the 11 games he’s played in this month. That’s a stark contrast to, say, April, when he played 18 games and had just 15 hits ... 8 of which were home runs.
Also homering was left fielder Brett Auerbach (No. 28 CPL), who hit 1-2 with a walk before leaving the game. Hopefully he didn’t leave due to an injury.
It’s an Auer-bomb pic.twitter.com/gEG69Xe4W1— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) August 31, 2022
The walk issues of RHP Kai-Wei Teng (No. 44 CPL) reared their head in a very ugly way. He issued 6 free passes in just 3 innings, to go along with 4 hits and 5 runs, though he struck out 5. His strikeout-to-walk ratio represents a player with a very high ceiling and a very low floor: he has 144 Ks and 71 BBs in 119.1 innings.
RHP Nick Avila struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit. He has 19 strikeouts to 5 walks in 17 innings since getting promoted, and has a 0.53 ERA and a 2.06 FIP.
High-A Eugene (72-46)
Eugene Emeralds beat the Everett AquaSox (Mariners) 6-1
Shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL) is the organization’s top prospect and don’t you forget it. Luciano gave the Emeralds all the runs they needed in this one ... he only hit 1-4, but that “1” was a 3rd-inning grand slam.
An injury has robbed us of the chance to lee Luciano promoted, and has made his year look worse than it is. But an .863 OPS and a 137 wRC+ for a 20-year old shortstop in High-A is pretty darn good if you ask me.
Speaking of top prospects, right fielder Luis Matos (No. 3 CPL) hit 2-4 as he continues to turn around his season. He’s hitting 30-97 in August, with 12 extra-base hits and just 16 strikeouts, good for an .859 OPS.
Second baseman Hayden Cantrelle made his Eugene debut after 35 excellent games in Low-A, and he introduced himself with a bang, hitting 1-2 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base. Center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL), another recent promotee, also had a very strong game, hitting 1-2 with 2 walks and a stolen base.
Bit of an odd start for RHP Jake Wong, who gave up 3 hits and 3 walks but just 1 run in 4.2 innings, while striking out 6. Like Teng, that’s been Wong’s season ... he has 101 strikeouts in 90.1 innings, but has issued 40 walks.
The bullpen was excellent, giving up just 2 baserunners in 4.1 scoreless innings. RHP Brooks Crawford and LHP Juan Sanchez both struck out 2 batters in perfect outings. The former has 60 strikeouts to 20 walks in 53.2 innings, while the latter has 71 strikeouts to 26 walks in 49.2 innings.
Low-A San Jose (67-54)
San Jose Giants lost to the Stockton Ports (A’s) 7-6 (10 innings)
Welcome to A-ball left fielder Wade Meckler! July’s 8th-round pick, who performed beautifully in the ACL, made his Low-A debut and put on a show, hitting 2-4 with 2 doubles, a walk, and a stolen base. My goodness what a debut!
Not to be outdone by the new kid, right fielder Victor Bericoto — who is still a few months away from being able to legally drink — hit 2-3 with a double and 2 walks, raising his OPS to .742 and his wRC+ to 96. And another nice day for shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL), who hit 1-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch, bumping his OPS to .754 and his wRC+ to 97. I won’t tell you how to prospect watch, but there are very few players in the organization that I’m as excited about as Arteaga.
Not a good start for RHP Nick Sinacola, but an excellent outing for RHP Willian Suarez, who retired all 6 batters he faced, 5 by way of strikeout. He’s struggled with walks and run prevention since a recent promotion, but has 20 strikeouts in just 9 innings. RHP Yoniel Ramirez continues to look comfortable following a recent promotion, as he struck out 2 in 1.2 perfect innings.
AAA Andrew Knapp (12)
AAA Ford Proctor (11)
AA Sean Roby (24)
AA Brett Auerbach (16)
High-A Marco Luciano (10)
I mentioned a few debuting players, but with the ACL season ending on Sunday, a slew of players were promoted to Low-A, which bumped a handful of folks up to High-A.
Some new faces in San Jose— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) August 30, 2022
Today’s roster moves: pic.twitter.com/DuLTxizzKQ
And in happy news, it would seem like AA outfielder Vaun Brown’s injury is fairly mild.
FWIW, Vaun Brown hit in cage today (as per video) and was shagging some in OF. So hopefully won't be out of action too long.— Roger Munter (@rog61) August 30, 2022
Sacramento: @ the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners), 7:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals), 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. the Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 6:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ the Stockton Ports (A’s), 7:05 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: Season over
ACL Black: Season over
DSL Orange: Season over
DSL Black: Season over