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Minor League round up, August 8

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

Wade Meckler reacting at second base in a colege game
Recent draftee Wade Meckler hit 1-2 with 3 walks in his pro debut

The San Francisco Giants A-ball affiliates were all off on Monday, but their Rookie League and Dominican League teams were in action, and a lot of new prospects made their professional debuts.

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 (11-33)

ACL Giants Orange beat the ACL Rockies 5-1 (8 innings)
Box score

‘Tis the season for drafted players and undrafted free agents to start getting integrated into the Minors through rookie ball. The Giants Orange squad had a pair of draftees and a pair of UDFAs in their lineup on Monday, and one of them really stood out: left fielder Matt Higgins (23, 2022 UDFA).

Only time will tell if Higgins will beat the odds and have a career in the Majors, but he’ll always remember his first game of professional baseball, when he hit 2-3 with a triple and a walk. The rest of the team only had 3 hits (all singles) and 2 walks, yet they still managed to put up 5 runs, with 4 of them coming in the 8th inning, which was the extra inning.

Center fielder Carter Howell (23, 2022 UDFA) hit 0-3, but filled in the box score in other ways, with a walk, a stolen base, and an outfield assist.

The pitchers combined to strike out just 4 batters, but also allowed only 3 hits (all singles) and 3 walks. RHP Luis Moreno (24, 2016 J2) allowed neither a hit nor a walk in 3 innings, while striking out 2, lowering his ERA to 3.27, though his FIP still sits at 4.82.

ACL Black (29-14)

ACL Giants Black beat the ACL D-backs Black 14-5 (7 innings)
Box score

The Giants Black team was also full of new players, with 3 recently-drafted youngsters populating the lineup. And a pair of them absolutely had themselves a day, and a debut to remember as the team put up 14 runs in just 6 innings of work.

Second baseman Thomas Gavello (21, 2022 13th-round) hit 2-3 on the day, with a 3-run home run that was part of a 9-run 6th inning. Any time you homer in a debut, things are looking good. Also worth noting that Gavello played the infield in this game. He was the player who never played catcher in college, but was announced on draft day — and is listed on the Minor League page — as a catcher. We’ll see where he actually plays!

And center fielder Wade Meckler (22, 2022 8th-round) hit 1-2 but drew 3 walks. We know how much the Giants love that sort of thing.

But it wasn’t just the debuting players that showed off. Right fielder P.J. Hilson (21, 2018 6th-round) had a spectacular day, hitting 4-5 with a home run. With a .947 OPS and a 150 wRC+, it might be fun to see what Hilson can do in San Jose before the season concludes.

And designated hitter Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL), playing in his 3rd rehab game, hit 1-2 with a double, a walk, and a hit by pitch. He should be back in Eugene before long.

Not much of note on the pitching front. LHP Esmerlin Vinicio (No. 40 CPL, 19, 2019 J2), who struggled mightily in Low-A this year (6.46 ERA, 5.75 FIP), made his season debut in the ACL after getting demoted. He struck out 2 in an inning of work, allowing a hit and an unearned run.

DSL Orange (20-26)

DSL Giants Orange beat the DSL Twins 9-2
Box score

Lots of fun offensive performances on a day where the Giants Orange team had 14 hits and drew 9 walks. The biggest hit was a 3-run home run courtesy of Juan Perez (17, 2021 J2), who also drew a walk. Perez started the year slow — he has a .554 OPS and a 64 wRC+ — but he’s starting to find his rhythm. Exciting stuff for the player seen as the organization’s 2nd-best international signing this period.

Speaking of first-year pros who are starting to figure it out, second baseman/shortstop Dennys Riera (17, 2021 J2) hit 2-5 with a double. His numbers aren’t good — .486 OPS, 33 wRC+ — but after hitting 0-26 with 1 walk in his first 10 games, he’s gone 9-43 with 2 home runs, 4 doubles, and 4 walks since. Progress.

Also a nice day for right fielder Erick Arosemena (17, 2021 J2) who hit 1-3 with a double, 2 walks, and a stolen base, raising his OPS to .553 and his wRC+ to 52. And shortstop/second baseman Jose Ramos (19, 2019 J2) hit 1-2 with 3 walks, bringing his OPS up to .797 and his wRC+ to 120. Will be fun to see him in the ACL next season.

The pitchers suppressed runs despite allowing more walks (9) than they had strikeouts (7). RHP Melvin Pineda (18, 2021 J2) allowed just 2 hits and 1 unearned run in 5.1 innings, though he struggled with command, issuing 4 walks and hitting a batter. Still, a 3.34 ERA and a 3.56 FIP are nice things!

LHP Argenis Perez (19, 2019 J2) had one of his better outings of the year, giving up just 1 hit in 1.2 innings while striking out 3. Not a great season for him (6.00 ERA, 4.98 FIP), but a nice game.

DSL Black (17-31)

DSL Giants Black lost to the DSL Angels 11-5
Box score

Very awful game for the Giants Black pitchers, though 1 of the 6 arms they used managed to hold down the fort, as RHP Jan Caraballo (18, 2020 J2) gave up just 1 hit in 3 scoreless innings, though he didn’t record any strikeouts. He has just 10 strikeouts in 16.1 innings this year, against 12 walks.

But a few nice offensive performances. First baseman Wueslly Lespe (19, 2019 J2) was the star of the day, hitting 1-2 with a home run and 2 walks, raising his OPS to .828 and his wRC+ to 128. That’s 2 straight years hitting the ball quite well in the DSL, so he’s another one who will be fun to see in Arizona in 2023.

Right fielder Fabio Villadiego (18, 2020 J2) reached base 3 times, with 2 singles and a walk, which bumped his OPS up to .724 and his wRC+ to 107.

Home runs

ACL P.J. Hilson (7)
ACL Thomas Gavello (1)
DSL Juan Perez (2)
DSL Wueslly Lespe (2)


The 60-day Injured List ended the season for a few notable DSL prospects, most importantly shortstop Ryan Reckley, the team’s No. 11 prospect in our CPL.

Tuesday schedule

Sacramento: @ the Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 5:35 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox), 3:00 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 6:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. the Stockton Ports (A’s), 6:30 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: vs. the ACL D-backs Red
ACL Black: vs. the ACL Rockies
DSL Orange: vs. the DSL Tigers 2
DSL Black: vs. the DSL Rockies