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Minor League round up, September 11

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

Aeverson Arteaga making a throw across his body
Aeverson Arteaga had a 3-run home run for Low-A San Jose

A fun day on the farm for the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates. 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 (60-75)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) 7-6
Box score

Home run central for the River Cats, as they put 3 balls over the fence en route to a series finale win. The big one was a 3-run shot by designated hitter Willie Calhoun, which topped off a 5-run, go-ahead 7th inning.

Calhoun also singled on the day, bringing his OPS in Sacramento up to .851 and his wRC+ to 115. That’s significantly better than it was with the Texas Rangers AAA affiliate before the trade.

Third baseman José Rojas also homered and drew a walk in his 6th game since the Giants claimed him off of waivers.

After hitting 0-8 with 2 strikeouts in the 1st pair of games with Sacramento, he’s 7-15 with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts in 4 games since.

Also homering was left fielder Jason Vosler, raising his OPS to .770 and his wRC+ to 88.

It will be interesting to see if Vosler can survive the 40-man movement this offseason. On the plus side, he’s been excellent in a small sample size in the Majors this year, and one of the team’s rare left-handed hitting infield options. On the other hand, he’s 29, has all of 156 MLB plate appearances in his career, and is having a bad season in the Minors.

It was a rare off day for RHP Wei-Chieh Huang. Huang had given up just 2 runs in 7 starts and 28.2 innings since returning from the Injured List, but slipped up in this one, allowing 3 runs in 2.1 innings. LHP Joey Marciano had another tough outing as his season continues to go downhill following a great start, as he allowed 2 hits and a 1 walk in an inning, resulting in 2 runs (the good news: the runs were unearned. The bad news: because of an error that he made).

But a great showing for Thomas Szapucki, who struck out all 3 batters he faced. He was awful in his short stint in San Francisco, but has 15 strikeouts to 3 walks in 8.1 Sacramento innings.

AA Richmond (63-68)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) 9-6
Box score

Good days for a pair of infielders who have their sights set on a 2022 MLB debut. Second baseman Will Wilson (No. 18 CPL), who is finding his groove after spending 2 months on the IL, hit 2-5 with a go-ahead home run in the 9th inning.

Wilson, who had recently been promoted to AAA prior to the injury but now slots back in at AA, has a .780 OPS and a 114 wRC+ ... he also has a nice 14.1% walk rate in Richmond.

And third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 24 CPL) continues to look right at home since a recent promotion, as he had a 3-hit day, which raised his OPS to .951 and his wRC+ to 159. He couldn’t be doing much better 24 games into his AA career.

Also a 3-hit day for right fielder Jacob Heyward, who drew a walk as well.

There’s a pretty decent chance that Heyward’s time in the organization is coming to an end, but he’s finishing things up on a very high note, as he had a .814 OPS in August and has a 1.059 OPS so far in September.

RHP Keaton Winn made his 5th start since getting promoted and it was an excellent outing. He gave up just 3 baserunners in 4.1 scoreless innings, while striking out 5 batters. It lowered his ERA to 3.91 and his FIP to 4.25.

RHP Nick Avila struck out 2 in a perfect inning, giving him 25 strikeouts to 5 walks in 24 AA innings.

High-A Eugene (81-48)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays) 9-3
Box score

The Emeralds capped off a season-ending 6-game series against Vancouver with a win, giving them a 5-1 series victory. And now they turn around to start the league Championship Series ... also against Vancouver.

This was a pretty funny offensive game for the Emeralds, who had just 6 hits ... but drew a staggering 14 walks! Third baseman Damon Dues led the way with the free pass hat trick, while also hitting a single and stealing a base ... 6 games into his High-A career, he’s hitting 5-11 with 6 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 3 stolen bases.

Center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL), shortstop Hayden Cantrelle, and first baseman Max Wright all had 1-hit, 2-walk games, with Cantrelle and Wright doubling, and Cantrelle and McCray stealing a base. Cantrelle (.903 OPS, 155 wRC+) and McCray (.810 OPS, 132 wRC+) are doing awesomely in their stints with Eugene so far.

No notable pitching performances, as RHPs Jake Wong, Abel Adames, and Brett Standlee were all fine, but not great.

Low-A San Jose (74-58)

San Jose Giants lost to the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies) 12-10
Box score

The Baby Giants also finished the regular season against a team that they’ll face in the Championship Series. Although unlike Eugene, San Jose lost this series 4-2.

San Jose dug an early hole in this game, as RHP Mikell Manzano gave up 7 innings while failing to get out of the 1st inning. It was just his 2nd appearance in San Jose, following a brilliant season in the ACL (and an excellent first appearance in Low-A), so certainly not indicative of how talented the 19 year old is.

But it did dig a hole, and the next 3 pitchers struggled quite a bit as well. One of those pitchers was RHP Trevor Hildenberger, who has been injured all year — this was just his 2nd appearance after a rehab game in the ACL.

Then the bullpen settled in, and there were nice performances from RHPs Jose Cruz and Willian Suarez, the former of which struck out 2 in 1.1 perfect innings, and the latter of which struck out 2 in 1 perfect inning.

On offense, the big hit came from shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL). Arteaga only hit 1-5, but he had a 3-run home run, and ends the regular season with a .776 OPS and a 101 wRC+.

Having an above-average, even if only nominally, offensive season as a defensively-elite 19-year old shortstop constitutes a phenomenal season for Arteaga in my book.

Speaking of phenomenal seasons, left fielder/center fielder Wade Meckler hit 3-4 with a walk. July’s 8th-round pick finished his short A-ball season hitting 18-41 with 1 home run, 7 doubles, 9 walks, and 8 strikeouts. Outstanding.

Home runs

AAA José Rojas (20)
AAA Jason Vosler (18)
AAA Willie Calhoun (10)
AA Will Wilson (9)
Low-A Aeverson Arteaga (14)

Monday schedule

Sacramento: Off
Richmond: Off
Eugene: vs. the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 7:35 p.m. PT — Championship Game 1
San Jose: Off
ACL Orange: Season over
ACL Black: Season over
DSL Orange: Season over
DSL Black: Season over