Only two of the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates are still playing, but they were both in action on Tuesday. Let’s jump in.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (62-79)
Sacramento River Cats lost to the Salt Lake Bees (Angels) 7-2
A pretty uneventful game for the River Cats, who didn’t do much of note on either side of the diamond. The best offense came from center fielder Bryce Johnson, who hit 3-5 with a double and stole his 30th base of the season.
Johnson is having a highly mediocre offensive season — .769 OPS, 98 wRC+, and looked pretty overmatched in his MLB stints — but it’s certainly worth noting that the Giants have DFA’d a lot of people while keeping him on the 40-man roster. Staying there through the offseason might prove a challenge, but it seems the Giants are still pretty interested in his defense and baserunning and, if you’ve watched the Giants this year, you probably can tell why!
Also nice offensive days for left fielder Austin Dean, who hit 2-5 with a double, and second baseman Ford Proctor, who hit 1-2 with 2 walks. Dean has an .808 OPS and a 98 wRC+, while Proctor has an .812 OPS and a 106 wRC+.
Right fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL) made his return to Sacramento after being optioned, and hit 1-4 with 2 strikeouts.
The pitching was bad, and recorded just 4 strikeouts all night. RHP Zack Littell, who I’m guessing is about to see his tenure in the organization end, gave up 2 runs in an inning, while RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 16 CPL) gave up 3. The future is still exceptionally bright for Dabovich, who will be expected to play a role in the Giants bullpen next season, in what will be just his 3rd season of professional baseball.
A nice scoreless inning for RHP Ryan Walker, who bounced back from a tough outing as he tries to find his footing in AAA.
Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 9-3
Division Series Game 1 - Erie leads 1-0 (best of 3)
With the loss, the Flying Squirrels are only promised 1 more game this season, which makes me sad. I hope they win that game, so they can play more. This is a fun team.
Despite Richmond giving up 9 runs, it was still a special start from LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 5 CPL), the runaway top pitching prospect in the organization. Harrison showed the things he needs to work on, as he gave up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs in just 3 innings, and needed 71 pitches to get through those 3 innings.
He also showed the things that have made him one of the most exciting prospects in baseball, as all 9 outs he recorded were by way of strikeout. All 9! After posting the highest K/9 rate in the Minors since at least the 1950s, Harrison has kept it going in the postseason. It’s technically possible to average more than 27 K/9 but uhh ... yeah, that’s about as good as it gets right there.
Kyle Harrison strikes out three in the first and we’re under way in Erie pic.twitter.com/gZ7Fhg2vv0— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) September 20, 2022
Also pitching well was RHP Blake Rivera, who struck out both batters he faced in just his 2nd appearance since late July. Hopefully Rivera can stay healthy in 2023, because he was exceptional in admittedly limited action in June and July, allowing 10 hits, 9 walks, and 1 earned run in 19 innings, with 21 strikeouts.
And a nice outing from LHP Chris Wright (No. 29 CPL), who I’m guessing will be protected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, start 2023 in AAA, and be a part of the MLB bullpen next year.
Harrison wasn’t the only top prospect playing in this one, as designated hitter Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL), the team’s consensus top hitting prospect, made his AA debut. He hit 1-4 with 2 strikeouts.
Marco Luciano singles home a run to bring it a little closer— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) September 21, 2022
It’s 6-2 in the 6th inning pic.twitter.com/r0RTDKcNYL
The best offensive game came from catcher Brandon Martorano, who hit 1-2 with a home run and 2 walks.
With so many notable catchers in the system, Martorano flies under the radar a bit, but he showed some intriguing things this year, including a little bit of pop.
Third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 24 CPL) hit 2-4 with a double, and continues to look more than at home in AA after a mid-late season promotion. I’m guessing he starts 2023 in AA but it won’t take many nice games before he’s experiencing the glory that is Sacramento.
AA Brandon Martorano (11)
Sacramento: @ the Salt Lake Bees (Angels), 5:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: Season over
San Jose: Season over
ACL Orange: Season over
ACL Black: Season over
DSL Orange: Season over
DSL Black: Season over