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Minor League round up, September 6

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

Shane Matheny preparing to make a throw
Shane Matheny hit 2-4 with a home run and a walk for AA Richmond

Four games in action for the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates on Tuesday. Let’s dive in.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (58-72)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s) 8-1
Box score

RHP Wei-Chieh Huang kept his fabulous second half of the season going, and then the wheels fell off for Sacramento. So let’s just focus on him.

After a brief moment of confusion where Huang was removed as the listed starter — prompting speculation that he could be with the Giants for their Thursday doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers — Huang was returned to the lineup card and pitched excellently. He went 5 strong innings, surrendering only 2 hits and 1 run, while striking out 7 batters.

His overall numbers aren’t very good, as he has a 4.24 ERA and a 4.66 FIP, with more than 4 walks per 9 innings, but look at his line in 7 starts since returning from the IL: 28.2 innings, 17 hits, 8 walks, 4 runs, 2 earned runs, 31 strikeouts.

Sure, he’s a AAA journeyman who will turn 29 later this month and has only pitched 5.2 innings at the MLB level, but I’m sure he has the eye of the Giants right now.

The rest of the pitchers struggled, especially RHP Michael Stryffeler, who has been awful since coming over to the Giants in the Curt Casali trade. Here’s Stryffeler’s line through 11 games with Sacramento: 9.1 innings, 6 hits, 16 walks, 13 runs, 14 strikeouts. The good news is this is Stryffeler’s first pass at AAA, so some struggles are expected. The bad news is .... well you just saw the bad news. It’s 16 walks in 9.1 innings.

No big offensive days. Third baseman Jason Vosler, designated hitter Willie Calhoun, and shortstop Ford Proctor all reached base twice while doubling. First baseman Jose Rojas, who I may or may not have known the Giants had claimed off of waivers, hit 0-4 with 2 strikeouts in his debut with the organization. Center fielder Heliot Ramos (No. 4 CPL), who has been showing some improvements since taking his little sabbatical with the coaching staff, took a step backwards by hitting 0-4 with the strikeout hat trick.

AA Richmond (60-66)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) 7-3
Box score

Center fielder Shane Matheny might be disappointed that his promotion to AAA only lasted 15 games before returning to AA, but he’s focused on doing what he needs to do to get back to Sacramento. He was the star of this game, hitting 2-4 with a walk, and giving the Flying Squirrels some insurance runs with an 8th-inning home run.

Matheny struggled a bit after returning to Richmond, but is now starting to show off again. It’s been a great year for him, as he has an .812 OPS and a 127 wRC+.

Speaking of great years ... another round of applause for third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 24 CPL), who hit 2-5 with a double. One of the breakout stars of 2022, the defensive ace is hitting as well as he’s fielding right now, with a 1.018 OPS and a 176 wRC+ since getting promoted. He’s doing an amazing job hitting for average (.368 batting average) and power (13 extra-base hits in 21 games).

Another strong day for shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 35 CPL), who hit 2-4 with a walk. His season numbers are mostly mediocre — he has a .757 OPS and a 106 wRC+ — but he’s been hitting the ball very well lately. Since July 10, Fitzgerald is hitting 49-160 with 11 home runs, 1 triple, 8 doubles, and 11 walks. The strikeouts still need to come down — he has 48 during that time, and a 33.3% rate on the season — but he’s showing some good things.

RHP Keaton Winn made his 4th start since getting promoted and, after 2 very rough outings, he had a nice showing on the mound. He went 5 innings, giving up 6 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs, while striking out 5. That’s nice progress for him.

RHP Evan Gates, an undrafted free agent last year, continues to excel, as he struck out 3 batters in 2 scoreless innings. After tearing through Low-A and High-A to start the year, Gates is doing the same in AA, where he’s given up just 1 hit, 1 walk, and 0 runs in 5 innings, while striking out 9.

High-A Eugene (77-47)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays) 8-5
Box score

Jared Dupere, last year’s 13th-round pick, had himself one heckuva year in the ACL and in Low-A. And in his 8th game since getting promoted to High-A, the left fielder absolutely showed out, hitting 2-4 with a home run, a double, a walk, and a stolen base. He’s quickly gaining attention.

But while Dupere had the best offensive day for the Emeralds, it was far from the only good one. Designated hitter Hunter Bishop (No. 10 CPL), who has been struggling with injuries and has only played in 7 games since the All-Star break (1 of which was in the ACL), put on a show, hitting 4-5 and stealing 3 bases, which gives him 20 on the year.

Bishop’s career has been a bit of a disappointment to this point, but he has a .742 OPS and a 108 wRC+, and seems to be getting better every time he gets on the field.

Recently-promoted center fielder Grant McCray (No. 34 CPL) had a stellar all-around game, hitting 2-4 with a walk, a hit by pitch, a stolen base, and an outfield assist. Add in a 2-hit day with a double for third baseman Luis Toribio (No. 39 CPL), who has a .737 OPS and a 104 wRC+, and a 1-hit, 2-walk day for right fielder Luis Matos (No. 3 CPL), and it was a good day for the Eugene hitters.

The pitching was less good, as RHP Carson Seymour, making his 6th appearance since coming over in the Darin Ruf trade, struggled. But the bullpen was elite as RHPs Brooks Crawford, Ty Weber, and Nick Morreale, and LHP Juan Sanchez combined for 7 strikeouts in 4 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits and 0 walks.

Low-A San Jose (72-55)

San Jose Giants lost to the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies) 12-6
Box score

It’s still too early for grand statements, but I’m beginning to think that drafting left fielder Wade Meckler in the 8th round in July was a pretty good move by the Giants. Meckler dominated rookie ball in his short stint there before heading to Low-A when the ACL season ended. He hit 1-3 with a double and 2 walks in this game, bringing his 6-game San Jose tally up to 8-19 with 5 doubles, 6 walks, and just 4 strikeouts. Heck yeah.

Shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 12 CPL) also hit 1-3 with 2 walks, and is currently sporting a .766 OPS and a 99 wRC+ to go along with his sensational defense. And if you’re in need of home runs, third baseman Yorlis Rodriguez has you covered, as he bopped a solo shot in the 2nd inning, giving him a .722 OPS and an 80 wRC+.

On the whole, the Baby Giants did a tremendous job with plate discipline, drawing 9 walks and striking out just 5 times.

The pitching was bad, with LHP Seth Lonsway, RHP Yoniel Ramirez, and RHP Ben Madison all getting rocked. RHP Julio Rodriguez had the lone good day on the mound, striking out 2 batters in 2 scoreless innings, with just 1 hit. He’ll never be as good as the other person named Julio Rodriguez, but he does have 61 strikeouts in 45.2 innings.

Despite the loss, the Baby Giants clinched a playoff spot yesterday.

Home runs

AA Shane Matheny (12)
High-A Jared Dupere (1)
Low-A Yorlis Rodriguez (16)

Wednesday schedule

Sacramento: vs. the Las Vegas Aviators (A’s), 6:35 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ the Bowie Baysox (Orioles), 3:35 p.m. Pt
Eugene: @ the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays), 7:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: vs. the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies), 1:00 p.m. PT
ACL Orange: Season over
ACL Black: Season over
DSL Orange: Season over
DSL Black: Season over