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Minor League round up, April 11

The latest scores and news from the Giants Minor League affiliates.

Kai-Wei Teng holding a glove over his face and posing for a photo during WBC media day
RHP Kai-Wei Teng struck out 10 batters in 4 scoreless innings for AA Richmond
Photo by Mary DeCicco/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images

After a day off on Monday, all four of the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates were back in action on Tuesday. That makes me happy!

Let’s jump into the action.

Link to the 2023 McCovey Chronicles Community Prospect List (CPL)

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.

AAA Sacramento (5-5)

Sacramento River Cats beat the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) 14-4
Box score

The Giants covet players who can walk, and that was pretty clear by the day their AAA affiliate had, as the River Cats batters combined to draw a whopping 12 free passes, while also getting plunked 3 times. That’s how you score 14 runs without hitting any homers and only having 3 extra-base hits on the day.

The star performance came from recently-optioned first baseman Matt Beaty, a player the team is clearly high on given their Opening Day trade for him, and who will likely be back on the MLB roster plenty of times this year. Beaty made his Sacramento debut on Tuesday and stood in the batter’s box 6 times: he was hit by a pitch twice, he singled twice, and he doubled twice. A triple-double, if you will.

He also made a lovely defensive play.

But the best walk day went to shortstop Will Wilson (No. 21 CPL) who had the hat trick while striking out just once. That’s nice progress for Wilson, who is relatively new to AAA, and who had just 3 walks to 11 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances before Tuesday. His bat still is struggling — he has just a .125 average and .281 slugging percentage — but the Giants will be happy with a stronger process, and assume the results will follow.

And another strong day from right fielder Clint Coulter, who hit 1-4 with a double and 2 walks. He continues to look like an excellent AAAA depth piece, as the 29-year old is now rocking a 1.018 OPS and a 154 wRC+.

Third baseman Casey Schmitt (No. 3 CPL) continues to acquiesce well to AAA, and hit 2-5 with a walk.

The pitching was much less notable, as is so often the case in the Pacific Coast League. The game was bookended by quality outings from relievers who are having good starts to the season. RHP Cole Waites (No. 15 CPL) opened the game and pitched a scoreless inning with a walk. He has a 2.25 ERA, though 4 walks in as many innings has his FIP sitting at 5.92. And RHP Jorge Guzmán closed the game with a scoreless inning in which he gave up 1 hit and had 1 strikeout. He’s yet to allow a run in 5 innings, and has a 3.52 FIP.

LHP Sam Long had another rough outing, giving up 2 runs in 3 innings with just 1 strikeout. Through 3 games and 7.1 innings, Long has now allowed 9 hits, 5 walks, and 7 runs, with only 4 strikeouts. Given that the Giants already have 7 players that they trust to throw bulk innings at the MLB level — not to mention Tristan Beck and Keaton Winn on the 40-man roster — Long might be the first name the team looks at the next time they need to open up a spot on the 40.

AA Richmond (4-0)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 5-1
Box score

Holy strikeouts, Batman. The Flying Squirrels pitchers were dominant on Wednesday, recording a staggering 21 strikeouts. That’s ridiculous!

It started with one of the most encouraging performances of the young season for the Giants MiLB affiliates: a dominant performance from RHP Kai-Wei Teng, who is the only player who remains in the system from the Sam Dyson trade.

Teng ran through the Senators hitters in his season debut, giving up just 2 hits and 1 walk in 4 scoreless innings, while striking out 10 batters. Since coming to the Giants, Teng has shown a good ability to limit hits and an exceptional ability to strike out batters — he entered the year with 311 strikeouts in 232 innings across 2 levels. But walks have always done him in, as he issued 4.99 free passes per 9 innings in 2021 in High-A, and 5.61 walks per 9 last year in AA, with 30 hit batters over those 2 seasons. Seeing him avoid walks on Tuesday was an excellent sign.

Teng set the pace and everyone followed. LHP Erik Miller, an intriguing offseason addition via trade, struck out the side in a scoreless inning, issuing just a walk. RHP Michael Stryffeler — part of the Curt Casali trade last year — struck out 2 in a scoreless inning. LHP Chris Wright, seeking to find his 2021 mojo, struck out 3 in 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit. And RHP Evan Gates was the lone pitcher to slip up, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 run in 1.1 innings, but also striking out 3 batters.

Offensively, the team followed in Sacramento’s footsteps and drew lots of walks, ending up with 10 on the day. Only 2 batters for the Flying Squirrels didn’t draw a free pass.

Third baseman Carter Aldrete had the biggest day, hitting 1-2 with a home run and 2 walks. He’s building on a nice Spring Training, and has an .812 OPS and 137 wRC+.

Center fielder Luis Matos (No. 4 CPL) continues to put his rough 2022 in the rearview mirror, as he hit 1-4 with a double and a walk, bringing his OPS to 1.114 and his wRC+ to 215. A year after having just a 6.6% walk rate, Matos has drawn 3 walks in 17 plate appearances, while striking out just 2 times. It is extreme early days, but Matos probably only needs a few weeks of hitting like this before we’re talking about him the way we were 2 years ago, when he looked like a potential perennial All-Star.

Also a nice day for third baseman Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 18 CPL), who hit 1-4 with a triple, a walk, and just 1 strikeout (1 strikeout in 5 plate appearances is definitely an improvement for Fitzgerald).

High-A Eugene (1-2)

Eugene Emeralds lost to Spokane (Rockies) 7-4
Box score

Not a great day for the Emeralds, but some exciting performances nonetheless. Most notable was that shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 7 CPL) had his first High-A home run.

Arteaga’s first 2 games with Eugene didn’t go so well, so it’s fun to see him have a big hit. As a defensively-brilliant shortstop who turned 20 less than a month ago, a good season in High-A could result in him flying up prospect lists.

Also homering was left fielder Carter Williams. Williams had one of the odder 2022 seasons in the system. He thoroughly dominated Low-A, where his 176 wRC+ was better than even Vaun Brown’s performance. But he struggled in his chances at High-A, posting just a 101 wRC+. This was his first game of the year, so hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.

Another strong day for third baseman Jimmy Glowenke, who hit 2-4 with a double. It’s an itty bitty sample size, but Glowenke is 5-7 with a home run, a double, and no strikeouts this year. Hell yeah.

The pitching was less fruitful, with LHP Seth Lonsway allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs in 4 innings. Most of the relievers that followed pitched similarly, with RHP Ben Madison issuing 4 walks in just 0.2 innings. But RHP Brett Standlee was awesome, as he needed just 12 pitches to strike out the side in a perfect inning.

Low-A San Jose (2-2)

San Jose Giants beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 6-2
Box score

A slow and steady approach for the Baby Giants on offense, with 10 hits, 4 walks, and 2 hit batters. Right fielder Tanner O’Tremba, who has gained popularity with Giants fans, had a very nice day, hitting 2-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch, bumping his OPS to .762 and his wRC+ to 136.

Left fielder Alexander Suarez, who is repeating the level but only recently turned 21, had his best game of the season, hitting 2-4 with a double. Designated hitter Andrew Kachel also had a 2-hit day with a double, while catcher Zach Morgan hit 1-3 with a double and 2 walks, raising his OPS to .913 and his wRC+ to 179. A strong start to his first full season of professional baseball.

The pitchers struggled with walks all day, issuing 10 free passes. RHP Gerelmi Maldonado (No. 40 CPL) was a big culprit, giving up 4 walks in 3 innings, along with 1 hit and 2 runs. But he also struck out 5 batters in his Low-A debut. Given that he only turned 19 in late December, I’ll call that an encouraging performance.

A nice outing for LHP Nomar Medina, an under-the-radar prospect who turned 20 in late 2022 and was making his Low-A debut. He gave up just 1 hit and 1 walk in 3 scoreless innings, while striking out 3 batters.

Home runs

AA Carter Aldrete (1)
High-A Aeverson Arteaga (1)
High-A Carter Williams (1)


Sacramento: @ the Reno Aces, 6:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ the Harrisburg Senators, 3:30 p.m. PT
Eugene: @ Spokane, 6:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ the Modesto Nuts, 7:05 p.m. PT

This is your daily reminder that MiLB games are now available on MLB TV.