Some fun Minor League Baseball performances on Wednesday, as the San Francisco Giants A-ball affiliates were all in action.
Let’s jump into the action.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (5-6)
The River Cats had it on cruise control for a while, but were done in by an awful 8th inning in which they gave up 5 runs. That inning featured another tough performance from RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 17 CPL), who has really struggled in AAA since earning a promotion there late last year. Dabovich gave up 2 hits, 1 walk, and 3 runs, while recording just 1 out. On the year, his 4 outings have lasted just 2.2 innings, and he’s allowed 3 hits, 6 walks, and 6 runs, with 3 strikeouts.
LHP Joey Marciano relieved Dabovich, and also couldn’t get out of the inning, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs (1 earned) while also recording just 1 out. And that’s why they lost.
It ruined a nice start from RHP Tristan Beck (No. 24 CPL), who went 5 strong innings, giving up 2 hits, 3 walks, and 1 run, with 3 strikeouts. He has a 3.38 ERA but just a 7.05 FIP after a pair of starts.
And RHP Melvin Adón struck out 3 in 2 scoreless innings, giving up just a walk.
The offense didn’t do too much. Center fielder Brett Wisely (No. 33 CPL), who very well may be headed to San Francisco after injuries to Bryce Johnson and Michael Conforto on Wednesday, had the best game, hitting 1-3 with a double and 2 walks.
The other MLB depth pieces in the lineup struggled, as left fielder Matt Beaty hit 1-5 and designated hitter Gary Sánchez hit 0-5, with both players striking out 3 times.
Speaking of striking out 3 times, it was a brutal game for second baseman Will Wilson (No. 21 CPL), who hit 1-5 with 3 strikeouts. He also was caught stealing and committed an error. Shake it off, Will.
A trio of players hit 2-4: shortstop Casey Schmitt (No. 3 CPL), who has a .768 OPS and an 80 wRC+; catcher Ricardo Genovés, who has a .911 OPS and a 125 wRC+, and right fielder Michael Gigliotti, who has a .739 OPS and an 88 wRC+.
AA Richmond (4-1)
Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 7-6
The Flying Squirrels, my favorite of the Giants affiliates this year, dropped their first game of the season. But that didn’t stop left fielder Carter Aldrete from continuing his hot start to the season.
Aldrete hit 2-3 with a walk, and his double was the team’s only extra-base hit on the day. It might be too early to be looking closely at stats, but Aldrete’s 1.015 OPS and 180 wRC+ are exciting nonetheless. Given that the Giants are willing to play him at numerous positions in both the dirt and the grass, Aldrete’s becoming an exciting prospect.
Speaking of hot starts to the season, Richmond’s roster has two players who used to be top prospects, had rough 2022s, but earned rave reviews from the organization during the spring. And both of them are bouncing back in a big way so far this year.
I’m of course talking about center fielder Luis Matos (No. 4 CPL) and catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 10 CPL), who both hit 2-5 on Wednesday. Matos, who didn’t strike out, has a 1.034 OPS and a 187 wRC+, and has struck out just twice in 22 plate appearances. Given that he’s still incredibly young for this level, there is a ton to be excited about right now.
Luis Matos does it again— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 13, 2023
Matos drives in his fifth RBI of the season and we’re up 5-1 pic.twitter.com/GOSes0aEfi
Bailey struck out twice, but he also flashed his elite defense by having a pickoff at third base! You don’t see that every day. And he threw out a runner and had a great swipe tag. He has an .827 OPS and a 135 wRC+.
RHP Ryan Murphy (No. 19 CPL) struggled in his 2nd appearance of the year, giving up 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs in 4 innings, with 2 strikeouts. He has a 6.00 ERA and a 4.18 FIP. And another tough outing from RHP Randy Rodríguez (No. 32 CPL), who gave up a home run and finished the day with 2 hits, 1 run, and 2 strikeouts in 2 innings.
High-A Eugene (2-2)
Eugene Emeralds beat Spokane (Rockies) 9-2
Some very fun performances in this game. Let’s start on the mound, where LHP Matt Mikulski made his season debut. It’s been a brutal start to his career since being a 2nd-round pick in 2021, as Mikulski has battled both poor performance and lots of injuries.
Yet despite having a 6.95 ERA in Low-A a year ago, the Giants slotted Mikulski into the High-A rotation, and his debut at the level went super well. He pitched 3 no-hit innings, giving up just 2 walks and hitting 1 batter, while striking out 3. Progress!
Also a nice outing for RHP Nick Morreale, who struck out 2 in a perfect inning.
Awesome days across the board for the offense. Third baseman Luis Toribio, who is somehow still just 22, is repeating High-A and off to a very strong start. He hit 2-5 with a home run and a double, which saw his OPS roar up to 1.079 and his wRC+ bounce to 216.
Also having a 2-hit day with a home run was designated hitter Jared Dupere, who was also hit by a pitch. That was his first excellent game of the year, as he seeks to pick up where he left off a year ago.
Shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 7 CPL), who had his first High-A home run on Tuesday, hit 1-2 and drew 3 walks. A reminder that Arteaga is an excellent defensive player who turned 20 less than a month ago. These games from him are super exciting.
Second baseman Jimmy Glowenke continued his blistering start to the season with a double. He now has a 1.583 OPS and a 368 wRC+. Those are good numbers, I’d say.
Low-A San Jose (3-2)
San Jose Giants beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 7-5
A pretty hilarious offensive day for the Baby Giants. They scored 7 runs despite having ... wait for it ... 3 hits. How often do you see a team at any level have more than twice as many runs as hits?
They didn’t even walk that much, with just 5 free passes on the day, but they benefited from a pair of errors by the Nuts.
The star on offense, by far, was center fielder Carter Howell, who hit 2-5 with 2 triples. You don’t see that every day, either! Howell, who was struggling until Wednesday, now has a .738 OPS and a 94 wRC+.
Third baseman Thomas Gavello had the only other notable offensive day, hitting 1-3 and getting hit by a pitch.
But the most exciting performance in the game came from RHP Manuel Mercedes, who started the game. Mercedes has a ton of life in his arm, and was ranked No. 23 in our CPL last year, but his 2022 was fairly disastrous. He won’t be able to legally drink until the season ends, and is repeating Low-A.
So far, so good. Mercedes pitched 4 innings and gave up just 3 hits and 1 run, with 4 strikeouts. Considering that he walked more than 7 batters per 9 innings in San Jose last year, having a walkless outing is huge. Mercedes only had 3 outings last year where he didn’t walk a batter, and only pitched at least 4 innings in 1 of those.
LHP John Bertrand, last year’s 10th-round pick, did not have such a nice debut. He gave up 6 hits, 4 runs, and 3 earned runs in 3 innings, with 2 strikeouts.
High-A Jared Dupere (1)
High-A Luis Toribio (1)