The San Francisco Giants are struggling, but their Minor League Baseball affiliates are having fun! Let’s dive 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 (7-7)
Sacramento River Cats beat the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) 15-6
Well, that’s a lot of runs! What a good time.
Designated hitter Austin Slater made his 2nd rehab appearance and it went swimmingly, as he hit 1-1 with 2 walks and a home run. Can’t wait to have him back on the Major League roster.
Also homering was left fielder Michael Gigliotti, who added a single and was hit by a pitch. He’s off to a strong start to the season, sporting an .872 OPS, a 113 wRC+, and has only struck out 4 times in 55 plate appearances.
Needless to say, the River Cats had more than just that pair of good offensive days, given the crooked number they put up. Right fielder Clint Coulter, who continues to look like a thing, continues to get on base, as he hit 2-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch. He’s rocking a 1.050 OPS, a 167 wRC+, and a wild .508 on-base percentage. How cool would it be if he not only makes the Majors after 12 years in the Minors, but is able to carve out a role?
Catcher Gary Sánchez, who is still trying to get acclimated after missing Spring Training, had one of his better days since joining the organization, hitting 1-3 with a double and 2 walks.
RHP Keaton Winn (No. 16 CPL) had a nice start, allowing just 3 hits and 1 walk in 3 scoreless innings, while striking out 3 batters. Winn’s been slow out of the gates in his first AAA season (and first year on the 40-man roster), so good to see him find some footing.
RHP Melvin Adón, however, lost the footing he was trying to find, as he gave up 5 runs while recording just 1 out.
AA Richmond (5-3)
Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 4-3
Richmond played in their 4th straight 1-run game, though this was the 1st one that they actually won.
RHP Mason Black (No. 10 CPL) set the tone with his 2nd start of the year, and is very much looking like the real deal. He pitched 4 innings and gave up just 3 hits and 1 run, while punching out 5. Safe to say the Giants are taking note of the fact that he has 11 strikeouts in 8 innings with no walks.
Also great to see: LHP Chris Wright is off to a killer start. Wright was thoroughly dominant in 2021, but regressed quite a bit in 2022. It seems he is back on track.
Wright pitched 2 scoreless innings, giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk, while striking out 4 batters. It was only his 2nd appearance of the year, but look at this line: 3.2 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 runs, 7 strikeouts.
Not so for RHP Randy Rodríguez (No. 32 CPL), who is off to a dreadful start this year. He continued it by giving up 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 hit batter, 1 wild pitch, and 2 runs in just an inning of work. I doubt the Giants will be giving up on anyone in April, but given that it’s Rodríguez’s 2nd season on the 40-man roster, he’ll have to start showing things if he wants to avoid being DFAd.
On offense the star was shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 18 CPL) who had a brilliant day, hitting 2-3 with a double, a triple, and a walk. If Fitzgerald can cut back on strikeouts he could be fantastic, and his season is off to a much more fruitful start than last year, as he has a .911 OPS and a 155 wRC+, miles ahead of last year’s 100 mark.
Also strong days for right fielder Hayden Cantrelle, who hit 1-3 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base, and catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 10 CPL), who hit 2-4 with a stolen base. Bailey’s .770 OPS and 122 wRC+ are pretty exciting given his elite defense behind the plate.
Center fielder Luis Matos (No. 4 CPL) has cooled off since his obscenely hot start, and hit 1-5 with a stolen base. But his process remains fantastic: he has just 2 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances, which is ludicrous for someone in AA who just turned 21 years old. The .823 OPS and 139 wRC+ aren’t too shabby, either.
High-A Eugene (4-3)
Eugene Emeralds beat Spokane (Rockies) 12-1
Yesterday I wrote that the rarest of things happened: a home run by first baseman Logan Wyatt.
And then something even more rare happened: another home run by Logan Wyatt!!
Wyatt had a blistering day, hitting 3-5 with a homer, 2 doubles, and a walk. Despite having a traditional first baseman’s build, Wyatt has never shown any power. Entering this year, he had 612 plate appearances in the Minors, and had all of 6 career home runs (and only 19 doubles!). His game has always been about drawing walks.
Drawing walks is valuable. Drawing walks with power is really valuable, and Wyatt — who has a 1.092 OPS and a 197 wRC+ — is showing that right now. How exciting.
There were tons of other great days. Third baseman Luis Toribio got in on the big fly action, hitting 2-3 with a home run and 2 walks. He’s been one of the hottest hitters in the entire organization this year, with a 1.292 OPS and a 247 wRC+ (albeit in just 27 plate appearances).
Right fielder Wade Meckler (No. 41 CPL) continues to reward the team’s aggression with his placement, as he hit 4-5 with a double and a walk. Is a 1.182 OPS and 234 wRC+ good for someone in High-A who had only 100 professional plate appearances entering the season? Yes it is. It very much is.
And shortstop Jimmy Glowenke continues to put his mediocre 2022 far in the rearview mirror, as he hit 3-6 with 2 doubles, which moved his OPS to 1.460 and his wRC+ to 285.
These are some ridiculous offensive numbers that we’re seeing in Eugene. I think they’re collectively taking offense to the claims that the team is not as talent-stacked as a year ago.
But it’s not just in the batter’s box. RHP Eric Silva (No. 13 CPL) once again looked good, giving up just 1 hit in 4 scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts. He’s one of the most exciting arms in the system and, at just 20 years old, someone to keep a very close eye on.
RHP Brett Standlee struck out 2 in 2 scoreless innings. He’s given up just 1 hit and 1 walk in 4 innings this year, with 5 strikeouts. Good stuff.
Low-A San Jose (4-4)
San Jose Giants lost to the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 8-6
Not much of note in the Baby Giants game. The pitching was pretty poor, with RHP Miguel Mora getting rocked, and RHP William Kempner (last year’s 3rd-round pick) not pitching very well.
LHP Esmerlin Vinicio, who is trying to have a bounceback year and only just turned 20, pitched pretty well, giving up 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run in 3 innings, with 2 strikeouts.
Catcher Zach Morgan had the closest thing to a good day on offense, hitting 2-4 with a walk, while second baseman Jose Ramos and designated hitter Andrew Kachel both hit 1-3 with 2 walks. Left fielder Alexander Suarez hit just 1-5, but his double was the team’s only extra-base hit.
AAA Austin Slater (1)
AAA Michael Gigliotti (1)
High-A Logan Wyatt (2)
High-A Luis Toribio (2)
Sacramento: @ the Reno Aces, 1:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ the Harrisburg Senators, 10:00 a.m. PT
Eugene: @ Spokane, 1:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ the Modesto Nuts, 2:05 p.m. PT
Reminder that Minor League games are viewable on MLB TV now.