Today’s a day off for the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates ... but yesterday wasn’t! Let’s jump into the action.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (8-7)
Wow. That is a lot of runs, and there were a lot of absolutely wild performances that went along with all those runs. I’m not even sure where to start, because we almost need to mention every single person in Sacramento’s lineup.
Let’s start with the funniest performance: second baseman Brett Wisely (No. 33 CPL) hit 4-6. Seems normal enough until you realize that all 4 of his hits were doubles.
Wisely ropes his 4th double of the game! pic.twitter.com/VLOWeRUZkf— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) April 16, 2023
I can’t tell you how rare that is in the Minors, especially in the wild offensive environment of the Pacific Coast League, but a cursory glance at Stathead tells me that only 8 MLB players have had 4 doubles in a game since 2010.
Wisely, who made the Giants Opening Day roster despite having only played in 5 career AAA games, but was optioned after the 1st game of the season, is certainly staying ready for whenever he’s called up for depth. His .967 OPS and 144 wRC+ are mighty impressive.
Wisely’s day may have been the funniest, but center fielder Michael Gigliotti’s day was the best. Gigliotti was having a solid season before Sunday’s game, then put together a masterful performance, hitting 3-4 with a home run, 2 doubles, and 2 walks. Yeesh!
GIGGY GONE!— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) April 16, 2023
Cats take the lead! pic.twitter.com/cYMgnrTOp7
On the year, Gigliotti now has a 1.046 OPS and a 148 wRC+. He’s walked more than twice as often as he’s struck out, with 9 free passes to 4 punchouts in 61 plate appearances, and half of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases.
Needless to say, in a 17-run game (with 21 hits!) there were some other standout performances beyond Wisely and Gigliotti.
Catcher Ricardo Genovés offered one such performance, hitting 2-5 with a home run.
You dream of Jeannie— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) April 16, 2023
We Dream of Geno Bombs
We are not the same pic.twitter.com/rmBDAnbZET
The Giants have a ton of catcher options, with MLB-ready players in Joey Bart and Gary Sánchez, an intriguing experiment in Blake Sabol, and a guy who suddenly looks like the real deal in Patrick Bailey. But Genovés is certainly hanging around, too, and trying to state his case as a future Major Leaguer. He’s still just 23 and a very talented defensive player ... if he can keep having days like Sunday, which bumped his OPS to .743 and his wRC+ to 78, he could force his way into the plans.
Left fielder Clint Coulter, who has been Sacramento’s offensive star this year, hit 2-5 with 2 doubles and a walk, which gives him a 1.074 OPS and a 170 wRC+.
It’s safe to say that when your on-base percentage is in excess of .500 and you’re flashing lots of power, that you’re having a damn good season. And I’ll say it every day he plays well until he’s called up: this is his 12th season in the Minors, and he’s yet to make his Major League debut. Right now he looks like he could be a contributor and one of the best stories of the season.
Shortstop Casey Schmitt (No. 3 CPL) had a 3-hit day, while first baseman Ford Proctor had a 2-hit day with a double.
Proctor Proctor gimme the news!— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) April 16, 2023
Cats take the lead in the 8th! pic.twitter.com/xCS6ocr9NW
Designated hitter Austin Slater made his 3rd rehab appearance and hit 1-3, and was then replaced by Dilan Rosario, who becomes the first 2023 player to enter the “wait, what’s he doing there?” club. Rosario, a 21 year old who was making his season debut, spent last year between rookie ball and Low-A, so he will certainly not be spending this year in Sacramento. But the Giants (and all teams) end up with a few funny assignments every year for a variety of reasons, usually because a team needs some emergency depth or because a player who has been rehabbing needs to get into a game and they pick the one that’s logistically most sensible. Either way, Rosario will likely be in San Jose soon, but was funny to see him appear here.
One quick note before we move on from this game that we’ve dedicated so many words to already. The Athletic’s Grant Brisbee, who may or may not have founded this fine website, had a great point prior to the season starting. He said one reason for optimism (at the MLB level) was that the Giants were fantastic in 2021 when they had a full offseason to work with and communicate plans and philosophies to their players, and then struggled in 2022 when they couldn’t do that. It seems we might be seeing that in action in the Minors.
The pitching wasn’t good and, unfortunately, it was another brutal outing for LHP Sam Long, who gave up 5 hits and 4 runs in just 2.2 innings. Through 10 innings this year, Long has given up 14 hits, 5 walks, and 11 runs, with just 7 strikeouts. You’ve got to think at this point that his spot on the 40-man roster is in peril.
AA Richmond (5-4)
Richmond Flying Squirrels lost to the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 6-3
For better and for worse, a notable game from RHP Kai-Wei Teng, Sunday’s starter for Richmond. Teng’s strengths and weaknesses have been on display ever since the Giants acquired him in the Sam Dyson trade (he’s the last of the 3 players they acquired who’s still on the Giants). He’s been one of the best strikeout pitchers in the organization (and in the Minors, for that matter), but has struggled to limit walks (last year he had 11.2 K/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in AA, and the year before 13.4 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 in High-A).
His start to 2023 was incredibly encouraging, as he walked just 1 batter in 4 innings in his season debut, with 10 strikeouts. But Sunday, in his 2nd game, he looked more like the pitcher we’ve seen over the last few years, as he issued 3 walks (and hit a batter, his former teammate Frankie Tostado), in just 3.2 innings. But he struck out 7!
A nice outing for LHP Juan Sanchez, who had 1 strikeout in a perfect inning. Sanchez, who is just 22, is off to a delightful start to the year, giving up 3 hits, 0 walks, and 1 unearned run in 3.1 innings, with 4 strikeouts.
The offense didn’t do too much. First baseman Riley Mahan provided the bulk of the fun, hitting 1-3 with a home run. It’s been a slow start to the season for Mahan, as that was just his 2nd hit in 20 plate appearances. Maybe that will jump start him.
Riley Mahan has liftoff pic.twitter.com/uXxsSzxNHj— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 16, 2023
Second baseman Simon Whiteman continues to put his awful 2022 in the rearview mirror, as he hit 2-3. After having a .472 OPS and a 38 wRC+ in Richmond last year, Whitman is up to .954 and 181, respectively, this year.
Simon Whiteman scores Hayden Cantrelle to get us back within two runs pic.twitter.com/DtxyEYSHHt— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 16, 2023
Center fielder Ismael Munguia hit 1-5 and struck out twice, which was odd to see. Munguia missed 2022 due to injury, but in 2021 he couldn’t strike out if he tried, with just 27 in 357 plate appearances. He’s up to 7 on the year in 37 plate appearances. That’s still a low rate, but not the eye-popping rate he’s put up in the past.
Right fielder Luis Matos (No. 4 CPL) went 0-3 and drew a walk. He’s cooled off from his ridiculous start to the season, but the walks and strikeouts remain exciting: he has 6 walks to 2 strikeouts in 37 plate appearances. Pretty good stuff for a AA player who just turned 21.
High-A Eugene (4-4)
Eugene Emeralds lost to Spokane (Rockies) 10-2
Quite a rough start for LHP Seth Lonsway, who was throwing the ball all over the place. He pitched 3 innings and gave up a whopping 9 hits plus a walk, and perhaps most discouragingly, hit 3 batters. Add in some errors behind him and the damage was 8 runs, 5 of which were earned. It’s been a brutal start to the year for Lonsway, who has a 10.29 ERA, a 7.13 FIP, and just 3 strikeouts in 7 innings.
The pitchers behind him were significantly better, but no one really stood out, either.
But someone continues to stand out in Eugene’s offense: center fielder Wade Meckler (No. 41 CPL), who hit 2-4 with a double, putting his ludicrous OPS at 1.192 and his wRC+ at 233.
Meckler has a chance to be one of the fastest-promoted players in the Farhan Zaidi era. An 8th-round pick a year ago, the Giants gave Meckler 50 plate appearances in rookie ball (which he dominated) before ending his short season with 50 plate appearance in Low-A (which he dominated). An aggressive assignment has him starting the season in High-A (which he’s dominating), and you wonder how long he’ll have to hit like this before he’s headed to the east coast to check out AA. But let’s not put the cart in front of the horse ... for now let’s just admire someone with a .500 batting average and as many walks as strikeouts ... who also had an assist from center field yesterday.
Also a nice day for shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 7 CPL), who hit 1-4 with a triple and a walk. His numbers are lagging a little in his first year in Eugene — he has a .639 OPS and a 77 wRC+ — but this is his first year at the level, and he’s a defensively-brilliant shortstop who turned 20 last month.
Low-A San Jose (5-4)
San Jose Giants beat the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 10-2
A whole bunch of awesome offensive performances in this one. Let’s start with the guy who had the biggest hit, third baseman Edison Mora, who went 2-4 with a grand slam. We always celebrate grand slams here!
Mora, a 22 year old who had an intriguing 2021 but missed all of 2022 to injury, got off to a very, very slow start to the season, so great to see him have a big hit. He was 1-20 with 12 strikeouts before this game, so let’s see if this jump starts things.
A quartet of other players (the Nos. 4 through 7 hitters) also had 2-hit days: left fielder Matt Higgins, who doubled and was hit by a pitch, bringing his OPS to .870 and his wRC+ to 143; shortstop Jose Ramos, who doubled, drew a walk, and stole a base, and now has an OPS of .728 and a wRC+ of 105 (while being just 20!); second baseman Andrew Kachel, who had 2 doubles and now has a blistering 1.011 OPS and 177 wRC+; and ever-popular right fielder Tanner O’Tremba, who had himself quite a game with a double, a walk, and a hit by pitch, bumping his OPS to .919 and his wRC+ to 175.
On the mound it was a strong start for RHP Gerelmi Maldonado (No. 40 CPL), who gave up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run in 3.2 innings, while striking out 4 batters. Maldonado, who turned 19 less than 4 months ago, showed great improvement over his 1st Low-A start, when he walked 4 batters. If he can keep up the K numbers — he has 9 strikeouts in 6.2 innings — while limiting those walks, the future will be exceedingly bright.
Battle of powerful teenagers as Giants' RHP Gerelmi Maldonado takes on Mariners' SS Cole Young pic.twitter.com/qUeSeDZmhb— Roger Munter (@rog61) April 17, 2023
RHP Dylan Cumming struck out 3 in 2.1 scoreless innings. On the downside, Cumming has allowed 10 hits this year in just 7.2 innings, and only has 6 strikeouts. On the upside, he hasn’t given up a run, a walk, or hit a batter. All together that’s a pretty good debut season for an undrafted player.
AAA Michael Gigliotti (2)
AAA Ricardo Genovés (1)
AA Riley Mahan (1)
Low-A Edison Mora (1)
Sacramento: Off day
Richmond: Off day
Eugene: Off day
San Jose: Off day
ACL Orange: Season not yet started
ACL Black: Season not yet started
DSL Orange: Season not yet started
DSL Black: Season not yet started