Some sensational performances on the San Francisco Giants farm on Tuesday. Let’s dive straight in.
All listed positions are the positions played in that game.
AAA Sacramento (8-8)
Sacramento River Cats lost to the Round Rock Express (Rangers) 17-9
Forget the lopsided score. If you watched the Giants struggle through the first 10-innings of their dramatic win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, you know that they need more right-handed hitters.
And you’ll find them at the top of the lineup. The first two batters were designated hitter Austin Slater and left fielder Mitch Haniger, key members of the big league club who haven’t played yet due to injuries. Slater, playing in the fourth game of his rehab assignment, hit 2-3 with a double, and has been tattooing the baseball in Sacramento. Haniger, beginning his rehab assignment, hit 1-3 with a home run.
I, for one, am very excited to see these guys in San Francisco. And also potentially Sacramento’s cleanup hitter, catcher Gary Sánchez, though he hit just 0-5 and struck out twice.
One thing of note: Slater has been the DH in all 4 games he’s played for Sacramento. That may or may not mean anything.
Another brilliant day for right fielder Clint Coulter, who hit 2-4 with his 7th double of the season. It bumped him up to a 1.086 OPS and a 170 wRC+, as the Giants continue to look like an organization with a ton of outfield depth.
This Clint Coulter double now gives him a 15 game hit streak! Every game he’s appeared in this season! pic.twitter.com/jMJiMsID71— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) April 19, 2023
The pitching staff was truly awful, as they gave up 17 runs (all earned) and walked a staggering 16 batters. Sacramento used 7 different pitchers: RHP Melvin Adón struck out 2 in a perfect inning, and the other 6 were all completely disastrous.
Most notable was RHP Cole Waites (No. 15 CPL), who was the opener and gave up 3 hits and 4 runs, while recording just 1 out. RHP Trevor Hildenberger also gave up 4 runs in less than an inning of work, while LHP Aaron Fletcher not only gave up 4 runs, but also hit former Giants prospect Sandro Fabian.
AA Richmond (6-4)
Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 15-6
Oh my goodness what a day. And it only solidified that Richmond is the most exciting level for the Giants this year (no surprise, since High-A was last year), and that’s before the additions of Marco Luciano (No. 2 CPL) and Vaun Brown (No. 5 CPL), who are still in extended spring training rehabbing injuries.
The biggest day belonged to the player who has garnered the most headlines in the farm this year: catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 10 CPL). Bailey had himself an absolute day to remember, hitting a perfect 5-5, smashing a ball over the fence, and adding a walk for good measure.
Most people saw Bailey’s season last year as a disappointment (despite winning the Minor League Gold Glove Award), and there were some rumblings about the organization being low on him. That completely changed in the spring, with the Giants praising him at every turn, with Gabe Kapler and Farhan Zaidi going so far as to say he might be a huge contributor in the Majors this season.
So far he looks it. Bailey is playing his elite defense while controlling the plate from both sides. His mammoth day gives him a 1.018 OPS and a 186 wRC+. It’s way too early to start talking about a promotion, but it’s not too early to talk about how long he has to play like this before we start talking about it. Remember, the Giants only kept Casey Schmitt — who is older than Bailey — in AA for 29 games.
✅ First Double-A home run for Patrick Bailey pic.twitter.com/6XSHzK9lwa— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 18, 2023
Also continuing his lovely revival was center fielder Luis Matos (No. 4 CPL), who hit 1-4 with a double, 2 walks, and a stolen base. His .795 OPS and 131 wRC+ are massive improvements over last year’s High-A performance, and the swing decisions continue to be eye-opening: he now has 8 walks in 43 plate appearances, with just 2 strikeouts. A reminder that he turned 21 less than 3 months ago.
A little Luis Matos open side, opposite field double coming at ya! pic.twitter.com/oOaYrbYzzx— Roger Munter (@rog61) April 19, 2023
But the most surprising day belonged to shortstop Simon Whiteman, who hit 1-3 with a walk and a home run. Whiteman is doing a wonderful job shaking off a truly awful 2022. After having just 5 home runs in 1,046 plate appearances in the Minors entering this season, Whiteman already has 2 in 31 plate appearances this year. How cool!
Simon Whiteman extends the lead pic.twitter.com/gxXru16G0p— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 18, 2023
A trio of players hit 3-5: left fielder Ismael Munguia, who was also hit by a pitch, raising his OPS to .513 and his wRC+ to 57; second baseman Brett Auerbach (No. 38 CPL), who added a walk, and now has a .615 OPS and a 74 wRC+; and right fielder Carter Aldrete, who has a blistering 1.025 OPS and 184 wRC+.
Brett Auerbach’s third RBI of the day makes it 11-3 pic.twitter.com/JMJKKXYBUW— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 18, 2023
The pitching was quite mediocre. RHP Ryan Murphy (No. 19 CPL), who has had a hot-and-cold season, gave up 7 hits and 3 runs in 4 innings, though he had just 1 walk to 3 strikeouts. Still, after injuries limited him to just 42.1 innings a year ago, it’s just good to see him out there.
RHP Evan Gates struck out 2 in 1.1 scoreless innings, while RHP Michael Stryffeler struck out 2 in a scoreless inning.
High-A Eugene (5-4)
In AA we had the ultra rare home run trend from Simon Whiteman, and in High-A we have the same thing from first baseman Logan Wyatt. Wyatt hit just 1-4 with 2 strikeouts, but put a ball over the fence.
In theory it shouldn’t be notable that a first baseman is hitting home runs, especially one who has a very traditional first baseman’s build, as Wyatt does. But he entered the year with just 5 home runs in 612 Minor League plate appearances. In just 35 plate appearances this year he already has 3 dingers. For someone who has walked almost once every 6 plate appearances in the Minors, some power would make for a very intriguing profile. He’s sitting on a 1.119 OPS and 193 wRC+, though he’s also a 25 year old in High-A.
Also homering was left fielder Jared Dupere, though he had a strikeout hat trick in his other at-bats. But it’s been a nice season for him, as he has an .823 OPS and a 119 wRC+.
And a do-everything day for second baseman Jimmy Glowenke, who had a single, a walk, and a hit by pitch, bringing his OPS to 1.266 and his wRC+ to 226. Pretty, pretty nice.
A pair of top prospects continue to struggle with hits, but are showing some discipline around the plate. Center fielder Grant McCray (No. 6 CPL) hit 0-2 with 2 strikeouts but drew 3 walks, while shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 7 CPL) hit 0-3 with a strikeout and 2 walks.
On the mound, it was another encouraging performance for LHP Matt Mikulski, who has been dismissed a little bit too quickly, I think. Mikulski allowed just 4 hits and 0 walks in 3.2 innings, ceding only 2 unearned runs, while striking out 4. A year after Mikulski had 31 walks and hit 14 batters in 79 innings, he has 2 walks and 1 hit batter in 6.2 innings. His ERA has dropped from 6.95 (in Low-A) to 0.00 (in High-A), and his FIP from 5.40 to 2.88.
RHP Tyler Myrick struck out a batter in a 1-hit inning, and has now given up 4 hits, 0 walks, and 0 earned runs in 5 innings, with 5 strikeouts.
Low-A San Jose (6-4)
San Jose Giants beat the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels) 4-1
What an exciting day on the mound for some intriguing arms. RHP Manuel Mercedes got the start and continues to look like a completely different pitcher than a year ago. The 20 year old gave up just 2 hits and a 1 walk in 4 innings, allowing only an unearned run, while striking out 5. A year after having a 5.13 ERA and a 6.26 FIP, Mercedes has a 1.13 ERA and a 2.56 FIP. And a year after having 67 strikeouts to 63 walks in 80.2 innings, Mercedes has struck out 9 batters in 8 innings, while issuing just a single walk.
Small sample size? Sure. But great small sample sizes sure beat bad ones.
Next up was RHP John Bertrand, last year’s 10th-round pick. He dealt 4 scoreless innings, giving up just 3 hits and striking out 5. Through 2 games, Bertrand has 7 strikeouts in as many innings, and has yet to walk a batter. He’s 25, so the hope is that he’ll look good in Low-A, but he’s also only throw 15 career innings.
Closing the door was RHP Hayden Wynja, who struck out 2 in a no-hit inning, with 1 walk. He’s given up some hits and walks this year, but also has 9 strikeouts in 5 innings.
Not too much going on in the batter’s box. Shortstop Jose Ramos and right fielder Tanner O’Tremba both hit 2-4 with a double, with Ramos adding a stolen base. Ramos now has a .787 OPS and a 118 wRC+, while O’Tremba’s numbers sit at .974 and 183, respectively.
END 8— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) April 19, 2023
Giants 4 | 66ers 1
Jose Ramos doubles in another run to extend the lead. pic.twitter.com/2LG72ACs6n
AAA Mitch Haniger (1)
AA Simon Whiteman (2)
AA Patrick Bailey (1)
High-A Logan Wyatt (3)
High-A Jared Dupere (2)
The Giants designated AAA Sacramento LHP Sam Long for assignment. And RHP Landen Roupp (No. 20 CPL) has left extended spring training and is headed for AA Richmond.
Hearing Landen Roupp is on his way to Richmond today! Knew it wouldn't be too much longer, but still great news to hear! Now more headaches for Pelf and pitching coach Paul Oseguera figuring out how to get everybody innings!— Roger Munter (@rog61) April 19, 2023