All four of the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates were in action on Thursday, so 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 (10-14)
Sacramento River Cats lost a doubleheader to the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 5-2 and 1-0 (7-inning games)
Game 1 box score
Game 2 box score
The River Cats had 14 innings in Oklahoma to make interesting things happen and for the most part they failed. The doubleheader was remarkably uneventful.
RHP Keaton Winn (No. 16 CPL) got the start in Game 2 and pitched quite well, giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, and 1 run in 4 innings, with 5 strikeouts. Winn’s first stint in AAA hasn’t been the smoothest, as he has a 5.51 ERA and a 4.69 FIP, with 15 strikeouts to 9 walks in 16.1 innings. But after 2 rough outings to start the year, he’s settled in a little bit. In his last 3 games, Winn has the following line: 10 innings, 12 hits, 3 walks, 3 runs, and 12 strikeouts. Given that he’s on the 40-man roster, he could be the next pitcher called up if someone gets placed on the IL, or if Sean Hjelle and Tristan Beck continue to falter.
RHP Ryan Walker also pitched in Game 2 and was once again exceptional, striking out 2 batters in a perfect inning. Through 14.2 innings this year, Walker has allowed only 7 hits, 5 walks, and 2 earned runs, while striking out 15 batters.
He’s easily been Sacramento’s best reliever, though his path to the Majors is made a little more difficult by the fact that he’s not on the 40-man roster — and by the fact that RHP Cole Waites (No. 15 CPL) is, though Waites struggled in Game 1, giving up 3 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs in just 0.2 innings. It’s been a tough start to the year for Waites, who has a 10.38 ERA, a 7.65 FIP, and 12 walks in 8.2 innings. But he missed essentially all of Spring Training with an injury, so I wouldn’t read too much into it just yet.
The offense really didn’t do much at all. Right fielder Matt Beaty homered in the first game as he tries to remain an MLB depth option. He now has a .792 OPS and an 82 wRC+.
Beaty Bomb! pic.twitter.com/Q5oOARPui4— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) April 27, 2023
A few players reached base multiple times over the course of the day. Center fielder Shane Matheny hit 2-4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base, bringing the versatile player’s OPS to .664 and his wRC+ to 82. Catcher Gary Sánchez hit 2-3 with a stolen base in Game 1 and didn’t play in Game 2. The Giants have to make a decision about him by Monday, and given his numbers — a .563 OPS, a 56 wRC+, and 0 home runs — I’m guessing they’ll let him walk.
Corner outfielder Heliot Ramos (No. 12 CPL) had the only hit in the second game, and finished the day 1-5 with 2 walks and a stolen base. He has an .831 OPS and a 98 wRC+ on the year, with 4 stolen bases in just 10 games. His path back to the Majors relies on injuries right now, but forcing the issue is never a bad option either.
And finally, catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 10 CPL) made his AAA debut after an aggressive early season promotion. He hit 0-3, but put the ball in play in all of his at-bats.
AA Richmond (12-6)
Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) 7-2
Another excellent and exciting outing by RHP Mason Black (No. 11 CPL), who is quickly becoming one of the most exciting prospects in the system. Black struck out 8 batters in 4 innings on Thursday, allowing just 2 hits, 2 walks, and 1 run. Some poor sequencing has ran his ERA up to 4.40, but his FIP is at 2.48 for a reason ... just look at this season line: 14.1 innings, 14 hits, 3 walks, 22 strikeouts. Pretty awesome numbers for someone with fewer than 30 appearances as a pro.
The first pitcher out of the bullpen was also excellent, as RHP Randy Rodríguez (No. 32 CPL) gave up just 1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 unearned run in 3 innings of work, with 4 strikeouts. Rodríguez, who is trying to hang onto his 40-man roster spot, got off to a very slow start to the year, but has been turning things around lately. In his last 3 outings he’s pitched 7.2 innings and allowed just 6 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run, with 10 strikeouts. Perhaps we’ll see him back in Sacramento soon.
And closing the door was RHP Blake Rivera, who had a strikeout in a perfect inning. Rivera may have found his calling as a closer. The Giants used him as a starter early in his career (he was a 4th-round pick in 2018), before he missed most of 2021 due to injury. He returned in 2022 in the middle ground between starter and multi-inning reliever, but this year has been used in shorter bursts. So far the results are electric. In 7 innings Rivera has ceded just 4 hits, 0 walks, and 1 unearned run, while striking out 11 batters. That works.
On offense, the star of the day was right fielder Ismael Munguia, who broke out of a slump by hitting 2-5 with a home run. That brought his OPS up to .641 and his wRC+ to 87, and this is your reminder that he missed the entire 2022 season.
ISMAEL MUNGUIA GETS US STARTED pic.twitter.com/zqbMWuqg8P— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 27, 2023
Shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 18 CPL) had another nice day, hitting 1-4 with a double and a walk, and is sporting a .980 OPS and a 176 wRC+. Catcher Andy Thomas, who has been on fire lately, hit 1-3 with 2 walks, and he now has a .723 OPS and a 128 wRC+.
Andy Thomas brings in Luis Matos in the sixth pic.twitter.com/D4lm5ZyTXk— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) April 28, 2023
With Patrick Bailey’s promotion to AAA, Thomas — whom the Giants acquired at the deadline last year in the Curt Casali deal — should get a ton of opportunity in Richmond.
High-A Eugene (12-5)
Eugene Emeralds beat the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays) 11-7
I think it’s probably time to start thinking about a promotion for first baseman Luis Toribio. A year after losing his prospect shine due to a mediocre season in High-A, Toribio — still just 22 years old — is beating the brakes off the baseball.
Look at the improvements he’s made across the board this year:
Walk rate: 11.9% to 16.9%
Strikeout rate: 35.2% to 32.2%
Batting average: .209 to .313
On-base percentage: .309 to .424
Slugging percentage: .429 to .625
Home run rate: 4.8% to 8.5%
wRC+: 104 to 175
Massive improvements everywhere. Anyway, he again was great in this game, hitting 2-4 with a home run and a walk. He’s the early-season home run leader among Giants Minor Leaguers.
Also homering was second baseman Ghordy Santos, who hit 2-4, raising his OPS to .796 and his wRC+ to 113. Like Toribio, Santos is repeating High-A with hopes of more success this time around. Having 2 home runs in 3 days is a good way to do that.
Solid days for a pair of hot prospects, as center fielder Grant McCray (No. 6 CPL) and shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 7 CPL) both hit 2-5. McCray had a triple, which bumped his OPS to .553 and his wRC+ to 66, while Arteaga doubled to run his numbers to .664 and 85, respectively.
Right fielder Jared Dupere and left fielder Victor Bericoto both hit 3-5, with Dupere also having an outfield exist (and also an error). His .795 OPS and 115 wRC+ are quite nice, but he’ll need to improve on the 43.8% strikeout rate.
The pitching was a fair bit less noteworthy. RHP Eric Silva (No. 13 CPL) got the start and was mediocre, giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs in 3 innings, with just 2 strikeouts. Silva’s ERA is still a glistening 1.80, but his FIP 4.94, as he’s struggling to strike out batters, with just 11 in 15 innings.
But RHPs Hunter Dula and Tyler Myrick continued their strong years, with the former striking out 3 in a scoreless inning, and the latter pitching a perfect inning. Dula now has 7 strikeouts to 2 walks in 6.2 innings, while Myrick has given up neither a walk nor an earned run in 7 innings.
Low-A San Jose (10-8)
San Jose Giants lost to the Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies) 6-2
The Baby Giants saw their losing streak run to 3 games, as they can’t figure out how to beat a former Giants affiliate.
It was mostly poor performances all around, though a pair of hitters really stood out. Second baseman Thomas Gavello had a fine day, hitting 1-3 with a home run and a hit by pitch. He’s been swinging the bat well to start his first full season, as he has a .954 OPS and a 172 wRC+. Not bad for a 21 year old who the Giants are playing at second, third, and catcher.
And a brilliant day by left fielder Edison Mora, who hit 2-2 with a double, a walk, and an outfield assist. After a slow start to the year, Mora — who missed the entire 2022 season — is turning things around. In his first 7 games, Mora hit 1-20 with 0 extra-base hits, 3 walks, and 12 strikeouts. In the 6 games since, he’s 6-19 with 1 home run, 1 double, 3 walks, and just 3 strikeouts. Awesome stuff.
Also a good game from someone who shares his name, RHP Miguel Mora, who struck out 5 batters in 3 innings, while allowing 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run. He had been awful in his previous 3 outings, giving up 4 runs in each, so this was great to see.
Unfortunately it was not great to see RHP Will Kempner pitch. Last year’s 3rd-round pick had himself a brutal outing, pitching 4 innings and giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, 3 hit batters, and 5 runs, with just 3 strikeouts. Ouch. That brought his ERA to 6.43 and his FIP to 4.47, though a reminder that he’s only 22.1 innings into his career.
AAA Matt Beaty (2)
AA Ismael Munguia (2)
High-A Luis Toribio (4)
High-A Ghordy Santos (2)
Low-A Thomas Gavello (3)
Sacramento: @ the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 5:05 p.m. PT
Richmond: @ the Bowie Baysox, 4:05 p.m. PT
Eugene: @ the Vancouver Canadians, 1:05 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ the Fresno Grizzlies, 6:50 p.m. PT
Reminder that all MiLB games can be viewed on MLB TV this year.