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Minor League roundup, May 20

Yesterday’s action on the Giants farm.

Vaun Brown posing with a bat on his shoulder at media day
Vaun Brown hit his first AA home run on Saturday
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A fun Saturday for the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates. Let’s check out what they did.

Link to the 2023 McCovey Chronicles Community Prospect List (CPL)

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.


AA outfielder Ismael Munguia, who has been playing brilliantly lately as he seeks to regain his 2021 form (he missed all of 2022 due to injury), was placed on the 7-day IL. Hopefully it’s not a serious thing.

AAA infielder Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 18 CPL) is also on the 7-day IL. I missed that news when it happened, but he hasn’t played since May 14.

AAA Sacramento (21-23)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) 17-3
Box score

Well, not a good day for Sacramento. No way to sugarcoat that one!

The offense, while not fruitful, only struck out 5 times, which is nice to see, and there were good days from 3 players.

Most notably, shortstop Will Wilson (No. 21 CPL) hit 1-4 with a home run.

Wilson’s 1st full season in AAA hasn’t been very good (on offense, at least ... his defense has been nice), as he has a .603 OPS and a 42 wRC+. More home runs would help, as his power has been lacking (.329 slugging percentage). He also appears to be getting unlucky (or is just hitting the ball poorly), as his strikeout and walk numbers are OK, but his BABIP of .252 is 70th out of 71 qualified hitters in the Pacific Coast League.

Third baseman David Villar, who has been hitting very well since getting optioned, hit 2-4 with a double. He’s certainly doing what he needs to do to stay ready for his next opportunity in the Majors.

And catcher Ricardo Genovés hit 1-1 with 2 walks. He’s the only full-time catcher on the roster now that Patrick Bailey (No. 10 CPL) has been promoted, but he was replaced in this game by utility player Ford Proctor, who played behind the plate for the 1st time this season ... he’s also played all 4 infield positions this year.

Your daily update for center fielder Luis Matos (No. 4 CPL), who was playing in his 4th AAA game: he hit just 1-5, but again didn’t strike out. He has just 1 strikeout in AAA this year, in 20 plate appearances. And his defense remains delightful.

The pitching was awful. RHP Drew Strotman had a game he’ll have nightmares about for a while, giving up 7 hits, 6 walks, and 8 runs in just 2.1 innings. RHP Melvin Adón, seeking to regain his pre-injury prospect status, allowed 6 hits, 2 walks, and 5 runs in 1.1 innings, and LHP Daniel Tillo also got rocked.

RHP Luke Jackson, making his 2nd appearance with the River Cats, pitched a scoreless 0.2 innings with a strikeout, but walked 2 batters. He’ll be eligible to come off the IL next Monday, and that sure would help the Giants bullpen.

RHP Cole Waites (No. 15 CPL) pitched a clean inning, so there’s your lone nice performance.

AA Richmond (19-18)

Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Akron RubberDucks (Guardians) 6-4
Box score

Not the most eventful day for Richmond, but it featured a swing we’ve all been waiting for: a home run from center fielder Vaun Brown (No. 5 CPL).

Look at that beauty!

Brown, who also was hit by a pitch, was playing in just his 2nd game of the season for Richmond, after spending April in extended Spring Training and making 9 rehab games in Low-A and High-A.

The aggressive promotions we’ve seen from the Giants this year only make Brown an even more exciting prospect. Given his age (he’ll turn 25 in a month), it’s understandable if some are skeptical about how he’ll do at higher levels. But given the way he thoroughly dominated Low-A and High-A pitchers last year, the Giants probably won’t need to see him doing the same in AA for very long before deciding it’s time to move up a level.

So in other words: keep hitting homers!

An outstanding day for third baseman Hayden Cantrelle, who hit 1-1 with 2 walks, a hit by pitch, and 2 stolen bases. Talk about doing a little bit of everything!

Cantrelle is having a sneaky good season. His numbers are good enough to be of note — he has a .752 OPS and a 123 wRC+ — but they’re even more exciting when you dig deeper. His walk rate (16.7%) and strikeout rate (17.5%) are excellent, and his .288 BABIP suggests that the .229 batting average will likely rise.

Right fielder Wade Meckler (No. 42 CPL) hit 2-5 as he continues to have multi-hit days seemingly every time out, and shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 2 CPL) drew 2 walks as he showed off his plate discipline.

Another tough day at the office for catcher Brett Auerbach (No. 38 CPL), who hit 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Auerbach has just a .387 OPS and 11 wRC+ on the year, with just 3 extra-base hits in 124 plate appearances. In his last 14 games, Auerbach is hitting just 4-45 with 0 extra-base hits, 4 walks, and 20 strikeouts.

Speaking of tough days, it was also another one for LHP Nick Zwack (No. 39 CPL). He gave up 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs in 3.1 innings, with just 1 strikeout. Since starting the season with 9 strikeouts in 4 scoreless innings, Zwack has been in a free fall, which has seen his ERA rise to 6.75 and his FIP to 6.06.

But RHP Blake Rivera bounced back from a bad outing, with just 2 baserunners allowed in 2 scoreless innings, with 2 strikeouts. Walks remain an issue — he’s given up 6.9 per 9 innings (not nice) — but he has a 1.72 ERA and a 3.53 FIP.

High-A Eugene (21-16)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 10-1
Box score

It was all about the home runs for the Emeralds, as a trio of exciting prospects went deep.

Let’s start with the big one: a grand slam by center fielder Grant McCray (No. 6 CPL).

McCray, who finished the day 2-4 with a walk and a stolen base (his 16th of the season), is really finding his groove. He entered the season with tons of hype, but started the year ice cold. Now things are heating up. In the month of May, McCray is hitting a blistering 20-70 with 6 home runs, 2 doubles, 9 walks, and 8 stolen bases without being caught. That’s brought his season numbers up to a .740 OPS and a 97 wRC+.

Eugene’s other highly-ranked position player prospect, designated hitter Aeverson Arteaga (No. 7 CPL) also homered as part of a 2-5 day.

Arteaga hasn’t had a great offensive season, as he has a .651 OPS and a 73 wRC+, but there are lots of reasons to like the year he’s having ... not the least of which is the fact that he turned 20 just 2 months ago.

And rounding out the homer party was third baseman Luis Toribio.

Toribio leads the Giants Minor Leaguers with 8 big flies, but had been cold lately. In his prior 4 games, he was 2-15 with 8 strikeouts. Still a very nice repeat of the level for him, as he has an .880 OPS and a 130 wRC+.

A pair of other players reached base 3 times: catcher Adrian Sugastey (No. 22 CPL), who hit 2-3 with a walk, bringing his OPS to .746 and his wRC+ to 99, and shortstop Jimmy Glowenke, who hit 0-1 with a walk and 2 hit by pitches, giving him a sky-high OPS of 1.048 and a wRC+ of 172.

A nice, if not clean start from RHP Eric Silva (No. 13 CPL), who struck out 7 batters in 3.2 innings, while allowing just 1 run. But he did give up 2 hits, 2 walks, and hit a batter.

The strikeouts were nice to see, as that’s where the 20-year old has struggled this year, with just 8.9 per 9 innings. He remains a very exciting arm.

None of the relievers had clean innings, but none gave up runs either, so nice work by RHPs Wilkelma Castillo, Ben Madison, Nick Morreale, and Hunter Dula.

Low-A San Jose (24-14)

San Jose Giants beat the Stockton Ports (A’s) 7-6 (10 innings)
Box score

Hit city for the Baby Giants, with 6 different players having multi-hit days.

Shortstop Diego Velasquez (No. 41 CPL) led the charge, hitting 2-5 with a double and a walk. Velasquez is now up to an .826 OPS and a 127 wRC+, and consider this your daily reminder that he’s a middle infielder who won’t turn 20 until the offseason.

Speaking of young players continuing good seasons, designated hitter Onil Perez (No. 44 CPL) hit 2-6 with a double and a stolen base. Perez is a 20-year old catcher with a .911 OPS, a 153 wRC+, and nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts, which isn’t new for him. Very exciting player.

LHP Jack Choate had his worst outing of the year, giving up 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs in 3 innings, with 3 strikeouts. Still, it’s been a lovely season for last year’s 9th-round pick, as he has a 2.89 ERA and a 2.68 FIP.

Also a nice game for RHP Daniel Blair, who struck out 4 in 4 scoreless innings, with just 1 hit and 2 walks, bringing his ERA to 1.74 in his debut season ... though his FIP is 4.99

Home runs

AAA Will Wilson (4)
AA Vaun Brown (1)
High-A Luis Toribio (8)
High-A Grant McCray (7)
High-A Aeverson Arteaga (3)