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Minor League round up, 6/21: Randy Rodríguez promoted to AAA

Yesterday’s action on the Giants farm.

Randy Rodríguez posing with his glove held to his face
RHP Randy Rodríguez was reinstated from the IL and promoted to AAA Sacramento
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Only four games for the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates on Wednesday, as AAA Sacramento and AA Richmond had their games postponed due to weather, while it was a day off in the Dominican Summer League.

Let’s jump into it!

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.


After a spending a little bit of time rehabbing in the ACL, RHP Randy Rodríguez (No. 32 CPL) has been reinstated from the 7-day Injured List, and promoted to AAA Sacramento. Rodríguez had a 2.97 ERA and a 3.15 FIP with AA Richmond this year. His 11.9 strikeouts per 9 innings are encouraging, though his 5.3 walks per 9 inning are concerning ... but he’s been better lately in that regard, with just 2 walks in his last 4 Richmond games (7.2 innings). Rodríguez spent a little bit of time in AAA last year, but this is his first 2023 stint. He’s on the 40-man roster, so this move gets him pretty darn close to an MLB debut (though it could also be showcasing for a deadline trade if the Giants want to open up a spot on the 40-man).

High-A Eugene (34-31)

Eugene Emeralds beat the Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays) 5-1
Box score

Yesterday I wrote about how designated hitter Ghordy Santos was exploding after a very slow start to the year. And he sure added that on Wednesday, hitting 1-3 with a home run.

Here’s a reminder of what Santos has done this year: he had a .593 OPS in April, a .694 OPS in May, and started June 2-21 with 1 double, 0 walks, and 7 strikeouts. Since then he’s 14-33 with 2 home runs, 2 triples, 4 doubles, 8 walks, and just 5 strikeouts. That’s bumped his OPS to .802 and his wRC+ to 112 ... stay hot, Ghordy!

Also hitting 1-3 with a home run was shortstop Aeverson Arteaga (No. 7 CPL), which was great to see.

Arteaga has really been scuffling offensively lately, and had gone 13 straight games without a home run, with only 2 extra-base hits in that span. After a nice May, Arteaga has just a .615 OPS in the month. On the year he has a .681 OPS and a 79 wRC+, but hey ... those are better numbers than Luis Matos had in Eugene last year!

Jokes aside, I wouldn’t be concerned about Arteaga. He’s still doing a lot of good things with the bat, with nice walk and strikeout rates. And, more importantly, he only turned 20 a few months ago, and is a defensive wizard at shortstop.

After a strong May recovery, center fielder Grant McCray (No. 6 CPL) is struggling again, and hit 0-3 with 3 strikeouts and a walk in this game. He started the year ice cold, with a .554 OPS in April, but rebounded with a .909 OPS in May. That mark is down to .636 in June, with 26 strikeouts in 18 games.

A pretty nice start for RHP Eric Silva (No. 13 CPL), who dealt 4 innings of 1-run ball, allowing just 2 hits, 2 walks, and a hit batter, though he only recorded 1 strikeout. This was Silva’s best outing in a while, but his strikeouts are really heading in the wrong direction ... after having 26 strikeouts to 11 walks in 19.1 innings in May, Silva has just 9 strikeouts to 11 walks in 13.1 innings in June. He has a 4.72 ERA and a 5.11 FIP this year.

RHP William Kempner struck out 2 in a scoreless inning in his 3rd and best game since last year’s 3rd-round pick was promoted.

Also scoreless innings for RHPs Mat Olsen and Tyler Myrick. Olsen has now given up just 1 run in his last 13 outings, totaling 18.2 innings, and has a 3.95 ERA and 3.57 FIP (which tells you how rough his start to the year was). Myrick has given up just 3 earned runs all year, in 23 games and innings, giving him a microscopic 1.17 ERA, albeit with a 3.58 FIP. His mark of 1.57 walks per 9 innings is head and shoulders above any of the other 61 Giants prospects who have thrown at least 20 innings this year.

Low-A San Jose (39-26)

San Jose Giants lost to the Stockton Ports (A’s) 4-1
Box score

A very uninteresting game for the Baby Giants. Left fielder Matt Higgins had the biggest hit of the day, scoring the team’s only run on a homer. Higgins, an undrafted free agent after last year’s draft, is having a strong first full season, with an .873 OPS and a 136 wRC+.

Catcher Zach Morgan and designated hitter Tanner O’Tremba were the only players to reach base twice, as they both hit 1-3 with a walk, with O’Tremba adding a stolen base for good measure.

A bizarre outing for RHP Manuel Mercedes, and I feel like I say that a lot. Mercedes started the year as one of the best pitchers in the system in terms of limiting walks, and one of the worst in terms of getting strikeouts. So naturally he gave up 5 walks with 4 strikeouts in 4 innings on Wednesday (he also gave up 4 hits and 3 runs). Through his first June game, Mercedes had allowed just 11 walks in 40 innings. In 3 games since, he’s walked 10 batters in 12 innings. Mercedes, who has a 3.29 ERA and a 4.19 FIP, has a ton of talent in his 20-year old arm. But his 5.9 strikeouts per 9 innings ranks 39th out of 41 Giants pitchers with at least 30 innings thrown (the bright side is that he’s the 3rd-youngest out of those 41).

A pair of strikeouts in a scoreless inning for undrafted RHP Dylan Cumming, who has a 2.94 ERA (albeit a 4.85 FIP) in his debut season. Impressively, Cumming has a 55.2% ground ball rate, which is 3rd-best of those 41 pitchers with 30 innings thrown (Mercedes, I should note, is 1st by a mile at 65.4%, a mark that also leads all 279 Minor League pitchers who have thrown 50 innings this year).

ACL Orange (3-10)

ACL Giants Orange lost to the ACL Royals 6-2 (7 innings)
Box score

Always fun when a player hits his first home run. That was the case for third baseman Justin Bench (23 years, 2022 17th-round), who hit 1-4 with a big fly.

Bench’s career is really only just starting ... he only had 1 game last year after getting drafted, and has only played in 6 games this season. But if you want a tiny sample size to get excited about, Bench is 22 plate appearances into his career, and has yet to strike out.

Right fielder Jairo Pomares (No. 14 CPL) had a nice game, hitting 1-3 with a double and a walk. Pomares missed the first 2 months of the season due to injury, and is still rehabbing. He’s 6-15 with 2 doubles and 4 walks in his rehab assignment so far, albeit with 6 strikeouts, which was his biggest weakness last year.

Another tough outing for RHP Miguel Mora (21 years, 2019 IFA), who gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, and 2 hit batters in just 2 innings, with 3 runs allowed. It’s been a bad season that no one would have seen coming for Mora, who started the year in Low-A, struggled, moved to the ACL, and has continued to struggle. Last year in the ACL, Mora had 78 strikeouts, 26 walks, and 7 hit batters in 54.2 innings. This year across 2 levels, he has 26 strikeouts, 40 walks, and 7 hit batters in 29.1 innings.

But a pretty nice game for RHP Mauricio Estrella (19 years, 2022 IFA), who struck out 7 batters in 5 innings. Estrella is very young for the ACL, having only turned 19 in mid-April. He got rocked in his first 3 ACL games, but bounced back in this one, giving up just 4 hits and 2 earned runs. Estrella’s 7.64 ERA and 5.19 FIP aren’t good, but a player his age having 18 strikeouts to just 4 walks in 17.2 innings is pretty exciting.

ACL Black (7-6)

ACL Giants Black beat the ACL Athletics 2-0
Box score

A fantastic start for RHP Ubert Mejias (22 years, 2023 IFA), who had easily his best game as a pro, pitching 5 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts, while allowing 1 hit and 3 walks.

Mejias is a very unique player. It’s quite rare to see an international free agent start his career in the ACL rather than the DSL, but it’s also very rare to see a 22 year old international signing. It used to be that a player that age signing as an international free agent meant they were collecting a very small check to be organizational filler. But with the reduced amount of Minor Leaguers that teams are allowed to carry, filler doesn’t really exist these days, and the fact that Mejia got a $200,000 signing bonus certainly supports that.

As for why Mejias didn’t sign until he was 22, it’s nothing pertaining to talent: he just didn’t defect from Cuba until recently.

Pitching the other 2 shutout innings was RHP Melvin Adón, who appeared in his 3rd ACL game after being sent there from AAA. Adón isn’t listed as being on a rehab assignment, so it’s unclear if the Giants just want him to work on some things or if they needed a brief roster opening, or what.

Nothing of note on offense, where the Giants Black team had 3 singles and 3 walks and nothing else. The only player to reach base twice was left fielder Guillermo Williamson (19 years, 2021 IFA) who hit 1-2 with a walk. His second pro season and first year in the ACL has been absolutely dynamic: he’s 13-38 with 5 home runs, 2 doubles, and 7 walks. His 188 wRC+ is 4th among the 119 ACL batters with at least 40 plate appearances. Hell of a start.

Home runs

High-A Aeverson Arteaga (7)
High-A Ghordy Santos (5)
Low-A Matt Higgins (8)
ACL Justin Bench (1)