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Minor League round up, July 24

Yesterday’s action on the Giants farm.

Brady Whalen swinging a bat in front of an orange screen at media day
Brady Whalen homered in a rehab assignment in the Arizona Complex League
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Four games for the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates on Monday, with the ACL and DSL teams in action, while it was the weekly off-day for the A-ball clubs.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.


I’m going to try and be better about scouring the transactions pages for news instead of just waiting for things to pop up on Twitter. So hopefully that means more to report here.

Utility player Ford Proctor was released. The Giants traded for Proctor about a year ago, sending reliever Jeremy Walker to the Tampa Bay Rays. Proctor played in 7 games for the Giants last year before being DFA’d and re-signed, but had struggled in AAA Sacramento this year.

RHP Melvin Adón is back in AAA. He started the year there but was walking a batter an inning, so the Giants sent him to the ACL and then Low-A San Jose to work on command. He showed huge improvements.

ACL Orange (14-20)

ACL Giants Orange beat the ACL Rockies 2-0
Box score

The first batter of the game, left fielder Estanlin Cassiani (20 years, 2019 IFA) singled. The second batter of the game, second baseman Jean Carlos Sio (19 years, 2022 IFA) homered.

There would be no more runs scored for the remainder of the game.

The dinger pushes Sio into above-average territory, as he now has an .810 OPS and a 106 wRC+. Sio was the rare player who got promoted from the DSL despite having a statistically poor season last year, probably in part because the Giants liked his high walk rate and low strikeout rate. He’s kept that the case in the ACL, with a 14.2% walk rate and a 16.3% strikeout rate. But he’s found way more hits, raising his average from .200 to .286, and he’s doing a lot more with those hits ... last year he had just 9 extra-base hits (7 of which were doubles) in 179 plate appearances. This year he already has 8 (only 3 of which are doubles) in just 141 plate appearances.

First baseman Javier Castillo (19 years, 2021 IFA) was the only player to reach base twice, hitting 2-4 with a double. His power is subpar — he has 8 doubles in 92 plate appearances this year, with no triples or homers — but he’s currently sporting a .311 batting average with a 12.0% walk rate and an 18.5% strikeout rate, giving him an .810 OPS and a 104 wRC+.

But the stars were on the mound, where all 3 pitchers shined. RHP Samir Chires (19 years, 2021 IFA) got the start and was dynamic, giving up just 3 baserunners in 4.2 scoreless innings, while striking out 5. Chires started his debut stateside season quite slow, but has caught fire lately. Check out his splits:

First 5 games: 14.2 innings, 13 hits, 11 walks, 18 runs, 14 strikeouts
Next 4 games: 18.2 innings, 12 hits, 6 walks, 2 runs, 19 strikeouts

Here’s to keeping that up!

LHP Carlos Molina (18 years, 2023 IFA) was next up, and gave up just 1 hit and 1 hit batter in 2.1 scoreless innings, with 2 strikeouts. Molina is the rare player who got the DSL to ACL debut midseason, and in his debut season, no less. But so far he’s been fantastic in Arizona, with 12 strikeouts to 1 walk in 9 innings, and a 1.00 WHIP.

And finally it was RHP Lisander De La Cruz (21 years, 2019 IFA). De La Cruz is really struggling in his 3rd pass at the level, and has as many walks as strikeouts, but today we celebrate the 2 perfect innings he pitched on Monday, with 3 strikeouts.

ACL Black (21-14)

ACL Giants Black beat the ACL D-backs Red 6-5 (7 innings)
Box score

A pair of home runs in this one, coming from a pair of players who hit 1-3.

In the 2nd inning it was a 2-run blast by right fielder Jediael Maduro (19 years, 2021 IFA), his 1st in the ACL. Maduro was excellent in the DSL before getting a midseason promotion last year, but has yet to find his production in the states. Monday’s performance bumped him up to a .704 OPS and an 82 wRC+ which, on the bright side, are much better numbers than he had last year. He seems to be struggling with more advanced pitchers ... after having 28 walks to 23 strikeouts in 154 DSL plate appearances, Maduro has just 17 walks to 49 strikeouts in 168 ACL plate appearances.

And then it was a solo shot in the 5th inning by first baseman Brady Whalen. An offseason Minor League free agent, Whalen — who’s trying to become the first person in his family to make the Majors, after his brother and father were both drafted but never made it to the show — is rehabbing after suffering an injury in AA.

Also rehabbing is second baseman Damon Dues, who hit 1-1 with 3 walks. He’s been excellent in 9 rehab games, and will likely be back in High-A soon.

Speaking of walks .... shortstop Ryan Reckley (No. 31 CPL, 18 years, 2023 IFA) also drew 3 of them. The star of last year’s signing class continues to struggle in every area except drawing walks. Among the Giants 85 prospects with at least 100 plate appearances this year, Reckley’s batting average of .162 is dead last. His slugging percentage of .232 is also dead last. But his walk rate of 20.9% is 3rd, behind only a 20 year old in the ACL and a player in the DSL.

Weird year.

Center fielder/right fielder Cesar Quintas (20 years, 2019 IFA) continues to have an awesome but funny season, as he hit 0-2 with 2 walks and added an outfield assist. Among those aforementioned 85 Giants Minor Leaguers, Quintas’ batting average of .396 is No. 1, though his comical .538 BABIP has a lot to do with that ... and with his 1.067 OPS and 178 wRC+. But what’s notable is the many different ways he’s providing value. His walk rate is a very high 15.3%, 14th-best out of that group. He’s already been hit by 12 pitches (4th-most in the system) despite only having 124 plate appearances (T-63rd). He has 3 outfield assists. What a fun player.

A nice outing from RHP Ubert Mejias (22 years, 2023 IFA), who continues to impress in his 1st professional season after defecting from Cuba. Mejias gave up just 2 singles in 2 scoreless innings, while striking out 3 batters. He’s only averaging 8 strikeouts per 9 innings, but otherwise he’s doing very well, with a 3.13 ERA, 3.4 walks per 9 innings, and just 1 home run allowed in 37.1 innings. I could see him moving through the system with some intriguing speed next year.

DSL Orange (19-15)

DSL Giants Orange beat the DSL Cardinals 3-0
Box score

It’s not every day that you win a game — comfortably, at that — when you have no extra-base hits, no walks, and 13 strikeouts, but that’s exactly what the Giants Orange team did, thanks in large part to some spectacular pitching (also not every day that you hear the term “spectacular pitching” used in the DSL).

A trio of pitchers combined for the shutout, so let’s run through them. Getting the start was RHP Johan Rodriguez (20 years, 2023 IFA). Rodriguez is on the older side for an international signee, and was awful out of the gates, but has been on fire lately ... including on Monday, when he struck out 6 batters in 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 baserunners.

In the 1st 3 games of his pro career, Rodriguez pitched 3 innings and allowed 5 hits, 7 walks, 9 runs, and 7 earned runs, with 3 strikeouts. In 5 games since? 11.1 innings, 6 hits, 4 walks, 5 runs, 2 earned runs, and 8 strikeouts. Love to see that improvement!

Then it was RHP Jorge Martinez (21 years, 2019 IFA), who struck out 4 batters in 4 scoreless innings, with 4 baserunners allowed. Martinez is back for a 3rd year in the DSL despite pitching quite well last year, so perhaps the Giants aren’t very high on him, but so far he’s pitching well again in 2023, with a 1.74 ERA, a 3.24 FIP, and 24 strikeouts to 9 walks in 20.2 innings.

Rounding it out was RHP Jilber Canas (21 years, 2019 IFA), who struck out 2 in a pair of scoreless frames, allowing a hit and 2 walks. Canas really struggled in his debut last year, and while he’s dropped his ERA from 8.10 to 2.16, and his WHIP from 1.80 to 1.32, while increasing his ground ball rate from 35.4% to 54.8%, he’s also walking more batters than he’s striking out this season.

The offense came from a pair of players having standout debut seasons: second baseman Dario Reynoso (18 years, 2023 IFA), who hit 2-4, and left fielder Lisbel Diaz (18 years, 2023 IFA), who hit 2-3. Reynoso has been hitting so well all year, with a .918 OPS, a 147 wRC+, and a 21.5% walk rate that ranks 2nd in the entire system (minimum: 100 plate appearances), while spending significant time at second, third, and shortstop. Diaz was a late signing and only recently debuted, and has been utterly electric since first putting on a Giants Orange jersey. In 5 games he’s 8-18 with 2 home runs, 3 walks, and just 2 strikeouts.

DSL Black (19-15)

DSL Giants Black lost to the DSL Brewers 1, 9-8 (10 innings)
Box score

A highly uninteresting day on the mound, so let’s just skip that and get to the offense.

What a fun day for center fielder Carlos Gutierrez (18 years, 2023 IFA). Gutierrez led off and came up to the plate 6 times ... and reached base safely all 6 times, hitting 4 singles, drawing a walk, and getting hit by a pitch. And to top it all off, he also stole not 1, not 2, but 3 bases! Gutierrez is only 10 games into his career, but has an .832 OPS and a 137 wRC+ ... not bad at all for a left-handed hitting center fielder! He also has 8 walks to just 2 strikeouts.

The Gonzalezes, catcher Anyelo (18 years, 2023 IFA) and first baseman Diego (19 years, 2021 IFA) both hit 2-5 with a walk. Anyelo is having a sublime debut season, rocking a .911 OPS and a 139 wRC+, with just a 15.8% strikeout rate, while having spent time at not just catcher, but first base, second base, left field, and center field. It’s likely that something’s got to give eventually, but I’m so here for a left-handed hitter who plays up the middle behind the plate, in the dirt, and in the grass.

And second baseman Dennys Riera (18 years, 2022 IFA) also reached base 3 times, hitting 2-5 with a hit by pitch. He’s been putting together much better at-bats lately, and is up to a .685 OPS and an 82 wRC+. Would be fun to see him take off since he was an exciting signing last year.

Home runs

ACL Jean Carlos Sio (3)
ACL Brady Whalen (1 in the ACL, 3 total)
ACL Jediael Maduro (1)

Tuesday schedule

Sacramento: @ the Albuquerque Isotopes, 5:35 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. the Portland Sea Dogs, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. Spokane, 6:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, 6:35 p.m. PT

Reminder that all Minor League games can now be watched on MLB TV.