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Minor League round up, 8/14: How will Luis Matos do back in AAA?

Yesterday’s action on the Giants farm.

Luis Matos diving to make a catch D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Just three games for the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates on Monday, as the A-ball teams all had the day off, as did Bryce Eldridge’s ACL Giants Orange team. So just one ACL game and two DSL games for you, before we dive back into a full slate of games today.

Let’s kick it off.

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.


As you probably know by now, the big news is that outfielder Wade Meckler (No. 42 CPL) has been promoted to the Majors, where he became just the fourth player from the 2022 MLB Draft class to reach the show. He was joined by infielder Johan Camargo, while infielder Mark Mathias and center fielder Luis Matos (No. 4 CPL) have been optioned to AAA Sacramento.

It will be interesting to see what the Giants do with Matos if he does in Sacramento what he was doing before getting called up. The team isn’t in a great position to let a player figure it out at the MLB level, but you also don’t really want one of your top prospects wasting away in the Minors when they’ve already figured it all out there. We’ll see!

Also of note: today should be the turn in the rotation for AAA Sacramento LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 1 CPL). There’s been speculation that he might be called up to make his debut today or tomorrow. So keep an eye on whether or not he’s on the bump for Sacramento tonight, but also know that if he doesn’t pitch, it’s not a sure sign that he’s coming up. The Giants have fluctuated between pitching Harrison every 5 days and every 6 days, so he might start tomorrow.

ACL Orange (26-24)

ACL Giants Orange beat the ACL Guardians 17-5
Box score

Offense galore, albeit somewhat unconventionally. The Giants Orange team needed just 8 innings to score 17 runs, despite having only 4 extra-base hits ... and no home runs. But they had 16 hits total and, most impressively, 15 walks. Almost 2 walks per inning for a full game! Incredible stuff that surely has the Giants front office grinning in a pile of their own stereotype.

Needless to say, there were plenty of good games, with a whopping 5 different players reaching base safely at least 4 times. But second baseman Javier Francisco (20 years, 2020 IFA) was the lone player to reach base 5 times, hitting 2-3 and drawing 3 walks. Francisco hasn’t been on many people’s radars this year, as he’s been buried under the many other notable storylines on the farm, but he’s been quietly having an exceptional year in his 2ndish pass through the ACL (he was promoted to the ACL midseason last year).

With a .284/.444/.560 line (which equates to a 1.004 OPS and a 147 wRC+), Francisco is hitting for average and power, while also having more walks than strikeouts. Out of 121 ACL hitters with at least 100 plate appearances this year, Francisco’s 20.8% walk rate is 8th-best, while his 19.4% strikeout rate is 20th-best. There’s no magic equation for making a good hitting line sustainable at higher levels, but having a good walk rate, a good strikeout rate, and a non-inflated BABIP (his .316 mark is just 92nd out of those 121 hitters) is definitely the place to start. Looking forward to seeing him in San Jose next year, or when the ACL season wraps up next week.

Center fielder Estanlin Cassiani (19 years, 2019 IFA) had himself a day, hitting 2-4 with a double and 2 walks. Cassiani has just a .779 OPS and a 97 wRC+ in his first stateside season, but he’s been catching fire lately. He has an 1.151 OPS in August, and since July 20 the left-handed hitter is 23-57 with 1 home run (the first of his career), 5 doubles, 6 walks, and just 7 strikeouts. He’ll probably need to see a power spike at some point to have a Major League career, but the bat-to-ball skills sure are there.

Third baseman Justin Wishkoski (22 years, 2023 16th-round) continues his stellar start to his career, as he hit 2-4 with 2 walks. Through 11 career games, Wishkoski is 12-33 with 5 extra-base hits, 6 walks, and ... drumroll please ... 0 strikeouts. I love this dude already.

Shortstop Ramon Peralta (19 years, 2021 IFA) and left fielder Bo Davidson (21 years, 2023 UDFA) both doubled and reached base 3 times. It’s been an excellent debut stateside season for Peralta, who has an .849 OPS, a 121 wRC+, and a 17.8% walk rate. Doubly impressive when you consider that he was cold to start the season — since the calendar flipped to July, Peralta is hitting 24-85 with 4 home runs, 8 doubles, a whopping 22 walks, and 31 strikeouts. As for Davidson, he continues to look like an undrafted gem. Through 11 career games, the left-handed hitter is 11-33 with 5 extra-base hits and 7 walks.

LHP Carlos Molina (18 years, 2023 IFA) had a mostly-good game on the mound. He only allowed 3 hits and 2 runs in 5 innings of work, while striking out 5 batters, though he did walk 3. Still, impressive stuff for Molina, who is still 6 months away from turning 19, and came to the ACL after just 3 appearances in the DSL. He has a 3.67 ERA, a 4.24 FIP, and, even with his trio of walks yesterday, a lovely 33 strikeouts to 8 walks in 27 innings. What a start to his career! Teenage left-handed starting pitchers with good command? Yeah, I’ll sign up for that 8 days a week.

RHP Junior Flores (21 years, 2020 IFA) had an encouraging appearance, giving up just 1 hit in 2 scoreless innings, with 2 strikeouts. Flores has struggled with walks this year, so nice to see him have a BB-less game. He’s been showing improvement on that front: after walking 23 batters in 29.1 innings in his first 14 games of the year, Flores has issued just 1 walk in 6.2 innings in his last 3 games.

DSL Orange (26-21)

DSL Giants Orange beat the DSL Cubs Red 6-5 (8 innings)
Box score

Only 1 hit on the day for left fielder Oswaldo Ladera (20 years, 2019 IFA), but when that hit is a 4-run home run when you’re trailing by 3, that qualifies as a very, very good day! The numbers aren’t glistening for Ladera in his 3rd season, but they are good: he has a .756 OPS and a 111 wRC+. What’s likely catching the Giants eye, however, is the improved plate discipline. In his 3 years in the DSL, Ladera’s walk rate has gone from 6.5% to 9.7% to 11.1%, while his strikeout rate has gone from 30.4% to 34.1% to 22.2%. Really nice to see.

The other strong offensive day came from center fielder Lisbel Diaz (18 years, 2023 IFA), who hit 1-3 with a double and a hit by pitch. Diaz hasn’t homered since hitting a pair of them in his professional debut an July 18, but his short debut season has been fantastic nonetheless: he’s 20-57 with 4 extra-base hits, 7 walks, and just 8 strikeouts.

RHP Alfonso Perez (18 years, 2022 IFA) made the start while celebrating his 18th birthday. Happy birthday, Alfonso! It was an outing befitting his season, as he had just 1 strikeout in 4.2 innings, but 0 walks. He did allow 4 hits and 4 runs, which ran his ERA up to 3.43 (still a quite nice number!). The absence of strikeouts is almost comical though: he has just 21 of them (against 15 walks) in 42 innings this year, which is wild for a pitcher in 2023. Among 200 DSL pitchers with at least 30 innings thrown this year, Perez’s 4.5 strikeouts per 9 innings ranks 198th. But his 3.2 walks per 9 is solidly above-average.

RHP Jilber Canas (21 years, 2021 IFA) also has a funny line, and added to it on Monday, when he pitched 1.1 no-hit innings, but allowed a walk with 2 strikeouts. In 21 innings, Canas has 20 walks and 19 strikeouts. Whoops.

DSL Black (25-24)

DSL Giants Black beat the DSL Phillies Red 8-6
Box score

A delightful game from shortstop Keiberg Camacaro (16 years, 2023 IFA), who reached base in all 5 of his plate appearances, knocking a pair of singles and drawing 3 walks, while also stealing his 11th base of the year (although, in fairness, he was also caught stealing for the 6th time).

Camacaro has been on a tear lately. Since July 25, he’s hitting 14-40 with 1 triple, 5 doubles, 7 walks, and 12 strikeouts. It’s at this point in the show where I remind you that not only does he play a premier defensive position, but that he’s also the youngest player in the Giants organization.

A delightful game for another recent signee, as left fielder/center fielder Angel Guzman (17 years, 2023 IFA) continued his stellar debut season, hitting 1-3 with 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, and an outfield assist. A left-handed hitter, Guzman is cooly rocking an .866 OPS and a 131 wRC+ in his debut year. Fantastic!

First baseman Diego Gonzalez (19 years, 2021 IFA) hit 2-5 with a double. His 3rd season in the DSL has been better than his first 2, but it hasn’t been particularly good, as he has a .710 OPS and a 93 wRC+. He limits strikeouts though!

Potential bad news, and you can guess what it is because this keeps happening: center fielder Carlos Concepcion (17 years, 2023 IFA), who hit 0-2 with a walk, left the game after getting hit by a pitch. Hopefully he’s OK.

Speaking of getting hit by pitches, catcher Nehomar Caldera (17 years, 2023 IFA) got plunked twice. After getting hit just once in his first 28 games, Caldera has been hit twice in back-to-back games. How odd.

An encouraging outing from RHP Jesus Lopez (18 years, 2023 IFA), who gave up 6 hits and 1 run in 4 innings of work. That’s fine and dandy, but it’s the 5 strikeouts to 0 walks that are notable, because Lopez entered the game with just 11 strikeouts to 14 walks in 27 innings. So it’s quite nice to see a reversal to that trend.

But the pitching star was RHP Ismael Mota (22 years, 2019 IFA), who struck out all 3 batters that he faced. Mota has struggled in his 3rd DSL season, and before this strikeout-heavy game he had just 14 strikeouts to 20 walks in 18.2 innings. I’m sensing a theme here!

Home runs

DSL Oswaldo Ladera (3)

Tuesday schedule

Sacramento: vs. the Tacoma Rainiers, 6:45 p.m. PT
Richmond: vs. the Harrisburg Senators, 3:35 p.m. PT
Eugene: vs. the Vancouver Canadians, 6:35 p.m. PT
San Jose: @ the Stockton Ports, 7:05 p.m. PT

Reminder that Minor League games are now available on MLB TV.