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Minor League round up, 8/27: Look at the draftees shine!

Yesterday’s action on the farm.

Quinn McDaniel sitting on a bench with his glove
Quinn McDaniel hit 2-4 with a home run and a walk for Low-A San Jose

All four of the San Francisco Giants Minor League Baseball affiliates were in action on Sunday before a scheduled off day today, so let’s dive into it!

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

All listed positions are the positions played in that game.


The Giants released two-way player Ronald Guzmán. A first baseman with plenty of MLB experience, the Giants signed Guzmán to a Minor League contract in the offseason and gave him a chance to be a pitcher in Spring Training. He got injured, was placed on the 60-day IL, and recently began a rehab assignment, this time as a position player. That experiment is now over.

LHP Seth Corry has been promoted from Low-A San Jose to High-A Eugene. How great it would be if he could end the year on a high note.

Down in Low-A, LHP Joe Whitman was added to the roster following the completion of the ACL season. Whitman was the team’s compensation round pick in July’s draft, and was seen by many evaluators as the top southpaw in the 2023 draft.

AAA Sacramento (55-70)

Sacramento River Cats lost to the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) 8-7
Box score

After winning the first 4 games of the series, the River Cats ended the set against the Chihuahuas with back-to-back 1-run losses. Oh well.

The most notable part of the game was that right fielder Mitch Haniger made his 5th rehab appearance, with the Giants suggesting that he could be activated as soon as today. Haniger reached base twice before getting lifted, going 0-2 with both a walk and a hit by pitch. His HBP was his final plate appearance before leaving the game, but an inning passed between getting hit and coming out of the game, so I’m guessing they were unrelated, thankfully.

Haniger hasn’t hit well in his rehab stint — he’s 1-17 with 2 walks (though just 2 strikeouts) — but history tells us not to care. Rehab appearances for proven veterans are about making sure you’re healthy, getting your rhythm and timing up to speed, and facing some live pitching. He was arguably the biggest offseason addition for the Giants, and his return — he hasn’t played since fracturing his forearm on June 13 — will be huge.

Replacing Haniger was first baseman David Villar, who only got one at-bat. He made the most of it, by putting the ball over the fence.

Villar will probably have a tense offseason. His poor play in the Majors this year and the organization’s fairly clear souring on him will make him one of the more expendable names on the 40-man roster ... but then again, he’s a talented defensive player at 3 positions with really good home run power, so the Giants may not be ready to give up on him. He’s certainly telling them they shouldn’t be: in his last 16 games, the righty slugger is hitting 23-61 with 4 home runs, 2 doubles, and 8 walks. Keep it up, David!

Apparently the bench had some magic, because the River Cats had 2 homers and they came from the 2 players who came off the pine to contribute. The other? Second baseman Tyler Fitzgerald (No. 18 CPL), who hit 1-3 but the “1” was a 3-run blast.

The Giants moves over the last few months have made it clear that they don’t value Fitzgerald as highly as the fanbase does — at least not in terms of ability to make an immediate contribution — but he keeps chugging away. Since August 8, the versatile Fitzgerald is 22-70 with 4 homers, 2 triples, 5 doubles, 9 walks, and 15 strikeouts. Will the Giants protect him from the Rule 5 Draft? I would be very surprised, but then ... will someone select him? He’ll be interesting to keep an eye one.

Fitzgerald replaced second baseman Brett Wisely (No. 33 CPL), who hit 0-1 with a walk and 2 errors, but was picked off first in his final play before getting replaced. Did he hurt himself doing that? Hopefully not.

A nice game for center fielder Bryce Johnson (No. 43 CPL), who hit 1-2 with 3 walks and a stolen base. Kind of hard to see Johnson surviving the offseason on the 40-man roster given that he’s fallen behind Wade Meckler, Luis Matos, and Heliot Ramos (who are all on the active roster right now) on the center field depth chart. He’s making a push, and in his last 9 games is 11-35 with 1 home run, 2 triples, 1 double, 5 walks, and 4 stolen bases.

Recently-outrighted shortstop Johan Camargo hit 2-4 with a walk. The Giants are hoping they won’t need to rely on him again this year, but a good depth option to have.

Not very good pitching performances, with RHPs Sean Hjelle (No. 30 CPL) and Miguel Yajure both allowing 3 earned runs in 3.2 innings. The former, who was recently optioned, gave up 9 baserunners, while the latter allowed a pair of unearned runs as well.

But RHP Nick Avila ended the game by striking out the only 2 batters he faced. Avila, who was selected in the Rule 5 Draft but returned during Spring Training, struggled quite a bit near the start of the year, but has really been turning things around lately. A 26th-round pick in 2019, Avila has a 3.36 ERA but a 5.35 FIP. In his last 13 games, he’s pitched 15.2 innings and allowed 16 hits, 5 walks, 4 runs, and 3 earned runs, with 11 strikeouts. In the offense-inflated Pacific Coast League, that’s pretty darned good.

AA Richmond (61-59)

Richmond Flying Squirrels split a 7-inning doubleheader with the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox), losing 5-1 and winning 10-8
Game 1 box score
Game 2 box score

A tale of 2 games for the Flying Squirrels. In the Game 1 loss, Richmond mustered just 2 hits, none of which went for extra bases. But in Game 2? They had 5 home runs, en route to 12 hits.

Right fielder Victor Bericoto had perhaps the biggest day. After going 0-2 with a walk in the first game, he hit 2-4 with both a homer and a double in the second one, increasing his organizational lead in home runs.

After a slow start following an early-July promotion, Bericoto — who doesn’t turn 22 until December — is turning it on in a big way. This was his 3rd time in the last 4 games that he’s had a 2-hit game with a home run, and he’s replaced his .464 July OPS with an .864 mark in August. Bericoto doesn’t have as many paths to the Majors as some players in the system, since he’s defensively limited to the corners of the grass and first base, and doesn’t have much speed. But if he keeps hitting, who cares?

Also having a sensational day was third baseman Brady Whalen, who hit 4-7 with a home run across the 2 games. Whalen’s first year with the organization has been defined more by injuries than by anything else, but really nice to see him have a good showing.

First baseman Logan Wyatt didn’t get much playing time, but made the most of it. Hitting in the 8-spot in Game 1, he only had 2 plate appearances and 1 official at-bat, as he hit a sacrifice fly to score the team’s only run. In Game 2 he came off the bench to have just 1 at-bat ... and hit a home run.

Wyatt, who has a .746 OPS and a 101 wRC+ since a midseason promotion, now has 15 homers on the year, which is tied for 4th in the organization. He had just 5 home runs total in his first 3 Minor League seasons.

Also homering were catcher/left fielder Brandon Martorano, who hit 1-3 with a walk while playing in just the second game, and designated hitter/center fielder Shane Matheny, who hit 3-7 over the 2 games, and now has an .863 OPS and a 135 wRC+ since getting demoted. He’s doing everything he can to stay in the organization’s plans.

LHP Nick Zwack started the first game, making just his second appearance since returning from the IL, and he gave up 5 baserunners and 4 runs in just 1.1 innings. It’s been a pretty brutal season for Zwack, who was part of last year’s J.D. Davis trade. He started the season with a 4-inning, 1-hit, 0-run, 9-strikeout performance. Since then? 66 innings, 83 hits, 29 walks, 55 runs, 52 earned runs, and 71 strikeouts. Welp.

The start for the second game didn’t go super well either, as LHP John Michael Bertrand — last year’s 10th-round pick — gave up 9 baserunners and 5 runs in 4.1 innings. Bertrand has a 4.58 ERA in 8 AA starts but that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story: he has a 3.23 FIP and is already pitching in his 3rd level this year, after throwing just 8 innings last season following the draft. Bertrand is a command and control guy: of the 92 Giants pitchers with at least 30 innings thrown this year, his 2.26 walks per 9 innings is 5th-best, and his 55.6% ground ball rate is 7th-best. His 6.95 strikeouts per 9 innings, however? That’s only 82nd-best. There are many different ways to have success!

A funny game for RHP Spencer Bivens, who replaced Zwack in the first contest. He gave up 3 hits, 4 walks, and a hit batter in just 3.2 innings ... but somehow limited the damage to just 1 run. Scoreless innings for RHPs Ben Madison, Sam Delaplane, and Tyler Myrick.

Madison, a Rule 5 candidate, has allowed just 14 hits in 25.1 innings since getting promoted, with 34 strikeouts ... but he has 22 walks (he didn’t have any in this game, though he hit someone for the 3rd time). Delaplane, who is up to 37.1 innings on the year after just 3.2 in 2022, and 0 in 2021 and 2020, has been on the extremes in 8 Richmond games: he’s had 6 scoreless outings, and given up 4 runs in each of the other 2 games. Myrick has a 1.53 ERA and a 2.83 FIP since getting promoted, with 18 strikeouts to 5 walks in 17.2 innings.

High-A Eugene (61-59)

Eugene Emeralds lost to the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) 7-1
Box score

A very uninteresting game in the PNW. The offense mustered just 5 hits and 2 walks, with no extra-base hits. Right fielder Tanner O’Tremba was the only player to reach base multiple times, hitting 1-3 with a walk. Last year’s 15th-round pick is settling into Eugene quite nicely: in 3 games since getting promoted, he’s 3-11 with a triple, a double, and 2 walks.

LHP Hayden Wynja, who is having an awesome season, got rocked in the start, allowing 4 hits and 4 walks en route to 5 runs in 4.1 innings.

But the bullpen was great! LHP Matt Mikulski had one of his best outings of the year, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings with just a hit allowed. I probably don’t need to explain the struggles for Mikulski, the team’s 2nd-round pick in 2021, who has a 6.44 ERA and a 6.50 FIP. This was just the 6th time all year (in 29 appearances) that he’d had an outing without a walk or a hit batter. Here’s to more of those!

RHP Cameron Cotter made his 2nd appearance since getting promoted and doesn’t have an ERA yet, though he did allow 2 hits and 2 unearned runs. And a scoreless inning for RHP Tanner Kiest, who is such a fun story: this is his first year of Minor League Baseball since 2018. Don’t look at his 4.09 ERA ... instead focus on the 2.50 FIP and the 45 strikeouts to 10 walks in 33 innings. His 12.18 strikeouts per 9 innings is 13th out of 92 Giants pitchers with at least 30 innings this year, while his 2.65 walks per 9 innings is 10th. Those numbers are less exciting when you realize he’s in High-A and turns 29 next month, but good numbers are still always better than bad numbers!

Low-A San Jose (63-57)

San Jose Giants lost to the Modesto Nuts (Mariners) 12-11 (10 innings)
Box score

Young players coming up from the Complex League have taken over San Jose, and they had some mighty impressive showings on Sunday in a close loss.

Second baseman Quinn McDaniel showed up and showed out, hitting 2-4 with a walk and his first A-ball home run. A 5th-round pick in July who is still just 20 years old, McDaniel has 4 hits in his first 3 games with San Jose, while striking out just twice (both times in this game, admittedly).

Speaking of strikeouts, shortstop Cole Foster has a little bit of an issue with them ... but he’s negating it with a “hit the crap out of the baseball” issue. A switch-hitter taken in the 3rd round in July, Foster hit 1-4 with a home run, a walk, and a hit by pitch on Sunday. An early promotion, Foster has 24 strikeouts to just 3 walks in 17 games. But he’s showing massive power for the position: across 2 levels, Foster already has 6 home runs in just 107 plate appearances.

Third baseman Charlie Szykowny started his Low-A assignment slowly, but exploded in his 4th game, hitting 3-5 with a double and a walk. One thing of note for Szykowny, a 9th-round pick in July who hits left-handed: while listed as a shortstop when he was drafted, he’s played exclusively at third base so far in his short career.

First baseman Javier Francisco wasn’t a drafted player, but the 20-year old international free agent is part of the group that just showed up in San Jose, and he hit 3-6 with a pair of doubles in his 2nd game at the level. He was spectacular in pretty much every offensive facet of the game in Arizona, so it sure would be awesome if he keeps that going in A-ball.

Center fielder Turner Hill is not a recent promotee, but he sure had a cool game, hitting 3-5 with a hit by pitch and a stolen base. Hill, a 24 year old undrafted player in his debut season, has a distinct lack of power: he has 0 home runs, 3 triples, and 18 doubles in 310 plate appearances. But he’s up to a .301 batting average on the year, and has 5 multi-hit games in his last 7 outings, which featured a pair of games where he was forced into emergency action in AAA. Since July 28, the super-speedy Hill is 38-103 with 3 triples, 8 doubles, 14 walks, and just 6 strikeouts.

On the mound, the start/open went to July’s compensatory pick, LHP Joe Whitman. It was just Whitman’s 4th pro game, and his 1st with San Jose. He gave up a hit, a hit batter, and a run in 2 innings, but struck out 3 batters. His future is mighty, mighty bright!

But LHP Esmerlin Vinicio probably had the best game on the mound, pitching 4 scoreless innings with 4 hits, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts. It hasn’t been the repeat of the level that Vinicio was hoping for, as he has a 5.19 ERA and a 5.16 FIP. But if he can cut down on his walks (he’s issuing 5.2 per 9 innings) then he’ll be in business: he has 10.0 strikeouts per 9 innings and a 50.3% ground ball rate in San Jose. He’s a player who has historically been done in by a high BABIP, so perhaps moving up the chain and getting better defenses behind him will help him out.

An absolutely brutal game for RHP Luis Moreno, who managed to give up 10 baserunners, 9 runs, and 8 earned runs in just an inning of work. And RHP Marques Johnson continues to have a funny first pro season, as he gave up 2 hits and an unearned run in 2 innings of work, with 1 strikeout. An 11th-round pick by the Red Sox last year, Johnson (who came over in the Mauricio Llovera trade) has just 9 strikeouts to 7 walks in 12.1 innings with the Baby Giants ... but has yet to give up an earned run. Whatever works!

Home runs

AAA Tyler Fitzgerald (17 in AAA, 19 total)
AAA David Villar (13 in AAA, 18 total)
AA Shane Matheny (10 in AA, 13 total)
AA Logan Wyatt (7 in AA, 15 total)
AA Victor Bericoto (6 in AA, 22 total)
AA Brandon Martorano (4)
AA Brady Whalen (3 in AA, 4 total)
Low-A Cole Foster (3 in Low-A, 6 total)
Low-A Quinn McDaniel (1 in Low-A, 4 total)

Monday schedule

Sacramento: Off day
Richmond: Off day
Eugene: Off day
San Jose: Off day

Injured List

It’s easy to lose track of all the players who have been injured, so here’s your weekly update on which Minor Leaguers are on the IL.

San Francisco (60-Day IL)

LHP Thomas Szapucki
RHP Cole Waites (No. 15 CPL)


LHP Raymond Burgos — Development List
RHP R.J. Dabovich (No. 17 CPL) — Full Season
C Brett Cumberland — 60-Day
RHP Kade McClure — 60-Day
RHP Joe Ross — 60-Day (on a rehab assignment)
RHP Logan Shore — 60-Day
RHP Melvin Adón — 7-Day
RHP Tanner Andrews — 7-Day
OF Jack Larsen — 7-Day
SS Marco Luciano (No. 2 CPL) — 7-Day


OF Hunter Bishop (No. 29 CPL) — 60-Day
RHP Michael Stryffeler — 60-Day
OF Vaun Brown (No. 5 CPL) — 7-Day
INF Hayden Cantrelle — 7-Day
RHP Landen Roupp (No. 20 CPL) — 7-Day
LHP Carson Whisenhunt (No. 9 CPL) — 7-Day


INF Michael Wielansky — 60-Day (on a rehab assignment)
RHP Will Bednar (No. 25 CPL) — 7-Day
OF Jairo Pomares (No. 14 CPL) — 7-Day
RHP Carson Ragsdale — 7-Day

San Jose

RHP Sam Bower — Full Season
1B Connor Cannon — Full Season
RHP Davis Hare — Full Season
RHP Spencer Miles — Full Season
RHP Liam Simon — Full Season
RHP Ian Villers — Full Season
LHP Rohan Handa — 60-Day
RHP Gerelmi Maldonado (No. 40 CPL) — 60-Day
OF Justin Bench — 7-Day
SS Anthony Rodriguez — 7-Day
RHP Cody Tucker — 7-Day