Welcome back to Week 2 of Minor Monday! Once again displaced until Tuesday, this writer now wishes he had more creativity for titling projects.
As of this writing, the Giants minor league affiliates have played a total of 45 games, totaling in an minor league organizational record of 15 – 30.
Giants Minor League Affiliates
|TEAM||RECORD||RUNS SCORED||RUNS ALLOWED||STANDINGS|
|Sacramento River Cats||2 – 10||39||65||4th of 4|
|Richmond Flying Squirrels||4 – 8||38||54||6th of 6|
|San Jose Giants||4 – 5||38||40||4th of 5|
|Augusta GreenJackets||5 – 7||50||57||6th of 7|
So, what’s different this week?
Well, today we’re rolling out the Featured Game section of this article and, with the help of /u/bigjeep41, gaining local insight into the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
For example, here’s what /u/bigjeep41 had to say about fire-throwing reliever Ray Black (13):
“Ray Black: What. A. Guy. Future Closer or setup man without a doubt. Opening night he went 1, 2, 3 and shut down the Curve to a thunderous applause. Saturday night though he blew a 0-0 game in the ninth while walking three and then letting a triple squeak down the first base line. Has a searing fastball that can hit 100, our speed thing only goes up to 99, so when I saw that 00 I knew he was the real deal. Keep and eye on this guy as Casilla, Romo, and Lopez age.”
4/12 Sacramento River Cats win at Las Vegas 51s (Mets), 5-4
This game featured three current San Francisco Giants in Mac Williamson (11) and the Hero of Los Angeles Derek Law (23), who joined the big league club following injuries to Sergio Romo and Adrianza. Also making an appearance, recent call-up Mike Broadway who tries to mitigate the loss of Kontos.
Broadway nearly handed the River Cats a loss with a 9th inning that accurately recreated recent San Francisco bullpen woes, allowing three to cross the plate and making it a one run game.
But, before that, we had a prognostic shut down inning by Law, needing just 13 pitches (8 strikes) to retire the side, collecting one strike out.
It’s that time of the year to get excited for Ty Blach (20) who started the game. At 25 years old, Blach needs to put together a compelling 2016 campaign or risk more young arms passing him on the depth chart.
However, his 4/12 start remains his only good one so far: going six innings, striking out seven, and only letting five men reach base. His line doesn’t end there, however, as the very athletic, defending gold glove winner Blach also had two singles and picked off a runner.
On the other side of the ball, Mac Williamson stroked three hits in five at-bats, raising his average at the time to .292. His strong start to the year, especially when compared to Jarrett Parker (9), allowed him to jump ahead, earning the big league call-up.
This game also featured a home run by Miguel Olivo, the farm hand catcher who still has a job.
This column looks to change every week as I try to settle into a format that I like, but this week we’re going to drop in on the Giants Top 1-5 prospects, (as per Baseball America)
But first, here’s two other names you should get to know now:
Jalen Miller (16)
3rd Round pick, 2015, 19 years old
At 19, Miller is still very young for Short Season A ball in Augusta.
I hadn’t really thought about Miller until I came across The Prospect Roundup – 4/17, a feature on McCoveyChronicles.com. You can see full the article here and, if you’re looking for daily minor league recaps, I highly suggest you check out another McC feature: Minor Lines.
Writer of The Prospect Roundup (handle: BruteSentiment), wrote this about Miller’s first week:
“Jalen Miller is in quite a prospect-laden infield in Augusta, but he found a way to stand out over the first week. The youngster didn’t have the highest OPS in the system for first week-plus, but he was one of the best all-around performers. He hit 12 for 37 (.324), collecting three doubles and a triple, and 7 RBI despite batting mostly second in the lineup. What’s most impressive about this is that Miller is doing this after a disappointing .240/.305/.299 in 51 games in the Arizona League during his debut. The 19-year old is just getting started, and it will be a surprise if he moves beyond Augusta before the playoffs, but he is absolutely a must-watch.”
Jalen Miller’s name keeps popping up and I suggest you remember it!
Kyle Crick (27)
1st Round, 2011 Draft, 23 years old
The former top prospect in the Giants organization has dropped off the radar for many. It’s now five years since he was drafted in the first round. Entering his third year in Richmond (AA), which is bad, Crick is still young and striking out more than 10 per game, which is good.
The news here is that so far in 2016, Crick has started two baseball games. Previously, his last game started was June 26th of 2015, and after that, he was a mixed-use reliever for the remainder of the season.
Well, how’d he do so far?
Two starts and . . . maybe we should just wait on this one. Six earned runs in nine innings. Walks. 60% of his pitches were strikes. However, if he threw two amazing starts instead we would probably dismiss them as small sample size just as easily. Right?
Keep an eye out for how long Kyle Crick starts and whether his walk fetish remains unchanged.
Top 5 Prospect Report
All lines are taken from BaseballReference.com
#1 Christian Arroyo, SS, 20 years old, 1st Round 2013 draft, Richmond Flying Squirrels
Losing some slugging numbers when joining the eastern AA league, (as Arroyo has done so far), is normal, and his triple slash line is still quite nice for a short stop.
u/bigjeep41 added this on Arroyo:
“Arguably the most exciting batter on the roster this year, Arroyo has shown why he is considered one of the top guys in the system. He has had multiple games going 4 for 4 but he has had a couple 1 for 4’s also. Great at base hits and occasionally a double. Biggest thing of note was Saturday night he played 3b the whole night. Pretty much a mirror image of Joe Panik when he was in RVA.
It seems the whole infield lineup is dictated by where Arroyo is going to play, he has played 2B, SS, and 3B this season.”
#2 Tyler Beede, RHP, 22 years old, 1st Round 2011 draft, Richmond Flying Squirrels
Beede is starting his second year in Richmond and he has been reported as hitting 95 MPH consistently in his first two starts. He also sports an obviously impressive 10:1 strikeout:walk ratio. The hits, though, have ugly’d up his line — 16 hits in 45 plate appearances, four for extra bases.
Wondering about the starting pitcher behind Beede in Richmond, Adalberto Meija (10)?
“Meija looks like he is finally living up to his billing as a top 15 prospect. Held Altoona to 2 runs even though he only went 5 innings.
#3 Phil Bickford, 20 years old, 1st Round 2015 Draft, Augusta GreenJackets
We featured Bickford in our very first Minor Monday article where he put together a very impressive 2016 debut. His second appearance featured six strikeouts to just one walk, making his ratio on the year 8:1 which is exactly what you want to see out of an Augusta pitcher. The hits have simply come at the worst possible times for Bickford. I mean, look at that sexy, small sample size .808 WHIP!
#4 Lucious Fox, 18 years old, international signing, Augusta GreenJackets
Playing in just seven professional games so far in his career, the athletic and speedy Fox has shown off early his ability on the base paths, in the field, and – somewhat surprisingly – he’s been getting on base at a decent clip despite having only five hits, two for extra bases.
It will likely be a long time before we know exactly what kind of player Fox can be.
#5 Chris Saw, 1B, 22 years old, 1st Round 2015 draft, San Jose Giants
Shaw hasn’t started mashing yet as he did in Salem-Keizer last year – with only two extra base hits so far – but he has had two multi-hit games, including a three for four night with a double, scoring twice, and driving in a run.
He’s also riding a six game hitting streak and his first home run of the year should come any game – Shaw’s power is his main tool and won’t be missing for long.
Let’s end with a name that might be unfamiliar to you and some good ol’ baseball smashing:
His name is Gustavo Cabrera and he was the Giants top international pick in 2012. What followed were serious injuries, and that’s an understatement. For a primer on Cabrera, check out this feature from McCoveyChronicles.com; it’s definitely worth the read!
2016 is Cabrera’s full-season debut (Augusta) and in his first at-bat, he faced the 9th best prospect (Mike Soroka) in a loaded Atlanta Braves system. Okay, he struck out on three pitches, but in his second AB . . .
On an 0-2 count, this happened. (If I could figure how to embed Twitter video, I would)
That’s a double off the LF wall on his way to a two for four night, adding a single against Soroka later.
The Lucius Fox hype train might be full, but Gustavo Cabrera’s is just getting started.