I don’t have time to get to as many players as last week, but I thought we’d at least check in on the top 15 players in the organization. Right now, I’d say Flores and Gregorio are making the most noise out in San Jose, while Mella is holding his own in Augusta. The Fresno hitters continue to shine (including Adam Duvall, who isn’t mentioned in this post), with Susac picking up his 2nd HR a couple nights ago.
1: Kyle Crick, RHP (AA): 2 GS, 1-0, 2.35 ERA, 7.2 IP, 5 BB, 10 K – Crick’s second start wasn’t nearly as solid as his first. He walked 3 (and also struck out 5) over only 2.2 IP. Stock: Stable
2: Edwin Escobar, LHP (AAA): 3 GS, 0-1, 8.53 ERA, 12.2 IP, 4 BB, 17 K – His peripheral stats look good, but Esky is getting knocked around early in the PCL. He’s allowed 22 hits and 12 ER in just 3 starts. Stock: Down
3: Andrew Susac, C (AAA): 13 G, 45 AB, .333/.423/.533, 2 HR, 3 2B – Susac is still rolling along in the middle of that Fresno lineup. Stock: Up
4: Adalberto Mejia, LHP (AA): 2 GS, 1-0, 6.00 ERA, 6 IP, 1 BB, 6 K – Not much to update on Mejia, who was pulled from his last start after 1 IP when a comebacker hit his leg. He’s apparently fine, and will take the mound this evening. Stock: Stable
5: Clayton Blackburn, RHP (AA): 3 GS, 1-1, 1.76 ERA, 15.1 IP, 3 BB, 12 K – Blackburn had his best outing of the year yesterday, throwing 6.1 shutout innings. He’s been the most consistent arm among the big 4 in Richmond so far. Stock: Up
6: Mac Williamson, OF (A+): 15 G, 51 AB, .235/.371/.373, 1 HR, 4 2B, 4 SB/1 CS – Mac is still in San Jose, but his bat is starting to come around. He’s hitting .324 over his last 10 games, and clubbed his first HR of the year last night. Stock: Stable
7: Christian Arroyo, SS/2B (A): 14 G, 54 AB, .185/.241/.241, 1 2B, 1 3B – Arroyo is still having a tough time getting accustomed to SAL pitching, but he does have a couple multiple hit games over his last 10. Stock: Down
8: Ty Blach, LHP (AA): 3 GS, 1-1, 2.30 ERA, 15.2 IP, 4 BB, 6 K – He’s still not blowing hitters away, but he’ done a nice job of keeping runs off the board. Eventually I’d like to see some of these Richmond guys start working more than 5 IP. Stock: Stable
9: Chris Stratton, RHP (A+): 3 GS, 1-1, 3.94 ERA, 16 IP, 4 BB, 13 K –Stratton has pitched at least 5 innings in each of his starts, but he still hasn’t shown those 1st round pedigree numbers yet. Stable
10: Keury Mella, RHP (A): 3 GS, 2-0, 2.16 ERA, 16.2 IP, 5 BB, 15 K – Mella has been a pretty cool customer in his first 3 starts at Low A. He’s not racking up the K’s, but I think that will come with time. Stock: Up
11: Joe Panik, 2B/SS (AAA): 15 G, 59 AB, .271/.343/.322, 1 2B, 1 3B – Panik has cooled off a bit since his hot start, but he does have 6 hits in his last 3 games. I don’t think he’s going to be the .300 MLB hitter I was once hoping for, but he could still be a nice contributor. Stock: Stable
12: Kendry Flores, RHP (A+): 3 GS, 2-1, 3.00 ERA, 18 IP, 3 BB, 18 K – Flores killed his 3rd start, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 9 over 6 shutout IP. He and Gregorio look like the frontline starters in San Jose right now. Stock: Up
13: Martin Agosta, RHP (A+): 2 GS, 0-1, 1.93 ERA, 4.2 IP, 5 BB, 4 K – Agosta’s season got a bit of a late start, and he hasn’t pitched more than 3 innings in either start. He walked 3 batters in only 1.2 IP last night. Stock: Down
14: Joan Gregorio, RHP (A+): 3 GS, 2-0, 1.88 ERA, 14.1 IP, 5 BB, 22 K – Gregorio had arguably the outing of the season for Giants farmhands so far, striking out 11 in 5.1 IP a couple nights ago. He’s off to a heck of a start early. Stock: Up
15: Derek Law, RHP (AA): 6 G, 3 Sv, 1.42 ERA, 6.1 IP, 2 BB, 9 K – Law continues to role as Richmond’s closer. How long will they keep him in AA? Stock: Up
The Diamonbacks came to town with little momentum, and they found a way to steal a win at AT&T Park. This one left a very bad taste in my mouth, as I’m sure it did the players, coaching staff and front office. It’s very early in the season, but these are the types of series’ you need to win if you’re going to be a playoff contender. Here’s my quick rundown.
Game 1: Giants 7 D-Backs 3
The Giants took the home-opener in style, as Tim Hudson rolled out 8 strong IP for his second consecutive impressive outing in orange and black. Brandon Belt homered in the 1st, and Mike Morse and Brandon Crawford added big two-out knocks to give Huddy all the support he needed.
Game 2: D-Backs 7 Giants 3
Morse and Posey stayed hot at the plate with home runs, Morse’s one of the deepest shots I’ve ever seen at the yard. Unfortunately, the Giants fell in a 3-run hole before they could blink, as Paul Goldschmidt took Tim Lincecum deep in the 1st inning. Why Timmy pitches to that guy, I haven’t a clue. 7 ER and 2 HR allowed did Lincecum in, and the Gigantes were never able to climb back into it. After two starts, Timmy’s ERA stands at 9.90.
Game 3: D-Backs 6 Giants 5
There’s no way around it; games like these drive me absolutely insane. Ryan Vogelsong got knocked around early, but managed to get back on track and battle through the 5th inning. Posey laid down a beautiful bunt (the first of his career) to score Angel Pagan, and Morse gave the Giants the lead with another towering blast that found its way off the arcade wall in right-center. But errors and some shoddy late-inning relief let Arizona right back into it, and the Snakes won the game in extras. Not the best way to finish the series.
Angel Pagan: .442 (19-42), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB – Pagan has hit safely in every game this season, has played strong defense in CF, and has really been an all-around catalyst for the team.
Mike Morse: .400 (12-40), 2 HR, 10 RBI – Morse was on an absolute tear this series, and looks like he shouldn’t have any problem lifting the ball out of AT&T Park.
Tim Hudson: 2-0, 1.15 ERA, 15.2 IP, 0 BB, 11 K – Huddy has put on a clinic through his first two starts, and looks to be an anchor in this rotation.
Tim Lincecum: 0-1, 9.90 ERA, 10 IP, 1 BB, 12 K – The peripherals look great for Timmy, but the end results haven’t been pretty in his first two tries. The Franchise needs to step it up, and quickly.
Pablo Sandoval: .132 (5-38), 1 HR, 4 RBI – Pablo’s wild throwing error allowed the tying run to score in the 8th last night. Not a great series at all for the Panda, who seems to be pressing a bit early on.
Rockies 5-5 1 GB
D-Backs 4-8 3 GB
Padres 3-6 2.5 GB
The Giants host the Rockies for a 3-game set this weekend, with Madison Bumgarner and Jorge De La Rosa squaring off in the first Orange Friday of the season tonight. On Saturday, it’ll be Matt Cain against Brett Anderson, with Hudson matching up against Jordan Lyles in the final game on Sunday. As I said heading into this homestand, I believe the Giants can win each of these inter-division series’. The Rockies are very much an inconsistent team, but you can’t expect to beat anyone if you’re having 3-error games, as the Giants did last night.
With the Dodgers coming to town looking for payback next week, it would behoove the Gigantes to take this series from Colorado. With most of that Rockies pitching staff off to a… ahem… rocky start, I don’t think a sweep is out of the question. I’ll be very interested to see how Cain’s first start at AT&T goes tomorrow, and hope that Bummy can win the battle of the lefties tonight on Orange Friday.
|Nick Burdi, R||Louisville||15||0.00||5||28||16.8|
|Nick Howard, R||UVA||15.33||1.76||4||24||14.1|
|Matt Imhof, L||Cal Poly||55||1.96||19||81||13.3|
|Mason McCullough, R||Lander||35.67||4.54||30||51||12.9|
|Brandon Finnegan, L||TCU||56.33||1.60||15||80||12.8|
|Jonathan Holder, R||MSU||17.67||3.06||6||23||11.7|
|Aaron Nola, R||LSU||57||0.47||11||71||11.2|
|Kyle Freeland, L||Evansville||49||2.02||4||60||11.0|
|Sean Newcomb, L||Hart||46||0.78||22||54||10.6|
|Jake Stinnett, R||UMD||57||2.84||12||66||10.4|
|Daniel Mengden, R||TX A&M||57||3.32||17||65||10.3|
|Carlos Rodon, L||NCST||55.33||2.44||18||60||9.8|
|Tyler Beede, R||Vandy||48||2.81||16||52||9.8|
|Erick Fedde, R||UNLV||57||1.74||16||61||9.6|
|Daniel Gossett, R||Clem||44||2.25||15||46||9.4|
|Sam Coonrod, R||SIU||40||3.60||21||41||9.2|
|Zech Lemond, R||Rice||47||1.34||15||48||9.2|
|Michael Cederoth, R||SDSU||26.67||2.36||15||27||9.1|
|Andrew Morales, R||UCI||60||0.45||13||60||9.0|
|Aaron Brown, L||Pepp||58.67||2.45||15||58||8.9|
|Jeff Hoffman, R||ECU||53||3.40||19||52||8.8|
|Austin Robichaux, R||ULL||49.33||2.92||13||47||8.6|
|Harrison Musgrave, L||WVU||55||1.96||10||51||8.3|
|Grahamm Wiest, R||CSUF||49.67||1.81||7||43||7.8|
|Matt Cooper, R||Hawaii||56.33||1.60||16||48||7.7|
|Luke Weaver, R||FSU||54||2.83||12||46||7.7|
|Parker French, R||UT||51.33||1.93||18||41||7.2|
|Jordan Brink, R||Fresno||49||1.84||27||39||7.2|
|Frankie Vanderka, R||Stony Brk||47.67||2.83||17||36||6.8|
|Benton Moss, R||UNC||53.33||3.54||15||40||6.8|
|Ben Wetzler, L||OSU||47||0.38||13||35||6.7|
|Ryan Butler, R||Char||45.67||3.15||16||32||6.3|
|Chris Ellis, R||Miss||48||1.88||16||33||6.2|
|Aaron Garza, R||Houston||59||1.83||2||32||4.9|
|Joey Epperson, LF||UCSB||104||0.462||3-20||15/3||11/13|
|Bradley Zimmer, OF||USF||128||0.430||7-24||11/21||14/19|
|Michael Katz, IF||W&M||137||0.409||13-57||19/20||0/0|
|Mac James, C||OU||119||0.403||3-25||14/3||4/6|
|Connor Joe, IF||USD||132||0.394||5-30||19/19||2/5|
|Casey Gillaspie, 1B||Wichita||122||0.393||9-33||25/14||3/3|
|Jeff Gardner, OF||Louisville||112||0.384||3-39||11/14||0/0|
|Michael Conforto, OF||OSU||107||0.383||2-35||30/17||1/5|
|Sam Travis, IF||IU||120||0.383||3-29||11/12||5/7|
|Jace Conrad, 2B||ULL||132||0.379||6-39||10/13||14/17|
|AJ Reed, LHP/1B||UK||118||0.373||12-41||22/22||0/1|
|Aramis Garcia, C||FIU||123||0.366||5-29||19/14||3/4|
|Nick Vilter, 3B||UCR||93||0.366||8-24||21/22||4/4|
|Max Pentecost, C||Kennesaw||154||0.357||3-26||14/18||9/10|
|Connor Bright, IF||SC||124||0.355||0-22||9/21||4/6|
|Brett Austin, C||NCST||122||0.352||1-11||16/18||5/5|
|JD Davis, OF||CSUF||109||0.348||3-22||20/22||5/5|
|Ross Kivett, 2B||KSU||127||0.346||2-24||22/20||10/10|
|Austin Fisher, IF||KSU||126||0.341||2-21||18/11||5/7|
|Max Murphy, CF||Bradley||106||0.340||5-27||18/27||8/9|
|Brian Anderson, 2B||Ark||125||0.336||3-29||11/22||3/4|
|Auston Bousfield, OF||Miss||147||0.333||3-23||10/11||12/12|
|Kyle Schwarber, C/OF||IU||117||0.333||5-16||21/13||3/4|
|Derek Fisher, OF||UVA||51||0.333||0-7||4/7||1/2|
|Mike Papi, OF/1B||UVA||112||0.330||6-30||31/20||2/5|
|Grayson Greiner, C||SC||104||0.327||4-30||14/16||0/0|
|Joey Pankake, IF||SC||114||0.325||3-18||13/13||4/7|
|Taylor Sparks, 3B||UCI||123||0.325||4-23||14/34||3/8|
|Hunter Cole, OF/3B||UGA||136||0.324||2-20||17/34||2/3|
|Nick Torres, RF||Cal Poly||124||0.323||4-29||7/15||1/3|
|Greg Allen, OF||SDSU||124||0.323||0-13||23/13||19/21|
|Alex Blandino, 2B||Stanford||88||0.318||3-14||12/9||1/2|
|Trea Turner, SS||NCST||124||0.304||4-23||15/15||10/13|
|Garrett Boulware, C||Clem||121||0.298||2-22||16/13||1/2|
|Dylan Davis, OF||OSU||122||0.295||3-35||15/20||2/4|
|Mitch Meyer, RF||KSU||91||0.286||2-23||12/22||3/4|
|Matt Chapman, 3B||CSUF||99||0.273||4-23||10/15||2/3|
|Brandon Downes, C/OF||UVA||112||0.250||4-24||20/19||5/6|
With almost a week’s worth of minor league games in the books, let’s take a look at how the Giants top prospects (according to this blog) have fared in the early going. For now, we’ll only look at the top 25, but I’ll try to toss in a handful of other names who are off to great starts as well. I can’t promise I’ll have these stock reports up every single week this year, but I’ll do my best to update them at least a couple times each month.
This should serve multiple purposes, as it’ll keep us all in the loop on how the “hyped” kids are doing, as well as help me to form a well-educated updated midseason prospects list. It’s way too early to think about that, but you know how fast the season moves this time of year.
Anyway, here’s the top half of the list we worked with during the offseason.
1: Kyle Crick, RHP (AA): 1 GS, 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 2 BB, 5 K – Crick had his fastball consistently in the mid-90’s and was in full control of his first AA start. Stock: Stable
2: Edwin Escobar, LHP (AAA): 1 GS, 0-0, 7.71 ERA, 4.2 IP, 1 BB, 4 K – Esky got knocked around in his first start, which came in very hitter-friendly Las Vegas. He looks to rebound tonight. Stock: Stable
3: Andrew Susac, C (AAA): 6 G, 24 AB, .417/.481/.542, 1 HR – Susac is on a roll offensively to start the season. He crushed a 3-0 pitch over the LF wall against Salt Lake a few nights ago. Stock: Up
4: Adalberto Mejia, LHP (AA): 1 GS, 1-0, 5.40 ERA, 5 IP, 1 BB, 5 K – Was hitting mid-90’s on the New Britain stadium gun. Not a dominant start, but not bad for the youngest pitcher in the EL. Stock: Stable
5: Clayton Blackburn, RHP (AA): 1 GS, 0-0, 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 1 BB, 3 K – Blackburn worked his way out of trouble a couple times in his first start, but finished 5 solid innings. 2nd start tonight. Stock: Stable
6: Mac Williamson, OF (A+): 7 G, 23 AB, .130/.310/.130, 2 SB/0 CS – Maybe Mac’s injuring is hampering him a bit more than we thought. His first multi-hit game came last night. Stock: Stable
7: Christian Arroyo, SS/2B (A): 7 G, 27 AB, .185/.214/.259, 1 3B – Struggled out of the gate, but had 3 hits and drove in 2 last night. Got his first start at SS as well. Stock: Stable
8: Ty Blach, LHP (AA): 2 GS, 1-1, 2.45 ERA, 11 IP, 1 BB, 3 K – The K’s are down, but I was expecting that as he moved to AA. Two good starts in the book. Stock: Stable
Video from Conner Penfold/Giant Potential
9: Chris Stratton, RHP (A+): 2 GS, 1-1, 4.50 ERA, 10 IP, 3 BB, 8 K – Stratton’s second start wasn’t near as strong as his first. Seems like he’s working mostly 2-seamers these days. It’s a long season, but I just don’t know if he’s the same pitcher they took in the first round. Stock: Down
10: Keury Mella, RHP (A): 1 GS, 1-0, 1.59 ERA, 5.2 IP, 0 BB, 5 K – Mella made a big fan out of David Lee in his first outing, working a very heavy fastball and flashing impressive secondary stuff. Stock: Up
11: Joe Panik, 2B/SS (AAA): 7 G, 30 AB, .300/.400/.367, 1 3B – Have to like the way he’s putting the bat on the ball in Fresno early. Stock: Up
Video from Conner Penfold/Giant Potential
12: Kendry Flores, RHP (A+): 2 GS, 1-1, 4.50 ERA, 12 IP, 2 BB, 9 K – Flores was dominant in his first start, but came back to earth a bit last night. He’s holding steady for now, but I’m hoping for a takeoff as we get into May. Stock: Stable
13: Martin Agosta, RHP (A+): N/A – He’s listed on the DL, and has yet to make a start, but I actually think he’s away from the team for personal reasons. Stock: Stable
14: Joan Gregorio, RHP (A+): 1 GS, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 1 BB, 5 K – Gregorio hit his pitch limit before getting to the 5th inning, but he had an impressive outing nonetheless. Stock: Up
15: Derek Law, RHP (AA): 2 G, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K – Had I waited another month to do my preseason rankings, I’d have placed Law higher. He’s off to a nice start in AA, so he’s very much on the rise at this point. Stock: Up
16: Gary Brown, CF (AAA): 7 G, 34 AB, .324/.343/.529, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 SB/0 CS – Brown has 5 extra base hits in 7 games, he’s 2-2 on the bases, and he’s shown off his impressive arm strength. Hopefully he keeps up this roll that he’s on early. Stock: Up
17: Ryder Jones, SS/3B (A): 6 G, 20 AB, .150/.227/.200, 1 2B – Ryder played the first 6 games of the year at SS, but sat down last night. I’m not sure if it was performance related, but maybe the coaching staff thought he needed a day to reset. Stock: Stable
18: Josh Osich, LHP (AA): 3 G, 4.50 ERA, 4 IP, 5 BB, 4 K – Osich is walking too many batters early, but some of these relievers may not have gotten much time against players from opposing teams in MiLB spring training. Stock: Stable
19: Cody Hall, RHP (AA): 2 G, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 2 BB, 1 K – Fine start to the season for Hall. Stock: Stable
20: Adam Duvall, 3B (AAA): 7 G, 30 AB, .267/.313/.467, 2 HR – Duvall is showing off his power early, hitting a grand slam last night. He impressed me during his limited MLB spring training action. Stock: Up
21: Angel Villalona, 1B (AA): 7 G, 27 AB, .296/.321/.556, 2 HR, 1 2B – Angel V seems to be holding his own at the plate early. We’ve also heard that the Giants have two more seasons to get him ready before he’ll be out of options. Stock: Up
22: Brian Ragira, 1B (A+): 6 G, 19 AB, .211/.375/.211, 0 SB/1 CS – It’s way too early to make any major claims about a player, but I’m just not that blown away by Ragira. For a 4th round pick from college, you’d like to see him show some extra base power at some point. Stock: Stable
23: Chase Johnson, RHP (A): 2 GS, 1-1, 3.38 ERA, 10.2 IP, 2 BB, 9 K – I like what Johnson has done in his first two starts. He won’t blow you away, but for a college reliever transitioning to a starter, he’s been pretty steady so far. Stock: Up
24: Matt Duffy, SS (AA): 7 G, 26 AB, .308/.321/.385, 2 2B – Duffy’s promotion to Richmond was aggressive, but I don’t think any of us are surprised he’s holding his own. I really like this kid; the Giants may have a major sleeper on their hands. Stock: Up
25: Bryce Bandilla, LHP (AA): 3 G, 10.80 ERA, 3.1 IP, 5 BB, 1 K – A wild start to the season for Bandilla. We know he has the stuff, but he needs to reign it in a bit. Stock: Down
Brandon Bednar, 2B/3B (A): 7 G, 26 AB, .346/.333/.423, 2 2B, 1 SB/1 CS
Luis Ysla, LHP (A): 1 GS, 0-0, 6.00 ERA, 3 IP, 5 BB, 3 K
Mitch Delfino, 3B (A+): 7 G, 29 AB, .345/.367/.724, 2 2B, 3 HR
Jesus Galindo, CF (A+): 6 G, 25 AB, .320/.370/.360, 1 2B, 4 SB/2 CS
Pat Young, RHP (A+): 1 GS, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 1 BB, 4 K
Steven Okert, LHP (A+): 3 G, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 1 BB, 6 K
Jarrett Parker, OF (AA): 7 G, 27 AB, .407/.407/.593, 2 2B, 1 HR
Chris Dominguez, 3B (AAA): 5 G, 19 AB, .316/.286/.526, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 SB/0 CS
Mike Kickham, LHP (AAA): 2 GS, 0-1, 2.53 ERA, 10.2 IP, 1 BB, 10 K
Heath Hembree, RHP (AAA): 3 G, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
Stock Up (10): Susac, Mella, Panik, Gregorio, Law, Brown, Duvall, Villalona, Chase Johnson, Duffy
Stock Stable (13): Crick, Escobar, Mejia, Blackburn, Williamson, Arroyo, Blach, Agosta, Flores, Ryder Jones, Osich, Hall, Ragira,
Stock Down (2): Stratton, Bandilla
If you’ve been keeping up with these minor league recaps over the past week (I failed to post one yesterday), you’ll notice that I’ve been trying to focus on a different player each night. Unofficially, you might call the featured player a sort of “prospect of the night.” I gave the honor to pitchers over the first four of five days, and have now started to give some attention to the hitting prospects in the organization.
Christian Arroyo, #7 on the Cove Chatter 100 preseason prospects list, is our featured player today. Arroyo broke out of his early slump for Augusta last night, going 3-4 at the plate and starting an 8-run rally in the 3rd with a 2-RBI single up the middle. Coincidentally, last night was also Christian’s first start at SS, as he’d been manning 2B in each of the Greenjackets’ first 6 games. Yesterday also marked another change for the Giants 2013 1st round pick, as the Augusta coaching staff swapped Arroyo and 3B Brandon Bednar in the lineup – Arroyo moved up to the #2 spot, while Bednar dropped from 2 to 3 on a night that saw a few other lineup switches as well.
The Giants know Arroyo can hit, as he proved in taking the AZL MVP last summer. But the jump to full-season ball, and the pitcher-friendly SAL can be a tough one, especially for an 18 year-old kid. Arroyo entered last night with only 2 hits on the young season, so hopefully his 3-hit performance will let him breathe a little easier and get into a groove at the plate. No doubt, Arroyo has a chance to really be a leader for one of the youngest Augusta teams fielded in years.
(Photo Courtesy of Aroundthefoghorn.com)
Mitch Lively, FRS: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (8.31 season ERA) – Lively earned his 1st win of the season in an offensive slugfest.
Ty Blach, RCH: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (2.45 ERA) – Blach’s 1st AA win. I think guys like Blach and Blackburn are going to see their K’s take a hit in Richmond this season, as the hitting is much more advanced. However, I’ll take 6 shutout IP any day of the week.
Kendry Flores, SJ: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (4.50 ERA) – Flores couldn’t replicate his dominant first outing of the season. Sounds like he was pulled in the 6th with two runners on, and both of those runs came in to score.
Chase Johnson, AUG: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K (3.38 ERA) – Johnson gets his first win as a Greenjacket. Through 2 starts, he’s got 9 K and only 2 BB in 10.2 IP. Not too shabby for a seldom-used college reliever.
Gary Brown, FRS: 3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI – Brown is really spraying the ball around early in the year. He’s had a hit in all but one game, and has 3 multiple-hit performances. His average is up to .324 after yesterday.
Adam Duvall, FRS: 2-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K – Duvall’s second HR of the year was a grand slam. The guy has some major power, and it’s showing up early in the PCL.
Matt Duffy, RCH: 1-5, 2 RBI – Duffy had another nice day at the plate, working a 12-pitch AB his first time up, eventually moving Tyler Graham over to 3rd. His 2-RBI single in the 5th gave Richmond enough of a cushion to lock down a win.
Mac Williamson, SJ: 2-4, 2 R – Mac was off to an ice-cold start to the season, so his first multiple hit game has to feel good.
Mitch Delfino, SJ: 3-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI – Huge night at the plate for Delfino, who now sports a .345 average and 3 big flies on the year. He’s only 23, and he’s a serious 20-HR threat in the Cal League this season.
Leo Rojas, AUG: 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI – Nice game for Rojas, who the Giants have moved out from behind the dish. Rojas has always shown a pretty nice hack, but he missed quite a bit of 2013 after being popped for PED’s.
George Kontos, FRS: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K – Another rough outing for Kontos, whose ERA over 6 IP is now 13.50.
Mason McVay, SJ: 2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K – McVay came in for some extended relief, and promptly gave up a grand slam. He also walked two batters, an early trend for Giants minor league relievers.
It’s been 6 full months since the Giants have played a meaningful game at AT&T Park. It’s been even longer since we’ve seen 70 degrees out here in Montana. Wouldn’t you know it, we’ve got both today.
Get your radio out and crank up some Thin Lizzy…
“Guess who just got back today? Those wild-eyed boys that had been away…”
“The nights are getting warmer, it won’t be long…It won’t be long till summer comes…Now that the boys are here again…”
Oh yeah, that sounds just about right to me. I’ll tell you, there’s not much that gets me as amped up as baseball on the shores of McCovey Cove. There’s a reason why I named this site what I did, you know. I’ll never forget the first time I walked up to the park. Coming in from the parking lots, the Cove was the very first thing that caught my eye. To this day, it still does.
Ok, 90 second soap box; start the clock. I had the Yankees game on for a few minutes during lunch today. It was the home opener in the Bronx, and the dang stadium wasn’t even full. I’m telling you, there’s no place like San Francisco these days. On that note, how in the world do the best fans in baseball, who come to one of the nicest new parks in the league, have to wait until the second week of the season to watch their team at home? Wasn’t it enough that we didn’t get to start our title defense at home last season? Terrible marketing… I’m looking at you, Mr. Selig. Just saying. Rant over.
So, it’s the Giants and Snakes, in less than an hour. Tim Hudson gets the start, and apparently there’s no team he likes to face more than Arizona. Has flat out dominated them over his career, and continued that last week out in the desert.
The lineup today:
All 3 Brandon’s in there today. Think Hicks didn’t make a statement with his play this spring? The coaching staff definitely took notice.
So begins a 9-game homestand, and a chance for the Giants to do even more damage in the division. These games, though early, are very important. If you can go, say 6-3 on this stint, you’ll head back out on the road with an 11-5 mark looking very good. As the old adage goes, if you can win at home and split on the road, you’ll be just fine.
That’s all I’ve got for you right now folks. If you’re lucky enough to be at the yard today, I hope you have a blast… and I hope you’re treated to a win. I’ll be tuning in from an iPad (so it goes in Big Sky Country). Either way, I’m just excited to have baseball back in my favorite place on this earth… the house that Bonds built. Happy (home) Opening Day, and go Giants!
(Photo courtesy of ballparkprints.com)
While Fresno’s first week of play hasn’t yielded the best results (1-4 record), the Grizzlies offense is certainly not to blame for the early struggles. The Giants AAA bats have been hot out of the gates, nobody more so than catcher Andrew Susac. Susac, who made a name for himself this offseason in the AFL and again during spring training, opened his Fresno campaign with multiple hits in each of his first three games. After a day off Sunday, Susac was back in the lineup against Salt Lake last night.
Last month during Cactus League play, Rangers lefty Michael Kirkman found out exactly what can happen when you float a hanger over the plate to Susac in a 3-ball count. Andrew drilled Kirkman’s offering into the stands in left field… an absolute moonshot.
Last night, Bees’ lefty (and former MLB pitcher) Justin Thomas learned the hard way not to throw Susac a “get-it-in” fastball over the heart of the plate. 3-0 count…green light…liftoff. Like he did to Kirkman, Susac tattooed Wilson’s pitch over the wall in left field (see video below), his first HR of the young season. It was his only hit of the game, but the young catcher now sits at .500 (8-16) through four contests, with 2 BB and (very important for him) only 1 K so far.
Despite the attention he garnered this winter, Susac might just be the best prospect nobody’s talking about. For the life of me, I don’t know how he’s not on any top 100 lists. From the looks of it, I don’t think he really minds… but I do think he’s about to force scouts and writers into having more of those conversations. The season is very, very young, and he still needs to prove he can stay healthy. But right now, Susac looks primed to have the big offensive season many of us were hoping for.
Fresno (1-4): At SLC | L 5-4
Richmond (2-2): At Bowie | PPD
San Jose (3-2): At Lancaster | L 3-2
Augusta (2-2): At Savannah | PPD
Joe Biagini, SJ: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K – Great line from Biagini, a 23 yo UC Davis righty who logged a 5.03 ERA in 20 starts for Augusta last year. The San Jose starters were very impressive in their first turn through the rotation.
Steven Okert, SJ: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K – Another solid inning of work from the lefty, who has 3 holds and has yet to allow a run.
Joe Panik, FRS: 2-4, 3B, RBI – Panik has 5 hits in Fresno’s last two games, and is batting .350 (7-20) on the season. He’s also drawn 3 walks to only 2 strikeouts early on.
Mac Williamson, SJ: 0-4 – I really like Mac, and have a hard time putting him here. But his 1-17 start to the season (.059) really makes me wonder if his shoulder injury isn’t having some effects on his performance at the plate. Maybe it’d be wise to give him a couple days off to rest at this point?
Chris Heston, FRS: 4 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K – Heston was off to a good start in his first outing of the season, but Salt Lake lit him up pretty good in the 4th inning (his last of the night). The righty had high expectations going into last season, bust just hasn’t been able to get comfortable in AAA.
Augusta at Savannah: Gm1 2:35 pm – Nick Vander Tuig (1st start)
Augusta at Savannah: Gm2 TBD – Starter TBD
San Jose at Lancaster: 6:30 pm – Chris Stratton (1-0, 1.80)
Richmond at Bowie: Gm1 2:35 pm – Kelvin Marte (1st start)
Richmond at Bowie: Gm2 TBD – Jack Snodgrass (1st start)
Fresno at SLC: 5:35 pm – Starter TBD
With the two rainouts yesterday, today is a busy day in the Giants organization, as both Richmond and Augusta play double-headers.
Augusta’s official page lists Jake Smith as today’s game 1 starter, and doesn’t have a pitcher listed for game 2. However, David Lee was told yesterday that 2013 draftees Nick Vander Tuig and Christian Jones are the next two starters in line. That makes more sense to me, as Smith has already been used in relief two or three times.
You might remember Vander Tuig as the winning pitcher for UCLA in last year’s National Championship game. Jones is a little lesser known, but was a starter at Oregon before having Tommy John surgery. He pitched solely in relief during his senior season for the Ducks, and was used as such by the Giants in short-season ball last summer. He’s a lefty with good size and a low-90’s fastball, so I’m excited to see how fares as a starter.
One other note about Augusta. I clearly remember lefty DJ Snelten’s name on the roster last week, but he’s nowhere to be found now. I was expecting him to be one of the Greenjackets’ starters. Don’t really know what’s going on there.
In San Jose, the rotation turns back over today, with Stratton taking the hill for the second time this year. That means Martin Agosta will not make a start in this turn. A quick check of the roster showed Agosta’s name on the 7-day DL. Again, no idea what happened there, as I thought he was fully healthy entering the season. Hopefully he’s activated soon.
Finally, a Javier Herrera sighting in Fresno. Herrera was apparently activated a few days ago, logging 1 AB each on 4/5 and 4/6. Last night, he was in the lineup as the DH and went 0-5. He was another guy I was curious about, but I’m glad to see him in AAA, where they’re a little short on outfielders.
The Giants made an early statement, ruining the Dodgers’ home opener while eventually taking two of three from their archrivals to the south. They couldn’t make it a clean sweep on Sunday Night Baseball, but winning both series’ on the season-opening road trip should be a big momentum boost before coming home to the Bay tomorrow afternoon. Here’s how the weekend in La La Land shook out…
Game 1: Giants 8, Dodgers 4
The Giants spoiled Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, scoring all 8 runs in the first two innings off Hyun-Jin Ryu. It seemed to help matters tremendously that LA went into full blown meltdown mode with two outs in the first. The early offense was enough to hold off the Dodger offense, although Vogey couldn’t make it out of the 5th inning.
Game 2: Giants 7, Dodgers 2
Madison Bumgarner was masterful, striking out 10 Dodger hitters and allowing only 1 ER in 6.1 innings of work. The Giants brought their bats to the yard with them again, sending three big flies into the seats on a warm afternoon in LA. Both Mike Morse and Pablo Sandoval hit their first HR of the year, while Buster Posey drilled his second long-ball of the young season down the LF line. The Dodgers tried to make it interesting late, but Hunter Pence nailed AJ Ellis at home, effectively ending a pretty significant rally against Santiago Casilla.
Game 3: Dodgers 6, Giants 2
The Giants fell short of a sweep on Sunday Night Baseball, as Zack Greinke outdueled Matt Cain on a very windy night. Cain looked sharp early, but developed a case of homerunitis as the game wore on. Two big flies each from Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp put the offense in a tough hole to climb out of, although they tried. Both Pence and Belt went deep off Greinke – who I seriously can’t stand – in the 6th, but it wasn’t enough.
NL West Standings
Dodgers 5-3 | 0.5 GB
Rockies 3-4 | 2 GB
Padres 2-4 | 2.5 GB
Diamondbacks 2-7 | 4 GB
Our Gigantes take their early 1st place record to AT&T Park for the home-opening series, a 9-gamer against Arizona, LA and Colorado. This is a confident team, but also one that’s been living and dying by the HR ball early on. While the offense might take a little hit returning to San Francisco, I’m hoping the park will help some of the pitchers keep the ball in the yard as well. Either way, the Giants have a tremendous opportunity here, especially starting things off with lowly Arizona. You’d have to think they have every opportunity to win each of these series’.
It’s an off day today, but I seriously can’t wait for tomorrow afternoon! There’s just nothing quite like baseball in your home park, especially a home-opener.