Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Down on the Farm: 9/7/2015

AAA  Sacramento River Cats destroyed the Albuquerque Isotopes 11-0:

Kevin Frandsen(3B-SS)- 3 for 5.  BA= .280.
Jarrett Parker(RF)- 1 for 3, HR(23), 2 BB.  BA= .283.
Mac Williamson(LF)- 2 for 3, 2 HR(8), 2 BB.  BA= .249.
Nik Turley(LHP)- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 K's.  ERA= 4.56.
Matt Cain(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.20.

What a season finale for Big Mac!  He probably needs another half season in AAA but should be given an opportunity to win a MLB job out of spring training.  The roster numbers may work against him on that though.  Matt Cain will obviously activated as soon as eligible.  Unclear what his role will be the rest of this season.


AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels edged out the Reading Fightin' Phils 2-1:

Matt Lujan(LHP)- 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.18.
Pedro Rodriguez(RHP)- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 2.21.


High A  Bakersfield Blaze downed the San Jose Giants 4-2:

John Polonius(SS)- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(3).  BA= .204.
Daniel Carbonell(LF)- 1 for 4, 3B.  BA= .279.

Giants used 7 relievers in this game.  They start a 3 game playoff series with the Stockton Ports on Wednesday, Sept 9.


Low A  Charleston River Dogs outlasted the Augusta Greenjackets 2-1 in 10 innings:

Richard Rodriguez(2B)- 2 for 5.  BA= .330.
Jonah Arenado(3B)- 2 for 5, SB(1).  BA= .264.
Pat Young(RHP)- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 3.39.


Short Season  Salem-Keizer Volcanoes topped the Hillsboro Hops 4-2:

Miguel Gomez(3B)- 1 for 3, SF.  BA= .333.
Chris Shaw(1B)- 2 for 4.  BA= .500.
Jose Vizcaino, JR(SS)- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .667.
Michael Connolly(RHP)- 6 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 3.00.
Caleb Smith(RHP)- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.
Ryan Halstead(RHP)- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(1).  ERA= 0.00.

This was the first game of a 3 game playoff series.  All stats are for postseason only.


This concludes the 2015 minor league regular season.  The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and San Jose Giants made the playoffs in their respective leagues.  Sacramento River Cats, Richmond Flying Squirrela and Augusta Greenjackets seasons are completed.


What is your quick take on the organization's 2015 minor league season.  Is it stronger than last year at this time?  I think it is.  Although there were a few disappointments like Kyle Crick, Daniel Carbonell and Tyler Horan, there were many more pleasant surprises like The Johnsons and Sam Coonrod and the draft class looks great so far.


  1. The biggest surprise for me was Hunter Cole. I felt he came out of nowhere. Blackburn and Slater met my expectations. I was expecting more from Williamson. I thought he would destroy the PCL like he did in the CAL and force the hand of the Giants to call him up. The Johnsons and Arroyo were damn impressive. Is Crick turning into Gary Brown?

    Overall I think the talent is starting to shift from the lower levels to the upper levels with a lot of talent in AAA, AA and Adv A. By the end of next year we will start to have some tough decisions and roster crunches. However, that is a good problem to have. We might not have the best system according to BA but why is it that we are able to graduate 1-2 guys every year? And these graduates stick on the roster and make a difference. Heston's first half was amazing. Strickland has entrenched himself in the bullpen. Duffy was starting to look like the ROY but I think Kris Bryant might have taken that over. Voters like power over OBP and AVG. But this is a normal thing for the Giants. How many other clubs can say they do that every year?

  2. I would say Blackburn is my surprise. Winning the ERA in AAA isn't easy and he's really young. Arroyo is a pleasant surprise, loved Slater and Cole (although wish they both played OF). Biagini (sp?) and Gagne were pretty amazing surprises too, I think. Downside surprises were Crick and the Giants' OF candidates generally.

    Been thinking about next year. I could see the Giants bringing Blackburn up as the long reliever. I don't see how they keep him in AAA; that might be demoralizing. I'd prefer a pen of Casilla, Strickland, Romo, Osich, Kontos, Lopez, +1 and Blackburn. I see the latter there as the emergency starter, moving into the rotation when Peavy or Cain falters. A rotation of Bumgarner, Heston, Blackburn, one high profile FA and either Cain/Peavy (I'm hoping Cain), would be great for next year.

    Totally agree that the upper clubs will have more talent, but I also don't know that I'd call it a "shift". More matriculation of guys like Beede, Arroyo, etc.

    Okert will stay in AAA to refine his game, but he is first up if Lopez falters. Not sure who the +1 is--As Dr. B noted, Broadway has been strangely unable to play with the big club but maybe once he gets is feet wet, he'll do fine ala Strickland.

    1. I don't know if Heston is an absolute lock for the team. He has shined and also faltered. But then again every pitcher has his moments. I just wonder what the FO consensus on him is. Peavy in my opinion has been pretty good. Next to Bumgarner he is the next most reliable pitcher. I would rather pencil him in than Cain at this point in time. Hopefully the off season will be good for Cain and get back to his "horse" game play. I can see the Giants signing one decent starter and probably going cheap on the other. Hopefully the starter is of the Cueto, Price, Zimmermann type. Leake is decent but I don't know if he alone will get us to the next level. I would much rather get someone like David Price and take my chances with someone like Heston or Blackburn than get Leake and some 3rd tier starter. Price is a starter who could step up and be an ace on the rotation and be another guy to bust a slump when it is his turn in the rotation. Right now we only have one of those guys. That is why we get these 7 or 8 game losing streaks. There is not enough starters who can right the ship.

  3. IMO, the positives FAR OUTWEIGH the letdowns. Yeah, I would've hoped for better from some, like: Perez, Beede, Horan, Ragira, Gustavo, Okert, Christian Jones, Mejia, Hall... But just look at how much talent we've added! Last year's draft class and this year's. Guys rising fast, Giants seem to be more actively promoting and developing guys at multiple positions. Guys I might've described as "top of the 2nd tier" like Ysla and Stephen Johnson got traded. That reflects we've got some value there, too. And depth.

    Heston, Mark & Jose Reyes, Chase & Jordan Johnson, Arroyo, Biagini, Broadway, Osich, Tomlinson, Diaz, Bickford, Fargas, Williamson, Knight, Snelten, Coonrod, Shaw, Jebavy, Fox, Tyler Rogers, Cole, Paulino, Slater, Parker, Lollis, Miguel Gomez, Cory Taylor, Suarez, Duggar, the list of guys doing great goes on a loooong ways. Our DSL guys were amazing, I just hope some of that talent can translate when it arrives stateside.

    Far stronger this year, IMO. Not only higher performance levels, but it also seems like a higher "talent level." Cheers.

  4. For me, it was Jordan Johnson who came out of nowhere. I thought Cole would do well, although I only expected him to end up in San Jose.

    Other than Beede hitting a bit of a speed bump in AA, I really like the overall depth of the system. It's just hard to acquire high-impact talent at the positions where the Giants have been drafting since 2010. But I am encouraged by Beede, Bickford, Coonrod, Blackburn, Suarez, Chase Johnson, DJ Snelten, and Jordan Johnson. And then, further down the line, you've got Webb, Woods, Brooks, Santos, Marshall, Concepcion, Raffi Vizcaino, and Sandro Cabrera. If we can replenish the pitching in the next few years, I think the hitting will be good enough to compete in the post-season.

  5. The joyful surprise of guys coming out of nowhere or faded prospects regaining their mojo like: Sam Coonrod, Joe Biagini, Josh Osich, the two Johnson's and Cody Hall.
    The meteoric rise of Hunter Cole - A, A+, AA in one season.
    Guys steadily progressing like: Blackburn, Mejia and Black.

    Kelby Tomlinson. He gets his own line because of his solid play after being called up. His defense has really improved since his rough start and I see no reason to believe he couldn't be an effective MLB second-baseman as well as a 'super utility' guy. I really think he's won himself a spot on the roster for next year.

    And, of course, we have our disappointments. But we always have disappoints. It's the nature of professional sports. And since most of them will, in the end, fail to make the majors there's no point in dwelling on it.

  6. I really enjoyed this season, but for reasons completely different than I imagined. Duffy never spent a DAY in the minors; Heston was one of my favorite arms to watch most of the season; Crick struggled mightily almost all year, and Beede had a tough time adjusting to AA after looking very strong in San Jose.

    The surprises were certainly my favorite part of the year, including the team going totally against what I thought they'd do on draft day. And yet I loved the class they came away with. There's absolutely no way all of these guys will have successful MLB careers (or even reach the majors), but it sure seems like the organization has the foundation for a future homegrown lineup here. Just from the last few draft classes... Aramis Garcia C, Chris Shaw 1B, Arroyo 2B, CJ Hinojosa SS, Jose Vizcaino 3B, Mac Williamson RF, Hunter Cole LF, Duggar/Jebavy CF, Slater UT.... Again, speaking realistically, it's a major pipe dream, but there's some serious potential among this group.

    .... Clayton Blackburn really showed off down the stretch. I think he got a little tired of hearing what he CAN'T do every year. He keeps himself in shape, I think he has a legitimate shot to break into the rotation some time next year (in the Heston mold). Chase Johnson, Mac Marshall, Phil Bickford, Jordan Johnson, Beede... The Giants can boast some starting pitching depth in the system right now as well.

    They love their college prospects, but the org hasn't neglected the youth either. Lucius Fox, Jalen Miller, Johneshwy Fargas, Mikey Edie, Kelvin Beltre, Michael Santos, D Bolivar... imagine, if the Giants hit on just 1 of those guys...

    They may not boast the highest upside players in the minors, but the G's sure have a lot to be excited about from this group in my opinion.