San Francisco Giants Minor League Major Performers: July 5th, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Ryder Jones #63 of the San Francisco Giants scores against the San Diego Padres in the bottom of the seventh inning at AT&T Park on September 30, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Ryder Jones #63 of the San Francisco Giants scores against the San Diego Padres in the bottom of the seventh inning at AT&T Park on September 30, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants struggled again on Thursday, but there are always some big performers in the minor leagues to pay attention to.

It was another rough day for the San Francisco Giants and their minor league organization. As the Giants again fell flat on their faces, each of the top five levels of their system lost as well. AAA Sacramento, AA Richmond, and short-season A Salem-Keizer all lost by a run, while High-A San Jose and A Augusta lost by more than that.

The only winners on the day were the rookie league teams. Both AZL Orange and AZL Black came away victorious, and the DSL Giants continued their strong year with another win. The DSL team improved to 18-11, tying them for first place in the Northwest division, along with the Mariners.

Some of the big performers of the day:

Ryder Jones

As the Sacramento River Cats fought, scratched, and clawed their way back to overcome an 8-0 deficit after four innings, they needed some heroes to help them out. One of those guys was Ryder Jones, who picked up four hits, including a home run, and drove in a pair of runs on the day.

The Sacramento third baseman started his day with a leadoff single in the second inning, but was stranded. He made his only out in the fourth inning but still hit the ball well, lining out to second base. He followed that up with a leadoff solo home run in the sixth inning, getting a five-run inning started. In the eighth inning, he came through again, lining an RBI single to center field that scored another run after an error in center field. Those two runs tied the game, but the River Cats were walked off in the ninth inning.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Jones made it to the big leagues for the first time last season, and is having a solid year back in AAA. He’s hitting .301, but has seen his slugging percentage drop from .574 last year in Sacramento to .449 this year. Thursday represented Jones’ third four-hit game of the season after having just one in his first five years as a pro.

David Villar

One night after Giants’ first pick Joey Bart made a huge impact in his Salem-Keizer debut, another 2018 draftee had a big day for the Volcanoes. On Thursday, it was third baseman David Villar that collected two hits and drove in three runs.

With Salem-Keizer already ahead 1-0 in the first inning, Villar crushed a two-run home run to left field to extend the lead. The Hillsboro Hops battled back and took a 4-3 lead, but Villar would again come through in the eighth inning. With two on and one out, he placed a run-scoring single into center field to bring the tying run across. But like the AAA squad, the Volcanoes would drop this game when the Hops scored a late run.

Villar was the Giants’ 11th-round pick in this year’s draft, and is coming off a huge junior season at South Florida. He slashed .374/.463/.648 with 24 doubles and 12 home runs, earning first-team All-AAC honors and third-team All-American by a couple publications. That extra-base power has carried over to Salem-Keizer, where Villar has drilled three home runs in just eight games.

Ivan Armstrong

As the Giants’ Dominican Summer League team won for the 10th time in 14 games, they got another strong effort from a starting pitcher. 17-year-old right-hander Ivan Armstrong was the latest to take the mound for the Giants, and the latest to impress. He threw six stellar innings, holding the Pirates to one run on three hits while striking out six and not issuing a walk.

Armstrong started his day with a clean first inning, then erased a single with a groundball double play in the second. The only run he allowed came in the third inning after a leadoff triple, then he worked through a two-out single in the fourth. He finished his day with two clean innings, striking out three of the last six batters he faced.

The DSL Giants have gotten some great starting pitching in recent days. Armstrong’s effort was the third straight outing where the DSL starter allowed one or no runs, and it’s Armstrong’s third such start in six tries this year. The 2017 international signee completed six innings for the first time in his career, and struck out at least six for the third time. Thursday marked his first start with no walks allowed, and his 29 strikeouts this year rank second on the team to Juan Sanchez, who has been one of the league’s most steady starters so far this year.

Next: Minor League Major Performers 7-4-18

Others of Note:

Miguel Gomez (SAC): 2-5, 3B (1), 2 RBI (5), R
Trevor Brown (SAC): 2-5, 2B (3), 2 RBI (9), SB (2), 2 R
Caleb Gindl (RICH): 3-4, 2B (6), 2 RBI (6)
Peter Lannoo (SJ): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Nick Hill (AUG): 1-3, 2B (9), 2 RBI (13), SB (9), BB
Randy Norris (AZL B): 0-2, 3 BB, SB (1), R
Beicker Mendoza (AZL O): 2-3, 2 RBI (9), SB (1), 2 R