San Francisco Giants Minor League Major Performers: Kelly Can Hit


The San Francisco Giants snapped their skid, and though the farm system wasn’t as successful, there were some big performers from around the system.

The San Francisco Giants snapped their four-game losing streak on Friday, but a lot of their minor league affiliates weren’t so lucky. AAA Sacramento won, but AA Richmond fell again and High-A San Jose lost their fifth straight game. Class A Augusta, short-season A Salem-Keizer, and both Arizona League rookie squads dropped their Friday contests, but the Dominican Summer League team did come away with a win.

It wasn’t a complete loss on the day, though. Two Giants’ prospects were selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game on the Sunday before the All-Star game. Right-handed pitcher Shaun Anderson, who has spent the entire season with Richmond, will suit up for the American team, while 18-year-old center fielder Heliot Ramos, in Augusta, will be a participant for the World team. Anderson didn’t pitch on Friday, but Ramos responded to his selection with a three-hit day for the GreenJackets (Augusta only had five hits total).

With that out of the way, some of the big performers from Friday night:

Casey Kelly

Staked with a huge lead thanks to Sacramento’s early lineup outburst, Casey Kelly had one of his better starts of the year. He pitched into the seventh inning, giving up three earned runs, one of which scored after he had already departed.

Kelly was given a 7-0 lead after three innings, and took his shutout into the fifth inning while retiring 12 of the first 15 batters he faced. The Reno Aces would crack the scoreboard in the fifth with a pair of runs against the right-hander, but only one would be earned. After a scoreless sixth inning, he struck out a batter in the seventh but allowed two hits that led to a run. He was pulled in favor of Josh Osich, who allowed the inherited runner to score, going on Kelly’s record.

The veteran’s contributions weren’t just limited to the mound, either. He picked up a pair of hits at the plate, scoring after a single up the middle in the second inning and lacing a double to right field in the third.

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Kelly has tasted the big leagues in parts of three seasons, but hasn’t been up since a 10-game stint with Atlanta in 2016. He signed as a free agent in July of 2017, and then re-signed this past offseason. His success as a hitter shouldn’t be too surprising – he began his pro career as a two-way player in the Red Sox organization, and racked up 323 plate appearances in 2008 and 2009.

Aaron Bond

Recently pushed down from Augusta, outfielder Aaron Bond had a very nice day for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes on Friday. In his third game at the level, Bond picked up two hits, drove in a pair of runs, and scored a pair as well.

Leading off and playing center field, the left-handed hitting Bond crushed a two-run home run in the third inning, putting the Volcanoes on the board and cutting into a four-run deficit. In the ninth inning with Salem-Keizer trailing by three, Bond hit a one-out single into right field. He later scored to make it a one-run game, but the comeback fell short and the Hillsboro Hops won 6-5.

Bond was the Giants’ 12th-round pick last year out of San Jacinto College, and had a nice debut in AZL. He hit .306/.368/.565 with eight doubles and eight home runs in 41 games. He wasn’t able to replicate that success in Augusta, hitting just .205/.301/.218 with one double and no longballs in 28 games. He’s off to a good start in Salem-Keizer, collecting four hits, including a double and a homer in just three games.

George Bell

Down in the Arizona League, 20-year-old center fielder George Bell had a strong day for the Orange team. In four at-bats, he had three hits, drove in a run, scored another, and stole a couple bases.

In the second inning, Bell started his day with a single, then advanced to second on a groundout and stole third base. He would be stranded there, though. He picked up second single in the fourth inning, and scored two batters later. In the eighth, Bell followed Beicker Mendoza’s double with a double of his own, picking up his lone RBI of the day. He stole third base again, but would again be stranded.

Bell, the Giants’ 13th-rounder this year and the son of AL MVP and three-time All-Star George Bell (his brother is also named George Bell), is off to a quick start in his pro career. In his first 13 AZL games, Bell is hitting .370/.404/.426, and has stolen four bags without yet being caught. Friday marked the first three-hit game of his young career.

Next: Minor League Major Performers 7-5-18

Others of Note:

Mac Williamson (SAC): 2-3, RBI (27), R, 2 BB
Orlando Calixte (SAC): 2-4, 2B (9), RBI (33), 2 R, BB
Jerry Sands (RICH): 1-4, 2B (23), RBI (37), R
Carlos Sano (SJ): 3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
Heliot Ramos (AUG): 3-4, R
Beicker Mendoza (AZL O): 1-3, 2B (7), RBI (10), R, SF
Luis Toribio (DSL): 2-2, 2 RBI (23), 3 BB, 2 R