San Francisco Giants Minor League Major Performers: All-Star Wednesday

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 30: Dan Slania #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 30, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 30: Dan Slania #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 30, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants’ farm system was busy again on Wednesday, with six affiliates in action and a pair of All-Star games to focus on.

After two rather slow days in the farm system, there was plenty of action on Wednesday. The San Francisco Giants set the tone with a walk-off win in the 13th inning, and the affiliates went 3-3 on the day. High-A San Jose and single-A Augusta both won, but short-season A Salem-Keizer, AZL Orange, and the DSL Giants all lost. The AZL Black team won in one of their best games of the year.

AAA Sacramento and AA Richmond both continued their All-Star breaks, but not everyone for the teams had the day off. The AAA and Eastern League All-Star games were on Wednesday. Right-handed reliever Tyler Rogers faced three batters for the PCL, giving up two singles before inducing a double-play groundball. He wouldn’t get the chance to finish the inning, but the runner on his record wouldn’t score. Chase d’Arnaud was selected an All-Star, but was too busy hitting a leadoff home run for San Francisco to participate.

In the Eastern League’s mid-summer classic, two Flying Squirrels were starters. For the Western Division team, shortstop Ryan Howard went 0-2 but one of those outs required an incredible play at the wall in center field. Right fielder Luigi Rodriguez went 1-3 with a walk, and the one hit was a big one. In the eighth inning, the left-handed hitting Rodriguez lifted an opposite field home run to put his team ahead 4-3.

On the pitching side, two Squirrels took the mound on Wednesday. Righty Dan Slania was the first, and threw only one pitch. He recorded the final out of the fifth inning on a first-pitch flyout. Slania, whom you may remember from his cup of coffee with the Giants last season, took Richmond starter Shaun Anderson’s place on the All-Star team. Instead, Anderson will take part in the All-Star Futures Game this Sunday.

Fellow righty Dillon McNamara took the mound in the seventh, and walked two of the four batters he faced. In between, he recorded a strikeout and got Tim Tebow to fly out to Rodriguez in right field.

With all that out of the way, let’s see what happened within the farm system.

Connor Overton

The San Jose Giants and the Stockton Ports locked horns on Wednesday, and it was a battle. Starting pitchers Carlos Sano and Matt Milburn traded zeroes back and forth, until Milburn finally faltered in the seventh. The Giants scratched a run across to give them the 1-0 lead, and they turned back to the bullpen. Righty Connor Overton was tasked with the most difficult task, holding a late one-run lead.

Not only did Overton hold that lead, he did it for three innings. He wasn’t perfect, battling some command issues that led to two walks, but he never let that advantage slip away. Even after a walk and a two-out single in the eighth, Overton finished the inning with a strikeout to preserve that slim edge. The ninth inning was his best, striking out the final two batters of the game after a leadoff flyout for his second save of the year.

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Despite being just 24 years old, Overton has already had a long journey in the game. Coming out of Old Dominion, he was the Miami Marlins’ 15th-round draft pick in 2014, but was released the next year. He moved to the Nationals’ organization, and was released in 2015 as well. He turned to independent ball after that, and following a successful stint with the Sioux City Explorers in 2016, he signed with the Giants.

He debuted for the San Jose Giants later that year, and made just one appearance before requiring Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2017 season. Now back on the mound again, he’s bounced between Sacramento, Richmond, and San Jose, but has had his most success in high-A. In nine appearances and 17 innings at the level, Overton’s pitched to a 1.59 ERA and 0.941 WHIP, holding opponents to a .197 average.

Caleb Baragar

Augusta was also in a tight game on Wednesday night. They exchanged zeroes with the Lexington Legends, and even when the Legends scored first, they weren’t able to pull away. That allowed the GreenJackets to put some runs on the board late and come away with a win. A strong effort from the pitching staff was led by their starter, Caleb Baragar, who threw five innings and allowed just two hits, two walks, and a run while striking out six.

Baragar started his day well, facing just one over the minimum through four innings with all six of his strikeouts coming in the first three frames. He ran into trouble in the fifth, when the Legends broke through in the run column. A walk, sacrifice bunt, and two singles brought the first run in, but Baragar was able to wiggle through a two-on, one-out situation by getting two pop-ups to limit the damage. That was the end of his day, and he wouldn’t factor into the decision.

Much like Overton, the lefty Baragar has bounced around the system this year. The 2016 ninth-round pick hasn’t made a stop in Richmond (yet), but has pitched with Augusta, San Jose, and Sacramento. He began his pro career mostly as a starter, but has come out of the bullpen more often this season. Wednesday was just his fourth start in 17 appearances, and he set a season-high by throwing five innings and matched his season-high with six punchouts.

Franklin Labour

While pitching ruled in those two previously mentioned contests, the name of the game for the AZL Black team was offense. They scored a season-high 12 runs on 12 hits and six walks, easily dispatching of the AZL Cubs 1, 12-5. Though contributions came from all over, one of the most notable hitters on Wednesday was right fielder Franklin Labour. He picked up two hits, both for extra-bases, reached on a hit by pitch, drove in a couple runs, and scored a couple times as well.

Hitting sixth, Labour started his day with a strikeout in his first at-bat but was part of a big third inning. He laced a one-out double in left field that brought home a pair, then came around to score the last run of a six-run frame. Labour was hit by a pitch in the fifth, then opened the seventh inning with his second double of the day. He came home on a sac fly, extending the Giants’ lead to 8-5.

Labour was brought to the Giants as an international free agent in 2015, and is now in his third season. At 20 years old, he’s playing in the states for the first time after a couple years in the Dominican Summer League. In nine games in Arizona, Labour is hitting .265/.342/.529 with five doubles and two triples.

Next: Minor League Major Performers 7-10-18

Others of Note:

Carlos Sano (SJ): 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K
Orlando Garcia (AUG): 1-3, HR (5), RBI (26), R, HBP
Joey Bart (SK): 1-4, HR (5), 2 RBI (13) – fifth home runs in six games with SK
Trent Toplikar (SK): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Ismael Munguia (AZL O): 3-5, 3B (2), RBI (4),
Frankie Tostado (AZL B): 3-4, 2B (4), 2 RBI (18), BB, 2 R
Enoc Watts (AZL B): 3-4, SF, RBI (2), 2 R
Robinson Batista (DSL): 4-4, 2 2B (5), 3B (2), R