San Francisco Giants Minor League Major Performers: Close Call for Cats

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 07: Jose Dominguez #53 of the San Francisco Giants shakes hands with Aramis Garcia #77 after the spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on March 7, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 07: Jose Dominguez #53 of the San Francisco Giants shakes hands with Aramis Garcia #77 after the spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on March 7, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants got the unofficial second half started with a win, and many of their minor league affiliates followed suit.

The San Francisco Giants were back in action on Friday, coming out of the break with a good win on the road against the A’s. Their minor league affiliates had a good day as well, with all eight teams playing and earning a 5-3 record. AAA Sacramento won, but AA Richmond were the victims of a walk-off for the second straight day.

High-A San Jose and single-A Augusta both came away winners, while short-season A Salem-Keizer couldn’t make up an early deficit. The AZL teams split their games, with Black winning while Orange lost, and the DSL squad won for just the second time in their last seven games.

Evan Longoria began his rehab assignment with Sacramento, and collected two hits in three at-bats. The first hit was an RBI double that gave the River Cats a 1-0 lead in the third. He played five innings at third base, but didn’t get a chance to use the glove. Also, for the AZL Black team, Frankie Tostado picked up two hits and drove in four runs. He still has yet to go hitless as a professional ballplayer, and is now riding a 21-game hitting streak to begin his career.

With that out of the way, here are Friday’s notable performers

Tyler Rogers

The River Cats entered the ninth inning leading by the slimmest of margins, up on the El Paso Chihuahuas 6-5. That lead looked certain to evaporate very quickly in the final frame. Experienced right-hander Tyler Rogers issued a leadoff walk to Cory Spangenberg, who then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. With no one out and El Paso down a run, the tying run stood 90 feet away.

Instead of allowing the lead to slip away, Rogers gritted his teeth and made it stand up. In a 2-2 count, he got Auston Bousfield to swing through strike three for the first out. The next batter, Matt Szczur, popped out harmlessly to first baseman Jerry Sands. Still not out of danger, Rogers recorded his second strikeout, painting the inside corner to send Allen Craig away with the bat on his shoulder and leave Spangenberg standing at third base to secure the win.

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Rogers is having another great season for the AAA River Cats. Friday marked his 37th appearance, and he’s worked to a 1.81 ERA and 1.047 WHIP while holding opposing hitters to .194 average. Right-handed hitters have mustered just .162 average and are slugging only .232 against the submarine thrower.

The biggest improvement for Rogers, though, has been in strikeouts. The 2013 10th-round pick struck out 5.1 batters per nine innings last year, and fanned 13.7% of batters he faced. This year, his K/9 has shot up to 8.3, and 22.9% of batters he’s faced have been strikeout victims.

Aramis Garcia

As the Flying Squirrels lost via walk-off for the second consecutive day, Richmond catcher Aramis Garcia continued his season resurgence. The 25-year-old collected three hits for the third time this year, with two of those hits going for extra-bases. He drove in two runs, and scored another two.

The catcher’s day didn’t start so well. With the bases loaded and one out in the first, he bounced into a double play that ended the scoring chance. He would have a perfect day after that, though, starting with a double in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning, he launched a two-run homer, his 10th of the season, that briefly gave the Squirrels a 3-1 lead. After Akron took a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth, Garcia started the eighth with a single, then scored on a sac fly to tie the game.

Garcia was having a tough season for the first two months. The former second-round pick slashed .236/.290/.382 in April, then had the worst full month of his pro career in May by average (.154) and OPS (.467). He’s righted the ship since the beginning of June. He’s slashing .289/.338/.508 in 35 games since the calendar flipped from May, and has hit seven of his 10 home runs. Though injuries have cost him large portions of playing time the last few years, Garcia seems to be putting things back together now and still ranks as the Giants’ sixth-best prospect on MLB Pipeline.

The AZL Giants Black Lineup

The AZL Giants Black team had just about everything working on Friday night. They scored a season-high 16 runs on 15 hits and 12 (!!!!) walks, easily disposing of the A’s team. Contributions came from up and down the lineup, so much so that it’s impossible to pick just one player that stood out. So let’s run through them instead.

18-year-old center fielder Alexander Canario picked up two hits, drew a walk, and scored twice. 20-year-old first baseman Frankie Tostado (the guy with the hit streak mentioned above), had three hits, a double, a walk, scored twice, and drove in a career-high four runs. 20-year-old DH Sean Roby went 1-5 with an RBI, a walk, and two runs scored. 20-year-old left fielder Franklin Labour went 2-3 with two doubles, drove in a run, walked twice, reached via hit by pitch, and scored three times.

22-year-old catcher Braden Frankfort collected two hits in six at-bats, driving in four runs for the second time in his career while scoring once. 19-year-old third baseman Abdiel Layer had a career night, setting personal bests with three RBI, three walks, and two stolen bases while also scoring twice. And finally, 20-year-old second baseman Jose Rivero had three hits with two RBI, a walk, three runs scored, and sac fly.

Have a night, guys.

Next: Minor League Major Performers 7-19-18

Others of Note:

Chris Stratton (SAC): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 10 K
Ryan Howard (RICH): 2-4, 2B (23), HR (2), RBI (27), 2 R, BB
Brandon Van Horn (SJ): 1-2, 2B (14), 2 BB, R, SB (5)
Heliot Ramos (AUG): 2-4, HR (8), 2 RBI (31), HBP, R
John Gavin (AUG): 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K
Jesus Tona (SK): 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Yorlis Rodriguez (AZL O): 3-5, 2B (6), 2 RBI (9), SB (2), 2 R
Luis Toribio (DSL): 2-4, HR (7), 3 RBI (27), 2 R