San Francisco Giants Sending Seven Players to AFL in October

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Aramis Garcia #77 of the San Francisco Giants poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Scottsdale Stadium on February 27, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Aramis Garcia #77 of the San Francisco Giants poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Scottsdale Stadium on February 27, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants are sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League in October, mostly to help make up for time lost to injuries.

On Thursday, rosters for the annual Arizona Fall League were announced. Seven San Francisco Giants’ prospects will take part, filling out the Scottsdale Scorpions roster when the season opens on October 9th. Four pitchers and three position players make up the Giants’ contingent.

Most notable among the Giants’ group is catcher Aramis Garcia, simply because he’s currently on the team’s 25-man roster, though he has yet to make his major league debut. Multiple injuries, including a couple concussions and facial fractures, limited Garcia’s time behind the plate in 2016 and 2017. He played just 46 games at catcher in 2016, then 70 in 2017.

Garcia has been mostly healthy this season, appearing in 90 games (79 as catcher) between AAA Sacramento and AA Richmond before being brought up to the big league club following Buster Posey’s hip surgery. The bat hasn’t quite been what it once was, with a .233/.285/.381 slash-line, though he has still shown some power with 15 doubles and 11 home runs. This will be Garcia’s third straight season participating in the AFL.

Also among the Giants’ Scottsdale representatives is C.J. Hinojosa, an infielder who has been limited to 70 games. He began the season dealing with an achilles injury that he suffered at the end of last season, and was soon after hit with a 50-game suspension for his second drug of abuse violation. He was off the field until the last day of May, when he returned with the San Jose Giants, but has spent most of the year with Richmond.

In his 70 games, the 2015 11th-round draft pick has put together a .260/.329/.355 slash-line with 14 doubles and three home runs. His most recent home run came on Wednesday, and it was a go-ahead two-run shot to give Richmond the lead. He’s split his time between second base, shortstop, and third base. This will be his first AFL action.

San Jose’s Heath Quinn will also participate. After an injury-filled season in 2017 with the High-A Giants, Quinn returned for another go-around and has enjoyed great success. He hit just .228/.290/.371 last season, but has bounced back with a .297/.374/.488 slash-line entering play on Thursday, and is once again showing the power that made him so intriguing in 2016.

In 92 games, Quinn has hit 14 home runs and 24 doubles, both among best on the team despite missing about a month with a hamstring strain. He’s split his time between left field and designated hitter, and this will also be his first AFL campaign.

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Joining them will be three pitchers from AA Richmond’s staff: Chase Johnson and Sam Wolff, a pair of righties, and southpaw Garrett Williams.

Johnson is still on the comeback trail following Tommy John surgery that limited him to six appearances last year, and kept him off the mound until May 8th this year. He’s also missed time this year because of a concussion, which was caused by a foul ball that came into the dugout and hit him in the head.

When he’s been on the mound, he’s been effective. He started the year on a strict innings limit and pitched very well, with a 3.08 ERA and 1.079 WHIP in 38 innings in his first 13 starts. His last four outings, without as much of a limit, haven’t been as successful. He’s given up 13 runs and 30 baserunners in 17.2 innings, with more walks (11) than strikeouts (eight).

Johnson, a third-round pick in 2013, is currently on the Giants’ 40-man roster.

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  • Wolff was acquired this past winter from the Texas Rangers in the Matt Moore trade, but missed almost all of the first three months as he recovered from flexor tendon surgery. He’s been with Richmond for 20 appearances, and is coming on strong after a sluggish start. He allowed 18 runs in his first 12 appearances (14 innings), but has settled in and given up just one run in his past eight outings (12 innings).

    This will be Wolff’s third AFL campaign, and first as a member of the Giants’ organization. He participated in 2014 and 2015 with the Surprise Saguaros when he was in the Rangers’ system.

    Williams rounds out the Richmond crew, and he will have plenty to work on in the extra months. He put himself on the map with a stellar 2017 performance, seemingly getting the control issues that plagued him in check. Between Augusta and San Jose, Williams pitched to a 2.32 ERA and 1.258 WHIP, putting up 8.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.

    This season with the Flying Squirrels, his walks have ballooned, more than doubling to 6.7 BB/9. That’s led to a 6.94 ERA and 1.922 WHIP, with Williams getting removed from the starting rotation. Williams still has an excellent repertoire, but just has to learn to command it. He’ll get more chances in his first taste of the AFL.

    Next. Minor League Major Performers: 8-27-18. dark

    Rounding out the group of seven is another pitcher, Melvin Adon. The owner of an impressive fastball, Adon has been sidelined since June 26th because of an oblique injury, being limited to just two rehab appearances in the AZL since then.

    Adon’s fastball was named the best in the Cal League by Baseball America earlier in August, regularly touching 100 as a member of the rotation, but that didn’t translate to great numbers this season. He put together a 4.87 ERA and 1.494 WHIP in 16 games (15 starts), and struck out under a batter per inning. He will try to make up for the lost time in his first AFL action.