SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/6: Double-A
Hartford Yard Goats 6 at Richmond Flying Squirrels 12
Performance of the Game: Heliot Ramos (3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB, K)
2018 Giants second-round pick Sean Hjelle made his 2021 debut and got off to a strong start, striking out four and surrendering just a hit and a walk over his first two innings. Then, in the bottom of the second, Hjelle came to the plate with the bases loaded, worked an impressive seven-pitch plate appearance that culminated in a two-RBI single. Heliot Ramos followed Hjelle with a three-run home run, and the Flying Squirrels never looked back.
However, Hjelle was far from the same pitcher when he retook the mound, allowing a pair of home runs in the next half-inning before falling apart in the fourth. Ultimately, he finished his start with seven strikeouts over 3.2 innings, allowing five hits, six runs (four earned), three walks, and three home runs.
Back to Ramos’ home run, though. Not only did he showcase impressive opposite-field power for his second homer in as many days, but the Flying Squirrels also showed off a hilarious celebration. When Ramos returned to the dugout, someone was waiting with a University of Massachusetts football helmet that he donned in the dugout (Flying Squirrels hitting coach Doug Clark attended UMass).
Ramos finished the day a triple short of the cycle alongside a walk. Three games into the Double-A season, the 2017 first-round pick has struck out in five of his 14 plate appearances, but he’s already blasted two home runs and has posted a .462/.500/1.000 triple-slash. Given how well Ramos excelled at big-league camp and the alternate site, it was already a bit surprising to see him begin the year a level below Triple-A. So far, Ramos is continuing to make a case for an express ticket to Sacramento.
Aside from Ramos, David Villar blasted his first home run of the young season. Andy Sugilio, an intriguing minor-league free agent signing away from the Cincinnati Reds organization, scored a pair of runs and drove in one on a pair of singles. Minor-league Rule 5 selection Vince Fernandez also went 3-4 with an RBI, walk, and a strikeout.
Out of the bullpen, Matt Seelinger, Frank Rubio, and Joey Marciano through a dominant 4.1 innings with seven strikeouts. Marciano’s stuff took a step back in his second inning of work and was pulled with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth for Pat Ruotolo, who struck out the only batter he faced to shut things down.