SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/7: Class-A
Fresno Grizzlies 4 at San Jose Giants 9
Performance of the Game: Nick Swiney (4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K)
The young prospects in San Jose finally recorded their first victory of the season behind a strong start by one of their top draft picks in 2020 and a well-rounded offensive performance. With that said, before I get into the specifics of the game, I want to take a quick aside on the underestimated impact of scoring decisions on stat lines in minor-league baseball.
The Rockies’ 2020 third-round pick, Sam Weatherly, got the start for the Grizzlies and immediately struggled with command. With two outs and the bases loaded, Armani Smith drove a hard-hit liner to left fielder. Daniel Montano ranged to his right and almost made a great catch, but it bounced off his glove. Had it been scored an error, Weatherly would have had no runs charged to his ERA. Instead, Smith gets credit for a 3-RBI triple, and Weatherly’s ERA was 36.00 through 1. Just something to think about as we get deeper into the season when looking at minor-league statistics. Obviously, they are a valuable tool, but with far inferior defensive play than what many expect from watching MLB games, it’s worth remembering that they may not quite be as they appear.
Smith finished the day 2-4 with a run and four runs batted in, but his line could have easily been better. His two outs came on hard-hit flyballs to the outfield, with one impressive play by Montano in left and another hit directly at the right fielder.
Alexander Canario cooled off, finishing the day 0-4 with a walk and three punchouts. Marco Luciano made some solid contact but is still looking to get rolling as well. He finished the game 0-5 with a strikeout. Otherwise, the rest of the lineup got in on the action. Harrison Freed and Luis Matos recorded a walk and three singles apiece. Ricardo Genoves doubled in two. Brett Auerbach had another all-around offensive performance, going 1-2 with a double and three walks.
On the mound, Nick Swiney was the star of the night. The 66th overall selection in last year’s draft looked a bit out of sorts initially, walking the first batter he faced but quickly locked in after inducing a 5-4-3 double play. He struck out six and allowed just two more baserunners over 4 shutout innings. His fastball sat in the upper-80s and has yet to match the 92-94 mph he flashed throughout his college career at NC State. However, he mixed his curveball and changeup well and managed to keep hitters off-balance without great velocity.
All four of the organization’s full-season affiliates are once again scheduled to take the field tomorrow. We’ll be back with looks at the SF Giants farm system throughout the minor-league season.