SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/9: High-A
Eugene Emeralds 15 at Spokane 1
Performance of the Game: Will Wilson (4-6, 2B, 3B, K, 2 R, RBI)
It had not happened yet this season, but if you follow the minors long enough, you know the blowouts are always right around the corner (for better or worse). This time, the Eugene Emeralds were on the right side of the final score.
The Emeralds have easily been the most dominant Giants affiliate in the first week of the season, flashing a strong pitching staff but consistently generating offense throughout their lineup. On Sunday, every player in the lineup scored a run, and while Eugene racked up 15 runs by the end of the contest, they never scored more than four in an inning. Instead, a steady barrage of offense from the third through seventh inning took care of business.
Spokane’s pitchers struggled to find the strike zone all night, and Emeralds hitters took advantage, working 11 walks. In fact, they only managed six extra-base hits over the course of the game. Franklin Labour became the latest prospect to homer on back-to-back days, launching a three-run homer off Trysten Barlow in the seventh inning. Sean Roby doubled on his only hit. Speedster Simon Whiteman swiped his third bag of the year on a 2-3 day with a walk and a triple. Diego Rincones became the first Giants minor leaguer to hit three homers in 2021, adding a solo shot in the ninth to top off a 2-5 day. After an impressive performance at the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason, Rincones has carried that play into the regular season, hitting .455/.520/1.000.
Through all of the runs, only one player emerged with more than two hits in the game: Will Wilson. Wilson finished the game a home run short of the cycle and, perhaps more than anyone else at High-A, has the strongest case for a quick promotion to Double-A. The Angels first-round pick in 2019, Wilson was considered a safer prospect that could move quickly through the minor leagues. Over the past year, he has gained experience at the alternate site, instructs, and major-league spring training. Not only is he putting up the closest triple-slash to Rincones, who admittedly could find himself at Double-A some point this year as well, but Wilson has struck out just four times in 27 plate appearances in contrast to five walks.
On the mound, Caleb Kilian built off his dominant Opening Day start with another impressive outing. After striking out nine batters in four innings to start the season, Kilian recorded five strikeouts across five innings of work and allowed just one run on two hits. Through two starts, Kilian has allowed just one run through nine innings with 14 strikeouts and zero walks. Out of the pen, John Russell and Ryan Walker kept their ERA at 0.00, throwing two shutout innings.