SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/11: Double-A
Richmond Flying Squirrels 5 at Harrisburg Senators 3
Performance of the Game: Jacob Heyward (2-4, 2B, HR, 2 K, 2 R, 2 RBI)
Jacob Heyward made his first minor-league appearance of 2021 and got his season started with a bang, blasting a solo home run in the first inning and later adding an RBI double. The younger brother of Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, the younger Heyward has been in the Giants system since they drafted him out of Miami in the 18th round of the 2016 MLB draft. Heyward has potential plus power and a great eye at the plate. However, his hit tool has consistently led to large strikeout totals and limited his ability to tap into his potential plus power. In 2019, Heyward struck out 147 times in 476 Double-A plate appearances and managed just 20 doubles and 10 home runs alongside a .209 batting average. He did record 80 walks, which brought his on-base percentage up to .357.
Heyward was not the lone Flying Squirrels hitter with a history of questionable contact skills but above-average power to have a good game on Tuesday. David Villar, who has become a recurring mention in these rundowns, drove in two runs on a single in the third inning to give Richmond an early 4-1 lead and bashed his third home run of the season to add a late insurance run in the eighth. Villar now has five extra-base hits and eight RBI in seven games played.
On the mound, Sam Long got the ball for his second start of the season. After a peculiar appearance on Opening Day, when Long surrendered five hits and three runs in three innings without allowing a walk and while striking out five, the southpaw had another up-and-down outing. While he did a far better job of limiting his opponent’s offense, allowing only one run in four innings, Long conceded three free passes. His stuff continues to look strong, and he seemed to have a better sense of the strike zone than his final line displayed, but he’s still yet to have a dominant outing in the way we may have expected after his flashes out of the bullpen in spring training. Long did record a hit for the second consecutive game and is now 2-3 on the season (#PitchersWhoRake).
Ronnie Williams bridged the gap for most of the remaining game, allowing one run over 3.2 innings of work before he was pulled with a runner on first and two outs in the eighth inning for Joey Marciano, who induced an inning-ending groundout. With a 5-2 lead heading into the ninth, manager José Alguacil handed the ball to closer Pat Ruotolo who gave up a solo home run but struck out two in an otherwise quiet ninth.