SF Giants prospects rundown 5/14: Will Wilson’s hot bat

Eugene Emeralds Will Wilson (center) celebrates his 8th inning home run with Frank Labour at PK Park in Eugene.
Eugene Emeralds Will Wilson (center) celebrates his 8th inning home run with Frank Labour at PK Park in Eugene. /
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SF Giants, San Jose Giants, SF Giants Prospects
Stockton Ports’ Lawrence Butler makes contact during a California League baseball game against the San Jose Giants at the Stockton Ballpark in downtown Stockton. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE STOCKTON RECORD) /

SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/14: Low-A

San Jose Giants 14 at Stockton Ports 3
Performance of the Game: Abdiel Layer (4-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI)

The Giants continued thriving in Stockton’s hitter-friendly environment and put up the kind of offensive performance fans expected when they first looked at the roster before Opening Day. San Jose worked five walks, added 17 hits, blasted four homers, and struck out just four times en route to a 14-3 blowout victory.

Yet while the Giants were pouring it on, their pitching staff tied the Ports up all day, striking out 18 batters in 31 total at-bats. Stockton was consistently on the bases due to erratic control from San Jose’s staff, issuing ten walks, but was unable to convert on those opportunities.

Back-to-back singles by Jimmy Glowenke and Luis Matos (second-ranked prospect) to start the game helped the Giants jump out to a 1-0 lead, and young Kyle Harrison (fifth-ranked prospect) answered with a contactless bottom of the first (walking three and striking out three).

In the top of the second, Abdiel Layer, who started at shortstop in place of Marco Luciano (top-ranked prospect), who received a day off, blasted a long solo home run to double the team’s lead and start a fantastic day for the Puerto Rican infielder. In place of one of the biggest prospects in the Giants’ system, Layer took advantage of his opportunity, adding another towering solo homer in the fourth inning to set off an impressive four-hit day.

Layer was the Giants 40th-round pick in the 2018 draft and received a $125,000 signing bonus out Miami Dade Junior College. The Brewers had selected him in the 13th round the year prior but could not reach an agreement with him. While the Giants have been very slow to promote him through their minor-league ranks, he is still only 22 with solid speed and some intriguing power potential.

Several other hitters had noteworthy days as well. Ricardo Genoves (20th-ranked prospect) matched Layer’s four hits, albeit with singles. Harrison Freed drove in four on a pair of hits, including his first homer of the season. Matos had another multi-hit day as well, adding his second homer of the season in the ninth to cap off a 3-5 day with a walk. Matos has been on fire recently, going 13-26 with four doubles and two home runs on a six-game hitting streak.

Harrison’s erratic control forced him out of the game in the third. He threw 70 pitches in 2.1 innings but recorded all of his outs via the strikeout, but a well-timed double drove in one of the runners that reached base on his five walks. Still, the 19-year-old is showing an impressive ability to miss professional bats early in his career.

SF Giants prospects rundown 5/13: NO-HITTER!. Next

We’ll be back with looks at the SF Giants farm system throughout the minor-league season with daily rundowns on the entire organization’s minor-league affiliates.