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SF Giants prospects rundown 5/28: Carson Ragsdale strikes out a dozen

Eugene Emeralds Franklin Labour runs the bases after a hit against the Hops in their first home game of the 2021 season at PK Park in Eugene. Eugene is the SF Giants High-A affiliate.
Eugene Emeralds Franklin Labour runs the bases after a hit against the Hops in their first home game of the 2021 season at PK Park in Eugene. Eugene is the SF Giants High-A affiliate.
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SF Giants, Marco Luciano
(5/11/21) Stockton Ports’ Tyler Soderstrom left, is chased by SF Giants prospect Marco Luciano after Soderstrom overran first while trying to stretch a single into a double during a California League baseball game at the Stockton Ballpark in downtown Stockton. Soderstrom was out on the play but advanced a runner to third. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE STOCKTON RECORD)

SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/28: Low-A

Lake Elsinore Storm 0 at San Jose Giants 1
Performance of the Game: Carson Ragsdale (5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 K)

It was a pitchers’ duel on Friday in San Jose, as the Giants pitchers only allowed two hits and struck out 18 Storm batters. Their offense struggled in their own right, but Marco Luciano lined an eighth-inning double to score the only run of the ballgame. Luciano’s hit generated a fantastic exit velocity of 109 mph.

Giants starter and easily the performer of the game, Carson Ragsdale pitched very well. He only allowed two singles and a walk over 5.2 shutout innings. Yet, most impressively of all, he struck out a dozen hitters. He filled the zone with his low-90s fastball all night and his curveball consistently flashed plus. He even threw a vertical-breaking slider that at times flashed as average with some tight break. His north-south pitching approach gave the entire Lake Elsinore hitters fits.

After last night’s game, Ragsdale has struck out 35 batters in just 19.2 innings of work with a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Giants brass was certainly in love with him when he was still a college pitcher that they traded for him in exchange for Sam Coonrod. So far, so good for the right-hander and he firmly ranks among my top 30 prospects in the system.

There is not much to talk about offensively so I want to talk about a bit about the San Jose Giants defense so far. Luis Toribio tallied his first error of the season when he put a bit too much mustard on the ball and overshot the first baseman by a mile. I have actually been quite happy with Toribio’s defense at the hot corner this season. He’s been splitting time with Casey Schmitt and before last night’s error, doing all the fundamentals, and throwing the ball in a balanced position. Hopefully, it’s just a one-off thing.

The elephant in the room though is Ricardo Genoves. The catcher allowed his ninth passed ball of the early season, surpassing his total in 2019 of 8 in only half the total chances. There have also been a few wild pitches as well. In the games that I watched this season, Genoves was letting go of pitches that were in the opposite direction of where he set up to catch it. That’s most likely the reason why the passed balls have been at an alarming rate. The wild pitches also happen when he is blocking with only his glove and not utilizing his whole body. I still think quite highly of Genoves’ defensive chops, but it’s definitely something to watch for until the end of the season.

Next. SF Giants prospects rundown 5/27: Marco Luciano’s big day

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