SF Giants minor leaguers make SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays

SF Giants hat in the dugout. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SF Giants hat in the dugout. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
SF Giants, David Villar
SF Giants prospect David Villar describes one of his baseball superstitious rituals, drawing a “1” in the dirt before to remind him that it takes just one good at-bat during his stint with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. /

A few prospects in the SF Giants farm system pulled off a fantastic double play that received national attention. In the sixth inning of Richmond Flying Squirrels’ (Giants Double-A affiliate) game against the Erie SeaWolves on Tuesday, Richmond shortstop Mitchell Tolman made a fantastic diving stop on a groundball up the middle. Tolman flicked his glove and tossed the ball to second baseman Simon Whiteman, who quickly rifled a throw to first baseman David Villar, who made a fantastic play of his own to tag out Andre Lipcius after Whiteman’s throw pulled him off the bag.

Plenty of people outside of Richmond ended up catching the highlight on ESPN’s SportsCenter last night when it ranked as the sixth-best play of the day on SportsCenter’s signature Top 10:

SF Giants prospects Simon Whiteman, Mitchell Tolman, and David Villar made SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays on Tuesday.

Whiteman is arguably the fastest player in the Giants system and has quickly progressed through the Giants farm system. A 10th round selection in the 2019 MLB draft out of Yale, Whiteman started the season at High-A, where he recorded 17 steals in 28 games. Since he was promoted to Double-A, Whiteman is hitting .250/.350/.357 with 15 more steals in 51 games.

The Giants acquired Tolman last offseason in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft, drafting him away from the New York Mets organization. Tolman was a three-year starter in college at Oregon before he was drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 draft by the Pirates. He’s slowly worked his way up the minor-league ladder but has only posted a career .266/.364/.378 line. He signed as a minor-league free agent with the Mets heading into 2020 but never played a game for the organization. Since joining the Giants, Tolman has primarily played well at Triple-A, hitting .263/.340/.474 with the Sacramento River Cats, but was recently sent to Richmond, where he’s hitting .306/.366/.472 in 10 games.

Villar has been a power-hitting corner prospect since his days in college at South Florida. Drafted by the Giants in the 11th round of the 2018 draft, he’s posted double-digit home runs in every minor-league season. This year in Richmond, he’s putting together the most well-rounded year of his career, hitting 20 doubles and 14 home runs across 86 games with a .262/.357/.460 triple-slash.

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SF Giants prospects Simon Whiteman, Mitchell Tolman, and David Villar pulled off a highlight double play on Tuesday that made its way to ESPN, where it ranked among SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the day.