Bickford, Johnson throw seven-inning gems

BOX SCORES: SAC / SJ / AUG (1)AUG (2)DSL

Right-handers Phil Bickford and Jordan Johnson combined to strike out 14 and allow zero walks in their respective Monday starts.

Bickford, for the Augusta GreenJackets, pitched all seven innings of a doubleheader-shortened game to tie his career high in innings. It's his first technical complete game since becoming a pro, and it increased his already impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio to 4.6 (69/15). His only earned run of the game was a solo home run — his second given up all season.

I caught innings five through seven on MiLB.TV. Bickford moved vertically in the strike zone, sending hitters packing with high fastball swing-throughs. In those three innings, I saw maybe one changeup, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. In a 10-pitch fifth inning, in which he struck out two, Bickford threw 10 fastballs. He started to utilize the curveball more often in the sixth and seventh innings, producing a couple swinging strikes with it and also showing the ability to float it over for a called strike.

The high fastball is on full display in this clip here.

The Charleston RiverDogs' center field camera is almost directly behind the pitcher, providing a great view of the movement of pitches. Bickford's fastball is as dead-straight as straight can be, while the curveball almost has as much horizontal movement as it does vertical.

Through 11 starts, making up 60.2 innings, Bickford owns a 2.67 ERA, a 1.055 WHIP, and a 2.46 FIP. His 10.4 strikeouts-per-nine-innings mark is the best in the Giants organization, among minor league starting pitchers. His FIP is second best, behind only teammate Michael Santos at 2.23. And in the entire minor leagues, Bickford's FIP is 14th best among pitchers throwing at least 60 innings. 

In San Jose, Johnson made it back-to-back impressive outings. After only lasting an inning on May 26, Johnson has rebounded with a six-inning start, followed by Monday's seven-inning performance, combining to strike out 14 and walk just one. Like Bickford, his only blemish was a solo home run, of which he has given up eight now in 10 starts.

OTHER NOTES

Lucius Fox returned to the Augusta GreenJackets lineup, where he batted leadoff in the opening game of Monday's doubleheader. He went 1-for-3 with two runs. The 18-year-old is slashing .210/.298/.299 thus far (180 plate appearances).

TOMORROW'S STARTERS


TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP

  1. Christian Arroyo: DNP
  2. Tyler Beede: DNP
  3. Phil Bickford: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
  4. Lucius Fox: 1-for-3, 2 R, BB
  5. Chris Shaw: 0-for-3, SO
  6. Sam Coonrod: DNP
  7. Mac Williamson: DNP
  8. Aramis Garcia: DNP
  9. Andrew Suarez: DNP
  10. Adalberto Mejia: DNP
  11. Clayton Blackburn: DNP
  12. Jalen Miller: 0-for-3, SO
  13. Ray Black: DNP
  14. Chase Johnson: DNP
  15. Jordan Johnson: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
  16. Steven Okert: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  17. Kyle Crick: DNP
  18. Jarrett Parker: DNP
  19. Hunter Cole: DNP
  20. Austin Slater: 0-for-4, 3 SO
  21. Joan Gregorio: DNP
  22. Michael Santos: DNP
  23. Ty Blach: DNP
  24. Rodolfo Martinez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  25. Mac Marshall: DNP
  26. Ronnie Jebavy: 1-for-2, BB, SO
  27. Chris Stratton: DNP
  28. Ian Gardeck: DNP
  29. Jake Smith: DNP
  30. Dylan Davis: 2-for-6, RBI, BB, SO

LATEST NEWS