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.
— 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).
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Christian Arroyo: DNP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Phil Bickford: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
- Lucius Fox: 1-for-3, 2 R, BB
- Chris Shaw: 0-for-3, SO
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Mac Williamson: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Adalberto Mejia: DNP
- Clayton Blackburn: DNP
- Jalen Miller: 0-for-3, SO
- Ray Black: DNP
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
- Steven Okert: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- Kyle Crick: DNP
- Jarrett Parker: DNP
- Hunter Cole: DNP
- Austin Slater: 0-for-4, 3 SO
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Michael Santos: DNP
- Ty Blach: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- Mac Marshall: DNP
- Ronnie Jebavy: 1-for-2, BB, SO
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Ian Gardeck: DNP
- Jake Smith: DNP
- Dylan Davis: 2-for-6, RBI, BB, SO