Friday's action in the Giants' organization was good for three things: starting pitching, dingers, and victories. Ironically, the system's top-ranked prospect, right-hander Tyler Beede, had the worst outing statistically speaking of all four starters. But he was pitching at 4,226 feet of elevation so we'll give him a break here.
The other three starters, however, turned in beautiful performances, combining for 20 strikeouts and three earned runs over 17 innings.
Sam Coonrod struck out nine in six innings to make it back-to-back quality outings to begin the year in Richmond. He allowed five baserunners — three hits, a walk, and a hit batsman — utilizing a mix of his fastball and slider to keep Reading in check before D.J. Snelten and Reyes Moronta entered to shut things down. Nothing unusual for Moronta — just a perfect inning with two punchouts — bringing his season total to 10 in four frames.
It was Conner Menez on the mound for San Jose, who is rocking a solid 11/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio through two starts. He went six innings on 74 pitches while striking out six and allowing a single run.
And down in Augusta, undrafted 23-year-old Matt Solter pitched five shutout, one-hit innings to lead the GreenJackets to their second win of the year. Solter struck out six in those five frames but did surrender four walks.
Now on to the dingers. The minor leaguers hit four last night, and you can see video of three of them below. Aramis Garcia destroyed one on the first pitch and he knew it as soon as it left his bat. It was his third home run in the last five games, and though it's early, Garcia owns a .696 slugging percentage and a 210 wRC+.
Austin Slater connected for his first homer of the season, and added a double as well to go 2-for-5, upping his average to .345. Slater posted 13 home runs in just 278 plate appearances last season with the River Cats.
And lastly, Chris Shaw just launched one — a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth to put the Flying Squirrels up 5-3.
Not featured in the video display was Gio Brusa, who is turning from cold to hot quickly with three home runs and a double in his last four games after beginning the new year 1-for-16.
— In what was supposed to be a night off for the Giants' top offensive prospect Christian Arroyo, Orlando Calixte unexpectedly left the game after two plate appearances and in came Arroyo to fill in at shortstop. He collected three singles in his three trips to the plate and raised his already-high batting average to .467.
— Hunter Cole is still trying to find his way in April, and maybe Friday night's eighth-inning double will help him bounce back. He'll enter the weekend slashing .103/.152/.207 with 11 strikeouts in his first 33 plate appearances.
— Kyle Crick has pitched four innings in three relief outings and has just five singles to his name. Yes, the same Kyle Crick who has never finished a season with a walk rate below 13% has zero walks through four innings.
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Tyler Beede: 4 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 3 K
- Christian Arroyo: 3-for-3, R
- Bryan Reynolds: DNP
- Steven Duggar: DNP
- Chris Shaw: 3-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB
- Sandro Fabian: 1-for-5, 2B, RBI, SO
- Heath Quinn: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Ty Blach: DNP
- Steven Okert: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K
- Matt Krook: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO
- C.J. Hinojosa: DNP
- Reyes Moronta: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Austin Slater: 2-for-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
- Kelvin Beltre: 2-for-5, 2 RBI, SO
- Dan Slania: DNP
- Cory Taylor: DNP
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Chase Johnson: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
- Jalen Miller: 0-for-2, SO
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Dylan Davis: DNP
- Ryder Jones: DNP
- Hunter Cole: 1-for-4, 2B