Fifteen games into his first full season, switch-hitting corner outfielder Gio Brusa was below the Mendoza Line. Way below, in fact, at .158, plus he was striking out 36.8 percent of the time. Thankfully, he was Brandon Belt-ing and drawing walks at a 14.7 percent clip to keep his on-base percentage at a reasonable .294. And his three home runs, a triple, and a double gave him a .210 ISO. So it wasn't all bad for the former University of Pacific star.
But in his 15 games since, Brusa has slowly begun to progress back to what he and the organization know he is capable of in the hitting department.
He's now just a couple ticks over .200, batting .246 since April 27, and has lowered his K% from 36.8 to 32.3. In Tuesday's game in Visalia, Brusa went 1-for-4 with a double and no strikeouts. He has recorded only two in his last 23 plate appearances. It all equates to a 89 wRC+ for Brusa through 130 plate appearances. He can thank his raw power and ability to draw walks for that just slightly-below average mark despite such a low batting average.
One concerning aspect of Brusa's season thus far is his splits batting right-handed against left-handing pitching. There isn't too much need for worry, as the San Jose Giants just haven't faced a ton of lefties in their first 39 games. Only 18.5 percent of Brusa's trips to the plate in 2017 have come against a lefty. But in those 24 plate appearances from the right side, Brusa has just three hits to go along with eight strikeouts.
Brusa saw many more southpaws in 2016 with Salem-Keizer as 33.1 percent of his plate appearances were from the right side. But though he received a higher percentage of chances than he has this season, the numbers were still considerably lower. He slashed .219/.278/.370 right-handed compared to .284/.306/.554 left-handed.
It's still early for Brusa. 103 plate appearances spread over two years isn't enough to make any decisions. But it begs the question: At what point to the Giants scrap Brusa batting right-handed?
— Another guy possibly coming out of an early-season slump is Dylan Davis, who hit his first home run of the season on Tuesday in Akron.
— Though all four Giants minor league teams lost on Tuesday, two starting pitchers turned out impressive outings. Dan Slania suffered from two home runs, but other than that, he was solid in Oklahoma City for the Sacramento River Cats. He tied his season-high with eight strikeouts over 5.2 innings and allowed just one walk. By the Game Score metric, it was his best start of the season in Triple-A. Left-hander Conner Menez struck out five and tied a season-high in swinging strikes (12) in his six-inning, 96-pitch outing on the road against Visalia. He held the Rawhide to two runs, but his own offense managed just one run.
- Sacramento: Tyler Beede (3.68 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)
- Richmond: Matt Lujan (5.93 ERA, 1.62 WHIP)
- San Jose: Michael Connolly (1.78 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Christian Arroyo: 1-for-4, 2 SO
- Bryan Reynolds: 0-for-3, BB, SO
- Steven Duggar: DNP
- Chris Shaw: 1-for-4, 2 SO
- Sandro Fabian: 1-for-5, R, SO
- Heath Quinn: 2-for-4, 2B, SO
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 7 K
- Matt Krook: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 SO
- C.J. Hinojosa: 0-for-4
- Reyes Moronta: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
- Austin Slater: 2-for-4, R, SO
- Kelvin Beltre: 1-for-5
- Dan Slania: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 8 K
- Cory Taylor: DNP
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jalen Miller: 0-for-4, BB
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Dylan Davis: 1-for-4, R, HR, SO
- Ryder Jones: 0-for-1, SO
- Hunter Cole: 1-for-4, 2B
- Miguel Gomez: 1-for-4, 2 SO
- Ryan Howard: DNP