Williams, Solter impressive in respective debuts

BOX SCORES: SJ / AUG

I caught the first four innings of Garrett Williams's (sort of) debut for the Augusta GreenJackets. He pitched two relief innings on May 13 to keep his arm fresh before the organization moved him into the rotation as Matt Solter was sent to San Jose. We'll get to him in a minute. 

Williams was held to a strict pitch limit on Thursday, throwing five solid innings and reaching 76 pitches. He gave up five singles, but it was really four because they awarded an infield hit to Ben Ruta instead of giving (what I thought was clearly) an error to new first baseman Frandy De La Rosa, which would have been his second blemish of the game. Anyway, all five* of the hits surrendered by Williams were singles, and he walked one, gave up an unearned run, and struck out four. He was effective with a steady dose of looking strikes (17) and ground balls (10). 

Williams featured his noted curveball, which he used against both left-handers and right-handers. One of his four strikeouts came against a righty with a curveball dropping almost straight down out of the strike zone. In the fastball department, Williams occasionally missed armside with his two-seamer, and seemed to be throwing some sort of four-seamer or cutter in on right-handers.

For Solter, it was six singles, a double, and a walk allowed in seven strong innings to lift San Jose up from a six-game losing skid. He struck out four and recorded the exact same amount of looking strikes and ground balls as Williams.

The Giants have found a nice addition to their minor league starting pitcher arsenal in Solter, who was signed from the independent Frontier League last year. He struggled in his debut season, giving up a home run 2.2 times out of every 100 batters faced, allowing opposing hitters to average .312 off him, and issuing a walk almost 10 percent of the time. Though this season has still featured an abundance of walks, he's striking people out more frequently and keeping the OBA down (.253).

OTHER NOTES

Kelvin Beltre raked two doubles on Thursday for the Augusta GreenJackets, including this opposite field liner that scored two runs. The numbers, now through 136 plate appearances, are still spectacular for the 20-year-old. He's slashing .270/.316/.468 and owns a 19.1 strikeout rate. For comparison's sake, Dillon Dobson in 2016 through his first 137 plate appearances was slashing .282/.336/.500 with a 24.1 strikeout rate in Augusta.

— Speaking of Dobson, the San Jose Giants second baseman went yard in Thursday's series finale in Visalia — his second home run in as many games. Dobson owns a few high ranks in the California League, including 9th in wRC+ and OPS, 5th in slugging percentage, and 3rd in isolated slugging percentage.

Raffi Vizcaino was assigned to Augusta on Thursday, and will likely pitch in a bullpen role. That is, unless, the Giants move one of the current rotation arms into the bullpen. Vizcaino has been used almost exclusively as a starter since being signed in 2013, and has done so in productive fashion. But there aren't really any obvious candidates to be removed. So we'll see what happens there.

TOMORROW'S STARTERS

TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP

  1. Tyler Beede: DNP
  2. Christian Arroyo: DNP
  3. Bryan Reynolds: 3-for-4, R
  4. Steven Duggar: DNP
  5. Chris Shaw: DNP
  6. Sandro Fabian: DNP
  7. Heath Quinn: 0-for-4, SO
  8. Joan Gregorio: DNP
  9. Jordan Johnson: DNP
  10. Andrew Suarez: DNP
  11. Sam Coonrod: DNP
  12. Matt Krook: DNP
  13. Aramis Garcia: 0-for-3, BB, SO
  14. C.J. Hinojosa: DNP
  15. Reyes Moronta: DNP
  16. Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
  17. Austin Slater: DNP
  18. Kelvin Beltre: 2-for-5, R, 2 2B, 2 SO
  19. Dan Slania: DNP
  20. Cory Taylor: DNP
  21. Chris Stratton: DNP
  22. Chase Johnson: DNP
  23. Jalen Miller: 0-for-5, SO
  24. Melvin Adon: DNP
  25. Garrett Williams: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
  26. Dylan Davis: DNP
  27. Ryder Jones: DNP
  28. Hunter Cole: DNP
  29. Miguel Gomez: DNP
  30. Ryan Howard: DNP

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