Whether it's his positional switch to catcher or his breadth of experience in the South Atlantic League, something is up with Skyler Ewing in 2017. He's 200 plate appearances in to his third go with the Augusta GreenJackets, which puts him over the 1,000-plate appearances mark. But this year is powerfully different for the Rice University alum.
He's drawing walks at the same rate, wafting between nine and 11 percent since the beginning of 2015, and that's actually the only constant. In 535 trips to the plate in 2015, Ewing, known for his power, only ISO'd .094 to go along with a .231 batting average. In 302 plate appearances next season, Ewing's power returned, but certainly not to the level at which it's been displayed this year.
Ewing hit his seventh home run in Friday's game, giving him four bombs in the last six games. Since the beginning of June, Ewing has nine doubles and five home runs. Overall, his isolated slugging percentage has more than double since 2015, sitting at .214 after Friday night's contest. He falls just a few plate appearances short of qualifying for South Atlantic League average stats, but he would be sixth in ISO if he were included.
And all of this while nearly recording more walks than strikeouts. His current 16.0 K% is a 6.8% decrease from 2016's mark.
This great combination of high contact, plate discipline, and power has given Ewing a 140 wRC+, which now leads the entire organization among players with at least 150 plate appearances.
I would expect Ewing, who has been playing exactly two-thirds of his games this year at catcher, to promote to San Jose whenever the organization decides to move fellow backstop Aramis Garcia to Richmond.
— The Sacramento River Cats bullpen was sharp in relief of Tyler Beede on Friday. D.J. Snelten, Tyler Rogers, and Derek Law combined to toss four innings of shutout ball in Salt Lake. Rogers was perfect, retiring all five batters he faced, including two strikeouts. And unsurprisingly, two of Rogers other three outs were groundouts. And same goes for Snelten, who leads all of the minors (minimum 40 IP) with a 70.3 GB%.
— Alexander Canario, the youngest player in the Giants organization and in the Dominican Summer League, went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, and a walk in Friday's DSL Giants game. His batting line of .276/.388/.491 with the same amount of walks and strikeouts (20) gives him a crazy-impressive 149 wRC+ in 139 plate appearances.
— But who's having a better offensive campaign than Canario on the squad? Enter 19-year-old outfielder Franklin Labour from Santo Domingo. Labour, in his second year in pro ball, is slashing .317/.422/.512 with three more walks than strikeouts. Labour owns just 10 strikeouts in 102 plate appearances, meaning he basically strikes out once every three games.
- Sacramento: Chris Stratton (5.62 ERA, 1.51 WHIP)
- Richmond: Sam Coonrod (4.31 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
- San Jose: Conner Menez (3.74 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
- Augusta: Domenic Mazza (3.44 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
- Salem-Keizer: Julio Benitez (3.65 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Tyler Beede: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K
- Christian Arroyo: DNP
- Bryan Reynolds: 2-for-5, 2B, SO
- Steven Duggar: DNP
- Chris Shaw: 0-for-3, BB, 3 SO
- Sandro Fabian: 0-for-3, SO
- Heath Quinn: 1-for-4, 2 SO
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Matt Krook: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: 1-for-5
- C.J. Hinojosa: 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB
- Reyes Moronta: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Austin Slater: DNP
- Kelvin Beltre: 0-for-5, 2 SO, CS
- Dan Slania: DNP
- Cory Taylor: DNP
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jalen Miller: 0-for-4, SO
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Dylan Davis: 0-for-3, BB
- Ryder Jones: DNP
- Hunter Cole: DNP
- Miguel Gomez: DNP
- Ryan Howard: 2-for-4, BB, 2 SO