Jose Flores struck out seven and induced 15 swinging strikes on Monday facing New Orleans in his sixth outing since being promoted from Double-A Richmond. It's already his second outing going at least six innings and allowing zero runs, the first of which came in his Triple-A debut at Albuquerque.
The case could be made, in Flores's first six starts with the River Cats, that he's been the best starting pitcher the team has had all season. The only starter to put up a six-start stretch as good as Flores's was Joan Gregorio from start number two to start number seven, but he's hard to include in this comparison due to his drug-related suspension.
Flores owns a collective game score of 58 over the span, racking up numbers like 35.2 innings, 29 hits, 13 earned runs, nine walks, and 36 strikeouts. That line computes to averages such as a 3.28 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 25.9 K%, 6.5 BB%, and .227 OBA.
The next best stretch would be another recently promoted arm, left-hander Andrew Suarez, who from June 22 to July 27 put up a collective game score of 53 with 36.1 innings, 36 hits, 17 earned runs, 17 walks, and 34 strikeouts. Those numbers come out to a 3.47 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 22.9 K%, 10.8 BB%, and .259 OBA.
And top pitching prospect Tyler Beede's best six-game stretch came at the beginning of the season, where with a collective game score of 52 he totaled 32 innings, 27 hits, 13 earned runs, 13 walks, and 21 strikeouts. The averages and percentages were a 3.38 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 15.9 K%, 9.8 BB%, and .231 OBA.
The advantage in every category goes to Flores.
If you're curious what an outing from Flores looks like, here's an older Daily Prospect Recap from July 9 where I filmed his entire start.
— Two San Francisco prospects were promoted Monday, and another was promoted early this morning. Richmond's Slade Heathcott is headed to Sacramento after posting .262/.339/.435 and 113 wRC+ with the Flying Squirrels. Heathcott, a former Yankees prospect who reached the majors briefly in 2015, was signed to a minor league deal this past offseason.
— Left-hander Garrett Williams, a seventh-round selection by the Giants in 2016, is off to San Jose to join their starting rotation. Williams has been impressive in his first full season, increasing his strikeout rate by two percent and lowering his walk rate by two percent, all while owning a 2.25 ERA and .230 OBA.
— And finally, top catching prospect Aramis Garcia will be a Flying Squirrel after 591 High-A plate appearances spanning three seasons. The current season has been his best, as he's decreased his strikeout rate by five percent from the 2015 and 2016 marks while hitting for considerable power (.225 ISO).
— San Jose Giants shortstop Ryan Howard has 16 doubles this year, and amazingly six of them have come in the last eight games. The former University of Missouri star has been a singles machine in 2017 as 82.5% of his 131 hits have been singles, giving him a .092 isolated slugging percentage. Howard makes contact often, only drawing walks a 3.9% clip and striking out at 15.8%.
— Happy Birthday to GreenJackets outfielder Jacob Heyward, who recorded three of Augusta's 11 hits on Monday. Hopefully this pushes him into a strong finish to the 2017 season as his previous 25 games have significantly dropped his overall batting line. Even with Monday's three hits, Heyward's batting average had fallen to .220 due to a .150/.296/.275 slash line over the 25-game stretch.
— After a couple rough outings to begin his AZL debut campaign, right-hander Camilo Doval has been incredibly difficult to face. In 12.1 innings spanning seven outings, Doval has allowed five hits and three walks while striking out 20.
- Sacramento: Andrew Suarez (3.46 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)
- Richmond: Tyler Herb (3.48 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)
- San Jose: Grant Watson (3.48 ERA, 1.59 WHIP)
- Augusta: D.J. Myers (4.11 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Christian Arroyo: DNP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Chris Shaw: DNP
- Heliot Ramos: 2-for-4
- Bryan Reynolds: 1-for-2, 3 BB
- Austin Slater: DNP
- Steven Duggar: 1-for-4, R, 2B, BB, 3 SO
- Aramis Garcia: 1-for-5, SO
- Sandro Fabian: 0-for-4, 3 SO
- Heath Quinn: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Seth Corry: DNP
- Ryder Jones: 1-for-3
- Jacob Gonzalez: 1-for-3, BB
- C.J. Hinojosa: DNP
- Shaun Anderson: DNP
- Kyle Crick: DNP
- Garrett Cave: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Miguel Gomez: DNP
- Kelvin Beltre: 0-for-5, 2 SO
- Matt Krook: DNP
- Reyes Moronta: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
- Rodolfo Martinez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
- Stephen Woods: DNP
- Bryce Johnson: DNP