Shaw doubles twice while River Cats bullpen impresses

BOX SCORES: SAC / RIC / SJ / AUG / SK

In the Pacific Coast League, 101 players have at least 15 doubles in 2017. One of those 101 is Giants' first baseman turned left fielder Chris Shaw, who joined the team from Double-A Richmond on May 25. He has totaled 19 thus far, including two on Tuesday night and another on Monday. Nineteen puts Shaw 15 back of the league lead and 10 back of the top-five, but that's not what we're here to talk about.

Of the 101, only 10 players have fewer plate appearances than Shaw. If you were to pace Shaw's 19 doubles out over 496 plate appearances, which is the number currently held by league-leader Dominic Smith, Shaw would lead the PCL in doubles with 35.

Now, the same could be said for Garrett Cooper of the Brewers, who has 29 doubles in 320 trips to the plate, giving him 44 if he were paced out. Or Royals prospect Frank Schwindel, who would be paced out to 40 given Smith's plate appearance total.

Let's move on to home runs, of which Shaw has 12. Fifty-three players in the PCL have at least 12, but only eight have fewer plate appearances than Shaw. Using the same pacing calculation, Shaw wouldn't lead the league, but he would have 22 and be in the top-10.

So it's clear Shaw is hitting for considerable power, which is what we expect from him. He owns a .228 ISO, which is climbing as of late. But what is most peculiar is the amount of strikeouts Shaw has in Triple-A while still crushing the ball. In Richmond, he was striking out at 16.9% — the lowest rate of his career. Now in Sacramento, Shaw is striking out at 30.5% — by far the highest rate of his career. 

He's basically traded walks for strikeouts, while still hitting for essentially the same average and slugging. But check out his last couple weeks.

Shaw is on a 12-game hitting streak where he has at least one extra-base hit in eight of them. But he's also on a 14-game strikeout streak, and has recorded at least one strikeout in 34 of his last 36 games. Over those 14 games, he has totaled 23 strikeouts for a 41.8 K% in 55 plate appearances, but has also racked up 17 hits and three walks for a .327/.364/.615 slash line. That means 72.7% of his trips to the plate have either resulted in a strikeout or a hit, meaning his BABIP is crazy high. In this stretch, it's .538 and overall since joining the River Cats it's .376. 

Comparatively, Ryder Jones moved from Richmond to Sacramento and increased his walks while decreasing his strikeouts, while Shaw has done the opposite. Though neither one saw a decrease in hitting for average or power.

Until I get an answer from Shaw or a hitting instructor, I'm led to believe they're having Shaw work on being more aggressive at the plate. Otherwise, it's quite alarming to see a player's strikeout rate jump nearly 10% when reaching Triple-A. But even if that is the case, and it's not related to a change in approach, we can at least rest easy knowing, at the moment, at least, it hasn't affected the batting average and slugging marks.

OTHER NOTES

— After Matt Gage departed for the River Cats, three relievers came in and combined for 10 strikeouts, one hit, and one walk over the next six frames. Dusten Knight struck out the side, Reyes Moronta struck out three in two innings, giving up both the hit and the walk. And DJ Snelten sent four packing in three perfect innings. 

— With all the talk in Salem-Keizer about speedy centerfielder Bryce Johnson, fellow outfielder Logan Baldwin has been left in the dust. Baldwin, drafted in the 21st round out of Georgia Southern, has been playing both corners of the outfield and is slashing .367/.407/.561 in 109 plate appearances. He has a 21-game on-base streak going and has 14 hits (three doubles, two triples, and one home run) in his last eight games. His wRC+ is up to 163, which leads the team.

— About a month ago I wrote a blurb about Melvin Adon and his Jekyll and Hyde season. He was 10 starts in at that point, and pretty much had five awesome outings and five not-so-awesome outings. His last seven starts haven't all been awesome, but they've shown a better consistency. He has a 2.88 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 20.8 K% over the 40.2 innings with a combined game score of 55. On Tuesday, Adon walked none and struck out six over seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits. It was his second seven-inning outing of the year and he set a season high in strikes thrown at 63.

Logan Webb accomplished a rare feat on Tuesday night in Hillsboro, Oregon. He struck out the side on nine pitches, giving him the "immaculate inning." Webb is having a fantastic comeback season, striking out batters at a 32.8% clip and walking them at a measly 3.0%. Webb had Tommy John surgery last season, is being used more as a reliever now, and is still just 20-years old.

TOMORROW'S STARTERS

TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP

  1. Christian Arroyo: DNP
  2. Tyler Beede: DNP
  3. Chris Shaw: 3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, SO
  4. Heliot Ramos: DNP
  5. Bryan Reynolds: 0-for-3, BB
  6. Austin Slater: DNP
  7. Steven Duggar: 1-for-3, R, HR, 2 BB, SO, SB
  8. Aramis Garcia: 0-for-4, SO
  9. Sandro Fabian: DNP
  10. Heath Quinn: 1-for-4, 2 R, SO
  11. Andrew Suarez: DNP
  12. Joan Gregorio: DNP
  13. Seth Corry: DNP
  14. Ryder Jones: DNP
  15. Jacob Gonzalez: DNP
  16. C.J. Hinojosa: 0-for-3, BB, SO
  17. Shaun Anderson: DNP
  18. Kyle Crick: DNP
  19. Garrett Cave: DNP
  20. Garrett Williams: DNP
  21. Sam Coonrod: DNP
  22. Jordan Johnson: DNP
  23. Melvin Adon: 7 IP. 8 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 6 K
  24. Miguel Gomez: 0-for-1
  25. Kelvin Beltre: DNP
  26. Matt Krook: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K
  27. Reyes Moronta: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
  28. Rodolfo Martinez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  29. Stephen Woods: DNP
  30. Bryce Johnson: 1-for-3, BB, 2 SO

LATEST NEWS