The month-to-month improvement of Hunter Cole reached its probable peak in June as the former University of Georgia product recorded 17 extra-base hits in 28 games, including 10 doubles and seven home runs. Mind you, he had nine doubles, a triple, and two home runs in the first two months combined.
On June 1, Cole was batting .231 with an underwhelming .329 slugging percentage. And he went 2-for-11 in his first four games, as it wasn't until a two-hit game on June 4 that sparked Cole's tear through June. From that point forward, Cole recorded a hit in 17 of his next 24 games, including 12 with at least two hits. All of this resulted in his yearly slash line sitting at .269/.330/.446 after June 30's game at Trenton, where he went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer.
He's been far better than solid in the field, as well, collecting nine outfield assists while playing exclusively right field, including four that helped turn double plays. Five errors have led to a modest 96.7 fielding percentage.
Cole is this Giant Potential's "Prospect of the Month," and here are the best of the bunch at each position.
C, Ricardo Genoves
As you take a look at these first two names, you're likely to have never heard of them. Ricardo Genoves turned 17 in May, and is playing his first professional season. The native of Venezuela has been the Dominican Summer League Giants' most used catcher, and put up one hell of a first month, showing the ability to hit for average, power, and draw walks. He signed with San Francisco for $550,000 as part of last year's international signing pool, and is well-sized at 6'2", 190 pounds.
June Stats: .368/.442/.513, 28 H, 8 2B, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 9 BB, 11 K, 12.6 K%
1B, Angeddy Almanzar
Of similar size, Angeddy Almanzar was a late signing of the Giants in 2015. At 6'2", 180 pounds out of the Dominican Republic, Almanzar has been the DSL Giants' first baseman and, like Genoves, showed a nice mix of contact, power, and discipline in his first pro month. He turned 18 as the month ended.
June Stats: .347/.422/.514, 25 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 7 BB, 15 K, 18.1 K%
2B, Ali Castillo
I was a bit confused when Rando Moreno was promoted to Sacramento before Ali Castillo, especially considering the type of seasons both were having while playing for the Richmond Flying Squirrels. At the time of Moreno's call-up, Moreno had a .216 average, while Castillo was more than 100 points higher at .317. Moreno has been good with the River Cats since the move in early June, though, holding a .286 batting average in 99 plate appearances, but it was Castillo that seemed most deserving at the time. The former New York Yankees prospect, who just turned 27, racked up 32 hits in June to maintain his stellar .320 batting average. His 10.7 strikeout rate is among the best in the organization, and on June 30 when he finally got his chance in a River Cats uni, he's continued to display his hot bat (15 hits in 33 plate appearances).
June Stats: .337/.373/.432, 32 H, 5 2B, 2 3B, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 8 K, 9.7 K%
SS, Lucius Fox
While it was Christian Arroyo who arguably had the better numbers as a shortstop in June, I gave the nod to Lucius Fox by virtue of his marked improvement. The Giants' top international signee from 2015 raised his batting average from .206 to .220, in just 15 games, with the best month the newly-turned 19-year-old has had as a pro. Remember, Fox jumped straight to Class-A Augusta as an 18-year-old. No time in the AZL or Northwest League. Fox was striking out at a 25.8 percent clip through May. But Fox was noticeably better in June, striking out just eight times in 68 plate appearances (11.8 percent). The defense is certainly a work in progress, however, as Fox owns a 88.8 fielding percentage thanks to 27 errors.
June Stats: .254/.353/.339, 15 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 7 BB, 8 K, 7 SB, 11.7 K%
3B, Miguel Gomez
Forty-one hits in a month is absolutely ridiculous. Miguel Gomez made it look easy, and is quickly becoming the organization's next breakout prospect. His farm-leading strikeout rate is partly due to how often Gomez is on base with his 91 hits in 260 plate appearances, but even if you take away those hits and see how many of Gomez's outs are by way of strikeout, his rate is 13.6% — still far above average. The only thing the switch-hitter could improve on at this point is walks, but why take four balls when you can make consistent contact like his does?
June Stats: .394/.414/.587, 41 H, 6 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K, 8.1 K%
OF, Hunter Cole
Hunter Cole saw his wOBA and wRC+ skyrocket to .348 and 116 in June, putting him in the upper echelon of Giants' offensive prospects in 2016. He more than tripled his home run total in a 30-day span, and went through a 17-game stretch where he hit a home run every third day on average.
June Stats: .337/.393/.653, 33 H, 10 2B, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 8 BB, 24 K, 22.4 K%
OF, Dylan Davis
The domino effect of the triple promotion to Richmond sent Dylan Davis to San Jose, filling the void left by Steven Duggar. Davis raked in April, cooled off in May, then picked things back up in June after hitting the disabled list from May 25 to June 1. Only GreenJackets' teammate Miguel Gomez had a higher wRC+ at the time of Davis' call-up to the California League, as Davis was second in the organization at 144.
June Stats: .307/.347/.545, 27 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 5 BB, 18 K, 18.9 K%
OF, Gorkys Hernandez
At June's end, no Giants' minor leaguer had tallied more hits in 2016 than Gorkys Hernandez. The former Baseball America Top-100 prospect totaled 37 more in June to bring his season total to 90. He'll certainly be the next outfielder to get a look should the Giants need another.
June Stats: .366/.440/.515, 37 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 12 BB, 17 K, 14.4 K%
RHP, Tyler Beede
What an encouragement Tyler Beede's third month was. He kicked things off going eight innings (in just 73 pitches) on June 2 while allowing a mere two baserunners. His next four June outings would all go six or more innings, while compiling a 1.53 ERA, which helped lower his season mark to 2.71.
June Stats: 5 GS, 35.1 IP, 23 H, 6 ER, 9 BB, 28 K, 1.53 ERA, 0.906 WHIP, .185 OBA
RHP, Tyler Cyr
The interesting thing about Tyler Cyr is that despite showing signs that maybe the Fremont, Calif. native could succeed while in a starting role, he has yet to be given that opportunity. In 2016, Cyr has averaged 2.1 innings per appearance, and has pitched three or more innings eight times. He struck out 26 in 19.2 June innings, and his season K/9 mark is a stellar 11, coupled with four strikeouts to every walk he issues. He was rewarded with a promotion to San Jose on June 24, where he has yet to allow a run (earned or unearned) in 9.1 innings.
June Stats: 9 G, 19.2 IP, 14 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 26 K, 1.37 ERA, 0.864 WHIP, .258 SLG
LHP, Matt Gage
The organization's top rated left-handed starters — Ty Blach, Adalberto Mejia, and Andrew Suarez — all underperformed in June, leaving Matt Gage as the best southpaw starter. Gage wasn't by any means amazing, but was certainly a solid force in the Flying Squirrels bullpen, averaging more than six innings per start with a sub-four ERA. He kept hitters at bay in terms of extra-base hits, as 23 of his 27 hits allowed in June were singles, including zero triples and zero home runs.
June Stats: 5 GS, 31.1 IP, 27 H, 13 ER, 9 BB, 30 K, 3.73 ERA, 1.149 WHIP, .265 SLG
LHP, Caleb Smith
Caleb Smith is the organizational leader in FIP, closing out June with a season mark of 1.89. He's kept the number so low due in part to his 14.2 K/9 average, as well as his .226 opponent slugging percentage. He seems to have shown the club all he can in Augusta, and should be moved to San Jose by year's end.
June Stats: 9 G, 9.2 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 17 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.931 WHIP, .135 OBA, .216 SLG
- SS Christian Arroyo: .258/.318/.351, 25 H, 9 2B, 9 RBI, 10 BB, 16 K, 14.4 K%
- 3B Jonah Arenado: .272/.286/.417, 28 H, 9 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 26 K, 24.8 K%
- OF Ronnie Jebavy: .260/.327/.330, 26 H, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 8 SB, 10 BB, 26 K, 22.8 K%
- OF Ashford Fulmer: .378/.500/.514, 14 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K, 10.9 K%
- RHP Cory Taylor: 5 GS, 31 IP, 29 H, 6 ER, 7 BB, 26 K, 1.74 ERA, 1.161 WHIP
- RHP Reyes Moronta: 10 G, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 17 K, 1.80 ERA, 0.900 WHIP, .167 SLG
- RHP Roldolfo Martinez: 10 G, 7 SV, 9.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.96 ERA, 0.750 WHIP
- AVG: Miguel Gomez, .369
- Hits: Gorkys Hernandez, 90
- SB: Johneshwy Fargas, 23
- BB: Steven Duggar, 45
- HBP: Myles Schroder, 11
- 2B: Christian Arroyo, 23
- 3B: Davis/Duggar/Dobson/Miller/Fargas, 4
- HR: Chris Shaw, 16
- RBI: Chris Shaw, 56
- OBP: Miguel Gomez, .401
- SLG: Miguel Gomez .541
- OPS: Miguel Gomez, .941
- ISO: Chris Shaw, .251
- wOBA: Miguel Gomez, .421
- wRC+: Miguel Gomez, 166
- K%: Miguel Gomez, 8.8%
- BB%: Steven Duggar, 14.1%
- ERA: Tyler Rogers, 0.75
- WHIP: Tyler Rogers, 0.944
- FIP: Caleb Smith, 1.85
- Games: Tyler Rogers, 36
- IP: Ty Blach, 95.2
- Saves: Rodolfo Martinez, 22
- K: Phil Bickford, 89
- K/9: Ray Black, 15.3
- K/BB: Michael Santos, 8.8
- H/9: Caleb Smith, 5.1
- BB/9: Michael Santos, 0.8
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