Scottsdale loses to Glendale 5-2 as two Giants get playing time
In front of a sparse crowd of 382, two Arizona Fall League teams stacked with minor league talent strutted their stuff for fans and scouts alike. The developmental league runs from October 8 to November 14 and features six teams, each consisting of top prospects from five major league franchises, creating essentially six different all-star teams.
Seven San Francisco Giants prospects were sent to Scottsdale, Ariz. to play for the Scorpions, along with talent from the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.
Two of those seven found themselves on the field Saturday afternoon at Camelback Ranch — the site of Spring Training games for both the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers — including Giants No.1-ranked prospect Kyle Crick and former Virginia Cavalier Jarrett Parker.
The stadium was oddly quiet throughout most of the afternoon, with the most audible sounds being the strike-yell of home plate umpire Sean Barber and Angel Villalonaoccasionally barking in the dugout.
The crowd showed some life in the bottom of the fourth after Parker made an impressive play in center field on a sharp line drive off the bat of Miami shortstop prospect Danny Black. Parker sprinted to his left and laid out to make a spectacular catch, saving two runs. The patrons applauded as a run scored from third on the sac-fly.
Another noticeable sound came from the glove of Scorpion catcher Cam Maron when the Giants 2011 first-round pick entered as a reliever in the fifth. Crick needed just eight pitches — seven of which were strikes — to set Glendale down in order as he popped Maron’s catcher’s mitt with 96-mph fastballs.
It was Crick’s best outing of the fall as he lowered his ERA to 5.87. He threw primarily fastballs, which sat between 93 and 96 mph, but he coaxed a ground ball with a sharp-breaking, 86-mph slider. The inning ended with Marlins No.6-ranked prospect Colin Moran striking out looking on a mid-90s four-seamer on the outside corner.
Crick will be limited to relief work over the next several days as the organization prepares him to possibly start the “Fall-Stars” game on November 2. He had walked eight batters in 6.2 innings before a perfect fifth inning on Saturday.
Parker, who is batting .242 through 33 at-bats, went 1-for-4 on the afternoon with two strikeouts. Despite the two punch-outs, Parker saw eleven pitches over the two at-bats and added a six-pitch appearance in the second inning before grounding out to the pitcher.
The 6-foot, 4-inch Parker struggled in 2013 with Class AA Richmond with 161 strikeouts in 444 at-bats — more than one per four plate appearances — though he did draw 60 walks and post a .245/.355/.430 line with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs in a tough hitter’s league.
Scottsdale has the day off on Sunday before returning to Scottsdale Stadium to play Peoria. Arizona Fall League-leading hitter Andrew Susac will likely start at catcher as fellow Giants prospect Adalberto Mejia is slated to get his first start of the fall.
Mejia will look to turn things around after allowing nine earned runs in just eight innings of relief.
- Giants prospect Angel Villalona was hyper, to say the least, in the dugout during the first few innings of Saturday’s game. His antics consisted of barking, making kissing noises at fellow teammates, and mimicking the home-plate umpire’s strike call. Jarrett Parker put an end to it, hurling a cup of water in Villalona’s face. Good to see them having fun.
- Fresno Grizzlies hitting coach Russ Morman is Scottsdale’s manager this fall, also serving as the team’s third base coach. Not sure if that’s a permanent task but he stood in the Tim Flannery spot whenever the Scorpions were up to bat.
- San Francisco’s best pitching prospect, statistically speaking, in Arizona thus far has been San Jose Giants closer Derek Law, who hasn’t allowed a run, earned or unearned, in 7.1 innings. We’re likely to see both Law and Cody Hall on the mound on Monday.