What better way to begin the new season than to dominate Double-A hitters for an entire month. Tyler Rogers, the submarine right-handed twin, shoved during April to both lefties and righties. Not a single run crossed the plate in his 12 appearances, while batters averaged just .178 off him in the process.
More on Rogers later. First, let's start off by highlighting the best Giants' minor leaguer at each position through the opening month.
C, MIGUEL OLIVO
Obviously Olivo is not a "prospect," but he's certainly been the best Giants' minor league catcher. The guy has four seasons of experience at the Triple-A level, and is also 37 years old, so it's understandable that he's hitting well for the River Cats. He did, however, commit three throwing errors in 13 games.
April Stats: .296/.328/.556, 16 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 23.7 K%
1B, CHRIS SHAW
Goodbye 0-for-10 with five strikeouts start, hello power-hitting, California League pitcher-eating first baseman. Shaw has gone off since then, ending April with 26 hits, including nine doubles and three home runs. Shaw and shortstop C.J. Hinojosa have been a potent heart of the order for the San Jose Giants, combining for almost a quarter of the team's RBI and 19% of the team's hits.
April Stats: .338/.395/.571, 26 H, 9 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 6 BB, 23.3 K%
2B, RAMIRO PEÑA
Yes, another non-prospect, but the 30-year-old former Yankees and Braves big leaguer had a stellar April. Only Brandon Bednar and Jalen Miller started more games at second base, and among organizational, qualifying second baseman, his .327 average was almost 100 points higher than anyone else.
April Stats: .327/.383/.509, 18 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 11.3 K%
SS, C.J. HINOJOSA
He had more hits than any Giants' farmhand during April, and he went hitless in just three of his 20 games during the month. The only knock on the 2015 11th rounder from the University of Texas was his high error total — six. Otherwise, Hinojosa batted three in the order the great majority of the first 20 games and raked.
April Stats: .370/.459/.534, 27 H, 6 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 16.5 K%
3B, JOSE VIZCAINO, JR.
Vizcaino, Jr. finished April tied with Dillon Dobson and Mac Williamson for most RBI at 17. The son of Jose Vizcaino, of course, Junior is far bigger than his 18-year MLB veteran father. At 6'2", 220, Vizcaino, Jr. slugged .403 in the opening with a home run from April 8 still not registering in his stat totals due to the game hanging in the suspension balance.
April Stats: .278/.325/.403, 20 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 18.2 K%
OF, MAC WILLIAMSON
Having now been called up to San Francisco for the second time this young season, Williamson made the most of his 14 games with Sacramento. He registered 21 hits, nine of which went for extra bases. Depending on the severity and length of Angel Pagan's injury, we may get to see extended at-bats from the tall, athletic outfielder in the major leagues for the next handful of weeks.
April Stats: .344/.373/.623, 21 H, 5 2B, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 15.6 K%
OF, STEVEN DUGGAR
Many were excited about two 2015 draftees who would roam the outfield in San Jose in 2016 — Ronnie Jebavy and Steven Duggar. So far, it's been Duggar posting the stellar numbers, and Jebavy really grinding through the first month. Duggar has since cooled off, but a stretch during the middle of the month, spanning eight games, where he slugged .893 with three doubles, a triple, and three home runs, was quite impressive.
April Stats: .260/.372/.507, 19 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 13 BB, 22.1 K%
OF, DYLAN DAVIS
Like Hinojosa and Shaw in San Jose, Dylan Davis and Dillon Dobson packed a mighty punch in the 3-4 spots for the Augusta GreenJackets. Hey, he even entered the game as a pitcher and threw in the low-90s. The former pitcher at Oregon State is making his case to remain as an outfielder with an impressive slash line in his first 78 at-bats in the South Atlantic League.
April Stats: .308/.409/.590, 24 H, 6 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 14 BB, 20.4 K%
RHP, JOAN GREGORIO
Gregorio might be the most encouraging story in the Giants' system thus far. Formerly listed at 180 pounds, recent photos clearly indicate that the 6'7" prospect has filled out. His bio still reads 180, but I would estimate he's at least 200-210 now. In 22 innings, making up four starts, Gregorio posted a 0.773 WHIP and 5.4 K/BB ratio.
April Stats: 4 G, 2.05 ERA, 0.773 WHIP, 22 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 27 K, .162 OBA
RHP, TYLER ROGERS
The lead story of the first month, Rogers goes a bit unnoticed as a late-inning reliever that doesn't close, on a team that features other top arms like Dan Slania, Jake Smith, and Ray Black. But it's been Rogers being the consistent, dominant option out of the Richmond bullpen. Rogers, a right-handed submariner, has actually faced more left-handers thus far and struck them out one out of every four times they come to the plate.
April Stats: 12 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.029 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 11 K, .178 OBA
LHP, GRANT WATSON
Aside from Phil Bickford's 33 strikeouts in just 20.2 innings, it's been Watson's first four starts that may have opened the most eyes in Augusta. The 2015 16th-round pick out of UCLA leads the South Atlantic League in WHIP with a 0.559 mark, and has a ridiculous 19/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He's rumored to throw a high-80s fastball, so it's likely command and secondary offerings getting Watson to where he is so far. Certainly an interesting arm moving forward.
April Stats: 4 G, 0.92 ERA, 0.559 WHIP, 19.2 IP, 10 H, 1 BB, 19 K, .147 OBA
LHP, STEVEN OKERT
With the dominance of Josh Osich at the major league level and the existence of Javier Lopez, Steven Okert was the odd man out when Bruce Bochy decided to go back to a 12-man bullpen. He's still the best left-handed reliever in the system and will be a regular big-league arm in the near future. In Triple-A thus far, Okert has been stellar. Lefties have just two hits in 17 at-bats, and eight of his 14 strikeouts (totaling both AAA and MLB) have come against left-handed hitters.
April Stats: 4 G, 2.70 ERA, 0.900 WHIP, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 8 K, .222 OBA
- 1B Dillon Dobson: .287/.340/.575, 21 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 8 BB, 25.8 K%
- SS Rando Moreno: .293/.338/.373, 22 H, 6 2B, 14.8 K%
- SS Christian Arroyo: .284/.333/.370, 23 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 8 RBI, 17.8 K%
- SS Hak-Ju Lee: .315/.383/.479, 23 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 BB, 31.3 K%
- OF Seth Harrison: .268/.329/.437, 19 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 20.0 K%
- RHP Phil Bickford: 4 G, 3.48 ERA, 0.871 WHIP, 20.2 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 33 K, .184 OBA
- RHP Jordan Johnson: 3 G, 2.00 ERA, 0.778 WHIP, 18 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 12 K, .164 OBA
- LHP Andrew Suarez: 4 G, 2.78 ERA, 1.015 WHIP, 22.2 IP, 20 H, 3 BB, 30 K
- RHP Dan Slania: 9 G, 2.08 ERA, 0.692 WHIP, 13 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 16 K, .156 OBA
- RHP Pat Young: 8 G, 2.13 ERA, 0.947 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 6 H, 6 BB, 10 K, .140 OBA
- RHP Tyler Cyr: 6 G, 3.21 ERA, 1.071 WHIP, 14 IP, 9 H, 6 BB, 22 K, .173 OBA
- AVG: C.J. Hinojosa, .370
- Hits: C.J. Hinojosa, 27
- SB: Lucius Fox, 7
- BB: Dylan Davis, 14
- 2B: Chris Shaw, 9
- 3B: Johneshwy Fargas, 3
- HR: Dobson/Oropesa, 6
- RBI: Dobson/Williamson/Vizcaino, 17
- OBP: C.J. Hinojosa, .459
- SLG: Mac Williamson, .623
- OPS: Mac Williamson, .996
- K%: Ryan Lollis, 7.95%
- ERA: Tyler Rogers, 0.00
- WHIP: Grant Watson, 0.559
- Games: Tyler Rogers, 12
- IP: Stratton/Blach, 27.1
- Saves: Rodolfo Martinez, 5
- K: Phil Bickford, 33
- K/9: Ray Black, 19.7
- K/BB: Grant Watson, 19.0
- H/9: Caleb Smith, 1.4
- BB/9: Steven Okert, 0.0
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