Things have been so discouraging with the big club that we haven’t been very inspired to throw up some more posts recently.
Then we thought that maybe there’s some encouraging news down on the Farm. So here it is.
Brandon Belt, 1b-of, Fresno (AAA): Ok, so we know Belt can hit minor-league pitching. In his first eight games since being sent down to Triple-A, Belt is hitting .458 with two home runs and 8 RBI. He has eight walks and seven strikeouts. His OBP is .594 and he’s slugging .833 for an OPS of 1.427. Belt has been playing more OF than 1B since heading to Fresno, partly to prepare him to play there when he returns to the bigs and partly to keep Brett Pill in the Fresno lineup.
Brett Pill, 1b, Fresno (AAA): Pill continues to hit at Fresno, batting .360 with 4 HRs and 23 RBI. His OPS is .950.
Thomas Neal, of, Fresno (AAA): Neal continues to play well after a slow start with a foot injury. He’s hitting .333 through 12 games. But 10 of his 13 hits are singles, he’s only drawn two walks and stolen just one base.
Connor Gillaspie, 3B, Fresno (AAA): The next option in the farm system at 3B while Pablo Sandoval is on the shelf, Gillaspie has shown more discipline at the plate. He’s hitting .273 over the past 10 games with an OBP of .400. For the season, he’s hitting .261 with 2 HRs and 17 RBI with an OBP of .356.
Steve Edlefsen, P, Fresno (AAA): The Fresno bullpen has been good, led by Edlefsen, who has a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings of relief. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 10/1. That’s good because of the five starting pitchers still at Fresno, four have ERAs over 5.00.
Charlie Culberson, 2b, Richmond (AA): Culberson remains the bright spot on a roster in which only two players have batting averages above .240. Culberson is hitting .292 with 1 HR and 9 RBI. He’s scored 10 runs in 23 games. He’s still striking out too much, 9 times in past 10 games. But he’s starting to works some walks (5 in past 10).
Eric Surkamp, p, Richmond (AA): We’re guessin the league Richmond plays in is a pitchers’ league. Because the Flying Squirrels have three starting pitchers with ERAs under 2.22. Surkamp is 0-2 despite a 2.21 ERA. He’s struck out 31 batters in 20 1/3 innings of work. Justin Fitzgerald is 2-0 with 1.45 ERA, but he’s walked 12 for a team-high WHIP of 1.66.
Gary Brown, of, San Jose (A): Brown continues to play well with .333 average through 23 games. He’s 17 of 23 in stolen base attempts, and has scored a team-high 20 runs. He’s also worked 10 walks for an OBP of .418.
Chris Dominguez, 3b, San Jose (A): Dominguez remains San Jose’s big power pat with 6 HRs and 18 RBI in 24 games. But he’s also struck out a staggering 29 times.
Zach Wheeler, p, San Jose (A): Wheeler is 2-0 with 3.38 ERA and his strikeout-to-walk ration is 27/6 in 21 1/3 innings.
Kelvin Marte, p, San Jose (A): Marte is 3-1 with 0.94 ERA in 28 2/3 innings.
Since last week’s report, we’ve see OF Darren Ford and RP Ryan Vogelsong get called up, with 1B Brandon Belt being sent down. Belt has yet to appear in a game since his demotion to Fresno.
A look at some players of note down in the San Francisco Giants’ farm system
1B Brett Pill, Fresno (AAA): Even after cooling off a bit, Pill continues to have a solid season with the Grizzlies with 2 HR, 15 RBI and .369 AVG. His numbers are 0/6/.250 for the past 10 games.
2B Emmanuel Burris, Fresno (AAA): Burriss isn’t running like was in the first week of the season. But he’s hitting. Burriss stole 10 bases in the first five games of the season. Now, 15 games into the season, he has 15 steals in 18 attempts. But he is hitting .410 over the past 10 games with a .467 OBP. He’s hitting .339 with a .424 OBP for the season with 15 runs in 15 games.
LF Thomas Neal, Fresno (AAA): Neal was sidelined for more than a week with a bruised foot. But he’s back and hitting (8 for 21) since returning to lineup. He went 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored Friday, pushing him to 10 for 30 for the season.
3B Connor Gillaspie, Fresno (AAA): After opening the season hot, Gillaspie has cooled off, currently on a 1-for-15 slump. He’s hitting .254 for the season with 2 HR and 13 RBI. At least his walk-to-strikeout has improved — it’s 4/3 during the slump.
P Steve Edlefsen, Fresno (AAA): Edlefsen has been solid in relief, giving up one run in 6 IP with a 5-1 K-to-BB rate. His ERA is a 1.42.
2B Charlie Culberson, Richmond (AA): Culberson remains the best hitter on a Richmond team that has struggled to hit. Culberson is the only Flying Squirrel with 30 or more ABs who is hitting over .260. Culberson is hitting .290, but with an OBP of only .297. And he has 15 strikeouts in 15 games. His K-rate has improved of late, only 2 in his last 18 PAs. And he’s heating up — 6 for 13 in past three games.
OF Gary Brown, San Jose (A): The 2010 first-round pick is hitting .343 with a .429 OBP and 14 runs through 16 games. He also is 15 for 20 on stolen base attempts. Also, 23 of his 25 hits are singles.
3B Chris Dominguez, San Jose (A): Dominguez has 4 HR, 14 RBI and a .313 AVG.
1B Luke Anders, San Jose (A): Anders had 3 HR, 10 RBI and a .319 AVG. He also has 10 walks in 60 PAs for a .439 OPB and his OPS is 1.013.
P Zach Wheeler, San Jose (A): After an impressive first start, Wheeler struggled in his most recent start, giving up 5 ER on 7 hits in 5 IP. He’s 2-0 with a 4.02 ERA. But his WHIP is 0.96 and he has 18 Ks and 4 BB in 15.2 IP.
The minor league season if off and running for the affiliates of the San Francisco Giants.
Three Giants prospects in the minors have more stolen bases this season than the entire Giants roster.
Leading the way is infielder Emmanuel Burriss, who has stolen 13 bases in his first nine games with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. He’s only be caught once. It’s a good sign for a player who has spent chunks of the past two seasons sidelined by a broken foot.
Burriss went 2 for 3 with two walks in Friday’s 11-7 win for Fresno at Las Vegas, improving the Grizzlies to 6-3 on the short season.
Burriss is hitting .323 with a .447 on-base percentage for Fresno. He’s scored a team-high 11 runs. Burriss is playing second base for Fresno, but can also manage shortstop.
Outfielder Darren Ford, who got called up to the big club Friday to replace the injured Andres Torres, had seven stolen bases in seven attempt in seven games before getting his call. He was hitting .323, a very good sign for a player who struggled with his average at Double-A last season.
And outfielder Gary Brown, a 2010 first-round pick by the Giants, has 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts in nine games with the Class A San Jose Giants. Brown is hitting .308 with a .413 OBP.
The San Francisco Giants have six stolen bases through 13 games this season, and that include two cheapy stolen bags Friday night. With one out in the fifth inning, Aubrey Huff was on second and Buster Posey was on first. Both runners were running on a 3-2 pitch to Pablo Sandoval, who struck out swinging. Huff would have been easily thrown out at third, but Arizona catcher Miguel Montero’s throw sailed into left field. Huff and Posey were both credited with a stolen base, with both advancing an extra bass on the throwing error.
So the speed in the farm system is clearly a good sign of things to come.
Other players of note
TRIPLE-A FRESNO: Not that the Giants need another hot-hitting first baseman, but Brett Pill is leading the Grizzlies in hitting. He has 2 home runs, 9 RBI and a .486 average through nine games. 3B Conor Gillaspie has 1 HR, 11 RBI and is batting .316. P Ryan Vogelsong is 2-0 with 1.59 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 11.1 innings. P Marc Kroon has allowed no earned runs in 4 innings of relief.
DOUBLE-A RICHMOND: 2B Charlie Culberson, who is projected as the heir-apparent to Freddy Sanchez, leads Richmond in hitting through nine games. He is hitting .270, but has 10 strikeouts in 37 at-bats. That’s something that will need to improve. P Justin Fitzgerald is 2-0 with an 0.90 ERA in two starts.
CLASS A SAN JOSE: P Zach Wheeler, a 2009 first-round selection, threw five hitless innings in his first start for the San Jose Giants. Wheeler walked three and struck out three in the outing.
SS Brandon Crawford is expected to miss most or all of April after suffering a broken finger. Crawford was expected to start the season at Triple-A Fresno.
OF Thomas Neal has missed the past week after suffering a bruised foot after being hit by a pitch in Fresno’s second game of the season.
SS Ehire Adrianza is expected to miss a couple of months after suffering torn ligament in his hand during Spring Training.
OF Francisco Peguero had knee surgery and is expected out until late May or early June.