Down on the Farm: Hottest Giants minor leaguers from August
The minor league regular season has come to an end. Well, it does after Monday night. With the season wrapping up, we look back at the final full month and break down the top players at each position, highlighted by the Giants’ top-two prospects.
SP: Jake Wong, 22, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Innings Pitched: 12
The Giants are limiting Wong’s innings after taking him in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Wong tossed 89 innings as a junior at Grand Canyon University and has added another 27.1 for Salem-Keizer. Since going pro, Wong has lived up to his draft slot with a 2.30 ERA.
Wong is ranked as the Giants’ No. 21 prospect by MLB Pipeline. He sits around 92 to 94 mph and reached 97 mph when he was a reliever in the Cape Cod League. The right-hander is one of five Top 30 Giants prospects on the mound for the Volcanoes.
RP: Ian Gardeck, 27, Richmond Flying Squirrels
Innings Pitched: 9
Gardeck is back after three surgeries in 30 months and he may be better than ever. The former top prospect went from rehabbing in Arizona, to getting on the mound in the Arizona Rookie League, being promoted to Single-A San Jose, and now Double-A Richmond. And he’s been nearly unhittable.
Since joining Richmond, Gardeck has not allowed an earned run in six appearances out of the bullpen. With a healthy arm, Gardeck can be much more than a happy story, and could compete for a roster spot on the Giants next season.
*Stats are between Single-A San Jose and Double-A Richmond
Joey Bart, 21, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Batting Average: .261
On-Base Percentage: .356
Slugging Percentage: .466
Home Runs: 3
Bart did not have the same ridiculous month in August like his debut in July. His OPS was 304 points lower and his batting average was 72 points lower, and still, it was another highly impressive showing from San Francisco’s top prospect.
There’s no questioning Bart has to be getting exhausted. The catcher has now played 108 games total this season between his time at Georgia Tech and the minor leagues. He has continued to show great power with 13 home runs since being drafted in June, and also a high strikeout rate with 47 in 51 minor league games.
1B: Brock Stassi, 29, Sacramento River Cats
Batting Average: .377
On-Base Percentage: .533
Slugging Percentage: .509
Home Runs: 0
Stassi signed with the Giants on Aug. 12 and has been on fire at the plate ever since. He’s had a long road this year, but he’s home now in Sacramento and looks more comfortable than ever as a River Cat.
The 29-year-old is looking to revitalize his career and get another shot at the majors. He’s been a Twin, Rochester Red Wing, New Britain Bee, and a River Cat this year. We’ll wait and see where he ends up next.
2B: Kyle McPherson, 22, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Batting Average: .330
On-Base Percentage: .390
Slugging Percentage: .528
Home Runs: 2
McPherson was a 26th-round draft pick out of James Madison University in 2017. He struggled in the Rookie Leagues last season, but has turned it on this season in Salem-Keizer, with August being his best month.
The Virginia product hit nine doubles between June and July. In August, he totaled 13. He was named the Northwest League Player of the Week on Aug. 26.
3B: Wander Franco, 23, San Jose Giants
Batting Average: .297
On-Base Percentage: .314
Slugging Percentage: .406
Home Runs: 1
Franco was named the San Jose Giants’ Bubba Burger Offensive Player of the Year on Sunday. The native of the Dominican Republic is a high strikeout, low on-base percentage hitter who still has a solid hit tool. He struck out 28 times in August to two walks, but also added eight doubles and had his second-highest hit total for a month in three less games.
SS: Manuel Geraldo, 21, Augusta GreenJackets
Batting Average: .358
On-Base Percentage: .395
Slugging Percentage: .425
Home Runs: 1
Geraldo’s season is over. He was placed on the DL with his last game being Aug. 30, where he exited early after one at-bat. Though it ended short, Geraldo had a fantastic season with a great last month.
Behind his outrageous May, August was Geraldo’s second-best month of the season. The speedy shortstop is one to keep an eye on going forward.
LF: Heath Quinn, 23, San Jose Giants
Batting Average: .280
On-Base Percentage: .373
Slugging Percentage: .473
Home Runs: 4
Quinn has some of the most power throughout the entire Giants franchise. He’s found himself on the DL each of the past two seasons, but when healthy, he’s a bat opposing teams fear.
As of now, Quinn is ranked as the Giants’ No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline, and plenty of eyes will be on him in the Arizona Fall League.
CF: Heliot Ramos, 18, Augusta GreenJackets
Batting Average: .282
On-Base Percentage: .312
Slugging Percentage: .476
Home Runs: 2
Ramos didn't lived up to his unreasonable expectations this season for someone who turns 19 on Sept. 7. In August, he showed the potential that makes scouts eyes pop.
The teenager had his best month of the year in August, hands down. He flashed his power and speed with 10 extra-base hits, including six triples in one month. Ramos has eight triples this season, which is two less than Ketel Marte’s MLB-leading 10 three-baggers.
RF: Logan Baldwin, 22, Augusta GreenJackets
Batting Average: .308
On-Base Percentage: .372
Slugging Percentage: .538
Home Runs: 2
Baldwin was drafted in the 21st round out of Georgia Southern University in 2017 and immediately tore up the minors with a .342 batting average and .868 OPS with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The lefty hasn’t been consistent at the plate in Augusta, but bounced back strong in August. He totaled 11 extra-base hits, including six doubles and three triples. Baldwin has also stolen 26 bases this season.