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Giants minor league review: Davis showing off big power again

/ by Dalton Johnson
Presented By Cadillac
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Jaylin Davis

Only one Giants affiliate, majors or minors, will take the field on Monday. That would be the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, which is exactly where we will begin this week's Giants minor league review. 

The player in particular is a familiar one to Giants fans, but no, it's not Joey Bart. But we're not completely ignoring the young catcher. 

Bart continues to put together multi-hit games and professional at-bats just one level away from the big leagues. After two more hits Sunday, he now is batting .350 with seven home runs and a 1.012 OPS in 26 games. This comes at the same time that backup catcher Curt Casali is hitting .169 with just one home run for the Giants. 

But there's no denying how much pitchers enjoy throwing to Casali, and the Giants are 18-5 in games he has started this season. He also is batting .438 (7-for-16) in six games -- four starts -- this month. Bart now has over 100 at-bats in Triple-A this season. It will be very interesting to see how the Giants juggle his development, plus Buster Posey and Casali as they continue to contend. 

Now that your weekly Bart update is out of the way, here are three things to know from the week that was. 

The Return of Jaylin Davis

Party like it's 2019. 

That's how Davis has to be feeling right now. The slugging outfielder is on a rehab assignment in Sacramento, and again is showing off his power at the Triple-A level. Through his first seven games with the River Cats, Davis is batting .286 with a 1.196 OPS. He already has four home runs, three doubles, nine RBI and an .821 slugging percentage. 

 

The Giants acquired Davis at the 2019 trade deadline from the Minnesota Twins. In that season, he hit 35 home runs in Triple-A between the two franchises. However, that same power hasn't followed him to the big leagues. 

Davis hit just .167 with one homer in 17 games with the Giants in 2019, and had the exact same batting average and home run total in four games with San Francisco last season. The Giants placed Davis on the 60-day IL in April with left knee tendinitis. They soon could face a big question with him if they want to get him back on the 40-man roster. 

Is Davis, 26, a legit power threat in the majors or is he a Four-A player? Can he help them contend this season or could he be trade bait? He has all the tools. The Giants need answers, though. 

Luis Matos Extends Hitting Streak

The young San Jose Giants improved to 28-14 over the weekend, which is the best in Low-A West. Though their top prospects are having mixed results right now, the Baby Giants still have the second-highest team OPS (.759) in the league. One player to thank for their strong start is Matos. 

Ever since June 4, Matos has done one thing every game for the Giants. We're of course talking about a hitting streak. The 19-year-old center fielder now has recorded a hit in 13 straight games. Over that period of time, Matos is batting .327 (18-for-55) with five doubles and an .802 OPS. The best news is he has the same amount of strikeouts as walks (four each) in that time, which has resulted in a .383 on-base percentage. 

Matos has incredible bat speed. He's an extremely fun quick-twitch hitter. At times, though, that can hurt him. He knows he can hit a pitch no matter where it might be thrown. Of course, that can bring too many strikeouts at times. This season, he has 22 strikeouts to 10 walks, which shouldn't be too concerning. 

As the season goes on, Matos will continue to be one of the most entertaining Giants prospects who will keep climbing up the rankings.

Injury Updates

Gabe Kapler told reporters Sunday that Alex Dickerson and Darin Ruf both are having positive rehab assignments in Sacramento. The numbers agree. 

Dickerson homered on Saturday and has two hits in his first five at-bats. He also has two strikeouts and has walked twice. Ruf went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his first rehab game on Saturday, but then went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI on Sunday. He played first base and left field. 

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On the other hand, one of the Giants' top pitching prospects went down on Thursday. Sean Hjelle left his start for the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the first inning and had to be helped off the field with lower back tightness.

 

Hjelle, 24, is 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA in eight starts for Richmond this season. He has 42 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings, and a 1.28 WHIP.

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