Giants

Three Giants prospects named to Arizona Fall League All-Star Game

garcia-aramis-afl-us.jpg
USATSI

Three Giants prospects named to Arizona Fall League All-Star Game

The best Arizona Fall League prospects have gathered on one field as a preview for baseball’s next wave of young stars ever since 2006. Rosters for the AFL’s version of an All-Star Game, dubbed the Fall Stars Game, were announced Monday and the Giants are well represented. 

Saturday’s showcase will include three Giants prospects playing for the East squad: Catcher Aramis Garcia, left fielder Chris Shaw and reliever Tyler Cyr. 

Garcia has been the top Giants bat in the AFL thus far. The 24-year-old is in his second consecutive trip in the AFL and has made huge strides. In 15 games last fall, he struggled to the tune of a .191 batting average and struck out 17 times. This time around, Garcia is batting .296 through Sunday with a .704 OPS and one home run. 

The power-hitting catcher is well-respected behind the dish too. His 1.85 pop time was the best in the AFL last year and Garcia is relishing his opportunities in the squat with so many talented arms. 

"You get to see a lot of really quality arms here, a lot of guys with plus pitches and things like that," Garcia said to MLB.com. "It makes you stay sharp behind the plate, to make sure you're on your 'A-game' every time you get to catch somebody.”

Shaw, arguably the Giants’ top prospect, hasn’t had the easiest go in the desert so far. Dealing with a sore shoulder has kept Shaw to only five games. He hasn’t played since Oct. 20. At the plate in those five games, Shaw is batting just .158, though he has a .431 on-base percentage with three walks to only two strikeouts. 

The goal with Shaw this fall was get him more time in left field as a possible cornerstone for the Giants there for years to come. Him being named to Fall Stars Game shows how highly regarded he is for the Giants and also that he may be improving physically. 

Rounding out the trio of Giants Fall Stars is Cyr. The Fremont native currently has a 6.75 ERA with one save in four innings. That’s a small sample that doesn’t show the kind of pitcher Cyr really is. 

The 24-year-old continues to outplay his Round 10 selection in 2015 out of the small Division II school Embry-Riddle University. Cyr went 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA in 49.1 innings for Double-A Richmond this season. He also converted 18 of 20 save opportunities. 

The Fall Stars Game will be broadcast Saturday at 5 p.m. PT on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com.

Giants notes: Why Joe Panik is on the bench for the third straight game in LA

Giants notes: Why Joe Panik is on the bench for the third straight game in LA

LOS ANGELES — The first time the Giants visited the Dodgers this season, Joe Panik won a pair of games with homers. This time around, Panik will leave Dodger Stadium without having made a start. 

Panik was on the bench again Wednesday as the Giants faced a left-handed starter for the third consecutive game. The opening day starter is in a platoon, and while Bruce Bochy thought about having Panik at second base against Hyun-Jin Ryu, he ultimately went with Alen Hanson, noting the latter had a big contribution a night earlier.

Bochy said he’ll keep Panik busy the rest of this trip. The Giants will face three right-handed starters in Cincinnati this weekend and the Mets also are right-handed-heavy. 

“We’ll see a lot of right-handers so he’ll get his at-bats,” Bochy said. “Once we get on the road here it’ll be the other way.”

Panik is hitting just .236 this season and has only two homers since taking Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen deep that opening week. He has a .459 OPS against left-handed pitchers and has given time up to Hanson and Chase d’Arnaud since returning from his second DL stint. 

Panik may start all three games this weekend, and pitchers aside, there’s a good reason to run him out there in New York. The New York native has always played well close to home, posting a .812 OPS at Citi Field. 

“I can’t sit a New Yorker in New York,” Bochy said, smiling. 

—- Jeff Samardzija will face hitters again Friday in Cincinnati. If all goes well, he will start a rehab assignment. Samardzija figures to be about three weeks away from being a rotation option. 

—- Bochy, a day later, on Yasiel Puig: “There are certain players in the league that I think you look at as guys that other players get frustrated with, a lot of drama and things like that. But you know what, the game has changed a lot. It has.”

Bochy has said that several times over the past couple of seasons. He is old-school, but he no longer gets worked up about bat flips and all the excess emotion in today’s game. Some of his players still do, and on Tuesday that cleared the benches. 

Puig was in Wednesday’s lineup. MLB was not expected to hand down any discipline until Thursday.

Down on the Farm: Gio Brusa climbs up San Jose Giants record books

brusagio.jpg
Twitter/MiLB

Down on the Farm: Gio Brusa climbs up San Jose Giants record books

Gio Brusa has spent the past two season in San Jose with the Giants' Advanced Single-A team, finding mixed results at the plate. 

Brusa has struck out 258 times compared to 62 walks and has just a .296 on-base percentage on the dot in both 2017 and 2018. While his average has been low and his strikeouts high, Brusa is hitting home runs at a record pace. 

In San Jose's 8-1 win over the Inland Empire 66ers Tuesday night, Brusa hit his team-leading 18th home run, which is one more than he hit last season in 20 less games. The 25-year-old out of Lodi now has 35 home runs as a San Jose Giant, which ranks him sixth in team history. 

While Brusa has much more power hitting from the left side, he is the all-time team leader in career home runs as a switch hitter. 

From the left side, Brusa has 16 home runs in 290 at-bats this season. Batting right-handed, he has two more long balls in 68 at-bats. For his San Jose career, Brusa has hit 25 home runs left-handed and 10 right-handed. 

Power showed up for Brusa as a senior at the University of the Pacific in 2016. Playing left field for the Tigers, Brusa moved to first base this season, he combined for 11 home runs in his first three seasons. At the same, his slugging percentage kept rising from .387 to .406 to .527 as a junior. 

And then he completely broke out at the plate as a senior. 

In his final year at Pacific, Brusa led the Tigers in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and RBI while bashing 14 home runs, three more than the previous three seasons combined, as he slashed .337/.418/.614. That monster season turned into a sixth-round draft pick for the Giants. 

Since starting his professional career, Brusa is still searching for the consistency of his senior season as his power is on full display in record-setting ways.