Gio Brusa

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

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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. 

Down on the Farm: Two San Jose Giants hit for the cycle in same game

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Down on the Farm: Two San Jose Giants hit for the cycle in same game

Lightning struck twice Wednesday night in Lancaster. 

In a game where the offense put together 25 hits, one off the team record, two San Jose Giants hit for the cycle in the same game as part of their 18-6 win over the Night Hawks. Gio Brusa and Jalen Miller became the fourth and fifth players in San Jose’s 31-year history to accomplish the rare feat. 

Every kid rides their first bicycle. No baseball team has a bi-cycle. One team having two players hit for the cycle in the same game has never been done in Major League Baseball history. According to statistician Ryan Spaeder, this has never even happened with two players on opposing teams in the same game in MLB history. Data currently does not show if this has ever been done in the minors. 

Brusa, who entered the game with only four hits on the season, put his name in the record books first with his 4-for-6 night. The local product from the University of Pacific came out swinging and knocked a home run in the first inning, singled in the second, doubled in the fourth, and then capped off his cycle by tripling in the eighth. 

The Giants’ leading home run hitter from last season attributed his cycle to getting in the right mindset through his faith earlier in the day. 

"Honestly, I'm going to have to say my faith," Brusa told MiLB.com after the game. "Today I had a great devotional, and it was all about the verse, 'Today is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.' It's very easy to look at the big scheme of things, but it just kind of really planted me in today and grounded me to focus and enjoy each and every pitch, each up, each down, each twist and turn."

Miller tied the San Jose single-game record with five hits and ignited the team’s offensive onslaught, knocking in the first run of the game on a RBI single in the first inning. The infielder singled again in his next at-bat, doubled in the sixth, and homered in the eighth. 

Hitting a triple is by far the hardest and most unlikely part of a cycle. And yet on this magic night, Miller’s triple in the ninth gave him the cycle and meant both he and Brusa’s last leg of the cycle came on a triple. 

"When I got on third, no one knew that I had actually hit for the cycle." Miller said to MiLB.com. "One of my teammates, [pitcher] Mac Marshall, he looked at me from the dugout and mouthed, 'Cycle?' I shook my head in a 'yes' way, and after the inning, we all celebrated. It was pretty cool."

The last San Jose Giant to hit for the cycle was Thomas Neal in 2009. The two other Giants to hit for the cycle are Carlos Valderrama in 2002 and Kevin Frandsen in 2005. 

Down on the Farm: Giants prospects who shined in Bumgarner's rehab starts

Down on the Farm: Giants prospects who shined in Bumgarner's rehab starts

After missing nearly three months, it looks like Madison Bumgarner is finally ready to make his fifth big league start of the season. The Giants’ ace is scheduled to return to the hill in San Diego on Saturday after making four rehab starts at three different levels. 

While Bumgarner was attracting sellout crowds to mixed results, prospects were trying to make an impression with the front office in attendance. Here is who stood out among Giants minor leaguers in each of Bumgarner’s rehab starts. 

June 25, Arizona Rookie League Giants 

— Well, it can only go up from here. The AZL Giants were without top picks Heliot Ramos and Jacob Gonzalez, who are hitting a combined .441 (30-for-68), and only managed three hits in Bumgarner’s first return to the mound. 

— Aside from Bumgarner, the biggest news was the return of Steven Duggar. In his first game of the season, the Giants’ sixth-round pick from 2015 went 0-for-2. 

June 30, Sacramento River Cats 

— Orlando Calixte jumped at the opportunity with big names in San Francisco’s brass watching. Leading off and playing third base, Calixte went 3-for-5 with a home run in the first inning, a double, two RBI and one run scored. The 25-year-old has now played every position aside from catcher and first base this year and has 10 home runs. 

— Chris Shaw didn’t go deep, but he did finish the game 2-for-5 at the plate, one day after smacking two balls over the wall. This was the third game of an eight-game hitting streak and he’s continued to do all the Giants have hoped for and more this season. 

— At 33 years old, Juan Ciriaco isn’t a name you will hear a lot. He’s one of the veterans still plugging away in the minors, but he did enjoy a 3-for-4 day with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored with Bumgarner on the bump. 

July 5, San Jose Giants 

— Ryan Howard, who I recently wrote about as a potential next Matt Duffy for the Giants, looked just like that while Bumgarner was shelled in San Jose. Howard roped a RBI double in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-3 in the loss. The shortstop who is known more for his bat, later displayed some impressive glove work in Bumgarner’s final rehab start with San Jose too. 

— San Jose only scored one run on six hits. Aside from Howard, Gio Brusa, a local product from the University of the Pacific, was the only other hitter to have a multi-hit night. Brusa went 2-for-4 with a double of his own and scored one run. 

July 10, San Jose Giants

— Bumgarner’s final rehab start went much better for himself and for the Giants’ Advanced Single-A affiliate, despite a 4-2 loss. At the top of the order and playing center field, Ronnie Jebavy drove in a run in a nice 2-for-4 night. The speedy outfielder was hampered by injuries early, but is now rounding into form and is slashing .285/.318/.390 in 29 games. 

— Jalen Miller, the Giants’ third-round pick in 2015, is having a rough year in San Jose. The middle infielder is only hitting .219, but enjoyed one of his best games in front of a sold out crowd. Miller hit his sixth home run of the season, going deep in back-to-back games, and ended with 2-for-4 showing.