A slew of arms stepped up on Monday in the Giants system, with the most noticeable being number 26 prospect Chris Stratton who made his MLB debut in Atlanta, firing a 12-pitch 1-2-3 bottom of the 8th. Over in Sacramento, number 8 prospect Clayton Blackburn earned a no-decision despite going seven innings of four-hit ball. He allowed two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out eight. The River Cats would walk it off in the bottom of the ninth from Raley Field to secure the 4-3 victory.
Continuing down the rabbit hole to Double-A Richmond, number ten prospect Adalberto Mejia, who was due for a promotion before Monday's game, seemed to press the issue with his 8.2 innings of work, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out a career-high ten SeaWolves. Mejia and the Flying Squirrels earned the win, 1-0 after a fifth inning single from Myles Schroeder, followed by his third stolen base of the year, which set up what proved to be the game-winning RBI single off the bat of catcher Eliezer Zambrano.
In San Jose the story was the same--another win for the Giants--this time 3-0 over the Modesto Nuts (Rockies). Chris Shaw hit his 11th home run of the year in the 8th inning to help soothe an 0-for-7 performance from San Jose with runners in scoring position on the afternoon. Sam Coonrod, the Giants number six prospect, improved to 5-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.18 on the year after producing 6.2 innings of scoreless ball. Coonrod allowed just two hits and three walks, striking out seven.
Finally, the Augusta GreenJackets climbed to within two games of .500 with a 5-3 win in Kannapolis (White Sox). Phil Bickford (#3) worked five innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and three walks while striking out seven. With the win Bickford improves to 2-4 on the season and the strong performance on the mound lowered his ERA to 2.63 on the season.
All in all, these five top 30 prospects combined to toss 28.1 innings, gave up 15 hits and struck out 34. Their two earned runs allowed produced a 0.64 ERA for the day from these five guys. Stratton is currently traveling with San Francisco, and Blackburn was called up on the team's last road trip, although he did not pitch. Toss in Mejia as a potential candidate later in the season, and the Giants could have a few rotation options if the need arises.