The Augusta GreenJackets finished the first half of the 2016 season 36-34, 6.5 games behind the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) for the coveted first-half playoff spot. San Jose finished with a slightly better record at 39-30, but they too trailed first place by 6.5 games to end the first half.
In both Lo-A and High-A, teams that finish first in their respective divisions earn entry into the playoffs that year, which could work both ways. Last year in the Midwest League, the Quad Cities River Bandits held the best record by a large margin in the first half, and played well in the second, but not quite at the bar they had set for themselves. They didn't make it past the first round. So here's hoping that Augusta and San Jose will be hot when playoff time comes and be able to make a serious dent in the playoffs this season! It is an even year after all.
Both Augusta and San Jose have pitchers named to their All-Star teams that have been promoted in the last week in Phil Bickford and Sam Coonrod,with Bickford now with San Jose and Coonrod up in Richmond. Both players have made their first starts with their new clubs as well, and have had mixed results.
Bickford was dominant on Sunday, getting 13 of his 18 outs via the strikeout and held a a solid offensive team in Rancho Cucamonga to just two runs, collecting his first win in the California League. Coonrod made the jump to Double-A, which outside of a promotion to the big leagues is considered the toughest transition to make in pro ball.
Here are the rest of the Giants minor leaguers that will be appearing in their All-Star games on Tuesday night, along with their stat lines from the season thus far.
|Santos, M. (AUG)||RHP||58.2||2.91||61||5||44|
|Smith, C. (AUG)||LHP||21.2||2.49||12||12||33|
|Martinez, R. (SJ)||RHP||29.2||0.91||22||10||31|
Each of these three guys has something different that they bring to the mound statistically. For Michael Santos his five walks in nearly 60 innings is outstanding, and is arguably his calling card in the early stages of his career. In four professional seasons he has a career 1.8 walks per nine rate, which is excellent. Caleb Smith has a great strikeout rate, sitting at 13.7 this season, though his control issues have been a bit of a problem as he is averaging just over a walk every other inning. Finally, Rodolfo Martinez has an easy stat to pick out. Look at that ERA! He has allowed nine runs, but only three have been earned this season.
Now, the hitters.
|Winn, M. (AUG)||C||147||.204||.273||5||17||1||53|
|Davis, D. (AUG)||OF||214||.285||.371||8||40||3||51|
|Hinojosa, C.J. (SJ)||SS||236||.301||.382||5||30||1||43|
|Shaw, C. (SJ)||1B||243||.284||.358||14||48||-||63|
Matt Winn has struggled at the dish in Augusta, but had a 15-game trip to Richmond to start the season, and actually performed better in his short stint with the Flying Squirrels than he has with the GreenJackets. His numbers were up across the board in Double-A, and his strikeout rate was just 21.4 compared to the 36 percent it stands at now.
Dylan Davis is set to compete in the South Atlantic League Home Run Derby with his eight long balls being tied for 9th in the SAL, and also with teammate Dillon Dobson, who is currently on the disabled list. C.J. Hinojosa and Chris Shaw are two guys that are easy to get excited about in San Jose. Shaw finished out the first half by reaching base safely in his last eight plate appearances, per SJ Giants play-by-play man Joe Ritzo, while Hinojosa has been hitting both lefties and righties just about the same, batting .293 against southpaws and .303 against right-handers.
Both All-Star games will be held on Tuesday. The Double-A All-Star game will be held on July 13 in Akron, Ohio, while the Triple-A All-Star game will be held on the same day in Charlotte, North Carolina.