The Rafters are 3-6 thus far. Unfortunately, the Giants prospects are contributing to that record. Niekro, who was having a breakout year this season, hitting for power as well as keeping up his hitting for average, has not been able to continue that into the AFL. In 5 games and 19 AB so far, he is hitting .211/.250/.263/.513 with 1 double, 1 run scored, 4 RBI, and 2 strikeouts. Cervenak, who also had a breakout year as well, hitting well enough to finally get out of Norwich and was promoted to Fresno, where he hit for great power, has started out slow as well. In 7 games and 28 AB, he is hitting .250/.344/.321/.665 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, 6 RBI (tied for 3rd best on team), and 4 strikeouts. Lewis, who was able to play well both at San Jose as well as Fresno, has done the best, though that is faint praise. He is hitting .261/.414/.261/.675 in 7 games and 23 AB, with 5 runs scored (tied for 3rd best on team), 1 RBI, and 8 strikeouts (2nd worst on team).
Among the pitchers, they have been doing better than the hitters, though barely so as a group. Begg did well at Norwich this year but has not been able to continue that success. Begg has started 2 games, 7.1 IP with 8 hits and 3 walks, for 6 runs all earned, and only 2 strikeouts for a 7.36 ERA. Scott Munter has pitched well at both Norwich and Fresno this year but he is having a lot of problems thus far in the AFL. Scott Munter has relieved 5 games, 6.1 IP with 12 hits and 3 walks, for 5 runs, 3 earned, and only 2 strikeouts for a 4.26 ERA. David Aardsma is the only Giants prospect to continue the success they had during the season in the AFL. Aardsma has relieved 3 games, 2.2 IP with 2 hits and 0 walks, for 1 run, 0 earned, and 2 strikeouts for a 0.00 ERA.
Overall, the Giants prospects have not done well as a group. But all is not lost. Like the San Francisco Giants very slow start this season, it is still very early in the AFL season and hopefully these players can get into their groove and start performing like they did during the regular season. They have all shown this season and in the past that they are high performers and it could just be early AFL season jitters as they assume their spot on the stage.
Martin Lee writes 'A Biased Giant's Fanatic's View' for SFDugout.com when the mood and muse strikes him. He wants to teach and share his love of baseball and, in particular, his love for theSan Francisco Giants. He will believe to his dying days that Bobby Bonds was robbed of being the first 40-40 player and should be in Cooperstown. Please feel free to e-mail him at BiasedGiantsFanatic@nospam.yahoo.com (remove the "nospam." if you wish to e-mail me) if you have a question or comment.
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