Drew Robinson’s Home Run Moment

The most heart-warming moment of the week in the Giants system came from Sacramento early in the week.

For those who have not read the story in ESPN, River Cats outfielder Drew Robinson struggled with depression over his baseball career.  In April of 2020, he attempted suicide in his home in Las Vegas, which he survived, but in which he lost his right eye.  With the support of his family and friends, he’s gotten better, and began to pursue a return to baseball.

That brought us to last Tuesday.  Robinson had been named to the Sacramento roster, and had struggled a little through his first few games.  But then, this happened:

Robinson nearly had a second home run, picking up a double later in the game.

The moment was nearly perfect.  But one of the poetic bits of it all was where it happened.  Sacramento opened their season with a series in Las Vegas, Robinson’s hometown.  The game was attended by his friends and family who were beside themselves in the moment.

It’s still unclear what the future holds for Robinson and this ride.  ESPN continued writing his story this past week, but ultimate, it’s Robinson writing it all.  We’re just getting to watch it in real time.

Richmond’s Historic No-Hitter

The Richmond Flying Squirrels came into existence in 2010, when the team formerly known as the Connecticut Defenders moved from foggy and chilly Norwich Connecticut and to Richmond, which had recently lost its Triple-A team.

Now, in their twelfth season, they finally got something done for the first time.  Don’t worry, it took the San Diego Padres 52 years to do it.  That’s right…

Richmond got their first 9-inning no-hitter on the board, as Matt Frisbee threw six shutout innings, and the game was iced off by Joey Marciano (1.2 innings), Matt Seelinger (0.1) and Patrick Ruotolo (1.0).  The four pitchers struck out nine, giving up just a walk and a hit batter.

It has to be noted that this is the team’s first 9-inning no-hitter, because they did catch a 7-inning no-hitter on April 6th, 2013.  That game featured Jack Snodgrass (making his Double-A debut), as he threw six innings in a scheduled 7-inning game as part of a double-header.  That game featured, among others, former Giants farmhand Adam Duvall playing third base, and current Giants first base coach Antoan Richardson on the other team, leading off for the New Britain Rock Cats.

Now, about getting that perfect game…one day, maybe.

Bishops Crossing

Hunter Bishop missed the entire week, and we finally have gotten some news about his health.  Marc Delucchi reported what had been keeping him out for more than a week.

It’s a tough break for the 2019 first round pick, one of the most anticipated prospects of the season as no one’s gotten to see much of him.

Meanwhile, the Giants have now picked up Hunter’s older brother, Braden Bishop, off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.  He’ll likely begin competing for playing time in Sacramento, as he has one year of options left, and had been struggling all this season in the Mariners lineup.

Whether the two will get to share a lineup with each other, well, that looks a long way off, if it’s going to happen at all.  Let’s just get both healthy and playing on the same day.

Player/PItcher of the Week Sweep in the Northwest High-A West

After a huge start to the season, it’s not surprising that the first weekly awards for pitcher and player went to members of the Eugene Emeralds.

Through the first week of the season, Diego Rincones had the second best batting average in the H-AW (.429), second in slugging (.893), tied for fourth in on-base percentage (.484), and tied for second in home runs (3), among many other stats.


Meanwhile, Caleb Killian could barely have been better over nine innings in his first two starts, allowing just four hits, one earned run, and zero walks, while striking out 14.

The awards are just the start for a long season, but hopefully there will be many more on the way, at all levels.

And Pitcher of the Week in the Double-A Northeast

Thanks in no small part to their historic no-hitter, Richmond’s Matt Frisbee was named the Pitcher of the Week in the Double-A Northeast League.

Frisbee was just the starter in the game, which involved four pitchers, but Frisbee’s six strikeouts over six innings (and obviously no hits) was a big game for anyone at any level.  Thanks partially to that outing, Frisbee is tied for the league lead in ERA at ).00, and leads the league in batting average allowed (.057).

Unfortunately, Richmond did not get the Player of the Week award, as that went to Patrick Dorrian of the Bowie BaySox.  But that still gives plenty of time for Heliot Ramos, Vince Fernandez, or Andres Angulo to win that award for themselves.

Power Famine, then Feast

As of today, the San Jose Giants are the California High-A West League’s leading home run hitting team, with 16 home runs in 12 games. That’s just two ahead of the Lake Elsinore Storm’s total.

This is interesting because it’s really 16 home runs in 7 games. The San Jose Giants were held without a home run until the final game of their season-opening series with Fresno. But after a week in Stockton, including a couple of routs, the floodgates opened. Abdiel Layer and Casey Schmitt currently are tied for the team-lead, and together are two of six players tied for 2nd in the league, with three home runs each.

Top Video Highlights

The highlight of the week is pretty much what you saw at the top of the story: Drew Robinson’s memorable home run.  But there was a lot more going on this week in the farm system.

Will Wilson had one of the hottest weeks of any Giants prospect hitter, but no highlight was any more notable than that rarest of home runs: a Grand Slam.

Joey Bart came on late in the week, but he’s begun flashing the power that many hope will be his calling card going forward as a player.

There weren’t a lot of highlights of the San Jose Giants in Stockton, with the lack of MiLB.tv broadcasts, but we got one highlight at least from the camera of of Doug Hayes, one of the co-hosts of the Say Hey podcast.

Bryce Johnson was frustrating the heck out of Oklahoma City this week, and on Monday, he did it on back-to-back plays.

In the theme of defense, Heliot Ramos had a heck of a catch of his own playing center for the River Cats.  

And wrapping up with the defense, let’s end where we started, with Will Wilson and his fantastic reactions to turn a ricochet off the pitcher’s mound into a game-ending double play.

Hitter of the Week — Will Wilson

Wilson’s been hot all season, but despite getting into just four games this week (thanks to a scheduling conflict/quirk with the University of Oregon), Wilson made a huge impression.  Wilson went 7-for-15 (.467) with just one walk against six strikeouts, but also two home runs and three doubles.  That’s just been more of the same for Wilson, who’s gotten a hit in every game this season (10 that he’s played).  He’s batting .415/.500/.829 on the season, with six doubles, a triple, and three home runs.  

Pitcher of the Week — Matt Frisbee

Matt was good enough for the official awards of the Eastern Double-A Northeast League, so he’s good enough here as well.  Frisbee’s start of the team’s first ever no-hitter would’ve won this award, even if it was the team’s 18th no-hitter, just because it’s a no-hitter!  Frisbee’s only gotten into two games, but he just couldn’t have been better in those two outings.  But it also is just more of what Frisbee has done in his career.  He had a 2.96 ERA in his rookie season of 2018 as a reliever, and a 3.13 ERA as a regular starter in Low and High-A in 2019.

Sacramento Quick-Notes: Oklahoma City 7, Sacramento 6

Top Lines:

C Joey Bart: 2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 2B (3), 1 BB
RF LaMonte Wade Jr: 1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR (1), 1 BB, 2 SO
1B Justin Bour: 2-4, 2 RBI, 1 2B (2), 1 SO
SP Anthony Banda: 1-2, 1 R, 1 3B (1), 1 SO
2B Donovan Solano: 1-4, 2 SO

SP: Anthony Banda: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR
RP: Tyler Cyr: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
RP: James Sherfy: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
RP: Francisco Leone: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

Sacramento came close to a comeback, but couldn’t hold on at the end to stay in it.  Down 6-5 in the eighth inning, and faced a wild Oklahoma City pitcher, Nate Jones.  Joey Bart led off the inning with a single, and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches (two of three he threw in the inning).  He came in on a Justin Bour single to tie the game.  It stayed tied into the ninth, when Francisco Leone gave up a leadoff single.  After getting an out, Leone threw a wild pitch and gave up a walk, before another single gave Oklahoma City the win.

Other Notes:

  • Anthony Banda had a rough start, giving up a season-high eight hits in his shortest start of the season at 3.1 innings.  Banda’s allowed opponents to hit .347 over three starts.  But he helped himself with a triple, his first of his career, and only second extra-base hit of his career.
  • Joey Bart had his second multi-hit game in a row, and his second with a double as well.  Bart’s improved to a batting line of .382/.432/.735 in nine Triple-A games this season.
  • Justin Bour had his first game with more than one hit on the season in his tenth game of the season.  That got him back over the Mendoza line, but his seven walks has him have a .356 on-base percentage.
  • In the bullpen, Francisco Leone gave up his first run of the season in the most inopportune time.  He’d given up just two hit and a walk before this game.
  • James Sherfy, however, continued his dominant run.  He had his longest outing, and struck out another three batters.  He now has nine strikeouts against a walk in 5.2 innings, with just two hits allowed.

The Wrap-Up:

To finish things up, here’s a look at an old friend.  Johneshwy Fargas was an 11th round pick by the Giants in 2013, and if there was one thing he did, it was run, run, run on the basepaths.  Over seven seasons in the Giants’ system, he had 235 stolen bases in 326 attempts, topping out at 59 steals in 2015 in Augusta.  The speedster never got higher than Double-A with the Giants, and left as a minor league free agent.

Well, he got into the Majors on Monday, and picked up his first hit.

It’s always good to see an old friend do good.  And keep an eye on Fargas…or the 26-year old will take off and start stealing more bases in a blink.