Ok guys, today I went to probably my favorite Spring Training game of all time – the San Francisco Giants B-squad vs. the Giants futures. There was no one in the stands, it was nerdy, and I loved it.
Here are some things that I took away from Sundays game:
1. Madison Bumgarner is good at baseball. He made light of the futures line-up by tossing four shut-out innings. He gave up just one hit and two walks and even collected a solid base-hit. It seemed pretty unfair to make the futures face a future Cy Young award winner, but whatever. Seriously, Bumgarner is gonna be so great this season.
2. Christian Arroyo played some solid shortstop. The Giants first-round pick from 2013 looked very comfortable defensively and also collected a hit today, going one-for-two. I’ve been excited to see Arroyo play for the last few months, and he did not disappoint on Sunday. After a few more month in San Jose expect him to climb the rank in the Giants farm system quickly.
3. Kyle Crick struggled. In the game on Sunday, he last just 0.2 innings, allowing five earned runs on one hit and four walks. His command was off, throwing some wild pitches and pitches in the dirt. The biggest scouting report issue with Crick was his command, but the 21-year-old has plenty of time to work on his control problems before he makes a big-league roster.
4. Derek Law and Heath Hembree are solid. These guys were probably the pitchers that I was the most excited to see heading down to Scottsdale. They did not disappoint. Law entered Sunday’s game with one out in the eighth and struck out Elliot Blair and Nick Noonan to end the threat. Hembree pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing just one hit. These guys are on the cusp of making the Opening Day roster, and their performances todays just got them one step closer to that.
5. Andrew Susac is my new favorite. It’s kind of hard to explain why Susac is my “guy to watch” this Spring Training, but he just is. During Saturday’s terrible game against the Mariners, Susac got the Giants on the board with a solidly hit two-run double in the seventh inning. Despite batting just .200 so far this Spring, his approach at the plate has been great.
Defensively, Susac has also been very solid behind the plate. With Crick struggling so much in the first inning of Sunday’s game, Susac made some very solid throws down to second base. Susac also seems to bring a calming presence to the young Giants pitchers, patiently talking to them between batters.
Now, I realize that the Giants aren’t exactly hurting for catchers. Hector Sanchez is having a great Spring now that he’s fully healthy, and also that other guys, Buster what’s-his-name, is signed to the Giants for another billion years. Last Spring, I picked Noonan as my guy to make the Giants opening day roster. This year, I’m gonna say that – if there’s any injury (heaven forbid) to Sanchez or Posey – Susac should be the solid back-up catcher.
All in all, it was amazing to watch the young guys on Sunday. Tomorrow (fingers crossed) interviews with Hembree and/or Law are coming. Thanks for reading!