Escobar Keeps Rolling

If you missed it, 21 year-old Edwin Escobar (#17 on our Cove Chatter Top 40 prospects) continued his dominance in AA Richmond Friday night. The Venezuelan lefty has been impressive since his promotion from San Jose in mid-July. On Friday, he threw 7 shutout innings against New Hampshire, allowing only one baserunner (a ground ball single) while striking out six. It was Escobar’s second straight start of 7-inning shutout ball. The game recap didn’t go into much detail, but it sounds like he spent most of the night blowing fastballs by New Hampshire’s lineup, and induced quite a few groundouts. There’s a video clip of Escobar in his previous start on the Richmond homepage. In the short clip, he strikes out an Akron hitter with three fastballs. He works from a low three-quarter release, and is definitely a strike thrower.

Escobar now has five AA starts under his belt, and owns a 2.32 ERA in 31 IP. His k/bb rate is very good as well – 32/5. Escobar was the first pitcher from the highly-touted San Jose rotation to earn a promotion, and his impressive start in Richmond is very good news for a Giants organization badly in need of pitching in the upper minors.

Escobar isn’t the only top prospect that’s been promoted to AA this season, so I thought we’d check in on the progress of the other new Flying Squirrels.

Angel Villalona: 1B | 33 g, .250, 7 2b, 6 hr, 25 rbi, 5 bb, 35 – Villalona’s power has shown up so far in the EL, but plate discipline is still a major issue. Only hitting .189 over his last 10 games.

Cody Hall: RHP | 11 g, 16 ip, 2-0, 1.69 era, 3 bb, 14 k, 5 sv – Hall has been Richmond’s closer since his promotion from San Jose, and has been dominant. He and his fastball are moving up the ranks quickly. 

Josh Osich: LHP | 10 g, 12 ip, 0-2, 7.50 era, 8 bb, 14 k, 2 sv – Osich hasn’t had the same success as his hard-throwing partner Hall so far, but he can be unhittable when he’s on. We’ll see if he can settle down a bit in the season’s final months.

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Mid-Season Top 40 Prospects (26-30)

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#26. Cody Hall – RHP, 25 yo, AA: Bullpen arm, pumps a mid-90’s fastball. Having a monster year in SJ; Allowed only 5 ER with 42k/7bb in 30 innings this year. Stellar closer with 21 saves for Low-A Augusta in 2012.

#27. Chris Heston – RHP, 25 yo, AAA: Command pitcher drafted in the 12th round (2009). He’s stopped at nearly every level in the system, his best year by far coming a season ago in AA. A 5.30 EA through 15 starts in Fresno has prevented him from getting the call.  The Giants could sure use him if he turns things around in the second half.

#28. Jarrett Parker – OF, 24 yo, AA: Former 2nd round pick from UVA, can hit for power, knows how to draw a walk, and can swipe a bag. Strikes out a ton, but I’m keeping a close eye on him after hitting 8 HR this May.

#29. Brian Ragira – 1B, 22 yo, SS-A: 4th round pick in 2013, he was the third player drafted out of Stanford. Has a chance to hit for contact and field his position well. Could turn out to be a draft steal if he can hit for power.

#30. Steven Okert – LHP, 21 yo, Lo-A: Big, hard-throwing lefty reliever. He was the Giants 4th round pick in 2012. 3.19 ERA (but 14 walks) in 31 innings pitched this season.