Eugene, San Jose crowned Class A champs

September 26th, 2021

DENVER -- Friday proved to be a banner day for the Giants organization.

On the same day the Giants became the first team in the Majors to reach 100 wins this year, their Class A affiliates at Eugene and San Jose -- which include most of the organization's top young prospects -- captured league championships.

Eugene defeated the Spokane Indians, 5-0, in Game 4 of the best-of-five High-A West Championship Series behind a gem from right-hander Ryan Murphy, who struck out seven over five scoreless innings to earn the win in the title-clinching game.

Murphy, a 2020 fifth-round Draft pick out of Le Moyne College, emerged as one of the Giants’ standout pitching prospects this year, logging a 2.52 ERA with an eye-popping 164 strikeouts over 107 1/3 innings between San Jose and Eugene in 2021. Shortstop Marco Luciano, who is ranked San Francisco’s No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, also launched a two-run home run to help cement the win for the Emeralds, who became the Giants’ High-A affiliate this year.

San Jose, meanwhile, beat the Fresno Grizzlies, 7-2, in Game 3 to sweep the best-of-five Low-A West Championship Series and capture its first league title in 11 years. Outfield prospects Luis Matos (No. 3) and Grant McCray (No. 26) each homered, and catcher Patrick Bailey (No. 8) added an RBI single to help San Jose erase an early two-run deficit and cruise to victory.

Triple-A Sacramento and Double-A Richmond weren’t contenders this year, but the Class A championships speak to the promising crop of talent that’s coming down the pipeline and bodes well for the Giants’ ability to sustain their success in the future.

“There’s a lot of excitement about what we were able to accomplish at the Minor League level, along with last night’s 100th win, and just kind of sharing in that on a couple of text threads,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of time to kind of go back and talk about how the San Jose season went, the Eugene season went, and then obviously ours, as well, and kind of collaborate as an organization.”

Bart joins Giants at Coors

The Giants brought catcher Joey Bart (No. 2) to Coors Field on Saturday to have him do some prep work with the Major League club over the final week of the regular season. Bart was in concussion protocol after taking a foul ball off the mask during a game with Triple-A Sacramento earlier this week, but he was cleared to return to the field and is now getting some reps to stay ready in the event of an injury to catchers Buster Posey or Curt Casali down the stretch.

“My inclination is that Joey is a good option if something were to happen to Buster or to Curt, and we want to be prepared for any possibilities,” Kapler said. “I think that’s the responsible thing to do.”