No midseason rankings exist to judge the quality of a Major League Baseball organization's farm system. But as the minor league season winds down, it's clear the San Francisco Giants have a strong presence in the lower ranks.
Four of the Giants' seven minor league teams entered the weekend in first place in their respective divisions.
The San Jose Giants (Advanced-A), Augusta GreenJackets (Class A), Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-Season) and the Giants in the Dominican Summer League sit atop the standings. The Giants of the Arizona Rookie League and Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A) rank second and third in their respective divisions.
The GreenJackets, who are 72-44, boast the second-best mark in all of full-season minor league baseball.
They own the South Atlantic League Southern Division's first-place spot by 21 games over the Columbus Catfish and continue their march to a possible second-half season championship. The GreenJackets fell 41 games short of a title in the first half of the season.
"It's definitely different this half," GreenJackets leading hitter Nick Noonan said. "We didn't start out as good the first half of the season so we knew we had to start strong the second half. Everyone's going out and competing, and we're all striving for the same thing."
Of the seven Giants affiliates, only the San Jose team has clinched a spot in the postseason.
The Advanced-A squad won the first-half title in the California League's North Division.
FUTURE BRAVES: The other organization of local interest, the Atlanta Braves, boast two first-place teams in the minor league ranks and two others in second place.
The Mississippi Braves (Double-A) and Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Advanced-A) each entered the weekend ranked first in the Southern League's South Division and Carolina League's Southern Division, respectively.
The Danville Braves and Gulf Coast Braves, a pair of rookie level teams, sit in second place.
READY TO RISE: The Chicago Tribune reported last week that former Westside pitcher Jason Childers , now a reliever for the White Sox's Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, is a candidate for a possible promotion to the big leagues sometime this week. Childers has been one of the most consistent relievers in the White Sox organization. The right-hander has an active streak of 19Q innings pitched over 14 consecutive outings without giving up an earned run.
HOT HITTERS: Several area players in the professional ranks put together strong performances last week for their minor league teams.
- Tyler Colvin , a North Augusta High School alum, started his hot week last Sunday when he hit two home runs and drove in six runs in a 3-for-5 day for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies. The starting center fielder entered the weekend on a 12-for-34 tear over his past nine games with seven extra base hits and 10 RBI.
- Former South Aiken High School star Phil Disher hit his New York-Penn League-leading 10th homer of the season on Wednesday.
The Tri-City ValleyCats first baseman is 12-for-36 over his past nine games.
- USC Aiken product Chad Jacobsen entered the weekend on a 6-for-12 streak. His best game for Casper was a 3-for-5 night.
INJURY REPORT: After struggling through most of the season, former North Augusta Yellow Jackets pitcher Kevin Lynn will shut his arm down for the season. The Vero Beach (Advanced-A) pitcher is scheduled for Tommy John's surgery Aug. 18 in Tampa, Fla.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.