Giants pitching prospects dominate on Memorial Day

Giants pitching prospects dominate on Memorial Day

San Francisco Giants pitching prospects dominated at every Minor League level on Memorial Day as Phil Bickford, Clayton Blackburn, Sam Coonrod and Adalberto Mejia combined to allow two earned runs on 15 hits while piling up 32 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings.

Mejia, the Giants' No. 10 prospect, came one out away from throwing his first career shutout in Double-A Richmond's 1-0 win over Erie, ultimately allowing four hits and one walk in 8 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old southpaw fanned a season-best 10 hitters and generated nine ground-ball outs, with 73 of his 104 pitches going for strikes. Though he's only 2-1 in nine starts for the Flying Squirrels, Mejia is tied for second in the Eastern League with a 0.94 WHIP and tied for fourth with a 1.87 ERA, while opposing hitters are batting a paltry .190 against him in 53 innings this season.

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At the Class A Advanced level, Coonrod (No. 6) lowered his California League-leading ERA to 1.18 with 6 2/3 scoreless innings in San Jose's 3-0 win against Modesto. The 2014 fifth-round Draft pick struck out a season-best seven hitters and allowed two hits and three walks in his second-longest outing of 2016. Coonrod, 23, has now won five consecutive starts. Meanwhile, right-hander Rodolfo Martinez (No. 24) recorded his 16th save of the season for San Jose.

Blackburn (No. 11) turned in one of his better starts for Triple-A Sacramento as he fanned a season-high eight hitters while tossing seven innings of one-run ball in a win against Oklahoma City. The 23-year-old right-hander has been sharp during his past two turns for the River Cats, posting a 0.69 ERA and 13 strikeouts and two walks in 13 innings. Reliever Stephen Okert (No. 16) picked up the win in relief of Blackburn, striking out three in two innings.

Lastly, Bickford (No. 3) continued his strong start to the season with five innings of one-run ball in Class A Augusta's win over Kannapolis. The 2015 first-rounder scattered four hits, walked three and struck out at least seven hitters for the fifth time in nine starts. Bickford has had an impressive full-season debut for the GreenJackets so far, posting a 2.63 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 48 innings.

And on another positive note, Giants No. 27 prospect and 2012 first-round Draft pick Chris Stratton fired a scoreless eighth inning in his big league debut Monday against Atlanta. He struck out a pair and needed only 12 pitches (eight strikes) to complete the frame.

Altogether, the seven Giants Top 30 pitching prospects went 3-0 with one save on the day, combining for a 0.57 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.