Few organizations have the depth of left-handed pitching talent that the Giants do. Five (Edwin Escobar, Adalberto Mejia, Ty Blach, Michael Kickham, Josh Osich) of San Francisco's top 20 prospects are southpaw hurlers, according to MLB.com. Only the Dodgers, Cardinals and Royals meet that total. None surpass it.
Luis Ysla is not of those five, but given the way he's pitched lately in the South Atlantic League, his stock could be rising.
The 22-year-old left-hander took a perfect game into the sixth inning Tuesday before finishing with one run allowed on two hits and no walks in Class A Augusta's 11-1 win at Hickory. The gem came two days after fellow GreenJackets southpaw Christian Jones took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Sunday.
Ysla, who throws a fastball in the mid-90s to go with a slider and a changeup, retired the first 15 Crawdads he faced -- five via strikeout -- in the matinee affair before Jairo Beras broke up his flirtation with perfection by hitting a lined single to left to lead off the sixth. Ysla still faced the minimum 18 batters through six, however, after getting Kevin Torres to ground into a double play and striking out Janluis Castro.
Hickory notched its only run of the day when Evan Van Hoosier started the seventh with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Cordell. Ysla worked around an error by second baseman Jeremy Sy in the eighth to complete his outing.
It was easily the longest outing of the young left-hander's 19 career starts, eclipsing the seven innings he tossed last Wednesday at Delmarva.
One of the biggest contributing factors to the length of his start was the zero in the walk column of Ysla's statline. In fact, the Venezuelan has not issued a free pass since April 23, a streak that's now reached 20 2/3 consecutive innings without a walk. That's an incredible contrast to his start to the season, when he walked 11 in his first three outings (nine innings).
After starting the season 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in those three starts, the left-hander is now 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 24 strikeouts in seven outings (29 innings).
"If you saw him last year and in spring training, this kid is pretty good," GreenJackets manager Mike Goff told The Augusta Chronicle after Ysla walked five across three frames in his season debut. "Tonight, first time out, probably first time ever pitching in front of a decent crowd, he pressed a little bit. He was all over the place early. I know he's happy to get that one behind him. I think you'll see a different Ysla next time out."
Signed by the Giants in September 2011, he went 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 13 walks across 51 innings in the Rookie-level Arizona League last season. Ysla was honored as the only left-handed starter on the circuit's postseason All-Star as a result.
Augusta shortstop Ryder Jones went 2-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the GreenJackets lineup. Catcher Leonardo Rojas and third baseman John Polonius also homered for the visiting victors.