Bahr taking California League by storm

Giants No. 27 prospect puts up six more zeros for San Jose

Jason Bahr has a .163 opponents' batting average through two starts in the California League. (Tim Cattera/

By Josh Horton / | July 1, 2018 1:44 AM

The California League wasn't ready for Jason Bahr

The Giants' No. 27 prospect  made it back-to-back scoreless starts since a promotion to the hitter-friendly circuit, allowing three hits over six innings, as Class A Advanced San Jose topped Visalia, 3-1, on Saturday at Recreation Park. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Gameday box score

After allowing a one-out single to D-backs No. 5 prospect Marcus Wilson in the first, Bahr set down the next nine batters. Stephen Smith reached on a throwing error in the fourth, but the right-hander from Orlando, Florida, induced an inning-ending double play. He worked around a single by eighth-ranked prospect Drew Ellis in the fifth, forced another double play and stranded Renae Martinez -- who reached on an error -- by retiring Mark Karaviotis on a fly ball.

Wilson reached again on a two-out double in the sixth, but Bahr (2-0) fanned Smith to close out the sixth. 

The 23-year-old threw 54 of 74 pitches for strikes.

Selected in the fifth round of last year's Draft out of the University of Central Florida, he went 6-4 with a 2.75 ERA in 13 starts with Class A Augusta before moving up. Bahr still owns the best strikeout-to-walk rate (24.5 percent) and strikeouts-per-nine innings (11.53) among qualified pitchers in the South Atlantic League, according to FanGraphs.

His approach to commanding the zone is something that's been stressed since college. 

"The biggest thing as far as that goes is pitching ahead in the count," Bahr said. "When you get behind, it allows them to sit on pitches and they don't miss. But when you get ahead you can extend the zone and not have to worry about walking guys." 

The 6-foot-5 right-hander gave up four hits and a walk while striking out five over six scoreless frames in his Class A Advanced debut on Sunday. Dating back to his final start with the GreenJackets, Bahr hasn't allowed a run over his last 14 2/3 innings. 

Bahr was called into Augusta manager Jolbert Cabrera's office and given the news he was being called up immediately following the last game before the South-Atlantic League All-Star break. He allowed one run and struck out nine in a 5-4 win. 

MiLB include

"It's an amazing feeling," Bahr said. "I wasn't expecting it to happen or anything, but it was nice to hear."

He spent the next two days celebrating with teammates in Augusta for the All-Star break until departing for the Bay Area on June 21.

Nolan Riggs relieved Bahr and struck out five in two perfect innings. Frank Rubio picked up his third save, despite giving up a run in the ninth.

Brandon Van Horn staked his starter to the lead with a solo homer in the third and added an RBI groundout in the fifth. Bryce Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh.

Wilson went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI for Visalia. 

Josh Horton is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @joshhortonMiLB This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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