Although he has already reached Double-A, Steven Duggar is making sure his time is spent wisely in the California League.
San Francisco's seventh-ranked prospect homered and singled three times and No. 20 Garrett Williams posted six more zeros to lead Class A Advanced San Jose in a 12-5 thumping of Stockton at Banner Island Ballpark. Duggar's performance marked his fifth four-hit game and second on the circuit.
"He's experienced, he makes sure to share that experience with a couple of the younger players," San Jose skipper Nestor Rojas said of Duggar. "Right now, he's our leadoff guy and he can pretty much do everything. He's one of the big pieces in that lineup."
Gameday box score
After playing 60 games with Double-A Richmond last season, the 23-year-old had a delayed start to 2017. Injuries to his elbow and hamstring pushed his return to the Cal League back to June 28. In 20 games with San Jose, Duggar is hitting .278 with four homers, 19 RBIs and four stolen bases.
"He's been swinging the bat really well, he's getting close to the point where he's 100 percent," Rojas said. "He looked really, really comfortable today at the plate and he was on everything."
The sixth-round pick in the 2015 Draft delivered the opening salvo in the first inning against Stockton's Brendan Butler, leading off the game with a roundtripper to right-center field. With one out in the next inning, Duggar lined a 1-2 pitch from Butler to right for a base hit and later scored when Dillon Dobson was issued a free pass with the bases loaded.
Following Jalen Miller's two-run double to center, the South Carolina native got another chance in the seven-run second, but bounced back to reliever Evan Manarino for the final out. In the fifth, Miller knocked a one-out single to right before Duggar lined Manarino's first offering to center to put runners at the corners, but the pair advanced no further.
Leading off the seventh against Brandon Marsonek, the Clemson product blooped a single to right but was stranded after three consecutive strikeouts. Still facing Marsonek with one out in the ninth and a chance at his first five-hit game, Duggar went down swinging on five pitches.
The offense backed Williams, who allowed two hits, two walks and hit a batter while striking out eight. In two starts for San Jose spanning 12 innings, the 2016 seventh-round pick has yet to allow a run while compiling 18 strikeouts.
Williams tallied six of his eight strikeouts in his final three innings, including three consecutive whiffs with two on in the fourth.
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"He had a tough time just locating his pitches, but he was able to compete and to battle on the mound without his best stuff," Rojas said. "It impressed me even more than the first night."
Ryan Howard doubled, singled twice and scored two runs while Dillon Dobson belted his 14th homer of the year, drove in four and crossed the plate twice for San Jose. Fifth-ranked prospect Bryan Reynolds singled twice and scored twice.