KEIZER, OR - On Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants announced their non-roster invitees to 2017 Spring Training as announced by club Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans. Of the 28 players that received an invitation, there were a total of nine former Salem-Keizer Volcanoes amongst them.
Headlined by pitcher, Tyler Beede and infielder, Christian Arroyo - ranked #88 and #89 respectively, on the 2017 MLB Pipeline Top 100 Prospect list - the Volcanoes also saw representations in the form of pitcher Andrew Suarez, catcher Aramis Garcia, infielders CJ Hinojosa and Ryder Jones, along with outfielders Steven Duggar and Austin Slater.
Tyler Beede: Since becoming just one of 20 players in MLB Amateur Draft history to be selected in the first round more than once - 21st overall (2011) out of high school and 14th overall (2014) out of Vanderbilt - and entering the minor leagues, Beede has established himself as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. After a rough 2015 campaign in his first full season in pro ball, he calmed all nerves this past season by leading the Eastern League with a 2.81 earned run average over 147.1 innings. He also finished second in strikeouts, punching out 135 batters.
Although his tenure with the Volcanoes only saw Beede make two starts, he gave Salem-Keizer fans a glimpse of things to come as he struck out seven in his 6 2/3 innings, while allowing just two runs.
Andrew Suarez: This former Miami Hurricane was picked in the second round in 2015 and quickly impressed the Giants with his command, leading to his #8 ranking on the Giants 2016 Top 30 prospect list. Over his 183 innings in pro ball, Suarez has only surrendered 34 walks (1.7 walks per nine innings). In 2016, started the season in A+ San Jose, but quickly rose to AA Richmond where he made 19 starts. In 114 innings, he earned a 3.95 ERA and recorded 90 strikeouts, while logging a 7-7 record.
While in Salem-Keizer, Suarez was extremely effective, logging a 1.40 ERA in 19.1 innings. His dominance was short lived as he only made five starts, but still managed a stellar 15-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Aramis Garcia: As the fifth catcher taken in the 2014 Draft, Garcia had a slight struggle in his first professional season. However, in 2015 he rebounded to slug 15 home runs and collect 66 runs batted in between Single-A Augusta and Advanced-A San Jose. He also held a respectable .264 batting average over 394 at-bats and pounded 19 doubles, while scoring 52 runs. By the end of 2016, Garcia was ranked the number one catching prospect for the Giants by MLB Pipeline.
In 2014 with the Volcanoes, Garcia had an underwhelming campaign as he only mustered a .229/.289/.357 slash line, but was tasked with handling a pitching staff that included another member of this list, Tyler Beede.
Christian Arroyo: After being selected with the 25th overall pick in 2013, Arroyo has excelled in pro ball, most recently completing his 2016 season with Double-A Richmond. He led the Flying Squirrels in doubles (36), hits (130), and runs (57). He also hit .274 and slugged .373 while logging 49 runs batted in, good for third most on the team. In addition, he displayed excellent versatility in the field by starting 48 games at both shortstop and third, while also playing 19 games at second base.
As a member of Salem-Keizer two summers ago, Arroyo saw action in 58 games and paced the Volcanoes in extra base hits with 19 - 14 doubles & five home runs. Then just a 19-year old, he also was tied for fifth in the Northwest League in RBI's, driving in 48 runs.
C.J. Hinojosa: A pleasant surprise from the 11th round of the 2015 Draft, Hinojosa made his way all the way to Double-A before his 22nd birthday. Over two levels in 2016, the versatile middle-infielder reached base at a .348 clip in addition to accumulating 35 extra-base hits.
With the Volcanoes in his first season of pro ball, Hinojosa made 47 out of his 48 starts at shortstop, leading the team with 18 doubles and ranking second in batting average at .296.
Ryder Jones: In 2016, no other player within the San Francisco system played more innings (775 2/3) at third base than Jones, yet it was his bat that may have impressed more. Jones led the Flying Squirrels in home runs (15) and RBI's (67) and also batted 302/.380/.429 in the Arizona Fall League.
While only spending a short time in Salem-Keizer, Jones managed to slug .393 over his 27 games with the Volcanoes before moving on to Augusta for the final 91 games of his 2014 campaign.
Steven Duggar: Reaching Double-A in just his second season in the system, Duggar improved just about every part of his offensive production, as evident in his organization-leading 72 walks. He also batted .302 with 10 homers and 28 doubles over 130 games between San Jose and Richmond.
As a Volcano in 2015, Duggar led Salem-Keizer getting on base at a .390 clip while primarily patrolling right field over his 58 games played. He also led all outfielders with seven assists and was second with 106 put outs.
Austin Slater: After a slow start to his 2016 season between Richmond and the Triple-A Sacramento Rivercats, Slater caught fire down the stretch, hitting .381 with nine homers and 26 RBI's over the month of August. Amongst qualified batters, the 23-year old ranked second on the Rivercats with a .506 slugging percentage.
Slater competed in 29 games with Salem-Keizer in 2014 and although did not flash the power he has currently displayed, he did post a .347 average and an on-base percentage of .417.
The Volcanoes Stadium Box Office and Team Store are both open year-round on all business days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information regarding 2017 ticketing packages, copies of the 2017 schedule, and additional requests, call the Volcanoes Stadium Box Office at 503-390-2225 or visit volcanoesbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.