Thursday, April 27th: Sonny Gray Impresses in Sounds’ Victory while Snappers Win 6th Straight

A’s “Prospect” Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Sonny Gray (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 7 K / Win)

A’s “Prospect” Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Sonny Gray (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 7 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Baby Cakes  2

Nashville Sounds             9

WP – Gray 1-0 / 0.00

HR – Barreto (4), Lavarnway (2), Canha (2)

“Prospect” Of The Game:

Pitcher Sonny Gray

(6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 7 K / Win)

After tossing 5 scoreless frames in a rehab appearance for Stockton last weekend, A’s starter and Nashville native Sonny Gray turned in another impressive performance, this time in front of a hometown crowd at First Tennessee Park in the heart of Music City on Thursday. Gray allowed just 2 hits while walking none and striking out 7 in 6 scoreless innings to earn the win for the Sounds. Over his two rehab starts, Gray has allowed a total of just 3 hits while walking none and striking out 13 over 11 shutout innings, and he appears ready to rejoin the A’s rotation next week. It was an easy win for Nashville on Thursday. Shortstop and leadoff batter Franklin Barreto belted his team-leading 4th home run in the bottom of the 1st inning to give the Sounds an early edge, and Nashville never lost the lead. Barreto also drew a pair of walks in the game, while right fielder Mark Canha singled and slugged a 2-run shot. Designated hitter Ryan Lavarnway homered, doubled and walked, and second baseman Joey Wendle doubled, tripled and drove in 3 runs in the win. And with the A’s activating RHP Kendall Graveman, first baseman Matt Olson was optioned back to Nashville on Thursday.

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Wednesday, April 26th: Mercedes Helps Snappers Win 5th Straight while Schrock Homers in Hounds’ Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers First Baseman Miguel Mercedes (3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers First Baseman Miguel Mercedes (3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Clinton LumberKings  4

Beloit Snappers        5

WP – Milburn 2-1 / 6.75

HR – Mercedes (5)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Miguel Mercedes

(3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

After squandering a 4-run lead, the Snappers came back to win in a walk-off and notch the team’s fifth straight victory on Wednesday. Beloit put 4 runs on the board in the 1st inning thanks to a 2-run double from designated hitter Kyle Nowlin and a 2-run homer by first baseman Miguel Mercedes. Starter Brandon Bailey allowed just 1 run over 4 innings of work, while LHP Will Gilbert was charged with 1 unearned run in 1 inning of relief, and RHP Matt Milburn threw 3 scoreless frames before giving up 2 runs in the top of the 9th to tie the game. Mercedes then singled to lead things off in the bottom of the 9th, moved to third on second baseman Trace Loehr’s single, and then came around to score the winning run on third baseman Edwin Diaz’s RBI single to bring the game to a victorious end for Beloit. Milburn picked up the win, while Mercedes singled, doubled, homered, drove in a pair and scored the winning run for the Snappers. In other news, outfielder Mike Martin was activated from the disabled list while outfielder Luis Barrera was placed on the DL on Wednesday.

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Tuesday, April 25th: White’s 2 HRs Propel Ports to Victory while Murray & Chalmers Lead Snappers to Shutout Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Mikey White (2 for 2 / 2 Walks / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports SS Mikey White (2 for 2 / 2 Walks / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Lancaster JetHawks  8

Stockton Ports        11

WP – Duno 3-0 / 5.30

HR – M.White 2 (3), Gilbert (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Mikey White

(2 for 2 / 2 Walks / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

Shortstop Mikey White was the hitting star for Stockton on Tuesday, slugging 2 home runs, drawing a pair of walks and driving in 5 runs for the Ports. The A’s 2nd-round draft pick from 2015, who’s primarily been playing third base this season, has now hit 3 home runs in his last 2 games while also drawing 3 walks and driving in 6 runs. Third baseman Trent Gilbert also homered on Tuesday, while designated hitter Brett Siddall singled, doubled and scored the run, and catcher Iolana Akau had a pair of singles, drew a walk, drove in a run and stole a base for Stockton. Starter Logan Shore was charged with 2 unearned runs in the 1st inning, thanks to a fielding error by second baseman Branden Cogswell, and ended up allowing no earned runs while striking out 6 over 3 innings of work on Tuesday. RHP Angel Duno picked up the win despite surrendering 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief, and RHP Carlos Navas pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings to post his 2nd save for the Ports.

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Monday, April 24th: Rosa’s Grand Slam Helps Hounds Win while Nunez & Canha Homer in Sounds’ Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (2 for 5 / Grand Slam)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (2 for 5 / Grand Slam)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  9

Corpus Christi Hooks     0

WP – Walter 2-0 / 0.56

HR – Martin (2), Rosa (2), Sportman (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Viosergy Rosa

(2 for 5 / Grand Slam)

With two outs, the bases loaded and his team up 2-0 in the top of the 5th inning, first baseman Viosergy Rosa stepped to the plate and belted a grand slam to provide the Hounds with a healthy 6-run lead and help his team with its third straight on Monday. Rosa also singled in the game, while shortstop Richie Martin slugged a solo shot in the 3rd inning, and second baseman J.P. Sportman blasted a 3-run homer in the 8th. Meanwhile on the mound, Hounds hurlers shut out the Hooks on 2 hits on Monday. Starter Corey Walter allowed both hits over 5 scoreless innings to earn the win in his first appearance since returning to the RockHounds roster from the Sounds. LHP Brandon Mann, who’d allowed 11 runs over his last 3 1/3 innings, threw 4 no-hit frames to earn his 1st save for Midland on Monday. And with Walter’s return to the roster, LHP Kyle Twomey was sent back to extended spring training in Arizona.

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A’s Farm Report for Week of April 17-23: Chapman, Wendle & Bolt Are Back, Barreto’s Hot and Jefferies Is Out

Third Baseman Matt Chapman

Third Baseman Matt Chapman

 

The good news this week is that Matt Chapman returned to action for Nashville, while Joey Wendle also got back on the field for the Sounds, and Skye Bolt brought his game back to Stockton.

Franklin Barreto’s bat has started heating up again but, unfortunately, one of the team’s top young pitching prospects, Daulton Jefferies, is headed for Tommy John surgery.

You can always stay up to date on the A’s top prospects and all the daily action in the A’s minor league system right here on Athletics Farm. A version of this weekly minor league report originally appeared on Athletics Nation

 

Click here for this week’s updates on Nashville, Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Sunday, April 23rd: Sawyer Leads Snappers to Shutout Victory while Boyd Helps Hounds Mount Comeback Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Dalton Sawyer (5 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 8 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Dalton Sawyer (5 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 8 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Burlington Bees    0

Beloit Snappers  8

WP – Sawyer 2-1 / 1.08

HR – Diaz (4), Shelby (3), Persico (1), Marinez (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Dalton Sawyer

(5 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 8 K / Win)

Starter Dalton Sawyer delivered one of the most impressive performances of any A’s minor league hurler so far this season on the front end of a 3-hit shutout win for the Snappers. Last year’s 9th-round pick for the A’s threw 5 perfect frames, striking out 8 while facing the minimum 15 batters without allowing a base runner to earn his 2nd win on Sunday. And Sawyer has now failed to allow a run over his last 13 innings of work for the Snappers. He was followed on the mound by last year’s 10th-round pick, RHP Mitchell Jordan, who allowed 3 hits over 4 scoreless frames to secure the save. The Snappers scored all 8 of their runs on home runs on Sunday. Left fielder Luke Persico launched a 2-run homer in the 3rd, while third baseman Edwin Diaz drilled a 3-run drive in the 6th. Shortstop Eric Marinez slugged a solo shot in the 7th, and center fielder JaVon Shelby tagged a 2-run shot in the 8th to help the Snappers win their second straight on Sunday.

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Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Burlington (4/20-23)

By Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers recently hosted a 4-game series with the Angels’ Midwest League affiliate, the Burlington Bees, at Pohlman Field in Beloit that wrapped up on Sunday afternoon.

The Bees are managed by former A’s catcher Adam Melhuse, and the top prospect on the Bees roster is toolsy outfielder Jahmai Jones, who is the #1-ranked Angels prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

The Snappers and the Bees split the 4-game series, with Burlington winning the first 2 games 3-1 and 8-4, while the Snappers took the final 2 games 8-3 and 8-0.

 

Game #1:  Burlington 3 – Beloit 1

Ty Damron

Ty Damron

*LHP Ty Damron turned in another strong outing (4 IP/4 H/1 ER/1 BB/5 K) for the Snappers. Damron is a lefty who won’t blow you away with a big fastball, but he’s got great command. He also does an excellent job of keeping the ball low and getting ground balls, as evidenced by the five ground-ball outs he got in this game.

*RHP Brendan Butler, a 30th round pick in 2015, has had a magnificent start to his 2017 season. Butler looks to be a late-round gem that has a legitimate chance to move up the ranks fast. Butler pitched 4 scoreless innings of no-hit ball in the game. For the season, he has a 1.69 ERA with a 0.63 WHIP and a .137 batting-average-against while striking out 21 in over 16 innings.

*The Snappers struck out 12 times in the loss and didn’t draw a walk. The slider low and away was the main culprit on many of the strikeouts in this game.

 

Game #2:  Burlington 8 – Beloit 4

Dakota Chalmers

Dakota Chalmers

*RHP Dakota Chalmers (#14 A’s prospect on MLB Pipeline) started the game, but he didn’t last very long. Chalmers walked 4, hit a batter, and threw 4 wild pitches and got pulled after just a ⅓ of an inning. Chalmers was all over the place with his pitches. Our guess from the press box was that he was having trouble with his landing spot and that he didn’t have a good grip on the ball on a chilly April night. After such a strong start his last time out on the road (4 IP/ 1 H/ 0 ER/ 0 BB/ 10 K), hopefully we can just chalk this outing up to a bad day.

*Outfielder JaVon Shelby, the A’s 5th-round pick in 2016, went 3 for 4 with a stolen base.

*A’s 27th-round pick in 2016, speedy outfielder Cole Gruber had a rough day at the plate. He finished 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts.

*Snappers infielder Eric Marinez was brought in to pitch to one batter in the 9th inning, and he struck out the Angels #1 prospect, outfielder Jahmai Jones, with a 94-mph fastball!

 

Game #3:  Beloit 8 – Burlington 3

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*RHP Matt Milburn had his strongest outing of the year, going 4 scoreless innings, and the A’s 29th-round pick last year really had his cutter working effectively in this one.

*The A’s 6th-round pick from last year, RHP Brandon Bailey, also had a strong outing. Possessing more swing-and-miss stuff than his tandem-pitching partner Milburn, Bailey threw 3 scoreless innings while striking out 5 batters.

*LHP Andrew Tomasovich has been almost unhittable out of the Snappers bullpen. And he struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in this outing. Tomasovich will come at you from a couple of different arm angles. His fastball ranges from 92-94 mph, and he has a hard, breaking slider. The 23-year-old lefty spent all last season in Beloit, where he struggled with his control. But this season, he has really found his mojo, and he currently boasts a stat line of 8 IP/3 H/0 ER/0 BB/12 K.

*First baseman Miguel Mercedes and designated hitter Kyle Nowlin both went deep for the Snappers. Nowlin’s blast was hit just to the right of the batter’s eye in deep center field.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 8 – Burlington 0

Mitchell Jordan

Mitchell Jordan

*LHP Dalton Sawyer, the A’s 9th round pick last year, was dominant on the mound. He pitched 5 perfect innings for the Snappers, striking out 8. He threw 57 pitches, 42 of them for strikes.

*Drafted a round later than Sawyer, 10th-round pick RHP Mitchell Jordan followed Sawyer’s impressive effort with a solid 4 IP/3 H/0 ER/1 BB/2 K line on Sunday.

*Together, Sawyer and Jordan combined for a 3-hit shutout of the Burlington Bees, while walking just 1 and striking out 10. The two also threw a combined 100 total pitches, 75 of which were for strikes.

*Outfielders Luke Persico and JaVon Shelby and infielders Edwin Diaz and Eric Marinez all homered for Beloit.

*Edwin Diaz’s home run was impressive, going “oppo boppo” (opposite field) for an estimated distance of nearly 400 feet to right-center field.

 

Series Notes:

*Miguel Mercedes and Kyle Nowlin have been alternating between first base and designated hitter. And, so far, Mercedes appears to be the superior defender.

*Speaking of Kyle Nowlin, the A’s 21st-round pick from last year has really started hitting the ball with much more authority lately. He tallied two doubles and a home run in the series.

*Outfielder Luke Persico, the A’s 12th-round pick from last year, came into the Burlington series just 1 for 22 as a Snapper. But he really heated up in this series, going 5 for 10 with a home run and 5 RBIs.

*Beloit Snappers Media Relations Manager, Garrett Mansfield, commented during Game #4, “I really like Dalton Sawyer’s delivery. It’s just so smooth.” And I would have to agree with that observation. The 6’5”, 210-pound southpaw really does have a great-looking delivery that is just so silky smooth.

 

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A’s Prospects of the Series:

LHP Dalton Sawyer                    RHP Brendan Butler

(5 IP/ 0 H/ 0 ER/ 0 BB/ 8 K)           (4 IP/ 0 H/ 0 ER/ 2 BB/ 5 K)

 

 

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Saturday, April 22nd: Beloit Wins behind Nowlin’s Big Bat while Sonny Gray Impresses in Rehab Start for Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin (Home Run / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin (Home Run / 3 RBIs)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Burlington Bees    3

Beloit Snappers  8

WP – Altamirano 1-1 / 1.54

HR – Mercedes (4), Nowlin (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin

(Home Run / 3 RBIs)

With two men on and his team down by a run in the bottom of the 5th inning, designated hitter Kyle Nowlin stepped to the plate and slugged a 3-run homer to provide the margin of victory for the Snappers on Saturday. Center fielder JaVon Shelby doubled in a run in the previous at-bat to bring Beloit within a run, while left fielder Luke Persico doubled in 3 runs in the 8th, and first baseman Miguel Mercedes hit his team-leading 4th home run in the 2nd. After three rocky outings, starter Matt Milburn was outstanding for the Snappers on Saturday. The 23-year-old allowed just 2 hits over 4 scoreless innings, and he left the game with a 1-run lead. A string of errors by third baseman Eric Marinez, center fielder Shelby and shortstop Edwin Diaz allowed 3 unearned runs to score off of RHP Xavier Altamirano in the top of the 5th inning, but he still picked up the win after Beloit took back the lead in the bottom of the 5th, and RHP Brandon Bailey threw 3 scoreless innings in relief to hold Burlington in check as the Snappers snapped their 3-game skid on Saturday.

Click here for a complete report on Sonny Gray’s Rehab Start in Stockton…  

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Sonny Gray Back on Track in Impressive Rehab Start for Stockton

by Josh Moore / A’s Farm Stockton Correspondent

Saturday night with Sonny Gray in Stockton. Photo: Meghan Camino (https://meghanlaurelphotography.pixieset.com)

Saturday night with Sonny Gray in Stockton. Photo: Meghan Camino

It should come as no surprise that Sonny Gray’s first official minor league rehab start on Saturday attracted a lot of curious and concerned onlookers in Stockton. Among those in attendance at the nearly sold-out Banner Island Ballpark were A’s pitching coach Curt Young, bullpen coach Scott Emerson and hitting coach Darren Bush.

Five days before Saturday night’s appearance in Stockton, Gray made a decidedly more low-key return to the mound when he threw 3 innings in an extended spring training game in Arizona on Monday, which we detailed here. Prior to that, he’d been sidelined due to a lat strain suffered in a March 7th spring training appearance that saw him surrender 5 hits, 4 walks and 7 earned runs in just 2 innings of work.

On Saturday night in Stockton though, Gray looked incredibly sharp. He was originally scheduled for 4 innings or 65 pitches, whichever came first. Gray was so economical in his pitch count, however, that he was sent back out to complete a 5th inning of work. In all, he tallied 47 pitches – 34 of them strikes – while striking out 6 San Jose batters, walking none and allowing just 1 hit over 5 scoreless innings.

His form was fantastic and Gray looked extremely comfortable on the mound throughout the entire outing. Although Banner Island Ballpark’s speed gun can’t always be counted on, some scouts showed readings of 92-94 mph on his fastball, with it occasionally topping out as high as 95. Gray’s command was even more impressive though, as he found himself behind in counts just three times in the game – once with a 2-1 count and the other two times with 1-0 counts.

After striking out the side in the 2nd inning and tallying 4 strikeouts to San Jose’s first 6 batters, Gray faltered with location a bit in the 3rd frame. A fastball that caught too much of the plate was ripped to left field for a leadoff single by right fielder Christoph Bono. Although the first-base umpire later called Bono safe on a pickoff throw by Gray, his throw to first was on line and it appeared that he had picked off Bono. Later in the inning, another fastball caught too much of the plate and was lined to center field and would have landed for a single if not for an incredible catch by a diving Skye Bolt.

Gray went on to easily retire the side in order in both the 4th and 5th, barely breaking a sweat in either frame, and was eventually credited with the win after Stockton completed the 7-0 victory. A’s manager Bob Melvin announced on Sunday that Gray’s next appearance will be a 75-pitch outing for Nashville on Thursday. Following that, it’s yet to be decided whether he’ll need to make one more rehab start or if he’ll return to the Oakland rotation for his next outing. But if Saturday night’s performance was any indication, Sonny certainly appears confident and ready to go.

(Photo courtesy of Meghan Camino)

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Friday, April 21st: Shore Is Solid Again in Stockton Loss while Chalmers’ Wild Start Sinks Snappers, Hounds Fall in Slugfest & Power Outage Suspends Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Logan Shore (4 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Logan Shore (4 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

San Jose Giants   4

Stockton Ports    2

LP – Shore 0-1 / 2.81

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Logan Shore

(4 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

Stockton starter Angel Duno surrendered 2 runs on 5 hits over 3 innings of work and left the game with the Ports down by a run on Friday. RHP Joey Wagman pitched a perfect 4th before Duno’s tandem-pitching partner, RHP Logan Shore, took over in the top of the 5th, and last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s was solid once again. Shore threw 3 scoreless frames before allowing a run in the 8th. Unfortunately, since Stockton had tied the game, that proved to be the winning run and, while Shore ended up suffering his 1st loss, he allowed just 1 run and struck out 5 in 4 innings of relief on Friday. And the 22-year-old has now notched 17 strikeouts in 16 innings for Stockton so far this season. Third baseman Mikey White had 2 singles and drove in Stockton’s first run in the 2nd, while designated hitter Branden Cogswell had a pair of hits and brought home the tying run in the bottom of the 5th for the Ports. In other news, A’s starter Sonny Gray is set to make a rehab start for Stockton on Saturday night and, as an added bonus, it’ll also be Asparagus Night at the ballpark for the Ports!

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