Month: April 2017

Saturday, April 29th: Smith’s 6 Shutout Frames Lead Sounds to Victory while Bassitt Makes First Rehab Start for Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Baby Cakes  2

Nashville Sounds            10

WP – C.Smith 1-1 / 2.18

HR – Nunez (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Chris Smith

(6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

A night after Nashville starter Paul Blackburn threw 5 scoreless frames, Saturday’s starting pitcher, RHP Chris Smith, followed up by tossing 6 shutout innings to earn the victory as the Sounds won their third straight. And the 36-year-old Smith has now allowed a total of just 5 earned runs over his first 4 starts of the season. Nashville’s offense notched a total of 10 runs for the first time this season. First baseman Matt Olson collected 4 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair of runs, while center fielder Mark Canha doubled twice and drove in 3. Left fielder Renato Nunez notched his 4th home run, a solo shot, and drew a pair of walks, and second baseman Franklin Barreto singled twice, doubled and drove in a run while raising his team-best batting average to a healthy .349. In other news, RHP Raul Alcantara cleared waivers and was sent to the Sounds, and second baseman Joey Wendle’s rehab assignment came to an end as he was activated from the disabled list and officially added to Nashville’s roster.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Brett Graves: Stepping It Up For Stockton

by Josh Moore / A’s Farm Stockton Correspondent

RHP Brett Graves  (Photo: Meghan Camino)

RHP Brett Graves
(Photo: Meghan Camino)

If you’ve been paying attention to Stockton’s impressive pitching staff this season, you’re not alone. There’s been plenty of talk about the potential of top draft picks like A.J. Puk and Logan Shore, but it was another pitcher on the Stockton staff who was actually the team’s most consistent hurler over the first three weeks of the season.

RHP Brett Graves started off his second season at Stockton by allowing just 1 run and 1 walk while striking out 19 in 18 innings over his first 5 appearances of 2017 for the Ports. The 24-year-old finally had his first rough outing of the season for Stockton on Friday, but he’s still sporting a 3.00 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP to go along with just 2 walks and 24 strikeouts over 21 innings of work.

Graves was a 2014 3rd-round selection out of the University of Missouri, where he spent three seasons pitching in the SEC (the same conference that both Puk and Shore called home). Prior to attending college, Graves was a 26th-round selection of his hometown St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 after leading Francis Howell High School to the MSHSAA State Championships. Splitting time between pitching and playing shortstop, he pitched to a 9-1 record with a 1.95 ERA while batting .441 with six home runs and 35 RBIs as a high school senior.

At Missouri, Graves made impressive strides over the course of his collegiate career, giving many organizations the feeling that he had a lot more potential left to be tapped. He finished his junior season at Missouri with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP, limiting hitters to 0.4 HR/9 while increasing his strikeouts to 6.2 K/9 and decreasing his walks to 1.7 BB/9.

Graves endured a rough start in his first season at Stockton in 2016, posting a 5.72 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in the first half. He showed improvement over the course of the season though, putting up a 3.36 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in the second half. Graves ultimately finished the season with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP over 141 innings, but his 5.5 K/9 and his 1.8 K/BB ratio could still stand a little improvement.

Well, one only has to look at Graves’ 24 strikeouts and 2 walks in 21 innings in 2017 to see that he’s clearly stepped up his game this season. We recently had the chance to speak with him to find out, among other things, what accounts for his success at Stockton this season…

 

AF:  You were originally drafted by your hometown St. Louis Cardinals out of high school prior to accepting the offer to pitch at Missouri. How close were you to taking the Cardinals up on their offer and foregoing your college career?

BG:  After getting drafted in the 26th round, I was pretty set on going to college. I think it worked out for the best for me and I was really excited to go to Mizzou.

AF:  Were you a huge Cardinals fan growing up and was it ever your dream to play for them?

BG:  Yes, I was a huge Cardinals fan. I used to imitate their lineup playing in the backyard.

AF:  Did you have any favorite pitchers growing up that you wanted to emulate?

BG:  I really liked Chris Carpenter. He spent a lot of his time in St. Louis, and I loved the way he competed, as well as his intensity on the mound.

AF:  Going all the way back to 2006, there have been quite a few notable Missouri pitchers selected in the early rounds of the draft, including Max Scherzer, Aaron Crow, and Kyle Gibson. Have you ever had the opportunity to talk with any of them?

Brett Graves (Photo: Meghan Camino)

Brett Graves
(Photo: Meghan Camino)

BG:  As far as those guys go, no, I haven’t ever gotten to know any of them. I paid very close attention to how Max attacked hitters and how he competed out on the mound. I definitely tried to pick up anything I could from those guys. I wanted to follow right in their footsteps.

AF:  Is there anyone else from your time at Missouri that has had a profound impact on your maturation process?

BG:  Rob Zastryzny. He was our Friday night starter at Mizzou my freshman and sophomore years. We pushed each other and were there for each other whenever we needed to vent. Last year, he made his debut with the Cubs and got to be a part of that amazing World Series run.

AF:  Over your three seasons at Missouri, your walk rate decreased dramatically each year. Some thought that, as a freshman, you came out throwing hard and had to learn how to command the strike zone; as a sophomore, you controlled the strike zone but maybe weren’t throwing as hard; but as a junior, you really tied both in together and threw quality pitches with a good command of the strike zone. Do you agree with that assessment?

BG:  Yes, I would say that’s pretty spot on. When I came in as a freshman, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to reach back and throw it by these hitters anymore. I had to find my balance between attacking with my best stuff and learning how to pitch.

AF:  What played the biggest role in your collegiate development and making those transitions?

BG:  I would say my two years of summer ball in Newport, Rhode Island. My sophomore summer is where I really think I started to figure things out. Also, I think Rob [Zastryzny] helped me a ton with that.

AF:  How has your pitch repertoire evolved from Missouri to how you pitch now?

BG:  I think I have really been able to expand on my repertoire. I mix my four-seamer with my sinker much more. I’ve added a changeup that I really feel comfortable with that I hardly threw in college. And I think my breaking ball is way ahead of where it was in college.

AF:  Although it’s early in your second season with Stockton, you’ve commanded the strike zone extremely well, showing off a really good walk rate and strikeout rate. Is there anything else that’s enhanced your development since being drafted by the A’s?

BG:  I think the insight and access to some of the new TrackMan data from our staff has helped me to see how to use my pitches better and how to mix pitches maybe more effectively.

AF:  There’s so much information flowing in and out of baseball circles these days. Velocity, spin rates, release heights, the list goes on and on, but what do you find most compelling and most interesting when examining the data for your own pitches?

BG:  I like to look at how my pitches stack up against major league averages – how they’re moving and in what locations they are most effective. It gives me an insight on what pitches to throw in certain counts and the confidence and conviction of how and when to throw them. [A’s minor league pitching coordinator] Gil Patterson and the rest of the A’s staff have really gone to great lengths to make this information available to us and I think it helped me. I don’t think it’s something you can think too much about, but getting a general idea on how to use your pitches, which of your pitches are most successful, and gauging your pitch development based on some of the numbers you see can be very beneficial.

AF:  What pitch combinations are working for you now? Are you doing something different with your pitches that’s equating to better results or are you simply getting more comfortable on the mound?

Brett Graves (Photo: Meghan Camino)

Brett Graves
(Photo: Meghan Camino)

BG:  I think it has to do with a lot of those factors. First and foremost, I think I am just attacking the hitters better, leading to more counts that I’m ahead in, which typically leads to better results. I also think the development of my curveball to this point in the season has given me much more confidence and I’m really feeling much more comfortable with it.

AF:  A few really talented pitchers [A.J. Puk, Logan Shore, Daulton Jefferies] joined you in Stockton this season. Did you feel any added pressure coming into the season knowing that there could be more eyes focused on the pitching staff with some high expectations?

BG:  Not necessarily. Iron sharpens iron and they’re all good dudes that work really hard, so I was excited.

AF:  How do you feel about how they’ve been progressing? Do guys like Logan or A.J. come to you for advice and, conversely, have you picked anything up from them that you’ve felt was helpful?

BG:  Well, I feel they both have a tremendous grasp of who they are and what they need to do. But just from having been through a couple professional seasons now, I try to let them know what to expect – mainly just some things that I would have liked to know coming into pro ball.

AF:  Coming into the season, the A’s were beginning a relatively new philosophy of having eight starting pitchers pitch together in four-inning tandems, and you got the first crack on opening day. How are you adjusting to starting a game and then relieving in a game per the tandem starting pitch philosophy?

BG:  It’s interesting. I think you can learn some valuable lessons from it. You have to come out ready to go and attacking with your best stuff. There’s no time for a two or three spot early whereas, in a normal start, you can settle in and go six or seven innings and it’s a quality start – you just don’t have that option in the eight-man.

AF:  Back to opening day, you pitched four perfect innings without allowing a base runner. Had you ever gone that deep into a game without allowing a man on? And was there talk of coming back out for the 5th inning?

BG:  I have a couple times. However, I’ve never been able to seal the deal. We briefly discussed it in the dugout, but we decided it was just [too] early in the season and [we] had our eyes set more down the road and looking to be at our best come July and August.

AF:  Well, let’s wrap this up with some light stuff. Our readers often like to know some random details about players. I’m personally a big music geek, so what bands are you currently listening to?

BG:  I’m a country music fan. Lately, my roommates and I have been listening to a lot of Thomas Rhett.

AF:  If you were only allowed to keep one country artist’s entire collection of albums with you on a long road trip, which artist would it be?

BG:  Well, last year I went to Hawaii and downloaded every Kenny Chesney song. He has so many hits, I hardly have to listen to the same one twice.

AF:  By the way, you mentioned roommates. Is there anyone you’re particularly close to on the team?

BG:  Well, I share a bedroom with Lana Akau. Doesn’t get much closer than that…

AF:  It’s been a pleasure. Good luck the rest of the way.

(All photos courtesy of Meghan Camino)

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Friday, April 28th: Blackburn Pitches Sounds to Victory while Mann & Sportman Help Hounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Baby Cakes  1

Nashville Sounds             4

WP – Blackburn 1-2 / 1.64

HR – Canha (3), Olson (3)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Paul Blackburn

(5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

RHP Paul Blackburn turned in another strong start for the Sounds, allowing just 2 hits over 5 shutout innings to finally earn his 1st win on Friday. And the 23-year-old has now allowed a total of just 4 earned runs over his first 4 starts for the Sounds. RHP Simon Castro struck out the side in order in the 9th to notch his 2nd save for Nashville. Right fielder Mark Canha homered in his third straight game, drilling a 2-run drive to put the Sounds on the board in the 3rd, while first baseman Matt Olson slugged a solo shot in the 6th. Second baseman Joey Wendle doubled and singled twice, while left fielder Renato Nunez had a pair of doubles and drove in a run to help the Sounds win their second straight on Friday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

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.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

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.

Click here for more on Midland & Stockton…

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.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

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.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton & Beloit…

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.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Stockton…

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.

 

ds662121

bb656278

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)

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

%d bloggers like this: