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…

 

SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:

(through games of 4/23/17)

OF Brett Vertigan (Midland – AA)

(47 AB / 0 HR / 7 BB / 11 K / .362 AVG / .446 OBP / .489 SLG / .936 OPS)

SS-2B Franklin Barreto (Nashville – AAA)

(66 AB / 3 HR / 5 BB / 24 K / .333 AVG / .387 OBP / .545 SLG / .932 OPS)

OF B.J. Boyd (Midland – AA)

(51 AB / 0 HR / 6 BB / 9 K / .373 AVG / .448 OBP / .471 SLG / .919 OPS)

OF Tyler Marincov (Midland – AA)

(53 AB / 2 HR / 11 BB / 16 K / .264 AVG / .397 OBP / .472 SLG / .869 OPS)

SS Eli White (Stockton – A+)

(64 AB / 0 HR / 8 BB / 13 K / .313 AVG / .397 OBP / .438 SLG / .835 OPS)

SS-3B Edwin Diaz (Beloit – A)

(59 AB / 4 HR / 5 BB / 20 K / .237 AVG / .297 OBP / .525 SLG / .822 OPS)

RHP Brett Graves (Stockton – A+)

(14 1/3 IP / 9 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 15 K / 0.63 ERA / 0.70 WHIP)

LHP Dalton Sawyer (Beloit – A)

(16 2/3 IP / 7 H / 2 ER / 5 BB / 20 K / 1.08 ERA / 0.72 WHIP)

RHP Xavier Altamirano (Beloit – A)

(11 2/3 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 4 BB / 11 K / 1.54 ERA / 0.69 WHIP)

RHP Brendan Butler (Beloit – A)

(16 IP / 7 H / 3 ER / 3 BB / 21 K / 1.69 ERA / 0.63 WHIP)

LHP Evan Manarino (Stockton – A+)

(14 IP / 14 H / 3 ER / 1 BB / 13 K / 1.93 ERA / 1.07 WHIP)

RHP Corey Walter (Midland/Nashville – AA/AAA)

(13 2/3 IP / 11 H / 3 ER / 2 BB / 12 K / 1.98 ERA / 0.95 WHIP)

 

NASHVILLE SOUNDS

Pacific Coast League – Triple-A

The best news for Nashville this week may have been the return of third baseman Matt Chapman after he spent nearly two weeks on the disabled list with a sprained wrist. And in his first game back in action on Saturday, he notched his first hit, first walk and first stolen base of the season for the Sounds. Chapman had struck out in 6 of his first 7 at-bats to start the season before landing on the DL. Second baseman Joey Wendle also began what is technically a rehab assignment at Nashville this week, though he’s likely to end up being assigned to the Sounds once his rehab stint is complete. Wendle has gone 3 for 14 while serving as the designated hitter and playing second base. Mark Canha has gone 7 for 27 with a pair of doubles in his first 7 games with the Sounds while serving as the team’s starting right fielder, and Melvin Mercedes has gone 5 for 16 while serving as the Sounds’ primary second baseman since joining the team from Midland. After a brief stint with the A’s, catcher Bruce Maxwell has gone 4 for 11 with 4 RBIs since his return to the Sounds. And after going 1 for 17 with 8 strikeouts over a 4-game stretch, shortstop Franklin Barreto has now gone 9 for 20 over his last 5 games. He went 4 for 4 on Thursday, slugged his team-leading 3rd home run on Friday and is currently sporting a .333/.387/.545 slash line on the season. Matt Olson, who’s been playing exclusively at first base for the Sounds this season, had a .216/.322/.353 line for Nashville when he was recalled by the A’s on Friday. Oakland acquired outfielder Ryan LaMarre from the Angels on Sunday and he should be joining the Sounds this week. The 28-year-old had a .268/.341/.375 line over his first 10 games for Triple-A Salt Lake this season. Meanwhile, on the mound, RHP Paul Blackburn has been the Sounds’ best starter so far this season, putting up a 2.12 ERA while striking out 17 in 17 innings over his first 3 starts, though he’s yet to earn his first win. RHP Cesar Valdez had been solid for Nashville before getting called up to make his first start for Oakland, posting a 2.70 ERA while walking none and striking out 12 in 10 innings over his first 2 starts for the Sounds. RHP Daniel Gossett has been inconsistent over his first 3 starts, compiling a 6.92 ERA while walking 7 and surrendering 15 hits over his first 13 innings. RHP Corey Walter gave up 3 runs, 2 earned, over 2 2/3 innings, though he struck out 6, in his only start for the Sounds before returning to the RockHounds. And A’s starter Sonny Gray is set to return to his hometown when he makes a minor league rehab start in Nashville on Thursday.

 

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

Texas League – Double-A

Midland endured a four-game losing streak last week before winning a pair of games this weekend. The RockHounds’ outfielders have continued to provide most of the offensive output for the team. Left fielder Brett Vertigan (.489 SLG), center fielder B.J. Boyd (.448 OBP), right fielder Tyler Marincov (.472 SLG) and outfielder J.P. Sportman (.308 AVG) have done most of the damage for the Hounds, though Sportman has been spending more time at second base of late. Meanwhile, Midland’s entire infield has been struggling. Third baseman Jordan Tarsovich (.225 SLG), shortstop Richie Martin (.214 AVG), second baseman Max Schrock (.288 SLG) and first baseman Viosergy Rosa (.258 OBP) have yet to be big contributors. RHP James Naile has been one of the RockHounds’ best starters, putting up a 2.30 ERA while striking out 16 over 15 2/3 innings. RHP Corey Walter had been dominant before his brief promotion to Nashville, posting an 0.82 ERA over his first 3 appearances for the Hounds. On the other end of the spectrum, LHP Kyle Twomey had a rough time in his RockHounds debut, allowing 7 runs in just 2 innings of relief to suffer the loss. Twomey was making his first official appearance in the A’s system since signing as a free agent after the Cubs released him towards the end of spring training. The A’s had originally made Twomey their 3rd-round pick in the 2012 amateur draft, but he never signed and instead chose to attend USC. He was then a 13th-round pick by the Cubs in 2015 before Chicago released him after two seasons in its minor league system. Another hurler having a rough time for the RockHounds is RHP Grant Holmes, who’s surrendered 12 runs in his first 13 1/3 frames, though he’s also managed to notch 17 strikeouts for Midland.

 

STOCKTON PORTS

California League – High-A

The big news at Stockton this week was Sonny Gray’s rehab start on Saturday night, which also happened to be Asparagus Night at the ballpark just to add to all the excitement! Over 5,000 fans turned out to watch Sonny pitch for the Ports, and they got to see the A’s ace allow just 1 hit while walking none and striking out 6 over 5 scoreless innings to earn the win for the home team. Unfortunately, the other big story out of Stockton this week was the news that one of the A’s top young pitching prospects, RHP Daulton Jefferies, would have to undergo Tommy John surgery. The A’s second-overall pick last year had allowed 2 earned runs and struck out 6 in 7 innings over his first 2 appearances for the Ports. The team’s other two top pitching prospects, RHP Logan Shore and LHP A.J. Puk, hit some speed bumps this week but have still fared fairly well in the early going. Shore surrendered 3 runs in the 1st inning at Modesto on Monday, but it should be noted that he was pitching in a steady rain and working off a muddy mound. He managed to settle in after the 1st though and didn’t allow another run over the rest of his 4-inning stint, and he then came back to allow just 1 run while striking out 5 over 4 innings in his next appearance on Friday. Puk was impressive in an appearance on Wednesday, allowing just 1 hit while striking out 7 over 4 scoreless frames, but he struggled a bit in Sunday’s game, surrendering 5 runs over 3 innings of work, though he still managed to strike out 7 in the loss. RHP Brett Graves has continued to impress, allowing just 1 run and 1 walk while striking out 15 over 14 1/3 frames. LHP Evan Manarino has also looked sharp, putting up a 1.93 ERA while walking 1 and striking out 13 over his first 14 innings of work. After being promoted to the Ports from Beloit, RHP Boomer Biegalski impressed in his first appearance for Stockton on Wednesday, throwing 4 perfect innings for the Ports, but he allowed 3 runs in just 2 1/3 innings in his next appearance on Sunday. Shortstop Eli White has been one of Stockton’s biggest hitting stars so far this season, and he’s put up a .313/.397/.438 slash line over his first 16 games for the Ports. Second baseman Branden Cogswell has been hitting well of late after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury. He went 9 for 20 with 5 walks and 6 RBIs over the past week and is currently sporting a .404 OBP on the season. Outfielder Skye Bolt returned from a stint on the disabled list due to a groin strain on Saturday and went 2 for 5 with 3 walks in his first 2 games back in action for the Ports. Unfortunately, first baseman Sandber Pimentel returned to the disabled list due to recurring back issues after going 0 for 6 with 4 strikeouts in just 2 games for Stockton.

 

BELOIT SNAPPERS

Midwest League – Class-A

Shortstop/third baseman Edwin Diaz (.525 SLG) and first baseman Miguel Mercedes (.452 SLG) have been two of the Snappers’ biggest sluggers so far this season. Both have bopped 4 home runs for Beloit, but they’ve both had some trouble getting on base as well. Diaz’s OBP currently stands at .297, while Mercedes has struck out 21 times in his first 73 at-bats and has yet to draw a walk this season. Center fielder JaVon Shelby has been coming on strong of late. He’s 5 for 11 over his last 3 games and has 3 home runs and a .455 SLG on the season. But it’s the Snappers pitching staff that has really been impressing lately. LHP Dalton Sawyer pitched 5 perfect innings on Sunday and has now put up a 1.08 ERA and struck out 20 in his first 16 2/3 innings, while RHP Brendan Butler has notched 21 strikeouts and walked just 3 over 16 innings of work while positing an ERA of 1.69. LHP Ty Damron has struck out 17 over 15 2/3 frames while compiling a 2.30 ERA, and RHP Mitchell Jordan has failed to allow a run over his first 5 innings since joining the Snappers. After striking out 10 over 4 scoreless frames on Monday, RHP Dakota Chalmers got off to a rough start on Friday, surrendering 2 runs on 4 walks, 4 wild pitches and 1 hit batter before being pulled with just one out in the 1st inning. He ended up suffering his 2nd loss for the Snappers. Beloit’s bullpen has been doing a bang-up job in the early going. RHP Xavier Altamirano has allowed just 4 hits and 2 earned runs over his first 11 2/3 frames, while LHP Andrew Tomasovich has struck out 12 without allowing a walk or a run in 8 innings of work, and LHP Will Gilbert has given up just 1 run over his first 5 appearances for the Snappers.

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