Down on the Farm with Beloit Snappers Pitcher Brandon Bailey

bb669064Brandon Bailey grew up in Colorado and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he struck out 125 batters in 100 1/3 innings while posting a 2.42 ERA in his final season for the Bulldogs.

After the right-hander was selected by the A’s in the 6th round of last year’s amateur draft, he spent most of the season playing for Vermont, the A’s Class-A affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he put up a solid 3.08 ERA in 10 appearances. But Bailey has been even more impressive for Beloit this season, posting a 2.37 ERA while notching 46 strikeouts over 38 innings of work for the Snappers.

Last summer, we shared a few of Bailey’s blog posts about some of his experiences in the A’s minor league system in the weeks and months after the draft, which you can check out here. And now we’re happy to hear from Brandon again this year about his first couple of months in Beloit. You can check out his personal blog here and you can follow him on Twitter @BBailey_19

 

Well, it’s been exactly 278 days, 23 hours and 50 minutes since I last decided to type random thoughts into a text box, but for some reason, I decided tonight would be a good time to give writing another shot.

Before I commence, I want to apologize for all of the typos, bad grammar, and misspelled words on this post as well as my posts from a year ago. I have no editor and a person can only read their own words so many times…

Quite a bit has happened over the past 278 days and I am debating where a solid starting point would be for this blog post. There have been some life-changing experiences, a few exciting events, and a fair share of occurrences which were monotonous. Nevertheless, my mind has steered me in the direction towards typing out and documenting some of these happenings. So, for those of you who actually decided that this blog post was worth a skim, hopefully I don’t completely bore you.

I’ll start with the here and now.

The town: Beloit, Wisconsin (No, that is not a typo).

The time: (12:01a.m. Central)

The team: The Beloit Snappers, Single-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s in the Midwest League.

For those of you who (like me) have never heard of Beloit, Wisconsin, it is right on the Illinois/Wisconsin border and is fittingly titled “The Gateway to Wisconsin”. An average-sized town most known for being the home of Hormel chili, Beloit is where I currently reside (I refuse to call it home…cough West Coast, Best Coast cough). I moved here in early April after being assigned to the Snappers roster following the conclusion of Spring Training 2017. While Pohlman Field isn’t the most elegant ball park in the minor leagues and the Snapper fan base is equal to one of a talented little league squad, my teammates have made the professional baseball setting extremely memorable and fun!

Like all minor league baseball organizations, the Snappers let new players decide on their housing arrangements. While some of my teammates live in apartments in Janesville, I decided to live with a host family, along with a few of my fellow teammates. During the host family settlements, I was lucky enough to be paired with a great host named Dennis Conerton, who happens to be the team president and has been involved with the Snappers front office operations for quite some time now. Dalton Sawyer, Heath Bowers and Sam Sheehan are my housemates. All three are talented pitchers within the A’s farm system and have become some of my closer friends on the squad. It should also be noted that Andrew “Tomo” Tomasovich was one of my housemates as well before he got promoted to the High-A affiliate of the A’s in Stockton, California (Go Ports).

(Photo: Dave Baker)

(Photo: Dave Baker)

Now for the interesting stuff… BASEBALL standings/results. Yesterday, the Snappers split a doubleheader with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, keeping our team in 3rd place of the Midwest League Western Division standings. We are only 3.5 games back of first with exactly 13 games left to play before the All-Star break. For those of you who are unfamiliar with minor league baseball, playoff berths can be granted in a few different ways, but since I don’t feel like going into detail, I’ll keep it simple…if you finish in first OR second place during the first half of the season OR the second half of the season, you are awarded a playoff berth. So, hypothetically, a team could finish in first place of their division during the first half of the season, lose every game in the second half of the season, and still participate in playoff action come early September. All I have to say is…Don’t let the Snappers get hot…Vamos Tortugas!

Now that you are up to date on sports, I will tap into other things in my life that don’t have a direct correlation to baseball (everything in my life has some relation one way or another).

It gives me great pleasure to announce that my younger sister Bri has not only:

  1. Graduated from Broomfield High School
  2. Spoke at her graduation
  3. Received numerous academic scholarships
  4. Was senior class president
  5. Senior homecoming royalty
  6. And was selected to speak at a Native American conference in Seattle in mid-April

But she will be attending Gonzaga University starting in the fall of 2017! I am one proud older brother and I can not wait to get back to Spokane this fall and go to the same school with my little sister for the first time ever! (It should be noted that I left out many of Bri’s amazing and outstanding accomplishments. If I were to name all of them it would take me at least 20 minutes of typing which equals at least one hand cramp.)

Another awesome thing that has happened over the past 10 months is that I moved on from a negative/toxic relationship and have been blessed with the most amazing, fun, beautiful (I could go on for a while, but again, hand cramp) girl any guy could ever ask for. She has brought out the best in me athletically, academically and spiritually, but I think the most amazing thing she has done is love me for me regardless of my past flaws, and for that, I am forever grateful, Heather.

In other news, I have taken an interest in reading, Amazon Prime, and MLB: The Show 2017. In the past 2 weeks, I have read 3 books which makes me feel accomplished considering I do not stimulate my brain very often now that I’ve been out of school for 6 months. However, reading has filled this void and I enjoy learning new things about topics I actually care about (No offense Philosophy 301: Ethics). The books I have completed are:

  1. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by The Creator of NIKE, Phil Knight
  2. Off The Field: Carving Your Own Path to Find Your Best Self, by China McCarney
  3. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness & Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero.

I had a different motive when reading each of these books. With Shoe Dog, I wanted to learn more about the history of NIKE in order to better understand company culture. It’s my dream to one day work for this athletic-based company after I call it a career from baseball, but until then, I will settle for individualized research. The second book, Off The Field, was brought to my attention through Instagram and Kyle Boddy, founder and CEO of Driveline Baseball. This book’s target audience is anyone struggling to find their true passion. McCarney suggests breaking down each day and focusing on winning all of the individual battles that humans are confronted with on a regular basis, lifting one’s self-efficacy which, in turn, clears our perspective, allowing us to discover what we truly want to accomplish in life. Finally, You Are a Badass speaks for itself. By incorporating a consistent, positive mindset, I hope to discover that I am indeed a “badass.”

Now that I’ve spent that past hour trying to spill out my thoughts onto this computer screen, I will return to my fourth book that I hope to complete, Chase The Lion: If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It’s Too Small, by Mark Batterson. 

Again, self-explanatory.

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