Month: June 2017

Friday, June 16th: Maxwell’s HR Helps Sounds Win while Martin Returns for RockHounds & Sawyer Impresses in Ports Debut

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Catcher Bruce Maxwell (1 for 3 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Catcher Bruce Maxwell (1 for 3 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Iowa Cubs               1

Nashville Sounds  7

WP – Kurcz 3-3 / 6.66

HR – Maxwell (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Catcher Bruce Maxwell

(1 for 3 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

The Sounds put six runs on the board in the first two innings on Friday to help them salvage a split in their four-game series with Iowa. Catcher Bruce Maxwell, appearing in just his second game since returning from the disabled list, slugged a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning, while right fielder Mark Canha singled in a pair of runs in the 1st, and second baseman Joey Wendle singled twice and scored a run for the Sounds. Scheduled starter Michael Brady was a last-minute scratch, so LHP Felix Doubront, who’s been working in short stints out of the bullpen while making his way back from Tommy John surgery, made the start and allowed 1 run over 2 2/3 innings before giving way to RHP Aaron Kurcz, who threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to earn his 3rd win. The Chronicle’s Susan Slusser later reported that Brady is set to replace RHP Zach Neal as the long man in the A’s bullpen on Saturday, with Neal heading back to Nashville. RHP Frankie Montas, who’s worked strictly out of the bullpen so far this season, will make his first start for the Sounds on Saturday, and RHP Dustin Hurlbutt will be called up from Stockton to take the mound in one of Sunday’s two scheduled contests for the Sounds. Meanwhile, third baseman Matt Chapman collected his first major league hit and drove in 3 runs, including the winning run, in his second major league game for the A’s on Friday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Thursday, June 15th: Sounds Fall Despite Blackburn’s Solid Start while Chapman, Puk & Sawyer Are All on the Move

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 2/3 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 3 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 2/3 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 3 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Iowa Cubs               4

Nashville Sounds  2

LP – Blackburn 4-6 / 2.86

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Paul Blackburn

(5 2/3 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 3 K)

On a night when all the A’s affliates went down to defeat, for a while, it looked like Sounds starter Paul Blackburn might lead Nashville to victory. The 23-year-old threw 5 scoreless frames before a throwing error by shortstop Franklin Barreto helped open the door to a 3-run inning in the 6th. And when all was said and done, Blackburn was charged with 3 unearned runs over 5 2/3 innings to suffer the loss for the Sounds. Despite the loss, Blackburn has allowed just 1 earned run over his last 18 2/3 innings for Nashville. Barreto had a pair of singles and, after enduring a 1-for-23 slump, Barreto has now gone 8 for 24 with 4 multi-hit games in his last 5 contests. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis doubled and walked in his Nashville debut. With the promotion of Matt Chapman, who went 0 for 3 with a pair of walks in his big league debut on Thursday night, Curtis was reassigned from the RockHounds to the Sounds on Thursday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Wednesday, June 14th: Walter Pitches Sounds to Victory while Puk K’s 11 in Ports Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Corey Walter (6 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Corey Walter (6 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Iowa Cubs               1

Nashville Sounds  6

WP – Walter 2-1 / 2.96

HR – Olson (16), Canha (6)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Corey Walter

(6 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

RHP Corey Walter turned in another outstanding start for the Sounds on Wednesday. 2014’s 28th-round draft pick for the A’s gave up just 1 run over 6 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Nashville, and the 24-year-old has now allowed 1 earned run or less in three of his last four starts for the Sounds. First baseman Matt Olson homered in his first game back in Nashville, while right fielder Mark Canha also slugged a solo shot for the Sounds. Left fielder Matt McBride singled, tripled and drove in 3 runs, and designated hitter Bruce Maxwell singled in his first at-bat since his return from the disabled list. Olson returned to Nashville when RHP Daniel Gossett from promoted to the A’s on Wednesday. Though nothing official has yet been announced, Susan Slusser reported in the Chronicle that third baseman Matt Chapman, who was not in the Sounds lineup on Wednesday, was set to join the A’s on Thursday. And it’s looking likely that RHP Frankie Montas, who’s appeared strictly out of the bullpen so far this season, will start one of the three games that Nashville is scheduled to play this weekend.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Getting to Know the A’s 2017 Top 11 Draft Picks

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A's #1 pick Austin Beck

A’s #1 pick Austin Beck

With the tenth round of the amateur draft having concluded at the end of the draft’s second day on Tuesday, it’s time to take a look at the A’s top eleven picks of the 2017 draft.

After another poor finish last season, Oakland again earned the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft. The A’s also had a pick in the first Competitive Balance round, which meant the team would pick eleven players in the first ten rounds of the draft.

After taking three position players with their top three picks on Monday, the A’s shifted their focus a bit to college pitchers on Tuesday. And, overall, the team ended up selecting eight college players with its top eleven picks.

We’ll be learning a lot more about all the A’s top picks in the coming days and can look forward to getting the chance to see much more of them at Vermont or Arizona, or possibly even Beloit, before the month is through. But let’s take a quick look at what we know about some of the team’s top new talent…

 

abAustin_Beck_t1u2zolz_rloc5a7f130#1 – 1st Round

Austin Beck

Outfielder

North Davidson HS, North Carolina

Age: 18 / Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 HS Stats: 28 G / 41 R / 12 HR / 38 RBI / .590 AVG / .700 OBP / 1.218 SLG

With their first pick in this year’s draft, and the sixth overall selection, the A’s took toolsy high school outfielder Austin Beck. The North Carolina native possesses a rare combination of power, speed and defense that made him a popular top ten pick on most draft boards. The 18-year-old impressed the A’s front office during a private workout at the Coliseum last week, and the team believes his speed could allow him to stick as a center fielder. He’s got a good enough arm to serve as a successful right fielder as well. But it’s his raw power potential that really intrigues most observers. Scouts believe Beck’s got a special bat. He underwent ACL surgery late in his junior year, which left him sidelined for most of the summer and fall of 2016, but he returned to action with a vengeance. Physically bigger and stronger than before, Beck wielded an almost unstoppable bat for his high school squad in 2017, batting .590 while belting 12 home runs and 11 doubles over 28 games for North Davidson.

 

kmdownload2#2 – 1st Round Supplemental

Kevin Merrell

Shortstop

South Florida

Age: 21 / Height: 6’1″ / Weight: 189 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 216 AB / 7 HR / 29 BB / 31 K / .384 AVG / .464 OBP / .569 SLG

With their second selection, and the 33rd overall pick, in the Competitive Balance Round A, the A’s took speedy shortstop Kevin Merrell out of the University of South Florida. The 21-year-old has a well-earned reputation as a solid contact hitter. His .384 batting average was best in the AAC this year, and he led his team in batting average in each of his three seasons with South Florida. But his bat isn’t all he has to offer. Many felt that Merrell might possibly be the fastest player in the draft, and he swiped 56 bases in 67 attempts over his three years at USF. He primarily played shortstop this year, but mainly played second base the previous season. And with his undeniable speed, many feel that Merrell may eventually end up in center field.

 

gdOYKFWSKEPIIKZWI.20161127154043c#3 – 2nd Round

Greg Deichmann

Outfielder

LSU

Age: 22 / Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 209 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 241 AB / 19 HR / 48 BB / 53 K / .320 AVG / .429 OBP / .606 SLG

With their third selection, and the 43rd overall pick, in the 2nd round, the A’s took slugging outfielder Greg Deichmann out of LSU. Profiling as a bit of a Matt Olson type, the left-handed power hitter was LSU’s home run, RBI and walk leader this season. The Louisiana native played first base earlier in his college career, but his strong arm has made him an effective right fielder. And his power and plate discipline continue to improve. In his sophomore year, he hit .288 with 11 home runs and 19 walks, while in his junior season, he hit .320 with 19 home runs and 48 walks in almost the same number of at-bats. With his mature frame and advanced approach, as long as he lives up to expectations, the 22-year-old Deichmann could be a fast-mover through the system.

 

0nadownload#4 – 3rd Round

Nick Allen

Shortstop

Francis Parker HS, California

Age: 18 / Height: 5’9″ / Weight: 160 lbs.

Bats: Both / Throws: Right

2017 HS Stats: 91 AB / 2 HR / 17 BB / 4 K / .297 AVG / .434 OBP / .494 SLG

Allen is a bit reminiscent of another A’s middle-infield prospect, shortstop Richie Martin, who was the team’s top pick in 2015. Like Martin, Allen’s biggest tools are his speed and his defense. And also like Martin, he hasn’t shown a lot of pop. The key for both players will be how the bat develops. They both undoubtedly possess the defensive skills to stick at shortstop in the major leagues. But, unlike Martin, the 18-year-old Allen was drafted straight out of school and has a lot more development ahead of him. In addition to having good range and a strong arm, the San Diego native is also said to have good baseball instincts and an excellent attitude.

 

0wtmaxresdefault2#5 – 4th Round

Will Toffey

Third Baseman

Vanderbilt

Age: 22 / Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 206 AB / 12 HR / 48 BB / 30 K / .354 AVG / .475 OBP / .602 SLG

Though he doesn’t seem to possess a lot of raw tools, Toffey is a guy who seems to get the job done on the field. He was Vanderbilt’s best hitter this year, leading the team with a .354 batting average and a .602 slugging percentage, while also leading the SEC in walks. The 22-year-old managed to compile his biggest home run total this year while also posting his lowest strikeout rate. Despite Toffey’s collegiate success, some question whether his bat will really play at the major league level. But there’s no doubt that he’s able to provide solid defense and a strong throwing arm at the hot corner, and he also seems to possess a real passion for the game.

 

0ss4403-6-White-19#6 – 5th Round

Santis Sanchez

Catcher

International Baseball Academy HS, Puerto Rico

Age: 18 / Height: 6’0″ / Weight: 196 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 HS Stats: Unavailable

Sanchez is a big-bodied backstop with a strong throwing arm. Evaluators have not only been impressed by the strength of his arm but also its accuracy. The 18-year-old has flashed a pretty solid set of skills as a receiver despite his age. He also has the ability to hit the ball hard all over the field. There’s bound to be a bit of a long development process for any teenage catcher, but his strong throwing arm and ability to hit the ball with authority makes Sanchez a potentially worthwhile long-term investment.

 

0lshttp-static.silverchalice#7 – 6th Round

Logan Salow

Left-Handed Pitcher

Kentucky

Age: 22 / Height: 6’0” / Weight: 185 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Left

2017 College Stats: 55 1/3 IP / 37 H / 12 ER / 17 BB / 73 K / 1.95 ERA / 0.98 WHIP

After battling control issues over his first three college seasons, Salow put it all together this year to emerge as one of the top relievers in the SEC, compiling 12 saves and a 1.95 ERA while serving as Kentucky’s closer. The 22-year-old’s best pitch is a slider that’s effective against both righties and lefties, but he also possesses a low-90s fastball as well as a serviceable changeup. And with three pitches in his arsenal, there’s been talk that the A’s might consider giving Salow a shot as a starter.

 

0pdmaxresdefault2#8 – 7th Round

Parker Dunshee

Right-Handed Pitcher

Wake Forest

Age: 22 / Height: 6’1” / Weight: 210 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 103 2/3 IP / 98 H / 45 ER / 30 BB / 111 K / 3.91 ERA / 1.23 WHIP

Dunshee was Wake Forest’s Friday night starter in both his junior and senior seasons. The 22-year-old led the team in wins and strikeouts in each of his last two seasons while averaging just a little more than 9 strikeouts per 9 innings in both campaigns. Dunshee struck out 10 or more batters three times in his junior season and was drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round last year but elected to return for his senior season at Wake Forest.

 

0bhHoward Leb#9 – 8th Round

Brian Howard

Right-Handed Pitcher

TCU

Age: 22 / Height: 6’9” / Weight: 210 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 98 IP / 81 H / 43 ER / 35 BB / 101 K / 3.95 ERA / 1.18 WHIP

The most important thing to know about Howard is that, yes, he really is 6’9″ – talk about a downward plane! Like Dunshee, Howard led his squad in both wins and strikeouts in each of the last two years. He’s also averaged just a little over 9 strikeouts per 9 innings this season. The St. Louis native worked primarily out of the bullpen during his freshman and sophomore seasons but has really succeeded since taking on a starting role.

 

0jpDOJEFETDOSLLZDR.20161127154043c#10 – 9th Round

Jared Poche

Left-Handed Pitcher

LSU

Age: 22 / Height: 6’1” / Weight: 204 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Left

2017 College Stats: 97 1/3 IP / 83 H / 37 ER / 36 BB / 67 K / 3.42 ERA / 1.22 WHIP

Poche was the second selection for the A’s out of LSU this year after taking outfielder Greg Deichmann in the 2nd round. Baseball America named the Louisiana native a second-team All-American in his freshman year and he led his team with 10 wins in his senior season. The 22-year-old throws a lot of strikes with a fastball that sits 90-91 mph and a solid curveball. San Diego took him in the 14th round last year, but he decided to return to LSU for his senior season.

 

0jmVTAYKGEHSXHHGBB.20150925181706#11 – 10th Round

Jack Meggs

Outfielder

Washington

Age: 22 / Height: 6’1″ / Weight: 180 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Left

2017 College Stats: 200 AB / 3 HR / 23 BB / 38 K / .265 AVG / .355 OBP / .395 SLG

The son of Washington coach Lindsay Meggs, Jack grew up around the game. During his junior season, he was named to the All-Pac-12 team and the Pac-12 All-Defensive team. He profiles as more of a defense-first outfielder with some on-base ability but not a lot of pop.

 

UPDATE: The A’s made their 11th-40th round picks on the third and final day of the draft on Wednesday. Here is the complete list of the team’s day three picks…

11th SS Ryan Gridley (Mississippi St), 12th 1B Aaron Arruda (Fresno St), 13th RHP Wyatt Marks (Louisiana Lafayette), 14th OF Garrett Mitchell (Orange Lutheran HS-CA), 15th LHP Josh Reagan (South Carolina), 16th OF Payton Squier (UNLV), 17th RHP Josh Falk (Pittsburgh), 18th OF Raymond McDonald (Illinois-Chicago), 19th RHP Michael Danielak (Dartmouth), 20th RHP Osvaldo Berrios (PR Baseball Academy HS-PR)

21st RHP Heath Donica (Sam Houston), 22nd RHP Bryce Conley (Georgia St), 23rd RHP Malik Jones (Missouri Baptist), 24th RHP Slater Lee (Cal Poly SLO), 25th 1B Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech), 26th C Nate Webb (Martin Luther King HS-CA), 27th OF Ben Spitznagel (UNC Greensboro), 28th LHP Pat Krall (Clemson), 29th RHP Adam Reuss (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), 30th LHP Cody Puckett (Middle Tennessee)

31st RHP Brandon Withers (James Madison), 32nd RHP Caleb Evans (Liberty), 33rd 2B Jake Lumley (Canisius), 34th 2B Justin Jones (UNLV), 35th C Cooper Golby (Lewis-Clark), 36th OF Logan Farrar (VCU), 37th 3B Raymond Gill (Gulliver Prep HS-FL), 38th 2B Wil Hoyle (Charles Jordan HS-NC), 39th LHP Haydn King (Archbishop Mitty HS-CA), 40th SS Jacob Hoffman (Stanford)

*          *          *

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.

Tuesday, June 13th: Fillmyer’s 6 Shutout Frames Lead Hounds to Victory while Ports Win in Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Heath Fillmyer (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Heath Fillmyer (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

GAME #1

Frisco RoughRiders       2

Midland RockHounds  6

WP – Fillmyer 3-2 / 3.79

HR – Wilson (1), Tarsovich (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Heath Fillmyer

(6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / Win)

RHP Heath Fillmyer turned in an outstanding start to help the RockHounds win the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader in Midland. The 23-year-old allowed just 3 hits while striking out 9 over 6 shutout innings to earn his 3rd win for the Hounds. Center fielder Kenny Wilson singled in a run and slugged a solo shot in the 6th, while third baseman Jordan Tarsovich belted a 2-run blast in the 6th, and second baseman J.P. Sportman had 3 hits and drove in a run for the RockHounds.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

A’s Take Trio of Position Players on First Day of Draft

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A's top pick Austin Beck

A’s top pick Austin Beck

After taking a trio of top pitchers with their first three picks in last year’s amateur draft, the A’s started off by selecting three position players in this year’s draft. And on Monday, the A’s made a high school player their top pick for the first time since they took prep outfielder Billy McKinney with their first pick in 2013.

With their first pick in this year’s draft, and the sixth overall selection, the A’s took toolsy high school outfielder Austin Beck. The North Carolina native possesses a rare combination of power, speed and defense that made him a popular top ten pick on most draft boards.

The 18-year-old impressed the A’s front office during a private workout at the Coliseum last week, and the team believes his speed could allow him to stick as a center fielder. He’s got a good enough arm to serve as a successful right fielder as well. But it’s his raw power potential that really intrigues most observers. Scouts believe Beck’s got a special bat.

He underwent ACL surgery late in his junior year, which left him sidelined for most of the summer and fall of 2016, but he returned to action with a vengeance. Physically bigger and stronger than before, Beck wielded an almost unstoppable bat for his high school squad in 2017, batting .590 while belting 12 home runs and 11 doubles over 28 games for North Davidson.

With their second selection, and the 33rd overall pick, in the Competitive Balance Round A, the A’s took speedy shortstop Kevin Merrell out of the University of South Florida. The 21-year-old has a well-earned reputation as a solid contact hitter. His .384 batting average was best in the AAC this year, and he led his team in batting average in each of his three seasons with South Florida.

His bat isn’t all he has to offer though. Many felt that Merrell might possibly be the fastest player in the draft, and he swiped 56 bases in 67 attempts over his three years at USF. He primarily played shortstop this year, but mainly played second base the previous season. And with his undeniable speed, many feel that Merrell may eventually end up in center field.

And finally, with their third selection, and the 43rd overall pick, in the 2nd round, the A’s took slugging outfielder Greg Deichmann out of LSU. Profiling as a bit of a Matt Olson type, the left-handed power hitter was LSU’s home run, RBI and walk leader this season. The Louisiana native played first base earlier in his college career, but his strong arm has made him an effective right fielder.

Deichmann’s power and plate discipline have continued to improve. In his sophomore year, he hit .288 with 11 home runs and 19 walks, while in his junior season, he hit .320 with 19 home runs and 48 walks in almost the same number of at-bats. With his mature frame and advanced approach, as long as he lives up to expectations, the 22-year-old could be a fast-mover through the A’s system.

 

abAustin_Beck_t1u2zolz_rloc5a7f130#1 – 1st Round

Austin Beck

Outfielder

North Davidson HS, North Carolina

Age: 18 / Height: 6’1″ / Weight: 200 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 HS Stats: 28 G / 41 R / 12 HR / 38 RBI / .590 AVG / .700 OBP / 1.218 SLG

 

kmdownload2#2 – 1st Round Supplemental

Kevin Merrell

Shortstop

South Florida

Age: 21 / Height: 6’1″ / Weight: 189 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 216 AB / 7 HR / 29 BB / 31 K / .384 AVG / .464 OBP / .569 SLG

 

gdOYKFWSKEPIIKZWI.20161127154043c#3 – 2nd Round

Greg Deichmann

Outfielder

LSU

Age: 22 / Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 209 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 241 AB / 19 HR / 48 BB / 53 K / .320 AVG / .429 OBP / .606 SLG

 

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.

Monday, June 12th: Hurlbutt Pitches Ports to Victory while Erwin Leads Snappers to Shutout Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt (6 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 11 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt (6 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 11 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide   1

Stockton Ports   8

WP – Hurlbutt 2-2 / 3.65

HR – Brown (11)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt

(6 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 11 K / Win)

RHP Dustin Hurlbutt delivered one of his best starts of the season for Stockton, allowing 1 run on just 2 hits while walking none and striking out a career-high 11 in 6 innings of work to post his 2nd win for the Ports. And in his last 2 starts for Stockton, the 24-year-old has given up a total of 2 runs on just 4 hits while walking none and striking out 19 over 13 frames. RHP Boomer Biegalski pitched 3 perfect innings in relief to pick up his 2nd save for the Ports. Right fielder Seth Brown had a big night at the plate, collecting 3 hits, including a home run and a double, and driving in 3 runs, while left fielder James Harris and first baseman Sandber Pimentel both doubled in runs to help Stockton win its second straight on Monday.

Click here for more on Midland & Beloit…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Quad Cities (6/9-12)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers took just one of four games from the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Astros’ Midwest league affiliate, at Pohlman Field in Beloit this week.

The River Bandits are far and away the best power-hitting team in the Midwest League this season, with a league-best 64 home runs entering the series. One of the biggest sluggers for the Bandits has been 19-year-old first baseman/outfielder Yordan Alvarez, who’s hitting .397 with 5 home runs in just 22 games in the Midwest League.

The Bandits currently have two of the Astros’ top 10 prospects according to MLB Pipeline – outfielder Daz Cameron (son of former major league outfielder Mike Cameron) and RHP Forrest Whitley. Both players definitely impressed in this series, making life hard for the Snappers.

 

Game #1:  Quad Cities 8 – Beloit 3

Luke Persico

Luke Persico

*Beloit got off to a hot start in the game, with center fielder Luis Barrera smacking a 2-0 pitch off the center field wall for a leadoff triple.

*The next batter, first baseman Luke Persico, who last year’s 12th-round pick for the A’s, promptly singled home Barrera to put Beloit on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning. It was one of 3 hits on the night for Persico, who has been in a bit of a slump during the month of June.

*Persico got his sixth start of the season at first base in this game. Usually a corner outfielder, having the ability to also play first base should provide Persico with valuable versatility going forward.

*RHP Matt Milburn pitched 2 perfect innings to start, striking out 4. The A’s 29th-round pick in 2016 was displaying a superb cutter early on, but River Bandits batters were finally able to catch on and ended up tagging Milburn for 4 earned runs in 6 innings of work.

 

Game #2:  Quad Cities 13 – Beloit 5

Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz

*Shortstop Edwin Diaz slugged his 7th home run of the season for the Snappers. It was a 3-run blast over the center field wall in the bottom of the 1st inning to give Beloit an early lead.

*Two pitchers made their U.S. baseball debuts for the Snappers. RHP Abdiel Mendoza, an 18-year-old from Panama, started the game and finished with a line of 2 ⅓ IP/3 H/4 ER/3 BB/2 K. LHP Jhenderson Hurtado replaced Mendoza, and the 21-year-old Venezuelan had a line of 2 ⅔ IP/4 H/2 ER/2 BB/2 K. Both pitchers struggled with their command, which is understandable considering they only arrived in Beloit about four hours before the first pitch.

*Speaking of time, this 9-inning game labored along at a turtle’s pace – or a Snapper’s pace, if you will! The game clocked in at 3 hours and 35 minutes.

*Believe it or not, both teams actually had a pitcher named “Abdiel” from Panama in this game. While a unique name in the United States, it must be a much more common handle in Panama!

*Snappers first baseman Kyle Nowlin made his third pitching appearance of the season in the game, getting two outs on just four pitches. With the scoreless outing, last year’s 21st-round pick for the A’s was the only Beloit pitcher among five not to give up a run in the game.

 

Game #3:  Quad Cities 4 – Beloit 0

Mitchell Jordan

Mitchell Jordan

*The Houston Astros’ #5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, RHP Forrest Whitley, made things difficult for the Snappers in this game by tossing 4 ⅔ hitless innings. The 6’7” right-hander overpowered Snappers hitters all day long. The 19-year-old struck out 7, but did walk 4, which led to him being pulled just one out short of qualifying for the win.

*Beloit batters managed just 2 singles in the game. On the bright side, the Snappers weren’t lacking in base runners since they did draw 7 walks off Quad Cities pitchers.

*Catcher Collin Theroux, the A’s 32nd-round pick in 2016, was back starting again after getting three games off to recover from a nagging injury. It was a rough return for Theroux as he struck out in all four of his at-bats, thus earning himself the “Golden Sombrero.”

*The A’s 10th-round pick in 2016, RHP Mitchell Jordan, was able to get through 6 innings allowing just 3 runs, and that is good enough to be considered a “quality start.”

*First Baseman Miguel Mercedes was called out on a rare batter interference call. Nate Mondou, who was on first base, took off trying to steal second. Mercedes took a called ball but got in the way of Bandits catcher Gabriel Bracamonte, who trying to gun down Mondou at second. In the box score, it’s shown as Mercedes being out 3 unassisted (3U). Oh, the things you learn as an official scorer.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 1 – Quad Cities 0

Xavier Altamirano

Xavier Altamirano

*LHP Zack Erwin mowed down the mighty River Bandits lineup, throwing 5 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball and striking out 7 to earn the win. While Erwin has just 15 ⅔ innings under his belt this season, he has looked strong since returning from the disabled list. And if he can keep it up, hopefully he can make his way back up the minor league ladder after stumbling in Stockton last season.

*RHP Xavier Altamirano pitched 4 scoreless innings in relief, allowing just 1 hit, to earn his 2nd save for the Snappers. Flying a bit under the radar this season, Altamirano has been tremendous out of the Beloit bullpen. He owns a sparkling 1.88 ERA and currently has a 23 ⅓ scoreless-innings streak.

*Third baseman Trace Loehr walked 3 times in the game. He had taken a total of just 10 walks in his previous 48 games.

*The only run of the game scored on a double play. So, there were no RBIs recorded for either team, which is a fairly rare feat.

 

Former Snappers Notes:

I want to be sure to give a shout out to RHP Brendan Butler and LHP Dalton Sawyer for their well-deserved promotions to the High-A Stockton Ports. Butler compiled a 2.32 ERA in 54 1/3 innings for Beloit. Sawyer put up a 2.25 ERA in 56 innings for the Snappers, while also recently making an emergency spot start for Nashville. Both pitchers seem to have very bright futures ahead of them, and hopefully we’ll have the chance to see both of the former Snappers pitching for the A’s before long!

 

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A’s Prospect of the Series:

LHP Zack Erwin

(5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 7 K)

 

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A’s Farm Report: Pitching Prospects Update – Puk, Gossett, Blackburn, Holmes & More

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

This week, we wanted to take a look at the pitchers currently appearing in all the A’s affiliates’ starting rotations. From A.J. Puk to Grant Holmes, from Daniel Gossett to Paul Blackburn, there are plenty of promising pitching prospects currently making their presence felt on the mound.

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

 

NASHVILLE SOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Paul Blackburn, RHP Chris Smith, RHP Corey Walter, RHP Michael Brady, RHP Daniel Gossett (recently replaced by LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Daniel Gossett

Daniel Gossett

As most A’s fans know, RHP Daniel Gossett was scratched from his scheduled start for the Sounds on Saturday so that he could be available to make his major league debut for the A’s this week, filling in for injured RHP Andrew Triggs. Gossett’s season got off to a bumpy start. The A’s 2nd-round pick in 2014 posted an unsightly 6.27 ERA in 4 April starts, but put up a much more impressive 1.54 ERA over 6 starts in May. Overall, the 24-year-old has struck out 54 while walking just 19 with a 3.41 ERA over 60 2/3 innings for the Sounds. As solid as Gossett has been, RHP Paul Blackburn has possibly been even more effective. His season has been almost the opposite of Gossett’s. The Cubs’ 1st-round supplemental pick in 2012 was almost unhittable in April, with a 1.64 ERA, but he took a bit of a dip in May, compiling an ERA of 5.12. In his 2 starts in June though, the 23-year-old has allowed just 1 run and 5 hits over 13 innings of work. He’s also on the A’s 40-man roster, so a call-up at some point this season would be easy. But 36-year-old veteran RHP Chris Smith has probably been the Sounds’ best starter on the whole. He’s posted a 2.96 ERA over 51 2/3 frames, threw 6 no-hit innings in his last start, and is currently riding a 12-inning scoreless streak. RHP Michael Brady was a free agent signee in the offseason. He started out the year in the bullpen, but he’s been working out of the rotation recently and has now made 6 starts for the Sounds. The 30-year-old has compiled a respectable 3.67 ERA, but what’s most notable about him is the fact that he’s walked just 6 while striking out 42 over 41 2/3 innings for Nashville. RHP Corey Walter is a fairly recent arrival in the Sounds starting rotation, arriving from the RockHounds at the end of May. The 24-year-old was, by far and away, Midland’s best starter, putting up a 2.44 ERA for the Hounds, and he’s posted a solid 3.38 ERA over 4 starts for Nashville. The newest addition to the Sounds rotation is LHP Dalton Sawyer, who was called up from Beloit to fill in for Gossett on Saturday. The 23-year-old was the Snappers’ best pitcher, striking out 64 over 56 innings while compiling an impressive 2.25 ERA for Beloit. And last year’s 9th-round draft pick for the A’s turned in a quality start for the Sounds on Saturday, allowing 3 runs over 6 innings of work. But it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to stick around Nashville while Gossett is away. After his recent stint with the A’s, RHP Daniel Mengden was set to rejoin the Sounds starting rotation until he was sidelined by a lat strain, and he’s now doing time on the disabled list, as is RHP Raul Alcantara, and rehabbing RHP Chris Bassitt has been sidelined for the time being after experiencing some discomfort in his return from Tommy John surgery.

 

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Grant Holmes, RHP Heath Fillmyer, RHP Brett Graves, LHP Evan Manarino, RHP Joel Seddon

Grant Holmes

Grant Holmes

Former 1st-round draft pick for the Dodgers, RHP Grant Holmes, was having a mostly disappointing season for the RockHounds until fairly recently. He had a 6.27 ERA in April and 5.52 ERA in month of May, but since the calendar turned to June, it’s been an entirely different story. The 21-year-old has struck out 17 while walking just 1 over his last 14 frames, threw 8 shutout innings in his last start and didn’t allow a hit until the 7th inning in that game. Overall, Holmes has notched 69 strikeouts over 62 innings for the Hounds this season. 23-year-old RHP Heath Fillmyer, who impressed while splitting time between Stockton and Midland last year, has been mostly mediocre for Midland so far this season, compiling a 4.22 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP over 13 starts for the RockHounds. RHP Brett Graves and LHP Evan Manarino were two of Stockton’s best starters in the early going. Graves was the first to earn his promotion to Double-A by putting up a 2.55 ERA and striking out 29 in 24 2/3 innings for the Ports, while Manarino posted a 3.21 ERA and walked just 3 batters over 47 2/3 frames for Stockton. Things have been a little tougher in the Texas League for both of them though. Graves has compiled a 5.97 ERA over his first 7 appearances, while Manarino has a 6.75 ERA after his first 3 starts for Midland. RHP Joel Seddon has recently stepped into the RockHounds rotation. The 24-year-old made 26 starts for Midland last year but started out this season in the bullpen, and he’s now made a pair of starts for the Hounds. In his last appearance on Friday, Seddon allowed just 1 run over 7 innings of work for Midland. There was room for Seddon in the RockHounds rotation with RHP Corey Walter, who had been the Hounds’ best starter, being promoted to Nashville, RHP James Naile sidelined since mid-May with an abdominal/oblique strain, and RHP Ben Bracewell‘s recent banishment to the bullpen.

 

STOCKTON PORTS

Current Starting Rotation: LHP A.J. Puk, RHP Casey Meisner, RHP Dustin Hurlbutt, RHP Angel Duno, RHP Brendan Butler

Logan Shore

Logan Shore

Stockton’s starting rotation originally consisted of the A’s top three draft picks from last year’s draft – LHP A.J. Puk and RHPs Logan Shore and Daulton Jefferies – but currently, Puk’s the only one still pitching. Last year’s top pick for the A’s has looked dominant at times, though he has been a bit inconsistent, as might be expected at this stage of the game. The 22-year-old has twice allowed just 1 hit over 5 shutout innings and has had outings where he’s notched as many as 12 strikeouts. Overall, he’s compiled an ERA of 3.98 while striking out 87 and walking 22 over 54 1/3 frames for the Ports. Shore was looking good until he was sidelined with a lat strain in mid-May. When the 22-year-old landed on the disabled list, he’d compiled a 3.12 ERA while striking out 32 and walking just 6 over 34 2/3 innings for Stockton. Unfortunately, Jefferies only had the chance to throw 7 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery. RHP Casey Meisner, who struggled mightily for Stockton last season, has been showing signs of turning things around a bit lately. Though he has an ERA of 4.68 for the season, he’s also struck out 67 while walking just 19 over 59 2/3 frames, and he just threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in his last start on Sunday. RHP Dustin Hurlbutt put up a 2.84 ERA in April, then posted a 5.32 ERA in May, and now has a 2.77 ERA in 2 starts in June. But his peripherals have consistently looked pretty good, and he’s struck out 58 and walked just 16 over 55 2/3 frames for the Ports. RHP Angel Duno has a 1:4 BB:K ratio but a 5.46 ERA for the season. The 23-year-old Venezuelan has been hurt by the long ball, surrendering 10 home runs over 61 innings of work. RHP Brendan Butler is the newest addition to Stockton’s starting rotation. The 24-year-old was one of Beloit’s best starters, compiling a 2.32 ERA for the Snappers, and he threw 5 scoreless innings in his first start for Stockton. He seems to have taken the place of RHP Boomer Biegalski in the Ports rotation, though it’s not clear if Biegalski may end up serving in something of a tandem situation with Butler. Biegalski has been a big victim of the long ball since his arrival from Beloit, surrendering 10 home runs in just 37 innings, leading to a bloated 5.84 ERA. LHP Evan Manarino and RHP Brett Graves had been two of Stockton’s best starters, but both have been promoted to Double-A Midland.

 

BELOIT SNAPPERS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Brandon Bailey, RHP Matt Milburn, LHP Zack Erwin, RHP Mitchell Jordan & RHP Jesus Zambrano (tandem), RHP Abdiel Mendoza (recently replaced LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

The Snappers starting rotation had been surprisingly effective this season, but the recent promotions of two of Beloit’s best starters – LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler – could change things a bit. The top remaining starter in the Snappers rotation is RHP Brandon Bailey. Last year’s 6th-round draft pick for the A’s has put up a 2.51 ERA while striking out 52 and walking just 13 over 43 innings of work. Meanwhile, RHP Matt Milburn has mostly struggled, posting a 5.60 ERA over 13 appearances for the Snappers. LHP Zack Erwin, whom the A’s acquired from the White Sox in the Brett Lawrie deal, recently returned to the rotation after starting the season on the disabled list, and the 23-year-old has pitched well, compiling a 1.69 ERA over his first 3 appearances. Last year’s 10th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Mitchell Jordan, and 20-year-old Venezuelan RHP Jesus Zambrano represent the sole remaining starting-pitching tandem in the A’s system, and both are sporting ERAs over 5.00 at this point in the season. With Sawyer’s promotion to Nashville, 18-year-old Panamanian RHP Abdiel Mendoza was called upon to take his spot in the rotation. The youngster surrendered 4 runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first appearance, but it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to occupy the fifth spot in the Snappers starting rotation. RHP Dakota Chalmers, the A’s 3rd-round draft pick in 2015, was reassigned to the Vermont roster after struggling with his control. The 20-year-old walked 29 in 29 innings while also striking out 47. He’s set to get a restart when the Lake Monsters start their season next week. RHP Michael Murray had been pitching well for Beloit before landing on the disabled list in mid-May, putting up a 2.54 ERA over his first 8 appearances. LHP Ty Damron had also been playing a part in the Snappers tandem rotation but, although he hasn’t been placed on the disabled list, he hasn’t appeared in a game in the last two weeks.

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Sunday, June 11th: Meisner Pitches Ports to Victory while Chapman & Nunez Both Homer in Sounds Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Casey Meisner (6 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports RHP Casey Meisner (6 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  3

Modesto Nuts     2

WP – Meisner 4-5 / 4.68

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Casey Meisner

(6 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / Win)

RHP Casey Meisner turned in his best start of the season for Stockton on Sunday. The former 3rd-round draft pick for the Mets struck out 6 over 6 2/3 shutout innings to earn his 4th win, and the 22-year-old has now notched 21 strikeouts over his last 17 frames for Stockton. RHP Nolan Blackwood picked up his 7th save despite surrendering a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief for the Ports. First baseman Sandber Pimentel singled, doubled and drove in a run in his first appearance since returning from the disabled list, and left fielder James Harris walked and singled in a run for Stockton.

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