Preview: Shore, Murphy, Neuse, Ramirez Set to Lead A’s AFL Squad

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

00aflafl_striahgt_logo_4vdwdld9_cg5m3bavWhile most baseball fans are focused on the drama of postseason play in the fall, it’s also an important time for some of the minor leagues’ top prospects. And starting on Tuesday, some of the A’s most promising young prospects will begin play in the Arizona Fall League.

2017 marks the 26th season of the Arizona Fall League. Each year, the league schedule runs for about 5-6 weeks from early-October through mid-November. There are 6 teams in the AFL, with each team comprised of prospects from 5 different organizations. A’s prospects will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox again this year, where they’ll be joined by players from the Astros, Tigers, Cubs and Nationals.

Attendance at AFL games typically hovers in the 200s, with the crowds comprised largely of scouts, agents and various professional baseball personnel. Most organizations use the AFL as an opportunity to get some of their top prospects a little more live game action and hopefully help advance their development.

Some of the A’s top young Double-A hitting prospects will be seeing action in Arizona this year, including catcher Sean Murphy, infielder Sheldon Neuse and outfielder Tyler Ramirez, while the A’s AFL pitching contingent will be comprised of promising right-handers Logan Shore, Miguel Romero, Nolan Blackwood and Sam Bragg. Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz was originally scheduled to participate, but he’s still been bothered by an elbow strain and was replaced on the squad by Bragg.

 

–A’s Prospects in the AFL in 2017–

 

sm669221bSean Murphy

Catcher

Age: 22

Midland RockHounds / Stockton Ports

13 HR / 32 BB / 67 K / .250 AVG / .313 OBP / .410 SLG / .723 OPS

Last year’s 3rd-round draft pick for the A’s has always been valued for his strong throwing arm and his solid work behind the plate, but he also proved he has some pop by hitting 13 home runs this season. The 22-year-old slashed .297/.343/.527 for Stockton in the hitter-friendly California League before earning a promotion to Midland the last week of June. He struggled a bit at Double-A though, putting up a .209/.288/.309 slash line for the RockHounds. His strong defense and power potential make Murphy the A’s top catching prospect, and he’ll have the opportunity to work on developing a little more consistency at the plate during his time in the AFL.

 

sn641914bSheldon Neuse

Third Baseman / Shortstop

Age: 22

Hagerstown Suns / Stockton Ports / Midland RockHounds

16 HR / 40 BB / 112 K / .321 AVG / .382 OBP / .502 SLG / .884 OPS

Acquired from the Nationals in the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle deal, last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for Washington has done nothing but hit since joining the A’s system. After compiling 19 doubles, 9 home runs and a .469 slugging percentage for the Nationals’ Class-A Hagerstown Suns in the first half, the 22-year-old kicked things up a notch when he joined High-A Stockton, slugging a robust .675 and hitting 7 home runs in just 22 games for the Ports. While his power numbers dropped off after his August promotion to Double-A Midland, Neuse still managed to up put up an impressive .373 batting average to go along with a healthy .427 on-base percentage for the RockHounds. And he should continue to get the chance to see time at both third base and shortstop during his stint in the AFL.

 

tr669262bTyler Ramirez

Outfielder

Age: 22

Stockton Ports / Midland RockHounds

11 HR / 73 BB / 133 K / .304 AVG / .398 OBP / .431 SLG / .829 OPS

Ramirez has proven to be a fast mover in the A’s system. After being drafted in the 7th round last year and spending most of last season with short-season Vermont, the left-handed hitter started this year at High-A Stockton and then moved up to Double-A Midland this summer without missing a beat. Improved competition hasn’t seemed to hinder the 22-year-old one bit. He hit better at Stockton than he did for Vermont, and hit even better for Midland than he did at Stockton. Ramirez has been remarkably consistent while hardly ever taking a day off and has a real knack for reaching base. His 73 walks were most among A’s minor leaguers, while his .398 on-base percentage was best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats. He also compiled the second-most hits and tied for the second-most runs in the system this season. While Ramirez can play all three outfield positions, he seems to look most comfortable in left, where he spent the bulk of his time this season.

 

ls624519bLogan Shore

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 22

Stockton Ports / AZL A’s

80 2/3 IP / 83 H / 33 ER / 16 BB / 87 K / 3.68 ERA / 1.23 WHIP

Last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s got off to a good start for Stockton this season, putting up a 3.12 ERA over his first 9 appearances for the Ports before landing on the disabled list thanks to a lat strain. After being sidelined for a couple of months, Shore returned to the mound in July, but he had to endure a few rough outings for Stockton before finally finding his footing and posting a 3.24 ERA in 6 August starts. Shore has shown himself to be a consistent strike thrower, averaging 9.7 strikeouts per 9 innings this season, and he possesses solid command of his pitches. But he only managed to make it to the mound for 80 2/3 innings in his first full season, so he’ll be looking to make up for lost time in the AFL this year.

 

mr673603Miguel Romero

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 23

Stockton Ports / Beloit Snappers / AZL A’s / DSL A’s

31 1/3 IP / 31 H / 17 ER / 11 BB / 42 K / 4.88 ERA / 1.34 WHIP

One of the A’s recent Cuban imports, Romero is a hard thrower who, in addition to a mid-90s fastball, also features a changeup and a slider. After making brief pit stops in the Dominican and Arizona Leagues, he looked solid in 3 starts for Class-A Beloit this summer, compiling a 2.25 ERA in his brief time with the Snappers. But the 23-year-old struggled after his promotion to Stockton. He notched 25 strikeouts in just 18 1/3 innings, but too many walks and home runs led to a bloated 6.87 ERA in his 8 appearances for the Ports. Romero finished the season on the disabled list for Stockton and logged just 31 1/3 innings in his first season in the U.S., so the A’s will be eager to get a better look at the hurler in the AFL.

 

nb670154Nolan Blackwood

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 22

Stockton Ports

57 IP / 42 H / 19 ER / 18 BB / 48 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.05 WHIP

Drafted by the A’s in the 14th round just last year, the sidearmer impressed in his first full season. The 22-year-old turned out to be a very reliable closer for Stockton, successfully converting 19 of 20 save opportunities this season. Blackwood led all A’s minor leaguers in saves while striking out 48 batters in 57 innings and giving up just 2 home runs all year in the homer-happy confines of the California League. The Mississippi native then failed to allow a hit or a run in a pair of relief appearances for Double-A Midland in the Texas League Championship Series, and he’ll get the chance to show what he can do against advanced competition this year in the AFL.

 

sb595892Sam Bragg

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 24

Midland RockHounds

68 1/3 IP / 69 H / 23 ER / 16 BB / 56 K / 3.03 ERA / 1.24 WHIP

With Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz, who had been set to participate in the AFL this year, still sidelined by an elbow strain, Bragg will get the chance to return to the AFL for his second straight season. The 24-year-old also spent his second straight season with Double-A Midland this year, posting a solid 3.03 ERA in 45 relief appearances for the RockHounds. The A’s 18th-round pick in the 2013 draft has always had good control and solid strikeouts numbers, and he’s had equal success against both righties and lefties. Bragg seems to have gotten a bit stuck at the Double-A level though, so he’ll be looking for a strong AFL campaign to help open up some eyes and raise his stock in the organization.

*          *          *

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Sunday, September 17th: Naile Leads Midland to Shutout Victory as RockHounds Win 4th Straight Texas League Title

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher James Naile (6 H / 5 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher James Naile (6 H / 5 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Double-A)

GAME #5

Midland RockHounds  1

Tulsa Drillers                  0

WP – J.Naile

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher James Naile

(6 H / 5 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

After losing the first two games of the best-of-five championship series, the RockHounds came back from the brink of elimination to win three straight do-or-die games, capping their remarkable run with a shutout victory over Tulsa on Sunday to claim their fourth straight Texas League championship title. Though he labored a bit early on, starter James Naile, who took the loss in Game #1 on Tuesday, got the job done on Sunday. Aided by a pair of double plays and a couple of runners caught stealing, Naile tossed 6 shutout innings, allowing 5 hits and striking out 6, to earn the win for the RockHounds. Relievers Tyler Sturdevant, Joel Seddon, Brandon Mann and Kyle Finnegan combined to throw 3 scoreless and hitless frames, with Finnegan getting the final three outs in the 9th to notch his 3rd save of the series and complete the 5-hit shutout on Sunday. The game’s first batter, shortstop Jorge Mateo, scored the match’s only run after he reached base on an infield error to lead off the game. Mateo eventually came around to score on first baseman Viosergy Rosa‘s two-out RBI single, and that was all the scoring that either team would do on Sunday. Rosa also drew a pair of walks in the game, while second baseman Max Schrock had 3 hits, including a double. Center fielder J.P. Sportman singled and stole a base, and third baseman Sheldon Neuse, who ended up going 9 for 18 to hit an even .500 in the series, doubled and drew a walk in the RockHounds’ final victory of the season.

Midland RockHounds Championship Roster

RHP Carlos Navas hoists the championship trophy (photo via Carlos Navas' twitter)

RHP Carlos Navas hoists the championship trophy
(photo via Carlos Navas’ twitter)

 

 

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Saturday, September 16th: Neuse & Holmes Help Hounds Win and Force Decisive Game #5

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse (1 for 3 / Home Run / 2 Walks / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse (1 for 3 / Home Run / 2 Walks / 3 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Double-A)

GAME #4

Midland RockHounds  6

Tulsa Drillers                  3

WP – G.Holmes

HR – S.Neuse

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse

(1 for 3 / Home Run / 2 Walks / 3 RBIs)

After dropping the first two games of the best-of-five championship series, Midland won its second straight do-or-die game on Saturday to tie the series and force a decisive Game #5 on Sunday. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse, who was acquired from Washington this summer in the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle deal, delivered the big blow for the battling RockHounds. After Texas League RBI champion Viosergy Rosa singled for the second time in the game in the top of the 5th inning to drive in the go-ahead run and give Midland a slim 1-run lead, Neuse then stepped to the plate and slugged a 3-run homer to provide all the runs the RockHounds would end up needing on Saturday. Neuse also drew a pair of walks in the game and is now 8-for-14 in the series, while catcher Sean Murphy singled, walked and scored a run for the Hounds. Texas League strikeout king Grant Holmes turned in a solid start for Midland, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, while striking out 6 over 6 1/3 innings of work to earn the win. Relievers Brandon Mann, Nolan Blackwood, Tyler Sturdevant and Kyle Finnegan combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings, with Finnegan recording the final four outs for the RockHounds to register the save. RHP James Naile is set to take the mound as Midland attempts to clinch in its fourth straight Texas League title in Sunday’s decisive contest. Midland RockHounds Postseason Roster

 

Sunday’s Game:

Midland @ Tulsa (Championship Game #5) – 4:05pm PT / 6:05pm CT

 

 

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A’s Farm’s 2017 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

First baseman Matt Olson

First baseman Matt Olson

With the 2017 minor league season now complete, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and determine who the true standouts on the field really were in the A’s system in 2017. We’re not selecting top prospects here, just looking at the top performers on the field this season. So, with that in mind, it’s time to name A’s Farm’s 2017 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team!

Below you’ll find the primary starting players at each position for Triple-A Nashville, Double-A Midland, High-A Stockton, Class-A Beloit, Class-A Short-Season Vermont and the Rookie League Short-Season AZL A’s in 2017. Offensive players were selected from the primary starters at each position for each team over the course of the season, with notable players not leading in games played at a particular position listed in the designated hitter category. Starting pitchers for each club were selected from among the top starters for each team, while closers were selected from each team’s saves leader. Asterisks denote players with combined statistics from multiple minor league teams within the A’s system, but players’ major league statistics and statistics acquired while with other organizations have not been included.

Although A.J. Puk is undoubtedly the A’s top pitching prospect, he doesn’t appear here since he split his season between Stockton and Midland, had an ERA over 4.00 for the year, and had teammates on both squads who performed better on the field over the course of the season. But that in no way diminishes his overall prospect status. The same applies to Yairo Munoz, who split time between Nashville and Midland and also split time between shortstop, third base and the outfield and thus was not the primary starter at any position for either team. Shortstop Jorge Mateo and third baseman Sheldon Neuse are not included either, since both arrived in trades in July and neither appeared in more than 40 regular season games in the A’s system.

Check out our list of All-Star candidates at each position. Then click on the link just below the list of contenders to find A’s Farm’s winning Organizational All-Stars at each position. The winners were determined based purely on performance, not potential. Remember, we’re not selecting the top prospects here, we’re choosing the top performers on the field this season. So take a look at the candidates for yourself and then cast your vote in our poll for the top A’s Organizational All-Star of 2017!

 

–THE CANDIDATES–

 

CATCHER

Nashville – Ryan Lavarnway (264 AB / 6 HR / .239 AVG / .327 OBP / .341 SLG / .668 OPS)

Midland – Sean Murphy (356 AB / 13 HR / .250 AVG / .313 OBP / .410 SLG / .723 OPS) *

Stockton – Jose Santiago Chavez (167 AB / 2 HR / .192 AVG / .240 OBP / .287 SLG / .528 OPS)

Beloit – Collin Theroux (273 AB / 13 HR / .147 AVG / .251 OBP / .330 SLG / .580 OPS)

Vermont – Iolana Akau (159 AB / 0 HR / .195 AVG / .251 OBP / .226 SLG / .478 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Santis Sanchez (99 AB / 0 HR / .253 AVG / .306 OBP / .313 SLG / .619 OPS)

 

FIRST BASE

Nashville – Matt Olson (294 AB / 23 HR / .272 AVG / .367 OBP / .568 SLG / .935 OPS)

Midland – Viosergy Rosa (517 AB / 18 HR / .255 AVG / .325 OBP / .418 SLG / .743 OPS)

Stockton – Sandber Pimentel (244 AB / 14 HR / .279 AVG / .374 OBP / .484 SLG / .857 OPS)

Beloit – Miguel Mercedes (452 AB / 16 HR / .230 AVG / .286 OBP / .394 SLG / .680 OPS)

Vermont – Aaron Arruda (157 AB / 4 HR / .191 AVG / .251 OBP / .318 SLG / .570 OPS)

AZL A’s – Alonzo Medina (127 AB / 2 HR / .197 AVG / .297 OBP / .315 SLG / .612 OPS)

 

SECOND BASE

Nashville – Joey Wendle (478 AB / 8 HR / .285 AVG / .327 OBP / .429 SLG / .756 OPS)

Midland – Max Schrock (417 AB / 7 HR / .321 AVG / .379 OBP / .422 SLG / .801 OPS)

Stockton – Nate Mondou (470 AB / 2 HR / .287 AVG / .366 OBP / .381 SLG / .747 OPS) *

Beloit – Trace Loehr (363 AB / 3 HR / .267 AVG / .302 OBP / .364 SLG / .666 OPS)

Vermont – Ryan Gridley (210 AB / 1 HR / .262 AVG / .357 OBP / .333 SLG / .690 OPS)

AZL A’s – Marcos Brito (171 AB / 1 HR / .234 AVG / .320 OBP / .298 SLG / .618 OPS)

 

SHORTSTOP

Nashville – Franklin Barreto (469 AB / 15 HR / .290 AVG / .339 OBP / .456 SLG / .796 OPS)

Midland – Richie Martin (380 AB / 4 HR / .234 AVG / .311 OBP / .332 SLG / .643 OPS) *

Stockton – Eli White (448 AB / 4 HR / .270 AVG / .342 OBP / .395 SLG / .737 OPS)

Beloit – Eric Marinez (410 AB / 3 HR / .278 AVG / .341 OBP / .359 SLG / .699 OPS)

Vermont – Kevin Merrell (125 AB / 2 HR / .320 AVG / .362 OBP / .424 SLG / .786 OPS)

AZL A’s – Nick Allen (138 AB / 1 HR / .254 AVG / .322 OBP / .326 SLG / .648 OPS)

 

THIRD BASE

Nashville – Matt Chapman (175 AB / 16 HR / .257 AVG / .348 OBP / .589 SLG / .937 OPS)

Midland – Jordan Tarsovich (341 AB / 3 HR / .240 AVG / .336 OBP / .328 SLG / .664 OPS)

Stockton – Mikey White (440 AB / 17 HR / .261 AVG / .331 OBP / .457 SLG / .787 OPS)

Beloit – Edwin Diaz (347 AB / 10 HR / .233 AVG / .326 OBP / .378 SLG / .703 OPS) *

Vermont – Will Toffey (209 AB / 1 HR / .263 AVG / .377 OBP / .349 SLG / .726 OPS)

AZL A’s – Jake Lumley (135 AB / 0 HR / .333 AVG / .388 OBP / .444 SLG / .832 OPS)

 

LEFT FIELD

Nashville – Renato Nunez (473 AB / 32 HR / .249 AVG / .319 OBP / .518 SLG / .837 OPS)

Midland – Tyler Ramirez (487 AB / 11 HR / .306 AVG / .399 OBP / .437 SLG / .835 OPS) *

Stockton – Brett Siddall (440 AB / 21 HR / .300 AVG / .365 OBP / .495 SLG / .861 OPS)

Beloit – Luke Persico (446 AB / 5 HR / .260 AVG / .327 OBP / .368 SLG / .695 OPS)

Vermont – Anthony Churlin (166 AB / 3 HR / .265 AVG / .320 OBP / .422 SLG / .742 OPS)

AZL A’s – Lazaro Armenteros (156 AB / 4 HR / .288 AVG / .376 OBP / .474 SLG / .850 OPS)

 

CENTER FIELD

Nashville – Jaff Decker (351 AB / 6 HR / .274 AVG / .342 OBP / .368 SLG / .709 OPS)

Midland – B.J. Boyd (533 AB / 5 HR / .323 AVG / .366 OBP / .428 SLG / .793 OPS)

Stockton – Skye Bolt (432 AB / 15 HR / .243 AVG / .327 OBP / .435 SLG / .762 OPS)

Beloit – Mike Martin (281 AB / 1 HR / .296 AVG / .356 OBP / .377 SLG / .732 OPS) *

Vermont – Logan Farrar (214 AB / 4 HR / .341 AVG / .413 OBP / .495 SLG / .909 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Austin Beck (152 AB / 2 HR / .211 AVG / .293 OBP / .349 SLG / .642 OPS)

 

RIGHT FIELD

Nashville – Mark Canha (272 AB / 12 HR / .283 AVG / .373 OBP / .529 SLG / .903 OPS)

Midland – J.P. Sportman (513 AB / 12 HR / .275 AVG / .327 OBP / .417 SLG / .744 OPS)

Stockton – Seth Brown (518 AB / 30 HR / .270 AVG / .340 OBP / .506 SLG / .846 OPS)

Beloit – JaVon Shelby (374 AB / 8 HR / .198 AVG / .283 OBP / .299 SLG / .582 OPS)

Vermont – Greg Deichmann (164 AB / 8 HR / .274 AVG / .385 OBP / .530 SLG / .915 OPS)

AZL A’s – Enrry Pantoja (90 AB / 0 HR / .244 AVG / .355 OBP / .289 SLG / .644 OPS)

 

DESIGNATED HITTER

Nashville – Matt McBride (251 AB / 10 HR / .231 AVG / .299 OBP / .434 SLG / .734 OPS)

Midland – Tyler Marincov (286 AB / 9 HR / .266 AVG / .339 OBP / .444 SLG / .784 OPS)

Stockton – Branden Cogswell (326 AB / 0 HR / .270 AVG / .352 OBP / .328 SLG / .681 OPS) *

Beloit – Kyle Nowlin (416 AB / 11 HR / .248 AVG / .357 OBP / .394 SLG / .751 OPS)

Vermont – Jordan Devencenzi (170 AB / 1 HR / .276 AVG / .367 OBP / .324 SLG / .691 OPS)

AZL A’s – Ben Spitznagel (92 AB / 0 HR / .337 AVG / .460 OBP / .457 SLG / .917 OPS)

 

STARTING PITCHER

Nashville – Paul Blackburn (79 2/3 IP / 69 H / 27 ER / 26 BB / 56 K / 3.05 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)

Midland – Heath Fillmyer (149 2/3 IP / 158 H / 58 ER / 51 BB / 115 K / 3.49 ERA / 1.40 WHIP)

Stockton – Dalton Sawyer (130 2/3 IP / 113 H / 52 ER / 47 BB / 140 K / 3.58 ERA / 1.22 WHIP) *

Beloit – Zack Erwin (95 1/3 IP / 74 H / 22 ER / 29 BB / 91 K / 2.08 ERA / 1.08 WHIP)

Vermont – Parker Dunshee (40 1/3 IP / 20 H / 3 ER / 8 BB / 48 K / 0.67 ERA / 0.69 WHIP) *

AZL A’s – Chris Kohler (42 2/3 IP / 44 H / 19 ER / 12 BB / 24 K / 4.01 ERA / 1.31 WHIP)

 

CLOSER

Nashville – Simon Castro (38 IP / 24 H / 14 ER / 21 BB / 63 K / 3.32 ERA / 1.18 WHIP / 4 SV)

Midland – Kyle Finnegan (60 1/3 IP / 61 H / 26 ER / 25 BB / 57 K / 3.88 ERA / 1.43 WHIP / 12 SV) *

Stockton – Nolan Blackwood (57 IP / 42 H / 19 ER / 18 BB / 48 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.05 WHIP / 19 SV)

Beloit – Sam Sheehan (40 2/3 IP / 26 H / 10 ER / 27 BB / 54 K / 2.21 ERA / 1.30 WHIP / 6 SV)

Vermont – Wandisson Charles (21 IP / 15 H / 8 ER / 18 BB / 29 K / 3.43 ERA / 1.57 WHIP / 5 SV)

AZL A’s – Slater Lee (21 IP / 21 H / 9 ER / 6 BB / 21 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.29 WHIP / 4 SV)

 

Click here to see A’s Farm’s 2017 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team…

Friday, September 15th: Fillmyer Leads Hounds to Shutout Victory in Game #3

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Heath Fillmyer (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Heath Fillmyer (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Double-A)

GAME #3

Midland RockHounds  2

Tulsa Drillers                  0

WP – H.Fillmyer

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Heath Fillmyer

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

In a must-win game, RockHounds RHP Heath Fillmyer outdueled former A’s RHP Brandon McCarthy to force a Game #4 in the best-of-five Texas League Championship Series. Facing elimination, Midland managed to shut out Tulsa on just 5 hits on Friday. The A’s 5th-round draft pick in 2014, Fillmyer struck out 4 over 5 scoreless frames to earn the win. RHP Sam Bragg tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, while RHP Tyler Sturdevant threw a scoreless 8th, and RHP Kyle Finnegan pitched a perfect 9th to complete the shutout and pick up the save for Midland. Meanwhile, McCarthy, making a rehab start for Tulsa, surrendered 2 runs over 6 innings of work to suffer the loss. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse singled twice and walked, while second baseman Max Schrock doubled and scored the RockHounds’ first run in the 4th inning on first baseman Viosergy Rosa‘s RBI groundout. Shortstop Jorge Mateo then tripled and scored his team’s second run in the 6th on Schrock’s RBI groundout. Meanwhile, RHP Grant Holmes is set to take the mound for Midland in another do-or-die match on Saturday.

Midland RockHounds Postseason Roster

 

Saturday’s Game:

Midland @ Tulsa (Championship Game #4) – 5:05pm PT / 7:05pm CT

 

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.

Thursday, September 14th: Lake Monsters Suffer 1-Hit Shutout & Are Swept in Championship Series

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Brian Howard (3 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Brian Howard (3 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

 

NY-PENN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Class-A Short-Season)

GAME #2

Hudson Valley Renegades  6

Vermont Lake Monsters    0

LP – P.Dunshee

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brian Howard

(3 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

The Lake Monsters were shut out on just one hit to suffer a two-game sweep in the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series on Thursday. This year’s 7th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Parker Dunshee, who failed to allow a run in 38 1/3 regular season innings for Vermont, surrendered 5 runs in the 2nd inning to suffer the loss for the Lake Monsters. This year’s 8th-round pick, RHP Brian Howard, took over for Dunshee and was outstanding in relief, throwing 3 2/3 scoreless frames while striking out 5. 21-year-old Venezuelan RHP Argenis Blanco allowed 1 unearned run in the 8th to complete the scoring. 2nd-round right fielder Greg Deichmann singled with one out in the 4th inning to account for Vermont’s only hit, while 36th-round center fielder Logan Farrar drew a pair of walks in the loss. The Lake Monsters finished the regular season with a record of 42-33.

Vermont Lake Monsters Postseason Roster

 

Friday’s Game:

Midland @ Tulsa (Championship Game #3) – 5:05pm PT / 7:05pm CT

 

 

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.

Wednesday, September 13th: Big Hits by Neuse & Arruda Aren’t Enough as Hounds & Lake Monsters Now Face Do-Or-Die Scenarios

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse (3 for 4 / Triple / Double / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds 3B Sheldon Neuse (3 for 4 / Triple / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Double-A)

GAME #2

Tulsa Drillers                  5

Midland RockHounds  4

LP – C.Meisner

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse

(3 for 4 / Triple / Double / 2 RBIs)

After falling in the first game of the best-of-five championship series on Tuesday, the RockHounds came up short again in the second game on Wednesday and now must win all three of the remaining contests in Tulsa in order to claim their fourth straight Texas League title. Scheduled starter Grant Holmes was a last-minute scratch for unknown reasons, and RHP Casey Meisner stepped in to take his place. The 22-year-old held Tulsa scoreless through the first 3 frames but was charged with 3 runs in the top of the 4th to take the loss. RHP Carlos Navas relieved him with one out in the inning but gave up another 2 runs to put the Hounds in a 5-0 hole before the frame was through. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse did his best to help bring the Hounds back, doubling and scoring the RockHounds’ first run in the 7th and then tripling in a pair of runs in the 8th. Neuse also singled in the game, while left fielder Tyler Ramirez singled twice, walked and drove in a run. Second baseman Max Schrock had 3 hits and scored a run, and first baseman Viosergy Rosa singled in a run for the RockHounds. After a travel day on Thursday, the series is set to resume in Tulsa on Friday. Midland RockHounds Postseason Roster

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Tuesday, September 12th: Sportman’s Big Bat Isn’t Enough to Help Hounds Prevail in Game #1

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder J.P. Sportman (2 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder J.P. Sportman (2 for 4 / HR / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Double-A)

GAME #1

Tulsa Drillers                  5

Midland RockHounds  3

LP – J.Naile

HR – J.Sportman

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder J.P. Sportman

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

A big 4-run 2nd inning led Tulsa to victory over Midland in the first game of the best-of-five Texas League Championship Series on Tuesday. After getting through an efficient 1st inning on just 7 pitches, starter James Naile surrendered 4 runs in the 2nd to put the Hounds in an early hole. He gave up another run in the 6th and ended up allowing 5 runs on 10 hits over 6 innings of work to suffer the loss. RHP Sam Bragg tossed 2 scoreless frames in relief, and RHP Nolan Blackwood pitched a perfect 9th in his Midland debut. Center fielder J.P. Sportman had a big game at the plate, slugging a 2-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd to bring his team back within a run. He then doubled with one out in the 8th but was left stranded. Shortstop Jorge Mateo singled, walked twice, stole a base and scored a run, and designated hitter Jermaine Curtis had a pair of hits and drove in a run for the RockHounds. Blackwood and outfielder Skye Bolt both joined the RockHounds postseason roster from Stockton, while RHP Aaron Kurcz, who’s been dealing with a blister issue, and LHP A.J. Puk, who experienced some forearm discomfort in his last start, were reassigned to Stockton’s roster. Meanwhile, RHP Grant Holmes is set to take the mound for Midland in Game #2 on Wednesday. Midland RockHounds Postseason Roster

 

Wednesday’s Game:

Tulsa @ Midland (Championship Game #2) – 4:30pm PT / 6:30pm CT

Vermont @ Hudson Valley (Championship Game #1) – 3:35pm PT / 6:35pm ET

 

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Monday, September 11th: Luzardo Leads Vermont to 1-Hit Shutout Victory & Spot in Championship Series

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Jesus Luzardo (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Jesus Luzardo (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

 

NY-PENN LEAGUE SEMIFINAL SERIES  (Class-A Short-Season)

GAME #2

Vermont Lake Monsters     3

Mahoning Valley Scrappers  0

WP – J.Luzardo

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Jesus Luzardo

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

Vermont was victorious in the second game of its best-of-three playoff series on Monday to sweep the series with two straight wins and clinch a spot in the New York-Penn League Championship Series for the first time since 1996. The Lake Monsters didn’t give Mahoning Valley much of a chance on Monday, shutting out the Scrappers on just 1 hit. 19-year-old LHP Jesus Luzardo, acquired from Washington in the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle deal, made the start and allowed just 1 hit while striking out 5 over 5 shutout innings to earn the victory for Vermont. RHP Wyatt Marks, LHP Logan Salow and RHP Michael Danielak then combined to throw 4 scoreless and hitless frames in relief, with Danielak recording the save on Monday. After hitting a grand slam in the first game of the series, center fielder Logan Farrar singled, doubled, walked and drove in a run, while shortstop Ryan Gridley singled and drew a pair of walks, and right fielder Greg Deichmann and designated hitter Jordan Devencenzi both drove in runs with sacrifice flies for the Lake Monsters. Vermont will begin play in the New York-Penn League Championship Series on Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday’s contest between Staten Island and Hudson Valley.

Vermont Lake Monsters Postseason Roster

 

Tuesday’s Game:

Tulsa @ Midland – 4:30pm PT / 6:30pm CT

 

 

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Sunday, September 10th: Seddon Pitches Hounds to Series-Clinching Playoff Victory on Sunday

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Joel Seddon (5 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Joel Seddon (5 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE SOUTH DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Double-A)

GAME #5

Midland RockHounds  4

San Antonio Missions    1

WP – J.Seddon

HR – S.Murphy

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Joel Seddon

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

A strong outing from spot starter Joel Seddon helped the RockHounds win the fifth and final game of their divisional playoff series against San Antonio on Sunday. The team will now try to clinch its fourth straight Texas League championship title in a best-of-five series against Tulsa that starts on Tuesday. Seddon came through in a big way for Midland, allowing 1 run on just 2 hits over 5 frames to earn the series-deciding win for the Hounds. First baseman Viosergy Rosa and third baseman Sheldon Neuse each drove in a run in the 1st inning, while catcher Sean Murphy slugged his second home run of the series in the 2nd. Designated hitter Jermaine Curtis singled, doubled and scored a run, and second baseman Max Schrock drove in the final run for the RockHounds in the 8th. The Midland bullpen couldn’t have done a better job after Seddon’s departure. LHP Brandon Mann and RHP Tyler Sturdevant combined to pitch 3 perfect innings in relief, and RHP Kyle Finnegan got the final three outs in the 9th to notch the save on Sunday. The RockHounds will begin their defense of their Texas League crown on Tuesday at Midland.

The boys on the bus (photo via Carlos Navas' twitter)

The boys on the bus (photo via Carlos Navas’ twitter)

 

Monday’s Game:

Vermont @ Mahoning Valley (Playoff Game #2) – 4:05pm PT / 7:05pm ET

 

Joel Seddon

Joel Seddon

 

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.

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