Friday, August 25th: Barreto Stars in Sounds’ Walk-Off Win while Gridley Leads Vermont to Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Second Baseman Franklin Barreto (4 for 5 / Home Run / Double / Walk / 3 RBIs / 2 Stolen Bases)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Second Baseman Franklin Barreto (4 for 5 / Home Run / Double / Walk / 3 RBIs / 2 Stolen Bases)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Round Rock Express  5

Nashville Sounds      6

WP – Schuster 3-1 / 6.20

HR – Barreto (15), Decker (5)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman Franklin Barreto

(4 for 5 / Home Run / Double / Walk / 3 RBIs / 2 Stolen Bases)

Nashville notched its third straight win, this one in an 11-inning walk-off, on Friday. Second baseman Franklin Barreto had a big night at the plate, collecting 4 hits, including a home run and a double, while also drawing a walk, swiping a pair of bases, driving in 3 runs and scoring 3 times, and the 21-year-old has now gone 12 for 19 over his last 4 games for the Sounds. Starter Zach Neal allowed 2 runs over 6 innings of work and left the game with a 1-run edge. RHP Josh Smith gave up 2 runs in the top of the 7th to surrender the lead, but Barreto singled in the tying run in the bottom of the 7th for the Sounds. A fielding error by shortstop Yairo Munoz led to an unearned run in the top of the 9th off RHP Lou Trivino, but center fielder Jaff Decker led off the bottom of the 9th with a solo shot to tie things up once again and send the game to extra innings. Barreto drew a walk to get on board in the bottom of the 11th and then came around to score on third baseman Joey Wendle‘s RBI single as Nashville won in a walk-off and made a winner of LHP Patrick Schuster, who’d pitched a perfect frame in the top of the 11th for the Sounds. And with center fielder Rajai Davis dealt to the Red Sox and RHP Paul Blackburn landing on the disabled list, the A’s recalled RHP Michael Brady and outfielder Mark Canha from Nashville on Friday.

Click here for more on Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Thursday, August 24th: Shore & Brown Star as Ports Prevail in Extras while Carter & Barreto Help Sounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Logan Shore (7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Logan Shore (7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Modesto Nuts     1

Stockton Ports  2

WP – Wagman 3-2 / 5.21

HR – Brown (25)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Logan Shore

(7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K)

The Ports prevailed in an 11-inning walk-off to move back into a three-way tie for first place in the California League North Division on Thursday. RHP Logan Shore turned in one of his best starts of the season, allowing just 1 run while striking out 7 over 7 innings of work, and he now has an ERA of 1.96 over his last 3 starts for Stockton. Shore left with the game a 1-1 tie, and his team’s sole run to that point came when right fielder Seth Brown homered for the fifth straight game, tagging his team-leading 25th home run, a solo shot, in the 2nd inning. RHP Armando Ruiz pitched a pair of perfect frames in the 8th and 9th to hold Modesto in check and send the game to extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the 11th, right fielder Luis Barrera walked and third baseman Branden Cogswell brought him home with a double to right field as Stockton won in a walk-off and made a winner of RHP Joey Wagman, who tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief on Thursday.

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Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 3-Game Series vs. Quad Cities (8/22-24)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers lost two out of three games to the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Astros’ Midwest League affiliate, at Pohlman Field in Beloit this week.

The River Bandits’ .427 team slugging percentage is the best in the league by far. A number of the team’s top hitters have been promoted this season, but the Astros’ deep farm system has been able to replenish the River Bandits’ lineup throughout the season.

The Snappers, on the other hand, were reeling after getting swept by Cedar Rapids in a recent four-game series. With Beloit’s playoff chances hanging by a thread, would the Snappers be able to find a way to beat the second-half Western Division leader?

 

Game #1:  Quad Cities 4 – Beloit 1

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*RHP Matt Milburn, the A’s 29th-round pick in 2016, bounced back with a strong start after allowing 7 runs in 5 innings against Wisconsin his last time out. In this one, he induced 8 groundball outs and struck out 8 while allowing just 1 run in 6 innings of work for the Snappers.

*RHP John Gorman needed just 12 pitches to get through 1 ⅓ scoreless innings in relief, and he was promptly rewarded be being promoted to Stockton the next day. Gorman had been sensational out of the Beloit bullpen, putting up a 0.93 ERA and a 0.47 WHIP while striking out 24 and walking just 1 in 19 ⅓ innings for the Snappers.

*Right fielder Luke Persico, Oakland’s 12th-round pick in 2016, went 2 for 4 with his 4th triple to raise his batting average for Beloit to .267.

*Third baseman Jesus Lopez went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI single. It was nearly a 2-RBI single, but left fielder J.C Rodriguez was thrown out at the plate by River Bandits right fielder Luis Payano.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 3 – Quad Cities 0

Joseph Camacho

Joseph Camacho

*If you haven’t already heard, THE SNAPPERS NO-HIT THE RIVER BANDITS! Sorry for yelling, but it was kind of a big deal.

*LHP Zack Erwin tossed 6 innings of no-hit ball, walking just 1. He threw 79 pitches, which is close to what’s generally been his pitch limit for most of the season.

*RHP Joseph Camacho relieved Erwin to start the 7th inning, inheriting the task of preserving a no-hitter. The undrafted free agent who was signed by the A’s last summer did a wonderful job over the final 3 innings, giving up just 1 walk and, of course, no hits.

*Camacho got the final out of the no-hitter by retiring the Bandits #2 hitter, slugging catcher Chuckie Robinson, on a flyout to Snappers right fielder JaVon Shelby.

*Congratulations are in order for hurlers Zack Erwin and Joseph Camacho, as well as all the rest of the Beloit Snappers squad who contributed to the no-hitter!

 

Seth Martinez

Seth Martinez

Game #3:  Quad Cities 5 – Beloit 2

*RHP Seth Martinez, the A’s 17th-round pick in 2016, continued his solid season with another quality start for the Snappers. His final line was 6 IP/5 H/3 R/1 ER/1 BB/3 K.

*Left Fielder J.C. Rodriguez batted in the leadoff spot for the first time this season and responded by going 2 for 3 while driving in a run.

*The Snappers got 2 scoreless and hitless innings of relief from LHP Ty Damron. The A’s 15th-round pick in 2016 started the season as a starter before being sidelined by an injury for about two months.

 

ze664116

 

A’s Prospect of the Series:

LHP Zack Erwin

(6 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

*          *          *

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Wednesday, August 23rd: Erwin & Camacho Combine on No-Hitter for Beloit while Brown Homers in 4th Straight for Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Quad Cities River Bandits  0

Beloit Snappers                3

WP – Erwin 6-4 / 2.12

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Zack Erwin

(6 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

LHP Zack Erwin and RHP Joseph Camacho combined to no-hit Quad Cities and snap the Snappers five-game losing streak on Wednesday. Erwin, who was acquired from the White Sox in December of 2015 in the Brett Lawrie deal, allowed just 1 walk while striking out 4 over 6 hitless and scoreless frames to lower his ERA to 2.12. After throwing 79 pitches, he was replaced on the mound by RHP Joseph Camacho, who was signed last summer as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama State. And the 23-year-old walked 1 and struck out 2 over 3 hitless innings in relief to earn his 1st save for the Snappers and complete the no-hitter on Wednesday. Shortstop Edwin Diaz walked and doubled in a run, while third baseman Trace Loehr doubled in his return from the disabled list, and second baseman Josh Vidales and left fielder J.C. Rodriguez each singled in a run for the Snappers. And with Loehr returning to the active roster, Beloit RHP John Gorman was promoted to the Ports on Wednesday.

RHP Jason Camacho, LHP Zack Erwin & catcher Jason Goldstein  (photo via Beloit Snappers' Twitter)

RHP Jospeh Camacho, LHP Zack Erwin & catcher Jason Goldstein
(photo via Beloit Snappers’ Twitter)

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Tuesday, August 22nd: Sawyer Pitches Ports to Victory while Brown Homers Again & Norge Ruiz Lands on DL

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Dalton Sawyer (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Dalton Sawyer (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Modesto Nuts     1

Stockton Ports  5

WP – Sawyer 4-4 / 2.93

HR – Brown (23), Siddall (19), E.White (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Dalton Sawyer

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

LHP Dalton Sawyer returned from the disabled list to help the Ports prevail for the third time in their last four games and move into a three-way tie for first place in their division on Tuesday. Last year’s 9th-round draft pick for the A’s allowed just 2 hits over 5 scoreless frames to earn the win, and he’s now given up just 2 earned runs over his last 20 innings for Stockton. Right fielder Seth Brown singled, walked and homered for the third straight game, giving him a team-leading 23 round-trippers and extending his league-leading RBI total to 89. Left fielder Brett Siddall and shortstop Eli White both slugged solo shots, while third baseman Mikey White collected 3 hits, including a double, and second baseman Branden Cogswell and designated hitter Richie Martin had a pair of hits apiece for the Ports. And while Dalton Sawyer returned from the disabled list, RHP Norge Ruiz was placed on the DL with a sore elbow on Tuesday.

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

Monday, August 21st: Ruiz Impresses in Vermont Victory while Bracewell Leads Sounds to Shutout Win & Armenteros Triples Twice for AZL A’s

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Jean Ruiz (6 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Jean Ruiz (6 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE  (Class-A Short-Season)

Connecticut Tigers             3

Vermont Lake Monsters  9

WP – Ruiz 1-0 / 1.29

HR – Deichmann (5), Arruda (3)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Jean Ruiz

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

20-year-old Colombian RHP Jean Ruiz turned in an outstanding start to help the Lake Monsters score their sixth win in their last seven games on Monday. Ruiz allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk while throwing 6 shutout innings to earn the victory for Vermont, and he’s now allowed just 6 earned runs over 42 innings of work to post an impressive 1.29 ERA for the Lake Monsters this season. Right fielder Greg Deichmann drew a pair of walks and drilled a 3-run homer, while first baseman Aaron Arruda homered and doubled. Center fielder Logan Farrar singled twice, doubled and drove in 3 runs, and third baseman Will Toffey had 3 hits and scored 3 runs for the Lake Monsters.

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Sunday, August 20th: Puk Pitches Hounds to Victory while Brown’s Big Bat Helps Ports Prevail

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher A.J. Puk (6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 7 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher A.J. Puk (6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 7 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Arkansas Travelers        1

Midland RockHounds  9

WP – Puk 2-3 / 4.91

HR – Sportman (11)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher A.J. Puk

(6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 7 K / Win)

Starter A.J. Puk turned in an impressive performance to help the RockHounds score their sixth win in their last seven games on Sunday. The 22-year-old allowed just 1 run while striking out 7 over 6 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Midland, and he’s now recorded 42 strikeouts over his last 27 innings for the RockHounds. RHPs Joel Seddon, Sam Bragg and Kyle Finnegan each tossed 1 scoreless inning in relief. Right fielder J.P. Sportman doubled and hit a 2-run homer, while center fielder B.J. Boyd (.327) and second baseman Max Schrock (.323) collected 3 hits apiece to move into first and third place, respectively, in the Texas League batting race.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Getting to Know Snappers Slugger Kyle Nowlin

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

kn665065Last year, the A’s made slugging outfielder Kyle Nowlin their 21st-round draft pick out of Eastern Kentucky University. Nowlin grew up in the small town of Harrison, Ohio, about twenty miles northwest of Cincinnati. And after graduating from William Henry Harrison High, he headed off to college at EKU, which was one of two Division 1 schools that offered him a chance to play baseball. It turned out to be a great situation for Nowlin, since he got to see plenty of playing time starting as a freshman. And in his senior season, he led his college team with 21 home runs, a total which ranked in the top ten nationally.

After getting into 44 games for the Arizona League A’s last year, the organization sent Nowlin to the Beloit Snappers this season, where they also asked him to begin playing a new position – first base. Ever since the All-Star break, Nowlin’s been on a tear, putting up a .300/.402/.482 slash line in the second half, and he currently leads the Snappers with 63 RBIs and 59 walks, while his 24 doubles tie him for the team lead. As the minor league season was entering its final weeks, we took the opportunity to talk with Nowlin about his full season of pro ball…

 

AF:  You’ve been red hot since the All-Star break and had a tremendous month of July in which you had a .610 slugging percentage and an OPS over 1.000. To what do you attribute your success in the second half?

KN:  So, I went home during the All-Star break – took three days off from baseball. I came back here and started seeing the ball better. The hits started falling, which was not the case for me at all the first half of the season. I honestly can’t pick out one certain thing, but I’m sure the rest when I went home helped. I was able to clear my brain and start over. I kind of started a new season over after the All-Star break.

AF:  It’s interesting that different things work for different ballplayers. Sometimes it’s a change mechanically or maybe it has something to do with the mental side of it.

Kyle Nowlin (photo by Dave Baker)

Kyle Nowlin
(photo by Dave Baker)

KN:  Yeah, I think I just needed to get away from it a little bit. I was starting to get really frustrated with everything.

AF:  What are some of the statistics, if any, that you look at?

KN:  I honestly don’t look at them too much, because once I start looking at them, I start thinking about them. Especially if you’re doing well in a certain category, you don’t want to look at it. It seems like every time I do, the next few games I do nothing to contribute to those stats. I just start thinking about them too much. So, I tend to stay away from looking at my stats.

AF:  Watching you this season, I have noticed that you do a great job of hitting the ball to all fields, especially with power. Is that a conscious approach that you take at the plate?

KN:  When I was in high school, my coach told me that the right-center field gap is where I had the most power. So, I never have been a stereotypical pull hitter. I mean, a lot of the ground balls I hit are pulled. When I hit a line drive or fly ball, it is usually gap to gap. I tell myself to hit a hard line drive from left center to right center. It just so happens I wear out the right-center field gap kind of a lot.

AF:  Are there any particular adjustments you’ve made this season that have helped you succeed?

KN:  Not really anything at the plate. I used to be an outfielder. But then in instructs last year, they moved me to first base. So, I mean, that was a huge difference. In the infield, you have to be more focused than in the outfield.

AF:  That actually brings me to my next question. I’ve noticed a significant improvement from you defensively at first base as the season has progressed. What specific work has gone into that?

KN:  I think just reps, honestly. I had never played infield in my life growing up. So, that was a drastic change for me. At instructs last year, I looked like a baby deer trying to walk for the first time. I didn’t know how to do much of anything at first base. But just getting work there every day, seeing ground balls and seeing throws across the diamond really just helped me to get a feel for the position.

AF:  Some people don’t realize how much goes into playing first base.

Kyle Nowlin (photo by Dave Baker)

Kyle Nowlin
(photo by Dave Baker)

KN:  Yeah, like getting used to being around the bag with your footwork. The bag is kind of awkward at first. You don’t really know how to get there and you’re dancing around it. But once you get used to it, the footwork becomes more natural.

AF:  Is there anything that you’re working on, or that the coaches, particularly hitting coach Juan Dilone, are working on with you right now?

KN:  In the second half, Dilo hasn’t worked much with me, just because I’ve been swinging so well. He wants to let me do my own thing and not mess with anything. So, yeah, I guess I’m not really working on anything in particular at the plate.

AF:  So, on the personal side, where have you been living this year? Are you staying with a host family or are you sharing a place with some of your teammates?

KN:  I’m staying with a host family. It’s me, JaVon ShelbyNate Mondou used to live with us before he got promoted – now Josh Vidales lives with us ever since he got sent here. We are living with a woman named Janna. She’s awesome. There at the house is a whole basement we have to ourselves. It’s a pretty nice little setup.

AF:  What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

KN:  A full season is a grind. You cannot take anything for granted. We have 140 games with just 12 off days, which include the three off-days during the All-Star break. So, if you have a bad day one day, you’ve just got to let it go. You’re going to probably get four to five at-bats the next day. You just can’t let something bother you so much that it sends you into a downward spiral.

AF:  With just a few weeks left in the season, what’s your main focus or goal you’re trying to accomplish?

KN:  I’m just trying to finish strong and play like I have been, aim for at least one to two hits a day, string together some good games. The body is wearing down a little bit from the grind of the season. We are currently on a 19-game stretch without an off-day. That’s a tough stretch, especially being in August. But I really want to enjoy the last few weeks we have here. You can’t play baseball forever, so you’ve got to enjoy it while you can!

*          *          *

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.

Saturday, August 19th: Martinez Impresses in Snappers’ Loss & Ramirez Has 4 Hits for Hounds as A’s Affiliates All Fall

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Seth Martinez (7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 6 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Seth Martinez (7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 6 K)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Beloit Snappers          0

Cedar Rapids Kernels  1

LP – Martinez 4-8 / 3.77

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Seth Martinez

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

The Snappers were shut out on just 2 hits on Saturday, but last year’s 17th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Seth Martinez, turned in one of his best starts of the season. The 22-year-old allowed 1 run on just 3 hits while striking out 6 over 7 innings of work, but he still ended up being saddled with the loss. LHP Ty Damron tossed 1 scoreless inning in relief, and left fielder J.C. Rodriguez and designated hitter Kyle Nowlin both singled as the Snappers suffered their seventh loss in their last eight games on Saturday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Stockton, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Friday, August 18th: Mateo’s Big Hit Helps Hounds Win in a Walk-Off while Sounds & Ports Prevail in One-Run Victories

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 4 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Arkansas Travelers        5

Midland RockHounds  6

WP – Sturdevant 2-3 / 3.58

HR – Mateo (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Jorge Mateo

(3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 4 RBIs)

With two men on and the game tied in the bottom of the 9th, shortstop Jorge Mateo stepped to the plate and laced a single to right field to drive home the winning run as the RockHounds won in a walk-off to notch their fifth straight victory on Friday. Mateo also doubled in a run in the 2nd and hit a 2-run homer in the 4th for the Hounds. Designated hitter Tyler Marincov singled, doubled and drove in 2 runs, while second baseman Max Schrock and left fielder Tyler Ramirez had a pair of hits apiece for Midland. Starter Casey Meisner allowed 1 run in 4 innings of work, while RHP Tyler Sturdevant picked up the win despite giving up 3 runs, 2 earned, in 1 inning of relief for the RockHounds. Meanwhile, Midland RHP Dustin Hurlbutt landed on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain and RHP Kyle Finnegan was reassigned to the RockHounds from the Sounds on Friday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

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