Sunday, September 3rd: Holmes Helps Hounds Move One Step Closer to Playoff Berth while Ports Clinch Cal League Playoff Spot

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Grant Holmes (8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Grant Holmes (8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  4

Frisco RoughRiders       1

WP – Holmes 11-12 / 4.49

HR – Murphy (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Grant Holmes

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

The RockHounds won on Sunday to reduce their magic number for a playoff berth to one with one game left to play. A Midland win or a Corpus Christi loss on Monday will put the Hounds in the Texas League playoffs for the fourth straight season. RHP Grant Holmes was the star of the game, allowing just 1 unearned run on 3 hits while striking out 5 over 8 innings of work to earn his team-leading 11th win. The 21-year-old extended his league-leading strikeout tally to 150 and also set a RockHounds single-season franchise record with the total. Catcher Sean Murphy homered for the second straight night to tie the game in the top of the 5th inning. Second baseman Max Schrock had a pair of hits and drove in the winning run in the 9th, while first baseman Viosergy Rosa singled twice and drove scored a run, and Murphy drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the 9th. RHP Kyle Finnegan got the final three outs to notch his 9th save for the RockHounds. Meanwhile, RHP Heath Fillmyer is set to make the start for Midland on Monday.

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

Down on the Farm with Stockton Ports Pitcher Brandon Bailey

bb669064bBrandon Bailey grew up in Colorado and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he struck out 125 batters in 100 1/3 innings while posting a 2.42 ERA in his final season for the Bulldogs.

After the right-hander was selected by the A’s in the 6th round of last year’s amateur draft, he spent most of the season playing for Vermont, the A’s Class-A affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he put up a solid 3.08 ERA in 10 appearances. But Bailey was even more impressive for Beloit this season, posting a 2.88 ERA while notching 61 strikeouts over 68 2/3 innings of work for the Snappers before being promoted to the Ports at the start of July.

Last summer, we shared a few of Bailey’s blog posts about some of his experiences in the A’s minor league system in the weeks and months after the draft. We heard from him again just last week about some recent changes in his life, which you can check out here, and now we’re happy to share his latest update from Stockton. You can check out his personal blog here and you can follow him on Twitter at @BBailey_19

 

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how quickly humans can get caught up in a routine or daily schedule. With iPhones, iPads and Surface Pro 3s receiving our undivided attention, it seems like more and more people are forgetting to soak in all the blessings God has put in front of us on a daily basis. Things that on the surface seem so small or insignificant that we set them off to the side. Memories that we often take for granted, thinking that it’s always going to be there for us to appreciate. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of being glued to my technology and taking things for granted during numerous points in my life.

Over the past week, I have set aside some time to self-reflect, asking myself a set of questions: “What is my current routine? What do I like about it and what do I want to change?” With the help of family members, friends and teammates, I have discovered over the past five years that my life has been revolving around discontentment – always looking forward to the next step, the next goal, the next phases of life. Whether that’s in baseball, school or daily events, I am always planning for something further on down the road. This can be looked at as a positive trait as well as a negative one.

For starters, I don’t think there is anything wrong with people who like to plan out their school and/or work week. This is definitely me, and if you are anything like me, you probably find creating a to-do list to be oddly satisfying. Whether it’s something as simple as turning in a homework assignment or something as complex as solving world hunger, if it’s on my list and I complete the task, you can bet your ass that I will cross it off with a solid ballpoint pen (organized nerd geek for the win!). This technique, along with utilizing a planner to construct a strategy for my typical 9-to-5 work day, ultimately directs me on a path towards maximizing productivity, erasing wasted effort, and most importantly, eliminating wasted time. By being efficient during the set hours of the week that are designed for work, I:

1) Put myself in a position to have more free time to do fun stuff like binge watch House of Cards or talk to my family and friends on the phone.

2) Have a clear conscience that everything I needed to do in terms of “adulting” has been completed.

3) Give myself the opportunity to be in the present moment.

Brandon Bailey  (photo by Meghan Camino)

Brandon Bailey
(photo by Meghan Camino)

What I discovered over the past week is that, even though I am extremely organized with my time, I am still not taking advantage of being in the present moment. Why? Because I’ve let my work mentality transfer over into my personal life. Simple fix, right? Not so much – at least for me.

As a pitcher, I’ve been taught to constantly focus on the next pitch – a basic mindset that keeps me focused on the task at hand – letting go of anything that has happened during the previous pitch, at-bat, inning, game, or even the season, for that matter. This mentality, in my opinion, is the leading outlook on the art of pitching, simply because it forces the athlete to control what they can control, and that is – the NEXT pitch. Once the ball is released from the pitcher’s hand, he or she has zero say in what happens next. Gravity, the umpire’s opinion, and the hitter’s decision to swing or not are all up in the air. All the pitcher can do is hope that:

1) He made a quality pitch that is difficult for the batter to hit.

2) The hitter perceived the pitch as enticing and decided to swing, and hopefully miss.

3) The umpire felt that the pitch was within a certain area that gave the hitter a fair opportunity to put the ball in play (i.e. “the strike zone”).

If any one of these things doesn’t go the pitcher’s way, odds are there will be a negative outcome. It could be something as simple as the umpire calling the pitch a ball or something as catastrophic as a three-run walk-off Jimmy Jack to lose Game 7 of the World Series. Regardless, it’s out of the pitcher’s control. Like the great Clayton Kershaw said earlier this year, “They pay me to get the next guy out,” once again, emphasizing that pitchers, even the greatest in the world, are always looking ahead to the next pitch or the next at-bat.

On the positive side, I am aware of what I want to change. On the negative side, it’s unfortunate that it took me five years to come to this realization. All those times when God wanted me to just enjoy where I was currently at in life, I was looking ahead six months down the road. If I could do it all over again, I would praise him for the blessings of that day and let him handle all the worry, stress and uncertainty of my future.

Again, I think it’s okay to be excited for the future. It gives us hope. But if you let what’s to come blind you from the blessings of today, your life will be driven by discontentment and a restless aspiration for improvement. When in reality, the way to improve your future is by giving 100% to today.

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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, September 2nd: Decker Leads Sounds to Victory while Brown Homers Again for Ports & AZL A’s Win Finale

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaff Decker (1 for 3 / Double / Walk / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaff Decker (1 for 3 / Double / Walk / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds             8

New Orleans Baby Cakes  6

WP – Hahn 2-0 / 4.32

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Jaff Decker

(1 for 3 / Double / Walk / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

With the bases loaded, one out and his team down by a pair of runs in the top of the 9th inning, center fielder Jaff Decker stepped to the plate and lined a double to right field to clear the bases and provide the margin of victory for the Sounds on Saturday. Decker then stole third base and came in to score an insurance run on shortstop Yairo Munoz‘s sacrifice fly. Decker also drew a walk but was left stranded in the 7th. Designated hitter Beau Taylor collected 3 hits, while third baseman Renato Nunez drew 3 walks, and second baseman Joey Wendle singled in a pair of runs for the Sounds. Starter Josh Smith allowed 2 runs over 5 frames, while RHP Chris Jensen gave up 4 runs in 2 innings of relief. RHP Jesse Hahn tossed 1 scoreless inning in his return from the disabled list to earn his 2nd win for the Sounds, and RHP Lou Trivino got the final three outs in the 9th to notch his 4th save for Nashville.

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

A’s Top-Performing Minor League Hitters of 2017

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

With the end of the minor league season almost upon us, it’s time to take a look at some of the young hitters in the A’s system who’ve been having true standout seasons on the field in 2017. So, let’s run down some of the top-performing position players in the A’s system this year. For the purposes of this piece, we’re only examining hitters who’ve compiled at least 300 at-bats this season and who are currently in the A’s minor league system. And remember, we’re not ranking top prospects here, just taking a look at some of the top performers on the field. All statistics are through games of Friday, September 1…

 

rn6005243B-OF Renato Nunez

Nashville Sounds (AAA)

(466 AB / 32 HR / 41 BB / 139 K / .253 AVG / .315 OBP / .526 SLG)

Considered a top power-hitting prospect for the A’s ever since the team signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela over six years ago, Nunez is back for his second season at Nashville. And his power seems to have reached new heights in his second stint at Triple-A. His 32 home runs are the most among A’s minor leaguers and tie him for second-most in the 16-team Pacific Coast League. The right-handed slugger’s 61 extra-base hits lead the A’s system, and his .526 slugging percentage is best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats. The 23-year-old has also been much more consistent at the plate than he has been in past campaigns, though his lack of speed has led him to ground into 14 double plays so far this season. Nunez should get a look with the A’s this September, where he may have the chance to see some time in left field and in the designated hitter spot over the last month of the season. But with Matt Chapman entrenched at the hot corner, it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be seeing much time at his old position. He really has the ability to hammer lefties, so his best role may be as a power-hitting platoon player, either as a DH or in left field. He’ll be out of options next season though, so the A’s will quickly need to determine exactly what they think they have in Mr. Nunez.

 

tr669262bOF Tyler Ramirez

Stockton Ports (A+) / Midland RockHounds (AA)

(474 AB / 11 HR / 72 BB / 129 K / .310 AVG / .404 OBP / .441 SLG)

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. The improved competition hasn’t seemed to hinder the 22-year-old, as he hit better at Stockton than he did for Vermont, and has 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 72 walks are most among A’s minor leaguers, while his .404 on-base percentage is best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats. He’s also compiled the second-most hits and runs in the system so far this season. While Ramirez can play all three outfield positions, he seems to look most comfortable in left, where he’s spent the bulk of his time this season.

 

bs615702OF Brett Siddall

Stockton Ports (A+)

(432 AB / 20 HR / 31 BB / 102 K / .301 AVG / .365 OBP / .493 SLG)

After turning in a somewhat unimpressive season last year at Beloit, Siddall may have shown as much improvement as any hitter in the A’s system this year. Taken by Oakland in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, the left-handed hitter got off to a slow start this season, compiling a rather tepid .657 OPS in April, but a healthy .929 OPS in the second half has helped to turn things around in a big way for the 22-year-old. His 20 home runs and .493 slugging percentage have helped to make him a potent force in the Ports lineup this season, while primarily playing in left and right field and also seeing frequent time in the DH spot for Stockton. He can tend to crowd the plate a bit and has been hit by pitches 14 times this season, which is the most among A’s minor leaguers.

 

sb664913OF Seth Brown

Stockton Ports (A+)

(509 AB / 28 HR / 55 BB / 143 K / .267 AVG / .337 OBP / .495 SLG)

Back for his second season in Stockton, Brown has really unleashed his power potential for the Ports this year. After getting off to a sluggish start with a .718 OPS in the first half, the left-handed hitter has put up an impressive .951 OPS since the California League All-Star break in late June to become Stockton’s best hitter in the second half. The 25-year-old leads all A’s minor leaguers in total bases, while his .495 slugging percentage is good for second-best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats, and his 28 home runs and 106 RBIs both currently lead the California League. Of course, along with power come strikeouts, and his 143 whiffs are tied for second-most in the A’s system. After being taken in the 19th round of the 2015 draft as a first baseman, Brown has spent the past couple of seasons primarily playing right field, but he’s begun seeing some more time at first base again lately.

 

bb622196OF B.J. Boyd

Midland RockHounds (AA)

(519 AB / 5 HR / 33 BB / 74 K / .329 AVG / .372 OBP / .437 SLG)

Taken by the A’s in the 4th round of the 2012 draft as a teenager out of Palo Alto High, Boyd has really come into his own in his sixth season in the A’s system. After turning in a somewhat uninspiring season at Stockton last year, the 24-year-old has compiled more hits and runs than any A’s minor leaguer this season and is tied for the second-most doubles with 29, while his .329 batting average is best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats and also happens to lead the Texas League. The left-handed hitter has been incredibly productive hitting near the top of the order for the RockHounds and has swiped 15 bases while primarily splitting time between left and center field. Boyd has shown tremendous consistency this year and even leads his team in total bases this season.

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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.

Friday, September 1st: Mateo, Boyd & Rosa Help Hounds Win Big while Bracewell, Manarino & Altamirano Are Solid for Sounds, Ports & Snappers

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (4 for 5 / Triple / 2 RBIs / Stolen Base)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (4 for 5 / Triple / 2 RBIs / Stolen Base)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

San Antonio Missions      5

Midland RockHounds  12

WP – Naile 2-3 / 3.21

HR – Rosa (18)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Jorge Mateo

(4 for 5 / Triple / 2 RBIs / Stolen Base)

The RockHounds won their final home game of the regular season to snap their six-game losing streak and reduce their magic number for a playoff berth to three with just three games remaining. Shortstop Jorge Mateo had another big night at the plate, collecting 4 hits, including a triple, while scoring 4 runs, driving in a pair and swiping a base. It was the 22-year-old’s 18th triple and 52nd stolen base of the season, and Mateo is now hitting .450 over his last 4 games for Midland. Center fielder B.J. Boyd drove in 4 runs while notching 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, to take back the Texas League batting lead by raising his average to a robust .329. First baseman Viosergy Rosa walked, singled in a run and slugged a 3-run homer to extend his league-leading RBI total to 110, while designated hitter Jermaine Curtis walked, singled twice and doubled in a run for the RockHounds. RHP James Naile turned in his third straight quality start, allowing just 2 unearned runs and striking out 5 over 6 frames to earn his 2nd win of the season on Friday.

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

Thursday, August 31st: Brown’s Slam Highlights Ports’ Big Win while Puk K’s 13 for Hounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Seth Brown (2 for 5 / Grand Slam / Double / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports 1B Seth Brown (2 for 5 / Grand Slam / Double / 5 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide    0

Stockton Ports  22

WP – Bailey 2-1 / 4.24

HR – Brown (27), M.White (16), Bolt (15)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Seth Brown

(2 for 5 / Grand Slam / Double / 5 RBIs)

The Ports exploded for 22 runs as they shut out Visalia on just 2 hits to move back into a three-way tie for first place in their division on Thursday. First baseman Seth Brown continued his red-hot second half, collecting his 18th double of the season and slugging his second grand slam in his last four games. The 25-year-old walked, scored twice and drove in 5 runs on the day to extend his league-leading RBI total to 104, and his 27th home run tied him for the league lead. Center fielder Skye Bolt had 5 hits, including a home run, and drove in 6 runs, while shortstop Mikey White homered, doubled, walked and drove in 4. Third baseman Branden Cogswell collected 4 hits, and second baseman Nate Mondou and right fielder Luis Barrera both had 3 hits and drove in a pair for the Ports. Starter Brandon Bailey was outstanding on Thursday, allowing just 1 hit while striking out 7 over 5 frames to earn his 2nd win for Stockton, while RHP Boomer Biegalski returned from the disabled to throw 1 scoreless inning in relief for the Ports. First baseman Chris Iriart also returned from the disabled list but was not in the lineup on Thursday, while shortstop Richie Martin and RHP Miguel Romero were both placed on the DL for Stockton.

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

Wednesday, August 30th: Siddall Helps Ports Prevail in Extras while Barreto Has 3 Hits for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Brett Siddall (2 for 6 / Home Run)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Brett Siddall (2 for 6 / HR)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide   3

Stockton Ports   4

WP – Blackwood 1-5 / 3.05

HR – Siddall (20)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Brett Siddall

(2 for 6 / Home Run)

The Ports prevailed in 12-innings to help keep their playoff hopes alive on Wednesday. Left fielder Brett Siddall hit his 20th home run to tie the game in the 8th inning and then scored the winning run on designated hitter Mikey White’s RBI double in the bottom of the 12th as Stockton won in a walk-off. Siddall also singled in the game, and his .303 batting average and .500 slugging percentage are both bests among all current Ports batters. First baseman Seth Brown walked 4 times, scored a run and stole a base, while third baseman Branden Cogswell drew 3 walks and singled in a pair of runs for the Ports. Starter Logan Shore allowed 3 runs over 7 innings of work, while RHP Kyle Friedrichs pitched 4 perfect frames in relief, and RHP Nolan Blackwood tossed a scoreless top of the 12th to pick up his 1st win for the Ports.

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

Tuesday, August 29th: Mateo Triples Twice for Hounds while Carter Homers Again for Sounds & Arizona Fall League Rosters Are Announced

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 6 / 2 Triples / RBI)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 6 / 2 Triples / RBI)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

San Antonio Missions   10

Midland RockHounds   8

LP – Mann 3-7 / 4.44

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Jorge Mateo

(3 for 6 / 2 Triples / RBI)

Shortstop Jorge Mateo turned in another strong performance for the RockHounds on Tuesday. The 22-year-old, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal, collected 3 hits, including a pair of triples, while driving in a run and scoring twice, and he’s now hitting .300 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs over his last 9 games for Midland. Designated hitter Jermaine Curtis singled, tripled, walked and drove in 3 runs, while second baseman Max Schrock and center fielder B.J. Boyd both had 2 hits and drove in runs for the RockHounds. Starter Grant Holmes allowed 1 run on 3 hits while walking 6 and striking out 8 over 5 innings of work for Midland. RHPs Sam Bragg and Kyle Finnegan each surrendered 3 runs in relief, while LHP Brandon Mann was charged with 2 unearned runs in the top of the 9th to take the loss as the RockHounds suffered their fourth straight defeat on Tuesday.

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

Monday, August 28th: Nowlin Helps Snappers Sweep Twinbill while Smith & Meisner Are Solid for Sounds & Hounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin (3 for 3 / Double / Walk / RBI)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin (3 for 3 / Double / Walk / RBI)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

GAME #2

Beloit Snappers  8

Burlington Bees    4

WP – Camacho 3-3 / 2.97

HR – Shelby (8)

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin

(3 for 3 / Double / Walk / RBI)

The Snappers snapped their three-game losing streak by sweeping a doubleheader from Burlington on Monday. Designated hitter Kyle Nowlin reached base 4 times, on a pair of singles, a double and a walk, while also driving in a run and scoring twice. Center fielder JaVon Shelby singled and homered, while second baseman Josh Vidales singled, walked twice and scored twice, and right fielder Luke Persico singled in 2 runs, including the winning run for the Snappers. Starter Zack Erwin gave up 2 runs over 4 1/3 frames, while RHP Joseph Camacho allowed 1 run 2 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win. In other news, Erwin was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after throwing 6 no-hit innings in Beloit’s no-hitter against Quad Cities on Wednesday.

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

Down on the Farm with Stockton Ports Pitcher Brandon Bailey

bb669064bBrandon Bailey grew up in Colorado and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he struck out 125 batters in 100 1/3 innings while posting a 2.42 ERA in his final season for the Bulldogs. 

After the right-hander was selected by the A’s in the 6th round of last year’s amateur draft, he spent most of the season playing for Vermont, the A’s Class-A affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he put up a solid 3.08 ERA in 10 appearances. But Bailey was even more impressive for Beloit this season, posting a 2.88 ERA while notching 61 strikeouts over 68 2/3 innings of work for the Snappers before being promoted to the Ports at the start of July.

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

 

Ever since I signed my letter of intent to participate in college athletics, my life has revolved around one thing…baseball. I speak for all my current/former professional teammates when I say that deciding to make this great sport your main source of income can be one of God’s greatest blessings but also one of life’s biggest challenges. Obstacles constantly present themselves day in and day out in professional baseball just like any other occupation. But what separates this career in difficulty from the vast majority of jobs after college is one thing…spending 6 months of the year away from loved ones, all in pursuit of making our childhood dream a reality. It’s a huge sacrifice for the player and anyone close to the player in any way.

You see, most people are going to graduate from college with a degree that they may or may not be able to use at their first “real job.” They will settle into a place that can be familiar or completely foreign but, regardless, they are settled at a permanent location. They will find an affordable apartment or small condo that they can officially call home or, for the majority of college students who are in over their heads in debt once they receive their diploma, they will move back in with their parents (hence familiar territory). Seems pretty straight forward, and that’s exactly my point. For most young adults ages 21 to 25 who cross this bridge into adulthood, there is a sense of normalcy or a routine in which they can submerge themselves. This consistent regularity of an permanent location, interactions with coworkers, and overall social lifestyle makes it easy to start building a foundation for the next stage in life…finding someone to walk this journey with you.

Unfortunately, for most ball players, we don’t receive that same luxury. In fact, the very lack of normalcy that is associated with our job makes our lifestyle difficult to relate to for anyone that is going down the path that I described in the previous paragraph. It takes a special person to support a ball player striving to achieve a dream that is so difficult to achieve. Distance apart from people that us ball players care about is something that we all juggle on a daily basis with our significant other, kids (if we have them), and immediate family members. Some players establish a serious relationship that has been in the works prior to signing a pro baseball contract while other players (like myself) try to make new found relationships work over long distance. Neither situation is easy or ideal, but for the players who are starting fresh with someone, the distance can take its toll.

Brandon Bailey (photo: Meghan Camino)

Brandon Bailey
(photo by Meghan Camino)

In the past 72 hours my life went from potentially being one week away from having 6 months to grow in the relationship that I was currently involved in while also finishing my degree at Gonzaga to potentially 1 week away from going back to Spokane to finish my degree and focus on bettering myself as an individual because I don’t have another choice. I can use the clichés “What happened was way out of left field,” or “Life really threw me a curve,” or even “My life just did a 180,” but at the end of the day God has a plan and it’s not my job to question it.

Before I go any further, it’s important that I clarify my intentions behind this post. The last thing I want is to make this entry sound like a sob story or that I have ill will towards the person I was previously dating. If anything, it’s quite the opposite. This person changed my life in so many ways in such a short amount of time, and for that, I am forever grateful. She brought me closer to my faith, gave me more confidence in myself to do anything I set my mind to, and she made me believe that a relationship with trust and faithfulness does still exist. She’s one of the greatest human beings I have ever had the privilege of spending meaningful time with, and in the process, became my closest friend. She had such an impact on me that I decided I needed to pick up my laptop and write again in order to vent and process what is running through my mind, which is significant because writing is one of my favorite things to do, yet I’ve only jotted down one post this season. I truly wish her all the best, and to whoever wins her heart in the future…treat her right because she deserves nothing but the very best and then some.

Now that I reeled you in with all sorts of feels (or maybe you think I’m a pathetic try-hard blogger who makes a piss-poor effort at a meaningful post), I can attempt to end this post on a high note. As I mentioned earlier, technically there is only 1 week left in the 2017 regular season. Which is important information to know because the current team I play for, the Stockton Ports, is in a playoff push, tied with 3 teams in our division for second place and only 1 game back of the division leader, the Visalia Rawhide (the California League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks). Even though classes start at Gonzaga tomorrow, I wouldn’t mind being a week or two late to school if it means I get to take the mound one more time as “The Ports make a run at the California state title!” said hitting coach Tommy Everidge and pitching coach Steve Connelly.

Regardless of the outcome of our playoff run, I am thankful for all the blessings God has presented me even with my current 180. He has given me the opportunity to grow as a ball player and as a person this season, and for that, it was all worth it. He is also giving me the opportunity to go to the same school as my younger sister Bri for the first time since she was born. Words can not express how excited I am to share the “Zag” experience with her in the upcoming fall months! Finally, I’m thankful for all the new friendships I have made through my new teammates and coaches. When it’s all said and done, I can look back knowing that no one can take the memories of the clubhouse, dugout and bus away from me.

And with the final line, I thought it might be nice to leave an inspirational quote from a song I am currently using as motivation to keep moving forward no matter what the situation:

“So RISE. Break the dark, piercing the night, you’re made to shine. An army of hope, bringing the world a radiant light.”- Rise by Danny Gokey

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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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