Sunday, August 27th: Ports Prevail Behind Brown’s Big Bat while Bracewell Leads Sounds to Shutout Win

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

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

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports   8

San Jose Giants  6

WP – Sawyer 5-4 / 3.43

HR – Brown (26)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Seth Brown

(2 for 5 / Grand Slam / 5 RBIs)

With the bases loaded, two outs and the Ports down by a pair of runs in the top of the 3rd inning, first baseman Seth Brown stepped to the plate and slugged a grand slam off rehabbing Giants RHP Johnny Cueto to give Stockton a lead it would never surrender on Sunday. Brown also singled in another run for the Ports in the 4th to extend his league-leading RBI total to 99, while his 26 home runs are good for second in the league. Starter Dalton Sawyer allowed 5 runs while striking out 8 over 5 frames to pick up his 5th win for the Ports, while RHP Nolan Blackwood pitched a perfect 9th to notch his 18th save for Stockton.

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

Saturday, August 26th: Phegley Has Big Game for Sounds while Puk Suffers Loss for Hounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Catcher Josh Phegley (3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Catcher Josh Phegley (3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 3 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Round Rock Express  7

Nashville Sounds      6

LP – Bawcom 1-5 / 2.79

HR – Carter (6), Phegley (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Catcher Josh Phegley

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

Catcher Josh Phegley had the biggest game of his rehab assignment with the Sounds on Saturday, collecting 3 hits, including a home run and a double, while driving in 3 runs. He homered to put Nashville on the board in the bottom of the 3rd inning, doubled in the tying run and 7th, and then singled in another run in the 9th. But the Sounds still came up a run short to snap their three-game winning streak on Saturday. First baseman Chris Carter slugged his 6th home run, while center fielder Yairo Munoz had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a run, and second baseman Joey Wendle singled, walked and stole a base. Starter Chris Jensen allowed 5 runs over 5 frames, while RHP Logan Bawcom surrendered 2 runs in 2 innings of relief to suffer the loss for the Sounds.

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

A’s Top-Performing Minor League Pitchers of 2017

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

With the end of the minor league season about a week away, it seems like a good time to take a look at some of the young hurlers in the A’s system who’ve been having true standout seasons on the field this year. Many minor league players can dazzle with an amazing week, or even an amazing month, but being able to perform at a high level over the course of an often grueling minor league season, where travel can be torturous and days off are rare, is another thing altogether. So, let’s take a quick look at some of the top-performing pitchers in the A’s system this year. For the purposes of this piece, we’re only examining hurlers who’ve thrown over 100 innings this season. 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 August 25…

 

ds662121bDalton Sawyer

Beloit Snappers (A) / Stockton Ports (A+) / Nashville Sounds (AAA)

(120 IP / 99 H / 43 ER / 46 BB / 126 K / 3.23 ERA / 1.21 WHIP)

After being selected by Oakland in the 9th round of the draft last year, the left-hander may be having the best season of any hurler in the A’s system this year. Sawyer started out the season by putting up a 2.25 ERA and striking out 64 in 56 innings for Beloit before compiling a 2.93 ERA while striking out 60 in 55 1/3 frames for Stockton. The 23-year-old surrendered 11 runs in a pair of spot starts for Nashville earlier in the year or his overall numbers would look even more impressive. But thanks to his mid-90s fastball and a solid changeup, the southpaw’s always been able to put up strong strikeout numbers, and his 126 K’s are the fourth-most among A’s minor leaguers. And with his strong showing at Stockton in the second half, Sawyer should be in a position to compete for a spot in Double-A Midland’s starting rotation next season.

 

hf641571Heath Fillmyer

Midland RockHounds (AA)

(136 2/3 IP / 141 H / 53 ER / 51 BB / 104 K / 3.49 ERA / 1.40 WHIP)

A former infielder, the right-hander hadn’t spent a lot of time on the mound when the A’s took him in the 5th round of the 2014 draft, but the team clearly saw something it liked. The 23-year-old has turned out to be a smart pitcher who seems to have learned how to handle hitters and work his way out of jams while primarily pitching to contact. His fastball can range from the low to mid 90s and he shows a decent changeup and curve as well. Fillmyer doesn’t miss a lot of bats or put up gaudy strikeout numbers, but he knows how to get the job done and has shown an ability to stay healthy and take his turn on the mound every fifth day. He was a non-roster invitee to big league camp last spring, so the organization obviously values him. Fillmyer should make it onto the 40-man roster by next spring and ought to be ready to show what he can do at Triple-A next season.

 

xa665098Xavier Altamirano

Beloit Snappers (A)

(109 IP / 94 H / 40 ER / 28 BB / 87 K / 3.30 ERA / 1.12 WHIP)

After being drafted in the 27th-round in 2015 and then splitting last season between Beloit and Vermont, the right-hander may be having one of the most overlooked seasons among A’s minor league hurlers this year. Altamirano started out the season in the Beloit bullpen, making 17 relief appearances before moving into the starting rotation, where he’s made 12 starts for the Snappers. The 23-year-old is very much a control pitcher and has issued just 28 walks over 109 innings this season, which is impressive, especially for a hurler in the low minors. He’s definitely a pitch-to-contact guy who isn’t going to overpower anyone, but he seems to have the ability to induce a lot of weak contact. He allows very few base runners and delivers a solid outing almost every time out. And after turning in a strong season for the Snappers, Altamirano should get a chance to challenge California League hitters for Stockton next season.

 

dh664955Dustin Hurlbutt

Stockton Ports (A+) / Midland RockHounds (AA) / Nashville Sounds (AAA)

(118 1/3 IP / 92 H / 48 ER / 43 BB / 108 K / 3.65 ERA / 1.14 WHIP)

After turning in a solid season for Beloit last year, much like Altamirano, Hurlbutt has quietly put together a strong season in the A’s system this year. The right-hander possesses an effective changeup, and hitters seem to have a hard time figuring him out, so he ends up avoiding a lot of hard contact. Hurlbutt had Tommy John surgery during his college career before being taken by the A’s in the 16th round in the 2015 draft. The 24-year-old spent the first half of this season averaging more than a strikeout per inning at Stockton, made one spot start for Nashville, and then spent most of the second half with Double-A Midland before landing on the disabled list a little over a week ago with a right shoulder strain. But he should be more than ready to return to Midland next year to pick up where he left off this season.

 

ap640462dA.J. Puk

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

(112 1/3 IP / 94 H / 53 ER / 46 BB / 166 K / 4.25 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)

The A’s top pick in last year’s draft, the 6-7 southpaw has certainly opened some eyes and flashed some tantalizing glimpses of the potential that the A’s saw when they selected him in the 1st round last year. Puk has had some truly dominant starts, and then has had a few where he’s seemed completely out of whack. But on the whole, the 22-year-old has looked very good in his first full season as a pro. Of course, what really jumps out about Puk are his eye-popping strikeout numbers. The lefty leads all A’s minor leaguers with 166 strikeouts and has been whiffing an average of 13.3 batters per nine innings this year. Puk started out the season averaging 14.5 K/9 for Stockton before moving up to Midland. It’s also good to know that he’s been able to keep his walk rate down to 3.7 BB/9 this season. But even more impressively, he’s only allowed 3 home runs all year, which is quite an accomplishment considering he spent half his season in the homer-happy California League. It’ll be interesting to see if the A’s take things slow and have Puk return to the RockHounds to start next season or if they decide to have him start the year at Triple-A Nashville. Either way, depending on how things play out over the course of the season, it’s entirely possible that Puk could end up seeing time in Oakland before next year is through.

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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, 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.

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

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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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, 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…

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