After RHP Daniel Mengden threw 5 scoreless innings to lead Nashville to a shutout victory on Tuesday, RHP Raul Alcantara tossed 5 scoreless frames to lead the Sounds to their second straight shutout win on Wednesday. Alcantara allowed just 4 hits without allowing a walk, while RHPs Ryan Brasier, Eduard Santos and Bobby Wahl combined to throw 4 scoreless innings in relief to complete the 6-hit shutout, with Wahl picking up his 3rd save for the Sounds. Left fielder Renato Nunez homered for the second straight day, ripping his 23rd round-tripper, while catcher Matt McBride and center fielder Jaycob Brugman both walked and doubled in runs to help the Sounds win their fifth straight. And with Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien going on paternity leave, Nashville RHP J.B. Wendelken was recalled by the A’s on Wednesday.
After struggling for the first time with Nashville in his last outing, RHP Daniel Mengden was outstanding on Tuesday, allowing just 3 hits while walking none and striking out 6 over 5 shutout innings to earn his 7th win for the Sounds. Relievers Sean Doolittle, Aaron Kurcz, J.B. Wendelken and Tucker Healy tossed 1 scoreless and hitless inning apiece to complete the 3-hit shutout. Three home runs accounted for all the Sounds’ scoring on Tuesday. Designated hitter Renato Nunez tagged his team-leading 22nd home run in the top of the 1st inning, while shortstop Josh Rodriguez slugged a grand slam in the 2nd, and second baseman Colin Walsh clubbed a 2-run homer in the 5th. Right fielder Jaycob Brugman singled, doubled and scored a run, and center fielder B.J. Boyd went 0 for 4 in his Triple-A debut as the Sounds won their fourth straight on Tuesday.
After scoring 13 runs on 18 hits in Sunday’s game, the Sounds came back to plate 12 runs on 17 hits to win their third straight on Monday. Meanwhile on the mound, LHP Dillon Overton was outstanding, allowing just 1 run while striking out 7 over 6 innings of work to earn his team-leading 12th win for Nashville. Second baseman Joey Wendle had a big night at the plate, collecting 4 hits, including a triple and a pair of doubles, while driving in 3 runs. Center fielder Jaycob Brugman homered for the second straight day, slugging a 3-run shot for the Sounds, while third baseman Matt Chapman notched his 1st home run for Nashville, and shortstop Josh Rodriguez and right fielder Rangel Ravelo had 3 hits apiece in the win. RHP Carlos Navas, who was promoted from the Ports earlier in the day, tossed 1 scoreless inning in his Triple-A debut. And with Nashville’s Arismendy Alcantara recalled by the A’s on Monday, Stockton outfielder B.J. Boyd was reassigned to the Sounds.
It’s been about ten weeks since this year’s amateur draft and about two months since the first of the players picked by the A’s began playing with either the Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters or the rookie-ball Arizona League A’s.
The A’s managed to sign all of their top 20 picks this year. The highest-drafted player Oakland’s front office wasn’t able to sign was 21-year-old right-hander Brigham Hill out of Texas A&M, whom the team took with its 21st pick in the 20th round. But the A’s were fortunate that they were able to ink all 20 of the players they picked before him and get those prospects into the system. And with about two months of play now in the books, it seems like a good time to take a look at how some the A’s newest prospects have been performing down on the farm.
The A’s focused on pitching with their top 20 picks this year, taking 12 pitchers in the top 20 and 7 in the top 10. The team’s top pick, LHP A.J. Puk, has been the standout among the pitching prospects so far this season. The 6-foot-7 21-year-old has looked dominant at times for Vermont, posting a 2.70 ERA while striking out 27 over 20 innings of work for the Lake Monsters.
The A’s second overall pick, RHP Daulton Jefferies, just started seeing some action in Arizona and, in 3 brief appearances, the 21-year-old has shown off his pinpoint control by allowing just 1 run while walking none and striking out 10 over 5 2/3 frames for the AZL A’s. Oakland’s third overall pick taken in the 2nd round was Puk’s teammate at Florida, RHP Logan Shore, who recently joined his friend and former college teammate at Vermont. And in his first 4 appearances, the 21-year-old has allowed 2 earned runs and struck out 8 over 9 innings of work.
The team’s top high school pick was RHP Skylar Szynski, who was taken in the 4th round. Though he’s currently sporting a 8.10 ERA, the 19-year-old’s numbers aren’t really that bad, having allowed 16 hits and just 4 walks while striking out 8 in 13 1/3 innings for the AZL A’s. Three other pitchers from the top 10 rounds who are currently at Vermont have all been perfoming well. 6th-round RHP Brandon Bailey, who’s primarily been used as a starter, has posted a 3.41 ERA over 29 innings since joining the system. LHPs Will Gilbert and Dalton Sawyer have both been working out of the bullpen, where 8th-rounder Gilbert has notched 23 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings while 9th-rounder Sawyer has struck out 20 over 15 2/3 frames for the Lake Monsters.
Meanwhile, 10th-round pick Mitchell Jordan has been solid while serving in a starting role in Arizona, putting up a 3.24 ERA while walking just 7 and striking out 30 in 33 1/3 innings of work for the AZL A’s. The fastest riser of this year’s draft class has been the A’s 14th-round pick, RHP Nolan Blackwood out of the University of Memphis, who is the only member of this year’s crop to make it all the way up to the Beloit Snappers of the Class-A Midwest League. After looking solid in 5 relief appearances for Vermont, the 21-year-old has struggled a bit since joining Beloit’s bullpen, allowing 9 runs in his first 8 appearances for the Snappers.
When it comes to position players, the team’s three top 10 selections – 3rd-round catcher Sean Murphy, 5th-round third baseman JaVon Shelby and 7th-round outfielder Tyler Ramirez – all did a brief stint in Arizona before joining Vermont. Murphy’s power has yet to show itself as he has just 2 extra-base hits over his first 70 at-bats, while Shelby’s shown himself to be a bit of a free swinger, striking out 39 times in 144 at-bats while putting up a .188 batting average. Ramirez has fared a little better, with a .248/.348/.376 slash line over his first 39 games since joining the system.
The two standouts among the team’s position player picks have been shortstop Eli White and second baseman Nate Mondou, who’ve formed a productive double-play combo for Vermont and who were both recently named New York-Penn League All-Stars. 11th-rounder White has 10 doubles to go along with a .303/.365/.406 slash line, while 13th-rounder Mondou’s impressive .401 on-base percentage is among the five best in the league.
You’ll find the A’s top 20 picks of the 2016 draft along with their current statistics through August 19 listed below. The teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games with listed first and their current team in bold…
RHP Boomer Biegalski turned in his second straight impressive start for the Snappers on Friday, allowing just 1 run over 7 innings of work to earn his 8th win for Beloit. And Biegalski has now posted a 2.35 ERA while striking out 21 over 23 innings in his 4 starts in August. RHPs Rob Huber and Nolan Blackwood both pitched 1 perfect inning in relief for Beloit. Second baseman Trace Loehr had 3 hits, including 2 doubles, and drove in a pair, while first baseman Ryan Howell also doubled twice, and center fielder Skye Bolt walked and doubled in a run for the Snappers.
RHP Argenis Blanco turned in another impressive outing for the AZL A’s, striking out 8 over 5 2/3 shutout innings to earn his 4th win on Thursday, and the 20-year-old Venezuelan has now failed to allow more than 2 earned runs in each of his last 10 appearances. 19-year-old Dominican RHP Wandisson Charles gave up 1 run in 3 1/3 innings of relief to earn his 1st save. This year’s 21st-round draft pick for the A’s, left fielder Kyle Nowlin, had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair, while 28th-round second baseman Josh Vidales singled, doubled and drove in a run, and 2015 11th-round center fielder James Terrell walked, doubled in a run and scored twice for the A’s in Thursday’s win.
LHP Dillon Overton delivered a strong start for the Sounds on Wednesday, allowing 2 runs over 6 innings of work to earn his team-leading 11th win for Nashville. RHP Eduard Santos tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, while RHP Bobby Wahl got the final three outs to post his 1st save for the Sounds. Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara homered in the 3rd inning to tie the game, while second baseman Joey Wendle slugged a three-run homer in the 6th to provide the margin of victory for Nashville. Designated hitter Renato Nunez drew a pair of walks and singled in a run in the 7th, and third baseman Matt Chapman went 0 for 4 in his Triple-A debut. And with Tyler Ladendorf landing on the disabled list for the A’s, Sounds shortstop Chad Pinder was promoted to Oakland on Wednesday.
RHP Casey Meisner endured a rough start to his season by suffering 12 straight losses for Stockton, but the 21-year-old finally managed to earn his 1st win on Monday. LHP Evan Manarino started the game and gave up just 1 run over 4 1/3 innings of work. Meisner then came on and preserved a slim one-run lead by allowing just 1 base runner, on a two-out single, while striking out 6 over the 4 2/3 scoreless frames to post his first victory for the Ports. Meisner began the month of July with an ERA of 4.72 and has now whittled it down to a more respectable mark of 3.99. Third baseman Jose Brizuela had 3 hits and drove in a run, while designated hitter Sandber Pimentel singled, doubled and scored the tying run for Stockton in Monday’s win.
Last year’s 14th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Boomer Biegalski, turned in an outstanding start for the Snappers, allowing just 3 hits while striking out 5 over 6 shutout innings to earn his 7th win on Sunday. LHP Andrew Tomasovich got the final out in the 9th to notch his 1st save for the Snappers. First baseman Chris Iriart singled in a run in the bottom of the 1st to put Beloit on the board, while designated hitter Brett Siddall homered in the 4th, and left fielder Luis Barrera doubled and scored in the 1st and tripled in a run in the 7th for the Snappers.
Two Alcantaras teamed up to lead Nashville to victory on Saturday. RHP Raul Alcantara turned in his fifth straight impressive start for the Sounds, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 5 over 5 shutout innings, and the 23-year-old has now allowed just 2 earned runs in 30 2/3 innings over 5 starts since joining the Sounds. He exited with the game a scoreless tie on Saturday, but RHP Eduard Santos gave up 1 run in 2 innings of relief, and Nashville was down by a run heading into the bottom of the 9th. And that’s when center fielder Arismendy Alcantara stepped to the plate with a man on and two outs and slugged a two-run homer to enable the Sounds win on a walk-off home run for the first time at First Tennessee Park. Second baseman Joey Wendle and right fielder Jaycob Brugman contributed a pair of hits apiece in the winning cause, and RHP Bobby Wahl picked up his 1st Triple-A win after striking out the side in the top of the 9th for the Sounds.