Tag: Brandon Bailey

Wednesday, August 16th: Holmes Wins 10th for Hounds while Martin & Pimentel Homer to Help Ports Prevail

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Grant Holmes (6 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 3 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Grant Holmes (6 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 3 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

NW Arkansas Naturals   3

Midland RockHounds   4

WP – Holmes 10-11 / 4.73

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Grant Holmes

(6 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 3 BB / 6 K / Win)

RHP Grant Holmes turned in a strong start to help the RockHounds win their third straight on Wednesday. The 21-year-old allowed 2 runs and struck out 6 over 6 innings of work to become just the second 10-game winner in the Texas League so far this season. And after compiling a 5.45 ERA in the first half, Holmes has now put up a much-improved 3.98 ERA in the second half. RHP Sam Bragg pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings in relief to pick up his 6th save for Midland. Shortstop Jorge Mateo had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a run, while right fielder Tyler Ramirez singled, doubled and walked, and catcher Sean Murphy and third baseman Sheldon Neuse each singled twice and drove in a run for the RockHounds.

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

Saturday, July 29th: Pimentel Helps Ports Win Big while Martinez Leads Snappers to Another Shutout Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Sandber Pimentel (4 for 6 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Sandber Pimentel (4 for 6 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 3 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  15

Modesto Nuts       5

WP – Lyons 2-2 / 4.67

HR – Pimentel (8)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Sandber Pimentel

(4 for 6 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 3 RBIs)

After scoring 11 runs in Friday’s win, the Ports exploded for 15 runs on Saturday to take their second straight from Modesto. 22-year-old first baseman Sandber Pimentel had a huge night at the plate, collecting 4 hits, including a home run and a pair of doubles, while driving in 3 runs for Stockton. Shortstop Sheldon Neuse had 4 singles and a walk and drove in a run, while designated hitter Eli White tripled, singled twice and drove in 3, and right fielder Seth Brown tripled, doubled and drove in a pair for the Ports. RHP James Naile was activated from the disabled list and made his first start for Stockton this season, allowing 2 runs over 3 innings of work, while LHP Jared Lyons tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win. In other news, Ports pitcher Brandon Bailey was placed on the disabled list with a groin injury.

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

Mondou & Bailey on Making the Big Move from Beloit to Stockton

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

spRoFg4u4YThere’s been a mighty big turnover on Stockton’s roster since the start of the season.

And just since June, infielders Nate Mondou and Edwin Diaz, outfielder Luis Barrera and pitchers Brandon Bailey, Brendan Butler, Dalton Sawyer, Norge Ruiz and Miguel Romero have all joined Stockton from Beloit for the second half.

Late last week in Stockton, we took the opportunity to talk to a pair of those players, second baseman Nate Mondou and right-hander Brandon Bailey, who also happen to be roommates, to see how the duo was adjusting to life in the California League…

 

NATE MONDOU

nm670148bThe lefty-swinging second baseman was the A’s 13th-round draft pick last year out of Wake Forest. Mondou spent the first few months of the 2017 season hitting near the top of the order for the Snappers, and his .296 batting average and .371 on-base percentage both led Beloit batters when he was promoted to the Ports. Since joining Stockton late last month, the 22-year-old has posted a .279/.352/.441 slash line over his first 28 games for the Ports. In a recent interview with Stockton manager Rick Magnante, the skipper said about Mondou: “His ability to swing the bat has been impressive. I think he’s a sleeper. I think you could see Nate in the big leagues.”

AF:  You started out the season in Beloit. And I know sometimes those first couple of rainy, chilly months in the Midwest League can be rough for hitters, so how did you handle hitting in the conditions there?

NM:  Definitely, it was freezing cold when we got there. It rained quite a bit. But in those type of situations, you’ve just got to stick with the process and try to simplify everything, because the outside conditions kind of made it tough. But overall, it was a good experience and I was able to learn a lot. It’s always good to learn how to play in those conditions before coming up to higher levels. So, overall it was good, but it was kind of tough at first like you said. Not being able to feel your hands at the plate is kind of rough.

AF:  Yeah, when your hands are on the verge of frostbite, it’s probably a little hard to hit.

NM:  Exactly!

AF:  You got off to a good start there though, and you had a nice hitting streak going there for a while, so you obviously managed to deal with it. But coming here to the California League in the second half has got to be a great development for you.

NM:  Definitely, very glad to be here. It’s definitely more of a hitters’ league. It’s a little bit of an adjustment just being able to hit the ball in the air a little bit more. In Beloit, it didn’t quite fly as well as it does here. So, I’m just kind of making little adjustments here and there to fit the ballpark and fit the league and everything. But I’m very glad to be here. It’s nice to have nice, dry, warm weather every day.

AF:  Where’d you grow up?

NM:  I grew up just about an hour south of Seattle, Washington…so it’s nice to be back on the west coast too.

AF:  Do you find any differences with the pitchers you’re facing here in the California League compared to what you were used to seeing in the Midwest League?

NM:  Yeah, it’s definitely another level up. There’s a little more consistency in the quality of pitching, and that carries over for both the starters and the bullpen guys. We definitely saw some very good arms up there in the Midwest League, but down here, it’s day in and day out, and every guy coming out of the ‘pen too.

AF:  What kind of adjustments have you had to make since you’ve been here in Stockton?

Nate Mondou (photo by Meghan Camino)

Nate Mondou
(photo by Meghan Camino)

NM:  Yeah, I think earlier in the year I didn’t really use the pull side of the field as much. I was kind of really, really focused on driving the ball the other way. And I think coming here, I’ve seen a lot more fastballs in, a lot more pitches inside, so I’ve kind of tried to open up the field, kind of going left-center/right-center rather than just kind of left of center field. So, that’s been the biggest thing for me, being able to open up that right side of the field.

AF:  What do you feel are the biggest strengths of your game? What are you really confident that you’re bringing to the table for a team?

NM:  I think the biggest thing is a quality at-bat. I’m going to try to grind out an at-bat no matter how tough the situation is and try not to take any at-bat for granted. Definitely working deep in counts, and once I get to two strikes, hopefully grinding a long at-bat out. I think that’s probably one of the biggest things for me, not taking anything for granted, not letting one at-bat slip through my fingers. So, quality at-bats – that’s probably one of the biggest things for me.

AF:  Now you’re a smaller guy, so people probably weren’t looking at you as being a big, powerful prospect coming out of school. So, have you had to play the game with that sort of underdog mentality, feeling like you had to prove to people what you were really capable of doing on the field?

NM:  Yeah, definitely. There’s always that height thing that’s always been mentioned at every level I’ve played at. So, it’s kind of nice to show people that doesn’t really matter and that you can work past it no matter what. I came out of college hitting a bunch of home runs and kind of had to change my approach once I got here to more of a table-setter type. So, I’m trying to hit more line drives, and I think that’s helped me succeed so far, especially with the average. The power numbers aren’t where they were in college, but I think I’m slowly working to kind of find the best of both worlds between the contact and the power.

AF:  Well, if you spend enough time in the California League, you might just become a power hitter again!

NM:  Exactly!

AF:  On the personal side, since you had to move here in the middle of the season, where are you staying at, who are you living with, and what’s life like off the field here in Stockton?

NM:  Yeah, it was kind of a whirlwind couple of days coming from Wisconsin out here and trying to figure out who I’m living with. But I’m living with Eli White and Brandon Bailey right now in an apartment. It’s a little bit more expensive than out there in Wisconsin, but it’s a nice setup and we’ve got a nice little spot and they’re a couple of good guys to live with, so I’m happy.

AF:  And you’ve got sunshine every day!

NM:  Exactly, no thunderstorms!

AF:  Well, you’ve got a little over a month of the minor league season left here now in Stockton. So, what are you really focused on this final month or so of the season here?

NM:  I think consistency is the biggest thing for me, just trying not to have a roller-coaster type of season. Of course, there’s always going to be ups and downs, but trying to keep it as close to the main line as possible. So, I think just finishing strong. I’ve had multiple coaches tell me so far this year, “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.” And that’s what people really care about. So, I had a good strong start, but I’m definitely focused on continuing that consistency throughout the year and finishing strong.

 

BRANDON BAILEY

bb669064bThe A’s made Bailey their 6th-round pick in last year’s draft after he struck out 125 batters in 100 1/3 innings while posting a 2.42 ERA in his junior year at Gonzaga. He spent most of last 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 for the Lake Monsters. But Bailey was even more impressive for Beloit in the first half of this season, posting a 2.68 ERA while notching 73 strikeouts over 57 innings of work for the Snappers. Since being promoted to the Ports earlier this month, the 22-year-old has struck out 27 in 19 1/3 innings while compiling a 6.05 ERA for Stockton. We’ve periodically featured blog posts by Bailey about his experiences in the A’s minor league system, which you can find here.

AF:  You got called up here to Stockton from Beloit about a month ago. So, how has it been for you adjusting to a whole new league here this past month?

BB:  It’s been exciting, just for the mere fact that I’m back on the west coast. Being a West Coast Conference guy in college, this is where we had our conference tournament, and I’m real familiar with the park. So, it wasn’t like a complete shock. I was really familiar with the park and how it plays. I was just really excited to move up a level. It’s a long season, and you’re just trying to climb the ladder. And at the end of the day, I just couldn’t be happier to be back on the west coast.

AF:  So, remind me where you were born and where you went to school.

BB:  I was born in Westminster, Colorado and lived in the Denver metro area my whole life. My parents still live there today. I reside in Broomfield, Colorado. That’s kind of my hometown – about 20 minutes north of Denver and 15 minutes east of Boulder. And when college came, I moved to Spokane, Washington, where Gonzaga University is. And that’s kind of where I’m living currently in the offseason, just because I’m trying to finish up my degree. I hope and plan to go back this fall to knock out that last semester that I have and be done, and then from there, just go back to spring training and do it all over again.

AF:  What are you majoring in?

BB:  Sports management with a minor in public relations.

AF:  Well, that might come in handy!

BB:  Yeah, definitely useful. I love being around sports, and it’s something that I would like to pursue after the playing career is over, whether that be working in professional baseball or I’ve always had a really big passion for Nike and all the products that they release, especially the N7 brand that they have going. My dream would be to work for Nike when it’s all said and done.

AF:  You got off to a really good start to the season in Beloit. So, is there anything you’ve found that’s particularly different here in the California League?

BB:  I think the biggest adjustment is that you can’t kind of give in in those hitter advantage counts. Sometimes in the Midwest League, the parks play big and you know if you get behind that you can challenge a little bit up. They might know your 2-0 fastball is coming, but the park plays big enough that you’re not going to get hurt. And so far, in the majority of these parks, if they’re bigger, the wind blows out really hard, and if they’re smaller, it blows out even more! So, you’ve just got to be really particular with all your pitches. And I think the emphasis for me, the biggest adjustment, is really emphasizing getting ahead in the count, putting the hitter in a position where they’re unfamiliar with what’s coming, where they’re kind of on their heels and they can’t be as aggressive as they might be in the 1-0 or 2-0 counts.

AF:  Yeah, with these parks in the Cal League, if you get behind, you can’t afford to groove one in there!

BB:  Yep, but I like that challenge a little bit too, because it makes me focus just that much more on trying to be that much more conscious and particular with my pitches, and I feel like that’s actually helping me get better. And I’ve heard that at Midland, the strike zone gets a little bit smaller. So, I’m just focusing on really hitting spots. And I think that’s good for me, because in college, I knew that I could just challenge you up with a fastball and the exact location didn’t really matter – I knew that I was probably going to win that battle. But here in pro ball, it’s not exactly the same.

AF:  Well, the strike zone might be smaller in the Texas League, but the good news is the parks are bigger – and the wind isn’t usually blowing out!

Brandon Bailey (photo by Meghan Camino)

Brandon Bailey
(photo by Meghan Camino)

BB:  There you go!

AF:  Tell me a little bit about your repertoire and what you’re working with.

BB:  I throw five pitches. It was four, but four days ago I learned a new pitch, so now it’s five. I throw a four-seam fastball which has a really high spin rate, so it’s got good ride and carry through the zone. I guess to the hitter, they perceive it as the ball kind of rising almost. Oakland’s really been encouraging me to throw the ball up in the zone, which, going into professional baseball, you’re taught your whole life to keep the ball down. But here, they want me to throw up with my fastball, so that’s really kind of a bit of a change for me, but it’s kind of nice at the same time, because I do like throwing up in the zone with that fastball. So, I throw a four-seam fastball, a four-seam changeup which spins the same way as the fastball – it just has an arm-side drop and run to it. And then, I throw a slider, which is now a true slider. In college, it was kind of more of a slurve, but I’ve tightened it up and I’ve been throwing it a lot harder lately, which is nice. And then this offseason, I added a spiked curve, just because I wanted to have a get-me-over breaking ball that looked a little bit different to the hitter, so that way they wouldn’t be able to sit on something hard early in the count, whether that be the fastball or the slider. And then, I just added a cutter four days ago, which is really exciting because, like I said before, my four-seam fastball’s pretty straight and true – it has good carry, but not a lot of movement to either side. And this cutter has been moving glove side with late action to it, so it’s just a nice extra tool that I can have in my repertoire just to keep the hitters honest.

AF:  Well, that’s a couple more pitches than most guys have at this level!

BB:  Yeah, so the biggest thing for me is the fastball/change has always been my bread and butter, so now it’s just trying to get those breaking pitches, along with the cutter, up to speed and hopefully get them to be big league average or a tick better than that.

AF:  So, have you used the cutter in a game yet?

BB:  Yeah, I did in a game versus the Quakes. I threw three – one was really good, one was straight as an arrow and one went in the dirt. So, I went one for three, but I’ll take it for only having thrown it for like two days in advance.

AF:  On the personal side of things, you had to make a move here in the middle of the season from Wisconsin to California. So, where are you staying at and who are you living with now?

BB:  I think the person who was most excited for me to move out here was my girlfriend, because she’s actually from Sacramento. So, when I told her, she was pumped. But I currently reside in an apartment complex about fifteen minutes north of the stadium. I’m living with Nate Mondou and Eli White in a two-bedroom apartment. It’s the typical minor league apartment. We’ve got the cardboard box as the TV stand. We’re all living on air mattresses. But at the end of the day, it’s still a lot of fun. They’re great guys to live with. I was able to room with Eli White in Vermont to start everything off last summer, so me and him are really good buds. And then with Mondou being in Beloit, we obviously knew each other. So, it’s been a good fit. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment going from a host family in Beloit to apartment living, but I kind of enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun.

AF:  Well, probably most of your time is spent out here at the park anyway.

BB:  Exactly! All you’ve got to do is wake up, make breakfast and then go to the park and you’re here basically the majority of your day anyway.

AF:  Well, we’re heading into the final month or so of the minor league season now. So, what are you thinking about and what are you trying to accomplish in the last month or so here?

BB:  I think it’s just to finish strong. At the start of the year, there can be some bumps in the road – everyone has their ups and downs. But I remember in spring training, [minor league pitching coordinator] Gil Patterson and [farm director] Keith Lieppman and [special assistant] Grady Fuson and all these guys saying, “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.” And they re-emphasize that when the first teams come out, because some guys aren’t exactly thrilled with where they’re starting. So, my goal is just to try to continue to work on my craft and really get a feel for these new pitches – the curveball and the cutter that I’m adding. And just try to finish strong here in Stockton and hopefully end on a high note and go into the offseason with some good goals to try and achieve, and then come back and hopefully fight like hell to make the Midland roster. I think, at the end of the day, it’s just trying to see progress with each day that you come to the field and when you leave the park, you can say, “I got better today.” So, the goal each day is to try to get a little bit better than you were the day before.

*          *          *

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Saturday, July 22nd: Altamirano Pitches Snappers to Victory while Ports Can’t Prevail in Extras

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Xavier Altamirano (6 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Xavier Altamirano (6 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

South Bend Cubs  3

Beloit Snappers   6

WP – Altamirano 6-2 / 3.06

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Xavier Altamirano

(6 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / Win)

RHP Xavier Altamirano turned in his second straight quality start for the Snappers on Saturday. The 23-year-old allowed 3 runs, just 2 earned, while striking out 6 over 6 innings of work to earn his 6th win for the Snappers. RHP John Gorman tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Yordys Alejo got the final three outs in the 9th to notch his 3rd save. Center fielder Mike Martin collected 3 hits, including a double, stole a base and scored twice, while first baseman Kyle Nowlin had 2 hits and a walk and drove in a pair, and left fielder Luke Persico singled twice and drove in a run for the Snappers.

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

Monday, July 17th: Hurlbutt Helps Hounds Win Again while Bailey & Walter Are Solid for Ports & Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt (7 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Dustin Hurlbutt (7 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 3 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  5

San Antonio Missions    1

WP – Hurlbutt 2-1 / 1.99

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt

(7 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 3 K / Win)

RHP Dustin Hurlbutt delivered another outstanding start to help the RockHounds take their second straight from San Antonio on Monday. The 24-year-old allowed 1 run on just 2 hits over 7 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Midland, and Hurlbutt has now given up just 1 run and 7 hits in 18 1/3 frames over his last 3 starts for the Hounds. RHP Tyler Sturdevant tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to secure his 1st save for Midland on Monday. Right fielder J.P. Sportman singled, tripled and drove in a run, while center fielder B.J. Boyd had 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, stole a base and scored twice, and designated hitter Jermaine Curtis doubled, walked and drove in a pair of runs for the RockHounds.

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

Friday, July 7th: Mondou’s 4 Hits Help Stockton Win 3rd Straight & Vermont Wins in a Walk-Off in 15th

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Second Baseman Nate Mondou (4 for 5 / 2 Triples / Double / Walk / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Second Baseman Nate Mondou (4 for 5 / 2 Triples / Double / Walk / 2 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports         9

Lancaster JetHawks  2

WP – N.Ruiz 1-0 / 4.50

HR – E.White (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman Nate Mondou

(4 for 5 / 2 Triples / Double / Walk / 2 RBIs)

The Ports prevailed for the third straight night with the help of hot-hitting second baseman Nate Mondou on Friday. Last year’s 13th-round draft pick for the A’s collected 4 hits, including 2 triples and a double, while also drawing a walk and driving in a pair of runs. The 22-year-old is now 8 for 12 with 3 walks, 3 extra-base hits and 5 RBIs over his last 3 games and is batting .386 since being promoted to the Ports early last week. Shortstop Eli White walked and hit a 2-run homer, while catcher Argenis Raga singled, doubled and drove in a run. 23-year-old Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz looked strong in his second start for Stockton, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings of work to earn his 1st win, while RHP Brandon Bailey gave up 1 run in 3 innings of relief to pick up the save for the Ports.

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

A’s Farm Report: Meisner, Murphy, Munoz & More Top A’s Prospects on the Move

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A number of top-performing A’s prospects have received promotions over the past month. Among those on the move have been RHP Casey Meisner, catcher Sean Murphy, infielder Yairo Munoz, LHP A.J. Puk and 23-year-old Cuban defector Norge Ruiz, along with many others. Of course, some have been demoted too. But let’s run down some of these recent moves and take a look at how these promoted and demoted players have been performing so far this season…

 

IF Yairo Munoz, C Beau Taylor and RHPs Lou Trivino and Kyle Finnegan to Nashville from Midland

Yairo Munoz

Yairo Munoz

Due to some nagging injuries, Munoz’s season didn’t get started until the first week of May, and then it took a couple more weeks before his bat began heating up. But after compiling a .532 slugging percentage over his first 47 games for Midland, the 22-year-old was promoted to Nashville towards the end of June, where he’s put up a .212/.250/.242 slash line in his first 8 games for the Sounds. Munoz has mainly split time between shortstop and third base this season, but he’s recently started 3 games in center field. Taylor was suspended for the first 50 games of the season after testing positive for amphetamines and didn’t get his season started until the final day of May. The 27-year-old got off to a hot start though and put up a .309/.385/.485 slash line over his first 21 games for the RockHounds. So, after spending parts of six seasons with Midland, Taylor finally got the chance to make his Triple-A debut at the end of June, and he’s gone 6 for 18 with 3 walks and a pair of doubles over his first 5 games for Nashville. Trivino and Finnegan were two of Midland’s top relievers this season. Trivino posted a 2.43 ERA while failing to give up a home run and striking out 34 in 33 1/3 frames. Finnegan struck out 27 and walked just 7 over 30 innings while recording 8 saves for the RockHounds. But since arriving in Nashville late last month, Trivino has allowed 4 runs over his first 3 games, and Finnegan has put up a 7.71 ERA in his first 2 appearances for the Sounds.

 

RHPs Tyler Sturdevant and Aaron Kurcz to Midland from Nashville

After making his major league debut for Tampa Bay last season, it’s been a rough year for Sturdevant, who signed with the A’s as a minor league free agent in the offseason. He started the year on the disabled list, then was inconsistent, putting up a 4.39 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP for the Sounds before being reassigned to the RockHounds in mid-June, where he’s allowed 3 runs in his first 5 frames at Double-A. Kurcz got off to an even rougher start this season, posting a 7.24 ERA in 22 relief appearances for Nashville before being moved down to Midland last week, where he’s looked much better, allowing just 1 hit over 3 2/3 scoreless frames for the Hounds.

 

LHP A.J. Puk, RHPs Casey Meisner and Dustin Hurlbutt, C Sean Murphy, IF Branden Cogswell and OF Tyler Ramirez to Midland from Stockton

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

Much of Stockton’s starting rotation has been reassigned to the RockHounds. Brett Graves was the first to make the move to Midland in early May, followed by Evan Manarino in late May, and Puk, Meisner and Hurlbutt all made the move in June. Puk struck out 98 in 61 innings for Stockton, while Meisner struck out 80 in 74 2/3 frames, and Hurlbutt posted a solid 3.23 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP for the Ports. Puk’s been a little inconsistent since arriving in Midland, allowing 3 runs over 7 innings in his first start, giving up 2 runs over 6 frames in his last start, and surrendering 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in just 1/3 of an inning of work in his other start. Overall, the 22-year-old has walked 9 and struck out 12 in his first 13 1/3 frames for Midland. Meisner and Hurlbutt both gave up 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings of work in their Double-A debuts last week. Catcher Sean Murphy, infielder Branden Cogswell and outfielder Tyler Ramirez all made the move the Midland last week as well. Ramirez was boasting Stockton’s best on-base percentage (.399), and Murphy was sporting the team’s top slugging percentage (.527), while Cogswell seemed to earn his promotion primarily based on service time. He was drafted by the A’s in the 7th round back in 2014 and started his stint with Stockton in 2015. Since arriving in Midland, Murphy has gone 7 for 17 with a double, while Cogswell has gone 2 for 15, and Ramirez went 1 for 2 with a walk in his Double-A debut on Sunday.

 

RHP Kyle Friedrichs, LHP Evan Manarino and C Argenis Raga to Stockton from Midland

After impressing at Stockton last year, Friedrichs was given a shot at starting the season at Double-A this year. But the 25-year-old put up an ERA of 6.00 at Midland before being sent back to Stockton last week, where he gave up 5 runs over 5 frames in his first appearance for the Ports. Manarino started the season in Stockton and was solid, striking out 46 while walking just 5 over 51 2/3 innings for the Ports, but he struggled badly after moving up to Midland. The 24-year-old allowed 24 earned runs in 26 2/3 innings over his first 5 starts for the RockHounds before being reassigned to Stockton last week, where he surrendered 6 runs in his first return appearance for the Ports. And with Sean Murphy’s promotion to Midland, Argenis Raga was sent back to Stockton. After serving as the Ports’ primary starting catcher last season, Raga was given the chance to start the year with the RockHounds. But after the 22-year-old put up a feeble .200/.257/.316 slash line for Midland, he was sent back to Stockton last week to make way for Murphy.

 

LHP Dalton Sawyer, RHPs Brendan Butler and Brandon Bailey, 2B Nate Mondou to Stockton from Beloit

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

Butler and Sawyer were Beloit’s two best starting pitchers over the first couple of months of the season, with Butler compiling a 2.32 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP and Sawyer putting up a 2.25 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP before being promoted to the Ports prior to the California League and Midwest League All-Star breaks last month. And both have continued to perform well for the Ports, with Butler striking out 32 over his first 24 1/3 frames and posting a 3.33 ERA, while Sawyer has struck out 22 in 16 2/3 innings and put up a 2.16 ERA for Stockton. After the departures of Sawyer and Butler, Bailey was the best bet in Beloit’s starting rotation. Last year’s 6th-round draft pick for the A’s struck out 73 in 57 frames while compiling a 2.68 ERA before being promoted to the Ports this weekend, where he allowed 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first appearance for Stockton on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mondou was one of Beloit’s best hitters this season, boasting a .371 on-base percentage before being promoted to the Ports last week, where he’s gone 8 for 24 with 3 extra-base hits over his first 6 games for Stockton.

 

RHP Norge Ruiz to Stockton from the Dominican League

After allowing just 1 run in 19 innings of work over 4 starts in the Dominican League, Ruiz was promoted to the Ports last week, where the 23-year-old Cuban defector gave up 4 runs over 4 innings in his first start for Stockton on Saturday.

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Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Wisconsin (6/30-7/3)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers took the final game of their four-game set with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Brewers’ Midwest League affiliate, at Beloit’s Pohlman Field on Monday to split their series.

Wisconsin’s pitching staff has struggled this season, ranking near last in the Midwest League in almost every pitching category. The team also ranks last in the league in batting average (.220), slugging percentage (.346) and OPS (.642). So, it’s no surprise that the Timber Rattlers finished last in the Midwest League’s Western Division for the first half.

 

Game #1:  Wisconsin 7 – Beloit 4

Zack Erwin

Zack Erwin

*LHP Zack Erwin struggled with his command in this one, walking 3 batters and giving up 3 runs in just 4 ⅔ innings.

*RHP Yordys Alejo was taken deep twice by Timber Rattlers’ second baseman Tucker Neuhaus, slugging a solo shot in the 6th inning, then belting a 3-run blast in the 7th.

*The Snappers scored 4 runs on 10 hits in the game, but missed many prime opportunities to score more runs, including stranding the bases loaded in both the 6th and 7th innings.

 

Game #2:  Wisconsin 4 – Beloit 2

Seth Martinez

Seth Martinez

*Switch-hitting shortstop Eric Marinez hit his third home run of the season in the bottom of the 1st inning for Beloit, but it turned out to be the Snappers’ only extra-base hit of the game.

*The Timber Rattlers scored more runs (4) than they had hits (3).

*Cuban RHP Miguel Romero made his first appearance for Beloit, throwing 32 pitches in just 2 innings of work, presumably because he was on a pitch count. The 23-year-old gave up 2 earned runs, both in his second inning of work.

*RHP Seth Martinez, the A’s 17th-round pick in 2016, was strong in long relief. One mistake in the 4th inning to Timber Rattlers first baseman Ronnie Gideon led to a two-run homer (clocked at 106 mph off the bat) that ended up being the difference in the game. Despite being tagged with the loss, that was the only hit Martinez allowed, and he was charged with just one run earned run while striking out 7 in 6 innings of stellar work.

 

Game #3:  Beloit 4 – Wisconsin 2

Kyle Twomey

Kyle Twomey

*LHP Kyle Twomey made his first home start at Pohlman Field in this one. Last year, he posted a solid season in the Midwest League for the South Bend Cubs. Despite compiling a 3.44 ERA in 73 ⅓ innings in 2016, Twomey was released by the Cubs this spring and was promptly signed by the A’s as a minor league free agent. Though he’s currently sporting an ugly 6.89 ERA for the Snappers this season, Twomey put up a solid line in this game: 5 IP/4 H/2 ER/2 BB/3 K.

*RHP Jesus Zambrano was impressive in relief. The 20-year-old struck out 5 batters over 4 scoreless frames. And 4 of his 5 strikeouts saw Wisconsin hitters flailing at his changeup, which was diving down into the dirt.

*Third baseman Trace Loehr went 3 for 4 at the plate, but his most impressive feat may have come in his first at-bat. With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Loehr worked an 11-pitch at-bat, eventually lining a single to right. This brought up the A’s 21st-round pick in 2016, first baseman Kyle Nowlin, who proceeded to crack a line-drive home run oppo boppo over the fence in right-center field to tie the game at two apiece. And it was all set up by Loehr’s outstanding at-bat to keep the inning alive.

*RBI doubles by outfielders Luis Barrera and Mike Martin brought home the other two runs for Beloit in the victory.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 2 – Wisconsin 1

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*Second baseman Trace Loehr turned in his second 3-hit game in as many days for the Snappers.

*RHP Matt Milburn struggled out of the gate, surrendering 4 hits to the first 5 batters he faced. But the Athletics 29th-round pick in 2016 managed to make it out of the 1st inning allowing just 1 run. Milburn went on to pitch 6 scoreless innings after that, inducing 9 ground ball outs, most of which were handled by the marvelous up-the-middle duo of shortstop Edwin Diaz and second baseman Trace Loehr. Milburn’s final line was a superb 7 IP/7 H/1 ER/1 BB/6 K.

*The biggest play of the game came in the top of the 4th inning. With Wisconsin left fielder Joantel Segovia on first base and two outs, Timber Rattlers third baseman Gilbert Lara smacked a double to center field. Segovia was determined to score on the play, but Snappers center fielder Luis Barrera and shortstop Edwin Diaz had other plans. Barrera got to the ball quickly and fired an accurate throw to the cutoff man, Diaz, who then rocketed a long relay throw home to nab Segovia at home plate. That kept it a 2-1 ballgame, and the Snappers would never surrender the lead.

 

Former Snappers Notes:

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

*Congratulations to RHP Brandon Bailey and second baseman Nate Mondou, who were both promoted to the High-A Stockton Ports last week.

*Bailey, the A’s 6th-round pick in 2016, compiled a 2.68 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP while holding hitters to a .199 batting average over 57 innings of work. He also averaged an impressive 11.5 strikeouts per 9 innings for the Snappers. While listed at just 5’10” and 175 lbs., Bailey possesses excellent stuff and is an interesting arm to watch as he climbs the ladder.

*Mondou, the A’s 13th-round pick in 2016, was the most consistent batter for Beloit through the first half of the season. The left-handed contact hitter had a strong slash line of .296/.371/.385 with a 114 wRC+ for the Snappers. Mondou will always be very dependent on his ability to hit for average and take walks, as he has little to no power, and he’ll probably be limited to playing second base. But it wouldn’t be wise to bet against this very cerebral ballplayer.

 

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A’s Prospect of the Series:

2B-3B Trace Loehr

(7 for 12 / 2 RBIs / Stolen Base)

 

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Sunday, July 2nd: Vermont Wins behind Meggs’ Big Bat while Wendle & Decker Help Sounds Win in a Walk-Off and Chapman & Bassitt Appear for Ports

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Outfielder Jack Meggs (3 for 5 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Outfielder Jack Meggs (3 for 5 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

 

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

Lowell Spinners                 4

Vermont Lake Monsters  8

WP – Mendoza 1-1 / 5.91

HR – Meggs (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Jack Meggs

(3 for 5 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

This year’s 10th-round draft pick for the A’s, center fielder Jack Meggs, had a big night at the plate for the Lake Monsters on Sunday. The 22-year-old out of the University of Washington had 3 hits, including a home run, and drove in 4 runs, and he’s now batting .533, going 8 for 15 with 2 home runs and 2 doubles over the first 5 games of his pro career for Vermont. First baseman Jarrett Costa had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a run, and second baseman Jesus Lopez singled, doubled and drove in a pair. 18-year-old Panamanian RHP Abdiel Mendoza turned in an outstanding start on Sunday, allowing just 1 run over 5 innings of work to earn the win, while 6-foot-6 Dominican RHP Wandisson Charles tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to secure the save for the Lake Monsters.

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

Saturday, July 1st: Ports Prevail Behind Butler’s Solid Effort while Semien Helps Sounds Win in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Brendan Butler (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Brendan Butler (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide   4

Stockton Ports   5

WP – Butler 2-2 / 3.33

HR – Bolt (9), Mondou (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brendan Butler

(5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

Stockton came back to earn its third win in its last four games on Saturday. 23-year-old Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz made his first start for Stockton and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits over 4 innings of work. RHP Brendan Butler replaced him on the mound and was impressive in relief, throwing 5 scoreless frames to earn his 2nd win for Stockton. Center fielder Skye Bolt, who hit a grand slam on Friday night, singled, walked, homered, stole a base and scored twice on Saturday, while first baseman Sandber Pimentel had a pair of doubles for the Ports. Second baseman Nate Mondou hit his 1st home run for Stockton, and right fielder Seth Brown had a pair of hits and singled in the tying run in the 5th inning. Left fielder Brett Siddall, who walked and moved to third on Pimentel’s second double in the bottom of the 8th, eventually came in to score the winning run on a wild pitch. Matt Chapman, serving as the designated hitter for Stockton, went 0 for 4 in his first rehab appearance for the Ports and is scheduled to make the start at third base for Stockton on Sunday. In other news, RHP Brandon Bailey was promoted to the Ports from the Snappers and Stockton outfielder Tyler Ramirez was reassigned to the RockHounds on Saturday.

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

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