Tag: Brett Graves

Arizona Insights: Neuse, Blackwood & More

Special to A’s Farm by Jason Pennini / @JasonPennini / baseballbellcurve.com

Jason Pennini of baseballcurve.com has been busy in Arizona this fall getting looks at a number of A’s prospects, along with other young players, in the Instructional League as well as in the Arizona Fall League. And we’re happy to share some of his impressions and videos of numerous A’s prospects here, so that you can get a better look at them too…

 

sn641914b3B Sheldon Neuse (10/17 AFL) – Neuse has shown me a lot this fall. He makes frequent loud contact and tends to shoot baseballs opposite field into the right/center gap. He is capable of using all fields though. He has a good feel to hit and awareness of the zone. I think the power will play to average because the approach seems more contact-oriented than power-oriented. I have yet to see him in BP, but I suspect there is more raw in the bat than he has shown in games. Defensively, he lacks some agility and quickness of his peers. However, I think the industry consensus is he has enough to get the job done. I was thinking he has an above-average arm. Then, a scout informed me Neuse used to touch mid 90s as a pitcher, so it’s probably plus. This is a guy I am in on as a possible everyday regular. On 10/25, Neuse played shortstop and looked good there. He made a good play on a tough grounder and showed quick hands getting it to first. The athleticism is better than I originally thought.

Heat Map via MLBFarm.com

Heat Map via MLBFarm.com

 

nb670154RHP Nolan Blackwood (10/20 AFL) – There is a lot to like about Blackwood. The 6’5” righty uses his frame to his advantage to achieve deception. He caught my eye in a previous outing when he made Francisco Mejia look ugly in a three-pitch strikeout. The fastball sits low 90s and is thrown from a sidearm angle. Hitters appear to struggle picking up the ball out of his hand, which helps everything play up. His change is in the low 80s, and both of the aforementioned pitches have quality sink. Today, Blackwood also busted out a 75-77 mph curveball. It is a pitch he reserves for right-handed hitters. It was not used in his previous outing when he faced three lefties. I was muttering aloud trying to figure out who Blackwood reminds me of delivery-wise. A scout offered up Dan Otero as a comp.

 

Click here to get Jason’s insights on Brett Graves, Dakota Chalmers & more from Instructs…

Monday, June 19th: Sounds Suffer Pair of Shutout Losses while Puk Makes Double-A Debut & Vermont Starts Season

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 8 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 8 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

GAME #1

New Orleans Baby Cakes  1

Nashville Sounds             0

LP – Smith 1-2 / 2.03

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Chris Smith

(6 IP / 8 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

The Sounds were shut out on just 2 hits in the completion of a game that was suspended after 3 scoreless innings on April 30. RHP Zach Neal was the game’s original starter, but RHP Chris Smith took the mound when play resumed on Monday. The 36-year-old was outstanding, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings of work, but he still ended up suffering his 2nd loss for the Sounds. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis and second baseman Joey Wendle notched Nashville’s only hits in the loss.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Vermont…

A’s Farm Report: Pitching Prospects Update – Puk, Gossett, Blackburn, Holmes & More

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

This week, we wanted to take a look at the pitchers currently appearing in all the A’s affiliates’ starting rotations. From A.J. Puk to Grant Holmes, from Daniel Gossett to Paul Blackburn, there are plenty of promising pitching prospects currently making their presence felt on the mound.

You can always stay up to date on all the A’s top prospects and the daily action in the A’s minor league system right here on Athletics Farm. A version of this report originally appeared on Athletics Nation

 

NASHVILLE SOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Paul Blackburn, RHP Chris Smith, RHP Corey Walter, RHP Michael Brady, RHP Daniel Gossett (recently replaced by LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Daniel Gossett

Daniel Gossett

As most A’s fans know, RHP Daniel Gossett was scratched from his scheduled start for the Sounds on Saturday so that he could be available to make his major league debut for the A’s this week, filling in for injured RHP Andrew Triggs. Gossett’s season got off to a bumpy start. The A’s 2nd-round pick in 2014 posted an unsightly 6.27 ERA in 4 April starts, but put up a much more impressive 1.54 ERA over 6 starts in May. Overall, the 24-year-old has struck out 54 while walking just 19 with a 3.41 ERA over 60 2/3 innings for the Sounds. As solid as Gossett has been, RHP Paul Blackburn has possibly been even more effective. His season has been almost the opposite of Gossett’s. The Cubs’ 1st-round supplemental pick in 2012 was almost unhittable in April, with a 1.64 ERA, but he took a bit of a dip in May, compiling an ERA of 5.12. In his 2 starts in June though, the 23-year-old has allowed just 1 run and 5 hits over 13 innings of work. He’s also on the A’s 40-man roster, so a call-up at some point this season would be easy. But 36-year-old veteran RHP Chris Smith has probably been the Sounds’ best starter on the whole. He’s posted a 2.96 ERA over 51 2/3 frames, threw 6 no-hit innings in his last start, and is currently riding a 12-inning scoreless streak. RHP Michael Brady was a free agent signee in the offseason. He started out the year in the bullpen, but he’s been working out of the rotation recently and has now made 6 starts for the Sounds. The 30-year-old has compiled a respectable 3.67 ERA, but what’s most notable about him is the fact that he’s walked just 6 while striking out 42 over 41 2/3 innings for Nashville. RHP Corey Walter is a fairly recent arrival in the Sounds starting rotation, arriving from the RockHounds at the end of May. The 24-year-old was, by far and away, Midland’s best starter, putting up a 2.44 ERA for the Hounds, and he’s posted a solid 3.38 ERA over 4 starts for Nashville. The newest addition to the Sounds rotation is LHP Dalton Sawyer, who was called up from Beloit to fill in for Gossett on Saturday. The 23-year-old was the Snappers’ best pitcher, striking out 64 over 56 innings while compiling an impressive 2.25 ERA for Beloit. And last year’s 9th-round draft pick for the A’s turned in a quality start for the Sounds on Saturday, allowing 3 runs over 6 innings of work. But it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to stick around Nashville while Gossett is away. After his recent stint with the A’s, RHP Daniel Mengden was set to rejoin the Sounds starting rotation until he was sidelined by a lat strain, and he’s now doing time on the disabled list, as is RHP Raul Alcantara, and rehabbing RHP Chris Bassitt has been sidelined for the time being after experiencing some discomfort in his return from Tommy John surgery.

 

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Grant Holmes, RHP Heath Fillmyer, RHP Brett Graves, LHP Evan Manarino, RHP Joel Seddon

Grant Holmes

Grant Holmes

Former 1st-round draft pick for the Dodgers, RHP Grant Holmes, was having a mostly disappointing season for the RockHounds until fairly recently. He had a 6.27 ERA in April and 5.52 ERA in month of May, but since the calendar turned to June, it’s been an entirely different story. The 21-year-old has struck out 17 while walking just 1 over his last 14 frames, threw 8 shutout innings in his last start and didn’t allow a hit until the 7th inning in that game. Overall, Holmes has notched 69 strikeouts over 62 innings for the Hounds this season. 23-year-old RHP Heath Fillmyer, who impressed while splitting time between Stockton and Midland last year, has been mostly mediocre for Midland so far this season, compiling a 4.22 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP over 13 starts for the RockHounds. RHP Brett Graves and LHP Evan Manarino were two of Stockton’s best starters in the early going. Graves was the first to earn his promotion to Double-A by putting up a 2.55 ERA and striking out 29 in 24 2/3 innings for the Ports, while Manarino posted a 3.21 ERA and walked just 3 batters over 47 2/3 frames for Stockton. Things have been a little tougher in the Texas League for both of them though. Graves has compiled a 5.97 ERA over his first 7 appearances, while Manarino has a 6.75 ERA after his first 3 starts for Midland. RHP Joel Seddon has recently stepped into the RockHounds rotation. The 24-year-old made 26 starts for Midland last year but started out this season in the bullpen, and he’s now made a pair of starts for the Hounds. In his last appearance on Friday, Seddon allowed just 1 run over 7 innings of work for Midland. There was room for Seddon in the RockHounds rotation with RHP Corey Walter, who had been the Hounds’ best starter, being promoted to Nashville, RHP James Naile sidelined since mid-May with an abdominal/oblique strain, and RHP Ben Bracewell‘s recent banishment to the bullpen.

 

STOCKTON PORTS

Current Starting Rotation: LHP A.J. Puk, RHP Casey Meisner, RHP Dustin Hurlbutt, RHP Angel Duno, RHP Brendan Butler

Logan Shore

Logan Shore

Stockton’s starting rotation originally consisted of the A’s top three draft picks from last year’s draft – LHP A.J. Puk and RHPs Logan Shore and Daulton Jefferies – but currently, Puk’s the only one still pitching. Last year’s top pick for the A’s has looked dominant at times, though he has been a bit inconsistent, as might be expected at this stage of the game. The 22-year-old has twice allowed just 1 hit over 5 shutout innings and has had outings where he’s notched as many as 12 strikeouts. Overall, he’s compiled an ERA of 3.98 while striking out 87 and walking 22 over 54 1/3 frames for the Ports. Shore was looking good until he was sidelined with a lat strain in mid-May. When the 22-year-old landed on the disabled list, he’d compiled a 3.12 ERA while striking out 32 and walking just 6 over 34 2/3 innings for Stockton. Unfortunately, Jefferies only had the chance to throw 7 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery. RHP Casey Meisner, who struggled mightily for Stockton last season, has been showing signs of turning things around a bit lately. Though he has an ERA of 4.68 for the season, he’s also struck out 67 while walking just 19 over 59 2/3 frames, and he just threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in his last start on Sunday. RHP Dustin Hurlbutt put up a 2.84 ERA in April, then posted a 5.32 ERA in May, and now has a 2.77 ERA in 2 starts in June. But his peripherals have consistently looked pretty good, and he’s struck out 58 and walked just 16 over 55 2/3 frames for the Ports. RHP Angel Duno has a 1:4 BB:K ratio but a 5.46 ERA for the season. The 23-year-old Venezuelan has been hurt by the long ball, surrendering 10 home runs over 61 innings of work. RHP Brendan Butler is the newest addition to Stockton’s starting rotation. The 24-year-old was one of Beloit’s best starters, compiling a 2.32 ERA for the Snappers, and he threw 5 scoreless innings in his first start for Stockton. He seems to have taken the place of RHP Boomer Biegalski in the Ports rotation, though it’s not clear if Biegalski may end up serving in something of a tandem situation with Butler. Biegalski has been a big victim of the long ball since his arrival from Beloit, surrendering 10 home runs in just 37 innings, leading to a bloated 5.84 ERA. LHP Evan Manarino and RHP Brett Graves had been two of Stockton’s best starters, but both have been promoted to Double-A Midland.

 

BELOIT SNAPPERS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Brandon Bailey, RHP Matt Milburn, LHP Zack Erwin, RHP Mitchell Jordan & RHP Jesus Zambrano (tandem), RHP Abdiel Mendoza (recently replaced LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

The Snappers starting rotation had been surprisingly effective this season, but the recent promotions of two of Beloit’s best starters – LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler – could change things a bit. The top remaining starter in the Snappers rotation is RHP Brandon Bailey. Last year’s 6th-round draft pick for the A’s has put up a 2.51 ERA while striking out 52 and walking just 13 over 43 innings of work. Meanwhile, RHP Matt Milburn has mostly struggled, posting a 5.60 ERA over 13 appearances for the Snappers. LHP Zack Erwin, whom the A’s acquired from the White Sox in the Brett Lawrie deal, recently returned to the rotation after starting the season on the disabled list, and the 23-year-old has pitched well, compiling a 1.69 ERA over his first 3 appearances. Last year’s 10th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Mitchell Jordan, and 20-year-old Venezuelan RHP Jesus Zambrano represent the sole remaining starting-pitching tandem in the A’s system, and both are sporting ERAs over 5.00 at this point in the season. With Sawyer’s promotion to Nashville, 18-year-old Panamanian RHP Abdiel Mendoza was called upon to take his spot in the rotation. The youngster surrendered 4 runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first appearance, but it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to occupy the fifth spot in the Snappers starting rotation. RHP Dakota Chalmers, the A’s 3rd-round draft pick in 2015, was reassigned to the Vermont roster after struggling with his control. The 20-year-old walked 29 in 29 innings while also striking out 47. He’s set to get a restart when the Lake Monsters start their season next week. RHP Michael Murray had been pitching well for Beloit before landing on the disabled list in mid-May, putting up a 2.54 ERA over his first 8 appearances. LHP Ty Damron had also been playing a part in the Snappers tandem rotation but, although he hasn’t been placed on the disabled list, he hasn’t appeared in a game in the last two weeks.

*          *          *

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Thursday, June 8th: Butler & Biegalski Pitch Ports to Shutout Victory while Rosa Helps Hounds Mount Comeback Win

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

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

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  5

Modesto Nuts     0

WP – Butler 1-0 / 0.00

HR – Bolt (6)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brendan Butler

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

RHPs Brendan Butler and Boomer Biegalski, both of whom started the season with Beloit, teamed up to shut out Modesto on 5 hits on Thursday as the Ports prevailed for the eighth time in their last ten games. Butler, who was promoted to the Ports on Tuesday, struck out 5 over 5 shutout innings to earn the win in his first appearance for Stockton this season. Biegalski then came on to strike out 4 in 4 scoreless frames to complete the shutout and pick up his first save for the Ports. Center fielder Skye Bolt slugged his 6th home run, a solo shot in the 3rd, and then singled in a pair of runs in the 7th, while left fielder James Harris singled, doubled and drove in a run, and shortstop Eli White had a pair of hits for the Ports. In other news, Stockton infielder Trent Gilbert and LHP Will Gilbert were sent to extended spring training in Arizona to rehab from recent injuries.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

Friday, June 2nd: Olson Hits 2 HRs in Sounds’ 4th Straight Victory while Hounds Win in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  12

Iowa Cubs                 3

WP – Smith 3-2 / 3.35

HR – Olson 2 (14), Nunez (14)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A big 7-run 1st inning made it easy for Nashville to notch its fourth straight victory on Friday. First baseman Matt Olson led the attack, launching a pair of home runs – a 3-run blast in the 1st and a solo shot in the 7th. Olson also singled and scored in the 9th, while left fielder Renato Nunez homered, doubled and drove in a pair. Olson and Nunez now have 14 home runs apiece, tying them for the team lead. Third baseman Matt Chapman collected 3 hits, including a double, and drove in a run, and right fielder Ryan LaMarre singled twice, walked, drove in 2 runs and swiped a pair of bases for the Sounds. RHP Chris Smith turned in an outstanding start, striking out 8 over 6 shutout innings to earn his 3rd win for Nashville.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Saturday, May 27th: Puk Pitches Ports to Victory with 5 Scoreless Frames

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher A.J. Puk (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 8 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher A.J. Puk (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 8 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports                      4

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes  2

WP – Puk 3-4 / 3.43

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher A.J. Puk

(5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 8 K / Win)

LHP A.J. Puk turned in his second straight impressive start for Stockton on Saturday. Last year’s top draft pick for the A’s threw 5 shutout innings while allowing just 1 hit, walking 4 and striking out 8 with a fastball that was reaching into the upper-90s on the night. Puk earned his 3rd win for the Ports and has now allowed just 1 hit and 1 run while striking out 15 over his last 10 1/3 innings for Stockton. LHP Will Gilbert gave up 2 runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief, but RHP Nolan Blackwood tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings to post his 4th save for the Ports. Shortstop Eli White collected 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, while left fielder James Harris and third baseman Mikey White each singled in a run, and catcher Sean Murphy and center fielder Tyler Ramirez had a pair of hits apiece for the Ports.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

Monday, May 22nd: Gossett’s 8 Shutout Innings Lead Sounds to Victory while Puk Pitches 5 1/3 No-Hit Frames in Ports’ Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Daniel Gossett (8 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Daniel Gossett (8 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds         9

Sacramento River Cats  3

WP – Gossett 2-2 / 3.59

HR – Olson (11), Chapman (9), Wendle (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Daniel Gossett

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

RHP Daniel Gossett delivered his best start of the season on Monday, allowing just 4 hits while walking none and striking out 6 over a career-high 8 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for the Sounds. And the A’s 2nd-round draft pick in 2014 has now allowed just 4 earned runs in 19 innings over his last 3 starts. RHP Aaron Kurcz gave up a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th for Nashville. First baseman Matt Olson homered for the second straight night, belting a 3-run blast in the 3rd inning and singling in another run in the 5th, while third baseman Matt Chapman slugged a solo shot in the 4th, and second baseman Joey Wendle drilled a 2-run drive in the 7th to help the Sounds win their second straight over Sacramento. In other news, Nashville manager Ryan Christenson told Sounds play-by-play man Jeff Hem on Monday’s pre-game show that he didn’t expect catcher Bruce Maxwell, who’s currently on the disabled list with an oblique injury, to be back before mid-June at the earliest.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Wednesday, May 17th: Schrock Hits 2 HRs in Hounds’ Loss while Nashville’s 3 HRs Aren’t Enough to Help Sounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman Max Schrock (3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman Max Schrock (3 for 4 / 2 HRs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  4

Frisco RoughRiders       7

LP – Finnegan 0-1 / 3.38

HR – Schrock 2 (5), Munoz (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman Max Schrock

(3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs)

Despite having his team fall for the fourth time in their last five games on Wednesday, second baseman Max Schrock had a big night at the plate for Midland. The 22-year-old prospect got off to a slow start in April but has been heating up in May, and the 5-foot-8 infielder muscled up to mash a pair of solo home runs in Wednesday’s contest for the Hounds. Schrock’s first round-tripper in the 4th inning gave the RockHounds the lead and, after falling to a two-run deficit, his second solo shot tied the game in the 6th. Just before Schrock’s second big fly, shortstop Yairo Munoz homered for the second time in the last two days to give the keystone combo back-to-back jacks. Munoz also doubled, stole third and scored a run on center fielder J.P. Sportman‘s RBI single in the 1st. Starter Brett Graves had a rare rough outing, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits over 5 frames, while RHP Ben Bracewell tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief and left with the game tied, but RHP Kyle Finnegan gave up a big 3-run homer in the bottom of the 8th to suffer his 1st loss for the Hounds.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton & Beloit…

A’s Farm Report for Week of May 8-14: Brugman Returns, Gossett Gets Hot, Blackburn Goes Cold & Stockton Goes on Skid

Outfielder Jaycob Brugman

Outfielder Jaycob Brugman

 

After missing the start of the season with a leg injury, outfield prospect Jaycob Brugman‘s bat in now back in action for Nashville. Pitching prospect Daniel Gossett has been getting hot after a slow start, while his teammate Paul Blackburn has been cooling off after a fast start. And despite a promising pitching staff, the Stockton Ports have been struggling.

You can always stay up to date on the A’s top prospects and all the daily action in the A’s minor league system right here on Athletics Farm. A version of this weekly minor league report originally appeared on Athletics Nation

 

Click here for this week’s updates on Nashville, Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Friday, May 12th: Gossett Pitches Sounds to Victory while Boyd’s Bat Helps Hounds Win Again

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Daniel Gossett (6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Daniel Gossett (6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Albuquerque Isotopes  1

Nashville Sounds       3

WP – Gossett 1-2 / 4.15

HR – Barreto (5), Parmelee (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Daniel Gossett

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

RHP Daniel Gossett turned in his best start of the season for the Sounds, allowing just 1 run while striking out 7 over 6 innings of work to earn his 1st win on Friday. And the 24-year-old has now given up just 3 earned runs and struck out 16 in 16 innings over his last 3 starts. RHP Zach Neal, who’s now working out of the bullpen with Jharel Cotton‘s addition to the rotation, LHP Ross Detwiler and RHP Simon Castro each tossed 1 scoreless inning in relief, with Castro getting the final three outs in the 9th to notch his 3rd save for Nashville. Shortstop Franklin Barreto hit his 5th home run, a 2-run shot, in the 1st to give the Sounds an early lead, and right fielder Chris Parmelee followed with a solo shot in the 2nd. Left fielder Jaycob Brugman collected 3 hits, while center fielder Ryan LaMarre had a pair of singles as the Sounds snapped their four-game losing streak on Friday. In other news, A’s RHP John Axford was sent to Nashville on a rehab assignment and is scheduled to make his first relief appearance on Saturday, while RHP Daniel Mengden is set to make his second rehab start on Saturday for the Sounds.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

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