Tag: Casey Meisner

Thursday, April 20th: Barreto Notches 4 Hits for Nashville as All 4 A’s Affiliates Fall

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (4 for 4 / Triple / RBI)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (4 for 4 / Triple / RBI)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds          3

Oklahoma City Dodgers  4

LP – Brady 0-1 / 5.91

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto

(4 for 4 / Triple / RBI)

On a day when all four A’s affiliates fell, Franklin Barreto put together an impressive night at the plate for Nashville, notching 4 hits, including an RBI triple that drove in the tying run for the Sounds. After starting off the season blazing hot, Barreto had fallen into a bit of a slump lately, going 1 for 16 with 9 strikeouts over his previous 4 games. But Barreto’s bat was back in business on Thursday, and the 21-year-old now leads the team in most major offensive categories, including hits, runs, RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage. Mark Canha, getting the start in center field, singled in Barreto for the Sounds’ second run of the game, while second baseman Melvin Mercedes had a pair of singles and a walk and scored twice in the loss. RHP Corey Walter, making his first start for the Sounds, allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, while striking out 6 over 2 2/3 innings of work on Thursday. Barreto’s triple tied the game in the top of the 5th, but RHP Michael Brady surrendered the winning run in the bottom of the 5th to suffer his 1st loss for the Sounds. And with Nashville RHP Cesar Valdez joining Oakland to make the start for the A’s on Thursday night, catcher Bruce Maxwell was optioned back to the Sounds.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Saturday, April 15th: Butler Leads Beloit to Shutout Victory while Graves Shines in Stockton’s Win

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

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

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Peoria Chiefs         0

Beloit Snappers  12

WP – Gilbert 2-0 / 4.50

HR – Diaz (3), Mercedes (3), Shelby (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brendan Butler

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

Three pitchers combined to throw a 5-hit shutout for the Snappers on Saturday. Starter Brendan Butler, who threw 4 1/3 no-hit innings in his last appearance, allowed just 2 hits while walking none and striking out 5 over 4 shutout frames on Saturday. LHP Will Gilbert then pitched a perfect 5th to pick up the win, while Butler’s tandem-pitching partner, LHP Ty Damron, tossed 4 scoreless innings in relief to earn the save for the Snappers. Third baseman Edwin Diaz had 3 hits, including a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd to put Beloit on the board, and ended up driving in a total of 3 runs on the day. Second baseman Nate Mondou singled, doubled and also drove in 3, while center fielder JaVon Shelby singled, scored twice and slugged a 3-run homer in the 6th, and first baseman Miguel Mercedes smacked a 2-run shot later in the same inning to wrap up the Snappers 12-run outburst on Saturday.

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Tuesday, April 11th: Butler Impresses in Snappers’ Loss while Sounds Win Rain-Delayed Home Opener

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Brendan Butler (4 1/3 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 9 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Brendan Butler (4 1/3 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 9 K)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Beloit Snappers        3

Clinton LumberKings  5

LP – Damron 0-1 / 4.70

HR – Mercedes (1), Diaz (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brendan Butler

(4 1/3 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 9 K)

Though his team lost its third straight on Tuesday, RHP Brendan Butler still managed to turn in one of the best pitching performances of any A’s minor leaguer so far this season. Working on the back end of Tuesday’s pitching tandem, the 23-year-old entered with two outs in the 4th inning and was nearly perfect over the final 4 1/3 frames, facing the minimum 13 batters during his stint. Butler failed to allow a hit or a walk while striking out 9, and he struck out the side in both the 5th and the 7th. The only base runner he allowed was a hit batsman in the 6th, who was quickly erased on a double play. Butler was working in relief of starter Ty Damron, who was dominant in his last outing – striking out 7 in 4 shutout innings – but he allowed 5 runs, 4 earned, over 3 2/3 innings to take the loss on Tuesday. First baseman Miguel Mercedes slugged a solo shot for the Snappers in the 2nd, while third baseman Edwin Diaz drilled a 2-run drive in the 6th, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Snappers from dropping their third straight on Tuesday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Stockton…

Friday, April 7th: Decker’s Big Night Helps Sounds Prevail in Extras while Graves Is Perfect in Ports’ Dramatic Doubleheader Split

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaff Decker (4 for 4 / Double / RBI / 2 Walks / 2 Runs / 2 Stolen Bases)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaff Decker (4 for 4 / Double / RBI / 2 Walks / 2 Runs / 2 Stolen Bases)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds      8

Round Rock Express  6

WP – Kurcz 1-0 / 4.50

HR – Barreto (1), Parmelee (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Jaff Decker

(4 for 4 / Double / RBI / 2 Walks / 2 Runs / 2 Stolen Bases)

Center fielder Jaff Decker had a big night at the plate to help Nashville come back from a 5-run deficit and win in 11 innings on Friday. Decker reached base in all 6 of his trips to the plate, going 4 for 4 with a double and 2 walks, while also swiping a pair of bases, driving in a run and scoring twice. His biggest hit was a two-out double in the 9th to tie things up and send the game to extra innings. He also walked and scored the Sounds’ second run in the 11th. Chris Parmelee singled in Decker in the 11th, homered to lead off the top of the 10th and also singled in another run in the 5th. Renato Nunez singled in the winning run in the 11th with his only hit of the game, while second baseman Franklin Barreto had 3 hits, including a 2-run homer in the 5th. Third baseman Matt Chapman exited the game after the 4th inning for unknown reasons. RHP Michael Brady, signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason, was shaky in his first start for the Sounds, lasting just 3 innings after surrendering 5 runs in the 1st, but RHP Zach Neal was impressive in relief, tossing 4 scoreless frames to help keep his team in the hunt. RHP Aaron Kurcz picked up the win despite allowing the tying run in the bottom of the 10th, while RHP Bobby Wahl got the final three outs in the 11th to earn the save for the Sounds. In other news, reliever Tyler Sturdevant was added to the roster on Friday to replace Jesse Hahn, who was recalled by the A’s on Wednesday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Stockton Ports 2017 Opening Day Roster Preview

by Josh Moore / A’s Farm Stockton Correspondent

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Stockton’s Banner Island Ballpark

This year, Stockton has the pleasure of welcoming Oakland’s first four selections from last year’s draft onto its 25-man opening day roster, as the Ports add a total of 13 new players to the 2017 squad.

The main cause for excitement in Stockton this year revolves around the team’s retooled pitching staff, which will feature last year’s top three draft picks for the A’s: LHP A.J. Puk (#6 overall, Florida), RHP Daulton Jefferies (#37, Cal) and RHP Logan Shore (#47, Florida).

Of the 13 pitchers currently on the Ports pitching staff, eight of them are expected to work as part of four two-man starting pitching tandems, at least to start the season. In addition to top picks Puk, Jefferies and Shore, a couple of 2016 Snappers starters, RHPs Angel Duno (7-7, 2.68) and Dustin Hurlbutt (3-6, 2.57), will be joining a pair of Ports hold-overs, RHPs Casey Meisner (1-14, 4.85) and Brett Graves (7-10, 4.60), along with LHP Evan Manarino (10-6, 2.58), who split time between Beloit and Stockton last year. And this octet of promising young pitchers certainly has the potential to shape up as the California League’s most talented starting staff in 2017.

Last season, Stockton’s hitters struck out a total of 1,226 times (second worst in the California League), and the Ports were league-average or below in nearly all offensive categories. With a pair of last year’s more productive hitters, Joe Bennie (.302/.376/.449) and B.J. Boyd (.288/.346/.395), joining Midland this season, the Ports hope that some of the newcomers will step up to help replace their production.

Among the new arrivals are a number of 2016 draft picks who just got a chance to get their feet wet last year, including catcher Sean Murphy (3rd round, Wright State), outfielder Tyler Ramirez (7th round, North Carolina), shortstop Eli White (11th round, Clemson) and second baseman Josh Vidales (28th round, Houston). Joining them will be some more experienced prospects who spent all of last season with Beloit, including outfielders Skye Bolt (.231/.318/.345) and Brett Siddall (.241/.321/.356) as well as second baseman Trent Gilbert (.269/.327/.380).

The key to success for Stockton this season, however, will be the performance of its talented young pitching staff. It will surely need to improve on a 2016 staff that underwhelmed last year, even after adding highly-touted RHP Grant Holmes, who joined the Ports in August after arriving from the Dodgers in the Josh Reddick/Rich Hill deal. Among the five teams in the California League North Division last season, Stockton had the highest ERA (4.56) and WHIP (1.44) as well as the fewest saves (20), so there’s definitely plenty of room for improvement in 2017.

 

10 Ports Players to Watch in 2017

1. LHP A.J. Puk

ap640462bIf there was any doubt who to note first on this list, witnessing Puk’s performance in Stockton’s exhibition game versus Cal State East Bay on Tuesday evening erased all doubt. The big lefty will undoubtedly be the big attraction at Banner Island Ballpark this season. And he possesses a unique set of skills that will be dearly missed whenever he is inevitably sent to Midland, whether it be midseason or next season, so that he can terrorize Texas League hitters. Sporting a 6’7″ frame and long, reddish-blonde hair, Puk is a dominant figure on the mound. His unique ability to hurl a 98-mph fastball on a downward plane results in a distinct POP audible a quarter mile down Fremont Street. Though he was facing collegiate competition on Tuesday, Puk was absolutely a man amongst boys. Brought into the game in relief of starter Dustin Hurlbutt, Puk struck out 8 batters in 4 innings while allowing just two base runners. Puk made his spring training debut in major league camp for the A’s, striking out the side in the first of his two appearances in big league camp. In 10 starts at Vermont in 2016, Puk pitched to a 3.03 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP while striking out 40 in 32 2/3 innings, and he was most proficient against right-handed hitters, allowing a stingy .157/.232/.202 line against righties. At his best in 2016, Puk combined to allow just 3 hits and 2 walks over 8 2/3 innings while striking out 13 and allowing no runs in back-to-back August starts. Like many larger-framed pitchers, however, Puk is also prone to a wild, difficult-to-repeat delivery and occasionally lacks control because of it. In both his freshman and sophomore seasons at Florida, Puk averaged more than 4 walks per 9 innings and allowed 3.3 free passes per 9 frames at Vermont. For Ports fans, the news of Puk’s arrival could be bittersweet. As one of the most potentially electrifying pitchers in the California League, he might not end up staying in the league for long.

2. RHP Logan Shore

ls624519Dating back to their days together at Florida when Shore and A.J. Puk dominated SEC lineups together, and despite what’s been written above, the better pitcher statistically has actually been Shore. Logan didn’t feature a mid-to-high 90s fastball or double-digit K/9 numbers at Florida, but he walked only a fraction of the batters that Puk did (1.90 to 4.04 BB/9), showed off an ERA in the mid-2s compared to Puk’s in the mid-3s, and won 30 games over three seasons as opposed to Puk’s 16 victories. Shore’s best asset is probably his ability to control the strike zone, which he typically pounds with a plus changeup, slider and a fastball that sits in the low 90s with excellent command. In his brief stint in Vermont last season, lefties struggled to the tune of a .306 OPS while Shore pitched to an overall 2.57 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP, striking out 21 in as many innings for the Lake Monsters. He really impressed in a surprise spring training start in major league camp against the Angels, where he struck out 5 (including Mike Trout) over 5 solid innings and allowed just a single run thanks to some unusual spring training base-running shenanigans.

3. RHP Daulton Jefferies

djPFKSDMUFQUWSOHH.20151029180443Oakland’s second pitching selection in 2016 out of UC Berkeley, Jefferies was nearly as dominant as Shore against lefties in his first taste of pro action, holding them to a .167/.250/.222 slash line in the Arizona League in what was admittedly a very small sample size. Overall, in 11 1/3 innings, he pitched to a 2.38 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP while notching 17 strikeouts for the AZL A’s. Like Shore, Jefferies’ consistency and control are a large part of what makes him so good. He walked only 8 in 50 innings while putting up a 1.08 ERA in his final season at Cal. And in limited action in the Arizona League last year, he issued just 2 walks in his 11 1/3 innings of work. A rocky spring training outing in his only action in major league camp saw him yield 8 hits and 6 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of work for the A’s, but Jefferies is certainly a prospect who has the potential to move through the A’s system quickly.

4. C Sean Murphy

sm669221Although Murphy is a defensive-oriented backstop with a laser for an arm, he hit .298 at Vermont before an 0-for-23 stretch cut his batting average to .237 last year. He finished last season on a high note, however, going 3-for-3 with a home run, 3 RBIs and a walk in his final game. He also caught both A.J. Puk and Logan Shore in each of their final starts last season. Murphy showed off his plus arm with a 1st inning laser beam to second base to nail the runner on a stolen base attempt in Stockton’s exhibition game on Tuesday, but the backstop appeared to be a little over-matched at the plate at times.

5. IF Mikey White

mw608383bWith the release of last year’s starting third baseman for Stockton, Jose Brizuela, White looks to take over the bulk of the third base duties for the Ports in 2017. The former Alabama standout was drafted by the A’s in the second round in 2015, just one round after the team selected fellow SEC infielder Richie Martin. And last year, he ended up hitting .247/.315/.352 in his first season with the Ports. Hitting in the seventh spot in the order behind Sean Murphy in Stockton’s exhibition game on Tuesday, White showed signs of improving his performance this year, drilling a 2-run homer to left, singling to left, and walking in his first 3 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.

6. RHP Nolan Blackwood 

nb670154A 14th-round selection out of Memphis, Blackwood projects to be Stockton’s primary closer in 2017. He’s a submarine-style pitcher similar to former A’s Chad Bradford and Brad Ziegler, but with a better fastball that reaches the low 90s. Blackwood began last season with Vermont, appearing 5 times in relief, allowing 2 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings (2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) before being promoted to Beloit. Blackwood got off to a rocky start for the Snappers, where he allowed 9 earned runs in his first 8 2/3 innings while opposing batters crushed his pitches to the tune of a .415 batting average and an OPS of 1.020. In his final 6 appearances, however, the 6’5” righty managed to right the ship, holding opposing batters to a .114/.162/.114 slash line while allowing just 6 base runners in 11 1/3 innings. Blackwood continued his scoreless streak during two brief appearances in major league spring training camp for the A’s, throwing 1 1/3 shutout innings versus Milwaukee and Chicago, which will hopefully help provide him with an added boost of confidence heading into his debut season in Stockton.

7. 1B Chris Iriart 

ci664872bDefensive limitations aside, Iriart can swing it with power, as he combined to hit 22 home runs last season between Beloit and Stockton. His impressive .689 slugging percentage in 61 at-bats at Stockton last season more closely resembled most other Ports hitters’ OPS. Besides Iriart, only fellow first baseman Sandber Pimentel (.779) and outfielder Seth Brown (.702) return to the club with an OPS that was better than .700 last season, and the young slugger promises to provide the Ports will plenty of power in 2017.

8. OF Skye Bolt

sb621450A quick, switch-hitting center fielder, Bolt will instantly become Stockton’s best defensive outfielder. After electing not to sign with the Nationals after being drafted out of high school, he showed promise as a freshman at North Carolina, hitting .321/.418/.491, but he never saw his production match those numbers again over his next two collegiate seasons. Oakland selected the speedy center fielder in the 4th round in 2015, but he’s yet to come on strong at the plate in Vermont or Beloit during first two professional seasons, hitting a combined .233/.321/.358 while grounding into more double plays (14) than he has stolen bases (12). Bolt went 0-3 in Tuesday’s exhibition, striking out once, though his first two at-bats were loud outs, resulting in his counterpart in center field having to make two spectacular plays to keep him off the basepaths.

9. 1B Sandber Pimentel

sp622698Though Pimentel will open the season on the 7-day disabled list, he returns to Stockton for a second season after leading the Ports in home runs (21) and notching the second-most RBIs (66) and walks (60) on the team. 18 of the left-handed slugger’s 21 home runs came in 317 at-bats versus right-handed pitchers in 2016. Pimentel cooled off in the latter half of the season, doing most of his damage between May and July, when he slashed .257/.349/.530 and belted 17 home runs. Pimentel hit fifth in the order in Tuesday’s exhibition game and once again went yard to right-center.

10. RHP Matt Sergey

ms519270Finally, if you’re a fan of the classic underdog, I’ll try to sell you on Matt Sergey, even if just for this season. Once a 45th-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers way back in 2007, the 27-year old Sergey has spent much of his time bouncing around the independent leagues. Despite an obvious lack of tools, and with a fastball that tops out in the low-90s and barely fringe-to-average secondary pitches, Sergey seems to pick his spots well and has a knack for missing bats. Matt spent parts of 2016 with Laredo in the independent American Association, where he pitched to a 4-0 record in 7 starts over 44 innings, allowing only 4 runs with a WHIP of just 0.93. His first attempt at A-level ball was last year at Stockton, where he made 12 appearances with mixed results. Despite Sergey’s success as a starter in Laredo, he’s probably not cut out to be starting pitcher, but his 13.7K/9 ratio in his 27 innings with Stockton last year indicate that he can indeed produce outs in limited stints. He made an appearance in Tuesday’s exhibition game, retiring the only four batters he faced. In 2016, 6 of Sergey’s 9 relief appearances for Stockton were in similar three-to-four-out situations; and in them, he didn’t allow a single run and struck out 12 in just 6 1/3 innings of work.

 

You can find the complete Stockton Ports opening day roster here.

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Friday, September 2nd: Rosa Hits 2 HRs & Martin Makes 4 Errors in Hounds’ Loss while Sounds’ Scarsone Is Named PCL Manager of the Year

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (3 for 5 / 2 HRs / 5 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

San Antonio Missions    8

Midland RockHounds  5

LP – Bragg 3-4 / 4.43

HR – Rosa 2 (9)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Viosergy Rosa

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

First baseman Viosergy Rosa had a big night at the plate, but it wasn’t enough to help the RockHounds prevail on Friday. Rosa ripped a 3-run homer in the 6th inning to tie the game and slugged a 2-run shot in the 8th to give his team the lead. But RHP Jake Sanchez surrendered 2 runs in the top of the 9th to blow the save and send the game to extra innings, and RHP Sam Bragg allowed 3 runs, 1 earned, in the 11th to take the loss. Midland starter Corey Walter was charged with 2 unearned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work, while second baseman Max Schrock collected 3 hits for the Hounds, and shortstop Richie Martin walked twice and made 4 errors in his Double-A debut on Friday. Martin was promoted to Midland from the Ports prior to the game, while RockHounds RHP Heath Fillmyer was placed on the disabled list and RHP Kris Hall was reassigned to the AZL A’s roster.

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

A Look at 9 Promising Pitching Prospects A’s Added in Past Year

Sean Manaea made just 3 starts at Triple-A before joining the A's starting rotation.

Sean Manaea made just 3 starts at Triple-A before joining the A’s starting rotation this year.

Ever since last year’s trade deadline deals, the A’s front office has clearly been focused on adding as much top young pitching talent to the system as possible. And with the cost of major league pitching on a rapid rise in recent times, it’s easy to make sense of this strategy. In most of the team’s big trades, particularly at this year’s and last year’s trade deadlines, the focus has been squarely on pitching. And in this year’s amateur draft, the A’s took three top young pitching prospects with their first three selections – something that hasn’t happened anytime in the franchise’s recent history.

Last July, Oakland acquired LHP Sean Manaea from Kansas City in the Ben Zobrist trade, grabbed RHP Daniel Mengden from Houston in the Scott Kazmir deal, and got RHP Casey Meisner from the Mets in return for Tyler Clippard. This July, the A’s acquired RHPs Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes from the Dodgers in the Josh Reddick/Rich Hill deal. And in this June’s amateur draft, the team took a trio of talented young arms with its top three picks – LHP A.J. Puk and RHPs Daulton Jefferies and Logan Shore. And that’s not even to mention the acquisition of RHP J.B. Wendelken and LHP Zack Erwin from the White Sox in last winter’s Brett Lawrie deal.

Between these deadline deals and the draft, the A’s have really restocked the organization’s pitching talent. So let’s take a look at some of the team’s top young pitching acquisitions since last year’s trade deadline deals and see how they’re shaping up…

 

sm640455cLHP Sean Manaea

Age: 24

Current Team: Oakland A’s

Acquired: Ben Zobrist trade – July 2015

The former 1st-round draft pick for the Royals was expected to spend most of the season at Triple-A. But due to injuries, Manaea was called up after making just 3 starts for the Sounds, and he’s now made 20 apperances so far for the A’s. The Samoan southpaw has struck out 100 in 117 1/3 innings for Oakland this season and has gotten stronger as the season has worn on, posting a 3.58 ERA in the second half. The A’s parted with former prospects Daniel Robertson and Boog Powell in the deal that originally brought Zobrist to Oakland. When the team turned around and acquired a top pitching prospect like Manaea in return for Zobrist, it added a high-ceiling young arm to the system. And it looks like the big strike-throwing lefty should prove to be a staple of the A’s starting rotation in the coming years.

 

dm596043bRHP Daniel Mengden

Age: 23

Current Team: Nashville Sounds

Acquired: Scott Kazmir trade – July 2015

When Oakland traded Scott Kazmir to the Astros last summer, most A’s fans were focused on the young catching prospect the team received in return, Jaycob Nottingham, who was soon dealt to Milwaukee in the Khris Davis trade. Despite being a former 4th-round draft pick for the Astros, much less attention was paid to Mengden – that is until this season. The 23-year-old started out the year by surrendering just 2 runs over his first 4 starts for Double-A Midland, which quickly earned him a promotion to Nashville, where he continued to be dominant in start after start. And, once again, thanks to injuries, by the second week of June, he had joined the A’s starting rotation. Mengden allowed just 8 earned runs over his first 4 starts for the A’s. He then struggled in his next 5 starts, giving up a total of 23 earned runs in that span before being sent back to Nashville. He’s been solid since his return, putting up a 2.16 ERA in 5 starts back in Music City. Mengden admittedly was feeling a little worn down after hitting a career-high in innings pitched this season. But the mustachioed Mr. Mengden should be in a prime position to compete for a spot in Oakland’s starting rotation next spring.

 

cm641861bRHP Casey Meisner

Age: 21

Current Team: Stockton Ports

Acquired: Tyler Clippard trade – July 2015

Meisner came to the A’s in the least high-profile of last summer’s deals, in return for reliever Tyler Clippard. A former 3rd-round draft pick for the Mets, Meisner got off to a great start for Stockton, posting a 2.78 ERA in 7 late-season starts for the Ports. He returned to the California League this year but has mostly struggled this time around the track, putting up a 4.59 ERA over 113 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-7 righty’s mechanics can be an issue and his command has been inconsistent this season. But Meisner’s been walking far fewer in the second half, and he’s still just 21. So even if he may not currently be considered among the team’s top prospects, Meisner still possesses a lot of potential.

 

jc605194bRHP Jharel Cotton

Age: 24

Current Team: Nashville Sounds

Acquired: Josh Reddick/Rich Hill trade – July 2016

Cotton came to the A’s as part of a trio of talented young arms the team snagged from the Dodgers in the Josh Reddick/Rich Hill deal, and the 24-year-old definitely made an impression when he came within one out of throwing a perfect game in his second start for Nashville. Cotton has consistently tallied big strikeout totals, and he currently leads the Pacific Coast League with 149 strikeouts in 130 innings of work. Cotton’s mid-90s fastball and his solid changeup have enabled him to succeed at the Triple-A level, and he’s expected to get a shot at the major league level before the season’s through. Cotton should also find himself in the competition for a starting spot in the major league rotation come next spring.

 

fm593423RHP Frankie Montas

Age: 23

Current Team: Nashville Sounds

Acquired: Josh Reddick/Rich Hill trade – July 2016

Montas is the only one of the three arms acquired from the Dodgers who comes with major league experience. He made 7 appearances with the White Sox in 2015 before being dealt to the Dodgers prior to the 2016 season. Surgery during the offseason followed by a broken rib have sidelined Montas for most of the year. He only managed to throw 16 innings in the Dodgers’ system this season, but it’s possible that he could be ready to return in time to participate in the Arizona Fall League this October. The Dominican righty’s headline pitch is his 100+ mph fastball, and he’s struck out an average of 9.3 batters per 9 innings over his minor league career. Montas has mainly appeared as a starter in the minors. Of course, it’s always possible that he could end up as an elite power arm pitching out of the bullpen, but the A’s will have to see how he looks once he gets healthy and back on the field before making any determination about the best path for him going forward.

 

gh656550RHP Grant Holmes

Age: 20

Current Team: Stockton Ports

Acquired: Josh Reddick/Rich Hill trade – July 2016

A former 1st-round draft pick for the Dodgers in 2014, Holmes was a highly-coveted high school arm who is the highest-profile hurler to come to the A’s in the recent deal with the Dodgers. As a young 20-year-old in the hitter-friendly High-A California League, Holmes had fared well for the Dodgers’ affiliate this year, posting a 4.02 ERA while striking out 100 over 105 1/3 innings of work before the trade. But Holmes has struggled since coming to Stockton, surrendering 19 earned runs over his first 19 innings while pitching for the Ports. He’d just passed his career-high in innings pitched prior to the trade, so he could just be a little worn down late in the season while also making the adjustment to a new organization. Holmes is a big strong kid who, just like Montas, has averaged 9.3 strikeouts per 9 innings over his minor league career and has to be considered one of the top young pitching prospects in the A’s system at this point.

 

ap640462LHP A.J. Puk

Age: 21

Current Team: Vermont Lake Monsters

Acquired: 1st Round 2016 Draft – June 2016

Widely reported to be a possible #1 pick in this year’s amateur draft, the A’s were thrilled to get their hands on a top pitching prospect like Puk with their first pick in the draft. Puk is a flame-throwing lefty out of Florida with top-of-the-rotation potential. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound power pitcher’s fastball has been clocked as high as 99 mph, and he pairs it with a solid slider. Since joining Vermont, Puk’s struck out 34 in 28 2/3 innings while posting a 3.14 ERA for the Lake Monsters. And with his outstanding fastball, a solid slider, an impressive frame and loads of raw talent, it’s easy to see why most people view Puk as a pitcher with tremendous upside and a player who could make a real difference for the green and gold before long.

 

djPFKSDMUFQUWSOHH.20151029180443RHP Daulton Jefferies

Age: 21

Current Team: Arizona League A’s

Acquired: Supplemental 1st Round 2016 Draft – June 2016

With their second selection in the competitive balance portion of the 1st-round of this year’s draft, the A’s took the talented young righty out of UC Berkeley. Jefferies’ fastball has been clocked as high as 95 mph, and he also features a slider and an occasional changeup while possessing excellent command. Despite being sidelined for eight weeks during his final college season with shoulder and calf injuries, Jefferies went 7-0 and posted a stellar 1.08 ERA while striking out 53 and walking just 8 over 50 innings of work for Cal. The A’s took things slow with Jefferies after the draft due to his previous shoulder injury, but he’s recently started seeing some action in Arizona. And in his first 4 brief appearances, the 21-year-old has shown off his pinpoint control by allowing just 1 walk and 1 run while striking out 12 over 8 2/3 innings for the AZL A’s.

 

ls624519RHP Logan Shore

Age: 21

Current Team: Vermont Lake Monsters

Acquired: 2nd Round 2016 Draft – June 2016

With the A’s 2nd-round pick in this year’s draft, the team took one of Puk’s college teammates from Florida, who recently joined his old friend at Vermont. Shore is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound righty who went 11-0 with a 2.44 ERA while striking out 80 and walking just 15 over 92 1/3 innings of work in his last season for Florida. The 21-year-old was actually the top performer on Florida’s pitching staff, while Puk was considered to have more upside. Shore doesn’t throw nearly as hard as the A’s top two picks but is a consistent strike-thrower with good control who also possesses an advanced changeup. What he may lack in velocity, he more than makes up for with solid command and an advanced understanding of pitching that many expect will help him rise quickly through the system. In his first 5 appearances for Vermont, Shore has allowed 3 earned runs and struck out 9 over his first 12 innings of work.

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Friday, August 26th: Cotton Earns Win & McBride Delivers Big Blow to Help Sounds Clinch Division Title while Murray Leads Snappers to Shutout Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Jharel Cotton (7 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Jharel Cotton (7 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds   5

Memphis Redbirds   3

WP – Cotton 11-6 / 4.50

HR – McBride (7), Rodriguez (5)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Jharel Cotton

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

RHP Jharel Cotton turned in a strong start for the Sounds, allowing 2 runs over 7 innings of work to earn the win as Nashville clinched the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division title on Friday. And the team’s 78-56 record is currently the best in the PCL. After Cotton exited with a 3-run lead, RHP Eduard Santos pitched a perfect 8th. RHP Bobby Wahl then came on to close things out. He made things close by surrendering a run while also putting the tying run on base, but he managed to escape the jam to notch his 4th save for Nashville. Catcher Matt McBride had the big blow, belting a 3-run homer in the 4th inning to give the Sounds the lead. Shortstop Josh Rodriguez added a solo shot in the 5th, while second baseman Joey Wendle singled and doubled, and designated hitter Renato Nunez singled in a run in the win. The team’s last regular season game will be against New Orleans on Monday, September 5, with the Pacific Coast League playoffs set to begin on Wednesday, September 7. And in roster news, LHP Cody Stull, who posted a 1.46 ERA in 36 relief appearances for Stockton this season, was reassigned to the Sounds on Friday.

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

The division-winning Nashville Sounds

The division-winning Nashville Sounds (photo:milb.com)

Saturday, August 20th: Hounds Win Behind Bennie’s Big Bat while Brugman Leads Sounds to Victory & Puk Is Impressive for Vermont

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder Joe Bennie (2 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder Joe Bennie (2 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Springfield Cardinals       3

Midland RockHounds  11

WP – Mann 2-2 / 4.57

HR – Bennie 2 (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Joe Bennie

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

After going 4 for 34 in his first 9 games since his promotion to Double-A, right fielder Joe Bennie had a big night at the plate on Saturday, belting a pair of home runs and driving in 4 runs for the RockHounds. With the game tied in the bottom of the 5th inning, Bennie blasted a solo shot to give the Hounds the lead and he then added a 3-run drive in Midland’s 9-run 8th. Left fielder J.P. Sportman had 2 hits and drove in a pair of runs for the RockHounds, while LHP Brandon Mann delivered an outstanding start on Saturday, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Midland.

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

Monday, August 15th: Meisner Earns 1st Win of Season for Stockton while Iriart Homers Twice in Snappers Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Casey Meisner (4 2/3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports RHP Casey Meisner (4 2/3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports   2

Visalia Rawhide   1

WP – Meisner 1-12 / 3.99

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Casey Meisner

(4 2/3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

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.

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

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