Tag: Cole Gruber

Wednesday, April 19th: Puk & Biegalski Pitch Ports to Victory while Olson’s Big Bat Helps Sounds Win Again

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Boomer Biegalski (4 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Boomer Biegalski (4 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 K)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  5

Modesto Nuts     2

WP – Biegalski 1-0 / 0.00

HR – Brown (3)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Boomer Biegalski

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

The Ports won on Wednesday with the help of another outstanding performance by its pitching staff. Starter A.J. Puk, last year’s top draft pick for the A’s, was charged with 2 unearned runs on 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 7 over 4 innings of work. In the 3rd inning, Puk walked a pair of batters and uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third. Then, with two outs, third baseman Mikey White had a ground ball kick off his glove that allowed both runners to score. It was White’s 5th error of the season. Outside the 3rd inning, the only other base runner that Puk allowed was the leadoff batter in the bottom of the 1st. And after the 3rd, the southpaw bounced back to strike out the side in order in the 4th. After Puk exited with the game a 2-2 tie, his new tandem-pitching partner, RHP Boomer Biegalski, took to the mound to make his first appearance for the Ports since being promoted from Beloit. And Biegalski couldn’t have been better in his debut. The 22-year-old was perfect over 4 no-hit innings, facing the minimum 12 batters without allowing a base runner to earn the win in his first stint for Stockton. Biegalski only allowed two balls to leave the infield, both fly outs to right fielder Seth Brown, while he induced seven infield ground outs and two infield pop outs to go along with his one strikeout to complete his impressive performance. RHP Carlos Navas got the final three outs of the game to pick up his 1st save of the season for Stockton. Seth Brown singled in a pair of runs to put the Ports on the board in the 3rd inning then followed up by slugging a solo shot in the 8th, while shortstop Eli White drove a 2-run double to center in the 7th to break the tie and provide the winning run for the Ports.

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Snappy Thoughts: Beloit Snappers Season-Opening Series Recap

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

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Beloit’s Pohlman Field

The Beloit Snappers opened their season with a doubleheader vs. the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins affiliate) at Pohlman Field in Beloit on Friday, April 8th. This came after the originally-scheduled opening day on Thursday was postponed due to wet grounds at Pohlman Field.

While starting the season with a doubleheader is not ideal for anyone (players, coaches, fans, front office, the guys in the press box), it ended up being a fine day at the ‘ol ballpark. The Snappers split the doubleheader, losing the first game 4-0 and winning the second game 3-2.

 

Game #1:

Pitcher Xavier Altamirano

Pitcher Xavier Altamirano

*Starter Brendan Butler had an inconsistent first outing, allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, over 3 2/3 innings to take the loss. He was mostly hurt by a rough 2nd inning in which he gave up three straight hard-hit doubles.

*RHP Xavier Altamirano had a strong debut, throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He featured a slow curveball at 67-69 mph that really kept the Kernels off balance. Fellow Snappers hurler Dakota Chalmers mentioned that Altamirano had a really good spring training, so he was not at all surprised that Altamirano started off the season strong.

*Outfielder Cole Gruber, last year’s 27th-round draft pick for the A’s, had a chance to show off his speed by reaching base on a beautiful bunt single down the third base line in the 3rd inning.

*Kernels starting pitcher Eduardo Del Rosario really impressed, holding the Snappers to just 2 hits and striking out 7 over 6 shutout innings.

 

Game #2:

First Baseman Miguel Mercedes

First Baseman Miguel Mercedes

*Starter Ty Damron, last year’s 15th-round draft pick for the A’s, pitched 4 strong innings of shutout ball, painting the outside corner all night. The left-hander was a strike-throwing machine, notching 7 K’s on the night. Damron needed just 11 pitches to get through the first two innings. Overall, he threw a total of 58 pitches, 46 for strikes.

*The only trouble for Damron came in the 4th inning, when the Kernels loaded the bases with nobody out. He then struck out the next two batters on six pitches. The third out of the inning was not as easy as Kernels outfielder Christian Cavaness worked an 11-pitch at-bat before finally succumbing to a strikeout. During the lengthy at-bat, Snappers pitcher Michael Murray commented, “Rarely does a long at-bat like this ever work out in the pitcher’s favor.” In this case, Murray was glad to be wrong.

*The Snappers first two runs of the season were scored on wild pitches by Kernels starter Tyler Wells.

*Designated hitter Miguel Mercedes had the Snappers’ first extra-base hit of the season, a double scorched into left-center field that scored first baseman Kyle Nowlin to give the Snappers their first win of the season in a walk-off!

 

Series Notes:

Early season baseball can be sloppy. In this short two-game series, there were two runs scored via wild pitch, one run scored via a throwing error, one passed ball, one balk, and a total of three errors. Catcher Collin Theroux picked a man off first base in Game #1 of the doubleheader, while lefty reliever Will Gilbert picked off an inherited runner in the 7th inning of Game #2.

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A’s Prospect of the Series:

Pitcher Ty Damron

(4 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 7 K)

 

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Beloit Snappers 2017 Opening Day Roster Outlook

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsHi there! My name is Ryan Christoffersen and I will be contributing to Athletics Farm this season from Beloit, Wisconsin. Beloit is the home of the Oakland Athletics’ Low Single-A affiliate, the Beloit Snappers (#OhSnap).

Working as a Stats Stringer and Official Scorer at Pohlman Field in Beloit, I am going to be at almost every home game. That means I will be able to keep everyone updated on what is happening and what I am seeing from the prospects playing for the Snappers. This is actually my second year working in the Pohlman Field press box. Last season, I was the Pitch F/X Operator for the Snappers, so I am already familiar with about ten of the players on the current roster.

Don’t forget to read the main source of news for the Beloit Snappers at snappersbaseball.com, where new Media Relations Manager Garrett Mansfield is doing some great work. And speaking of snappersbaseball.com and Garrett, check out his article on the Snappers opening day roster. That article and my following thoughts should work together to give Oakland A’s fans a very good idea of what prospects are in Beloit to start this season and why they should be very excited!

 

They’re baaaaack…

Ten Snappers making a return trip to Beloit this season…

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Leon “Boomer” Biegalski

RHP Boomer Biegalski: Real name is “Leon.” I prefer “Boomer.” It makes me think of Tom DeLonge’s character from the blink-182 music video First Date. Boomer Biegalski actually led the 2016 Beloit Snappers with 153 1/3 innings pitched. He finished with a respectable 3.70 ERA (3.96 FIP) and a 1.19 WHIP. He was even selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star Game. The problem with Biegalski last season was how poorly he pitched in the second half. Not only was his ERA about a full run higher after the all-star break (first half: 3.21 ERA, second half: 4.15 ERA), but his home runs allowed ballooned from 4 in the first half to 10 in the second half. It has got to be frustrating to return to Beloit after a full season there, but I would bet he is one of, if not the first, Snappers moved up this season.

SS/2B/3B Trace Loehr: Here is an interesting case. Loehr, like Biegalski, spent all of last season with the Snappers. A 6th-round pick out of high school in 2014, Loehr was the #26 prospect in the A’s organization according to MLB Pipeline going into the 2016 season. But it was a season full of speed bumps for this slick-fielding infielder. Loehr did not hit well in the first half, batting just .211/.241/.283. He had a short stay on the disabled list in late April/early May. And then, in late July, Loehr was arrested and was placed on the temporarily inactive list for almost two weeks. With limited information available on the incident, I have to assume Loehr was cleared of any wrongdoing. When he came back in August, he started to play really well, hitting .338/.372/.513 in 21 games with 4 stolen bases and numerous “web gems” in the field. If Loehr can continue to play closer to what he did last August, we could have a post-hype breakout player.

3B/SS Edwin Diaz: Spent all of last season with the Snappers. Has some potential with the bat, but a high strikeout rate (29.7%) is part of the reason he is back in Beloit.

LHP Andrew Tomasovich: Side-arm lefty reliever has some nasty swing-and-miss stuff (11.34 K/9 in 39 2/3 innings), but has trouble controlling it (1.64 WHIP, 5.67 ERA).

RHP Michael Murray: Made 12 starts for the Snappers last season. ERA was a little high at 4.28, but probably more representative of his season is the fact that he had a 3.66 FIP in 61 innings.

RHP Brendan Butler: Pitched well in 9 starts for Beloit in 2016 with 3.14 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 51 2/3 innings. Can he build off of successful 2016 season? If so, he could move up quickly.

OF Mike Martin: Pleasant surprise for Snappers in 2016 before getting hurt in July and missing the rest of the season. Hit .298 with a .372 OBP and 7 stolen bases in 34 games for the Snappers.

OF Luis Barrera: Young outfielder with exciting potential is going into his age-21 season. Hit .310/.361/.428 between Vermont and Beloit last season while playing all three outfield spots.

RHP Xavier Altamirano: Strong start to 2016 in Beloit, but struggled in May before being put on DL. Once healthy, he pitched in Vermont the rest of the year and had a 2.48 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 65 1/3 innings.

C Collin Theroux: 32nd-round pick in 2016 had a brief cameo in Beloit at the end of the season. In 21 at-bats, Theroux struck out 15 times and did not record a hit. Nowhere to go but up!

 

The Newbies

Top five new Snappers ranked in order of how excited I am to see them play this season…

  1. RHP Dakota Chalmers: Only Snapper ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Oakland A’s prospects at #14. I figure there is a good chance he spends the entire season in Beloit because he is just 20 years old and needs to work on his control.

  2. OF/3B/2B JaVon Shelby: An article from last year here on Athletics Farm talks about the 2016 A’s draft class with Athletics Scouting Director Eric Kubota. In the article, Kubota talks about how Shelby is capable of playing the outfield as well as third base and second base. He is described as a versatile, “toolsy” player with a lot of potential. Kubota even says he is “a Josh Harrison (of the Pirates) type of player.” Harrison is a versatile, productive and overall exciting player to watch – he also hit .337 in 79 games in the Midwest League in 2009. If Shelby even slightly resembles Josh Harrison, the Snappers are getting a fun player to watch.
  3. 1B Miguel Mercedes: Listed at 6’4”, 255 lbs., this power-hitting first baseman should be knocking home runs out of homer-friendly Pohlman Field all summer long. HOT TAKE ALERT! – Mercedes will finish in the top three in home runs in the Midwest League.
  4. LHP Will Gilbert: A college closer at North Carolina State, this guy looks to be the best bet as the Snappers best reliever to start the season. I have always heard one of the quickest paths to the majors are for left-handed relievers. From his good stats in Vermont to his high draft spot for a reliever (8th round), I could see Gilbert playing for the Oakland A’s in the big leagues in the not-too-distant future, provided he pitches up to his potential in Beloit.
  5. OF Cole Gruber: I am always pumped to see a player with blazing speed. Whether it is base stealing, running the bases, or making plays in the outfield, speed kills. Gruber led the Arizona League with 28 stolen bases while being caught just twice last season.

I hope you enjoyed my opening thoughts on the opening day Snappers roster! Growing up here in the midwest as a huge baseball fan, it was inevitable that I would take interest in the Midwest League. I really started to follow the Midwest League starting in 2004. In my experience, I have found that the Midwest League is a place for players to have their breakout seasons. While 2016 was a tough year in the standings, I am very excited for the 2017 Beloit Snappers. While lacking in top prospects, this team is full of players with breakout potential. #OhSnap

You can find the complete Beloit Snappers opening day roster here.

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Monday, August 29th: Wendle & Boyd Lead Sounds to 4th Straight Victory while Terrell Helps AZL A’s Finish Season on a Winning Note

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Second Baseman Joey Wendle (3 for 5 / Double / Stolen Base / 2 Runs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Second Baseman Joey Wendle (3 for 5 / Double / Stolen Base / 2 Runs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Iowa Cubs               2

Nashville Sounds  3

WP – Santos 2-2 / 2.95

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman Joey Wendle

(3 for 5 / Double / Stolen Base / 2 Runs)

Right fielder B.J. Boyd may have had the big hit, but second baseman Joey Wendle had the big night for Nashville on Monday. He collected 3 hits, including a double, and scored 2 runs, including the winning run in extra innings for the Sounds, and Wendle is now batting an even .500 over his last 8 games. With one out in the bottom of the 11th on Monday, Wendle singled then stole second and eventually came around to score the game-winner when Boyd lined a single to left-center as the Sounds won their fourth straight in a walk-off. It was Boyd’s only hit in 4 at-bats, but he also drew a walk, while left fielder Rangel Ravelo doubled in a run to put Nashville on the board, and shortstop Josh Rodriguez singled in the tying run for the Sounds. RHP Raul Alcantara turned in another solid start, allowing 2 runs over 5 innings of work. And after his exit, RHP Angel Castro pitched 3 perfect innings in relief, while RHP Bobby Wahl threw 1 scoreless frame, and RHP Eduard Santos got the final six outs to earn his 2nd win for the Sounds. It was Barry Zito bobblehead night at First Tennessee Park, with new Nashville native Zito on hand to sign autographs. And it’s worth noting that A’s Vice President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane was also in attendance at the ballpark on Monday. In roster news, Sounds RHP Chris Jensen was reassigned to the RockHounds, while Midland RHP Daniel Gossett was promoted to Nashville. Gossett, who was Oakland’s 2nd-round draft pick in 2014, had a 2.49 ERA in 16 starts for the Hounds and is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut on Tuesday.

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

Barry Zito signing autographs on Barry Zito bobblehead day at First Tennessee Park in Nashville on Monday (photo: Nashville Sounds)

Barry Zito signing autographs on Barry Zito bobblehead day at First Tennessee Park in Nashville on Monday (photo: Nashville Sounds)

Saturday, August 27th: Bolt’s 2 HRs Help Snappers Win 4th Straight while Overton Pitches Sounds to Victory & Henderson Alvarez Returns to Action in Arizona

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Outfielder Skye Bolt (2 for 3 / 2 Home Runs / Walk)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Outfielder Skye Bolt (2 for 3 / 2 Home Runs / Walk)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Beloit Snappers          5

Kane County Cougars  2

WP – Duno 7-6 / 2.64

HR – Siddall (9), Bolt 2 (5)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Skye Bolt

(2 for 3 / 2 Home Runs / Walk)

After going 0 for 16 over his last 6 games, center fielder Skye Bolt broke out in a big way for Beloit on Saturday, belting a pair of home runs to help the Snappers win their fourth straight. Both were solo shots, with the first coming in the 4th inning to give his team a 1-run advantage and the second coming in the 6th to add to the lead. Right fielder Brett Siddall slugged a 2-run homer, while third baseman Trace Loehr had 4 hits, including a double, stole a base and scored twice, and second baseman Trent Gilbert singled, doubled and drove in a run for Beloit. After a couple of rough starts, RHP Angel Duno was outstanding on Saturday, allowing just 1 run while striking out 5 over 5 innings of work to earn his 7th win, while RHP Nolan Blackwood got the final four outs to post his 1st save for the Snappers.

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

Wednesday, June 29th: Mike Martin’s Hot Bat Helps Beloit Win 3rd Straight while Vermont Sweeps Twinbill

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Outfielder Mike Martin (3 for 4 / Walk / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Outfielder Mike Martin (3 for 4 / Walk / 3 RBIs)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Peoria Chiefs        4

Beloit Snappers  9

WP – Murray 3-1 / 3.12

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Mike Martin

(3 for 4 / Walk / 3 RBIs)

Last year’s 33rd-round draft pick for the A’s, center fielder Mike Martin, continued his hot hitting on Wednesday, collecting 3 hits and a walk while driving in 3 runs and scoring twice to help the Snappers win their third straight. And the 23-year-old is now batting .342 in his first 21 games since being promoted to Beloit. Catcher Jose Chavez doubled in a run and walked twice, while third baseman Edwin Diaz and designated hitter Jean Carlo Rodriguez each had 2 hits, and shortstop Trace Loehr and center fielder Skye Bolt drove in a pair of runs apiece for the Snappers. Starter Michael Murray allowed 3 runs over 5 2/3 innings to pick up his 3rd win for Beloit.

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Wednesday, June 22nd: Heath Bowers Pitches Vermont to Victory while Hounds Score Walk-Off Win in Extras

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Heath Bowers (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Heath Bowers (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K)

 

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

Vermont Lake Monsters  7

Tri-City ValleyCats             2

WP – Bowers 1-1 / 0.00

HR – Mercedes (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Heath Bowers

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

RHP Heath Bowers turned in his second straight strong start for the Lake Monsters, allowing just 3 hits over 6 shutout innings to earn his 1st win on Wednesday. And last year’s 24th-round draft pick for the A’s has now failed to allow an earned run in his first two starts of the season. RHP Dustin Driver gave up 2 runs, 1 earned, in 2 innings of relief, and RHP Jordan Schwartz struck out all three batters he faced in the 9th to notch his 1st career save. First baseman Miguel Mercedes smashed his 2nd home run, a 3-run shot in the 3rd, while right fielder Jhonny Rodriguez had 3 hits, including a double, and drove in a run in the 9th. A number of the A’s 2016 draft picks made their Vermont debuts on Wednesday. 3rd-round catcher Sean Murphy went 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts, while 5th-round third baseman JaVon Shelby singled, doubled, walked, stole a base and scored twice. 11th-round shortstop Eli White singled in 2 at-bats, and 13th-round second baseman Nate Mondou, serving as the designated hitter for the night, went 0 for 4 and drove in a run on a groundout. The quartet were all added to the Lake Monsters roster on Wednesday, while infielder Javier Godard was sent to the Arizona League A’s… Vermont Lake Monsters Roster

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