Tag: Cole Gruber

Tuesday, May 9th: Ports Fall despite Shore’s 5 No-Hit Frames while Olson & Chapman Homer and Manaea & Bassitt Make Rehab Appearances for Sounds

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

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

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports         0

Lake Elsinore Storm  5

LP – Lyons 1-1 / 2.19

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Logan Shore

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

Last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Logan Shore, turned in an impressive outing for the Ports on Tuesday. The 22-year-old held Lake Elsinore scoreless over 5 no-hit innings and struck out 4 before exiting after throwing 68 pitches, 44 for strikes. It was his longest outing of the season after having worked as part of a two-man pitching tandem in all his previous appearances. Shore has been solid all season for Stockton, putting up a 2.37 ERA over his first 30 1/3 frames for the Ports, and he’s now allowed just 4 earned runs while walking 3 and striking out 20 in his last 18 1/3 innings over his last 5 appearances for Stockton. (You can see our recent interview with Shore here). LHP Jared Lyons took over after Shore’s exit and allowed 1 run in 1 2/3 innings of relief to take the loss, and RHP Nolan Blackwood then surrendered 4 more runs in his 1 inning of work for the Ports. Stockton was shut out on just 4 hits in the game. Catcher Jose Chavez singled, third baseman Mikey White doubled, and shortstop Eli White had a pair of hits for the Ports in the loss.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 3-Game Series vs. Bowling Green (5/5-7)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers ended a 6-game home stand this week with a 3-game series against Tampa Bay’s Midwest League affiliate, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, at Pohlman Field in Beloit.

The Hot Rods feature five young position-player prospects all ranked in the top 15 in the Rays’ farm system according to MLB Pipeline. They are 20-year-old outfielder Garrett Whitley, 19-year-old outfielders Joshua Lowe and Jesus Sanchez, 19-year-old infielder Lucius Fox and 18-year-old infielder Adrian Rondon.

While we all know that the A’s may prefer to draft more experienced college players, based on the young talent on this team, it seems that the Rays may have their sights more set on high school players.

 

Game #1:  Bowling Green 7 – Beloit 6

Luke Persico

Luke Persico

*The Snappers’ stagnant offense finally came out of its shell in the 9th inning. After scoring just 1 run over the first 8 frames, Beloit put 5 runs on the board in the bottom of the 9th. Unfortunately, the Snappers’ rally fell short, with outfielder JaVon Shelby called out on strikes with the tying run on second and the winning run on first.

*The A’s 2016 12th-round draft pick, outfielder Luke Persico, went 4 for 5 with 4 singles and an RBI in the game.

*Last year’s 13th-round pick for the A’s, second baseman Nate Mondou, had his 10-game hitting streak and his 20-game on-base streak snapped with an 0-for-5 day.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 3 – Bowling Green 2 (12 innings)

Michael Murray

Michael Murray

*Starter Michael Murray pitched 5 strong innings for Beloit. He made just one real mistake all day, a solo home run to Hot Rods outfielder Jesus Sanchez.

*Murray had a big breaking curveball working in this one, and it helped him to strike out a season-high 7 batters while walking none. 47 of his 61 pitches went for strikes.

*Following in Murray’s footsteps, LHP Ty Damron and RHP Heath Bowers each had strong outings in relief, and they both did a marvelous job painting the corners of the strike zone.

*Beloit’s home run leader, first baseman Miguel Mercedes, came up with a clutch two-out single to tie the game in the 8th inning.

*Kyle Nowlin, pinch hitting for left-handed-hitting outfielder Cole Gruber against a left-handed pitcher, drew a bases-loaded, walk-off walk in the 12th inning to give the Snappers their third walk-off win of the season.

 

Game #3:  Bowling Green 6 – Beloit 2

Dakota Chalmers

Dakota Chalmers

*The A’s #13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, RHP Dakota Chalmers, had trouble finding the strike zone consistently yet again in this contest. Despite walking 4 and giving up 2 hits in only 2 innings of work, Chalmers escaped without giving up a run as he left the bases loaded to end both innings.

*Chalmers had a brilliant outing on April 17 against Kane County, during which he struck out 10 and walked none over 4 scoreless innings. Since then, he has walked 14 and hit 1 batter in just 8 ⅓ innings over 4 games. Despite his control issues, Chalmers still possesses filthy stuff. Opponents have hit a meager .175 against Chalmers, and he has punched out 30 batters in just 18 ⅓ innings.

*Outfielder Cole Gruber has struggled at the plate with a .182 batting average on the season. On the mound though, it’s been a different story. Gruber has proved to be an effective lefty reliever. The A’s 27th-round draft pick last year threw a scoreless 9th inning in this one and has now thrown 3 scoreless innings this season despite only topping out at around 85 mph.

*Snappers hitters combined for an ugly 14-strikeout/0-walk performance, which is the antithesis of the type of plate discipline that the A’s organization likes to preach.

 

Series Notes:

*The Snappers did not hit a home run in the 3-game series.

*Outfielder Luke Persico was Beloit’s hottest hitter in the series, going 8 for 15 for the Snappers.

*As mentioned in our last series recap, LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler will no longer be pitching as part of the Snappers’ two-man pitching tandems. Both will be stand-alone starters from here on out. Starting this week, the Snappers’ starting rotation will look like this:

Monday: Dalton Sawyer

Tuesday: Brandon Bailey/Mitchell Jordan

Wednesday: Brendan Butler

Thursday: Ty Damron/Michael Murray

Friday: Matt Milburn/Dakota Chalmers

 

mm663307

 

A’s Prospect of the Series:

RHP Michael Murray

(5 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 7 K)

 

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 3-Game Series vs. Dayton (5/2-4)

By Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers started a 6-game home stand this week with a 3-game series against Cincinnati’s Midwest League affiliate, the Dayton Dragons, at Pohlman Field in Beloit. It was the Snappers’ first series of the season against a Midwest League Eastern Division opponent.

The Dragons have built a reputation this season for being very aggressive on the base paths and entered the series leading the Midwest League with 42 stolen bases in just 24 games. The Snappers, on the other hand, are currently last in the league with just 11 stolen bases in their first 22 games.

The Dragons also have the Reds’ # 5 prospect, outfielder Taylor Trammell, along with the Reds’ #8 prospect, catcher Tyler Stephenson (according to MLB Pipeline). The Snappers lost two of the three games in the series. Beloit won Game #2 by a score of 9-2, while Dayton won Game #1 and Game #3 by scores of 4-1 and 7-2, respectively.

 

Game #1:  Dayton 4 – Beloit 1

Miguel Mercedes

Miguel Mercedes

*First baseman Miguel Mercedes entered the game with 0 walks in 91 plate appearances. So, of course, Mercedes took 3 walks in his first 3 plate appearances of the game! Let this be yet another reminder that you can’t predict baseball.

*Snappers’ hitters struck out an unsightly 13 times in the loss.

*Catcher Jason Goldstein, acquired in the offseason trade that sent A’s pitcher Dillon Overton to the Mariners, threw out 2 of the 3 runners who tried to steal against him.

*Last year’s 5th-round pick for the A’s, right fielder JaVon Shelby, was credited with 2 outfield assists in the game.

*With a game-time temperature of 48 degrees, Snappers pitchers knew coming in it was going to be a battle to control their pitches. And between four Beloit pitchers, they combined to walk 8 batters.

*The A’s #13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, RHP Dakota Chalmers, allowed just 1 hit but walked 4 batters in 3 innings of work. He threw just 26 strikes in 54 pitches.

*RHP Michael Murray, the A’s 32nd-round pick in 2015, battled through a strenuous 3 innings of work. He threw 33 of his 60 pitches for strikes, with a line of 3 IP/5 H/3 R/2 ER/2 BB/3 K

*Both Chalmers and Murray were bouncing many of their breaking pitches in the dirt, a clear sign that they were having trouble with their grip in the less-than-ideal Wisconsin weather.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 9 – Dayton 2

Kyle Nowlin

Kyle Nowlin

*Last year’s 21st-round pick for the A’s, Kyle Nowlin, had a big game at the plate to help the Snappers win. The designated hitter went 3 for 5 with his 3rd home run of the year and 3 RBIs.

*Catcher Collin Theroux also homered in the game and currently leads all catchers in the A’s system with 4 home runs. And while the 32nd-round pick in 2016 has shown some good pop, he still needs to work on making more contact at the plate.

*After striking out 13 times in their previous game, the Snappers did a better job of battling through their at-bats in this one, resulting in 10 hits while striking out just 6 times and drawing 5 walks.

*The Snappers recorded 3 outfield assists in the game, one by last year’s 12th-round pick, right fielder Luke Persico, and a pair by last year’s 27th-round pick, left fielder Cole Gruber.

*Listed at 5’10” and 175 lbs., Oakland’s 2016 6th-round pick, RHP Brandon Bailey, doesn’t possess the kind of size that scouts usually look for in a starting pitcher. But what Bailey does have is a great fastball-changeup combination that resulted in 8 of his 12 recorded outs in this game coming on either a strikeout or a groundout.

 

Game #3:  Dayton 7 – Beloit 2

Nate Mondou

Nate Mondou

*I have to admit that I have so far failed to properly spotlight the contributions of Nate Mondou this season. Simply put, this guy has been playing great baseball, and I’ve hardly even mentioned him. Well, that’s about to change. After turning in a 3-for-3 night with a pair of walks in Thursday’s loss, the left-handed-hitting second baseman, who was taken by the A’s in the 13th round of the 2016 draft, made it into the top five in the Midwest League batting race with a .354 average. He also has excellent numbers across the board, boasting a .432 OBP, a .443 SLG and an .875 OPS.

*And after his impressive performance on Thursday, Mondou had managed to reach base in 20 straight games for the Snappers.

*Last but not least is his defense. Mondou has impressed with the leather quite a bit this season, notably making two jump-throw outs as well as a leaping catch that turned into a double play in this series.

*Center fielder Mike Martin, fresh off the DL last week, recorded 2 outfield assists in the game.

*It was an excellent pitching matchup, with two 6’5” lefties with great stuff on the mound for this one. For Dayton, it was one of the Midwest League’s best strikeout artists in Scott Moss. For Beloit, it was one of the Midwest League’s ERA leaders in Dalton Sawyer.

*Sawyer had his scoreless-inning streak snapped at 21 frames. The 23-year-old, 9th-round pick from last season finished with a respectable line of 4 ⅓ IP/4 H/2 ER/1 BB/6 K but still ended up suffering the loss.

 

Series Notes:

Dalton Sawyer

Dalton Sawyer

*Dayton runners made an astonishing 14 outs on the base paths in the 3-game series. The outs were recorded on 7 outfield assists, 4 failed base-stealing attempts, 1 pickoff by the pitcher, 1 pickoff by the catcher, and 1 runner who was doubled off first after a leaping catch by second baseman Nate Mondou.

*In the second game of the series, Nate Mondou played third base for the first time in his professional career. It’s unclear whether that was just a one-time thing or possibly something we’ll be seeing more of in order to help increase Mondou’s versatility.

*Word around Pohlman Field is that both LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler are going to be stretched out and allowed to be stand-alone starters. The Snappers have been using an 8-man tandem rotation this season, as have a pair of other A’s affiliates, the Stockton Ports and the Midland Rockhounds. But with Sawyer and Butler performing so well this season, it seems to make sense to stretch them out and allow them to pitch deeper into games as starting pitchers would normally do.

*Fun fact: Dayton Dragons pitching coach Derrin Ebert played the role of former Oakland A’s relief pitcher Mike Magnante in the movie “Moneyball.”

 

nm670148

 

A’s Prospect of the Series:

Second Baseman Nate Mondou

(5 for 11 / 3 Walks / 2 RBIs + 3 great defensive plays)

 

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Burlington (4/20-23)

By Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers recently hosted a 4-game series with the Angels’ Midwest League affiliate, the Burlington Bees, at Pohlman Field in Beloit that wrapped up on Sunday afternoon.

The Bees are managed by former A’s catcher Adam Melhuse, and the top prospect on the Bees roster is toolsy outfielder Jahmai Jones, who is the #1-ranked Angels prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

The Snappers and the Bees split the 4-game series, with Burlington winning the first 2 games 3-1 and 8-4, while the Snappers took the final 2 games 8-3 and 8-0.

 

Game #1:  Burlington 3 – Beloit 1

Ty Damron

Ty Damron

*LHP Ty Damron turned in another strong outing (4 IP/4 H/1 ER/1 BB/5 K) for the Snappers. Damron is a lefty who won’t blow you away with a big fastball, but he’s got great command. He also does an excellent job of keeping the ball low and getting ground balls, as evidenced by the five ground-ball outs he got in this game.

*RHP Brendan Butler, a 30th round pick in 2015, has had a magnificent start to his 2017 season. Butler looks to be a late-round gem that has a legitimate chance to move up the ranks fast. Butler pitched 4 scoreless innings of no-hit ball in the game. For the season, he has a 1.69 ERA with a 0.63 WHIP and a .137 batting-average-against while striking out 21 in over 16 innings.

*The Snappers struck out 12 times in the loss and didn’t draw a walk. The slider low and away was the main culprit on many of the strikeouts in this game.

 

Game #2:  Burlington 8 – Beloit 4

Dakota Chalmers

Dakota Chalmers

*RHP Dakota Chalmers (#14 A’s prospect on MLB Pipeline) started the game, but he didn’t last very long. Chalmers walked 4, hit a batter, and threw 4 wild pitches and got pulled after just a ⅓ of an inning. Chalmers was all over the place with his pitches. Our guess from the press box was that he was having trouble with his landing spot and that he didn’t have a good grip on the ball on a chilly April night. After such a strong start his last time out on the road (4 IP/ 1 H/ 0 ER/ 0 BB/ 10 K), hopefully we can just chalk this outing up to a bad day.

*Outfielder JaVon Shelby, the A’s 5th-round pick in 2016, went 3 for 4 with a stolen base.

*A’s 27th-round pick in 2016, speedy outfielder Cole Gruber had a rough day at the plate. He finished 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts.

*Snappers infielder Eric Marinez was brought in to pitch to one batter in the 9th inning, and he struck out the Angels #1 prospect, outfielder Jahmai Jones, with a 94-mph fastball!

 

Game #3:  Beloit 8 – Burlington 3

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*RHP Matt Milburn had his strongest outing of the year, going 4 scoreless innings, and the A’s 29th-round pick last year really had his cutter working effectively in this one.

*The A’s 6th-round pick from last year, RHP Brandon Bailey, also had a strong outing. Possessing more swing-and-miss stuff than his tandem-pitching partner Milburn, Bailey threw 3 scoreless innings while striking out 5 batters.

*LHP Andrew Tomasovich has been almost unhittable out of the Snappers bullpen. And he struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in this outing. Tomasovich will come at you from a couple of different arm angles. His fastball ranges from 92-94 mph, and he has a hard, breaking slider. The 23-year-old lefty spent all last season in Beloit, where he struggled with his control. But this season, he has really found his mojo, and he currently boasts a stat line of 8 IP/3 H/0 ER/0 BB/12 K.

*First baseman Miguel Mercedes and designated hitter Kyle Nowlin both went deep for the Snappers. Nowlin’s blast was hit just to the right of the batter’s eye in deep center field.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 8 – Burlington 0

Mitchell Jordan

Mitchell Jordan

*LHP Dalton Sawyer, the A’s 9th round pick last year, was dominant on the mound. He pitched 5 perfect innings for the Snappers, striking out 8. He threw 57 pitches, 42 of them for strikes.

*Drafted a round later than Sawyer, 10th-round pick RHP Mitchell Jordan followed Sawyer’s impressive effort with a solid 4 IP/3 H/0 ER/1 BB/2 K line on Sunday.

*Together, Sawyer and Jordan combined for a 3-hit shutout of the Burlington Bees, while walking just 1 and striking out 10. The two also threw a combined 100 total pitches, 75 of which were for strikes.

*Outfielders Luke Persico and JaVon Shelby and infielders Edwin Diaz and Eric Marinez all homered for Beloit.

*Edwin Diaz’s home run was impressive, going “oppo boppo” (opposite field) for an estimated distance of nearly 400 feet to right-center field.

 

Series Notes:

*Miguel Mercedes and Kyle Nowlin have been alternating between first base and designated hitter. And, so far, Mercedes appears to be the superior defender.

*Speaking of Kyle Nowlin, the A’s 21st-round pick from last year has really started hitting the ball with much more authority lately. He tallied two doubles and a home run in the series.

*Outfielder Luke Persico, the A’s 12th-round pick from last year, came into the Burlington series just 1 for 22 as a Snapper. But he really heated up in this series, going 5 for 10 with a home run and 5 RBIs.

*Beloit Snappers Media Relations Manager, Garrett Mansfield, commented during Game #4, “I really like Dalton Sawyer’s delivery. It’s just so smooth.” And I would have to agree with that observation. The 6’5”, 210-pound southpaw really does have a great-looking delivery that is just so silky smooth.

 

ds662121

bb656278

A’s Prospects of the Series:

LHP Dalton Sawyer                    RHP Brendan Butler

(5 IP/ 0 H/ 0 ER/ 0 BB/ 8 K)           (4 IP/ 0 H/ 0 ER/ 2 BB/ 5 K)

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

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.

Click here for more on Nashville & Beloit…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit Snappers Season-Opening Series Recap

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

0bsc352b182e959069318064c6abd5681d09d53add9.jpg-590x1000b

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.

td641499

 

A’s Prospect of the Series:

Pitcher Ty Damron

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

 

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

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…

bb664928

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.

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

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.

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

%d bloggers like this: