Tag: Dakota Chalmers

Arizona Insights: Neuse, Blackwood & More

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

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

 

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

Heat Map via MLBFarm.com

Heat Map via MLBFarm.com

 

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

 

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

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 3-Game Series vs. Quad Cities (6/16-18)

bsby Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

The Beloit Snappers took just one of three games from the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Astros’ Midwest League affiliate, at Pohlman Field in Beloit this weekend.

If this matchup sounds familiar, that’s because these two teams just met for a 4-game series the previous weekend. It was definitely an odd scheduling quirk. But this series saw the Snappers looking to play spoiler to the River Bandits’ playoff hopes in what were the final three games of the Midwest League’s first-half divisional race for both teams.

 

Game #1:  Quad Cities 5 – Beloit 3

Mitchell Jordan

Mitchell Jordan

*RHP Mitchell Jordan, the A’s 10th-round pick in 2016, was not fooling any of the River Bandits batters in this game. The 22-year-old gave up 5 runs on 8 hits while walking 3, and he didn’t strike out a batter in 4 innings of work. Jordan also gave up 3 home runs, two of which traveled over 430 feet.

*RHP Xavier Altamirano continued his stellar season out of the Beloit bullpen with what was probably his best performance of the season, if not the best of his pro career. The 22-year-old allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 8 over 4 scoreless innings for the Snappers.

*Second baseman Nate Mondou has served as a model of consistency in the Snappers lineup this season, so it’s odd to see him in the midst of slump. And it didn’t help when Bandits right fielder Ronnie Dawson went all out to make a diving catch to rob Mondou of what would have been an RBI double. So the A’s 13th-round pick in 2016 decided to take a different approach in his second at-bat. Mondou hit a seeing-eye ground-ball single to Dawson in right. And with that, he snapped his 0-for-17 skid.

*Last year’s 1st-round pick for the Astros, RHP Forrest Whitley, dominated the Snappers for the second time in less than a week, striking out 8 while throwing 3 ⅔ scoreless innings in relief for Quad Cities.

*With the end of the first half of the season drawing near, it seemed as though Beloit’s batters were running on empty. They combined to strike out 16 times in this 9-inning game.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 4 – Quad Cities 3 (10 innings)

Zack Erwin

Zack Erwin

*23-year-old LHP Zack Erwin was effective at keeping the ball low in the zone, getting 8 ground-ball outs for the Snappers. His final line for the night was an impressive 6 IP/5 H/1 ER/0 BB/4 K.

*Slap-hitting third baseman Trace Loehr lined a key 2-run double in the bottom of the 6th inning to give Beloit the lead, but it was just his 5th extra-base hit this season (3 doubles and 2 triples).

*The A’s 5th-round pick last year, outfielder JaVon Shelby, possesses an above-average throwing arm in the outfield, and the converted third baseman showed both the good and the bad that can result from that in this game. Shelby threw out a runner at home plate from his position in center field at one point. But after a lineout to center, he tried to double-up the runner at first base. Unfortunately, the throw went high and wide of first baseman Miguel Mercedes, ricocheting off the dugout fence and allowing the runner to advance to second.

*As the game entered extra innings, Beloit’s fans were eagerly awaiting a home-team hero to end the game so that they could enjoy the scheduled post-game fireworks. That hero was shortstop Eric Marinez. In the bottom of the 10th, he lined an RBI single to left field to score first baseman Kyle Nowlin from second base as the Snappers celebrated a walk-off win in extra innings.

 

Game #3:  Quad Cities 5 – Beloit 3

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

*RHP Brandon Bailey, the 6th-round pick of the A’s in 2016, hurled another solid game (5 IP/3 H/2 ER/3 BB/5 K). There had been some question as to whether or not he could hold up as a starter, but he’s so far put those questions to rest with a terrific first half for Beloit. And Bailey is now sporting a 2.72 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 53 innings for the Snappers.

*It was a sloppy game defensively for the Snappers as the team committed 3 infield errors – one apiece by first baseman Miguel Mercedes, second baseman Nate Mondou and shortstop Trace Loehr.

*Second baseman Nate Mondou smashed a line-drive, 2-run single that deflected off the glove of diving River Bandits first baseman Taylor Jones. And it was more than welcome for Mondou, who’s hit for a .137 batting average this month.

 

Series Notes:

JaVon Shelby

JaVon Shelby

*Outfielder JaVon Shelby went 1 for 13 with 8 strikeouts in the series. Shelby finished the first half with a total of 98 strikeouts, the second-most by a player in the Midwest League, and he’s now struck out in a full 45% of his at-bats for the Snappers.

*With RHP Brendan Butler and LHP Dalton Sawyer promoted to Stockton, RHP Michael Murray and LHP Ty Damron on the shelf with injuries, and RHP Dakota Chalmers working on his mechanics in extended spring training, it has recently left the Snappers searching for pitchers who can give them effective innings. While it’s difficult for a pitching staff to withstand that many losses, it will certainly give some other young pitchers in the organization a chance to show just what they’ve got.

 

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A’s Prospect of the Series:

RHP Xavier Altamirano

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

 

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

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

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

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

 

NASHVILLE SOUNDS

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

Daniel Gossett

Daniel Gossett

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

 

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

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

Grant Holmes

Grant Holmes

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

 

STOCKTON PORTS

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

Logan Shore

Logan Shore

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

 

BELOIT SNAPPERS

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

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

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

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

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

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

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports                      4

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes  2

WP – Puk 3-4 / 3.43

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher A.J. Puk

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

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

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Wisconsin (5/22-25)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers took three out of four games from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Milwaukee’s Midwest League affiliate, in their series this week at Pohlman Field in Beloit.

The matchup featured the only two minor league teams in the state of Wisconsin, and there’s always a lot of energy in the air anytime these two Dairy State rivals meet. Beloit came into the series just one game behind Wisconsin in the Midwest League Western Division standings and finished it one game ahead of their in-state rivals.

The Timber Rattlers currently possess the worst team batting average in the Midwest League, but one of the team’s top hitting prospects is catcher Mario Feliciano. The 18-year-old has put up an impressive .291/.365/.418 slash line, which is especially remarkable considering he is one of the youngest players in the Midwest League and he’s playing such a demanding position. Wisconsin’s top starter, RHP Trey Supak, started the second game of the series and threw 5 scoreless innings. The 20-year-old now carries a 1.76 ERA, placing him in the top ten in the Midwest League.

 

Game #1:  Beloit 12 – Wisconsin 2

Luis Barrera

Luis Barrera

*Speedy outfielder Luis Barrera smashed a 3-run homer to right field in the 5th inning that was estimated to travel 440 feet!

*Center fielder Mike Martin and second baseman Nate Mondou both legged out hustle doubles in back-to-back at bats in the 5th inning. These are the type of plays that don’t show up in the box score, but these two players showed tremendous effort that also put extra pressure on the opposing team’s defense.

*The A’s #13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, RHP Dakota Chalmers, continued to have unhittable stuff, in more ways than one. The 20-year-old struck out 8 and gave up just 1 hit, but he still walked 4 batters over 5 innings. And for the season, Chalmers has walked 29 batters in 29 innings. Learning to control his stuff will be the key for Chalmers’ development this season, and that will be something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 2 – Wisconsin 1 (7 innings)

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

*RHP Brandon Bailey, the A’s 6th-round pick in last year’s draft, turned in a strong 4 IP/3 H/0 ER/1 BB/5 K line in his second appearance since returning from the disabled list.

*Bailey has now pitched 16 consecutive scoreless innings and has a 2.32 ERA on the season. He joins LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler to form a formidable trio of starting pitchers for the Snappers.

*Two sacrifice flies were all the Snappers needed to win the game, the second of which, courtesy of third baseman Nate Mondou, drove in the game-winning run to help the Snappers win in a walk-off in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

 

Game #3:  Wisconsin 4 – Beloit 3 (7 innings)

Sam Sheehan

Sam Sheehan

*The A’s 12th-round draft pick last year, left fielder Luke Persico, did not record an official at-bat in the game. He drew a pair of walks and hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the Snappers’ first run in the 3rd inning.

*Second baseman Nate Mondou, normally a very cerebral player, uncharacteristically made two outs on the base paths; he was picked off and caught stealing in the loss.

*The 31st-round pick of the A’s in 2016, RHP Sam Sheehan, pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief. He has a unique 3/4-sidearm slot that would appear to be very tough on right-handed hitters.

*Beloit native Cameron Roegner made the start for Wisconsin, bringing a lot of family and friends out to the ballpark to see the hometown boy. He allowed just 1 run over 6 innings of work and left the game with a 3-run lead.

*With Roegner out of the game though, Beloit was able to battle back within a run in the bottom of the 7th. The Snappers put 2 runs on the board with the help of 4 walks by Wisconsin’s Braden Webb as well as a force out. Unfortunately, the Snappers weren’t able to come through with the big hit, or any hit for that matter, in the final frame and suffered a 1-run loss in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 15 – Wisconsin 2

Luke Persico

Luke Persico

*Left fielder Luke Persico had a big game at the plate, going 4 for 6 with 2 doubles and 5 RBIs.

*Persico continues to smack line drives all over the diamond, with a 24.4 % line-drive rate. In 148 at-bats, he’s slashing .311/.366/.480 for the Snappers. And he’s done all that during the coldest months of the season in the chilly Midwest League, where conditions can often be brutal.

*A pair of Dominican-born players, center fielder Luis Barrera and first baseman Miguel Mercedes, both homered in the game. Barrera cracked a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 1st, while Mercedes hit his 8th of the season to straightaway center in the 8th inning.

*As Oakland’s 9th-round draft pick last year, there were some expectations for LHP Dalton Sawyer, and he’s more than lived up to them. Sawyer pitched 6 innings, giving up 2 runs while striking out 7 to earn his 4th win on Thursday. And for the season, Sawyer has an ERA of 2.00 with a brilliant batting-average-against of just .165.

*RHP Seth Martinez came on in relief and pitched 3 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball for Beloit. Martinez, a 17th-round pick last year, actually picked up a save in the game even though it was a 15-2 final score.

 

Series Notes:

*Speedy outfielder Luis Barrera, known mainly for his ability to hit for average and his blazing speed, hit two home runs in the series. As previously mentioned, Barrera’s home run in the first game went an estimated 440 feet, which is the longest home run hit by a Snapper at Pohlman Field this season.

*Infielder Nate Mondou went 7 for 15 with a walk in the series, and his batting average is currently sitting at a team-leading .321.

*The Snappers outscored the Timber Rattlers 32-9 in the 4-game series, and it was one of the team’s most dominating series wins of the season.

 

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A’s Prospect of the Series:

Outfielder Luke Persico

(5 for 8 / 2 Doubles / 3 Walks / 6 RBIs)

 

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

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

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

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds         9

Sacramento River Cats  3

WP – Gossett 2-2 / 3.59

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

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Daniel Gossett

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

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

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

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

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

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

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  4

Frisco RoughRiders       7

LP – Finnegan 0-1 / 3.38

HR – Schrock 2 (5), Munoz (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman Max Schrock

(3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs)

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

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton & Beloit…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Kane County (5/15-17)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers split a four-game series this week with the Kane County Cougars, Arizona’s Midwest League affiliate, at Pohlman Field in Beloit.

The teams were originally scheduled to play five games in three days in order to make up for two games that were rained out earlier in the year at Kane County. Unfortunately, rain was in the forecast yet again, forcing the teams to cancel one of the five games.

Kane County came into the series at the top of the Midwest League Western Division standings. The Cougars boast a well-balanced team with an especially strong bullpen. The Cougars also feature one of the premier hitters in the Midwest League, 20-year-old outfielder Marcus Wilson. And by the end of the series, Wilson was sporting an impressive .347/.446/.642 slash line to go along with 6 home runs on the season.

 

Game #1:  Kane County 8 – Beloit 5

Mitchell Jordan

Mitchell Jordan

*The A’s 10th-round draft pick in 2016, RHP Mitchell Jordan, struggled mightily to start the game. Jordan allowed a number of hard-hit balls, and a 7-run 1st inning put Beloit in a big hole early on.

*After giving up a total of 8 earned runs in the loss, Jordan’s ERA jumped from 1.08 to 4.58. His final line for the day read: 3 IP/10 H/8 ER/3 BB/4 K.

*First baseman Miguel Mercedes reached base in all three of his plate appearances and had the Snappers’ only extra-base hit of the game, a double to deep center field in the 4th inning.

 

Game #2:  Kane County 11 – Beloit 3

Nate Mondou Photo: Dave Baker

Nate Mondou
(Photo: Dave Baker)

*This game actually started on Monday night but was stopped after just seven minutes due to a heavy rainstorm and was resumed with just one out in the 1st inning on Tuesday.

*Last year’s 13th-round draft pick for the A’s, infielder Nate Mondou, hustled out of the box to stretch what would have been a single for most batters into an important two-out double in the bottom of the 1st inning. And Mondou’s hustle would open the door for three two-out runs to score for Beloit before the inning was through.

*Outfielder JaVon Shelby, the A’s 6th-round pick in 2016, reached base in all three of his plate appearances and drove in two of the Snappers’ three runs in the loss.

*It was a game to forget for the Snappers’ pitching staff. RHPs Jesus Zambrano, Seth Martinez (making his Beloit debut), Sam Sheehan and Yordys Alejo combined to give up 11 runs, 10 earned, on 11 hits and 7 walks.

 

Game #3:  Beloit 8 – Kane County 2

Brendan Butler Photo: Dave Baker

Brendan Butler
(Photo: Dave Baker)

*RHP Brendan Butler was asked to get the Snappers pitching back on track in Tuesday’s second game and, sure enough, he was up to the task. Butler’s breaking stuff was really working. He struck out 7 while allowing no earned runs in 4 ⅔ innings, and his ERA now sits at 1.60.

*Butler’s breakout is real. Not only does he pass the eye test, but his peripheral numbers also show how dominant he has been this season. Some notable stats include a 0.84 WHIP and a 10.5 K/9 rate, while hitters are batting just .176 against him. Butler already looks like a major draft-day steal for the A’s scouting department after being taken in the 30th round of the 2015 draft.

*RHP Heath Bowers tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win for the Snappers, and he now owns a sterling 1.74 ERA. Bowers has been manager Scott Steinmann’s go-to guy when he’s needed a long reliever this season.

*It was just another ho-hum, 3-for-4 day for infielder Nate Mondou. He barely missed a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd inning as the ball hit off the wall in deep right-center field, and he had to settle for an RBI double that gave Beloit the lead.

*The Snappers scored three runs on bases-loaded walks and one run on a hit-by-pitch as part of their six-run 3rd inning.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 7 – Kane County 6

Luke Persico Photo: Dave Baker

Luke Persico
(Photo: Dave Baker)

*RHP Dakota Chalmers is still struggling to maintain consistent control of his pitches. Blessed with a fastball that sits around 95 mph and a wicked curveball, the A’s #13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline has the stuff to eventually become a front-line starter. In this one, the 20-year-old threw a season-high 75 pitches (his previous high was 57) and finished the game with a stat line of 4 IP/1 H/0 ER/4 BB/5 K.

*Oakland’s 21st-round draft pick from last year, designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin, hit a big 3-run homer to straightaway center field to put Beloit on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning.

*Outfielder Luke Persico raised his batting average over .300 with a 3-for-4 day at the plate while also drawing a walk. The A’s 12th-round pick in 2016 has really settled into the third spot in the batting order for the Snappers, which is somewhat remarkable considering that he started the season at extended spring training in Arizona. But Persico’s shown he can handle Midwest League pitching and could possibly be looking at a promotion to Stockton in the second half if he can keep up the pace.

 

Brendan Butler

Brendan Butler

 

A’s Prospect of the Series:

RHP Brendan Butler

(4 ⅔ IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 7 K)

 

 

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Sunday, May 7th: Hounds Win 6th Straight in a Walk-Off while Alcantara Suffers Loss for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Brett Graves (5 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Brett Graves (5 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Frisco RoughRiders       1

Midland RockHounds  2

WP – Trivino 3-0 / 0.71

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brett Graves

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

After putting up a 2.55 ERA and striking out 29 while walking just 3 for Stockton this season, RHP Brett Graves was impressive in his Double-A debut for Midland on Sunday. The A’s 3rd-round draft pick in 2014 showed off his improved command by throwing 47 strikes and only 17 balls while allowing just 1 run, walking none and striking out 5 over 5 strong innings of work for the RockHounds. (You can see our recent interview with Graves here). LHP Cody Stull replaced Graves with the game a 1-1 tie in the 6th and threw 3 shutout innings in relief, and RHP Lou Trivino then tossed a scoreless top of the 9th as the game remained knotted. But with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, second baseman Max Schrock singled in the winning run as the RockHounds won in a walk-off for the second straight day and posted their sixth straight victory on Sunday. The game-winning hit was Schrock’s second single of the game. Right fielder Tyler Marincov and designated hitter Joe Bennie also notched a pair of singles apiece, while first baseman Viosergy Rosa singled and doubled, and catcher Argenis Raga singled and drove in the tying run for the RockHounds on a sacrifice fly in the 2nd. And Trivino picked up his 3rd win of the season after tossing a scoreless top of the 9th for the Hounds.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton & 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.

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