Tag: Dustin Hurlbutt

A’s Top-Performing Minor League Pitchers of 2017

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

With the end of the minor league season about a week away, it seems like a good time to take a look at some of the young hurlers in the A’s system who’ve been having true standout seasons on the field this year. Many minor league players can dazzle with an amazing week, or even an amazing month, but being able to perform at a high level over the course of an often grueling minor league season, where travel can be torturous and days off are rare, is another thing altogether. So, let’s take a quick look at some of the top-performing pitchers in the A’s system this year. For the purposes of this piece, we’re only examining hurlers who’ve thrown over 100 innings this season. And remember, we’re not ranking top prospects here, just taking a look at some of the top performers on the field. All statistics are through games of August 25…

 

ds662121bDalton Sawyer

Beloit Snappers (A) / Stockton Ports (A+) / Nashville Sounds (AAA)

(120 IP / 99 H / 43 ER / 46 BB / 126 K / 3.23 ERA / 1.21 WHIP)

After being selected by Oakland in the 9th round of the draft last year, the left-hander may be having the best season of any hurler in the A’s system this year. Sawyer started out the season by putting up a 2.25 ERA and striking out 64 in 56 innings for Beloit before compiling a 2.93 ERA while striking out 60 in 55 1/3 frames for Stockton. The 23-year-old surrendered 11 runs in a pair of spot starts for Nashville earlier in the year or his overall numbers would look even more impressive. But thanks to his mid-90s fastball and a solid changeup, the southpaw’s always been able to put up strong strikeout numbers, and his 126 K’s are the fourth-most among A’s minor leaguers. And with his strong showing at Stockton in the second half, Sawyer should be in a position to compete for a spot in Double-A Midland’s starting rotation next season.

 

hf641571Heath Fillmyer

Midland RockHounds (AA)

(136 2/3 IP / 141 H / 53 ER / 51 BB / 104 K / 3.49 ERA / 1.40 WHIP)

A former infielder, the right-hander hadn’t spent a lot of time on the mound when the A’s took him in the 5th round of the 2014 draft, but the team clearly saw something it liked. The 23-year-old has turned out to be a smart pitcher who seems to have learned how to handle hitters and work his way out of jams while primarily pitching to contact. His fastball can range from the low to mid 90s and he shows a decent changeup and curve as well. Fillmyer doesn’t miss a lot of bats or put up gaudy strikeout numbers, but he knows how to get the job done and has shown an ability to stay healthy and take his turn on the mound every fifth day. He was a non-roster invitee to big league camp last spring, so the organization obviously values him. Fillmyer should make it onto the 40-man roster by next spring and ought to be ready to show what he can do at Triple-A next season.

 

xa665098Xavier Altamirano

Beloit Snappers (A)

(109 IP / 94 H / 40 ER / 28 BB / 87 K / 3.30 ERA / 1.12 WHIP)

After being drafted in the 27th-round in 2015 and then splitting last season between Beloit and Vermont, the right-hander may be having one of the most overlooked seasons among A’s minor league hurlers this year. Altamirano started out the season in the Beloit bullpen, making 17 relief appearances before moving into the starting rotation, where he’s made 12 starts for the Snappers. The 23-year-old is very much a control pitcher and has issued just 28 walks over 109 innings this season, which is impressive, especially for a hurler in the low minors. He’s definitely a pitch-to-contact guy who isn’t going to overpower anyone, but he seems to have the ability to induce a lot of weak contact. He allows very few base runners and delivers a solid outing almost every time out. And after turning in a strong season for the Snappers, Altamirano should get a chance to challenge California League hitters for Stockton next season.

 

dh664955Dustin Hurlbutt

Stockton Ports (A+) / Midland RockHounds (AA) / Nashville Sounds (AAA)

(118 1/3 IP / 92 H / 48 ER / 43 BB / 108 K / 3.65 ERA / 1.14 WHIP)

After turning in a solid season for Beloit last year, much like Altamirano, Hurlbutt has quietly put together a strong season in the A’s system this year. The right-hander possesses an effective changeup, and hitters seem to have a hard time figuring him out, so he ends up avoiding a lot of hard contact. Hurlbutt had Tommy John surgery during his college career before being taken by the A’s in the 16th round in the 2015 draft. The 24-year-old spent the first half of this season averaging more than a strikeout per inning at Stockton, made one spot start for Nashville, and then spent most of the second half with Double-A Midland before landing on the disabled list a little over a week ago with a right shoulder strain. But he should be more than ready to return to Midland next year to pick up where he left off this season.

 

ap640462dA.J. Puk

Stockton Ports (A+) / Midland RockHounds (AA)

(112 1/3 IP / 94 H / 53 ER / 46 BB / 166 K / 4.25 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)

The A’s top pick in last year’s draft, the 6-7 southpaw has certainly opened some eyes and flashed some tantalizing glimpses of the potential that the A’s saw when they selected him in the 1st round last year. Puk has had some truly dominant starts, and then has had a few where he’s seemed completely out of whack. But on the whole, the 22-year-old has looked very good in his first full season as a pro. Of course, what really jumps out about Puk are his eye-popping strikeout numbers. The lefty leads all A’s minor leaguers with 166 strikeouts and has been whiffing an average of 13.3 batters per nine innings this year. Puk started out the season averaging 14.5 K/9 for Stockton before moving up to Midland. It’s also good to know that he’s been able to keep his walk rate down to 3.7 BB/9 this season. But even more impressively, he’s only allowed 3 home runs all year, which is quite an accomplishment considering he spent half his season in the homer-happy California League. It’ll be interesting to see if the A’s take things slow and have Puk return to the RockHounds to start next season or if they decide to have him start the year at Triple-A Nashville. Either way, depending on how things play out over the course of the season, it’s entirely possible that Puk could end up seeing time in Oakland before next year is through.

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Friday, August 18th: Mateo’s Big Hit Helps Hounds Win in a Walk-Off while Sounds & Ports Prevail in One-Run Victories

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 4 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Arkansas Travelers        5

Midland RockHounds  6

WP – Sturdevant 2-3 / 3.58

HR – Mateo (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Jorge Mateo

(3 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 4 RBIs)

With two men on and the game tied in the bottom of the 9th, shortstop Jorge Mateo stepped to the plate and laced a single to right field to drive home the winning run as the RockHounds won in a walk-off to notch their fifth straight victory on Friday. Mateo also doubled in a run in the 2nd and hit a 2-run homer in the 4th for the Hounds. Designated hitter Tyler Marincov singled, doubled and drove in 2 runs, while second baseman Max Schrock and left fielder Tyler Ramirez had a pair of hits apiece for Midland. Starter Casey Meisner allowed 1 run in 4 innings of work, while RHP Tyler Sturdevant picked up the win despite giving up 3 runs, 2 earned, in 1 inning of relief for the RockHounds. Meanwhile, Midland RHP Dustin Hurlbutt landed on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain and RHP Kyle Finnegan was reassigned to the RockHounds from the Sounds on Friday.

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

Tuesday, August 8th: 5 HRs Help Stockton Snap Skid while Sounds Win in Extras

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse (3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse (3 for 4 / 2 HRs / 4 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

San Jose Giants  5

Stockton Ports   9

WP – Romero 1-1 / 11.81

HR – Brown 2 (19), Neuse 2 (6), Raga (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse

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

Five home runs helped Stockton snap its four-game losing streak on Tuesday. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse wielded the biggest bat of the night, collecting 3 hits, including 2 home runs, while scoring 3 times and driving in 4 runs for the Ports. Right fielder Seth Brown belted a pair of home runs to give him a team-leading total of 19 while driving in 3 runs, and catcher Argenis Raga added a solo shot for Stockton. Starter Logan Shore allowed 3 runs over 4 innings of work, while RHP Miguel Romero tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to pick up his 1st win for the Ports, and RHP Armando Ruiz got the final four outs for Stockton to secure his 2nd save.

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

Wednesday, August 2nd: Erwin Pitches Snappers to Victory while 3 HRs Help Ports Prevail & Hurlbutt Is Solid in Hounds’ Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 9 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 9 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Peoria Chiefs        1

Beloit Snappers  7

WP – Erwin 5-2 / 1.68

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Zack Erwin

(6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 9 K / Win)

LHP Zack Erwin turned in another impressive start to help the Snappers win for the sixth time in their last seven games on Wednesday. The 23-year-old allowed just 2 hits while striking out a career-best 9 batters over 6 shutout innings to earn his 5th win, and he’s now given up just 1 earned run in 27 innings over his last 5 starts for Beloit. RHP Heath Bowers allowed 1 run in 3 innings of relief to secure his 4th save for the Snappers. Center fielder Mike Martin had 3 hits, including a double, stole a base and scored twice, while third baseman Trace Loehr singled and tripled, and designated hitter Miguel Mercedes singled twice and drove in a pair for the Snappers.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Vermont…

Friday, July 28th: Stockton Wins behind Neuse’s Big Bat while Nashville Notches Shutout Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Sheldon Neuse (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Sheldon Neuse (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  11

Modesto Nuts       5

WP – Butler 3-3 / 5.12

HR – Neuse 2 (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Sheldon Neuse

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

Shortstop Sheldon Neuse, recently acquired from the Nationals in the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle deal, had a big night at the plate for the Ports on Friday. The 22-year-old collected 3 hits, including a 3-run homer in the 1st inning and a 2-run shot in the 9th. First baseman Mikey White doubled and singled twice, while left fielder Brett Siddall had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in 2 runs, and right fielder Seth Brown walked and doubled in a pair for the Ports. Stockton starter Kyle Friedrichs gave up 3 runs over 3 2/3 innings of work, while RHP Brendan Butler allowed 1 run in 4 innings of relief to earn his 3rd win on Friday. In other news, RHP James Naile is set to be activated from the disabled list and make the start for Stockton on Saturday.

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

Sunday, July 23rd: Schrock’s Big Bat Helps Hounds Sweep Twinbill while Ports Win in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman Max Schrock (5 for 7 / Home Run / Double / 2 Walks / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman Max Schrock (5 for 7 / HR / Double / 2 Walks / 5 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

GAME #1

Corpus Christi Hooks       2

Midland RockHounds  12

WP – Hurlbutt 3-1 / 2.20

HR – Schrock (6)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman Max Schrock

(4 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 3 RBIs)

Second baseman Max Schrock had a big game in the first of Midland’s two matches on Sunday. The 22-year-old had 4 hits, including a home run and a double, and drove in 3 runs, and he went 5 for 7 with a pair of walks and 5 RBIs overall in the doubleheader. Catcher Andy Paz had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair, while shortstop Richie Martin singled, doubled and drove in a run for the RockHounds. RHP Dustin Hurlbutt delivered his second straight quality start, allowing 2 runs on just 3 hits over 6 innings of work to earn his 3rd win for Midland.

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

Monday, July 17th: Hurlbutt Helps Hounds Win Again while Bailey & Walter Are Solid for Ports & Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt (7 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Dustin Hurlbutt (7 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 3 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  5

San Antonio Missions    1

WP – Hurlbutt 2-1 / 1.99

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt

(7 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 3 K / Win)

RHP Dustin Hurlbutt delivered another outstanding start to help the RockHounds take their second straight from San Antonio on Monday. The 24-year-old allowed 1 run on just 2 hits over 7 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Midland, and Hurlbutt has now given up just 1 run and 7 hits in 18 1/3 frames over his last 3 starts for the Hounds. RHP Tyler Sturdevant tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to secure his 1st save for Midland on Monday. Right fielder J.P. Sportman singled, tripled and drove in a run, while center fielder B.J. Boyd had 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, stole a base and scored twice, and designated hitter Jermaine Curtis doubled, walked and drove in a pair of runs for the RockHounds.

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

Wednesday, July 12th: Hurlbutt Helps Hounds Snap Skid while Beloit’s Big Bats Lead to Win and Nunez Named MVP at AAA All-Star Game

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt (5 1/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Dustin Hurlbutt (5 1/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Corpus Christi Hooks     1

Midland RockHounds  7

WP – Hurlbutt 1-1 / 2.30

HR – Rosa (12)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Dustin Hurlbutt

(5 1/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

RHP Dustin Hurlbutt helped the RockHounds snap their three-game losing streak on Wednesday. The 24-year-old allowed just 2 hits over 5 1/3 scoreless frames to earn his 1st win for Midland, and Hurlbutt has now failed to allow a run over his last 11 1/3 innings of work for the Hounds. First baseman Viosergy Rosa homered, walked and scored twice, while third baseman Jordan Tarsovich had 3 hits, including a double. Left fielder Tyler Ramirez doubled in a pair of runs, and designated hitter Jermaine Curtis went 1 for 3 with a walk in his return to the RockHounds from the Sounds on Wednesday.

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

Thursday, July 6th: Sounds Win behind Nunez’s Big Bat while Stockton Stages Comeback Win and Hounds Fall in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Renato Nunez (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Renato Nunez (3 for 5 / 2 HRs / 5 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds             11

Colorado Springs Sky Sox  7

WP – Finnegan 1-0 / 5.40

HR – Nunez 2 (24)

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Renato Nunez

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

Third baseman Renato Nunez did his part to help Nashville snap a four-game skid on Thursday. The 23-year-old Venezuelan collected 3 hits, including a pair of home runs to extend his league-leading total to 24, while also driving in 5 runs. Right fielder Mark Canha singled, doubled twice and scored twice, while first baseman Jermaine Curtis doubled, singled twice, walked and drove in a run, and shortstop Joey Wendle had 2 hits, including a run-scoring triple, for the Sounds. Starter Jesse Hahn allowed 4 runs over 3 2/3 innings of work, while RHP Kyle Finnegan tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win, and RHP Simon Castro got the final two outs in the 9th to notch his 4th save for Nashville.

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

A’s Farm Report: Meisner, Murphy, Munoz & More Top A’s Prospects on the Move

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A number of top-performing A’s prospects have received promotions over the past month. Among those on the move have been RHP Casey Meisner, catcher Sean Murphy, infielder Yairo Munoz, LHP A.J. Puk and 23-year-old Cuban defector Norge Ruiz, along with many others. Of course, some have been demoted too. But let’s run down some of these recent moves and take a look at how these promoted and demoted players have been performing so far this season…

 

IF Yairo Munoz, C Beau Taylor and RHPs Lou Trivino and Kyle Finnegan to Nashville from Midland

Yairo Munoz

Yairo Munoz

Due to some nagging injuries, Munoz’s season didn’t get started until the first week of May, and then it took a couple more weeks before his bat began heating up. But after compiling a .532 slugging percentage over his first 47 games for Midland, the 22-year-old was promoted to Nashville towards the end of June, where he’s put up a .212/.250/.242 slash line in his first 8 games for the Sounds. Munoz has mainly split time between shortstop and third base this season, but he’s recently started 3 games in center field. Taylor was suspended for the first 50 games of the season after testing positive for amphetamines and didn’t get his season started until the final day of May. The 27-year-old got off to a hot start though and put up a .309/.385/.485 slash line over his first 21 games for the RockHounds. So, after spending parts of six seasons with Midland, Taylor finally got the chance to make his Triple-A debut at the end of June, and he’s gone 6 for 18 with 3 walks and a pair of doubles over his first 5 games for Nashville. Trivino and Finnegan were two of Midland’s top relievers this season. Trivino posted a 2.43 ERA while failing to give up a home run and striking out 34 in 33 1/3 frames. Finnegan struck out 27 and walked just 7 over 30 innings while recording 8 saves for the RockHounds. But since arriving in Nashville late last month, Trivino has allowed 4 runs over his first 3 games, and Finnegan has put up a 7.71 ERA in his first 2 appearances for the Sounds.

 

RHPs Tyler Sturdevant and Aaron Kurcz to Midland from Nashville

After making his major league debut for Tampa Bay last season, it’s been a rough year for Sturdevant, who signed with the A’s as a minor league free agent in the offseason. He started the year on the disabled list, then was inconsistent, putting up a 4.39 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP for the Sounds before being reassigned to the RockHounds in mid-June, where he’s allowed 3 runs in his first 5 frames at Double-A. Kurcz got off to an even rougher start this season, posting a 7.24 ERA in 22 relief appearances for Nashville before being moved down to Midland last week, where he’s looked much better, allowing just 1 hit over 3 2/3 scoreless frames for the Hounds.

 

LHP A.J. Puk, RHPs Casey Meisner and Dustin Hurlbutt, C Sean Murphy, IF Branden Cogswell and OF Tyler Ramirez to Midland from Stockton

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

Much of Stockton’s starting rotation has been reassigned to the RockHounds. Brett Graves was the first to make the move to Midland in early May, followed by Evan Manarino in late May, and Puk, Meisner and Hurlbutt all made the move in June. Puk struck out 98 in 61 innings for Stockton, while Meisner struck out 80 in 74 2/3 frames, and Hurlbutt posted a solid 3.23 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP for the Ports. Puk’s been a little inconsistent since arriving in Midland, allowing 3 runs over 7 innings in his first start, giving up 2 runs over 6 frames in his last start, and surrendering 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in just 1/3 of an inning of work in his other start. Overall, the 22-year-old has walked 9 and struck out 12 in his first 13 1/3 frames for Midland. Meisner and Hurlbutt both gave up 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings of work in their Double-A debuts last week. Catcher Sean Murphy, infielder Branden Cogswell and outfielder Tyler Ramirez all made the move the Midland last week as well. Ramirez was boasting Stockton’s best on-base percentage (.399), and Murphy was sporting the team’s top slugging percentage (.527), while Cogswell seemed to earn his promotion primarily based on service time. He was drafted by the A’s in the 7th round back in 2014 and started his stint with Stockton in 2015. Since arriving in Midland, Murphy has gone 7 for 17 with a double, while Cogswell has gone 2 for 15, and Ramirez went 1 for 2 with a walk in his Double-A debut on Sunday.

 

RHP Kyle Friedrichs, LHP Evan Manarino and C Argenis Raga to Stockton from Midland

After impressing at Stockton last year, Friedrichs was given a shot at starting the season at Double-A this year. But the 25-year-old put up an ERA of 6.00 at Midland before being sent back to Stockton last week, where he gave up 5 runs over 5 frames in his first appearance for the Ports. Manarino started the season in Stockton and was solid, striking out 46 while walking just 5 over 51 2/3 innings for the Ports, but he struggled badly after moving up to Midland. The 24-year-old allowed 24 earned runs in 26 2/3 innings over his first 5 starts for the RockHounds before being reassigned to Stockton last week, where he surrendered 6 runs in his first return appearance for the Ports. And with Sean Murphy’s promotion to Midland, Argenis Raga was sent back to Stockton. After serving as the Ports’ primary starting catcher last season, Raga was given the chance to start the year with the RockHounds. But after the 22-year-old put up a feeble .200/.257/.316 slash line for Midland, he was sent back to Stockton last week to make way for Murphy.

 

LHP Dalton Sawyer, RHPs Brendan Butler and Brandon Bailey, 2B Nate Mondou to Stockton from Beloit

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

Butler and Sawyer were Beloit’s two best starting pitchers over the first couple of months of the season, with Butler compiling a 2.32 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP and Sawyer putting up a 2.25 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP before being promoted to the Ports prior to the California League and Midwest League All-Star breaks last month. And both have continued to perform well for the Ports, with Butler striking out 32 over his first 24 1/3 frames and posting a 3.33 ERA, while Sawyer has struck out 22 in 16 2/3 innings and put up a 2.16 ERA for Stockton. After the departures of Sawyer and Butler, Bailey was the best bet in Beloit’s starting rotation. Last year’s 6th-round draft pick for the A’s struck out 73 in 57 frames while compiling a 2.68 ERA before being promoted to the Ports this weekend, where he allowed 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first appearance for Stockton on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mondou was one of Beloit’s best hitters this season, boasting a .371 on-base percentage before being promoted to the Ports last week, where he’s gone 8 for 24 with 3 extra-base hits over his first 6 games for Stockton.

 

RHP Norge Ruiz to Stockton from the Dominican League

After allowing just 1 run in 19 innings of work over 4 starts in the Dominican League, Ruiz was promoted to the Ports last week, where the 23-year-old Cuban defector gave up 4 runs over 4 innings in his first start for Stockton on Saturday.

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