The Lake Monsters were shut out on just one hit to suffer a two-game sweep in the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series on Thursday. This year’s 7th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Parker Dunshee, who failed to allow a run in 38 1/3 regular season innings for Vermont, surrendered 5 runs in the 2nd inning to suffer the loss for the Lake Monsters. This year’s 8th-round pick, RHP Brian Howard, took over for Dunshee and was outstanding in relief, throwing 3 2/3 scoreless frames while striking out 5. 21-year-old Venezuelan RHP Argenis Blanco allowed 1 unearned run in the 8th to complete the scoring. 2nd-round right fielder Greg Deichmann singled with one out in the 4th inning to account for Vermont’s only hit, while 36th-round center fielder Logan Farrar drew a pair of walks in the loss. The Lake Monsters finished the regular season with a record of 42-33.
Center fielder Logan Farrar’s big blast helped Vermont prevail in the first game of its best-of-three playoff series with Mahoning Valley on Saturday. With the bases loaded, one out and the Lake Monsters down by two runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, Farrar stepped to the plate and slugged a grand slam to provide the margin of victory for Vermont. Right fielder Greg Deichmann followed Farrar’s blast with a solo shot, and second baseman Javier Godard added a 2-run drive in the 8th. RHP Parker Dunshee made the start and surrendered his first runs since June, giving up 2 runs in 2 innings of work, while RHP Brian Howard allowed 1 run in 4 innings of relief, and RHP Heath Donica struck out 4 over 1 1/3 scoreless frames to earn the victory for Vermont. The series will resume on Monday when it moves to Mahoning Valley with LHP Jesus Luzardo set to make the start for the Lake Monsters. Vermont Lake Monsters Playoff Roster
The A’s released their Fall Instructional League roster on Tuesday. Camp is set to open at the A’s minor league facilities in Arizona in a little over a week and will run for four weeks.
27 pitchers and 28 position players are currently scheduled to attend. And some high-profile prospects like 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armenteros and top pitching prospects A.J. Puk and Logan Shore will be participating.
Also attending will be six of the A’s top seven picks from this year’s draft – outfielders Austin Beck and Greg Deichmann, infielders Nick Allen and Will Toffey, catcher Santis Sanchez and pitcher Logan Salow. You can see the full list of A’s prospects who are set to appear in camp below…
The RockHounds clinched their fourth straight playoff appearance on Monday. Shortstop Jorge Mateo had another big day at the plate, collecting 3 hits, including a pair of home runs. The 22-year-old slugged a solo shot in the 3rd inning and added a 2-run blast in the 8th. Mateo drove in 4 runs on the day and ended up going 9 for 20 over his last 4 regular season games for the RockHounds. Second baseman Max Schrock had 3 hits and stole base, while third baseman Sheldon Neuse singled twice, doubled and drove in 3 runs, and center fielder B.J. Boyd went 0 for 5 to finish the season in third place in the Texas League batting race with a .323 batting average. RHP Heath Fillmyer turned in another strong start for the RockHounds, allowing 3 runs over 7 1/3 innings of work to earn his 11th win for Midland. The best-of-five Texas League South Division Series begins on Wednesday in San Antonio, with Game #3 and Game #4 (if necessary) taking place in Midland. LHP A.J. Puk is set to make the Game #1 start for Midland on Wednesday.
With the bases loaded, two outs and the Ports down by a pair of runs in the top of the 3rd inning, first baseman Seth Brown stepped to the plate and slugged a grand slam off rehabbing Giants RHP Johnny Cueto to give Stockton a lead it would never surrender on Sunday. Brown also singled in another run for the Ports in the 4th to extend his league-leading RBI total to 99, while his 26 home runs are good for second in the league. Starter Dalton Sawyer allowed 5 runs while striking out 8 over 5 frames to pick up his 5th win for the Ports, while RHP Nolan Blackwood pitched a perfect 9th to notch his 18th save for Stockton.
Catcher Josh Phegley had the biggest game of his rehab assignment with the Sounds on Saturday, collecting 3 hits, including a home run and a double, while driving in 3 runs. He homered to put Nashville on the board in the bottom of the 3rd inning, doubled in the tying run and 7th, and then singled in another run in the 9th. But the Sounds still came up a run short to snap their three-game winning streak on Saturday. First baseman Chris Carter slugged his 6th home run, while center fielder Yairo Munoz had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a run, and second baseman Joey Wendle singled, walked and stole a base. Starter Chris Jensen allowed 5 runs over 5 frames, while RHP Logan Bawcom surrendered 2 runs in 2 innings of relief to suffer the loss for the Sounds.
20-year-old Colombian RHP Jean Ruiz turned in an outstanding start to help the Lake Monsters score their sixth win in their last seven games on Monday. Ruiz allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk while throwing 6 shutout innings to earn the victory for Vermont, and he’s now allowed just 6 earned runs over 42 innings of work to post an impressive 1.29 ERA for the Lake Monsters this season. Right fielder Greg Deichmann drew a pair of walks and drilled a 3-run homer, while first baseman Aaron Arruda homered and doubled. Center fielder Logan Farrar singled twice, doubled and drove in 3 runs, and third baseman Will Toffey had 3 hits and scored 3 runs for the Lake Monsters.
Designated hitter Chris Carter had a huge night at the plate to lead Nashville to victory on Tuesday. The 30-year-old slugger singled, tripled, homered, walked and drove in 5 runs, including the tying and winning runs in the top of the 8th for the Sounds. Third baseman Renato Nunez singled twice and scored 3 times, while catcher Beau Taylor walked and singled in a run. Starter Ben Bracewell picked up the win despite surrendering 5 runs in 7 innings of work, while RHP Raul Alcantara tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to secure his 3rd save for the Sounds.
Stockton shut out Visalia on 5 hits to win its third straight on Saturday. Starter Dalton Sawyer was outstanding, striking out 5 while throwing 5 scoreless innings to earn his 3rd win for the Ports, and last year’s 9th-round draft pick for the A’s has now allowed just 4 earned runs while striking out 23 over his last 20 innings for Stockton. RHPs Joey Wagman, Miguel Romero and Kyle Friedrichs combined to throw 4 scoreless frames in relief to complete the shutout on Saturday. First baseman Mikey White walked and doubled with the bases loaded to drive in 3 runs, and designated hitter Jake Smolinski went 0 for 2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch in his first rehab appearance for the Ports. Meanwhile, LHP Andrew Tomasovich was activated from the disabled list while LHP Jared Lyons landed on the DL for Stockton on Saturday.
The A’s were fortunate enough to be able to sign all of their 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of this year’s amateur draft.
It’s been almost two months since the first of those players signed by the A’s began playing with the Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters or the rookie-ball Arizona League A’s. So, it seems like a good time to take a look at how some the A’s newest prospects have been performing down on the farm.
You’ll find the A’s top 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of the 2017 draft along with their current statistics through August 11 listed below. The teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games with listed first and their current team in bold…
Beck got off to a bit of a slow start, going 1 for his first 21 with 12 strikeouts. And his 5/33 BB/K ratio on the season will still need to see quite a bit of improvement. But Beck’s bat’s been starting to warm up a bit of late, and the 18-year-old just hit the first home run of his pro career in Thursday’s game. He’s also gone 4 for 4 in steal attempts while starting 20 error-free games in center field for the AZL A’s.
Merrell’s basically been doing what was expected of him when he was drafted – making contact, getting on base and utilizing his speed to make things happen. While primarily hitting in the leadoff spot, Merrell’s .299 batting average is second-best for Vermont and his 9 stolen bases and 22 runs both lead the squad.
Thus far, Deichmann has been the best batter to come out of this year’s draft for the A’s. The slugger from LSU appears to be an advanced college hitter who’s demonstrated both power and plate discipline. He currently leads Vermont in extra-base hits, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage while also showing a good arm in right field.
Allen got off to a slightly late start after taking a little longer to sign than most. But since the start of July, he’s been playing shortstop regularly while usually leading off. He’s been doing a decent job while still getting his feet wet as a pro, and the 18-year-old has 2 triples and stolen 3 bases so far for the AZL A’s.
Toffey has pretty much been serving as Vermont’s everyday third baseman since play began in the New York-Penn League. He’s done a good job of getting on base, and his 26 walks and 8 doubles both lead the team, but he’s failed to record a home run in his first 36 pro games for Vermont.
The A’s have been bringing the 18-year-old backstop along slowly and he’s been playing sporadically for the Arizona League squad. Sanchez has mostly struggled at the plate early on, going 8 for 50 with just 1 extra-base hit for the A’s.
16 1/3 IP / 11 H / 3 ER / 11 BB / 22 K / 1.65 ERA / 1.35 WHIP
There was talk of the college closer getting a shot at serving in a starting role, but that may have to wait until next season. For now, the southpaw has been serving out of the Lake Monsters bullpen. He’s been victimized by bad defense at times, but Salow has managed to post 22 strikeouts over his first 16 1/3 innings as a pro.
29 1/3 IP / 16 H / 3 ER / 6 BB / 35 K / 0.92 ERA / 0.75 WHIP
Dunshee has been the most promising pitcher to come out of this year’s draft so far for the A’s. After allowing 3 runs in his first appearance for the AZL A’s, Dunshee moved to Vermont, where he’s now failed to allow a run in his first 27 1/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters. The former Wake Forest star is an experienced college hurler, and he’s been striking out nearly 11 batters per 9 innings while notching nearly 6 times more strikeouts than walks.
22 1/3 IP / 20 H / 4 ER / 1 BB / 22 K / 1.61 ERA / 0.94 WHIP
Howard has been almost as impressive as Dunshee in the early going. The 6-foot-9 righty has demonstrated great control, walking just 1 and striking out 22 while also failing to allow a home run over his first 22 1/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters.
The 10th-round draft pick out of Washington started out strong. Meggs smashed 3 home runs in his first 17 games, a number no one on the Lake Monsters squad has yet to surpass, while also boasting a .370 on-base percentage and a .449 slugging percentage before landing on the disabled list in late July.