Tag: JaVon Shelby

A’s Final 2017 Minor League Hitting & Pitching Leaders

Includes Nashville Sounds (AAA), Midland RockHounds (AA), Stockton Ports (A), Beloit Snappers (A), Vermont Lake Monsters (A), AZL A’s (Rk)

 

–HITS–

bb622196172 B.J. Boyd OF (Mid)

148 Tyler Ramirez OF (Sto-Mid)

141 J.P. Sportman OF (Mid)

140 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

136 Franklin Barreto SS (Nas) / Joey Wendle 2B (Nas)

 

–DOUBLES–

ew64220132 Eli White SS (Sto)

29 Joey Wendle 2B (Nas)

29 B.J. Boyd OF (Mid)

28 Kyle Nowlin 1B (Bel)

28 Viosergy Rosa 1B (Mid)

 

–TRIPLES–

jw6215638 Joey Wendle 2B (Nas)

8 Trace Loehr 3B-2B (Bel)

7 Jorge Mateo SS (Mid) / Luis Barrera OF (Bel-Sto)

7 Skye Bolt OF (Sto) / Franklin Barreto SS (Nas)

7 Nate Mondou 2B (Bel-Sto) / Seth Brown OF (Sto)

 

–HOME RUNS–

rn60052432 Renato Nunez OF-3B (Nas)

30 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

23 Matt Olson 1B (Nas)

21 Brett Siddall OF (Sto)

18 Viosergy Rosa 1B (Mid)

 

–TOTAL BASES–

sb664913262 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

245 Renato Nunez OF-3B (Nas)

228 Skye Bolt OF (Sto)

218 Brett Siddall OF (Sto)

216 Viosergy Rosa 1B (Mid)

 

–RBIs–

vr594983110 Viosergy Rosa 1B (Mid)

109 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

78 Renato Nunez OF-3B (Nas)

74 J.P. Sportman OF (Mid)

73 Mikey White 3B (Sto)

 

–RUNS–

bb62219682 B.J. Boyd OF (Mid)

80 Tyler Ramirez OF (Sto-Mid)

80 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

78 Brett Siddall OF (Sto)

76 Skye Bolt OF (Sto)

 

–WALKS–

tr669262b73 Tyler Ramirez OF (Sto-Mid)

69 Kyle Nowlin 1B (Bel)

59 Nate Mondou 2B (Bel-Sto)

56 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

56 Viosergy Rosa 1B (Mid)

 

–STRIKEOUTS–

js642069164 JaVon Shelby OF (Bel)

146 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

143 Collin Theroux C (Bel)

141 Franklin Barreto SS (Nas)

141 Renato Nunez OF-3B (Nas)

 

–STOLEN BASES–

mm66503327 Mike Martin OF (Bel-Ver)

22 Yairo Munoz SS-3B-OF (Nas-Mid)

16 Luis Barrera OF (Bel-Sto)

16 Nate Mondou 2B (Bel-Sto)

16 B.J. Boyd OF (Mid)

 

–ERRORS–

em64271428 Eric Marinez SS (Bel)

25 Eli White SS (Sto)

21 Franklin Barreto SS (Nas)

21 Mikey White 3B (Sto)

20 Yairo Munoz SS-3B-OF (Nas-Mid)

 

–BATTING AVERAGE– (minimum 300 at-bats)

bb622196.323 B.J. Boyd OF (Mid)

.321 Max Schrock 2B (Mid)

.304 Tyler Ramirez OF (Sto-Mid)

.300 Yairo Munoz SS-3B-OF (Nas-Mid)

.300 Brett Siddall OF (Sto)

 

–ON-BASE PERCENTAGE– (minimum 300 at-bats)

tr669262b.398 Tyler Ramirez OF (Sto-Mid)

.379 Max Schrock 2B (Mid)

.366 B.J. Boyd OF (Mid)

.366 Nate Mondou 2B (Bel-Sto)

.365 Brett Siddall OF (Sto)

 

–SLUGGING PERCENTAGE– (minimum 300 at-bats)

rn600524.518 Renato Nunez OF-3B (Nas)

.506 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

.495 Brett Siddall OF (Sto)

.464 Yairo Munoz SS-3B-OF (Nas-Mid)

.457 Mikey White 3B (Sto)

 

–ON-BASE + SLUGGING– (minimum 300 at-bats)

bs615702.861 Brett Siddall OF (Sto)

.846 Seth Brown OF (Sto)

.837 Renato Nunez OF-3B (Nas)

.829 Tyler Ramirez OF (Sto-Mid)

.801 Max Schrock 2B (Mid)

 

Click here for A’s minor league pitching leaders…

Monday, August 28th: Nowlin Helps Snappers Sweep Twinbill while Smith & Meisner Are Solid for Sounds & Hounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin (3 for 3 / Double / Walk / RBI)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin (3 for 3 / Double / Walk / RBI)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

GAME #2

Beloit Snappers  8

Burlington Bees    4

WP – Camacho 3-3 / 2.97

HR – Shelby (8)

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Kyle Nowlin

(3 for 3 / Double / Walk / RBI)

The Snappers snapped their three-game losing streak by sweeping a doubleheader from Burlington on Monday. Designated hitter Kyle Nowlin reached base 4 times, on a pair of singles, a double and a walk, while also driving in a run and scoring twice. Center fielder JaVon Shelby singled and homered, while second baseman Josh Vidales singled, walked twice and scored twice, and right fielder Luke Persico singled in 2 runs, including the winning run for the Snappers. Starter Zack Erwin gave up 2 runs over 4 1/3 frames, while RHP Joseph Camacho allowed 1 run 2 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win. In other news, Erwin was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after throwing 6 no-hit innings in Beloit’s no-hitter against Quad Cities on Wednesday.

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

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 5-Game Home Stand vs. West Michigan & South Bend (7/19-24)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers split a rain-shortened two-game series against the West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit’s Midwest League affiliate, last week at Pohlman Field in Beloit. The Snappers then went on to sweep the South Bend Cubs, Chicago’s Class-A affiliate, in a three-game set that concluded on Monday.

The Whitecaps entered the series with the best record in all of minor league baseball. A sparkling 2.64 ERA and 19 shutouts are far and away the best from any team this season in the Midwest League. In terms of top prospects, the standout is outfielder Derek Hill, who ranks as the #8 prospect in the Tigers organization according to MLB Pipeline. A 1st-round pick in 2014, Hill spent most of the season on the disabled list before returning to action late last month.

South Bend has been a solid team, staying above .500 during most of the season. The Cubs recently lost their top prospect, RHP Dylan Cease, to the White Sox organization in the Jose Quintana trade. But they do have an athletic, high-upside outfielder in D.J. Wilson, who ranks as the #6 prospect in the Cubs organization according to MiLB Pipeline.

 

Game #1:  West Michigan 6 – Beloit 3

Heath Bowers

Heath Bowers

*After three rather uneventful innings on Wednesday, things started to get a little crazy in Beloit. As the skies grew darker, a tornado siren suddenly went off while the Snappers were warming up, which halted the game. The contest would not resume until the next day as a major thunderstorm with tornado potential rolled through south-central Wisconsin. A lightning bolt actually struck one of the left field light poles, which knocked out a number of lights as well as the scoreboard, and Pohlman Field had to go without a scoreboard the next day.

*When the game resumed in the top of the 4th inning on Thursday, RHP Mitchell Jordan took the hill for the Snappers. It was clearly not his day, as he gave up 6 earned runs while getting just two outs in the top of the 4th inning. Jordan, the A’s 10th-round pick in 2016, has struggled to miss bats this season, giving up a lot of hard contact.

*RHP Heath Bowers righted the ship for Beloit, throwing 3 ⅓ scoreless innings in relief. What was most encouraging to see from Bowers is how he attacked the strike zone, throwing 33 of his 47 pitches for strikes. As good as his 1.96 ERA in 55 innings might look, the 30 walks he has given up show that he has constantly been walking a tightrope. If Bowers is going to succeed going forward, he’ll need to start issuing fewer free passes.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 2 – West Michigan 0

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*In this 7-inning game, a safety squeeze bunt from shortstop Jesus Lopez and an RBI double from first baseman Miguel Mercedes accounted for all the Snappers’ scoring.

*RHP Matt Milburn, a 29th-round pick by the A’s in 2016, pitched 5 ⅔ scoreless innings to earn his 6th win for the Snappers. While Milburn is sporting a respectable 3.92 ERA, his peripherals suggest that he has been much better than that. His FIP sits at 2.90 and his xFIP at 3.12. Meanwhile, his K/9 is a solid 9.34 and he has a very good swinging strike rate of 13.1%.

*RHP Sam Sheehan, the A’s 31st-round pick last year, shut the door on the Whitecaps. He allowed just 1 hit and struck out 2 in 1 ⅓ scoreless innings to earn his 4th save. Sheehan now has superb 1.57 ERA in 28 ⅔ innings this season for the Snappers.

 

Game #3:  Beloit 6 – South Bend 3

Collin Theroux

Collin Theroux

*RHP Xavier Altamirano had a quality start in his second straight outing, putting up a pitching line of 6 IP/4 H/2 ER/1 BB/6 K.

*Center fielder and leadoff hitter Mike Martin went 3 for 4 while scoring a pair of runs for the Snappers.

*First baseman Kyle Nowlin, Oakland’s 21st-round pick in 2016, went 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 RBIs for Beloit.

*Catcher Collin Theroux, the 32nd-round pick by the A’s last year, threw out both runners who tried to steal. For the season, he has thrown out nearly 48% of attempted steals, which is an impressive number for any catcher. The 23-year-old possesses a cannon of a throwing arm and is not afraid to show it off. It’s definitely something that opposing teams need to be wary of coming into a series.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 6 – South Bend 0

Seth Martinez

Seth Martinez

*Beloit batters hit 3 home runs off of Cubs starter LHP Manuel Rondon. Third baseman Trace Loehr hit his 3rd home run in the 1st inning, designated hitter Kyle Nowlin clubbed his 8th, also in the 1st, and second baseman J.C Rodriguez slugged his 2nd home run on the season in the 4th.

*Loehr went 2 for 4 to continue his hot hitting in the second half. By the end of the series with South Bend, Loehr was batting .340 with a .553 slugging percentage in 26 games in the second half.

*Nowlin reached base in all 4 plate appearances, continuing his own second-half hot streak. By the end of the South Bend series, Nowlin was slashing .326/.426/.500 in the second half.

*Despite having to warm up multiple times due to rainy conditions, LHP Zack Erwin threw 4 scoreless innings of 2-hit ball.

*RHP Seth Martinez was spectacular in relief of Erwin. Working at a brisk pace, the A’s 17th-round pick in 2016 did not allow a baserunner over 5 perfect innings while striking out 3. Martinez’s successful outing can be attributed to his solid fastball command and a sweeping slider, which helped him induce a lot of weak contact.

 

Game #5:  Beloit 7 – South Bend 6

J.C. Rodriguez

J.C. Rodriguez

*The Snappers pitchers with the three worst ERAs on the current staff combined to help Beloit win the final game of the set on Monday and sweep the series from South Bend. LHP Kyle Twomey (5.93 ERA), RHP Mitchell Jordan (6.04 ERA) and RHP Jesus Zambrano (5.36 ERA) weren’t particularly sharp, allowing a lot of hard contact and scattering 16 hits while allowing 6 runs, 5 earned. But they buckled down to get out of some sticky situations, and some impressive defensive plays behind them helped to bail them out as well.

*Beloit threw out three South Bend runners at home plate in the game. A great throw by left fielder J.C. Rodriguez to the plate got the first runner, while a tremendous relay from center fielder JaVon Shelby to shortstop Trace Loehr to catcher Collin Theroux nailed the second, and second baseman Josh Vidales made a magnificent bare-handed pick up and then fired home a bullet to nab the third runner.

*With the score tied at 6-6 and one out in the bottom of the 9th inning, up stepped left fielder J.C. Rodriguez. Full name: Jean Carlo Rodriguez. Extra innings were looming over what was already a long and wacky game. But on a 1-1 pitch, Rodriguez smacked his third home run of the year, a line drive over the left field wall, to cap off a wild win and complete the sweep.

 

kn665065

 

A’s Prospect of the Home Stand:

First Baseman Kyle Nowlin

(7 for 13 / Home Run / 3 Walks / 3 RBIs)

 

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Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Kane County (7/7-10)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers managed just one win in their recent four-game series against the Kane County Cougars, Arizona’s Midwest League affiliate, at Pohlman Field in Beloit.

The Cougars entered the series with a total of just 33 home runs, the least of any team in the league. For comparison, the Lake County Captains lead the league with 95 home runs. Outfielder Marcus Wilson has hit a team-leading 8 home runs while slashing .293/.393/.481 for the Cougars.

 

Game #1:  Kane County 5 – Beloit 1

Jesus Zambrano

Jesus Zambrano

*The Snappers snapped a 29-inning scoring drought when they scored an unearned run in the 9th inning thanks to a fielding error by Kane County shortstop Raymel Flores.

*RHP Jesus Zambrano had his second straight scoreless outing in long relief. After pitching 4 scoreless innings in his last outing, he threw 3 scoreless frames in Friday’s appearance.

*Beloit batters struck out 9 times while managing just 3 singles over 7 innings against Kane County starting pitcher Sam McWilliams. While not known for putting up big strikeout numbers, McWilliams is nonetheless a strike-throwing machine. He attacked Snappers hitters all day, with 70 of his 94 pitches going for strikes.

 

Game #2:  Kane County 2 – Beloit 1

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*The A’s 29th-round pick in 2016, RHP Matt Milburn, had a solid pitching line of 5 IP/4 H/2 ER/0 BB/6 K. Milburn has a rather pedestrian 4.36 ERA on the season, but his peripheral numbers suggest he has been much better than that. He sports a FIP of 2.74 and an xFIP of 3.09.

*RHP Heath Bowers, who possesses a wicked slider with a lot of movement, threw 3 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball in relief while striking out 5. The Midwest League All-Star has an impressive 2.17 ERA, but he still needs to cut down on the free passes as he’s walked 27 batters in 49 ⅔ innings of work.

*21-year-old shortstop Edwin Diaz had a big game for Beloit, going 3 for 5 with a triple and an RBI.

*2015’s 33rd-round draft pick for the A’s, outfielder Mike Martin, reached base 3 times, on a pair of hits and a walk.

 

Game #3:  Kane County 10 – Beloit 9

Xavier Altamirano

Xavier Altamirano

*It was a wild Sunday afternoon, with the Snappers committing 5 errors. The game saw Beloit score the first two runs of the match. Kane County then scored 10 unanswered runs, followed by Beloit scoring 7 unanswered runs.

*RHP Xavier Altamirano has joined the Snappers’ starting rotation after spending the first half of the season as a long reliever. The 22-year-old had his worst outing of the season on Sunday, and it really all fell apart in the 5th and 6th innings, when he surrendered a total of 7 earned runs.

*It appeared that right fielder JaVon Shelby may have been benched for a lack of hustle when he didn’t return to the field in the 7th inning after misplaying a ball in the 6th inning. The A’s 5th-round pick in 2016 looked to take his time to get to a drive down the right field line by Cougars outfielder Anfernee Greer and then chucked the ball towards third base, where it bounced away and allowed Grier to come all the way around to score on what looked like a Little League home run.

*Third baseman Edwin Diaz hit what looked like a line-drive RBI single to left field in the 6th inning. But the ball took a crazy bounce past Kane County left fielder Anfernee Grier and rolled all the way to the wall. Diaz raced around the bases and scored an inside-the-park home run. That’s one way to raise the slugging percentage!

*Oakland’s 32nd-round pick in 2016, catcher Collin Theroux, smashed a double to left-center field in the 8th inning that registered 105 MPH off the bat. Theroux can really hit the ball as hard as anyone in the Midwest League.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 3 – Kane County 1

John Gorman

John Gorman

*LHP Zack Erwin was excellent, striking out 8 in 6 scoreless innings to earn the win. Great fastball location combined with a solid splitter seem to be the keys to his success. And Erwin appears to have taken a big step forward this season. After posting a 6.53 ERA in 80 innings for Stockton in 2016, he’s currently sporting a 2.28 ERA for the Snappers in 2017. So, the demotion to Beloit seems to have really helped Erwin right the ship.

*RHP John Gorman gave up his first earned run as a Snapper on Monday, but he has been impressive out of the bullpen. A 31st-round pick in 2015, Gorman has struck out 16 batters in 10 ⅔ innings between short-season Vermont and Beloit this season. His pitching arsenal includes a fastball that ranges between 88-90 MPH, a changeup and a slider.

*The A’s 21st-round pick in 2016, designated hitter Kyle Nowlin, reached base 3 times. He had an RBI single, an RBI double and a walk, and he also scored a run.

*Catcher Collin Theroux struck out 4 times, earning the “Golden Sombrero,” and he now has an unsightly 43.4 K% on the season. The good news for Theroux is that he threw out both runners who tried to steal on him.

 

ze664116

 

A’s Prospect of the Series:

LHP Zack Erwin

(6 IP / 5 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 8 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.

Friday, June 30th: Ports Win Behind Bolt’s Grand Slam while Matt Chapman & Norge Ruiz Are Set to Join Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Skye Bolt (2 for 4 / Grand Slam)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Skye Bolt (2 for 4 / Grand Slam)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide   5

Stockton Ports   8

WP – Friedrichs 1-0 / 9.00

HR – Siddall (11), Bolt (8), Ramirez (7), Raga (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Skye Bolt

(2 for 4 / Grand Slam)

Stockton won with the help of four home runs on Friday, the biggest of which came off the bat of center fielder Skye Bolt. With the bases loaded, two outs and the Ports down by two runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Bolt stepped to the plate and slugged a grand slam to give Stockton a lead it would never surrender. Left fielder Tyler Ramirez, designated hitter Brett Siddall and catcher Argenis Raga each homered in the first two frames, but the Ports were still down by a pair of runs before Bolt’s big blast. Starter Kyle Friedrichs allowed 5 runs over 5 innings of work in his return to Stockton from Double-A Midland, but he still managed to pick up the win for the Ports. RHPs Joey Wagman and Armando Ruiz each tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, with Ruiz securing his 1st save for Stockton. In other news, first baseman Chris Iriart was placed on the disabled list on Friday, while Stockton LHP Cody Stull was reassigned to the RockHounds. 23-year-old Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz was promoted from the AZL A’s to the Ports and is scheduled to make his first start for Stockton on Saturday, and A’s third baseman Matt Chapman is also set to join Stockton on Saturday on a rehab assignment.

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

Wednesday, June 28th: Milburn’s Stellar Start & Shelby’s 2 HRs Lead Snappers to Shutout Win while Sawyer Pitches Ports to Victory & Bassitt Returns

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Matt Milburn (6 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 8 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Matt Milburn (6 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 8 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Beloit Snappers  3

Peoria Chiefs        0

WP – Milburn 4-5 / 4.71

HR – Shelby 2 (7)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Matt Milburn

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

The Snappers shut out Peoria on 3 hits to win for the fifth time in their last six games on Wednesday. Starter Matt Milburn was impressive, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 8 over 6 shutout innings to earn his 4th win, and the 23-year-old has now given up just 1 run while striking out 20 in 13 innings over his last two starts for Beloit. RHP Heath Bowers threw 3 scoreless frames in relief to complete the 3-hit shutout and post his 2nd save for the Snappers. After going 11 for 68 with 38 strikeouts over his last 20 games, right fielder JaVon Shelby busted out of his recent slump in a big way on Wednesday by belting a pair of home runs for Beloit. First baseman Luke Persico singled twice and drove in a run, while center fielder Mike Martin had a pair of hits and scored a run in his return to the Snappers after spending five games with Vermont. Meanwhile, Beloit RHP Mitchell Jordan was placed on the disabled list and 23-year-old Cuban RHP Miguel Romero was added to the Snappers roster on Wednesday.

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

Snappers Hitting Coach Juan Dilone Delivers the Lowdown on Beloit’s Best Batters

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

jdDilone, Juan2Back in 1990, when the Bash Brothers were ruling the roost and Oakland was on its way to its third straight World Series appearance, the A’s signed a teenaged Juan Dilone as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic.

He ended up playing eight minor league seasons as an outfielder and an infielder in the A’s and Giants organizations, ultimately reaching as high as Double-A. But after suffering a shoulder injury while playing in the Mexican League, Dilone decided to call it quits on his playing career.

Shortly after retiring as a player, A’s general manager Billy Beane and a number of coaches talked to Dilone about becoming a hitting coach. After giving coaching a one-week trial run at the A’s Dominican Republic facility, he decided that pursuing a coaching career in baseball was the right choice for him. And Dilone is now entering his 16th season working for the A’s organization. He’s served as the hitting coach for various A’s affiliates over the years and also spent four years working with the A’s Dominican operations.

Dilone is now in his second season serving as the hitting coach for the Beloit Snappers. We took the opportunity to talk with him last week during the Snappers’ final series before the Midwest League All-Star break. And it was great to get some valuable insights on the fine art of hitting as well as his thoughts on some of the A’s hitting prospects who are swinging the bat for Beloit this season…

AF:  What are some of the most important statistics the A’s organization looks at when looking to promote a position player to the next level? For example, do traditional stats still play a major role or do they look more at the “rate” stats now?

JD:  So, right now we are not paying much attention to batting average. We are looking at run production [i.e. runs created, weighted runs created plus], looking at hard contact rate, swinging strike percentage, line drive percentage. The rate stats are the stuff the organization is focused on at this time.

AF:  It’s very interesting to hear what the A’s are looking for, at least in terms of stats. My next question has to do with hitters’ launch angles. It’s been a really popular topic in baseball recently. I was wondering, as a hitting coach, do you look to teach about that? If so, what goes into teaching and practicing that?

JD:  Well, you know, the launch angle, we are really building that. In fact, this year the A’s are really emphasizing it, coming from the top down. For the most part, you really cannot teach launch angles. That is something a hitter creates. So, what I try to get those guys to do is hit hard line drives. So, if they do that, they are going to get their extra-base hits. We try to keep the hitters hitting line drives all over the field.

AF:  Yeah, I was interested in what a professional hitting coach would have to say about launch angles.

Collin Theroux

Collin Theroux

JD:  We’ve got a player right now, Collin Theroux – he’s the catcher. Every time he hits the ball, it is CRUSHED. He’s got some big power, but his launch angle is way too high. So, I have been working with him on keeping that launch angle at about 15-20 degrees. He’s also been collapsing on the backside. I’ve been working on correcting that with him. So, we want to get Theroux more in line in the box and staying focused on the middle of the field. Really, he should have 20 homers, at least. He’s got some juice.

AF:  I’ve seen him hit some of the longest bombs this year, and that’s just in the home games!

JD:  (Smiles) No doubt!

AF:  Moving on to some more position players, what have you seen out of outfielder Luis Barrera?

JD:  Well, he did a good job here in Beloit at the end of last season. He does a great job of putting the ball in play and, of course, he has very good speed. Because of that, he can always create a batting average that should be like .290 or .300. He’s been solid this year defensively, running the bases, bunt hitting. He still needs to learn more about the knowledge of the game, because he’s so young. But he has been awesome out of the leadoff spot for us.

AF:  After joining the team in mid-April, outfielder Luke Persico had a hot streak throughout the month of May that earned him an All-Star nod. What accounted for his success and what was he doing right during that stretch?

JD:  We were working on something with his back leg so that he can stay behind the baseball better. That was really nice to see him hitting the ball all over the field with line drives. He has kind of struggled the last couple of weeks. I think it is because of some fatigue setting in. But overall, he works very hard and is a very smart guy.

Nate Mondou

Nate Mondou

AF:  Speaking of All-Stars, second baseman Nate Mondou has been the most consistent hitter in the Snappers lineup. Batting usually second or third, he has done a fantastic job of getting on base. Tell me about his approach and what you like about him?

JD:  Mondou has a tremendous work ethic. We have set up a daily routine that has helped him be successful this season. He is a true professional on and off the field. That is something I love about him. He is also always searching for the little details to try and increase his baseball knowledge. That is very impressive to see from a young guy. He has done so well for us this year. But the last two weeks or so, he has put too much pressure on himself. He is chasing balls he normally would lay off. Right now, he just needs to slow down everything and he’ll get back to where he was.

AF:  While he does lead the Snappers with 11 home runs, first baseman Miguel Mercedes has some other aspects of his game that he needs to work on. For example, he didn’t take a walk in his first 21 games of the season. What improvements do you need to see from him?

JD:  Last year, he got into a bad habit of being too aggressive, which carried over into this year. That approach doesn’t allow you to walk very much. He was also trying to hit everything out of the ballpark. So, we have been working on pitch recognition with him and he has bought into it. He is now seeing that turn into results as he is having much better at-bats and more success. Now he is laying off the breaking ball down and away. The other problem was that he was guessing too much. He definitely still has work to do, but he is getting there in pitch recognition.

JaVon Shelby

JaVon Shelby

AF:  Outfielder JaVon Shelby was a 5th-round pick last year as a third baseman, but he moved to the outfield this season. He is the son of former major leaguer John Shelby, so he grew up around the game. Watching him this season, the raw talent is clearly there. Unfortunately, he’s really struggled with a strikeout rate of nearly 50%. What’s been going on with him and what adjustments does he need to make at this point?

JD:  At the beginning of the season, I sat down with him and tried to find out what he was doing last year when he was in Vermont. I think that was a very good meeting between me and him. So, the thing we have been trying to do with him is keep him looking middle of the field and opposite field, because last year his front side was flying open. He has gotten into that bad habit again, so we are pounding it home that he needs to stay looking opposite field to create a better bat path to the ball and stay behind. He is just too jumpy at the plate right now. Shelby is a very interesting player to me. I really like him. He doesn’t deserve the season he is having right now. Things are going to get better. It’s only a matter of time before he starts hitting again.

AF:  Despite this being his third season in Beloit, infielder Edwin Diaz is still just 21 years old. To me, it seems like he is starting to figure it out at the plate. What changes has he made and what has been working for him this season?

JD:  I’ve known Diaz for a long time. When he is hot, nobody can get him out. I think last season he ran out of energy playing every day. The same thing is happening again here recently. I try to take everything slow with him, because sometimes when you put too much information on him, he doesn’t know how to take it. He is so young, I feel sometimes he does not know how to deal with it. I have to keep it simple.

Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz

AF:  I’ve noticed he has had a better approach at the plate this season.

JD:  Yes, his pitch recognition is way better now. We know he can be a little streaky. But, man, when he’s feeling it, look out!

AF:  I’ve also heard good things about his defense. Can you give me little more insight on that?

JD:  I feel he is major league ready defensively right now. He’s played shortstop, third base and some second base last year.

AF:  Would you say he is one of the best defensive players on the Snappers right now?

JD:  With Diaz, he makes tough plays look routine. It’s awesome to see from a young kid like that. If he can hit at least just enough, there’s no question he’s going to be a major leaguer. The way Diaz plays defense is amazing to me. He makes it look so easy.

AF:  Yeah, Edwin Diaz is a very intriguing player to me. Definitely a name for A’s fans to keep an eye on moving forward.

JD:  Yes, definitely. Diaz is still very young, but he has all the ability you would want. It is great to see him putting it all together this season!

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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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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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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.

Tuesday, May 16th: Brugman’s 4 Hits Help Sounds Win while Ports Snap 8-Game Skid with a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaycob Brugman (4 for 6 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaycob Brugman (4 for 6 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  11

Fresno Grizzlies       6

WP – Cotton 1-0 / 5.40

HR – Olson (9), Chapman (6), Brugman (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Jaycob Brugman

(4 for 6 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

Since returning from the disabled list on May 2, outfielder Jaycob Brugman has put up an impressive .395/.469/.512 slash line for the Sounds, and he continued his hot hitting on Tuesday. Brugman collected a total of 4 hits, including his 1st home run of the season, while driving in 4 runs to help Nashville win its second straight at Fresno. Third baseman Matt Chapman singled, walked and hit his 6th home run, a 2-out solo shot in the 2nd to put the Sounds on the board, while first baseman Matt Olson notched his 9th home run, a 3-run shot, to tie him with Renato Nunez for the team lead. RHP Jharel Cotton picked up the win in his first start since being sent back to the Sounds. Cotton allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, on 6 hits while walking none and striking out 4 over 5 frames, and all the runs that scored off him on Tuesday came courtesy of two home runs. Meanwhile, RHP John Axford struck out 3 while throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his second rehab appearance for the Sounds.

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