The Ports won on Wednesday with the help of another outstanding performance by its pitching staff. Starter A.J. Puk, last year’s top draft pick for the A’s, was charged with 2 unearned runs on 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 7 over 4 innings of work. In the 3rd inning, Puk walked a pair of batters and uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third. Then, with two outs, third baseman Mikey White had a ground ball kick off his glove that allowed both runners to score. It was White’s 5th error of the season. Outside the 3rd inning, the only other base runner that Puk allowed was the leadoff batter in the bottom of the 1st. And after the 3rd, the southpaw bounced back to strike out the side in order in the 4th. After Puk exited with the game a 2-2 tie, his new tandem-pitching partner, RHP Boomer Biegalski, took to the mound to make his first appearance for the Ports since being promoted from Beloit. And Biegalski couldn’t have been better in his debut. The 22-year-old was perfect over 4 no-hit innings, facing the minimum 12 batters without allowing a base runner to earn the win in his first stint for Stockton. Biegalski only allowed two balls to leave the infield, both fly outs to right fielder Seth Brown, while he induced seven infield ground outs and two infield pop outs to go along with his one strikeout to complete his impressive performance. RHP Carlos Navas got the final three outs of the game to pick up his 1st save of the season for Stockton. Seth Brown singled in a pair of runs to put the Ports on the board in the 3rd inning then followed up by slugging a solo shot in the 8th, while shortstop Eli White drove a 2-run double to center in the 7th to break the tie and provide the winning run for the Ports.
After being down 4-0 heading into the 6th inning, Stockton came back to post a 12-4 win in Modesto on Monday as the Ports claimed the California League’s best record. Catcher Sean Murphy singled in the winning run in the 7th, hit a 2-run homer in the 8th, and also walked and scored a run in the 6th and doubled but was left stranded in the 4th. First baseman Chris Iriart belted a 3-run homer to tie the game in the 6th and doubled in a run in the 7th, while second baseman Josh Vidales collected 3 hits, including a double, and shortstop Eli White singled, doubled, walked twice and scored 3 times in the game. Center fielder Tyler Ramirez drove in 3 runs, and left fielder Brett Siddall singled twice and drove in a pair for the Ports. With a steady rain coming down in the 1st inning, starter Logan Shore surrendered 3 runs, but Shore settled in after that and ended up allowing 3 on 6 hits over 4 innings of work. His tandem-pitching partner, RHP Angel Duno, was solid in relief, giving the Ports a chance to come back and ultimately prevail. Duno allowed just 1 run over 4 innings and finished off his stint by retiring 11 straight batters to pick up the win as the Ports ran their record to 7-4. Meanwhile, Beloit RHP Boomer Biegalski was added to Stockton’s pitching staff on Monday, with RHP Daulton Jefferies landing on the disabled list.
(3 for 6 / Double / GWRBI – 1 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 1 K / Win)
John Nogowski accomplished something fairly rare in Stockton’s season finale on Monday night. He drove in the winning run to make himself the winning pitcher for the Ports. Nogowski threw a scoreless frame in the top of the 12th inning, then came up with two outs and two men on in the bottom of the 12th and singled in the winning run to make himself the winning pitcher on Monday. Nogowski had also singled, doubled and scored twice in the game, while first baseman Chris Iriart singled, doubled, homered, walked and drove in 3 runs to help the Ports finish the season on a high note. This year’s 10th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Mitchell Jordan, was charged with 4 runs in 3 innings of work in his first start for Stockton. And with the win, the Ports finished the season with a 60-80 record.
Shortstop Yairo Munoz homered for the second straight day and reached base 4 times to help the RockHounds win their fourth straight on Wednesday. Munoz tagged a 2-run homer in the 1st inning to give the Hounds an early lead they would never relinquish. The 21-year-old also doubled and drew a pair of walks in the game. Left fielder J.P. Sportman homered, doubled and drove in 3 runs, while right fielder Tyler Marincov singled, homered, walked twice and drove in 2, and second baseman Max Schrock singled twice and drove in a pair in his Double-A debut. Starter Brandon Mann allowed 3 runs and struck out 10 over 6 innings of work to earn the win, while RHP Jake Sanchez tossed a scoreless 9th to notch his 8th save on Wednesday. Along with Schrock, RHP James Naile was also promoted to Midland from the Ports on Wednesday, while shortstop Franklin Barreto and RHP Chris Jensen were both reassigned from the RockHounds to the Sounds. Barreto, catcher Beau Taylor and third baseman Matt Chapman were all named to the Texas League Postseason All-Star Team on Wednesday. Chapman was also named the Texas League Player of the Year, and Midland manager Ryan Christenson was named the Texas League Manager of the Year. And after clinching a playoff berth for the third straight season on Tuesday, the Hounds are now set to begin postseason play on Wednesday, September 7 at Corpus Christi.
RHP Daniel Gossett delivered another impressive outing for the RockHounds on Thursday. 2014’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s allowed just 1 earned run for the eighth time in his last nine starts while striking out a career-best 10 batters over 7 innings of work, and he left with the game a 1-1 tie. Second baseman J.P. Sportman hit the game-tying home run in the 5th inning, while catcher Andy Paz clubbed a home run in the top of the 10th to give the Hounds the lead, but a throwing error by first baseman Viosergy Rosa in the bottom of the 10th helped allow the tying run to score off RHP Jake Sanchez. Rosa then redeemed himself by doubling in the winning run in the top of the 11th, and third baseman Yairo Munoz then added a 2-run double, his second double of the night, to secure the victory for the RockHounds. Sanchez picked up the win with 2 innings in relief, while RHP Lou Trivino got the final three outs to earn his 1st save for Midland.
It’s been about ten weeks since this year’s amateur draft and about two months since the first of the players picked by the A’s began playing with either the Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters or the rookie-ball Arizona League A’s.
The A’s managed to sign all of their top 20 picks this year. The highest-drafted player Oakland’s front office wasn’t able to sign was 21-year-old right-hander Brigham Hill out of Texas A&M, whom the team took with its 21st pick in the 20th round. But the A’s were fortunate that they were able to ink all 20 of the players they picked before him and get those prospects into the system. And with about two months of play now in the books, 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.
The A’s focused on pitching with their top 20 picks this year, taking 12 pitchers in the top 20 and 7 in the top 10. The team’s top pick, LHP A.J. Puk, has been the standout among the pitching prospects so far this season. The 6-foot-7 21-year-old has looked dominant at times for Vermont, posting a 2.70 ERA while striking out 27 over 20 innings of work for the Lake Monsters.
The A’s second overall pick, RHP Daulton Jefferies, just started seeing some action in Arizona and, in 3 brief appearances, the 21-year-old has shown off his pinpoint control by allowing just 1 run while walking none and striking out 10 over 5 2/3 frames for the AZL A’s. Oakland’s third overall pick taken in the 2nd round was Puk’s teammate at Florida, RHP Logan Shore, who recently joined his friend and former college teammate at Vermont. And in his first 4 appearances, the 21-year-old has allowed 2 earned runs and struck out 8 over 9 innings of work.
The team’s top high school pick was RHP Skylar Szynski, who was taken in the 4th round. Though he’s currently sporting a 8.10 ERA, the 19-year-old’s numbers aren’t really that bad, having allowed 16 hits and just 4 walks while striking out 8 in 13 1/3 innings for the AZL A’s. Three other pitchers from the top 10 rounds who are currently at Vermont have all been perfoming well. 6th-round RHP Brandon Bailey, who’s primarily been used as a starter, has posted a 3.41 ERA over 29 innings since joining the system. LHPs Will Gilbert and Dalton Sawyer have both been working out of the bullpen, where 8th-rounder Gilbert has notched 23 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings while 9th-rounder Sawyer has struck out 20 over 15 2/3 frames for the Lake Monsters.
Meanwhile, 10th-round pick Mitchell Jordan has been solid while serving in a starting role in Arizona, putting up a 3.24 ERA while walking just 7 and striking out 30 in 33 1/3 innings of work for the AZL A’s. The fastest riser of this year’s draft class has been the A’s 14th-round pick, RHP Nolan Blackwood out of the University of Memphis, who is the only member of this year’s crop to make it all the way up to the Beloit Snappers of the Class-A Midwest League. After looking solid in 5 relief appearances for Vermont, the 21-year-old has struggled a bit since joining Beloit’s bullpen, allowing 9 runs in his first 8 appearances for the Snappers.
When it comes to position players, the team’s three top 10 selections – 3rd-round catcher Sean Murphy, 5th-round third baseman JaVon Shelby and 7th-round outfielder Tyler Ramirez – all did a brief stint in Arizona before joining Vermont. Murphy’s power has yet to show itself as he has just 2 extra-base hits over his first 70 at-bats, while Shelby’s shown himself to be a bit of a free swinger, striking out 39 times in 144 at-bats while putting up a .188 batting average. Ramirez has fared a little better, with a .248/.348/.376 slash line over his first 39 games since joining the system.
The two standouts among the team’s position player picks have been shortstop Eli White and second baseman Nate Mondou, who’ve formed a productive double-play combo for Vermont and who were both recently named New York-Penn League All-Stars. 11th-rounder White has 10 doubles to go along with a .303/.365/.406 slash line, while 13th-rounder Mondou’s impressive .401 on-base percentage is among the five best in the league.
You’ll find the A’s top 20 picks of the 2016 draft along with their current statistics through August 19 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…
RHP Casey Meisner endured a rough start to his season by suffering 12 straight losses for Stockton, but the 21-year-old finally managed to earn his 1st win on Monday. LHP Evan Manarino started the game and gave up just 1 run over 4 1/3 innings of work. Meisner then came on and preserved a slim one-run lead by allowing just 1 base runner, on a two-out single, while striking out 6 over the 4 2/3 scoreless frames to post his first victory for the Ports. Meisner began the month of July with an ERA of 4.72 and has now whittled it down to a more respectable mark of 3.99. Third baseman Jose Brizuela had 3 hits and drove in a run, while designated hitter Sandber Pimentel singled, doubled and scored the tying run for Stockton in Monday’s win.
As things heat up in August, some of the organization’s top sluggers like Matt Chapman and Renato Nunez have really been starting to get hot lately as well. In addition, the team’s top three draft picks – pitchers A.J. Puk, Daulton Jefferies and Logan Shore – all appear to be finding a groove as they settle into the system. A version of this weekly minor league report was originally prepared by Athletics Farm for Athletics Nation…
Third baseman Matt Chapman continued his recent tear for the RockHounds, ripping a pair of home runs, a solo shot in the 4th inning followed by a two-run shot in the 6th, to account for all his team’s runs on Wednesday. The 23-year-old is now 6 for 14 with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs over his last 4 games, and his 28 home runs lead both the A’s organization as well as the Texas League. Meanwhile on the mound, RHP Joel Seddon turned in his second straight outstanding start on Wednesday, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk over 5 shutout innings to earn his 8th win, while RHP Kyle Finnegan tossed a scoreless 9th to notch his 4th save for Midland.
Only one A’s affiliate wound up in the winning column on Friday, and first baseman Rangel Ravelo led the attack that helped the Sounds win for the eighth time in their last ten games to retain a ten-game division lead. Ravelo walked and scored in the 4th inning, singled in a pair of runs in the 7th and doubled in another run in the 9th, while designated hitter Colin Walsh and center fielder Jaycob Brugman both singled, doubled, drove in runs and scored twice. Third baseman Renato Nunez walked and doubled in a run, and right fielder Matt Olson walked twice and singled in a pair. Starter Ross Detwiler allowed 5 runs over 6 innings of work to notch the win for Nashville, while RHP Aaron Kurcz picked up the save despite giving up 2 runs in 3 innings of relief for the Sounds. And with RHP Jesse Hahn and second baseman Jed Lowrie landing on the disabled list for Oakland, RHP Andrew Triggs and outfielder Brett Eibner were both recalled by the A’s.