Tag: Nick Allen

A’s Set Fall League Instructional Roster

00DSC04060xThe 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…

 

–PITCHERS–

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

Ismael Aquino

Dakota Chalmers

Wandisson Charles

Bryce Conley

Dustin Driver

Kevin Duchene

Angel Duno

Caleb Evans

Brett Graves

Angello Infante

Rafael Kelly

Pat Krall

Wyatt Marks

Jeferson Mejia

Jose Mora

Richard Morban

James Naile

Teodoro Ortega

A.J. Puk

Wilkin Ramos

Adam Reuss

Jean Ruiz

Logan Salow

Dalton Sawyer

Logan Shore

Oscar Tovar

Brandon Withers

 

Santis Sanchez

Santis Sanchez

–CATCHERS–

Iolana Akau

Jordan Devencenzi

Jose Rivas

Santis Sanchez

Collin Theroux

Skyler Weber

 

–INFIELDERS–

Nick Allen

Nick Allen

Nick Allen

Aaron Arruda

Marcos Brito

Jordan Diaz

Ryan Gridley

Jesus Lage

Eric Marinez

Alonzo Medina

Miguel Mercedes

Will Toffey

Yerdel Vargas

 

–OUTFIELDERS–

Austin Beck

Austin Beck

Lazaro Armenteros

Austin Beck

Anthony Churlin

Greg Deichmann

Yhoelnys Gonzalez

Jeramiah McCray

Mickey McDonald

Kevin Richards

Rafael Rincones

JaVon Shelby

Eli White

 

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.

A’s Top 11 Draft Picks Mid-Season Progress Report

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

00DSC04060xThe 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…

 

0abAustin_Beck_t1u2zolz_rloc5a7f130e

 

#1 – 1st Round

Austin Beck

Age: 18 / Outfielder

AZL A’s

92 AB / 1 HR / 5 BB / 33 K / .185 AVG / .240 OBP / .272 SLG / .512 OPS

 

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.

 

km656736

 

#2 – 1st Round Supplemental

Kevin Merrell

Age: 21 / Shortstop

Vermont Lake Monsters

107 AB / 2 HR / 8 BB / 20 K / .299 AVG / .345 OBP / .402 SLG / .746 OPS

 

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.

 

gd656364

 

#3 – 2nd Round

Greg Deichmann

Age: 22 / Outfielder

Vermont Lake Monsters

93 AB / 3 HR / 16 BB / 24 K / .323 AVG / .423 OBP / .559 SLG / .983 OPS

 

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.

 

0nadownload

 

#4 – 3rd Round

Nick Allen

Age: 18 / Shortstop

AZL A’s

76 AB / 1 HR / 4 BB / 16 K / .250 AVG / .288 OBP / .355 SLG / .643 OPS

 

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.

 

wt657780

 

#5 – 4th Round

Will Toffey

Age: 22 / Third Baseman

Vermont Lake Monsters

133 AB / 0 HR / 26 BB / 27 K / .233 AVG / .356 OBP / .323 SLG / .680 OPS

 

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.

 

0ss4403-6-White-19d

 

#6 – 5th Round

Santis Sanchez

Age: 18 / Catcher

AZL A’s

50 AB / 0 HR / 6 BB / 16 K / .160 AVG / .250 OBP / .180 SLG / .430 OPS

 

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.

 

ls676601

 

#7 – 6th Round

Logan Salow

Age: 22 / Left-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters + AZL 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.

 

pd670161

 

#8 – 7th Round

Parker Dunshee

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters + AZL A’s

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.

 

bh641709

 

#9 – 8th Round

Brian Howard

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters

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.

 

jp641983

 

#10 – 9th Round

Jared Poche

Age: 22 / Left-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters

2 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

 

Poche made his first appearance in July, throwing 2 scoreless innings for Vermont, before landing on the disabled list with a forearm strain that’s expected to end his first pro season prematurely.

 

jm669107

 

#11 – 10th Round

Jack Meggs

Age: 22 / Outfielder

Vermont Lake Monsters

69 AB / 3 HR / 9 BB / 14 K / .290 AVG / .370 OBP / .449 SLG / .820 OPS

 

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.

 

–TOP HITTER–

gd656364#3 – 2nd Round

Greg Deichmann

Age: 22 / Outfielder

Vermont Lake Monsters

93 AB / 3 HR / 16 BB / 24 K / .323 AVG / .423 OBP / .559 SLG / .983 OPS

 

–TOP PITCHER–

pd670161#8 – 7th Round

Parker Dunshee

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters + AZL A’s

29 1/3 IP / 16 H / 3 ER / 6 BB / 35 K / 0.92 ERA / 0.75 WHIP

 

 

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.

Saturday, July 29th: Pimentel Helps Ports Win Big while Martinez Leads Snappers to Another Shutout Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Sandber Pimentel (4 for 6 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Sandber Pimentel (4 for 6 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 3 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  15

Modesto Nuts       5

WP – Lyons 2-2 / 4.67

HR – Pimentel (8)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Sandber Pimentel

(4 for 6 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 3 RBIs)

After scoring 11 runs in Friday’s win, the Ports exploded for 15 runs on Saturday to take their second straight from Modesto. 22-year-old first baseman Sandber Pimentel had a huge night at the plate, collecting 4 hits, including a home run and a pair of doubles, while driving in 3 runs for Stockton. Shortstop Sheldon Neuse had 4 singles and a walk and drove in a run, while designated hitter Eli White tripled, singled twice and drove in 3, and right fielder Seth Brown tripled, doubled and drove in a pair for the Ports. RHP James Naile was activated from the disabled list and made his first start for Stockton this season, allowing 2 runs over 3 innings of work, while LHP Jared Lyons tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win. In other news, Ports pitcher Brandon Bailey was placed on the disabled list with a groin injury.

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

Taking a Look at AZL A’s Top Teens: Armenteros, Beck, Allen & Vargas

by Joseph Hartsock / A’s Farm Arizona Correspondent

00DSC04060xThe great thing about the Arizona League is that it allows us to look at the future, perhaps the distant future, and dream about the possibilities.

The Arizona League A’s have put up a 12-15 record so far this season. But the AZL isn’t as concerned with win-at-all-costs competition as much as it’s focused on developing young prospects and offering an introduction to professional baseball for many players. A number of the players here just left high school a couple of months ago and others just recently left the A’s Dominican facilities and are now being introduced to life in the U.S. for the first time.

I’ve had the chance to catch a few AZL A’s games this season, and there are definitely some intriguing prospects on the squad who make one hopeful for the future. So, let’s take a look at a few of the AZL A’s players who come with some high expectations: Lazaro Armeteros, Austin Beck, Nick Allen and Yerdel Vargas.

la2bLazaro Armenteros is the A’s $3 million bonus baby out of Cuba. The team signed him in the summer of 2016 as a 17-year-old. The young outfielder has put up a decent slash line of .264/.333/.425 in 23 Arizona League games so far this year. Lazarito has a real presence on the field. He doesn’t look like he just turned 18 two months ago. His physique looks more like that of a 21-year-old, with powerful legs and arms. At the plate, you can more easily see his lack of maturity. The teenage slugger occasionally lunges for balls outside of the zone and can be fooled by breaking balls. But when he does connect, even his outs are loud. It’s hard not to like what you see. And as Armenteros develops, he should still add more muscle and power to what’s already there. Lazarito clearly possesses superstar potential, but only time will tell how his development will play out.

0abAustin_Beck_t1u2zolz_rloc5a7fAustin Beck was the A’s 2017 1st-round draft pick (the 6th pick overall) out of North Carolina. The 18-year-old outfielder is a potential five-tool player who’s getting his first look at professional ball after graduating from high school just a couple of months ago. His early experience in the Arizona League has been a little rough, and he’s currently slashing just .145/.203/.203. His bat speed, base speed, arm and defense are all there. He just needs to be able to reach base consistently. His pitch recognition needs to be refined, and his load has extra bat movement, making it difficult to get to the pitch. When Beck does connect, his quick bat speed provides him with a lot of pop, and you can see the reason he was picked early in the first round of the draft. His fielding looks good, and his arm is above average, so I would imagine he’ll stay in center, though he could possibly end up moving to a corner outfield position as he develops.

na2Nick Allen was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft, but his reported $2 million signing bonus shows that he was regarded as more of a top-tier talent, and other teams must have passed on him due to their inability to sign him. Like Beck, Allen just graduated from high school a couple of months ago and is now getting his first look at professional baseball. The young shortstop has been faring a bit better at the plate in the early going though, with a .258/.292/.339 slash line. Allen is undersized at a listed 5-foot-9 and 155lbs. He has been the smallest player on the field almost every night I’ve seen him, but he’s shown some great skill in the field and good speed on the bases. The 18-year-old has a compact swing that encourages contact, and he has used his speed to help him get on base. Allen has batted leadoff every night I’ve seen him, and with his speed, I could see him sticking there. Of course, he could always end up moving down towards the bottom of the lineup if his bat doesn’t develop as hoped. But with his solid glove, I don’t see him profiling anywhere other than the middle infield.

yvVargas_Yerdelluis_yqiptmwr_v4i4p2djYerdel Vargas is another A’s prospect in the AZL who stood out to me. Vargas was a 2016 international free agent out of the Dominican Republic whom the A’s signed for a reported $1.5 million. Vargas is only 17, so if he was a U.S.-born player, he would be busy preparing for his senior year in high school right now. He’s listed as a shortstop, but I’ve only seen him play second base, where his arm may profile a bit better. He looked very natural with great instincts in the field. Vargas’s bat is very quick to the plate. He has a compact swing with a contact approach at the plate, but he’s shown some surprising pop at times. So far this season, he’s put up a .239/.271/.328 slash line. I’ll admit that Vargas wasn’t high on my radar to start with, but seeing his instincts in the field, his speed on the bases and in the field, and his approach at the plate, I’m excited about his future.

The Arizona League is nothing but dreams, full of prospects in their teens, with the big leagues a number of years away for most of the players here. Young players often possess many of the raw tools, which will need to be refined, and we can only imagine the possibilities. But some of the A’s top prospects in the Arizona League definitely represent some intriguing possibilities, and it should be really interesting to watch them develop the rest of this year and beyond.

*          *          *

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, July 24th: Holmes Impresses in Hounds’ Victory while Rodriguez Helps Snappers Win in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Grant Holmes (7 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Grant Holmes (7 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Frisco RoughRiders        1

Midland RockHounds  13

WP – Holmes 7-10 / 4.54

HR – Sportman (7)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Grant Holmes

(7 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K / Win)

RHP Grant Holmes turned in one of his best starts of the season to help Midland win its fourth straight on Monday. The 21-year-old allowed just 3 hits over 7 scoreless innings to earn his 7th win, and Holmes has now surrendered a total of just 3 runs over his last 3 starts for the RockHounds. Right fielder J.P. Sportman singled in a run in the 7th inning and slugged a grand slam in the 8th, while center fielder B.J. Boyd had 3 hits, including a triple, and drove in 3, and designated hitter Jermaine Curtis singled twice, doubled, walked and drove in a run for the RockHounds.

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

Monday, July 10th: Erwin Pitches Snappers to Victory while Bolt’s Grand Slam Isn’t Enough to Help Ports Prevail

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 5 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 8 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 5 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 8 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Kane County Cougars  1

Beloit Snappers          3

WP – Erwin 2-2 / 2.28

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Zack Erwin

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

LHP Zack Erwin turned in another strong start to help the Snappers snap their six-game skid on Monday. Erwin had a career-high 8 strikeouts over 6 scoreless innings to earn the win and lower his ERA on the season to 2.28. RHP Yordys Alejo got the final out in the 9th to notch his 2nd save for the Snappers. Designated hitter Kyle Nowlin had 2 hits, including a double, walked and drove in a pair, while center fielder Mike Martin singled, doubled, walked and scored a run, and shortstop Eric Marinez had a pair of hits and drove in a run for Beloit.

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

A’s Draft Picks Debut for Vermont & AZL A’s

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

It’s been four weeks since the amateur draft, so let’s take a quick look at which of the A’s 2017 draft picks are currently playing for the Vermont Lake Monsters and the Arizona League A’s and how they’ve been performing so far in the early going. All statistics are through games of Sunday, July 9…

 

–Vermont Lake Monsters–

Kevin Merrell

Kevin Merrell

1st Comp SS Kevin Merrell (South Florida)

2nd OF Greg Deichmann (LSU)

4th 3B Will Toffey (Vanderbilt)

6th LHP Logan Salow (Kentucky)

7th RHP Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest)

8th RHP Brian Howard (TCU)

9th LHP Jared Poche (LSU)

10th OF Jack Meggs (Washington)

11th SS-2B Ryan Gridley (Mississippi St)

12th 1B Aaron Arruda (Fresno St)

13th RHP Wyatt Marks (Louisiana Lafayette)

16th OF Payton Squier (UNLV)

19th RHP Michael Danielak (Dartmouth)

22nd RHP Bryce Conley (Georgia St)

23rd RHP Malik Jones (Missouri Baptist)

Will Toffey

Will Toffey

The A’s second overall pick in this year’s draft, shortstop Kevin Merrell, has been hitting well with a .314/.324/.400 slash line and a pair of stolen bases while primarily batting out of the leadoff spot. 4th-round third baseman Will Toffey has shown good plate discipline. He’s already drawn 8 walks, but he also leads the team with 3 errors. 10th-round outfielder Jack Meggs, whose college statistics weren’t particularly eye-popping, has been one of Vermont’s best hitters. He leads the team with 2 home runs and 24 total bases and has put up an impressive .356/.383/.533 slash line. 11th-round infielder Ryan Gridley has been doing a great job of getting on-base and is currently boasting a .410 OBP. 12th-round first baseman Aaron Arruda leads the team with 5 extra-base hits, but his 14 strikeouts also lead the squad. Most of this year’s pitching picks have thrown a very limited number of innings, but 7th-round RHP Parker Dunshee has been the standout on the pitching staff, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings for Vermont. No other members of this year’s draft class have thrown more than 7 innings for the Lake Monsters, but 6th-round LHP Logan Salow has allowed just 1 unearned run while striking out 7 in 5 innings of work. And 6’9″ RHP Brian Howard recently made his pro debut by tossing 2 scoreless frames for Vermont. 2nd-round outfielder Greg Deichmann and 9th-round LHP Jared Poche, both out of LSU, were officially added to the Lake Monsters roster on Sunday but have yet to make their pro debuts.

 

–AZL A’s–

Austin Beck

Austin Beck

1st OF Austin Beck (North Davidson HS-NC)

3rd SS Nick Allen (Francis Parker HS-CA)

5th C Santis Sanchez (Intl Baseball Academy HS-PR)

15th LHP Josh Reagan (South Carolina)

17th RHP Josh Falk (Pittsburgh)

18th OF Mickey McDonald (Illinois-Chicago)

20th RHP Osvaldo Berrios (PR Baseball Academy HS-PR)

21st RHP Heath Donica (Sam Houston)

24th RHP Slater Lee (Cal Poly SLO)

25th 1B Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech)

27th OF Ben Spitznagel (UNC Greensboro)

28th LHP Pat Krall (Clemson)

29th RHP Adam Reuss (Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

30th LHP Cody Puckett (Middle Tennessee)

32nd RHP Caleb Evans (Liberty)

33rd 2B-3B Jake Lumley (Canisius)

34th 2B Justin Jones (UNLV)

35th C Cooper Golby (Lewis-Clark)

36th OF Logan Farrar (VCU)

Nick Allen

Nick Allen

This year’s top pick for the A’s, outfielder Austin Beck, hasn’t exactly gotten off to a blazing start, going 3 for 29 with just 1 walk and 15 strikeouts. 3rd-round shortstop Nick Allen has gotten into 5 games since signing and has put up a .294/.333/.412 slash line, while 5th-round catcher Santis Sanchez has gone 1 for 7. 18th-round outfielder Mickey McDonald leads the team with 6 stolen bases and is second on the squad with 13 hits and 18 total bases. 25th-round first baseman Hunter Hargrove has been hitting well with a .313/.389/.406 slash line. And 36th-round outfielder Logan Farrar has been a revelation early on, going 17 for 35 with 8 extra-base hits while sporting an impressive .486/.561/.800 slash line. Though, as an international free agent, he wasn’t actually a member of this year’s draft class, 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armenteros has put up a slash line of .278/.366/.389 with a home run, a double, 3 stolen bases, 3 walks and 14 strikeouts over his first 36 at-bats for the AZL A’s. Meanwhile, on the mound, 32nd-round RHP Caleb Evans and 28th-round LHP Pat Krall have been the pitching standouts thus far. Evans has struck out 10 over 8 1/3 scoreless innings, while Krall has put up a 2.35 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP over his first 4 appearances for the A’s.

*          *          *

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.

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…

Saturday, July 1st: Ports Prevail Behind Butler’s Solid Effort while Semien Helps Sounds Win in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Brendan Butler (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Brendan Butler (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide   4

Stockton Ports   5

WP – Butler 2-2 / 3.33

HR – Bolt (9), Mondou (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brendan Butler

(5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

Stockton came back to earn its third win in its last four games on Saturday. 23-year-old Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz made his first start for Stockton and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits over 4 innings of work. RHP Brendan Butler replaced him on the mound and was impressive in relief, throwing 5 scoreless frames to earn his 2nd win for Stockton. Center fielder Skye Bolt, who hit a grand slam on Friday night, singled, walked, homered, stole a base and scored twice on Saturday, while first baseman Sandber Pimentel had a pair of doubles for the Ports. Second baseman Nate Mondou hit his 1st home run for Stockton, and right fielder Seth Brown had a pair of hits and singled in the tying run in the 5th inning. Left fielder Brett Siddall, who walked and moved to third on Pimentel’s second double in the bottom of the 8th, eventually came in to score the winning run on a wild pitch. Matt Chapman, serving as the designated hitter for Stockton, went 0 for 4 in his first rehab appearance for the Ports and is scheduled to make the start at third base for Stockton on Sunday. In other news, RHP Brandon Bailey was promoted to the Ports from the Snappers and Stockton outfielder Tyler Ramirez was reassigned to the RockHounds on Saturday.

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

A’s Scouting Director Eric Kubota Offers the Inside Scoop on Oakland’s Top 11 Draft Picks of 2017

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A's scouting director Eric Kubota

A’s scouting director Eric Kubota

The man responsible for overseeing the A’s efforts in the amateur draft is scouting director Eric Kubota. Kubota started out his career in the baseball world by interning for the A’s in the mid-‘80s, and he eventually served as the assistant director of scouting and the supervisor of international scouting before succeeding Grady Fuson as scouting director following his departure after the 2001 season.

In past years, we’ve talked with Kubota about top picks like Addison Russell in 2012, Billy McKinney in 2013, Matt Chapman in 2014, Richie Martin in 2015 and A.J. Puk in 2016. And this year, we were eager to get his insights on #1 pick Austin Beck as well as the rest of the A’s top eleven picks from the first ten rounds of the 2017 draft.

We spoke with Kubota the week after the draft, just hours before the A’s were set to announce that they’d come to terms with 31 of their 41 draft selections, including 7 of their top 11 picks and, most notably, the team’s top pick, outfielder Austin Beck…

 

AF:  We wanted to get your take on your top 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of the draft this year. So let’s start out with your top pick. I know you guys were kind of surprised last year when pitcher A.J. Puk was available to you with the sixth overall pick. How confident were you that outfielder Austin Beck was going to be available to you with the sixth pick this year, how much did his workout at the Coliseum the week before the draft really impress you, and what was the one thing about him that really most grabbed you?

abAustin_Beck_t1u2zolz_rloc5a7f130EK:  Well, as far as whether we thought he would get to us, we did think there was a club or two ahead of us that really liked Austin…but we thought probably somewhere between #3 and #8 was where he was going to go, so we thought we did have a fair chance of getting him. And the workout itself, more than anything, was the culmination of the spring spent scouting Austin. Austin was a guy our scouts in that area liked a lot. Earlier in the season, we all went in and saw him and liked him. I mean, he’s hard not to like. What he does jumps out at you almost immediately. But having him come out to Oakland prior to the draft and having him working out on the field and being able to be around him, it was like the cherry on top of the sundae – it was kind of a finishing touch. And the thing that jumps out at me with Austin is just his natural ability to whistle the bat. I mean, what he can do as far as generating bat speed is something that we don’t get to see very often. So that ability really kind of jumps up and slaps you in the face when you see him.

AF:  Is there anyone you might compare him to?

EK:  As far as what he can do with the bat, he kind of reminds me of Andrew McCutchen, but physically, he reminds me a little bit of Kevin McReynolds.

AF:  Moving on to your second pick in the competitive balance round, shortstop Kevin Merrell out of South Florida. He’s really known for his speed, and some people think he was the fastest guy in the draft, but how confident are you that his bat will play at the major league level? And even though he played shortstop last year, it seems like there’s been a lot of talk about him possibly ending up as a center fielder. How do you feel things are going to end up shaking out for him in the field?

EK:  First and foremost, we love his bat. We think Kevin can really hit. That was all a part of the reason that we valued him and took him. It wasn’t just because he could run, which he can really do. But we really think he can hit. We think there’s a natural ability to put the barrel on the baseball. We think strength and power are developing there. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a power hitter per se, but he’s definitely going to hit some home runs. He’s strong enough to hit extra-base hits. As far as shortstop, probably coming into the year, we were less sure that he could go out and play shortstop in professional baseball, but he did a good job of it at USF this spring, and we’ll certainly give him every chance to stay there as he begins his professional career. Obviously, he has the kind of athletic ability where he could probably play at a number of different defensive positions.

AF:  Did you have any comps in mind for him?

EK:  Merrell – it’s kind of easy to go with the Brett Gardner comp.

AF:  Your 2nd-round pick was outfielder Greg Deichmann out of LSU. He’s a big lefty slugger who has that same combination of power and plate discipline as a guy like Matt Olson. How do you view him and how would you compare the two?

gdOYKFWSKEPIIKZWI.20161127154043cEK:  There’s definitely some similarities to Matt. I think one thing is that Greg is probably a little bit better athlete. Greg started his college career as a middle infielder, so there’s probably a little more athleticism there. But he’s certainly got a combination, like you said, of power and plate discipline. We had some guys go in there who really fell in love with the bat and the power potential.

AF:  I compared him to Olson, but did you have any other comps in mind for him?

EK:  Deichmann has some similarities to Seth Smith, whom A’s fans are familiar with.

AF:  Then your 3rd-round pick was high school shortstop Nick Allen. He’s got a combination of speed and defense that it seems everyone’s in love with. He kind made me think about Richie Martin in terms of that speed and defense combination. How would you feel about that comparison, and how do you feel about the ability of his bat to play out over the long run?

EK:  I think Richie’s probably a little bit more physical than Nick is. There’s certainly some similarities with the athleticism and defense. Anybody who’s ever scouted Nick just loves to watch this kid play. He’s a tremendous defender with tremendous defensive instincts. He’s got athletic ability, and we think he’s got a chance to hit. He’s not big as far as physical stature, but I think he knows what his game is, and we really believe in his ability to hit. We think he’s going to have a chance to be a premium shortstop who is going to have some offensive contribution as well.

AF:  I threw Martin out there, but did you have any other comps in mind for him?

EK:  On the older side of things, he kind of reminds me of like a Freddie Patek – they’re probably of the same stature. As far as the more modern game, you have some similarities to a Jimmy Rollins, although I’m not sure he’s going to come with the power that Jimmy had. But as far as physical stature and playing shortstop and just their baseball instincts, I think there are a lot of similarities.

AF:  In the 4th round, you guys took third baseman Will Toffey out of Vanderbilt. He’s not known as a real toolsy guy, but he gets the job done on the field and puts up the numbers. I know there was some talk that he’s the kind of guy that maybe the analytics guys like more than the old school scouts do. So what’s your take on him and how much do you like his bat?

EK:  There’s a lot of things to like about Will. And Will is a perfect example of analytics and scouting kind of coming together. We liked him from both an analytical standpoint and a scouting standpoint. He’s a deceptive athlete. I would probably argue with the fact that people say he doesn’t have tools, because he’s probably got a plus arm, he can really play defense, and he’s displayed the ability to hit. We do think the power’s coming along – that’s probably what’s going to develop last for Will. But as far as defense and being able to swing the bat, those are all things we really like about him.

AF:  Did you have any comps to offer on him?

EK:  Toffey, I kind of get a Bill Mueller out of him. I think there’s a lot of similarities there.

AF:  In the 5th round, you took high school catcher Santis Sanchez out of Puerto Rico who, for most of us, is probably the biggest unknown quantity among your top ten picks. He seems to be a strong-armed young catcher with some power potential. How many looks were you able to get at him and what are the key things you like about him?

0ss4403-6-White-19EK:  Well, the key tools are just what you said – arm strength and power. We do think he’s got a feel for the barrel as well. He’s a guy we saw a lot of actually as far as Puerto Rico goes. We had our national cross-checker [Michael Holmes] go in there in January and really love him. We had some other guys go in through the spring, and then [assistant general manager] Billy Owens went in late in April and loved him as well. So he was a guy we had consistent reports on, and we just think there’s a lot of upside to him. There’s been a pretty strong track record of really good catchers coming from Puerto Rico, and we’re hoping that Santis is the next in that line.

AF:  Well, I guess whenever you find a strong-armed catcher with power potential, that’s pretty much all you need to know!

EK:  Yeah, that’s a good place to start! And if they have the desire to be back there and work at it, those are all strong building blocks.

AF:  Did you have any comps to offer on Sanchez?

EK:  Sanchez, I’d just take the easy route and go with one of the Molina brothers – I might go with Bengie to be honest.

AF:  Don’t want to put too much pressure on him! Now in the 6th round, you took lefty reliever Logan Salow out of Kentucky, whom we just had a nice chat with on our A’s Farm Podcast. I know he’s got three pitches, with that slider that everyone loves, so do you think he’s going to get a chance to get looked at as a starter in your system?

EK:  I think we do think he can start. I know the role he filled at Kentucky, but we did see three pitches. The fastball and slider are both above-average pitches for our guys. We felt very fortunate that Logan was available to us in that spot, and I’m sure we’re going to give him every chance to start.

AF:  And continuing into the experienced-college-pitcher phase of the draft for you with RHP Parker Dunshee out of Wake Forest, whom you took in the 7th round. I imagine you looked at him as a solid, experienced, strike-throwing college pitcher, and that was basically what you liked about him.

EK:  We’ve seen a lot of Parker over the years. A couple of our scouts are Wake Forest alums and they still live in the area, so they see Wake a lot, and we’ve all seen Parker a lot over the years. Sometimes, there are guys you need to see over a period of time to really appreciate what they can do, and I think Parker’s one of those guys. He has major league caliber pitches, and he can really pitch. He’s probably more substance than style, but we do think there’s some upside to him. We think he’s the kind of guy who can move quickly in the organization.

AF:  In the 8th round, you took RHP Brian Howard out of TCU. The thing that most intrigues people about him is his height – he’s 6’9″. I know with those really tall guys, there are often problems and issues with their delivery. So how do you feel about his delivery, and do you feel there’s much work to be done there in terms of cleaning it up at all?

0bhHoward LebEK:  That’s probably his strength. His strength is his delivery, his ability to repeat his delivery, his ability to command the baseball. Those are all things he does very well, especially for his size. It’s funny you mention the height – it would be easy to assume that those flaws would be there, but for him, it’s kind of the opposite. He really commands the baseball well and controls his delivery well.

AF:  Well that’s good. If you’ve got a guy who’s 6’9″ with a repeatable delivery, that ought to make your life a lot easier! Did you have any comps on him?

EK:  Howard, I’d just go with the tall guy – he kind of reminds me of Mike Witt from back in the day.

AF:  In the 9th round, you went with LHP Jared Poche out of LSU. I know he was a consistent winner there at LSU, but what did you really like about him and what are his strengths as far as you’re concerned?

EK:  Well, Jared’s a guy we’ve seen since his high school showcase time, so we’ve seen him for many, many years. And the thing that he’s always done consistently is just compete and fight and find a way to get batters out. And for a left-hander who’s actually shown success in one of the finest college baseball programs in the country, we think that trait will take him a long way.

AF:  And then with your 10th-round pick, you took outfielder Jack Meggs out of Washington. Looking at his numbers, nothing really jumps out at you, so I’m curious to know what really put him on your radar?

EK:  Our scouts did like the baseball player there. Obviously, he did not have his greatest year statistically, but we really, really believe in his instincts. He’s a coach’s son, and he’s been around the game his whole life. We think he’s going to play above whatever his physical tools are, and he’s the kind of guy you can imagine over-achieving and finding his way into a role on a big league team.

AF:  And just one final question about your top pick from last year, LHP A.J. Puk. I don’t think you expected him to be available at #6 last year, and I know you were pretty excited to get him there. Now that you’ve had him in your system for a year, what are your impressions of last year’s top pick, A.J. Puk, at this point?

EK:  I would say that as excited as we were to be able to draft him a year ago, we’re even more excited about his progress that he’s made in that year. He’s really refined his delivery and his command. He’s shown the ability to miss bats. In a short sample in the minor leagues, he’s been really impressive. And he went out in his first start in Double-A the other night and pitched pretty well for a young kid who’s basically a year out of the draft.

AF:  Yeah, it looks like you might have a fast mover on your hands there!

EK:  Yeah, he’s big, he’s left-handed, he throws hard and he’s got a good breaking ball. As long as he keeps progressing like this, it’s a good combination to have!

 

A’s 2017 Draft Class

1st OF Austin Beck (North Davidson HS-NC), 1st Comp SS Kevin Merrell (South Florida), 2nd OF Greg Deichmann (LSU), 3rd SS Nick Allen (Francis Parker HS-CA), 4th 3B Will Toffey (Vanderbilt), 5th C Santis Sanchez (Intl Baseball Academy HS-PR), 6th LHP Logan Salow (Kentucky), 7th RHP Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest), 8th RHP Brian Howard (TCU), 9th LHP Jared Poche (LSU), 10th OF Jack Meggs (Washington)

11th SS Ryan Gridley (Mississippi St), 12th 1B Aaron Arruda (Fresno St), 13th RHP Wyatt Marks (Louisiana Lafayette), 14th OF Garrett Mitchell (Orange Lutheran HS-CA), 15th LHP Josh Reagan (South Carolina), 16th OF Payton Squier (UNLV), 17th RHP Josh Falk (Pittsburgh), 18th OF Raymond McDonald (Illinois-Chicago), 19th RHP Michael Danielak (Dartmouth), 20th RHP Osvaldo Berrios (PR Baseball Academy HS-PR)

21st RHP Heath Donica (Sam Houston), 22nd RHP Bryce Conley (Georgia St), 23rd RHP Malik Jones (Missouri Baptist), 24th RHP Slater Lee (Cal Poly SLO), 25th 1B Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech), 26th C Nate Webb (Martin Luther King HS-CA), 27th OF Ben Spitznagel (UNC Greensboro), 28th LHP Pat Krall (Clemson), 29th RHP Adam Reuss (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), 30th LHP Cody Puckett (Middle Tennessee)

31st RHP Brandon Withers (James Madison), 32nd RHP Caleb Evans (Liberty), 33rd 2B Jake Lumley (Canisius), 34th 2B Justin Jones (UNLV), 35th C Cooper Golby (Lewis-Clark), 36th OF Logan Farrar (VCU), 37th 3B Raymond Gill (Gulliver Prep HS-FL), 38th 2B Wil Hoyle (Charles Jordan HS-NC), 39th LHP Haydn King (Archbishop Mitty HS-CA), 40th SS Jacob Hoffman (Stanford)

*          *          *

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.

%d bloggers like this: