Tag: Oakland Athletics minor league players

A’s In The AFL – October 10-14 Update

A's AFL Prospect Of The Week: Infielder Sheldon Neuse

A’s AFL Prospect Of The Week: IF Sheldon Neuse

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 10 – 14)

Tuesday, October 10th:

Catcher Sean Murphy went 1 for 4 with a double and drove in a run, while designated hitter Sheldon Neuse went 0 for 3 with a walk, and right fielder Tyler Ramirez went 0 for 4 with a walk and 3 strikeouts as Mesa lost its season opener 7-4 on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 11th:

Shortstop Sheldon Neuse went 3 for 4 with a grand slam, and right fielder Tyler Ramirez went 0 for 4 with a walk, while RHP Nolan Blackwood struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning of relief as Mesa won 9-4 on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 12th:

Left fielder Tyler Ramirez went 1 for 4 with a home run and a walk, and catcher Sean Murphy went 0 for 2 with 2 walks and drove in a run, while RHP Sam Bragg allowed 1 run in 1 inning of relief as Mesa lost 10-9 on Thursday.

Friday, October 13th:

Third baseman Sheldon Neuse went 1 for 4 with a 2-run homer, while RHP Miguel Romero tossed 2 scoreless innings in Mesa’s 4-2 win on Friday.

Saturday, October 14th:

Designated hitter Sean Murphy went 2 for 4 with a walk, while third baseman Sheldon Neuse went 2 for 5, and right fielder Tyler Ramirez went 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts. RHP Logan Shore made the start and allowed 3 runs over 4 innings of work as Mesa lost 4-3 on Saturday.

Sunday, October 15th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 10 – 14)

Sheldon Neuse (3B-SS)

16 AB / 2 HR / 1 BB / 6 K / .375 AVG / .412 OBP / .750 SLG / 1.162 OPS

Tyler Ramirez (OF)
17 AB / 1 HR / 3 BB / 6 K / .059 AVG / .200 OBP / .235 SLG / .435 OPS

Sean Murphy (C)

10 AB / 0 HR / 3 BB / 0 K / .300 AVG / .500 OBP / .400 SLG / .900 OPS

Logan Shore (RHP)

4 IP / 7 H / 3 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / 6.75 ERA / 2.00 WHIP

Miguel Romero (RHP)

2 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

Nolan Blackwood (RHP)

1 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

Sam Bragg (RHP)

1 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 9.00 ERA / 3.00 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.

Preview: Shore, Murphy, Neuse, Ramirez Set to Lead A’s AFL Squad

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

00aflafl_striahgt_logo_4vdwdld9_cg5m3bavWhile most baseball fans are focused on the drama of postseason play in the fall, it’s also an important time for some of the minor leagues’ top prospects. And starting on Tuesday, some of the A’s most promising young prospects will begin play in the Arizona Fall League.

2017 marks the 26th season of the Arizona Fall League. Each year, the league schedule runs for about 5-6 weeks from early-October through mid-November. There are 6 teams in the AFL, with each team comprised of prospects from 5 different organizations. A’s prospects will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox again this year, where they’ll be joined by players from the Astros, Tigers, Cubs and Nationals.

Attendance at AFL games typically hovers in the 200s, with the crowds comprised largely of scouts, agents and various professional baseball personnel. Most organizations use the AFL as an opportunity to get some of their top prospects a little more live game action and hopefully help advance their development.

Some of the A’s top young Double-A hitting prospects will be seeing action in Arizona this year, including catcher Sean Murphy, infielder Sheldon Neuse and outfielder Tyler Ramirez, while the A’s AFL pitching contingent will be comprised of promising right-handers Logan Shore, Miguel Romero, Nolan Blackwood and Sam Bragg. Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz was originally scheduled to participate, but he’s still been bothered by an elbow strain and was replaced on the squad by Bragg.

 

–A’s Prospects in the AFL in 2017–

 

sm669221bSean Murphy

Catcher

Age: 22

Midland RockHounds / Stockton Ports

13 HR / 32 BB / 67 K / .250 AVG / .313 OBP / .410 SLG / .723 OPS

Last year’s 3rd-round draft pick for the A’s has always been valued for his strong throwing arm and his solid work behind the plate, but he also proved he has some pop by hitting 13 home runs this season. The 22-year-old slashed .297/.343/.527 for Stockton in the hitter-friendly California League before earning a promotion to Midland the last week of June. He struggled a bit at Double-A though, putting up a .209/.288/.309 slash line for the RockHounds. His strong defense and power potential make Murphy the A’s top catching prospect, and he’ll have the opportunity to work on developing a little more consistency at the plate during his time in the AFL.

 

sn641914bSheldon Neuse

Third Baseman / Shortstop

Age: 22

Hagerstown Suns / Stockton Ports / Midland RockHounds

16 HR / 40 BB / 112 K / .321 AVG / .382 OBP / .502 SLG / .884 OPS

Acquired from the Nationals in the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle deal, last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for Washington has done nothing but hit since joining the A’s system. After compiling 19 doubles, 9 home runs and a .469 slugging percentage for the Nationals’ Class-A Hagerstown Suns in the first half, the 22-year-old kicked things up a notch when he joined High-A Stockton, slugging a robust .675 and hitting 7 home runs in just 22 games for the Ports. While his power numbers dropped off after his August promotion to Double-A Midland, Neuse still managed to up put up an impressive .373 batting average to go along with a healthy .427 on-base percentage for the RockHounds. And he should continue to get the chance to see time at both third base and shortstop during his stint in the AFL.

 

tr669262bTyler Ramirez

Outfielder

Age: 22

Stockton Ports / Midland RockHounds

11 HR / 73 BB / 133 K / .304 AVG / .398 OBP / .431 SLG / .829 OPS

Ramirez has proven to be a fast mover in the A’s system. After being drafted in the 7th round last year and spending most of last season with short-season Vermont, the left-handed hitter started this year at High-A Stockton and then moved up to Double-A Midland this summer without missing a beat. Improved competition hasn’t seemed to hinder the 22-year-old one bit. He hit better at Stockton than he did for Vermont, and hit even better for Midland than he did at Stockton. Ramirez has been remarkably consistent while hardly ever taking a day off and has a real knack for reaching base. His 73 walks were most among A’s minor leaguers, while his .398 on-base percentage was best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats. He also compiled the second-most hits and tied for the second-most runs in the system this season. While Ramirez can play all three outfield positions, he seems to look most comfortable in left, where he spent the bulk of his time this season.

 

ls624519bLogan Shore

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 22

Stockton Ports / AZL A’s

80 2/3 IP / 83 H / 33 ER / 16 BB / 87 K / 3.68 ERA / 1.23 WHIP

Last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s got off to a good start for Stockton this season, putting up a 3.12 ERA over his first 9 appearances for the Ports before landing on the disabled list thanks to a lat strain. After being sidelined for a couple of months, Shore returned to the mound in July, but he had to endure a few rough outings for Stockton before finally finding his footing and posting a 3.24 ERA in 6 August starts. Shore has shown himself to be a consistent strike thrower, averaging 9.7 strikeouts per 9 innings this season, and he possesses solid command of his pitches. But he only managed to make it to the mound for 80 2/3 innings in his first full season, so he’ll be looking to make up for lost time in the AFL this year.

 

mr673603Miguel Romero

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 23

Stockton Ports / Beloit Snappers / AZL A’s / DSL A’s

31 1/3 IP / 31 H / 17 ER / 11 BB / 42 K / 4.88 ERA / 1.34 WHIP

One of the A’s recent Cuban imports, Romero is a hard thrower who, in addition to a mid-90s fastball, also features a changeup and a slider. After making brief pit stops in the Dominican and Arizona Leagues, he looked solid in 3 starts for Class-A Beloit this summer, compiling a 2.25 ERA in his brief time with the Snappers. But the 23-year-old struggled after his promotion to Stockton. He notched 25 strikeouts in just 18 1/3 innings, but too many walks and home runs led to a bloated 6.87 ERA in his 8 appearances for the Ports. Romero finished the season on the disabled list for Stockton and logged just 31 1/3 innings in his first season in the U.S., so the A’s will be eager to get a better look at the hurler in the AFL.

 

nb670154Nolan Blackwood

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 22

Stockton Ports

57 IP / 42 H / 19 ER / 18 BB / 48 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.05 WHIP

Drafted by the A’s in the 14th round just last year, the sidearmer impressed in his first full season. The 22-year-old turned out to be a very reliable closer for Stockton, successfully converting 19 of 20 save opportunities this season. Blackwood led all A’s minor leaguers in saves while striking out 48 batters in 57 innings and giving up just 2 home runs all year in the homer-happy confines of the California League. The Mississippi native then failed to allow a hit or a run in a pair of relief appearances for Double-A Midland in the Texas League Championship Series, and he’ll get the chance to show what he can do against advanced competition this year in the AFL.

 

sb595892Sam Bragg

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 24

Midland RockHounds

68 1/3 IP / 69 H / 23 ER / 16 BB / 56 K / 3.03 ERA / 1.24 WHIP

With Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz, who had been set to participate in the AFL this year, still sidelined by an elbow strain, Bragg will get the chance to return to the AFL for his second straight season. The 24-year-old also spent his second straight season with Double-A Midland this year, posting a solid 3.03 ERA in 45 relief appearances for the RockHounds. The A’s 18th-round pick in the 2013 draft has always had good control and solid strikeouts numbers, and he’s had equal success against both righties and lefties. Bragg seems to have gotten a bit stuck at the Double-A level though, so he’ll be looking for a strong AFL campaign to help open up some eyes and raise his stock in the organization.

*          *          *

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 Farm’s 2017 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

First baseman Matt Olson

First baseman Matt Olson

With the 2017 minor league season now complete, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and determine who the true standouts on the field really were in the A’s system in 2017. We’re not selecting top prospects here, just looking at the top performers on the field this season. So, with that in mind, it’s time to name A’s Farm’s 2017 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team!

Below you’ll find the primary starting players at each position for Triple-A Nashville, Double-A Midland, High-A Stockton, Class-A Beloit, Class-A Short-Season Vermont and the Rookie League Short-Season AZL A’s in 2017. Offensive players were selected from the primary starters at each position for each team over the course of the season, with notable players not leading in games played at a particular position listed in the designated hitter category. Starting pitchers for each club were selected from among the top starters for each team, while closers were selected from each team’s saves leader. Asterisks denote players with combined statistics from multiple minor league teams within the A’s system, but players’ major league statistics and statistics acquired while with other organizations have not been included.

Although A.J. Puk is undoubtedly the A’s top pitching prospect, he doesn’t appear here since he split his season between Stockton and Midland, had an ERA over 4.00 for the year, and had teammates on both squads who performed better on the field over the course of the season. But that in no way diminishes his overall prospect status. The same applies to Yairo Munoz, who split time between Nashville and Midland and also split time between shortstop, third base and the outfield and thus was not the primary starter at any position for either team. Shortstop Jorge Mateo and third baseman Sheldon Neuse are not included either, since both arrived in trades in July and neither appeared in more than 40 regular season games in the A’s system.

Check out our list of All-Star candidates at each position. Then click on the link just below the list of contenders to find A’s Farm’s winning Organizational All-Stars at each position. The winners were determined based purely on performance, not potential. Remember, we’re not selecting the top prospects here, we’re choosing the top performers on the field this season. So take a look at the candidates for yourself and then cast your vote in our poll for the top A’s Organizational All-Star of 2017!

 

–THE CANDIDATES–

 

CATCHER

Nashville – Ryan Lavarnway (264 AB / 6 HR / .239 AVG / .327 OBP / .341 SLG / .668 OPS)

Midland – Sean Murphy (356 AB / 13 HR / .250 AVG / .313 OBP / .410 SLG / .723 OPS) *

Stockton – Jose Santiago Chavez (167 AB / 2 HR / .192 AVG / .240 OBP / .287 SLG / .528 OPS)

Beloit – Collin Theroux (273 AB / 13 HR / .147 AVG / .251 OBP / .330 SLG / .580 OPS)

Vermont – Iolana Akau (159 AB / 0 HR / .195 AVG / .251 OBP / .226 SLG / .478 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Santis Sanchez (99 AB / 0 HR / .253 AVG / .306 OBP / .313 SLG / .619 OPS)

 

FIRST BASE

Nashville – Matt Olson (294 AB / 23 HR / .272 AVG / .367 OBP / .568 SLG / .935 OPS)

Midland – Viosergy Rosa (517 AB / 18 HR / .255 AVG / .325 OBP / .418 SLG / .743 OPS)

Stockton – Sandber Pimentel (244 AB / 14 HR / .279 AVG / .374 OBP / .484 SLG / .857 OPS)

Beloit – Miguel Mercedes (452 AB / 16 HR / .230 AVG / .286 OBP / .394 SLG / .680 OPS)

Vermont – Aaron Arruda (157 AB / 4 HR / .191 AVG / .251 OBP / .318 SLG / .570 OPS)

AZL A’s – Alonzo Medina (127 AB / 2 HR / .197 AVG / .297 OBP / .315 SLG / .612 OPS)

 

SECOND BASE

Nashville – Joey Wendle (478 AB / 8 HR / .285 AVG / .327 OBP / .429 SLG / .756 OPS)

Midland – Max Schrock (417 AB / 7 HR / .321 AVG / .379 OBP / .422 SLG / .801 OPS)

Stockton – Nate Mondou (470 AB / 2 HR / .287 AVG / .366 OBP / .381 SLG / .747 OPS) *

Beloit – Trace Loehr (363 AB / 3 HR / .267 AVG / .302 OBP / .364 SLG / .666 OPS)

Vermont – Ryan Gridley (210 AB / 1 HR / .262 AVG / .357 OBP / .333 SLG / .690 OPS)

AZL A’s – Marcos Brito (171 AB / 1 HR / .234 AVG / .320 OBP / .298 SLG / .618 OPS)

 

SHORTSTOP

Nashville – Franklin Barreto (469 AB / 15 HR / .290 AVG / .339 OBP / .456 SLG / .796 OPS)

Midland – Richie Martin (380 AB / 4 HR / .234 AVG / .311 OBP / .332 SLG / .643 OPS) *

Stockton – Eli White (448 AB / 4 HR / .270 AVG / .342 OBP / .395 SLG / .737 OPS)

Beloit – Eric Marinez (410 AB / 3 HR / .278 AVG / .341 OBP / .359 SLG / .699 OPS)

Vermont – Kevin Merrell (125 AB / 2 HR / .320 AVG / .362 OBP / .424 SLG / .786 OPS)

AZL A’s – Nick Allen (138 AB / 1 HR / .254 AVG / .322 OBP / .326 SLG / .648 OPS)

 

THIRD BASE

Nashville – Matt Chapman (175 AB / 16 HR / .257 AVG / .348 OBP / .589 SLG / .937 OPS)

Midland – Jordan Tarsovich (341 AB / 3 HR / .240 AVG / .336 OBP / .328 SLG / .664 OPS)

Stockton – Mikey White (440 AB / 17 HR / .261 AVG / .331 OBP / .457 SLG / .787 OPS)

Beloit – Edwin Diaz (347 AB / 10 HR / .233 AVG / .326 OBP / .378 SLG / .703 OPS) *

Vermont – Will Toffey (209 AB / 1 HR / .263 AVG / .377 OBP / .349 SLG / .726 OPS)

AZL A’s – Jake Lumley (135 AB / 0 HR / .333 AVG / .388 OBP / .444 SLG / .832 OPS)

 

LEFT FIELD

Nashville – Renato Nunez (473 AB / 32 HR / .249 AVG / .319 OBP / .518 SLG / .837 OPS)

Midland – Tyler Ramirez (487 AB / 11 HR / .306 AVG / .399 OBP / .437 SLG / .835 OPS) *

Stockton – Brett Siddall (440 AB / 21 HR / .300 AVG / .365 OBP / .495 SLG / .861 OPS)

Beloit – Luke Persico (446 AB / 5 HR / .260 AVG / .327 OBP / .368 SLG / .695 OPS)

Vermont – Anthony Churlin (166 AB / 3 HR / .265 AVG / .320 OBP / .422 SLG / .742 OPS)

AZL A’s – Lazaro Armenteros (156 AB / 4 HR / .288 AVG / .376 OBP / .474 SLG / .850 OPS)

 

CENTER FIELD

Nashville – Jaff Decker (351 AB / 6 HR / .274 AVG / .342 OBP / .368 SLG / .709 OPS)

Midland – B.J. Boyd (533 AB / 5 HR / .323 AVG / .366 OBP / .428 SLG / .793 OPS)

Stockton – Skye Bolt (432 AB / 15 HR / .243 AVG / .327 OBP / .435 SLG / .762 OPS)

Beloit – Mike Martin (281 AB / 1 HR / .296 AVG / .356 OBP / .377 SLG / .732 OPS) *

Vermont – Logan Farrar (214 AB / 4 HR / .341 AVG / .413 OBP / .495 SLG / .909 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Austin Beck (152 AB / 2 HR / .211 AVG / .293 OBP / .349 SLG / .642 OPS)

 

RIGHT FIELD

Nashville – Mark Canha (272 AB / 12 HR / .283 AVG / .373 OBP / .529 SLG / .903 OPS)

Midland – J.P. Sportman (513 AB / 12 HR / .275 AVG / .327 OBP / .417 SLG / .744 OPS)

Stockton – Seth Brown (518 AB / 30 HR / .270 AVG / .340 OBP / .506 SLG / .846 OPS)

Beloit – JaVon Shelby (374 AB / 8 HR / .198 AVG / .283 OBP / .299 SLG / .582 OPS)

Vermont – Greg Deichmann (164 AB / 8 HR / .274 AVG / .385 OBP / .530 SLG / .915 OPS)

AZL A’s – Enrry Pantoja (90 AB / 0 HR / .244 AVG / .355 OBP / .289 SLG / .644 OPS)

 

DESIGNATED HITTER

Nashville – Matt McBride (251 AB / 10 HR / .231 AVG / .299 OBP / .434 SLG / .734 OPS)

Midland – Tyler Marincov (286 AB / 9 HR / .266 AVG / .339 OBP / .444 SLG / .784 OPS)

Stockton – Branden Cogswell (326 AB / 0 HR / .270 AVG / .352 OBP / .328 SLG / .681 OPS) *

Beloit – Kyle Nowlin (416 AB / 11 HR / .248 AVG / .357 OBP / .394 SLG / .751 OPS)

Vermont – Jordan Devencenzi (170 AB / 1 HR / .276 AVG / .367 OBP / .324 SLG / .691 OPS)

AZL A’s – Ben Spitznagel (92 AB / 0 HR / .337 AVG / .460 OBP / .457 SLG / .917 OPS)

 

STARTING PITCHER

Nashville – Paul Blackburn (79 2/3 IP / 69 H / 27 ER / 26 BB / 56 K / 3.05 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)

Midland – Heath Fillmyer (149 2/3 IP / 158 H / 58 ER / 51 BB / 115 K / 3.49 ERA / 1.40 WHIP)

Stockton – Dalton Sawyer (130 2/3 IP / 113 H / 52 ER / 47 BB / 140 K / 3.58 ERA / 1.22 WHIP) *

Beloit – Zack Erwin (95 1/3 IP / 74 H / 22 ER / 29 BB / 91 K / 2.08 ERA / 1.08 WHIP)

Vermont – Parker Dunshee (40 1/3 IP / 20 H / 3 ER / 8 BB / 48 K / 0.67 ERA / 0.69 WHIP) *

AZL A’s – Chris Kohler (42 2/3 IP / 44 H / 19 ER / 12 BB / 24 K / 4.01 ERA / 1.31 WHIP)

 

CLOSER

Nashville – Simon Castro (38 IP / 24 H / 14 ER / 21 BB / 63 K / 3.32 ERA / 1.18 WHIP / 4 SV)

Midland – Kyle Finnegan (60 1/3 IP / 61 H / 26 ER / 25 BB / 57 K / 3.88 ERA / 1.43 WHIP / 12 SV) *

Stockton – Nolan Blackwood (57 IP / 42 H / 19 ER / 18 BB / 48 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.05 WHIP / 19 SV)

Beloit – Sam Sheehan (40 2/3 IP / 26 H / 10 ER / 27 BB / 54 K / 2.21 ERA / 1.30 WHIP / 6 SV)

Vermont – Wandisson Charles (21 IP / 15 H / 8 ER / 18 BB / 29 K / 3.43 ERA / 1.57 WHIP / 5 SV)

AZL A’s – Slater Lee (21 IP / 21 H / 9 ER / 6 BB / 21 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.29 WHIP / 4 SV)

 

Click here to see A’s Farm’s 2017 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team…

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…

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.

Down on the Farm with Stockton Ports Pitcher Brandon Bailey

bb669064bBrandon Bailey grew up in Colorado and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he struck out 125 batters in 100 1/3 innings while posting a 2.42 ERA in his final season for the Bulldogs.

After the right-hander was selected by the A’s in the 6th round of last year’s amateur draft, he spent most of the season playing for Vermont, the A’s Class-A affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he put up a solid 3.08 ERA in 10 appearances. But Bailey was even more impressive for Beloit this season, posting a 2.88 ERA while notching 61 strikeouts over 68 2/3 innings of work for the Snappers before being promoted to the Ports at the start of July.

Last summer, we shared a few of Bailey’s blog posts about some of his experiences in the A’s minor league system in the weeks and months after the draft. We heard from him again just last week about some recent changes in his life, which you can check out here, and now we’re happy to share his latest update from Stockton. You can check out his personal blog here and you can follow him on Twitter at @BBailey_19

 

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how quickly humans can get caught up in a routine or daily schedule. With iPhones, iPads and Surface Pro 3s receiving our undivided attention, it seems like more and more people are forgetting to soak in all the blessings God has put in front of us on a daily basis. Things that on the surface seem so small or insignificant that we set them off to the side. Memories that we often take for granted, thinking that it’s always going to be there for us to appreciate. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of being glued to my technology and taking things for granted during numerous points in my life.

Over the past week, I have set aside some time to self-reflect, asking myself a set of questions: “What is my current routine? What do I like about it and what do I want to change?” With the help of family members, friends and teammates, I have discovered over the past five years that my life has been revolving around discontentment – always looking forward to the next step, the next goal, the next phases of life. Whether that’s in baseball, school or daily events, I am always planning for something further on down the road. This can be looked at as a positive trait as well as a negative one.

For starters, I don’t think there is anything wrong with people who like to plan out their school and/or work week. This is definitely me, and if you are anything like me, you probably find creating a to-do list to be oddly satisfying. Whether it’s something as simple as turning in a homework assignment or something as complex as solving world hunger, if it’s on my list and I complete the task, you can bet your ass that I will cross it off with a solid ballpoint pen (organized nerd geek for the win!). This technique, along with utilizing a planner to construct a strategy for my typical 9-to-5 work day, ultimately directs me on a path towards maximizing productivity, erasing wasted effort, and most importantly, eliminating wasted time. By being efficient during the set hours of the week that are designed for work, I:

1) Put myself in a position to have more free time to do fun stuff like binge watch House of Cards or talk to my family and friends on the phone.

2) Have a clear conscience that everything I needed to do in terms of “adulting” has been completed.

3) Give myself the opportunity to be in the present moment.

Brandon Bailey  (photo by Meghan Camino)

Brandon Bailey
(photo by Meghan Camino)

What I discovered over the past week is that, even though I am extremely organized with my time, I am still not taking advantage of being in the present moment. Why? Because I’ve let my work mentality transfer over into my personal life. Simple fix, right? Not so much – at least for me.

As a pitcher, I’ve been taught to constantly focus on the next pitch – a basic mindset that keeps me focused on the task at hand – letting go of anything that has happened during the previous pitch, at-bat, inning, game, or even the season, for that matter. This mentality, in my opinion, is the leading outlook on the art of pitching, simply because it forces the athlete to control what they can control, and that is – the NEXT pitch. Once the ball is released from the pitcher’s hand, he or she has zero say in what happens next. Gravity, the umpire’s opinion, and the hitter’s decision to swing or not are all up in the air. All the pitcher can do is hope that:

1) He made a quality pitch that is difficult for the batter to hit.

2) The hitter perceived the pitch as enticing and decided to swing, and hopefully miss.

3) The umpire felt that the pitch was within a certain area that gave the hitter a fair opportunity to put the ball in play (i.e. “the strike zone”).

If any one of these things doesn’t go the pitcher’s way, odds are there will be a negative outcome. It could be something as simple as the umpire calling the pitch a ball or something as catastrophic as a three-run walk-off Jimmy Jack to lose Game 7 of the World Series. Regardless, it’s out of the pitcher’s control. Like the great Clayton Kershaw said earlier this year, “They pay me to get the next guy out,” once again, emphasizing that pitchers, even the greatest in the world, are always looking ahead to the next pitch or the next at-bat.

On the positive side, I am aware of what I want to change. On the negative side, it’s unfortunate that it took me five years to come to this realization. All those times when God wanted me to just enjoy where I was currently at in life, I was looking ahead six months down the road. If I could do it all over again, I would praise him for the blessings of that day and let him handle all the worry, stress and uncertainty of my future.

Again, I think it’s okay to be excited for the future. It gives us hope. But if you let what’s to come blind you from the blessings of today, your life will be driven by discontentment and a restless aspiration for improvement. When in reality, the way to improve your future is by giving 100% to today.

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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.

A’s Top-Performing Minor League Hitters of 2017

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

With the end of the minor league season almost upon us, it’s time to take a look at some of the young hitters in the A’s system who’ve been having true standout seasons on the field in 2017. So, let’s run down some of the top-performing position players in the A’s system this year. For the purposes of this piece, we’re only examining hitters who’ve compiled at least 300 at-bats this season and who are currently in the A’s minor league system. And remember, we’re not ranking top prospects here, just taking a look at some of the top performers on the field. All statistics are through games of Friday, September 1…

 

rn6005243B-OF Renato Nunez

Nashville Sounds (AAA)

(466 AB / 32 HR / 41 BB / 139 K / .253 AVG / .315 OBP / .526 SLG)

Considered a top power-hitting prospect for the A’s ever since the team signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela over six years ago, Nunez is back for his second season at Nashville. And his power seems to have reached new heights in his second stint at Triple-A. His 32 home runs are the most among A’s minor leaguers and tie him for second-most in the 16-team Pacific Coast League. The right-handed slugger’s 61 extra-base hits lead the A’s system, and his .526 slugging percentage is best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats. The 23-year-old has also been much more consistent at the plate than he has been in past campaigns, though his lack of speed has led him to ground into 14 double plays so far this season. Nunez should get a look with the A’s this September, where he may have the chance to see some time in left field and in the designated hitter spot over the last month of the season. But with Matt Chapman entrenched at the hot corner, it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be seeing much time at his old position. He really has the ability to hammer lefties, so his best role may be as a power-hitting platoon player, either as a DH or in left field. He’ll be out of options next season though, so the A’s will quickly need to determine exactly what they think they have in Mr. Nunez.

 

tr669262bOF Tyler Ramirez

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

(474 AB / 11 HR / 72 BB / 129 K / .310 AVG / .404 OBP / .441 SLG)

Ramirez has proven to be a fast mover in the A’s system. After being drafted in the 7th round last year and spending most of last season with short-season Vermont, the left-handed hitter started this year at High-A Stockton and then moved up to Double-A Midland this summer without missing a beat. The improved competition hasn’t seemed to hinder the 22-year-old, as he hit better at Stockton than he did for Vermont, and has hit even better for Midland than he did at Stockton. Ramirez has been remarkably consistent while hardly ever taking a day off and has a real knack for reaching base. His 72 walks are most among A’s minor leaguers, while his .404 on-base percentage is best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats. He’s also compiled the second-most hits and runs in the system so far this season. While Ramirez can play all three outfield positions, he seems to look most comfortable in left, where he’s spent the bulk of his time this season.

 

bs615702OF Brett Siddall

Stockton Ports (A+)

(432 AB / 20 HR / 31 BB / 102 K / .301 AVG / .365 OBP / .493 SLG)

After turning in a somewhat unimpressive season last year at Beloit, Siddall may have shown as much improvement as any hitter in the A’s system this year. Taken by Oakland in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, the left-handed hitter got off to a slow start this season, compiling a rather tepid .657 OPS in April, but a healthy .929 OPS in the second half has helped to turn things around in a big way for the 22-year-old. His 20 home runs and .493 slugging percentage have helped to make him a potent force in the Ports lineup this season, while primarily playing in left and right field and also seeing frequent time in the DH spot for Stockton. He can tend to crowd the plate a bit and has been hit by pitches 14 times this season, which is the most among A’s minor leaguers.

 

sb664913OF Seth Brown

Stockton Ports (A+)

(509 AB / 28 HR / 55 BB / 143 K / .267 AVG / .337 OBP / .495 SLG)

Back for his second season in Stockton, Brown has really unleashed his power potential for the Ports this year. After getting off to a sluggish start with a .718 OPS in the first half, the left-handed hitter has put up an impressive .951 OPS since the California League All-Star break in late June to become Stockton’s best hitter in the second half. The 25-year-old leads all A’s minor leaguers in total bases, while his .495 slugging percentage is good for second-best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats, and his 28 home runs and 106 RBIs both currently lead the California League. Of course, along with power come strikeouts, and his 143 whiffs are tied for second-most in the A’s system. After being taken in the 19th round of the 2015 draft as a first baseman, Brown has spent the past couple of seasons primarily playing right field, but he’s begun seeing some more time at first base again lately.

 

bb622196OF B.J. Boyd

Midland RockHounds (AA)

(519 AB / 5 HR / 33 BB / 74 K / .329 AVG / .372 OBP / .437 SLG)

Taken by the A’s in the 4th round of the 2012 draft as a teenager out of Palo Alto High, Boyd has really come into his own in his sixth season in the A’s system. After turning in a somewhat uninspiring season at Stockton last year, the 24-year-old has compiled more hits and runs than any A’s minor leaguer this season and is tied for the second-most doubles with 29, while his .329 batting average is best among A’s prospects with at least 300 at-bats and also happens to lead the Texas League. The left-handed hitter has been incredibly productive hitting near the top of the order for the RockHounds and has swiped 15 bases while primarily splitting time between left and center field. Boyd has shown tremendous consistency this year and even leads his team in total bases this season.

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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.

Down on the Farm with Stockton Ports Pitcher Brandon Bailey

bb669064bBrandon Bailey grew up in Colorado and attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he struck out 125 batters in 100 1/3 innings while posting a 2.42 ERA in his final season for the Bulldogs. 

After the right-hander was selected by the A’s in the 6th round of last year’s amateur draft, he spent most of the season playing for Vermont, the A’s Class-A affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he put up a solid 3.08 ERA in 10 appearances. But Bailey was even more impressive for Beloit this season, posting a 2.88 ERA while notching 61 strikeouts over 68 2/3 innings of work for the Snappers before being promoted to the Ports at the start of July.

Last summer, we shared a few of Bailey’s blog posts about some of his experiences in the A’s minor league system in the weeks and months after the draft, which you can check out here. We last heard from him earlier this season about his first couple of months in Beloit, and now we’re happy to share his first update from Stockton. You can check out his personal blog here and you can follow him on Twitter @BBailey_19

 

Ever since I signed my letter of intent to participate in college athletics, my life has revolved around one thing…baseball. I speak for all my current/former professional teammates when I say that deciding to make this great sport your main source of income can be one of God’s greatest blessings but also one of life’s biggest challenges. Obstacles constantly present themselves day in and day out in professional baseball just like any other occupation. But what separates this career in difficulty from the vast majority of jobs after college is one thing…spending 6 months of the year away from loved ones, all in pursuit of making our childhood dream a reality. It’s a huge sacrifice for the player and anyone close to the player in any way.

You see, most people are going to graduate from college with a degree that they may or may not be able to use at their first “real job.” They will settle into a place that can be familiar or completely foreign but, regardless, they are settled at a permanent location. They will find an affordable apartment or small condo that they can officially call home or, for the majority of college students who are in over their heads in debt once they receive their diploma, they will move back in with their parents (hence familiar territory). Seems pretty straight forward, and that’s exactly my point. For most young adults ages 21 to 25 who cross this bridge into adulthood, there is a sense of normalcy or a routine in which they can submerge themselves. This consistent regularity of an permanent location, interactions with coworkers, and overall social lifestyle makes it easy to start building a foundation for the next stage in life…finding someone to walk this journey with you.

Unfortunately, for most ball players, we don’t receive that same luxury. In fact, the very lack of normalcy that is associated with our job makes our lifestyle difficult to relate to for anyone that is going down the path that I described in the previous paragraph. It takes a special person to support a ball player striving to achieve a dream that is so difficult to achieve. Distance apart from people that us ball players care about is something that we all juggle on a daily basis with our significant other, kids (if we have them), and immediate family members. Some players establish a serious relationship that has been in the works prior to signing a pro baseball contract while other players (like myself) try to make new found relationships work over long distance. Neither situation is easy or ideal, but for the players who are starting fresh with someone, the distance can take its toll.

Brandon Bailey (photo: Meghan Camino)

Brandon Bailey
(photo by Meghan Camino)

In the past 72 hours my life went from potentially being one week away from having 6 months to grow in the relationship that I was currently involved in while also finishing my degree at Gonzaga to potentially 1 week away from going back to Spokane to finish my degree and focus on bettering myself as an individual because I don’t have another choice. I can use the clichés “What happened was way out of left field,” or “Life really threw me a curve,” or even “My life just did a 180,” but at the end of the day God has a plan and it’s not my job to question it.

Before I go any further, it’s important that I clarify my intentions behind this post. The last thing I want is to make this entry sound like a sob story or that I have ill will towards the person I was previously dating. If anything, it’s quite the opposite. This person changed my life in so many ways in such a short amount of time, and for that, I am forever grateful. She brought me closer to my faith, gave me more confidence in myself to do anything I set my mind to, and she made me believe that a relationship with trust and faithfulness does still exist. She’s one of the greatest human beings I have ever had the privilege of spending meaningful time with, and in the process, became my closest friend. She had such an impact on me that I decided I needed to pick up my laptop and write again in order to vent and process what is running through my mind, which is significant because writing is one of my favorite things to do, yet I’ve only jotted down one post this season. I truly wish her all the best, and to whoever wins her heart in the future…treat her right because she deserves nothing but the very best and then some.

Now that I reeled you in with all sorts of feels (or maybe you think I’m a pathetic try-hard blogger who makes a piss-poor effort at a meaningful post), I can attempt to end this post on a high note. As I mentioned earlier, technically there is only 1 week left in the 2017 regular season. Which is important information to know because the current team I play for, the Stockton Ports, is in a playoff push, tied with 3 teams in our division for second place and only 1 game back of the division leader, the Visalia Rawhide (the California League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks). Even though classes start at Gonzaga tomorrow, I wouldn’t mind being a week or two late to school if it means I get to take the mound one more time as “The Ports make a run at the California state title!” said hitting coach Tommy Everidge and pitching coach Steve Connelly.

Regardless of the outcome of our playoff run, I am thankful for all the blessings God has presented me even with my current 180. He has given me the opportunity to grow as a ball player and as a person this season, and for that, it was all worth it. He is also giving me the opportunity to go to the same school as my younger sister Bri for the first time since she was born. Words can not express how excited I am to share the “Zag” experience with her in the upcoming fall months! Finally, I’m thankful for all the new friendships I have made through my new teammates and coaches. When it’s all said and done, I can look back knowing that no one can take the memories of the clubhouse, dugout and bus away from me.

And with the final line, I thought it might be nice to leave an inspirational quote from a song I am currently using as motivation to keep moving forward no matter what the situation:

“So RISE. Break the dark, piercing the night, you’re made to shine. An army of hope, bringing the world a radiant light.”- Rise by Danny Gokey

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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.

A’s Top-Performing Minor League Pitchers of 2017

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

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

 

ds662121bDalton Sawyer

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

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

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

 

hf641571Heath Fillmyer

Midland RockHounds (AA)

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

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

 

xa665098Xavier Altamirano

Beloit Snappers (A)

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

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

 

dh664955Dustin Hurlbutt

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

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

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

 

ap640462dA.J. Puk

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

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

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

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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.

Meet Your 2018 Oakland A’s!

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

Third Baseman Matt Chapman

Third Baseman Matt Chapman

Back in May, we took a look at what a young, rebuilding A’s team might look like. But now that we’ve passed the July 31st trade deadline and the A’s have made a number of deadline deals, and even some post-deadline deals, to add players like Blake Treinen, Dustin Fowler, Boog Powell, Jorge Mateo, Sheldon Neuse, James Kaprielian and Jesus Luzardo to the system, it’s a good time to take another look at what the near future might look like for the A’s.

Of course, one never knows what the A’s might do in the offseason, but the fact that they don’t really have many veteran trade chips left to deal will definitely limit their ability to barter. And, as usual, it seems unlikely that they will splurge too much on the free agent market at this stage of the game. The team could dip its toe in the water to fill a few holes on a short-term basis, particularly on the pitching staff, but there aren’t likely to be any terribly significant commitments in the near term, at least not until a new stadium is within view.

Two players who’ve played significant roles this year seem likely to depart after the season – center fielder Rajai Davis, who’s set to become a free agent, and second baseman Jed Lowrie, whom the A’s hold a $6 million option on for next year. With the A’s now fully committed to a youth movement and with both Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder capable of playing second base, it seems unlikely that the A’s will opt to bring back Lowrie. But is there still any chance that they might be able to get something for either of them before the season’s through the way they did with Yonder Alonso? It’s possible, but it seems like any deal that would have been possible probably would have happened by now. And looking ahead, there are only two significant players on the current roster who are due to become free agents after the 2018 season – outfielder Matt Joyce and reliever Santiago Casilla. Could the A’s possibly get anything for either player in the offseason? Anything’s possible but, if they can, it’s not likely to amount to much.

When looking at next season on the position player front, eleven guys seem to be pretty solid bets for the major league roster, leaving a number of others left to battle for one or two remaining spots, depending on whether the A’s choose to go with twelve or thirteen position players in 2018. The eleven most likely to lay claim to a roster spot include catchers Bruce Maxwell and Josh Phegley, infielders Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, Franklin Barreto, Matt Olson and Ryon Healy, outfielders Khris Davis, Matt Joyce and Dustin Fowler, and super utility infielder/outfielder Chad Pinder. That leaves guys like Boog Powell, Jaycob Brugman, Mark Canha, Jake Smolinski and Renato Nunez fighting for the one or two remaining roster spots. When it comes to the pitching staff, things could be a little more up in the air, and one would have to suspect that’s where any offseason additions might be most likely to occur.

So, setting aside any possible offseason deals or free-agent signings, and adding in a fresh batch of summer arrivals, let’s take a position-by-position look at how things might stack up for the 2018 Oakland A’s…

 

Bruce Maxwell

Bruce Maxwell

CATCHERS

With Stephen Vogt’s departure and Bruce Maxwell making the move to the major league roster in June, the catching corps could prove to be one of the more predictable parts of next season’s roster. Maxwell and Josh Phegley seem set to split time behind the plate for the 2018 A’s, though the team could always give recently-acquired catcher Dustin Garneau the opportunity to compete with Phegley for the chance to serve as Maxwell’s platoon partner. The team’s top minor league catching prospect, former 3rd-round pick Sean Murphy, has played in just 39 games at the Double-A level and is probably another year away from factoring into the catching conversation.

 

INFIELDERS

Matt Olson

Matt Olson

With the departures of Trevor Plouffe and Yonder Alonso, and the likely departure of Jed Lowrie in the offseason, the A’s infield looks to be right at the heart of the youth movement in 2018. Young slugger Matt Chapman is set to anchor the infield at the hot corner, while Marcus Semien is expected to be back at shortstop. It seems likely that top prospect Franklin Barreto will get every opportunity to take over at second base, where he’s probably best-suited defensively and where he’s most likely to remain since the A’s acquired promising shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal. The team seems ready to make Matt Olson its primary first baseman, though his consistent platoon splits make it likely that, like Yonder Alonso, he’ll frequently sit against lefties while Ryon Healy moves from the designated hitter spot to take over at first. Meanwhile, with Olson at first and Chapman at third, Healy looks likely to get the bulk of his at-bats in the DH slot once again, serving in that role against righties while seeing some time in the field against lefties. And with Olson likely to sit out against most lefties, that could give super-utility man Chad Pinder, who’s sure to make the squad, a good chance to get some regular at-bats against lefties while stepping into the field in any number of positions and giving various A’s regulars a bit of a breather by sliding into the DH spot for the day. And, of course, Pinder also has the ability to spell Semien and Barreto in the middle infield any time either of them is slumping or could just use a day off. The A’s could also decide to give a player who’s probably best-suited for the designated hitter role a shot to see what he can do as the regular DH against lefties. Right-handed slugger Renato Nunez may be limited defensively, but he’s currently leading the Pacific Coast League with 31 home runs while slashing an impressive .309/.387/.630 against Triple-A lefties this season. So, Nunez clearly could have the ability to do some damage from the DH spot when Healy makes the move to first against lefties. Behind Chapman, Semien, Barreto, Olson, Healy, Pinder and Nunez, other infield options down on the farm could include second basemen Joey Wendle and Max Schrock, shortstop Jorge Mateo, third baseman Sheldon Neuse and Yairo Munoz, who’s been increasing his versatility by playing third base, shortstop and center field for Triple-A Nashville this season.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Dustin Fowler

Dustin Fowler

With a couple of the team’s most veteran position players still in the outfield picture, the youth movement may have a slightly less dramatic effect on the A’s outfield alignment in 2018. The team still has control of its top home run hitter, Khris Davis, for two more seasons. So, assuming he sticks around for at least one more campaign, he’s likely to see most of his time in left field once again. And assuming Matt Joyce is back for the final year of his contract, then he’s likely to wind up back in right field against right-hander hurlers anyway. As for center field, the A’s clearly acquired Dustin Fowler from the Yankees to be their center fielder of the future, and that future is likely to start in 2018. Super-utility man Chad Pinder is capable of putting in time in the outfield. And since Joyce and Fowler are both left-handed hitters, he could well serve as an outfield platoon partner, particularly for Joyce in right. And if things line up as expected, then that would leave one or two more roster spots available for outfielders depending on if the A’s choose to go with twelve or thirteen position players and whether or not they decide to make room for Renato Nunez on the roster in 2018. Lefty-swinging outfielders Boog Powell and Jaycob Brugman, who’ve been the main men in center field over these past couple of months, will clearly move behind Fowler on the depth chart as soon as he returns from the disabled list. Though Powell and Brugman are both capable of playing all three outfield positions, the fact that they both hit from the left side severely limits their ability to serve in any sort of platoon role in the A’s outfield as it’s currently configured. And we all know how much the A’s value those platoon matchups. That could help the cause of a couple of other outfield options who happen to be right-handed hitters – Mark Canha, who still possesses some intriguing power potential, and Jake Smolinski, who’s always put up strong numbers against lefties, is capable of playing all three outfield spots, and is currently on a minor league rehab assignment after sitting out most of the season due to shoulder surgery. One thing that seems certain is that the one of the most interesting roster battles next season should be for the A’s last one or two remaining outfield spots.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Paul Blackburn

Paul Blackburn

What once looked like a strong suit for the A’s, thanks to trades, injuries and poor performance, now appears to be a little more up in the air. Twelve different pitchers have made starts for the A’s this season. LHP Sean Manaea is the only A’s hurler to make it to the mound for more than 20 starts so far this season, and he also leads the teams in wins and strikeouts. RHP Kendall Graveman was looked at as the team’s ace-in-waiting behind Sonny Gray and was the A’s opening day starter this year, but injuries have limited him to 11 starts this season. Manaea and Graveman look to be locks to top the A’s rotation again in 2018. But don’t forget about a guy who put up better numbers than either of those pitchers have this season before undergoing hip surgery this summer – RHP Andrew Triggs. If he returns healthy and regains his form, then Triggs would also be in line to claim a rotation spot next season. A pair of rookies would appear to be the best bets to round out the rotation – RHP Paul Blackburn, who’s been solid in 9 starts for the A’s, and RHP Daniel Gossett, a former 2nd-round pick who’s shown plenty of promising potential. Behind those five (none of whom is currently over the age of 28), there are a number of arms who could be in waiting at Nashville but who also come with a number of questions marks. RHPs Jharel Cotton and Jesse Hahn have combined to make 31 starts for the A’s this season, and while both have shown great promise at times, they can both be wildly inconsistent as well. RHP Daniel Mengden, who showed such potential at times last season, is still in the picture and has recently returned to action for Nashville after missing much of the season due to injuries. Veteran RHP Chris Smith also remains in the mix and could serve as valuable rotation depth at Triple-A. Other potential starting options in the system include RHP Chris Bassitt (who’s been working out of the bullpen at Nashville while making his way back from Tommy John surgery), RHP Frankie Montas (who had been serving in a starting role at Triple-A before landing on the disabled list), RHP Raul Alcantara (who started the season on the A’s roster), RHP Corey Walter (who’s made 11 starts for the Sounds this season), and LHP A.J. Puk (the A’s top draft pick last year who’s put up an ERA of 5.36 and struck out 61 in 45 1/3 frames since joining Double-A Midland in June). Puk may not be ready to be a real rotation option for the A’s to start the season but, depending on how things play out, he could prove to be a legitimate option for the team before next season is through.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Blake Treinen

Blake Treinen

The bullpen could be the biggest question mark for the A’s heading into 2018. There aren’t too many locks here, nor too many talented young hurlers who look to be ready to bloom into superstar status. This could be an area the A’s seek to fill in with a few shrewd free-agent pickups, or the organization might just decide to make the best with what they’ve got and wait until the team looks like it might be ready to contend before investing in outside help for the bullpen. But looking at what’s in-house at the moment, RHP Blake Treinen seems to be the best option for the closer’s role. Of course, RHP Santiago Casilla is still under contract for next season, while the A’s will also maintain control of a couple of other familiar faces from the bullpen – RHPs Liam Hendriks and Ryan Dull. Two hard-throwing RHPs will remain in the mix as well – Frankie Montas, who’s still working to harness his potential, and Simon Castro, who has shown some promise in 13 appearances for the A’s this season. RHP Bobby Wahl will be returning from thoracic outlet surgery, while RHP J.B. Wendelken will be coming back from Tommy John surgery. And there are a number of possible long-relief options to consider as well, including RHP Chris Hatcher (who was recently acquired from the Dodgers), RHP Chris Smith (who could be well-suited for such a role), RHP Chris Bassitt (who’s been throwing multiple innings out of the bullpen at Nashville), RHPs Michael Brady and Josh Smith (both of whom have served in that role at times this season), and RHP Raul Alcantara (who started the season in that role for the A’s). On the left side of the bullpen, the A’s current options look to be fairly limited. Of course, LHP Daniel Coulombe, who’s made 53 relief appearances for the A’s this season, clearly stands atop the pack. LHP Felix Doubront has been serving in a relief role for Nashville since returning from Tommy John surgery, and the A’s recently acquired LHP Sam Moll, who’s made 139 relief appearances in the Rockies system over the last five years. But beyond that, there aren’t many more southpaws to be seen in the bullpen picture at this point anyway, so stay tuned.

 

One never really knows what the A’s might decide to do in any given offseason, and this one’s certainly no different. But one thing’s clear – the team is committed to rebuilding with this current crop of young players. There aren’t many veterans left to deal away at this point, so any significant additions would most likely have to come from the free agent market, though it seems unlikely that the A’s would be ready to make too much of a splash in the free agent pool at this stage of the game. Once plans for the A’s new ballpark are announced, we should start to get a much better sense of what the team’s long-term and short-term player personnel plans are. But for now, this is how the current crop of young players who are likely to make the squad next season is shaping up. And hopefully, A’s fans can look forward to watching this promising pack of prospects develop into a winning team that will be able to carry its winnings ways into a new ballpark somewhere in Oakland in the not-too-distant future.

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