Designated hitter Chris Carter had a huge night at the plate to lead Nashville to victory on Tuesday. The 30-year-old slugger singled, tripled, homered, walked and drove in 5 runs, including the tying and winning runs in the top of the 8th for the Sounds. Third baseman Renato Nunez singled twice and scored 3 times, while catcher Beau Taylor walked and singled in a run. Starter Ben Bracewell picked up the win despite surrendering 5 runs in 7 innings of work, while RHP Raul Alcantara tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to secure his 3rd save for the Sounds.
The A’s were fortunate enough to be able to sign all of their 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of this year’s amateur draft.
It’s been almost two months since the first of those players signed by the A’s began playing with the Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters or the rookie-ball Arizona League A’s. So, it seems like a good time to take a look at how some the A’s newest prospects have been performing down on the farm.
You’ll find the A’s top 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of the 2017 draft along with their current statistics through August 11 listed below. The teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games with listed first and their current team in bold…
Beck got off to a bit of a slow start, going 1 for his first 21 with 12 strikeouts. And his 5/33 BB/K ratio on the season will still need to see quite a bit of improvement. But Beck’s bat’s been starting to warm up a bit of late, and the 18-year-old just hit the first home run of his pro career in Thursday’s game. He’s also gone 4 for 4 in steal attempts while starting 20 error-free games in center field for the AZL A’s.
Merrell’s basically been doing what was expected of him when he was drafted – making contact, getting on base and utilizing his speed to make things happen. While primarily hitting in the leadoff spot, Merrell’s .299 batting average is second-best for Vermont and his 9 stolen bases and 22 runs both lead the squad.
Thus far, Deichmann has been the best batter to come out of this year’s draft for the A’s. The slugger from LSU appears to be an advanced college hitter who’s demonstrated both power and plate discipline. He currently leads Vermont in extra-base hits, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage while also showing a good arm in right field.
Allen got off to a slightly late start after taking a little longer to sign than most. But since the start of July, he’s been playing shortstop regularly while usually leading off. He’s been doing a decent job while still getting his feet wet as a pro, and the 18-year-old has 2 triples and stolen 3 bases so far for the AZL A’s.
Toffey has pretty much been serving as Vermont’s everyday third baseman since play began in the New York-Penn League. He’s done a good job of getting on base, and his 26 walks and 8 doubles both lead the team, but he’s failed to record a home run in his first 36 pro games for Vermont.
The A’s have been bringing the 18-year-old backstop along slowly and he’s been playing sporadically for the Arizona League squad. Sanchez has mostly struggled at the plate early on, going 8 for 50 with just 1 extra-base hit for the A’s.
16 1/3 IP / 11 H / 3 ER / 11 BB / 22 K / 1.65 ERA / 1.35 WHIP
There was talk of the college closer getting a shot at serving in a starting role, but that may have to wait until next season. For now, the southpaw has been serving out of the Lake Monsters bullpen. He’s been victimized by bad defense at times, but Salow has managed to post 22 strikeouts over his first 16 1/3 innings as a pro.
29 1/3 IP / 16 H / 3 ER / 6 BB / 35 K / 0.92 ERA / 0.75 WHIP
Dunshee has been the most promising pitcher to come out of this year’s draft so far for the A’s. After allowing 3 runs in his first appearance for the AZL A’s, Dunshee moved to Vermont, where he’s now failed to allow a run in his first 27 1/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters. The former Wake Forest star is an experienced college hurler, and he’s been striking out nearly 11 batters per 9 innings while notching nearly 6 times more strikeouts than walks.
22 1/3 IP / 20 H / 4 ER / 1 BB / 22 K / 1.61 ERA / 0.94 WHIP
Howard has been almost as impressive as Dunshee in the early going. The 6-foot-9 righty has demonstrated great control, walking just 1 and striking out 22 while also failing to allow a home run over his first 22 1/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters.
The 10th-round draft pick out of Washington started out strong. Meggs smashed 3 home runs in his first 17 games, a number no one on the Lake Monsters squad has yet to surpass, while also boasting a .370 on-base percentage and a .449 slugging percentage before landing on the disabled list in late July.
Right fielder Seth Brown had a big night at the plate as the Ports won the rubber game of their three-game series with San Jose on Thursday. Brown tripled and scored a run in the 4th inning and then slugged a solo shot in the 6th. The blast was Brown’s team-leading 20th home run of the season. Shortstop Sheldon Neuse singled, homered and drove in a pair of runs for the Ports, and Brown and Neuse have both belted 3 home runs over their last 3 games for Stockton. Starter Norge Ruiz allowed 3 runs over 6 innings of work to earn his 3rd win, while RHP Nolan Blackwood tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to secure his 13th save for Stockton.
Five home runs helped Stockton snap its four-game losing streak on Tuesday. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse wielded the biggest bat of the night, collecting 3 hits, including 2 home runs, while scoring 3 times and driving in 4 runs for the Ports. Right fielder Seth Brown belted a pair of home runs to give him a team-leading total of 19 while driving in 3 runs, and catcher Argenis Raga added a solo shot for Stockton. Starter Logan Shore allowed 3 runs over 4 innings of work, while RHP Miguel Romero tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to pick up his 1st win for the Ports, and RHP Armando Ruiz got the final four outs for Stockton to secure his 2nd save.
Five home runs helped the Sounds win a slugfest in Reno on Saturday. First baseman Matt Olson reached base 4 times, collecting 3 hits, including his 23rd home run, while also drawing a walk, and Olson has now gone 7 for 18 with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs over his last 4 games for the Sounds. Center fielder Yairo Munoz singled, homered and drove in 4 runs, while third baseman Renato Nunez doubled, walked, hit his minor-league-leading 29th home run and drove in a pair. Shortstop Franklin Barreto singled and homered, and designated hitter Chris Carter doubled, walked and hit a 2-run homer for the Sounds. Starter Ben Bracewell gave up 8 runs over 3 2/3 innings of work, while LHP Felix Doubront tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to notch his 2nd win for Nashville. Meanwhile, former Sounds catcher Ryan Lavarnway was designated for assignment by the A’s, and Nashville RHPs Jesse Hahn and Tucker Healy were both placed on the disabled list on Saturday. Hahn suffered a lat strain while Healy is dealing with a bicep strain.
RHP Matt Milburn turned in another outstanding start to help the Snappers win their fifth straight. Last year’s 29th-round draft pick for the A’s allowed 2 runs on just 5 hits over 7 innings of work but left with the game a 2-2 tie on Monday. The 24-year-old has now compiled an impressive 1.85 ERA in 8 starts for the Snappers in the second half. RHP Joseph Camacho gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th, but first baseman Kyle Nowlin belted a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 8th. And the game remained tied until the bottom of the 12th, when right fielder Mike Martin beat out a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to bring home second baseman Trace Loehr as the Snappers won in a walk-off. RHP Yordys Alejo tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win as Beloit notched its ninth victory in its last ten games on Monday.
RHP Jharel Cotton made an impressive rehab start for the Sounds on Tuesday, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 9 over 6 shutout innings to notch his 3rd win of the season for Nashville. After making a pair of rehab appearances for Stockton, RHP Bobby Wahl made his first rehab appearance for the Sounds on Tuesday and gave up 1 run in 2/3 of an inning of relief. Right fielder Mark Canha had a huge night at the plate, collecting 5 hits, including a pair of home runs, while driving in 4 runs. First baseman Matt Olson belted his 20th home run, a 2-run blast, while left fielder Renato Nunez, slugged his league-leading 26th home run, a solo shot, and shortstop Franklin Barreto had 3 hits and drove in a run for Nashville. Meanwhile, A’s RHP Chris Bassitt was activated from the disabled list and assigned to the Sounds on Tuesday.
With the game tied in the top of the 9th, third baseman Renato Nunez hit his league-leading 25th home run to provide the margin of victory for the Sounds on Thursday. Nunez also singled in a run in the 5th, while center fielder Yairo Munoz collected 4 hits, including a double, and drove in the tying run in the top of the 8th. Second baseman Joey Wendle had 3 hits, including a triple, and shortstop Franklin Barreto walked, stole a base and belted his 10th home run for the Sounds. Starter Jesse Hahn allowed 5 runs over 5 innings of work, while RHP Josh Smith was solid in relief, throwing 4 scoreless frames to notch his 4th win for Nashville. And in other news, Sounds RHP Frankie Montas is set to rejoin the A’s on Friday.
Shortstop Yairo Munoz had a big night at the plate for Nashville. The 22-year-old homered, doubled twice and drove in 5 runs for the Sounds on Saturday. First baseman Matt McBride had 3 hits, including a home run and a double, while right fielder Mark Canha singled twice and doubled. Center fielder Jaff Decker had a pair of hits and a walk, and designated hitter Matt Olson doubled, walked and drove in a run. Starter Frankie Montas was solid, striking out 5 over 4 scoreless frames. RHP Josh Smith allowed 1 run in 3 innings of work to earn his 3rd win, while RHP Lou Trivino gave up 4 runs in just 1/3 of an inning of relief, and Kyle Finnegan notched the final five outs for Nashville to secure the save.
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…
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.
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)
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.
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