Tag: Renato Nunez

Meet Your 2017 Oakland A’s

0IMG_2486cAs the 2016 season came to an end and the A’s headed into the offseason, there were an awful lot of questions regarding the team’s roster for the coming season, and many of those questions still remained unanswered as the calendar turned to 2017. But a quartet of January free agent signings, along with a number of other minor moves, seems to have solidified the shape of the A’s roster for 2017.

At one time, it appeared that a number of rookie hitters might stand a good chance of making the 2017 opening day roster, including players such as catcher Bruce Maxwell and infielders Chad Pinder and Joey Wendle. But the way things are now shaping up, barring injuries, it looks like the A’s are likely to start the season with no rookie position players on the roster and perhaps just one or two rookie pitchers on the opening day squad.

Of course, the A’s being the A’s, it’s entirely possible that the front office could still have a few unexpected tricks up its sleeve before opening day. But after the flurry of roster moves over the past month, here’s how things are now shaping up for your 2017 Oakland A’s…

 

CATCHERS

Stephen Vogt

Stephen Vogt

Stephen Vogt was named to the American League All-Star squad for the second straight season last year, and the A’s current clubhouse leader is set to return as the team’s primary catcher again this season. Josh Phegley, who appeared in 73 games for Oakland in 2015, made it into just 25 games for the A’s last year due to injuries. Phegley has apparently recovered from last summer’s knee surgery and, as long as he’s healthy, is expected to serve as Vogt’s platoon partner in 2017. Rookie receiver Bruce Maxwell had an impressive Triple-A campaign and looked solid in 33 late-season games with the A’s last year. So if there are any health issues with Phegley or Vogt to start the year or at any point during the season, then Maxwell should be poised to step right in and pick up the slack.

 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Marcus Semien

Marcus Semien

Slugging shortstop Marcus Semien hit 27 home runs while appearing in a total of 159 games for Oakland in 2016. The iron-man infielder played in more games than any other member of the A’s squad for the second straight season, and we can probably expect to see more of the same kind of endurance from Semien again this year. Meanwhile, second baseman Jed Lowrie, in his second stint with the A’s, missed the final two months last season while undergoing foot surgery. The team expects him to be recovered from the procedure and has anointed him as its starting second baseman for the coming season, as long as he remains healthy. The A’s also signed infielder Adam Rosales as a free agent in late January, and one would expect that the versatile veteran could fill in fairly regularly for Lowrie at second base while also giving Semien a few more days off at shortstop over the course of the season. With Semien, Lowrie and Rosales in the picture, it doesn’t leave much room for other middle infielders like Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder, who are likely to be available at Nashville if any infield replacements are needed. Also waiting in the wings at Nashville will be shortstop (and possible future second baseman) Franklin Barreto, who’s considered the A’s top hitting prospect.

 

CORNER INFIELDERS

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Ryon Healy

Another one of the A’s January free agent signings was former Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe, whom the team made clear would serve as its starting third baseman, shifting young slugger Ryon Healy to first base and the designated hitter spot. Last year’s primary first baseman Yonder Alonso has been retained and the left-handed hitter is expected to man the position while righties are on the mound. Healy, who proved himself at the plate last year, is expected to be a regular in the lineup, likely serving as the designated hitter much of the time while possibly shifting back to his natural position at first base when Alonso sits against lefties. That would open up the designated hitter spot against lefties. Mark Canha missed most of last season after undergoing hip surgery but is expected to be at full strength come spring training. A’s general manager David Forst has frequently spoken favorably of Canha over the course of the offseason, and he would seem to be the most likely candidate for the role, while also being available to fill in at first base as well as in the outfield. If reinforcements are needed at the corner spots, the A’s top power-hitting prospect, third baseman Matt Chapman, will be just one step away at Nashville, as will other young sluggers like Renato Nunez and first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Khris Davis

Khris Davis

Khris Davis clubbed 42 home runs while serving as the A’s starting left fielder last season and, fortunately for A’s fans, they can expect to be seeing the big bopper back in the cleanup spot for the green and gold again this year. American League stolen-base leader Rajai Davis was signed as a free agent to man center field and bat leadoff, while veteran left-handed hitter Matt Joyce was signed to be the team’s starting right fielder against righties, with returning right-handed hitter Jake Smolinski expected to serve as his platoon partner against lefties. Mark Canha, who is likely to see some time at first base and in the designated hitter spot, could also be available to fill in in the outfield corners. Meanwhile, down on the farm, two young left-handed hitting prospects who could step in and fill outfield roles if needed, Matt Olson and Jaycob Brugman, should be back for their second seasons at Nashville. And joining them there will likely be another left-handed-hitting outfielder, this one with plenty of major league experience, 32-year-old veteran Alejandro De Aza, who was signed to a minor league contract last month.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray

There really don’t seem to be too many big question marks about the A’s starting rotation at this point. Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea are set to top the starting five. And since Daniel Mengden recently fractured a bone in his right foot, it’s now even more likely that the final two spots in the rotation will be filled by a pair of pitchers the A’s front office has repeatedly spoken highly of during the offseason, rookie Jharel Cotton and reliever-turned-starter Andrew Triggs. The A’s used a total of 14 different starting pitchers last year though, so we’ll probably end up seeing plenty of other names in the starting mix before the season’s through. Jesse Hahn, who made 9 starts for the A’s last season, is likely to start the year at Nashville and could be called upon if needed. A pair of pitchers who each made at least half a dozen starts for the A’s in 2017, Ross Detwiler and Zach Neal, should be available at Triple-A as well. Flame-thrower Frankie Montas, who’s on the 40-man roster, is also expected to start at Nashville, as is 2014 2nd-round pick Daniel Gossett. Raul Alcantara, who made 5 starts for the A’s late last year and is out of options, may very well end up serving as a long man out of the A’s bullpen but could always shift back into a starting role if needed. And, of course, once he recuperates from his foot injury, Mengden will be available again at some point, as will righty Chris Bassitt and lefty Felix Doubront, both of whom are returning from Tommy John surgery.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson

Much like the starting rotation, the A’s bullpen picture appears to be fairly clear as well, with just a couple of key questions remaining. With the A’s surprising signing of former Giants closer Santiago Casilla in January, the big question is whether Ryan Madson will return to the closer’s role for Oakland in 2017 or if Casilla will wind up displacing him. However it ends up shaking out though, the pair should serve as two of the team’s top late-inning options. Joining them will be fellow righties John Axford, Liam Hendriks and Ryan Dull as well as southpaw Sean Doolittle. If the A’s would like to have a second lefty in the bullpen, then Daniel Coulombe, who appeared in 35 games for the A’s last year and is the only other left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster, would seem to be the obvious choice. 24-year-old right-hander Raul Alcantara is out of options though, so the A’s may want to use that final spot to protect the young starter and have him serve as the long-man out of the bullpen. But if the A’s wanted to hang on to Alcantara and have a second lefty in the bullpen as well, then they could always consider trading one of their other relievers. If they did decide to do that, then someone like Axford, who is in the final year of his contract and is owed $5.5 million this year, would seem to be the most likely candidate. And if any bullpen reinforcements are needed, one of the top options this year could be right-hander Bobby Wahl, who’s on the 40-man roster, struck out 10.8 batters per 9 innings across three minor league levels in 2017 and finished the year with 4 saves over the last month of the season at Nashville.

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A’s Prospects Final Winter League Stats

Dom = Dominican Winter League

Mex = Mexican Pacific Winter League

PR = Puerto Rican Winter League

VZ = Venezuelan Winter League

–Final Regular Season Statistics–

BATTING (min. 20 ABs)

Renato Nunez

Renato Nunez

Beau Taylor (C)

(Dom) 30 AB / 0 HR / 3 BB / 11 K / .400 AVG / .455 OBP / .500 SLG / .955 OPS

Renato Nunez (3B)

(VZ) 168 AB / 11 HR / 21 BB / 38 K / .304 AVG / .389 OBP / .542 SLG / .930 OPS

Rangel Ravelo (1B)

(VZ) 180 AB / 6 HR / 32 BB / 20 K / .300 AVG / .414 OBP / .444 SLG / .859 OPS

Joey Wendle (2B)

(Mex) 137 AB / 3 HR / 8 BB / 16 K / .307 AVG / .345 OBP / .511 SLG / .856 OPS

Melvin Mercedes (IF-OF)

(Dom) 73 AB / 0 HR / 17 BB / 19 K / .260 AVG / .402 OBP / .288 SLG / .690 OPS

Tyler Marincov (OF)

(Dom) 54 AB / 0 HR / 6 BB / 20 K / .167 AVG / .258 OBP / .167 SLG / .425 OPS

Edwin Diaz (3B-SS)

(PR) 26 AB / 0 HR / 4 BB / 6 K / .115 AVG / .233 OBP / .115 SLG / .349 OPS

 

PITCHING (min. 10 IPs)

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Jake Sanchez

Jake Sanchez (RHP)

(Mex) 31 2/3 IP / 27 H / 1 ER / 5 BB / 27 K / 0.28 ERA / 1.01 WHIP

Giovanni Soto (LHP)

(PR) 48 1/3 IP / 42 H / 11 ER / 9 BB / 31 K / 2.05 ERA / 1.06 WHIP

Carlos Navas (RHP)

(VZ) 27 2/3 IP / 19 H / 7 ER / 8 BB / 30 K / 2.28 ERA / 0.98 WHIP

Cesar Valdez (RHP)

(Dom) 41 2/3 IP / 43 H / 17 ER / 7 BB / 27 K / 3.67 ERA / 1.20 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

(Mex) 20 1/3 IP / 22 H / 10 ER / 8 BB / 14 K / 4.43 ERA / 1.48 WHIP

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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.

Sunday, September 11th: Sounds Drop Dramatic Game #5 to End Season on Sunday

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (3 for 5 / Home Run / Triple / Double / Walk / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (3 for 5 / Home Run / Triple / Double / Walk / 2 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE AMERICAN CONFERENCE FINALS  (Triple-A)

GAME #5

Oklahoma City Dodgers  10

Nashville Sounds            9

LP – Brasier 0-1 / 15.00

HR – Nunez (3), Olson (1), Barreto (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto

(3 for 5 / Home Run / Triple / Double / Walk / 2 RBIs)

The Sounds lost a heartbreaker to bring their season to an end on Sunday. Things got off to a rough start for Nashville RHP Chris Jensen, who allowed 3 runs over the first 2 innings to put his team in an early hole. But shortstop Franklin Barreto and first baseman Matt Olson both hit 2-run homers in the bottom of the 3rd inning to give the Sounds a slim one-run lead. RHP Angel Castro then gave up 4 runs, 3 earned, in the top of the 5th to allow Oklahoma City to take back the lead. Designated hitter Renato Nunez notched his 3rd home run of the series in the bottom of the 5th to narrow the lead to two. Barreto then tripled to lead off the bottom of the 6th and the Sounds ended up scoring 4 runs before the inning was through to take a two-run advantage. But RHP Ryan Brasier surrendered a 3-run homer in the top of the 8th to hand the lead back to the Dodgers. The Sounds then loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 9th before Olson and Nunez both popped out to bring an end to the game, the series and the Sounds’ season. Brasier was tagged with the loss, but Barreto had a big game, collecting a double, a triple, a 2-run homer and a walk, while Olson homered, doubled and walked. Nunez homered and had an RBI single to tie the game in the 6th, and left fielder Rangel Ravelo contributed 3 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair of runs for the Sounds, who finished the regular season with the best record in the Pacific Coast League.

 

Tuesday’s Game:

Midland @ NW Arkansas – 5:05pm PT / 7:05pm CT

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Friday, September 9th: Rosa’s Grand Slam Helps Hounds Win in a Walk-Off while Nunez Homers in Sounds Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (2 for 4 / Grand Slam)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (2 for 4 / Grand Slam)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE SOUTH DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES  (Double-A)

GAME #3

Corpus Christi Hooks     5

Midland RockHounds  7

WP – Friedrichs 1-0 / 0.00

HR – Rosa (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Viosergy Rosa

(2 for 4 / Grand Slam)

With the bases loaded, two outs and the RockHounds down by two runs in the bottom of the 9th, first baseman Viosergy Rosa stepped to the plate and slugged a grand slam to help the Hounds win Game #3 of their Texas League playoff series in a walk-off on Friday. Center fielder Brett Vertigan collected 3 hits, while catcher Beau Taylor singled, doubled and drove in a run, and shortstop Richie Martin and right fielder Tyler Marincov had a pair of hits apiece in the win. Starter Ben Bracewell allowed 5 runs over 3 2/3 innings, but RHP Kyle Friedrichs was outstanding in relief, throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win for the RockHounds, who now lead the best-of-five series 2-1 as they head to Game #4 on Saturday. Midland RockHounds Playoff Roster

Click here for more on the Nashville Sounds’ Game #3 Result…

Wednesday, September 7th: Nunez’s Big Bat Leads Sounds to Victory while Seddon’s 5 Shutout Frames Help Hounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Renato Nunez (2 for 3 / Home Run / Double / Walk / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Renato Nunez (2 for 3 / Home Run / Double / Walk / Sac Fly / 5 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE AMERICAN CONFERENCE FINALS  (Triple-A)

GAME #1

Nashville Sounds         10

Oklahoma City Dodgers  7

WP – Kurcz 1-0 / 4.50

HR – Nunez (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Renato Nunez

(2 for 3 / Home Run / Double / Walk / Sac Fly / 5 RBIs)

Third baseman Renato Nunez put up a big night at the plate to help the Sounds prevail in the first game of their PCL playoff series on Wednesday. Nunez hit a 3-run homer off starter Scott Kazmir in the top of the 1st inning to give the Sounds an early lead, then doubled in another run in the 4th, and drove in his final run of the night with a sacrifice fly in the 6th. Second baseman Colin Walsh singled in a pair in the 2nd, while shortstop Franklin Barreto singled, doubled, walked and drove in a run, and outfielders Jaycob Brugman and B.J. Boyd had 3 hits apiece in the win. RHP Jesse Hahn was charged with 6 runs over 4 1/3 innings of work, while RHP Aaron Kurcz picked up the win despite allowing 1 run in 2 innings of relief, and RHP Tucker Healy tossed a scoreless 9th to notch the save for Nashville. In roster news, Sounds RHP Jharel Cotton was promoted to Oakland on Wednesday while RHP Bobby Wahl was placed on the disabled list. Nashville Sounds Playoff Roster

Click here for more on the Midland RockHounds’ Game #1 Result…

15 Prospects Who Could Play Key Roles for A’s in 2017

Ryon Healy

A’s infielder Ryon Healy

After the team’s second consecutive losing season, the A’s roster is currently in just about as much flux as it’s been at any time in the club’s recent history. It’s anyone’s guess who will remain from the current roster when next season begins, but one thing seems certain. The team could be ready to offer more opportunities to its top prospects than it has been in a long, long time.

Already this season, prospects like Ryon Healy, Bruce Maxwell, Chad Pinder, Joey Wendle, Arismendy Alcantara, Daniel Mengden and Dillon Overton have seen time with the big league club, and even more top young players could be making their debuts with the A’s come 2017.

Of course, no one knows what the front office may do in the offseason. But if the team decides to commit to developing the next generation of the green and gold around a core of young prospects currently in the A’s system, here are a number of players who could play key roles next year. (For the purposes of this piece, players over the age of 26 aren’t considered “prospects.”)

 

rh592387cRyon Healy

Third Baseman/First Baseman

Age: 24

If any prospect is bound to play a prominent role for the A’s in 2017, it’s likely to be Ryon Healy. He spent a little more than half the season in the minor leagues, where he was the best hitter in the A’s system over the first three months of the season, putting up an impressive .326/.382/.558 slash line over a combined 85 games for Nashville and Midland. And in his seven weeks with the A’s, he’s hitting .287 with 11 doubles and 6 home runs. Healy’s clearly capable of playing third base, but he may be better-suited to play first base. His ability to play both the corner spots allows the front office some flexibility this offseason. But wherever he ends up starting next year, it seems pretty clear that Healy will find his name somewhere on the lineup card for the A’s in 2017.

 

aa570489bArismendy Alcantara

Second Baseman/Shortstop/Outfielder

Age: 24

Acquired from the Cubs early this summer for Chris Coghlan, Alcantara is a versatile player who’s spent time at shortstop, second base, third base and in the outfield in his minor league career. And even though he might not be a standout at any of those positions, we all know how much the A’s value versatility. Alcantara will also be out of options next season, so the team could end up losing him if he doesn’t make the roster. And it’s not hard to imagine an opening day A’s squad with the speedy and versatile Alcantara serving as the ultimate utility man and the 13th position player on the roster.

 

bm622194bBruce Maxwell

Catcher

Age: 25

Maxwell was one of Nashville’s best hitters this season, putting up a .321/.393/.539 slash line for the Sounds. The backstop also impressed manager Bob Melvin and the A’s coaching staff this spring with his work behind the dish. So it seemed likely that the team would want to get a look at him at the major league level at some point this season. Maxwell’s yet to make his mark at the plate in the majors, going 4 for 32 in his first 13 games, but that could turn around at any time and he is considered to be a capable major league receiver. So if Oakland should decide to move Steven Vogt or Josh Phegley this offseason, or if injuries should sideline either of them, Maxwell appears the most likely candidate to claim a spot in the A’s catching corps.

 

jw621563dJoey Wendle

Second Baseman

Age: 26

After coming to the A’s organization from Cleveland at the end of 2014 in the Brandon Moss trade, Wendle finally made his major league debut with the A’s this week. A steady if not flashy player, Wendle was leading the Sounds in hits, runs and total bases and his 52 extra-base hits tied him for the second most among A’s minor leaguers when he was promoted from Nashville. The team is planning to platoon the lefty-hitting Wendle with the righty-swinging Chad Pinder at second base for the rest of the season. And depending on how they perform, it’s possible that platoon could last into next season as well.

 

cp640461bChad Pinder

Shortstop/Second Baseman

Age: 24

The A’s third overall pick in the 2013 draft, Pinder pushed his way through the system fairly quickly while playing both shortstop and second base. He was named the Texas League Player of the Year as the everyday shortstop at Double-A Midland last season, and his 14 home runs this year trailed only Renato Nunez and Matt Olson among his Nashville teammates. Pinder will be serving as the right-handed half of the A’s second base platoon for the rest of the season and, depending on what happens, that platoon could persist into next season. But since Pinder also has plenty of experience at both shortstop and third base, it’s always possible that he could find a spot on the roster as the A’s utility infielder next year as well.

 

jb595144bJaycob Brugman

Outfielder

Age: 24

Over the first few months of the season, Brugman was probably the second-best overall hitter in the A’s system next to Ryon Healy, and he’s had an outstanding season while primarily playing center field and batting leadoff for Nashville and Midland. He currently has the second most hits and total bases among A’s minor leaguers as well as the third most doubles, triples and RBIs. Much like Wendle, Brugman’s a steady if not flashy player, but his consistent play has earned him some fans in the A’s front office and he could potentially see some time in the majors this month once Nashville’s postseason run is over. There may be some openings in the A’s outfield mix next season and, as a solid left-handed hitter, Brugman could potentially serve as the left-hander half of a platoon in center field or right field for the A’s next year.

 

mo621566Matt Olson

First Baseman/Outfielder

Age: 22

The A’s third overall pick in the 2012 draft, Olson has always been considered one of the top power prospects in the organization. His 34 doubles for Nashville are a team high, while his 17 home runs trail only teammate Renato Nunez on the Sounds, and his 71 walks are the most among all A’s minor leaguers. Olson struggled early in the season but has put up a solid .259/.345/.482 slash line in the second half. He’s made about two-thirds of his starts in right field this season and, while he’s a capable outfield defender, Olson is known as a top-notch defender at first base. He’s still just 22, so there’s no rush. But if the A’s decide to go all in on their youth movement in 2017 then, as a left-handed hitter with strong platoon splits, Olson could find a spot as the left-handed half of a platoon either at first base or in right field for the A’s at some point next season.

 

rn600524eRenato Nunez

Third Baseman/Designated Hitter

Age: 22

Along with Olson, Nunez has been considered one of the top young power prospects in the A’s system for a few years now. And his 23 home runs this season are the most at Nashville and the second most among all A’s minor leaguers next to Matt Chapman. He got off to a hot start early this season. And when Billy Butler was still struggling with the A’s, many were calling for Nunez to be called up and put in the designated hitter spot. Nunez’s defense at third base has always been a bit suspect, and he’s recently begun getting some starts in left field while also spending more time serving as the Sounds’ DH. Like Olson, he’s just 22, so he’s still got some time. But if Oakland should decide to cut ties with Butler one way or another this offseason, it could make it much more likely that the young power hitter will get a long look with the A’s sometime next season.

 

mc656305eMatt Chapman

Third Baseman

Age: 23

The A’s 1st-round draft pick in 2014, Chapman has been considered a top prospect from the moment he was drafted, primarily based on his defensive abilities and his power potential. He clearly has a cannon for an arm, and he’s currently leading all A’s minor leaguers with 33 home runs. After belting 29 bombs in the unfriendly confines of the Texas League, Chapman was promoted to Nashville a little over two weeks ago and has since hit 4 more for the Sounds. [Update: Chapman hit 3 home runs in Saturday’s game and now has 7 for the Sounds.] He deeply impressed A’s manager Bob Melvin in spring training, who seemed sad to see him go. And now that he’s in Triple-A, the 23-year-old is just one step away from the majors. It seems clear that another strong spring could get the A’s to start thinking about moving Healy across the diamond so that they can install Chapman at the hot corner sooner rather than later.

 

fb620439Franklin Barreto

Shortstop/Second Baseman

Age: 20

Barreto has been viewed as the A’s top young hitting prospect ever since his arrival from Toronto in the Josh Donaldson trade. And since joining the A’s system, the 20-year-old Venezuelan has followed a pattern of starting out slow each season and then catching on fire in the second half, and this year has been no exception. Barreto boasts a .320/.381/.467 slash line over the last 90 days, and his hot finish earned him a promotion from Midland to Nashville on the last day of August, so he’ll now have the opportunity to compete in postseason play for the Sounds. Barreto’s still just 20, but like Chapman, he’ll be finishing the season just one step away from the majors. Though he’s spent most of his minor league career as a shortstop, he’s also gotten some starts this season at second base. And coincidentally, that could be a key area of competition for the A’s this spring. Barreto will get his shot in the big leagues sooner or later and, if he keeps swinging a big bat, the A’s could decide he’s their best bet in 2017.

 

dm596043cDaniel Mengden

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 23

Mengden is set to be the first pitching prospect called up by the A’s with September’s expanded rosters. He looked impressive in his first 4 outings for Oakland this season, allowing just 8 earned runs over 4 starts in June, but he struggled in his next 5 appearances, giving up a total of 23 earned runs in 5 July starts before being sent back to Nashville. Mengden impressed after returning to Music City, putting up a 2.10 ERA in 6 starts for the Sounds. And overall, in 17 minor league starts this season, Mengden has posted an impressive 1.46 ERA while striking out 95 in 98 1/3 innings of work. The 23-year-old admittedly was feeling a little worn down after hitting a career-high in innings pitched this season. But after a little R & R in the offseason, if Mengden can return to the form he flashed in his first 4 big league starts, then he could put himself in contention for a return to the majors again next season.

 

do592614cDillon Overton

Left-Handed Pitcher

Age: 25

Overton made 5 starts for Oakland this season and mostly struggled, putting up a 10.97 ERA in his time with the A’s. But he was one of the best starters in the Pacific Coast League this season. His 3.29 ERA is currently the fifth best in the league and he’s struck out 105 in 125 2/3 innings for the Sounds. There’s obviously a big difference between what it takes to succeed at Triple-A and what it takes to make it in the majors. The A’s have been hoping that Overton’s velocity would tick up another notch since his return from Tommy John surgery. And if he could manage to add just a couple miles an hour to his fastball next season, it could make a world of difference. It’s also possible that the A’s front office could ultimately decide that Overton’s arm is better-suited to the bullpen and could take the opportunity to see how he fares as either a long reliever or a situational lefty.

 

jc605194bJharel Cotton

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 24

After coming to the A’s as part of a trio of talented young arms the team snagged from the Dodgers in the Josh Reddick/Rich Hill deal, Cotton made a strong impression when he came within one out of throwing a perfect game in his second start for Nashville. The 24-year-old has posted a 2.86 ERA in 6 starts for the Sounds and appears poised to claim the Pacific Coast League strikeout crown with 155 K’s in 135 2/3 innings of work this season. Cotton has consistently tallied big strikeout totals. His mid-90s fastball and his solid changeup have enabled him to succeed at the Triple-A level and, with a strong spring, he could put himself into contention for a spot in the major league rotation next season.

 

ra593417cRaul Alcantara

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 23

Alcantara has been a prominent pitching prospect in the A’s system since coming over from the Red Sox, along with Josh Reddick, following the 2011 season. Tommy John surgery slowed down his progress, but he’s made quite an impression in the second half this season, putting up a 1.18 ERA in 8 starts since joining Nashville in July. He’s yet to have a bad start at the Triple-A level, and it appears that Alcantara could finally be reaching his potential. He’s still just 23, but he’s been on the A’s 40-man roster for some time, so his option years are winding down, and the A’s may feel some pressure to give him a shot soon. He’s pitching as well as anyone at Nashville right now. So why not strike while the iron is hot? And Alcantara’s arm has certainly been as hot as anyone’s in the second half of 2016.

 

fm593423bFrankie Montas

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age: 23

Montas is the only one of the three arms the A’s acquired from the Dodgers who comes with major league experience. He made 7 appearances with the White Sox in 2015 before being dealt to the Dodgers prior to the 2016 season. Surgery during the offseason followed by a broken rib have sidelined Montas for most of the year. He only threw 16 innings in the Dodgers’ system this season, but he’s set to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, so the A’s front office will get a chance to get a good look at him before next spring. The Dominican righty boasts a 100+ mph fastball, and he’s struck out an average of 9.3 batters per 9 innings over his minor league career. Montas has mainly appeared as a starter in the minors. And if he looks strong in his return to action, the A’s could give him a shot at a rotation spot next year, or they could always choose to put his power arm in the bullpen and see how it plays out there.

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Wednesday, August 24th: Alcantara Leads Sounds to 2nd Straight Shutout Win while Bailey K’s 9 in Vermont Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Raul Alcantara (5 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Raul Alcantara (5 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds   3

Memphis Redbirds   0

WP – Alcantara 4-0 / 0.89

HR – Nunez (23)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Raul Alcantara

(5 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

After RHP Daniel Mengden threw 5 scoreless innings to lead Nashville to a shutout victory on Tuesday, RHP Raul Alcantara tossed 5 scoreless frames to lead the Sounds to their second straight shutout win on Wednesday. Alcantara allowed just 4 hits without allowing a walk, while RHPs Ryan Brasier, Eduard Santos and Bobby Wahl combined to throw 4 scoreless innings in relief to complete the 6-hit shutout, with Wahl picking up his 3rd save for the Sounds. Left fielder Renato Nunez homered for the second straight day, ripping his 23rd round-tripper, while catcher Matt McBride and center fielder Jaycob Brugman both walked and doubled in runs to help the Sounds win their fifth straight. And with Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien going on paternity leave, Nashville RHP J.B. Wendelken was recalled by the A’s on Wednesday.

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Tuesday, August 23nd: Mengden & Naile Each Toss 5 Scoreless Frames to Lead Sounds & Ports to Shutout Victories while Barreto Homers in Hounds Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Daniel Mengden (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Daniel Mengden (5 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds         7

Omaha Storm Chasers  0

WP – Mengden 7-2 / 1.66

HR – Nunez (22), Rodriguez (4), Walsh (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Daniel Mengden

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

After struggling for the first time with Nashville in his last outing, RHP Daniel Mengden was outstanding on Tuesday, allowing just 3 hits while walking none and striking out 6 over 5 shutout innings to earn his 7th win for the Sounds. Relievers Sean Doolittle, Aaron Kurcz, J.B. Wendelken and Tucker Healy tossed 1 scoreless and hitless inning apiece to complete the 3-hit shutout. Three home runs accounted for all the Sounds’ scoring on Tuesday. Designated hitter Renato Nunez tagged his team-leading 22nd home run in the top of the 1st inning, while shortstop Josh Rodriguez slugged a grand slam in the 2nd, and second baseman Colin Walsh clubbed a 2-run homer in the 5th. Right fielder Jaycob Brugman singled, doubled and scored a run, and center fielder B.J. Boyd went 0 for 4 in his Triple-A debut as the Sounds won their fourth straight on Tuesday.

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Wednesday, August 17th: Overton Pitches Sounds to Victory as Chapman Makes Triple-A Debut and Graves Is Solid Again in Stockton Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Dillon Overton (6 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 2 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Dillon Overton (6 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 2 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Tacoma Rainiers     2

Nashville Sounds  5

WP – Overton 11-5 / 3.48

HR – Wendle (12), A.Alcantara (11)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Dillon Overton

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

LHP Dillon Overton delivered a strong start for the Sounds on Wednesday, allowing 2 runs over 6 innings of work to earn his team-leading 11th win for Nashville. RHP Eduard Santos tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, while RHP Bobby Wahl got the final three outs to post his 1st save for the Sounds. Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara homered in the 3rd inning to tie the game, while second baseman Joey Wendle slugged a three-run homer in the 6th to provide the margin of victory for Nashville. Designated hitter Renato Nunez drew a pair of walks and singled in a run in the 7th, and third baseman Matt Chapman went 0 for 4 in his Triple-A debut. And with Tyler Ladendorf landing on the disabled list for the A’s, Sounds shortstop Chad Pinder was promoted to Oakland on Wednesday.

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Tuesday, August 16th: Hahn Returns to Hill to Help Sounds Win while Chapman, Pinder & Iriart Are All on the Move

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Jesse Hahn (4 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 3 BB / 6 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Jesse Hahn (4 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 3 BB / 6 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Tacoma Rainiers     1

Nashville Sounds  2

WP – Castro 1-7 / 4.91

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Jesse Hahn

(4 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 3 BB / 6 K)

It was a day filled with lots of intriguing roster news for Nashville fans. But on the field, it was the first chance for Jesse Hahn to return to the mound since he landed on the disabled list after his last start for Oakland. Hahn allowed just 1 run while striking out 6 over 4 innings of work on Tuesday. He left the game with a one-run lead and turned the game over to the Sounds bullpen, which held Tacoma scoreless over the next 5 frames. RHP Angel Castro earned his 1st win of the season, while RHP Tucker Healy got the final three outs to notch his 8th save for Nashville. The Sounds managed just 3 hits in the win. Catcher Matt McBride singled in a run, while right fielder Jaycob Brugman walked, singled and scored a run when designated hitter Rangel Ravelo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Renato Nunez made his second start in the last three days in left field and went 0 for 4 in the game. Meanwhile, the Texas League’s top home run hitter, third baseman Matt Chapman, was added to the Sounds roster on Tuesday. And with Chapman’s addition to the squad, there’s a need for Nunez to increase his versatility. The San Francisco Chronicle and other sources also reported on Tuesday that Nashville shortstop Chad Pinder was set to join the A’s on Wednesday, and Josh Rodriguez made the start at shortstop for the Sounds on Tuesday. And in other news, Nashville reliever Ryan Doolittle was sent to the Arizona League A’s.

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