Starter Heath Fillmyer had an impressive outing on Sunday, allowing just 2 hits over 5 shutout innings to earn his 2nd win since joining the RockHounds last month. RHP Lou Trivino pitched 2 perfect innings in relief, while RHP Trey Cochran-Gill tossed a scoreless 8th, and RHP Jake Sanchez got the final three outs in the 9th to complete the 3-hit shutout on Sunday. Center fielder Brett Vertigan singled, doubled, stole a base, and drove in 3, while shortstop Franklin Barreto singled in a run for the RockHounds. And after San Antonio’s loss on Sunday night, Midland’s magic number for clinching the second-half division title is now down to just two.
After going 0 for 16 over his last 6 games, center fielder Skye Bolt broke out in a big way for Beloit on Saturday, belting a pair of home runs to help the Snappers win their fourth straight. Both were solo shots, with the first coming in the 4th inning to give his team a 1-run advantage and the second coming in the 6th to add to the lead. Right fielder Brett Siddall slugged a 2-run homer, while third baseman Trace Loehr had 4 hits, including a double, stole a base and scored twice, and second baseman Trent Gilbert singled, doubled and drove in a run for Beloit. After a couple of rough starts, RHP Angel Duno was outstanding on Saturday, allowing just 1 run while striking out 5 over 5 innings of work to earn his 7th win, while RHP Nolan Blackwood got the final four outs to post his 1st save for the Snappers.
Brandon 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. The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher was drafted by the A’s in the 6th round of this year’s amateur draft and is currently playing for Vermont, the A’s Class-A affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League. Bailey has put up a 3.41 ERA there while notching 32 strikeouts over 29 innings of work, and he just earned his first professional win while striking out 9 in his last appearance for the Lake Monsters on Wednesday.
We shared a blog post from Bailey last month about some of his experiences in the A’s minor league system in the weeks after the draft, which you can see here. And last week, he wrote a blog post about some of his more recent experiences, including the team’s road trip to New York, which he’s allowed us to share with our A’s Farm readers. You can check out Brandon’s personal blog here and you can follow him on Twitter @BBailey_19
Well it’s been about two weeks since my last blog post and so much has happened I’m not really sure where to start… So to avoid writers block I’m just going to regurgitate my thoughts onto this post and hopefully it all makes sense.
I’ll begin with the first thing that comes to mind and that’s my 2016 Chevy Colorado pick-up truck. I recently purchased this beauty back in June shortly after being drafted and while it might be cliche to buy a brand new vehicle after signing a professional sports contract, I actually needed a way of transportation due to an unfortunate event that took place in Spokane a month earlier. With about twenty days left in spring semester, “Carrie (named after the beautiful country singer Ms. Underwood)” my 2003 Saturn L300 was stolen outside my off-campus house in the Logan neighborhood. After about a week of waiting, I received a call from the Spokane Police Department informing me that they had found my car totaled and abandon in a parking lot. Just the news I wanted to hear right before finals week and the beginning of the NCAA tournament…
Fast forward to the present and how this relates to me thinking about my new Z71, well it’s simple… This pick-up represents all of the hard work I have put in over the course of the past 12 years and I want to make it AWESOME. The truck was already sick when I drove it off the lot but since this is my first vehicle purchase ever, my plan is to go all out! I decided to have a few minor details done right off the bat which included installing a sunroof, running boards, tinted windows, and having the bed liner sprayed. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of research on what I can do to make the truck even more jaw-dropping; Utilizing the knowledge of my cousin Matt and my new travel roommate Xavier Altamirano in order to make the best decisions in terms of performance and functionality.
Xavier or “X”, actually became my new travel roommate a couple weeks ago after Logan Shore, the A’s second round pick, arrived in Vermont and started rooming with his former college teammate A.J. Puk. Puk, who was Oakland’s first round pick this year, was my original roommate on the road and has become one of my closer friends on the Lake Monsters roster. After the news broke that Shore was going to be joining the team, I had a gut feeling that Puk would want to room with Logan since they both attended the University of Florida. Naturally, I was assigned a new roommate which was Xavier. X, who was recently voted as a NY-Penn League All-Star, has become my closest friend on the team and shares my love for jacked-up trucks. This past week, he provided me with a few great tips on what I can do to improve my new toy and I’ve decided to set a plan into action. I won’t share all the details simply because I don’t want to bore the two people who are actually reading this post but I will say that a 6 inch lift is in the works!
Besides my truck, the next thing that comes to mind is my team’s previous road trip to Brooklyn, New York where we played the New York Mets Single-A affiliate the Brooklyn Cyclones on August 9th through the 11th. It has always been a dream of mine to one day travel to the Big Apple but I never would have guessed this dream would come true at such a young age. During our three day span in the big city, I made it a point to venture downtown to Times Square to do some sight-seeing. X, myself, and another one of my teammates Ty Damron (a left-handed pitcher from Texas Tech) decided to take the subway north towards Manhattan on the morning of our final day in Brooklyn. You could easily tell we were not from the area because we were the only people on the subway attempting to decipher the complex map which was supposed to assist us in navigating our way downtown. After about 10 minutes of head scratching we decided to ask for help and were informed that we needed to take the exit onto 42nd Street.
Anticipation and excitement continued to build up inside my chest with each minute that passed. Ever since I was old enough to comprehend the game of baseball my favorite team growing up (besides the hometown team the Colorado Rockies) was the New York Yankees. Players like Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neill, David Cone, Mariano Rivera, and Bernie Williams fueled my love for the team in pinstripes. As we moved closer to the city, I could feel my passion for Yankee tradition surfacing. After about an hour of waiting, we finally made it to our destination and quickly made our way up to ground level. The experience I had next is almost indescribable…
Never had I seen something so magnificent, vibrant, and extraordinary. There is a certain aura or ambience that flows throughout New York City; A distinctive atmosphere that is luxurious and subtle, its occupants moving at a speed that seem to be faster than Usain Bolt himself (couldn’t resist mixing in an Olympic metaphor). Surprisingly, I was not overwhelmed. In fact, I felt rather comfortable. As we began exploring what the city had to offer, I made it a point to take as many pictures as possible. I saw the New Years Eve ball drop, Central Park, the Plaza Hotel made famous by one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, NIKETOWN NYC where I bought two new pairs of shoes, St. Patricks Cathedral, and finally the Empire State Building. For those of you who are familiar with New York City you would know that my teammates and I traveled roughly 2.5 to 3 miles on foot and let me tell you… It was worth it!
As far as baseball goes, it seems that the team is starting to get back on track. Before this weekend home-stand where we played the Tri-City Valleycats and won the series 2 out of 3, the Lake Monster’s had lost 11 games in a row. It’s not easy facing adversity over the course of a two week span but we persevered and continued to show up to the ballpark ready to give it our all.
I’ve been throwing the ball pretty well as of late. In my last 3 games I’ve pitched 12.1 innings and struck out 9 batters. During that span I’ve only allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits. I’m hoping to finish the final two and a half weeks of the season strong so I can go into the fall semester at Gonzaga feeling confident about my first season in professional baseball. With 4 starts left, my main goal is to continue to work fast and fill up the strike zone with all three of my pitches. I’ve also been working on developing a spiked curveball and I’m looking forward to focusing on adding this pitch to my arsenal this off-season.
Two and a half weeks left in the 2016 baseball season…The final stretch.
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RHP Daniel Gossett delivered another impressive outing for the RockHounds on Thursday. 2014’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s allowed just 1 earned run for the eighth time in his last nine starts while striking out a career-best 10 batters over 7 innings of work, and he left with the game a 1-1 tie. Second baseman J.P. Sportman hit the game-tying home run in the 5th inning, while catcher Andy Paz clubbed a home run in the top of the 10th to give the Hounds the lead, but a throwing error by first baseman Viosergy Rosa in the bottom of the 10th helped allow the tying run to score off RHP Jake Sanchez. Rosa then redeemed himself by doubling in the winning run in the top of the 11th, and third baseman Yairo Munoz then added a 2-run double, his second double of the night, to secure the victory for the RockHounds. Sanchez picked up the win with 2 innings in relief, while RHP Lou Trivino got the final three outs to earn his 1st save for Midland.
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.
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.
After scoring 13 runs on 18 hits in Sunday’s game, the Sounds came back to plate 12 runs on 17 hits to win their third straight on Monday. Meanwhile on the mound, LHP Dillon Overton was outstanding, allowing just 1 run while striking out 7 over 6 innings of work to earn his team-leading 12th win for Nashville. Second baseman Joey Wendle had a big night at the plate, collecting 4 hits, including a triple and a pair of doubles, while driving in 3 runs. Center fielder Jaycob Brugman homered for the second straight day, slugging a 3-run shot for the Sounds, while third baseman Matt Chapman notched his 1st home run for Nashville, and shortstop Josh Rodriguez and right fielder Rangel Ravelo had 3 hits apiece in the win. RHP Carlos Navas, who was promoted from the Ports earlier in the day, tossed 1 scoreless inning in his Triple-A debut. And with Nashville’s Arismendy Alcantara recalled by the A’s on Monday, Stockton outfielder B.J. Boyd was reassigned to the Sounds.
A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Josh Rodriguez (2 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)
PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (Triple-A)
Nashville Sounds 13
Omaha Storm Chasers 7
WP – Santos 1-2 / 3.16
HR – Brugman (6), Rodriguez 2 (3)
Prospect Of The Game:
Shortstop Josh Rodriguez
(2 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)
With Nashville notching 13 runs on 18 hits on Sunday, shortstop Josh Rodriguez had the biggest day while right fielder Jaycob Brugman had the biggest moment. Rodriguez ripped a pair of home runs, tagging a 2-run shot in the top of the 4th inning to break a 2-2 tie and briefly give the Sounds a 2-run edge and then drilling a 3-run drive in the 8th inning to extend his team’s lead. Brugman had 4 hits in the game, including a big 3-run homer to break a 6-6 tie in the 7th. And Brugman is now 9 for 13 with 3 extra-base hits over his last 3 games, while Rodriguez is 6 for 11 with 5 extra-base hits in his last 3 games. First baseman Matt Olson singled, doubled and drove in a run, while left fielder Rangel Ravelo singled, drew 3 walks and drove in a run, and catcher Matt McBride and second baseman Joey Wendle had 3 hits apiece to help Nashville prevail on Sunday. Starter Jharel Cotton allowed 6 runs over 5 innings of work, while RHP Eduard Santos tossed 2 scoreless innings to earn his 1st win for the Sounds.
After going 4 for 34 in his first 9 games since his promotion to Double-A, right fielder Joe Bennie had a big night at the plate on Saturday, belting a pair of home runs and driving in 4 runs for the RockHounds. With the game tied in the bottom of the 5th inning, Bennie blasted a solo shot to give the Hounds the lead and he then added a 3-run drive in Midland’s 9-run 8th. Left fielder J.P. Sportman had 2 hits and drove in a pair of runs for the RockHounds, while LHP Brandon Mann delivered an outstanding start on Saturday, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Midland.
It’s been about ten weeks since this year’s amateur draft and about two months since the first of the players picked by the A’s began playing with either the Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters or the rookie-ball Arizona League A’s.
The A’s managed to sign all of their top 20 picks this year. The highest-drafted player Oakland’s front office wasn’t able to sign was 21-year-old right-hander Brigham Hill out of Texas A&M, whom the team took with its 21st pick in the 20th round. But the A’s were fortunate that they were able to ink all 20 of the players they picked before him and get those prospects into the system. And with about two months of play now in the books, it seems like a good time to take a look at how some the A’s newest prospects have been performing down on the farm.
The A’s focused on pitching with their top 20 picks this year, taking 12 pitchers in the top 20 and 7 in the top 10. The team’s top pick, LHP A.J. Puk, has been the standout among the pitching prospects so far this season. The 6-foot-7 21-year-old has looked dominant at times for Vermont, posting a 2.70 ERA while striking out 27 over 20 innings of work for the Lake Monsters.
The A’s second overall pick, RHP Daulton Jefferies, just started seeing some action in Arizona and, in 3 brief appearances, the 21-year-old has shown off his pinpoint control by allowing just 1 run while walking none and striking out 10 over 5 2/3 frames for the AZL A’s. Oakland’s third overall pick taken in the 2nd round was Puk’s teammate at Florida, RHP Logan Shore, who recently joined his friend and former college teammate at Vermont. And in his first 4 appearances, the 21-year-old has allowed 2 earned runs and struck out 8 over 9 innings of work.
The team’s top high school pick was RHP Skylar Szynski, who was taken in the 4th round. Though he’s currently sporting a 8.10 ERA, the 19-year-old’s numbers aren’t really that bad, having allowed 16 hits and just 4 walks while striking out 8 in 13 1/3 innings for the AZL A’s. Three other pitchers from the top 10 rounds who are currently at Vermont have all been perfoming well. 6th-round RHP Brandon Bailey, who’s primarily been used as a starter, has posted a 3.41 ERA over 29 innings since joining the system. LHPs Will Gilbert and Dalton Sawyer have both been working out of the bullpen, where 8th-rounder Gilbert has notched 23 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings while 9th-rounder Sawyer has struck out 20 over 15 2/3 frames for the Lake Monsters.
Meanwhile, 10th-round pick Mitchell Jordan has been solid while serving in a starting role in Arizona, putting up a 3.24 ERA while walking just 7 and striking out 30 in 33 1/3 innings of work for the AZL A’s. The fastest riser of this year’s draft class has been the A’s 14th-round pick, RHP Nolan Blackwood out of the University of Memphis, who is the only member of this year’s crop to make it all the way up to the Beloit Snappers of the Class-A Midwest League. After looking solid in 5 relief appearances for Vermont, the 21-year-old has struggled a bit since joining Beloit’s bullpen, allowing 9 runs in his first 8 appearances for the Snappers.
When it comes to position players, the team’s three top 10 selections – 3rd-round catcher Sean Murphy, 5th-round third baseman JaVon Shelby and 7th-round outfielder Tyler Ramirez – all did a brief stint in Arizona before joining Vermont. Murphy’s power has yet to show itself as he has just 2 extra-base hits over his first 70 at-bats, while Shelby’s shown himself to be a bit of a free swinger, striking out 39 times in 144 at-bats while putting up a .188 batting average. Ramirez has fared a little better, with a .248/.348/.376 slash line over his first 39 games since joining the system.
The two standouts among the team’s position player picks have been shortstop Eli White and second baseman Nate Mondou, who’ve formed a productive double-play combo for Vermont and who were both recently named New York-Penn League All-Stars. 11th-rounder White has 10 doubles to go along with a .303/.365/.406 slash line, while 13th-rounder Mondou’s impressive .401 on-base percentage is among the five best in the league.
You’ll find the A’s top 20 picks of the 2016 draft along with their current statistics through August 19 listed below. The teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games with listed first and their current team in bold…