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Oakland A’s prospect watch: Dylan Covey and Frankie Montas combine for no-hitter

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s have seven prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League, and several others spread among the various international winter leagues. Let’s see how they’re doing!

Arizona Fall League

A’s right-handers Dylan Covey and Frankie Montas combined for a no-hitter in the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday. Covey started and threw five innings, Montas chipped in three frames, and Marlins prospect Drew Steckenrider pitched the 9th to seal it. According to William Boor of MiLB.com, it’s the third no-hitter in AFL history since the league began in 1992.

For Montas, this was an exclamation point on what has been an eye-popping performance in the AFL so far. He’s yet to allow a run in 11⅓ innings of work, and he’s hitting triple digits on the radar gun. We talked about him in the last update and nothing much has changed.

But for Covey, this is one more step toward rediscovering some propsect stock. He started the year at No. 23 on our Community Prospect List but missed most of the season to an oblique injury, and the fall league is giving him a chance to make up for some lost time. He’s been effective in all four of his starts so far, ramping up toward dominant on Tuesday. He needed only 44 pitches to burn through five hitless innings.

The scouting reports out of the AFL give us a clear picture of what Covey is bringing to the table: 92-95 mph fastball, a variety of decent secondary pitches, and an affinity for ground balls (he collected 11 on Tuesday). Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs mentions a slider, split, and curve; John Arguello of Appraising Arizona notes some sink on the fastball; and Jesse Burkhart of Today’s Knuckleball has some video of the change in action:

Covey is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter, although he still seems unlikely to need protection since he’s barely even pitched at the Double-A level. But his offseason performance so far has certainly put him back on the radar in a system that is currently incredibly deep with intriguing upper-minors starters.

Meanwhile, relievers Sam Bragg and Trey Cochran-Gill are also mowing down hitters for the Mesa Solar Sox. Melissa Lockard of Oakland Clubhouse brings us this happy stat:

Unfortunately, the success has not carried over to the A’s hitting contingent. Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz are both sporting OPS marks below .600, and Max Schrock isn’t making a lot of noise despite decent numbers. That’s not a terrible disappointment, since Barreto and Munoz have each spent only one year in the upper minors and Schrock spent most of 2016 in High-A, but of course you always want to see your guys succeed whenever possible.

The AFL is in its fourth of six total weeks, and the Fall Stars Game is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Stats

Max Schrock, 2B: 11-for-38, 1 BB, 2 Ks, .746 OPS
Yairo Munoz, SS: 11-for-44, 3 BB, 11 Ks, .564 OPS
Franklin Barreto, SS: 11-for-49, 1 BB, 13 Ks, .501 OPS

Frankie Montas, RHP: 0.00 ERA, 11⅓ ip, 8 Ks, 3 BB, 4 hits
Sam Bragg, RHP: 0.96 ERA, 9⅓ ip, 8 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HR
Dylan Covey, RHP: 2.65 ERA, 17 ip, 11 Ks, 5 BB
Trey Cochran-Gill, RHP: 2.89 ERA, 9⅓ ip, 9 Ks, 2 BB

* * *

International Winter Leagues

Updated to include Tuesday’s games

Venezuela: 1B Rangel Ravelo continues to impress through 22 games, with a .929 OPS and 18 BB to 9 Ks. He’s hitting for average and a bit of power with excellent plate discipline, so hopefully this time he can carry it over to Nashville next year. 3B Renato Nunez has arrived and is 8-for-20 with a pair of homers in five games. On the pitching side, right-handed reliever Carlos Navas has allowed just one run through 10⅓ innings (11 Ks, 1 BB).

Mexico: 2B Joey Wendle is batting .297 with an .817 OPS and some extra-base power, so, exactly what he usually does. What is new is that he’s played all 18 games at shortstop, and he’s only made two errors in that time (both in the same game).

Dominican Republic: OF Tyler Marincov has been quiet, with a .511 OPS and no extra-base hits in nine games. C Beau Taylor has played a few games and is 4-for-12.

Click here for a full list of all the A’s players participating in winter leagues.