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Farm Report: Nashville Prospects Are Hot, Hot, Hot!

MLB: Oakland Athletics-Spring Training Media Day
Renato Nunez
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville has been the hottest team in the Pacific Coast League over the past few weeks, winning 18 of its last 21 games. The team’s rise has been fueled by impressive performances from some of the system’s top prospects – players like Renato Nunez, Matt Olson, Chad Pinder, Ryon Healy, Jaycob Brugman, Joey Wendle, Max Muncy, Daniel Mengden and Dillon Overton. Fortunately for the struggling A’s, things have been looking up down on the farm lately! You can always stay up to date on the A’s top prospects and all the daily action in the A’s minor league system on my Athletics Farm site and you can get the latest on who’s hot and who’s not right here on Athletics Nation


(through games of 6/5/16)

1B Ryon Healy (Midland/Nashville – AA/AAA)

(9 HR / 25 BB / 47 K / .338 AVG / .404 OBP / .588 SLG / .992 OPS)

3B Matt Chapman (Midland – AA)

(14 HR / 29 BB / 77 K / .243 AVG / .345 OBP / .495 SLG / .840 OPS)

3B-OF Max Muncy (Nashville – AAA)

(7 HR / 23 BB / 35 K / .270 AVG / .374 OBP / .454 SLG / .828 OPS)

3B Renato Nunez (Nashville – AAA)

(11 HR / 14 BB / 40 K / .264 AVG / .319 OBP / .510 SLG / .828 OPS)

OF Tyler Marincov (Stockton/Midland – A+/AA)

(11 HR / 16 BB / 53 K / .269 AVG / .333 OBP / .472 SLG / .806 OPS)

1B Sandber Pimentel (Stockton – A+)

(8 HR / 22 BB / 53 K / .252 AVG / .358 OBP / .448 SLG / .806 OPS)

2B Joe Bennie (Stockton – A+)

(3 HR / 26 BB / 60 K / .291 AVG / .369 OBP / .418 SLG / .787 OPS)

1B Chris Iriart (Beloit – A)

(9 HR / 21 BB / 54 K / .240 AVG / .335 OBP / .447 SLG / .782 OPS)

RHP Daniel Mengden (Nashville/Midland – AAA/AA)

(68 1/3 IP / 43 H / 9 ER / 22 BB / 67 K / 1.19 ERA / 0.95 WHIP)

LHP Evan Manarino (Beloit – A)

(55 1/3 IP / 49 H / 9 ER / 7 BB / 49 K / 1.46 ERA / 1.01 WHIP)

RHP Corey Walter (Midland – AA)

(44 IP / 39 H / 11 ER / 8 BB / 24 K / 2.25 ERA / 1.07 WHIP)

RHP Angel Duno (Beloit – A)

(60 1/3 IP / 62 H / 16 ER / 8 BB / 41 K / 2.39 ERA / 1.16 WHIP)

RHP Zach Neal (Nashville – AAA)

(47 2/3 IP / 45 H / 15 ER / 5 BB / 23 K / 2.83 ERA / 1.05 WHIP)

RHP Kyle Friedrichs (Beloit/Stockton – A/A+)

(58 IP / 53 H / 19 ER / 7 BB / 45 K / 2.95 ERA / 1.03 WHIP)

RHP Boomer Biegalski (Beloit – A)

(63 IP / 51 H / 21 ER / 14 BB / 52 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.03 WHIP)

RHP Heath Fillmyer (Stockton – A/A+)

(58 2/3 IP / 57 H / 21 ER / 17 BB / 56 K / 3.22 ERA / 1.26 WHIP)


Pacific Coast League – Triple-A


Nashville completed a 9-game winning streak last week, has won 18 of its last 21 games, and is now tied for the best record in the Pacific Coast League with the Padres affiliate at El Paso. First baseman Ryon Healy has been the best overall hitter in the A’s system this season and has continued his hot hitting since his promotion to Triple-A, putting up a .338/.395/.507 slash line for the Sounds. Healy currently leads all A’s minor leaguers in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage as well as hits, extra-base hits, runs, RBIs and total bases. Yep, he’s pretty much been doing it all! Along with Healy and Midland’s Matt Chapman, third baseman Renato Nunez has been one of the best power hitters in the A’s organization this season. He hit his 11th home run on Sunday and has also collected 14 doubles and a pair of triples to give him a healthy .510 slugging percentage. His error totals have been creeping up lately though, and his 13 miscues in 42 games at third base are now the third most among A’s minor leaguers. Max Muncy has been another solid contributor for Nashville, getting on base at a .374 clip while increasing his versatility by getting most of his starts in left field and occasionally spelling Nunez at third. Like Healy, outfielder Jaycob Brugman has also performed well since his promotion to the Sounds, collecting 9 extra-base hits in his first 15 games while primarily batting leadoff and playing center field. But perhaps the best news is that, after getting off to slow starts this season, shortstop Chad Pinder and outfielder Matt Olson have really been getting into gear lately. Pinder’s been starting to draw more walks and has hit .400 over his last 10 games to raise his batting average to .273 and has also brought his on-base percentage from the low-.200s up to a respectable .316 while also cutting down on his errors at short. Meanwhile, Olson has hit .350 with 2 home runs and 9 walks over his last 6 games, and his 32 walks on the season now tie him for the most among A’s minor leaguers and his 16 doubles are the third most in the system. Second baseman Joey Wendle has been heating up lately as well, hitting a healthy .462 over his last 9 games, and he’s actually manged to crank 2 grand slams in his last 7 games. On the mound, RHP Daniel Mengden continues to lead the staff. He now has a 1.39 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings over his first 7 starts for the Sounds, while LHP Dillon Overton has posted a 2.55 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings over his last 4 outings. And the recently-returned Zach Neal and Eric Surkamp have rejoined RHP Chris Smith to complete the Sounds starting rotation. In the bullpen, LHP Daniel Coulombe was recalled by the A’s, but RHPs Andrew Triggs and J.B. Wendelken have recently returned to Nashville. Among those who haven’t seen time with the A’s yet this year, LHP Patrick Schuster and RHP Tucker Healy have been two of the best. Schuster has allowed just 4 runs over his first 20 appearances, while Healy has struck out 35 in just 23 1/3 innings of relief. RHP Aaron Kurcz has done a solid job since his return to the Sounds, striking out 12 and walking just 3 while putting up a 3.38 ERA over 13 1/3 innings, but RHP Ryan Doolittle has struggled a bit at times, giving up 5 earned runs over his first 6 appearances. And former A’s minor league infielder Colin Walsh, who’d been selected by the Brewers in the Rule 5 draft, was returned to the A’s and assigned to the Sounds roster this weekend.


Texas League – Double-A


After going 2 for 30 with 18 strikeouts over his previous 8 games, third baseman Matt Chapman slugged his league-leading 14th home run for the RockHounds on Sunday. He leads all A’s minor leaguers in that category, but his 77 strikeouts give him the clear lead in that department as well. The other top prospects at Midland haven’t been faring terribly well of late. Infielder Yairo Munoz is 2 for 19 with 7 strikeouts over his last 5 games and his on-base percentage has now dipped to .277, while fellow infielder Franklin Barreto’s slash line currently stands at a rather unimpressive .236/.288/.354. But on the mound, RHP Raul Alcantara has been rounding into shape over the last month. In his last 6 starts, he’s put up an ERA of 2.11 while walking an average of just one batter per start. RHP Corey Walter’s also been doing a solid job since coming out of the bullpen to join the RockHounds starting rotation. The 23-year-old 28th-round draft pick from 2014 has posted a 2.08 ERA in 7 starts since joining the rotation. RHP Daniel Gossett was promoted from the Ports and made his Midland debut on Wednesday, allowing 4 earned runs on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7 over 7 innings of work for the RockHounds. Reliever Kyle Finnegan was also recently promoted from the Ports and has struck out 7 in 8 innings of relief while putting up a 3.38 ERA in his first 5 appearances for the Hounds.


California League – High-A


The Ports went 0-6 last week and are now is last place in their division with the second-worst record in the California League. The good news is that last year’s 1st-round draft pick for the A’s, shortstop Richie Martin, has been hitting well since returning from knee surgery to join the team. Martin’s gone 10 for 35 with a home run and a double while drawing 3 walks, striking out 3 times and swiping a pair of bases over his first 9 games for Stockton. But the team’s hottest hitter of late has probably been second baseman Joe Bennie, who’s gone 15 for 27 for a .556 batting average over his last 7 games. After getting off to a slow start, first baseman Sandber Pimentel has been heating up lately too, and his 8 home runs and .448 slugging percentage are the best among all current Ports, while outfielder B.J. Boyd’s .322 batting average and .399 on-base percentage are second only to Ryon Healy in the A’s system. With RHP Daniel Gossett’s promotion to Midland, RHP Heath Fillmyer is the best starter currently on the Stockton staff, striking out 56 in 58 2/3 innings and posting a 3.22 ERA this season for the Ports. RHP Brett Graves has run hot and cold and his ERA on the season currently stands at 5.31. RHP Casey Meisner’s command has improved a bit over his last few starts, but he still hasn’t been getting great results. He’s yet to earn his first win this season and his ERA currently stands at 4.55. And LHP Zack Erwin has really struggled of late, allowing 18 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings over his last 5 starts. RHP Kyle Friedrichs, who’d been impressive all season for the Snappers, was promoted to Stockton and had a disastrous debut last Monday, giving up 9 runs while lasting just 1 2/3 innings. But he fared much better in his second start on Sunday, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits while walking none and striking out a career-high of 11 over 6 innings of work. RHP R.J. Alvarez made his first rehab appearance for the Ports on Friday, allowing a home run while striking out 2 in 1 inning of relief. Meanwhile, reliever Corey Miller was added to the bullpen from Beloit, while reliever Rob Huber was reassigned to the Snappers, and catcher-turned-reliever Ryan Gorton was released.


Midwest League – Class-A


There have been an awful lot of changes at Beloit lately, with a full one-third of the team turning over recently. Infielder Jesus Lopez and RHP Jesus Zambrano returned from stints on the disabled list, but outfielder Skye Bolt, first baseman Chris Iriart and LHP Andrew Tomasovich all landed on the DL on Friday. In addition, RHP James Naile was promoted to the Sounds to make one start and then returned on Tuesday, but RHPs Kyle Friedrichs and Corey Miller were promoted to the Ports, while RHP Xavier Altamirano and outfielder Steven Pallares, who had just 14 hits in 106 at-bats this season, were both sent back to extended spring training in Arizona, and LHP Mike Fagan, who was the A’s 9th-round pick in 2014, was released. To replace all those losses, RHP Rob Huber joined the Snappers from Stockton, while catcher Jordan Devencenzi was reassigned from Nashville, and infielder Michael Soto, outfielder Mike Martin and RHPs Michael Murray, Marc Berube and Dustin Hurlbutt all joined the squad from extended spring training. Beloit will miss the big bat of Iriart, whose 9 home runs and .447 slugging percentage led the team. But he was struck in the head with a pitch on Thursday and had to leave the game. Bolt had struggled since returning after tweaking his hamstring and had gone 4 for 34 with 11 strikeouts over his last 10 games. But Soto and Martin have both done well since joining the team. Soto went 4 for 7 while Martin went 3 for 7 in their first couple of games for the Snappers. With Friedrichs promotion to the Ports and Naile’s return to the team, the Snappers starting rotation, which has been solid all season, now consists of Naile, Angel Duno, Boomer Biegalski, new staff ace Evan Manarino and newly-arrived Michael Murray. Murray was a 32nd-round draft pick last year but has been impressive in his first couple of starts for the Snappers, allowing just 1 run while walking none and striking out 10 over 11 1/3 innings in his first 2 starts. Meanwhile, Manarino has been the best of a very solid staff, putting up an impressive 1.46 ERA while striking out 49 and walking just 7 in 55 1/3 innings over his first 11 games for the Snappers.

You can visit my site - Athletics Farm - for updates on the A’s minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.