As things heat up in August, some of the organization’s top sluggers like Matt Chapman and Renato Nunez have really been starting to get hot lately as well. In addition, the team’s top three draft picks – pitchers A.J. Puk, Daulton Jefferies and Logan Shore – all appear to be finding a groove as they settle into the system. You can 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 heating up down on the farm right here on Athletics Nation…
SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:
(through games of 8/14/16)
3B Matt Chapman (Midland – AA)
(29 HR / 59 BB / 147 K / .244 AVG / .335 OBP / .521 SLG / .856 OPS)
1B Sandber Pimentel (Stockton – A+)
(20 HR / 46 BB / 126 K / .251 AVG / .343 OBP / .463 SLG / .806 OPS)
OF James Harris (Stockton – A+)
(7 HR / 54 BB / 118 K / .304 AVG / .381 OBP / .424 SLG / .806 OPS)
2B-OF Joe Bennie (Stockton/Midland – A+/AA)
(11 HR / 49 BB / 121 K / .294 AVG / .367 OBP / .435 SLG / .802 OPS)
OF Tyler Marincov (Midland/Stockton – AA/A+)
(18 HR / 45 BB / 110 K / .275 AVG / .346 OBP / .452 SLG / .797 OPS)
C Beau Taylor (Midland – AA)
(4 HR / 47 BB / 70 K / .280 AVG / .385 OBP / .405 SLG / .790 OPS)
RHP Jharel Cotton (Nashville – AAA)
(15 IP / 7 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 17 K / 0.60 ERA / 0.53 WHIP)
RHP Daniel Mengden (Nashville/Midland – AAA/AA)
(83 1/3 IP / 55 H / 11 ER / 26 BB / 80 K / 1.19 ERA / 0.97 WHIP)
LHP Evan Manarino (Beloit/Stockton – A/A+)
(128 2/3 IP / 116 H / 29 ER / 21 BB / 109 K / 2.03 ERA / 1.06 WHIP)
RHP Angel Duno (Beloit – A)
(102 IP / 97 H / 23 ER / 13 BB / 61 K / 2.03 ERA / 1.08 WHIP)
RHP Ben Bracewell (Midland/Stockton – AA/A+)
(79 1/3 IP / 59 H / 19 ER / 24 BB / 55 K / 2.16 ERA / 1.09 WHIP)
RHP Corey Walter (Midland – AA)
(90 IP / 82 H / 22 ER / 14 BB / 46 K / 2.20 ERA / 1.07 WHIP)
Pacific Coast League – Triple-A
With some of Nashville’s top hitters like Ryon Healy, Bruce Maxwell and Max Muncy currently plying their trade for the A’s, a couple of recent arrivals have stepped up to help out the Sounds’ lineup lately. While primarily playing left field, Colin Walsh has posted a .388 on-base percentage since returning to the organization from the Brewers. And since being acquired from the Cubs, Arismendy Alcantara has wielded a big bat, collecting 18 extra-base hits and putting up a .474 slugging percentage while splitting time between shortstop, second base, left field and center field for the Sounds. After suffering through a summer slump, third baseman Renato Nunez has been starting to snap out of it lately, and he’s now batting .390 with 4 home runs over his last 10 games. His 21 home runs not only lead the team but are also second only to Matt Chapman among A’s minor leaguers,and Nunez just made his first-ever career start in left field for the Sounds on Sunday. Outfielder Jaycob Brugman continues to be solid and has put up a .281/.337/.436 slash line on the season. Shortstop Chad Pinder and outfielder/first baseman Matt Olson have been hot and cold this season, but both have been a little more consistent in the second half. Pinder’s 14 home runs are second only to Nunez on the team, while Olson’s 29 doubles and 63 walks both lead the squad. Meanwhile on the mound, recent arrival Jharel Cotton has been impressive in his 2 starts for the Sounds, allowing just 1 run while striking out 17 in 15 innings of work and pitching a near-perfect game in his last outing. And RHP Daniel Mengden has been solid since his return to the Sounds, permitting a total of just 2 earned runs over his first 3 starts back at Nashville. RHP Raul Alcantara has also been outstanding since his promotion from Midland, allowing just 2 earned runs in 30 2/3 innings over his first 5 starts for the Sounds. And with LHP Patrick Schuster claimed off waivers by the Phillies and RHP Ryan Doolittle currently on the disabled list, Nashville’s bullpen got a shot in the arm with the promotion of RHP Bobby Wahl from Midland, who’s already struck out 4 without allowing a walk in his first 3 innings for the Sounds.
Texas League – Double-A
After suffering through a bit of a summer slump, third baseman Matt Chapman has really been back on the beam of late, and he’s now batting .333 with 5 home runs over his last 10 games for the RockHounds. His 29 home runs, 59 extra-base hits, 228 total bases and .521 slugging percentage lead all A’s minor leaguers, as do his 147 strikeouts. Besides Chapman, outfielder Tyler Marincov has been one of the Hounds’ most productive hitters, and his 84 RBIs are tops in the A’s system, while catcher Beau Taylor leads the team with a .385 on-base percentage. After getting off to a slow start this season, shortstop Franklin Barreto was really starting to heat up in July, but he’s cooled down a bit in August. Barreto’s now batting .222 with no extra-base hits in his last 10 games for the Hounds, but his 26 stolen bases still lead all A’s minor leaguers. Infielder Yairo Munoz is hitting just .111 in his last 10 games and has put up a rather uninspiring .229/.267/.325 slash line this season. Stockton’s most consistent hitter, second baseman/outfielder Joe Bennie was recently promoted to the RockHounds and has gone 2 for 19 in his first 5 games for Midland. After getting off to a disastrous start in April, RHP Joel Seddon has been the Hounds’ best starter in the second half and has posted a stellar 1.99 ERA over his last 10 starts. RHP Daniel Gossett has been impressive since arriving at Double-A, putting up a 2.67 ERA in 14 starts for Midland, and his 130 strikeouts in 127 innings are the most among A’s minor leaguers this season. RHP Heath Fillmyer has also been solid since his promotion from the Ports, allowing just 6 runs over his first 5 starts. And converted relievers Ben Bracewell and Corey Walter continue to do an outstanding job while pitching in a tandem arrangement in order to limit their innings. Bracewell has surrendered just 1 earned run in his last 20 2/3 innings, while Walter has permitted just 2 earned runs over his last 19 innings of work for the RockHounds.
California League – High-A
Stockton lost its best all-around hitter when second baseman/outfielder Joe Bennie was promoted to Double-A. That leaves outfielder James Harris as the team’s most consistent hitter, and he currently has more hits and runs than any A’s minor leaguer, while his 21 stolen bases, .304 batting average and .381 on-base percentage are best on the team. First baseman Sandber Pimentel continues to be Stockton’s biggest slugger, and his 20 home runs and .463 slugging percentage are tops on the team. Last year’s top two draft picks, infielders Richie Martin and Mikey White both started off slowly but have been heating up of late. Martin has gone 6 for 13 with a home run over his last 4 games, while White is hitting .300 in his last 10 games for Stockton. The Ports’ pitching staff has done through a bit of a shake-up of late. Recent arrival Grant Holmes, the Dodgers’ 1st-round draft pick in 2014, has gotten off to a shaky start, surrendering 10 earned runs in his first 2 starts for Stockton. RHP Kyle Friedrichs has also struggled of late, giving up a total of 22 earned runs in 32 1/3 innings over his last 6 starts. But on the other side of the coin, RHPs Brett Graves and Casey Meisner, both of whom struggled early on, have been starting to come around lately. Graves has allowed just 3 earned runs over his last 4 starts, while Meisner has put up a 2.63 ERA in his last 6 appearances and has struck out 25 while walking just 4 over his last 27 1/3 innings of work. LHP Matt Stalcup decided to retire, while a pair of struggling Stockton starters, LHP Zack Erwin and RHP Michael Murray, were both sent to Beloit. One of the Snappers’ top starters, LHP Evan Manarino, was promoted to the Ports, and he’s failed to allow an earned run in 7 innings since his arrival.
Midwest League – Class-A
While the Snappers snapped a 7-game losing streak on Thursday, the pitching staff continues to be the high point for the team. With top starters Evan Manarino and James Naile recently promoted to the Ports, RHP Angel Duno has been the team’s top hurler. He’s put up an impressive 2.03 ERA while walking just 13 in 102 innings this season. RHP Boomer Biegalski has been solid for Beloit, striking out 95 while walking just 28 in 129 1/3 innngs of work. RHP Dustin Hurlbutt has also done a good job since his arrival, posting a 2.84 ERA in his first 15 appearances, and LHP Zack Erwin struck out 7 over 5 shutout innings in his last start for the Snappers. Meanwhile, RHPs Michael Murray and Dustin Driver are currently residing on the disabled list for Beloit. Since returning from the disabled list, first baseman Chris Iriart has continued to wield Beloit’s biggest bat, and his 14 home runs still lead the team. With outfielder Mike Martin on the disabled list, outfielder Luis Barrera was recently promoted from Vermont and has gone 12 for 36 in his first 9 games for the Snappers. But the rest of Beloit’s outfield bats have gone cold of late, and Skye Bolt, Brett Siddall and Justin Higley all possess OPS’s under .700 at this point in the season.
VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS
New York-Penn League – Class-A Short-Season
The Lake Monsters just snapped an 11-game losing streak on Friday. They managed to sandwich 2 wins between that stretch and their previous 6-game skid, making them 2-17 over their last 19 games. The most interesting news in Vermont surrounds the pitching staff, with 1st-rounder A.J. Puk, 2nd-rounder Logan Shore, 6th-rounder Brandon Bailey, 8th-rounder Will Gilbert and 9th-rounder Dalton Sawyer all on the staff. Puk has posted a 2.70 ERA and struck out 27 over 20 innings, while Shore has allowed 2 runs and struck out 6 in his first 7 innings of work. Bailey has put up a 3.79 ERA while striking out 18 over 19 innings. And Gilbert boasts an ERA of 3.26, while Sawyer has notched a nifty 2.45 ERA in his first 11 appearances. Last year’s 3rd-round draft pick for the A’s, 19-year-old RHP Dakota Chlamers, has been a little wild at times but has been solid overall for the Lake Monsters, putting up a 4.32 ERA while walking 26 and striking out 49 in 50 innings of work. But RHP Xavier Altamirano has been Vermont’s best all-around pitcher and will serve as the pitching staff’s sole representative at the New York-Penn league All-Star Game. Altamirano has posted an impressive 2.21 ERA while walking just 8 and striking out 46 over 53 innings for the Lake Monsters. One of the team’s best hitters, outfielder and leadoff man Luis Barrera, was recently promoted to Beloit. But Vermont’s biggest slugger has been first baseman Miguel Mercedes, whose 9 home runs, 31 RBIs and .446 slugging percentage all lead the team. Second baseman Nate Mondou has the team’s best batting average (.327) and on-base percentage (.397), while his double-play partner, shortstop Eli White, boasts a solid .307/.366/.417 slash line, and the two have both been named NY-Penn League All-Stars along with Mercedes and Altamirano.
Arizona League – Rookie Short-Season
This year’s second overall draft pick for the A’s, RHP Daulton Jefferies, recently made his debut for the Arizona League A’s and has looked good in 2 brief appearances, allowing just 1 run while walking none and striking out 7 over 4 innings of work – and he managed to strike out the first 4 batters he faced in his most recent outing on Sunday. 10th-round pick Mitchell Jordan has looked solid as well, striking out 28 in his first 29 1/3 innings while posting a 3.68 ERA. One of the best arms among the international imports has been 20-year-old Venezuelan RHP Argenis Blanco, who’s put up a 3.20 ERA while striking out 33 over 45 innings of work. Another international import, 20-year-old Dominican RHP Yeudy Minaya, was recently suspended after testing positive for PEDs. And in looks like surgery is in store for last year’s 5th-round pick, LHP Kevin Duchene, who was recently placed on the 60-day disabled list. Joe Bennie’s brother, outfielder Rob Bennie, had been one of the team’s best hitters before his promotion to Vermont. But second baseman Josh Vidales has been swinging the biggest bat, and his .368 batting average, .463 on-base percentage and .535 slugging percentage are all team bests. Outfielder Kyle Nowlin’s 2 home runs and 31 walks both lead the squad, while first baseman Charley Gould’s 31 RBIs are a team high, and outfielder Cole Gruber’s 21 stolen bases are second in the league.
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