After missing the start of the season with a leg injury, outfield prospect Jaycob Brugman's bat in now back in action for Nashville. Pitching prospect Daniel Gossett has been getting hot after a slow start, while his teammate Paul Blackburn has been cooling off after a fast start. And despite a promising pitching staff, the Stockton Ports have been struggling. 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 up and who's down right here on Athletics Nation…
SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:
(through games of 5/14/17)
OF B.J. Boyd (Midland – AA)
(125 AB / 0 HR / 14 BB / 22 K / .360 AVG / .426 OBP / .456 SLG)
SS-2B Franklin Barreto (Nashville – AAA)
(137 AB / 5 HR / 10 BB / 42 K / .321 AVG / .371 OBP / .504 SLG)
3B-OF Renato Nunez (Nashville – AAA)
(120 AB / 9 HR / 12 BB / 42 K / .258 AVG / .323 OBP / .550 SLG)
OF Tyler Marincov (Midland – AA)
(116 AB / 6 HR / 16 BB / 40 K / .276 AVG / .362 OBP / .509 SLG)
RHP Corey Walter (Midland/Nashville – AA/AAA)
(35 2/3 IP / 32 H / 6 ER / 11 BB / 31 K / 1.51 ERA / 1.21 WHIP)
RHP Brendan Butler (Beloit – A)
(34 2/3 IP / 21 H / 7 ER / 6 BB / 39 K / 1.82 ERA / 0.78 WHIP)
LHP Dalton Sawyer (Beloit – A)
(34 IP / 19 H / 7 ER / 11 BB / 35 K / 1.85 ERA / 0.88 WHIP)
RHP Brett Graves (Stockton/Midland – A+/AA)
(32 IP / 23 H / 8 ER / 4 BB / 35 K / 2.25 ERA / 0.84 WHIP)
Pacific Coast League – Triple-A
The Sounds have lost 5 of their last 7 games to fall 3 games under .500. Shortstop Franklin Barreto has remained Nashville's best overall hitter this season and leads Sounds regulars in hits, triples, RBIs, total bases, batting average and on-base percentage. But Barreto's cooled off a bit over the past week - going 5 for 30 over last his last 7 games for Nashville - as has third baseman Matt Chapman. After slugging 3 home runs in a 5-game span, Chapman has since gone 1 for his last 14 with 9 strikeouts. Renato Nunez, who's primarily been playing left field of late, has recently been heating up though, going 6 for 20 with 2 home runs in his last 5 games, and he currently leads all Sounds regulars with 9 home runs, 8 doubles and a .550 slugging percentage. Outfielder Jaycob Brugman, who's taken over the leadoff spot from Barreto over the last few games, has been swinging the bat very well since returning from the disabled list earlier this month, putting up a .324 batting average and a .395 on-base percentage with a pair of doubles over his first 9 games. And first baseman Matt Olson had a big game on Saturday, slugging a pair of 2-run homers, giving him a total of 7 on the season to go along with his .477 slugging percentage. Meanwhile on the mound, RHP Raul Alcantara has allowed just 2 runs while walking none and striking out 7 over his first 10 innings for the Sounds. After getting off to a slow start this season, RHP Daniel Gossett allowed just 1 run and struck 7 in 6 innings on Friday, and 2014's 2nd-round draft pick for the A's has now allowed just 3 earned runs while striking out 16 in his last 16 innings for Nashville. On the other hand, RHP Paul Blackburn, a former 1st-round compensation pick for the Cubs who started out the season strong, has now surrendered 14 earned runs in 13 2/3 frames over his last 3 starts for the Sounds. And in other Nashville news, Susan Slusser reported on Sunday that LHP Ross Detwiler had opted out of his deal with the A's and was granted his release, while Ken Rosenthal reported that outfielder Andrew Lambo, who had been on the disabled list with a wrist injury, has been released by the A's. Catcher Bruce Maxwell reported on Twitter that he was indeed on his way to rejoin Nashville, while outfielder Jaff Decker, who cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Sounds on Saturday, hasn't yet made an appearance with the team.
Texas League – Double-A
The RockHounds have been playing well of late, winning 9 of their last 12 Texas League contests to climb 4 games over .500. Midland's hot-hitting outfielders have continued to carry most of the offensive load. B.J. Boyd currently leads the Texas League batting race with a .360 average, while leadoff man Brett Vertigan boasts a .393 on-base percentage. Tyler Marincov leads the team with a .509 slugging percentage, and J.P. Sportman is sporting a .460 slugging percentage and leads the squad with 64 total bases. Infielder Yairo Munoz got off to a somewhat slow start after his return from the disabled list, going 8 for 40 with 11 strikeouts while primarily playing third base for the RockHounds. With Munoz's return, infielder J.C. Rodriguez was sent back to extended spring training in Arizona. And Joe Bennie, who'd primarily been serving as a designated hitter for the Hounds, requested and was granted his release. On Saturday, Bennie told me, "I'm nothing but thankful and very appreciative for the opportunity the A's gave me. With that said, I'm very excited for the next step in my baseball career." His brother, outfielder Rob Bennie, remains in the organization and is currently on the Vermont roster. This was the first full week since the RockHounds took their starters off the recent tandem-pitching restrictions, and the results have been mostly successful:
Saturday 6th: Corey Walter 5 IP/1 ER
Sunday 7th: Brett Graves 5 IP/1 ER
Monday 8th: James Naile 5 IP/1 ER
Tuesday 9th: Grant Holmes 5 IP/4 ER
Thursday 11th: Heath Fillmyer 4 IP/1 ER
Friday 12th: Brett Graves 2.1 IP/0 ER (early exit with blister)
Saturday 13th: Corey Walter 5 IP/0 ER
Sunday 14th: James Naile 5.2/1 ER
LHP Brandon Mann and RHPs Joel Seddon, Kyle Friedrichs and Ben Bracewell have all been pitching strictly out of the bullpen over that span. Meanwhile, Midland closer Jake Sanchez landed on the disabled list with a ruptured ear drum a couple of weeks ago after taking a liner to the head. Prior to the injury, he'd allowed just 1 run over his first 7 appearances. And after surrendering 7 runs in his first appearance for the RockHounds, LHP Kyle Twomey was sent back to extended spring training.
California League – High-A
Stockton is currently in the midst of a 7-game losing streak. Center fielder Skye Bolt and infielders Mikey and Eli White have proven to be the Ports' best overall hitters so far this season. Bolt boasts a .454 slugging percentage and is second on the team with 20 walks, while shortstop Eli White leads the team in hits, doubles, stolen bases, batting average and on-base percentage, and third baseman Mikey White has 7 doubles, 4 triples and 4 home runs, and his .483 slugging percentage is a team best. Catcher Sean Murphy landed on the disabled list a couple of weeks ago with a wrist injury and catcher Jose Santiago Chavez has played well since taking his place on the Stockton roster. First baseman Sandber Pimentel remains on the disabled list with a back issue after getting just 6 at-bats this season. With RHP Brett Graves promoted to Midland, LHP Evan Manarino has been the Ports' most effective pitcher, posting a 2.64 ERA while walking just 2 and striking out 31 over 30 2/3 innings. RHP Logan Shore threw 5 no-hit innings in an impressive outing on Tuesday before allowing 4 runs in Sunday's start. His roommate, LHP A.J. Puk, allowed just 1 hit and struck out 9 over 5 shutout innings last Saturday, and gave up 2 runs while walking 1 and striking out 7 over 5 frames in his last start on Friday.
Midwest League – Class-A
The Snappers have been playing an even .500 throughout the month of May. Outfielder Luke Persico, who started out the season in extended spring training in Arizona, has turned out to be the Snappers' most productive hitter so far this season. Last year's 12th-round draft pick for the A's currently boasts a .490 slugging percentage, and his 9 doubles are a team best. Outfielder Mike Martin, who spent most of April on the disabled list, has also been wielding one of Beloit's best bats lately with a .317 batting average, a .370 on-base percentage and 5 doubles over his first 11 games for the Snappers. Catcher Collin Theroux has 5 home runs and a team-best .492 slugging percentage, while second baseman Nate Mondou leads the team with 36 hits, 5 stolen bases, a .319 batting average and a .391 on-base percentage. And with outfielder Luis Barrera's return from the disabled list on Tuesday, outfielder Cole Gruber was sent to extended spring training in Arizona. RHP Brendan Butler and LHP Dalton Sawyer have continued to be Beloit's best hurlers so far this season. Sawyer is sporting a 1.85 ERA after his first 8 games, and Butler boasts an ERA of 1.82 while striking out 39 in 34 2/3 frames. RHP Dakota Chalmers has continued to battle his control issues, and he's now walked 21 and struck out 34 while posting an ERA of 5.85 over his first 20 innings for the Snappers. Last year's 6th-round draft pick for the A's, RHP Brandon Bailey, put up a solid 3.00 ERA while striking out 25 in 24 frames before landing on the disabled list with a groin injury this week. And last year's 31st-round draft pick for the A's, RHP Sam Sheehan, joined the Snappers from extended spring training to take Bailey's place on Beloit's roster.
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