Last week, I took a look at some of the top-performing hitters in the A’s minor league system so far this season. And this week, it’s time to take a look at some of the top pitchers in the system this season. Well-known names like Jesus Luzardo and Daniel Gossett have been performing well in the upper ranks of the system, but some slightly lesser-known names like Parker Dunshee, Brian Howard and Wyatt Marks have been busy putting themselves on the map in the lower ranks of the system. 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 the A’s top minor league pitchers right here on Athletics Nation…
Pacific Coast League – Triple-A
RHP Daniel Gossett (25 2/3 IP / 16 H / 3 ER / 13 BB / 28 K / 1.05 ERA / 1.13 WHIP)
RHP James Naile (33 2/3 IP / 34 H / 9 ER / 8 BB / 27 K / 2.41 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)
RHP Bobby Wahl (13 2/3 IP / 9 H / 3 ER / 4 BB / 21 K / 1.98 ERA / 0.95 WHIP)
Nashville’s 3.59 team ERA is the best among all A’s affiliates at this point in the season. Playing their home games at the run-suppressing First Tennessee Park definitely helps but, overall, the Sounds pitching staff has performed pretty well thus far. Since his demotion from Oakland a week into April, RHP Daniel Gossett has been outstanding for the Sounds, giving up just 3 earned runs while striking out 28 in 25 2/3 innings of work, and he’s failed to allow an earned run in 3 of his 5 appearances for Nashville. The 25-year-old has walked an average of 4.6/9, but he failed to issue a walk while striking out 9 in 7 innings of work in his most recent start on Saturday. RHP James Naile got off to a great start, failing to allow an earned run over his first 17 2/3 innings for the Sounds. The 25-year-old has come back down to earth a bit lately, but he’s still boasting a solid 2.41 ERA on the season while notching 27 strikeouts over 33 2/3 innings for Nashville. With RHP Lou Trivino now plying his trade in Oakland, RHP Bobby Wahl has been the best arm out of the Nashville bullpen. The 26-year-old has shown improved control, striking out 21 while walking just 4 over 13 2/3 innings, and he’s allowed an earned run in just 2 of his 10 appearances this season for the Sounds.
Texas League – Double-A
LHP Jesus Luzardo (29 2/3 IP / 18 H / 7 ER / 8 BB / 44 K / 2.12 ERA / 0.88 WHIP) (MID/STK)
RHP Ben Bracewell (25 2/3 IP / 25 H / 11 ER / 4 BB / 22 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.13 WHIP)
RHP John Gorman (14 IP / 12 H / 4 ER / 1 BB / 11 K / 2.57 ERA / 0.93 WHIP)
The RockHounds pitching staff has had a rough time in the early going, registering an ERA of 4.70 in the normally low-scoring Texas League. Luckily for Midland, LHP Jesus Luzardo was promoted to Double-A after making just 3 starts for Stockton. Luzardo was blowing away hitters in the California League, notching 25 strikeouts in just 14 2/3 frames for the Ports. The 20-year-old hasn’t been quite so dominant in Double-A, but he’s still been impressive, striking out 19 while walking just 3 and posting a 3.00 ERA over his first 3 starts for the RockHounds. RHP Ben Bracewell has probably been the second-best starter on the Midland staff thus far. The 27-year-old has struck out 22 while walking just 4 and putting up an ERA of 3.86 for Midland. RHP John Gorman has been something of a surprise as the most reliable reliever out of the RockHounds bullpen. The A’s 31st-round draft pick in 2015 out of Boston College has issued just 1 walk while striking out 11 in 14 innings of relief for the RockHounds. RHP Norge Ruiz has been a little up and down, registering three strong starts and two weak ones. in his first and last starts of the season, he surrendered a total of 13 earned runs over 8 1/3 innings, and in his trio of starts between those two, he allowed just 1 earned run over 17 1/3 innings for Midland.
California League – High-A
RHP Brian Howard (26 IP / 17 H / 7 ER / 8 BB / 33 K / 2.42 ERA / 0.96 WHIP)
RHP Parker Dunshee (33 IP / 33 H / 10 ER / 9 BB / 41 K / 2.73 ERA / 1.27 WHIP)
RHP Logan Shore (10 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 14 K / 0.90 ERA / 0.70 WHIP)
The Ports pitching staff has done a solid job this season, compiling a 3.72 ERA in the hitter-friendly California League. Two of the top pitchers on the staff are a pair of picks from last year’s draft. 8th-round RHP Brian Howard has perhaps been the most impressive, notching 33 strikeouts in 26 innings of work while posting a solid 2.42 ERA for Stockton. The 6-foot-9 hurler has allowed more than 2 earned runs just once in his first 5 starts this season. 7th-round RHP Parker Dunshee leads the squad with 41 strikeouts while walking just 9 over 33 innings and putting up a 2.73 ERA for the Ports. 2016’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Logan Shore, recently returned to action and has looked strong in his first pair of starts for Stockton, allowing just 1 earned run and striking out 14 over his first 10 frames for the Ports. Meanwhile, RHP Miguel Romero has been solid out of the bullpen, allowing an earned run in just 2 of his first 10 appearances while failing to issue a walk and posting 6 saves this season for Stockton.
Midwest League – Class-A
RHP Wyatt Marks (23 2/3 IP / 20 H / 5 ER / 7 BB / 33 K / 1.90 ERA / 1.14 WHIP)
RHP Xavier Altamirano (22 2/3 IP / 15 H / 6 ER / 4 BB / 22 K / 2.38 ERA / 0.84 WHIP)
LHP Jared Poche (18 1/3 IP / 13 H / 6 ER / 9 BB / 20 K / 2.95 ERA / 1.20 WHIP)
Last year’s 13th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Wyatt Marks, has been one of the most pleasant surprises on the Snappers pitching staff this season. The 22-year-old leads the staff with 33 strikeouts in just 23 2/3 innings of work while posting an impressive 1.90 ERA, and he’s allowed more than 1 earned run just once in his first 5 outings for the Snappers. 2015’s 27th-round draft pick, RHP Xavier Altamirano, was one of Beloit’s best pitchers last year, and he’s been repeating his performance this season. The 23-year-old has struck out 22 while walking just 4 in 22 2/3 frames while putting up a solid 2.38 ERA over his first 4 starts. Last year’s 9th-round pick, LHP Jared Poche has looked promising in the early going. The 23-year-old southpaw has notched 20 strikeouts in his first 18 1/3 innings of work for the Snappers. RHP Bryce Conley, who led Beloit’s combined no-hitter last month, has taken a turn for the worse in his last couple of starts, and the 23-year-old is now sporting a 5.32 ERA for the Snappers.
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