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A’s Farm Report: Minor League News & Notes

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Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s time to catch up on some of the latest news and notes from around the A’s minor league system…

--LAS VEGAS AVIATORS--

-A pair of minor league Rule-5 pickups have proven to be two of the most productive hitters for Las Vegas this season. Outfielder Mark Payton recently slugged 6 home runs over a 3-game stretch and is currently sporting the second-best slugging percentage in the Pacific Coast League. Meanwhile, infielder Corban Joseph leads the team with 28 doubles and is currently boasting the best batting average in the PCL.

-After struggling last season, third baseman Sheldon Neuse has been having a strong second season at Triple-A, but he’s really dialed things up a notch in the second half. Neuse put up a 1.122 OPS in June and has posted a .909 OPS through his first 18 games in July, and the 24-year-old currently leads the team in walks, runs and RBIs.

-After getting off to a blistering start over the first few months of the season, shortstop Jorge Mateo has cooled off of late, going 3 for 29 over his first 7 games since returning from the Futures Game.

-Catcher Jonah Heim landed on the injured list on Saturday with a right hamstring injury. Heim had been one of the Aviators’ hottest hitters since his promotion from Midland, going 31 for 78 over 26 games to put up a .397 batting average for Las Vegas.

-LHP Sean Manaea is expected to make his first rehab start for Las Vegas versus El Paso sometime this week.

--MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS--

-RHP Brian Howard currently leads the Texas League in innings pitched (115), is tied for the league lead in wins (7), and is third in the league in both strikeouts (102) and ERA (2.97).

-RHP Grant Holmes threw 5 scoreless frames on Thursday in his longest outing of the season.

-RHP Daulton Jefferies threw 3 scoreless innings on Friday and has now walked just 5 while striking out 74 in 64 innings for Midland and Stockton this season.

-After allowing 1 run, on an inside-the-park home run, in 1 inning of relief on Friday, LHP A.J. Puk’s line in 6 appearances for Midland is now: 8.1 IP/9 H/4 ER/2 HR/3 BB/13 K/4.32 ERA/1.44 WHIP.

-After compiling a 9.08 ERA in 19 relief appearances for Las Vegas, RHP Norge Ruiz was returned to the RockHounds, and he allowed 4 runs in 3 innings of relief in his last outing on Friday.

-With shortstop Kevin Merrell’s departure in the Homer Bailey trade, Edwin Diaz has now taken over as the everyday shortstop for Midland.

-Infielder Mikey White landed on the IL last week and outfielder Mickey McDonald was promoted from the Ports to take his place on the RockHounds roster.

-With White on the injured list, along with outfielders Greg Deichmann and Luis Barrera, and outfielder Luke Persico’s recent retirement, the A’s acquired both Taylor Motter and Dan Gamache from the indy leagues to help provide reinforcements for the RockHounds. Barrera is out for the season, but the A’s are hopeful that Deichmann may be able to return from his shoulder injury before the end of the season.

--STOCKTON PORTS--

-Austin Beck returned from 3 ½ weeks on the IL on Saturday and belted a home run in his first at-bat for Stockton.

-Rehabbing LHP Sean Manaea, who’s set to join Las Vegas this week, threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings in his last appearance on Thursday, and his line over 3 starts for Stockton was: 8.1 IP/14 H/9 ER/4 BB/10 K/9.72 ERA/2.16 WHIP. Manaea’s fastball was consistently sitting at 88-90 mph while pitching for Stockton.

-RHP James Kaprielian allowed just 1 run and struck out 7 over 4 frames in last appearance on Thursday, and his line for Stockton after 11 games is now: 36.1 IP/35 H/18 ER/6 HR/8 BB/43 K/4.46 ERA/1.18 WHIP.

-Rehabbing catcher Nick Hundley went 1 for 4 with a home run and 4 walks in the Arizona League before going 2 for 16 with a pair of walks in his first 4 rehab games with Stockton.

-After landing on the injured list on June 28, shortstop Nick Allen recently had his walking boot removed but, at this point, it’s probably unlikely that he’ll able to return to action before season’s end.

-It looks like RHP Gus Varland is likely to avoid surgery for his elbow injury, but he’s not expected to throw again before next year.

-RHP Wyatt Marks has been undergoing treatment for an elbow issue and has not pitched since late April.

-RHP Brady Feigl endured his worst start of the season last Friday, allowing 9 runs, 5 earned, in just 2/3 of an inning, but he’s still boasting an ERA of 3.67 over 19 appearances for Stockton.

-RHP Mitchell Jordan turned in his best start of the season on July 14, throwing a no-hitter through 6 innings before giving up a leadoff double in the 7th. Jordan ended up allowing just 1 hit while striking out 7 over 7 innings to earn his 7th win for Stockton.

--BELOIT SNAPPERS--

-After putting up an ERA of 2.90 over 10 appearances in April and May, RHP Aiden McIntyre has surrendered 29 earned runs in 21 innings over his last 6 appearances in late June and July. He still leads the Snappers with 102 strikeouts in just 73.1 innings of work.

-Beloit has had a bit of a revolving door at first base this season. Nick Ward has made the most starts there, but he’s spent plenty of time playing second base and third base as well. After his demotion from Stockton, last year’s 8th-round draft pick for the A’s, former Florida catcher JJ Schwarz, started 19 games at the position before landing on the injured list. 2017’s 5th-round pick, former catcher Santis Sanchez, was summoned from the Arizona League a few weeks ago and has been serving as the Snappers’ primary first baseman ever since.

--VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS--

-This year’s top draft pick for the A’s, shortstop Logan Davidson, has gotten off to a slow start at the plate, going 9 for 64 in his first 18 games for Vermont.

-18-year-old Colombian third baseman Jordan Diaz has been Vermont’s best hitter by far. The teenager currently leads the league in RBIs while also leading his team in hits, home runs and doubles and boasting the team’s best slugging percentage.

-After missing all of last season due to injuries, last year’s 3rd-round pick, LHP Hogan Harris, has looked impressive, notching 33 strikeouts in 23.1 innings while walking just 6 and posting an ERA of 2.70 for the Lake Monsters.

-This year’s 2nd-round pick, RHP Tyler Baum, has notched 14 strikeouts in his first 13 innings of work, while 6th-round pick, RHP Seth Shuman, has allowed just 1 earned run in his first 9.1 frames for Vermont.

--AZL A’S--

-The A’s top catching prospect, Sean Murphy, went 3 for 14 with a home run, a double and 4 walks in his first 5 rehab games in the Arizona League.

-20-year-old switch-hitting Venezuelan outfielder Rafael Rincones has been one of the A’s best hitters in the Arizona League, slashing .315/.402/.507 with 8 extra-base hits through his first 19 games.

-This year’s 3rd-round draft pick for the A’s, 18-year-old center fielder Marcus Smith, has been hitting well in his first pro action, batting .340 with a .433 on-base percentage over his first 15 games in the AZL.

-19-year-old Cuban RHP Pedro Santos has looked impressive, notching 32 strikeouts in his first 23 innings while posting a 2.35 ERA for the A’s.

- RHP Skylar Szynski has been throwing off the mound in Arizona, but he’s yet to appear in a game since undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 22-year-old hasn’t pitched since making 7 appearances in the AZL in the summer of 2016, the year the A’s made him their 4th-round draft pick.

-LHP Dalton Sawyer has yet to throw in Arizona since undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Visit Athletics Farm for updates on the A’s minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.