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Athletics Nation - All Posts

An SB Nation blog for Oakland Athletics fans

Updated: 2017-10-20T09:38:55-07:00


Elephant Rumblings: California League prospects and some manager talk



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Today in Baseball History:

  • 1910 - On one day of rest, Jack Coombs of the Philadelphia Athletics pitches a complete game to beat the Chicago Cubs, 12 - 5, and give the Athletics a 3-0 lead in the World Series. Coombs also collects three hits and three RBI in the game.
  • 1988 - Orel Hershiser pitches a four-hitter and Mickey Hatcher and Mike Davis hit two-run home runs to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5 - 2 victory over the Oakland Athletics and the World Series title in five games. Hershiser becomes only the third player to win the MVP honors in both the League Championship Series and the World Series. The win gives the Dodgers their first World Championship since 1981, becoming the only team to win more than one World Series in the 1980s.

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Sheldon Neuse starting strong in Arizona Fall League


Checking in with 7 Oakland A’s prospects in the AFL. The Arizona Fall League is through its first week of play, and the seven Oakland A’s prospects in attendance have each gotten into some games. The Mesa Solar Sox stand at 2-3 so far, with a roster containing minor leaguers from the A’s, Cubs, Nats, Astros, and Tigers. Bill from Athletics Farm got the ball rolling last week with an intro, but here’s a refresher on Oakland’s contingent as well as an update on their first outings. Sheldon Neuse | 3B 2017, A+/AA: .380/.444/.567, 176 wRC+, 7 HR, 8.9% BB, 27.2% Ks, .510 BABIP (in 169 PAs) Neuse has done nothing but hit since being acquired in the Doolittle/Madson trade. This was his first full pro season (drafted in 2016), and he mashed all the way up to Double-A; that statement will be true for all three of the hitters on this list. Neuse then went on to lead the team through the playoffs toward another league championship, with a .971 OPS in 10 games. Nothing has changed in Arizona. He’s already homered twice in his first four games, and overall he’s 6-for-16 with a walk, 6 Ks, 6 RBI, and an 1.162 OPS. His BABIP has remained in the stratosphere and we’ll have to wait longer to see how he settles in long-term, both in this AFL season and in his career overall. His regular season mark is so high that it looks like a typo, and that has allowed him to continue putting up absurd numbers despite a high strikeout rate. The story has been the same this fall, as his 17 plate appearances have gone as such: 2 HR, 6 Ks, 1 BB, and 4-for-8 the rest of the time (.500 BABIP). Sean Murphy | C 2017, AA: .209/.288/.309, 69 wRC+, 4 HR, 9.7% BB, 15.7% Ks (in 217 PAs) Murphy hit much better in High-A Stockton to begin the year, with a 130 wRC+ that earned him a ticket up to Midland. His calling card is his defense behind the plate, but his bat holds potential too. In Arizona, Murphy has gotten into three games and responded by going 3-for-10 with a double, 3 BB, a HBP, and no strikeouts. His poor Double-A stats were largely dragged down by a .232 BABIP, but he made plenty of contact along the way. His low K-rate throughout the minors allows us to give some benefit of the doubt that he’ll work past his late-2017 slump, especially when factoring in his rapid rise up the system as well as the extra demands of developing a young catcher. That encouraging high-contact trend is continuing in the AFL, where he’s yet to strike out even once. Tyler Ramirez | OF 2017, A+/AA: .304/.398/.431, 132 wRC+, 11 HR, 12.8% BB, 23.3% Ks, .394 BABIP (in 571 PAs) That stat line is combined for the whole season, but it remained remarkably consistent after Ramirez moved up from Stockton to Midland. He put the ball into play more in Double-A, with both his K and BB rates inching down a couple points, but otherwise he was eerily identical at both levels. His BABIP remained high, but not at Neuse’s ridiculous level. Unfortunately, the AFL has not been kind to Ramirez so far. He’s 1-for-17, though that one hit was a homer. He’s racked up 3 BB and 6 Ks, which is within range of what you’d expect from him. Ramirez also had a poor postseason for Midland (4-for-30, .424 OPS), and at this point I have to wonder if he’s getting a bit worn out. He reached his career high in plate appearances in early July, then finished the last two months of the regular season, played another couple weeks of postseason, and is now on the AFL circuit. He began last year in college, and this year he hasn’t stopped moving from March to October; he’s got nearly 100 PAs more than Neuse. Obviously success would be the best possible result here, but if he keeps scuffling then I’ll have a built-in excuse for him. Logan Shore | RHP 2017, A+: 4.09 ERA, 72⅔ ip, 74 Ks, 16 BB, 5 HR, 3.43 FIP Shore’s fast-track to the bigs was slowed by a lat injury this year, but his numbers were still encouraging. That made him a prime candidate to visit the AFL and recoup some of his lost innings. His first start in Arizona didn’t go well. [...]