The Arizona Fall League heads into its final week, and the Mesa Solar Sox are in a strong position to earn a spot in the AFL Championship game with a 2.5 game lead in their division.
Sheldon Neuse has been an offensive force for Mesa all season. Through Sunday, Neuse has a .288/.350/.534 line with four homers and 22 RBI in 19 games. He has walked seven times and has struck-out 14 times in 73 official at-bats. Over his last three games, Neuse is 5-14 with four RBI.
Catcher Sean Murphy has also continued to impress both at the plate and behind it. Through Sunday, Murphy was batting .317 with a .431 OBP. He has walked 10 times and struck-out just six times in 60 official at-bats. Murphy also has four doubles. In his last two games, Murphy has five hits and two walks in nine official at-bats. Behind the plate, he has made several outstanding throws down to second base. In the video below, Murphy throws out a runner in Mesa’s extra-inning loss on Nov. 9 (video courtesy of Kimberly Contreras) .
Since taking Tyler Ramirez‘s spot on the Mesa roster, Jaycob Brugman has appeared in six games for the Solar Sox. He has only four hits in 21 at-bats, but Brugman has walked seven times for a .393 OBP.
On the mound, Logan Shore has made five starts for Mesa. In 20 innings, he has a 5.40 ERA and a 13:2 K:BB. Shore’s sinker has been working. He has induced five double-plays and he has a 45% groundball rate for the Solar Sox. Below is video from Kimberly Contreras of Shore’s latest start on November 10. Shore allowed a run on six hits and no walks in four innings in that outing. He struck-out two.
Reliever Nolan Blackwood has generated plenty of buzz this fall with his work for Mesa. In 10.1 innings, the sidearmer has allowed just two earned runs on six hits and three walks. He has struck-out 16. Over his last three outings, Blackwood has not allowed a run in five innings and he has 10 strike-outs over that stretch. His groundball rate is a ridiculous 68% this fall.
Sam Bragg has made seven appearances for Mesa this fall, all one inning each. He has allowed five earned runs on 11 hits. Bragg has yet to walk a batter and he has struck-out five.
Miguel Romero has made eight appearances for Mesa this fall: two bad and six good. In the two poor outings, Romero allowed eight runs in 1.2 innings. In his other six outings, Romero has yet to allow a run in seven innings. He has six strike-outs and three walks this fall. Romero has kept 46% of balls hit into play against him on the ground this fall.
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An interview with Oakland A's 2019 23rd-round pick Jack Cushing.
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The Oakland A's released several minor league pitchers this week.