The Arizona Fall League released its preliminary rosters for the 2017 season, and five Oakland Athletics prospects are listed on the Mesa Solar Sox. The A’s will fill two more pitcher slots by the AFL Opening Day. Rosters, of course, are subject to change based on injuries and other factors.
The A’s current AFL group consists of infielder Sheldon Neuse, outfielder Tyler Ramirez, catcher Sean Murphy and pitchers Logan Shore and Miguel Romero. All five players are in their first full professional seasons.
Neuse joined the A’s in the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle trade with the Washington Nationals. Since arriving from Washington, all Neuse has done is hit. In 22 games with the High-A Stockton Ports, Neuse batted .386/.457/.675. Since a promotion to Double-A Midland, Neuse has a .359/.409/.436 line in 11 games. He began the year in Low-A with the Hagerstown Suns and was a mid-season Sally League All-Star. The Oklahoma alum was a 2016 second-round pick of the Nationals last year. He can play shortstop, third base and even saw some time at first base recently.
Ramirez was the A’s seventh-round pick in 2016 out of North Carolina. He has had a breakout first full season, which has been split between Stockton and Midland. In 128 games, Ramirez is batting .316/.410/.450 with 71 walks and 11 homeruns. His .339 average in 183 at-bats would lead the Texas League if he had the at-bats to qualify. Ramirez can play all three outfield positions.
Murphy, like Ramirez, has split his season between Stockton and Midland. The A’s 2016 third-round pick hit .297/.343/.527 in 45 games with the Ports. He has struggled at the plate with Midland (.208/.280/.280 in 46 games), but he has continued to impress defensively. Murphy has thrown out 32% of would-be base-stealers this season. He missed three weeks early in the season with a wrist injury and will use the AFL to make up for those lost at-bats.
Shore also missed time this season with injury. The A’s 2016 second-round pick suffered a lat strain in early May and missed two months with the injury. He has a 4.11 ERA and a 68:15 K:BB in 65.2 innings with the Ports this season. Over his last three starts, Shore has allowed four runs on 16 hits in 18.1 innings. During that stretch, he has 21 strike-outs and four walks.
Romero signed with the A’s out of Cuba as an international amateur free agent in February. The 22-year-old right-hander made his affiliated baseball debut in the Dominican Summer League and then came Stateside on June 23. After one appearance in the Arizona Rookie League, he was promoted to Low-A Beloit, where he allowed two runs in eight innings over three appearances. He joined the Ports on July 17 and struggled initially, allowing 14 runs over his first 8.2 innings. Since then, he hasn’t allowed a run in nine innings over four appearances.
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