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Minor League Awards

OaklandClubhouse’s Oakland A’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month: August

Who had the top pitching performances in the Oakland A’s system for the month of August?

A.J. Puk / Photo by Matthew Barnett/Midland RockHounds
A.J. Puk had a strong final month of the regular season. / Photo by Matthew Barnett/Midland RockHounds

OaklandClubhouse Pitcher of the Month: August

A.J. Puk, LHP, Midland RockHounds

35.2 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1 HRA, 7 BB, 53 K

Puk has been terrific all season, but he kicked it into another gear in August. The A’s 2016 top pick lasted into the sixth inning or beyond in all but one of his six starts last month. He had two 13-strike-out games and a nine-strike-out start. Puk’s groundball percentage for the month was 58.4% and he allowed just one homerun.

Subtracting two disastrous road starts against the San Antonio Missions in which he allowed nine runs in 1.1 innings, Puk finished his first regular season stint in Double-A with a 3.16 ERA and an 83:20 K:BB in 62.2 innings pitched. Puk will start the RockHounds’ playoff opener tonight against the Missions.

Runners Up

Zack Erwin, LHP, Beloit Snappers: 31 IP, 2.90 ERA, 2 HRA, 14 BB, 27 K, .193 BAA Erwin’s month included pitching the first six innings of a combined no-hitter for the Snappers. He walked just one in that game. The left-hander has been brilliant since being activated from Extended Spring Training on May 27. Now healthy after a 2016 wrecked by elbow problems, Erwin has pushed his way back onto the A’s prospect radar.

Logan Shore, RHP, Stockton Ports: 33.1 IP, 3.24 ERA, 3 HRA, 8 BB, 38 K Shore stumbled in his first two outings off of the disabled list in July, but he was back in command in August for the Ports. He finished the month with a 6.1 inning start and two 7-inning starts. He struck-out 20 and walked two over those final three outings. Shore will take the hill for the Ports in their playoff opener against Modesto tonight.

Heath Fillmyer, RHP, Midland RockHounds: 32 IP, 2.25 ERA, 4 HRA, 7 BB, 26 K Fillmyer played a major role in getting the RockHounds back to the post-season for a fourth straight year. He worked at least six innings in all but one of his August starts (the one he didn’t, he threw 5.2 innings). Fillmyer won four of those starts, including the game on the regular season’s final day that punched the RockHounds’ ticket to the post-season. He showed impressive stamina all season, making 29 starts and throwing a career-high 149.2 innings, second-most in the A’s system.

Kyle Twomey, LHP, Beloit Snappers: 30.2 IP, 2.93 ERA, 2 HRA, 8 BB, 26 K After struggling in his first couple of outings as a member of the A’s organization, Twomey settled in as one of the Snappers’ most reliable starters down-the-stretch. In August, he allowed two runs or fewer in every start but one. Over his last two starts, Twomey allowed two runs in 11 innings, allowing seven hits during that span. After being cut by the Cubs during spring training, Twomey has positioned himself to move up to High-A with the A’s next spring.

Dalton Sawyer, LHP, Stockton Ports: 25 IP, 2.52 ERA, 3 HRA, 5 BB, 31 K, .216 BAA Sawyer’s first month with the Ports was a bit up-and-down, but he was outstanding the final six weeks of the regular season. In August and one September start, Sawyer didn’t allow a run in three of his six outings and he walked only two batters over his final 20.2 innings. He finished his first full professional season with a 3.58 ERA and 140 strike-outs in 130.2 innings pitched.

Others Considered

Casey Meisner, RHP, Midland RockHounds (27.2 IP, 1.95 ERA, 0 HRA, 8 BB, 16 K, .200 BAA); Ivan Andueza, LHP, Vermont Lake Monsters (30.1 IP, 2.67 ERA, 2 HRA, 11 BB, 21 K, .208 BAA); Kyle Friedrichs, RHP, Stockton Ports (23.1 IP, 0.77 ERA, 2 HRA, 4 BB, 19 K, .141 BAA); Jean Ruiz, RHP, Vermont Lake Monsters (23.1 IP, 0.77 ERA, 1 HRA, 4 BB, 20 K); Parker Dunshee, RHP, Vermont Lake Monsters (17.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 7 H, 2 BB, 20 K, .121 BAA); Brian Howard, RHP, Vermont Lake Monsters (18 IP, 1.50 ERA, 9 H, 0 HRA, 1 BB, 18 K, .148 BAA); Rafael Kelly, RHP, AZL Athletics (22.2 IP, 2.38 ERA, 1 HRA, 2 BB, 23 K)

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