Kirkland plays all nine for playoff-bound RockHounds
The versatile Wade Kirkland has played all over the diamond since joining the Oakland A's as an 11th-round pick in 2010. During the final regular season game of the 2016 season, Kirkland put his versatility on display, playing all nine positions in the same game. Kirkland joined fellow A's prospect Melvin Mercedes in accomplishing the feat. Mercedes played all nine on Saturday night for Stockton.
Kirkland went 1-for-4 at the plate, as the RockHounds lost their season finale to the Frisco RoughRiders, 5-1. Midland finished the regular season with an 79-62 record. The RockHounds won the second-half division title and will take on the Corpus Christi Hooks in the semi-finals starting on Wednesday night.
Kirkland helped the RockHounds win a Texas League title last season. Going into Monday's game, he had appeared at every position except catcher. He began Tuesday's game behind the plate and then played third base, shortstop, second base, left field, centerfield, right field, pitcher and first base. Kirkland faced only one batter on the mound, but it was actually his fourth pitching appearance of the season. The strong-armed Kirkland has 10 career pitching appearances.
It has been a memorable year for Kirkland, who made his first mid-season All-Star team this year. He has spent six years in the A's chain and will be eligible for minor league free agency this off-season. Kirkland has been one of the A's most versatile minor league players during his time in the organization.
Nashville begins PCL title hunt on Wednesday
The Nashville Sounds' season finale in New Orleans was rained out on Monday, so they finished their regular season with an 83-59 mark. The Sounds will take on the Oklahoma City Dodgers beginning on Wednesday in the American Conference finals. The winner of that series will take on the Pacific Conference champion for the PCL title.
Nashville will be without several of their marquee players, as Raul Alcantara and Daniel Mengden both joined the A's starting staff this weekend and Jharel Cotton will be making his major-league debut with the A's this week. Catcher Matt McBride also joined the A's late last week.
Oakland added veteran pitchers Colt Hynes (trade with Cleveland) and Donn Roach (waiver claim) to the Nashville staff over the weekend. The A's also promoted reliever Andres Avila to the Nashville roster from Midland, where he had a 3.59 ERA and 77 strike-outs in 72.2 innings this season. Outfielder Danny Oh was also promoted from Midland to Nashville for the post-season.
Nogowski does it all as Stockton wins finale
John Nogowski threw a scoreless top of the 12th inning and then singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the 12th, as the Stockton Ports beat the Bakersfield Blaze in walk-off fashion, 11-10, to end the 2016 season. The game was the Blaze final contest, as they are slated to move to the Carolina League and take on a new name next season.
Nogowski, who was the DH before coming in to pitch in the top of the 12th, had three hits in the game, including the two-out single off of Blaze infielder-turned-pitcher Justin Seager. Nogowski, normally a first baseman and corner outfielder, earned his second win of the season with his scoreless 12th. He walked two and struck-out one.
Chris Iriart homered for the fifth time in the past seven games. He finishes the season third among A's minor leaguers with 22 homeruns. He had three hits and a walk and finished his stint with Stockton with a .311 average and a 1106 OPS in 61 official at-bats. Melvin Mercedes, who played all nine positions on Saturday night, went 4-for-6 with a walk and he scored twice. He played left field in the game. Arismendy Alcantara had two hits in what is likely his final tune-up before being promoted back to the A's big league roster. Mikey White and Argenis Raga both had two hit games, as well.
Stockton finishes the 2016 season with a 59-80 overall record.
Beloit finishes off 2016 with a win
The Beloit Snappers scored a run in the eighth inning to take a 4-3 win over the Wisconsin TimberRattlers in their season finale. Trace Loehr, Robert Martinez and Trent Gilbert all homered in the win.
Loehr's homerun was a fitting end to a second half that saw him hit .288 and an August that saw him hit .338. He finished the year with a .249 average.
Brendan Butler got the start and threw five solid innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. He struck-out six. Butler finished the season with 2.84 ERA and 82 strike-outs in 92 innings between Beloit, Stockton and Vermont.
Nolan Blackwood got the win with two scoreless innings in relief. He allowed only two hits and he struck-out three.
Beloit finishes the 2016 season with a 59-80 overall record.
Murphy leads Vermont to season-ending win
A's 2016 third-round pick Sean Murphy had three hits, including a homerun, as the Vermont Lake Monsters beat the Lowell Spinners, 9-5, in their season finale.
Murphy missed six weeks of his pro debut season with injury, but he returned for the final weekend of the season, collecting four hits and two walks in nine official at-bats.
2016 draft picks Logan Shore (2nd-round) and Brandon Bailey (6th-round) combined for the win. Shore worked five innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He didn't walk a batter and he struck-out five. Shore finishes his pro debut season with a 2.57 ERA and a 21:7 K:BB in 21 innings. New York-Penn League hitters batted just .207 against him.
Bailey allowed two runs on four hits in four innings. He didn't walk a batter and he struck-out six. Bailey had a 2.93 ERA and a 46:10 K:BB in 43 innings for Vermont and the AZL A's in his pro debut season. He allowed more than two runs only once out of 12 appearances.
Vermont finished the season with a 28-48 record.