Right-hander Shore making up for lost innings in AFL
By William Boor
MESA, Ariz. -- Logan Shore's first full season went well, but he, like many others, missed some time with injury and is looking to make up innings in the Arizona Fall League.
Shore, the Athletics' second-round pick from the 2016 Draft, missed roughly two months after suffering a lat injury in mid-May, but he still appeared in 17 games (14 starts) and posted a 4.09 ERA with Class A Advanced Stockton.
Those numbers may not jump off the page, but context is important as Shore was pitching in the California League, a notoriously hitter-friendly environment.
"My game plan is to keep the fastball down and sink the ball and keep the ball down, slow the ball down with my changeup," the Athletics' No. 8 prospect said. "Really, the game plan was just to do that, and I did that all year. I had some pretty good success doing that."
After working around 88-92 mph in college, Shore saw his velocity tick up a bit over the past season as his fastball sat in the low 90s toward the end of the year. The 22-year-old also noticed that with the increase in velocity, he was able to keep the natural sinking action on his fastball, something that's very important for a pitcher without overpowering stuff.
In addition to adding a bit of velocity, Shore continued to showcase the command he illustrated at Florida, walking just under two batters per nine innings with the Ports.
"Just being able to command the ball is extremely important," Shore said. "That's the biggest thing for my game, being able to control the ball on both sides of the plate, up and down, with multiple pitches."
Athletics hitters in the Fall League:
Sean Murphy, C -- Murphy has what it takes to succeed as a catcher defensively. The 23-year-old is an athletic catcher with good blocking and receiving skills, as well as a 70-grade arm. The questions come when discussing Murphy's bat. The A's No. 11 prospect got off to a strong start in 2017, hitting .297 through 45 games with Stockton, but he struggled once he was promoted to Midland, batting just .209 in 53 games.
Sheldon Neuse, 3B -- Neuse, whom the A's acquired from the Nationals in mid-July as part of the Sean Doolitte and Ryan Madson trade, had a big season offensively, hitting .321 across three levels. Defensively, the organization's No. 14 prospect, a college shortstop, has moved over to third base as a pro and profiles as an average defender.
Tyler Ramirez, OF -- Ramirez' first full season couldn't have gone much better offensively. The seventh-round pick (2016) hit .301 through 76 games with Stockton before he was promoted to Double-A Midland where he continued to rake. Ramirez hit .308 in 58 games with Midland. He also walked 73 times in 134 games this season.
Athletics pitchers in the Fall League:
Nolan Blackwood, RHP -- Blackwood, a 14th-round pick in 2016, posted a 3.00 ERA across 44 games with Stockton in his first full season. The 22-year-old converted 19 of 20 save opportunities this season, and his sidearm motion had good success against right-handed hitters, who hit just .167 off of him.
Sam Bragg, RHP -- Bragg is back in the AFL after posting a 1.98 ERA in eight games with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2016. The former 18th-round pick (2013) just completed his second season with Double-A Midland, where he went 4-1 with a 3.03 ERA in 45 games. Bragg's strikeouts per nine innings dipped a bit this season (9.42 to 7.38), but he also reduced his walks per nine innings from 2.63 to 2.11.
Miguel Romero, RHP -- Romero, whom the A's signed out of Cuba prior to this year, was all over the place this season. His made his organization debut in June in the Dominican Summer League, then he worked his way to the Rookie-level Arizona League, spent some time with Class A Beloit and finished with Class A Advanced Stockton. While Romero's stuff allowed him to have success at the lower levels, he struggled with command once reaching Stockton as he walked nine and gave up four homers in 18 1/3 innings.
William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.