In A's debut, Mateo backs fine Meisner start

Speedster reaches three times as righty goes six scoreless innings

Casey Meisner was 6-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 16 games -- 12 starts -- in the California League before a June promotion. (Jeremy Davis/MiLB.com)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | August 2, 2017 1:22 AM

On a night when A's No. 28 prospect Casey Meisner was at his best on the mound, new arrival Jorge Mateo showed just how good he can be in the batter's box, on the bases and in the field.

"We got to see him do everything in a first look," Double-A Midland manager Fran Riordan said. "It was fun to watch."

Mateo reached on two errors, tripled and drove in two runs while flashing the leather at shortstop, while Meisner tossed six scoreless innings in the RockHounds' 10-1 win over Frisco on Tuesday at Dr Pepper Ballpark. 


Gameday box score


The 22-year-old right-hander gave up three hits and struck out three without issuing a walk, improving to 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA in seven starts since making his Double-A debut on June 30.

"He used his mix well. He was dropping his curveball in for strikes early in counts. He kept them off-balance with off-speed stuff in hitters' counts, and when he needed it, there was a lot in the tank for him to reach back and get a good fastball by hitters," Riordan said. "It was a good show of his abilities, the best he's pitched in the Texas League.

"When he first came up, he was a little tentative. He wasn't always aggressive in the zone. He was walking more hitters than he was used to. In his last two starts, he's gotten out of that."

Perhaps the most important moment for Meisner came when he surrendered a leadoff double to Juremi Profar in the fifth, then retired the next three in order.

"That was huge for him because since he got called up, he's had a few big innings against him. To see him give up a leadoff double and keep a zero on the scoreboard gave him a lot of confidence," the Midland manager said." That was something he really needed in his development and maturation, being relatively new to the league."

Video: Midland's Meisner wraps up six scoreless frames

Even newer to the league, Mateo made a strong first impression, checking in as the A's No. 5 prospect following the Sonny Gray deadline deal with the Yankees.

"Just in the first look we had at him, he's definitely a game-changing type of player, with what he can do with his legs and the at-bats he put together coming off a plane trip were pretty impressive," Riordan said. "He's unbelievably quick. A guy with that kind of skill set, that's a game-changer at our level."

After grounding out in the first, Mateo started a four-run third by getting aboard on a throwing error by second baseman Andy Ibanez.

"It should have been a hit," Riordan said. "It was an absolute rocket up the middle and Ibanez made a great play on it. He had to rush the throw, and that what was called the error.

"In that same inning, [Mateo] went from first to third on a crushed base hit to right field [by B.J. Boyd], and that was contagious because on the next two hits to right field, we were just aggressive, so [Mateo] set the tone. He was definitely the catalyst in that inning."

In the sixth, the 22-year-old speedster welcomed No. 21 Rangers prospect Connor Sadzeck to the game by bashing an opposite-field RBI triple.

Video: Mateo collects his first hit in the A's system

"The one hit [he's credited with], it was a two-out, two-strike RBI triple on a 97 mph fastball," Riordan said, "and he drove it through wind."

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Mateo reached again on an by third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the seventh, and his new manager also liked what he saw from him on defense.

"He made a spectacular catch on a line drive up the middle, had a really good reaction on a ball to shallow center field for an over-the-shoulder basket catch," the veteran of seven pro seasons said. "He called off the center fielder [Boyd] and the second baseman [Max Schrock] and made it look easy. And he made the routine ground balls, as well."


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Boyd was 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored, while Schrock -- the A's No. 19 prospect -- contributed two hits, three RBIs and a run scored.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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