Typically in this weekly Snap-back feature, we take a look at some former Snappers who are enjoying great feats of success either in the majors or the higher levels of Minor League Baseball. With the All-Star break fast approaching, this Snap-back will take on a different theme to those past. Instead, we'll look at how some former 2017 Beloit Snappers are going with the Advanced-A Stockton Ports, and what their prospects may be for the remainder of this season.
We first start with Boomer Biegalski, whose stay in Beloit was rather short after being promoted to Stockton on April 17th. Boomer made only two starts this year with the Snappers after spending almost all of 2016 in Beloit, finishing with a 3.68 ERA across 161 1/3 innings in 2016 and 2017. Last year, he led the team with 115 strikeouts and was tied for the most victories with eight, as opposing hitters owned a .252 batting average against him.
Biegalski now finds himself pitching at Advanced-A Stockton, where he has hurled seven shutout innings out of the bullpen in his last two appearances. Boomer allowed one run or less in just one of his starts with Stockton this year, but he has been much more effective in relief, allowing only five runs in 23 1/3 innings while picking up a pair of saves. At this stage, it looks as though Stockton will continue to use Biegalski out of the bullpen as he throws multiple innings of relief.
After being drafted by Oakland in the eighth round of the 2016 draft, Gilbert began his professional career by having the second-best ERA (2.81) among relief pitchers with the Vermont Lake Monsters last year. He kicked off his first full year in the minors with Beloit, where Gilbert would allow just one earned run on seven hits across 8 2/3 innings.
His strong performance in the opening month of the season sparked a promotion to Stockton at the beginning of May, joining Snappers teammate Andrew Tomasovich in the Ports bullpen. After allowing one run on a pair of hits in his debut appearance at Advanced-A, Gilbert struggled to find the success that he had enjoyed earlier in the year. In nine games, he surrendered 15 earned runs and allowed nine walks with Stockton, including giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings on May 14 at Lancaster. Gilbert suffered a knee injury early in June and will miss the rest of the season. The injury came right at the point when the southpaw had started to turn things around, as Gilbert had allowed just one run in his last 4 2/3 innings before the injury.
Renowned for his funky left-handed delivery, Andrew Tomasovich is currently in his third season with the Athletics organization after being drafted out of Charleston Southern in 2015. Last year, Tomasovich struggled in his 39 2/3 innings in Beloit, allowing 25 earned runs in 33 games. Returning to the Snappers to commence his 2016 campaign, the script was written completely different as Tomasovich threw nine shutout innings while allowing just four hits and punching out 13.
After joining the Stockton Ports early in May, Tomasovich has continued his shutout ways by not allowing a run in 10 of his 13 outings. Outside of one game when the 23-year-old surrendered three runs in 1/3 of an inning, Tomasovich has 12 innings of four-run ball to his name. With his 16 punchouts, the man they call 'Tomo' has the fourth-highest strikeout percentage (28.6%) among Stockton pitchers with at least 10 innings to their name.
Butler spent the first two months of the season in Beloit and was very effective throughout. He was one of the team's best starting pitchers in April as the right-hander put up a 1.88 ERA in 24 innings and struck out 31 hitters in the process. Butler finished his time in Beloit with a 2.32 ERA over 54 1/3 innings, allowing opponents just a .208 batting average. To this day, he remains among the best starters in the Midwest League. His 10.60 strikeouts per nine innings ranks fourth in the league, while his 0.17 home runs allowed per nine innings are also fourth best in the league.
A 30th-round draft pick in 2015, Butler spent last year floating between Vermont, Beloit and Stockton, but after getting off to a good start this year he looks to be making some strides forward. The 24-year-old's career at Advanced-A has gotten off on the right foot, earning the victory in his first start with Stockton by throwing five shutout innings and then backing that up by surrendering only a pair of runs in 6 2/3 innings during his first start at home on June 13. With experience on his side at 24 years of age, Butler could rise quickly in the Athletics farm system if he continues to put up good performances on the mound.
The latest member of Beloit's 2017 Opening Day roster to be called up to Stockton, Sawyer has seen a lot of the country in the last two weeks. After allowing a pair of runs across six innings on June 4 in Appleton, Sawyer's next start came for Triple-A Nashville against the Memphis Redbirds. In that game on June 10, he hurled another six innings and this time gave up three runs on six hits in his second consecutive quality start. Sawyer has since joined the Advanced-A Stockton Ports where he is expected to make his debut in the coming days.
Having been drafted by the Athletics in the 9th round of last year's draft, the left-hander joined the Vermont Lake Monsters in late June where he worked exclusively as a reliever and earned three saves in the process. His role changed during the offseason though, coming to Beloit stretched out and ready to throw multiple innings.
His first appearance in 2017 for the Snappers came against the Clinton LumberKings as Sawyer surrendered two runs in 3 2/3 innings. He would then go five straight games without allowing an earned run, including an outstanding five-inning shutout in his first professional start against the Burlington Bees, striking out eight on that day. His 29.6 strikeout percentage was the third highest among Midwest League starters, while his .176 batting average against was second best among starters. He went on to be named a Midwest League All-Star alongside teammates Nate Mondou and Luke Persico.
In other news, former Snappers outfielder Skye Bolt and starter Evan Manarino were named to the California League All-Star game. Bolt will be a reserve for the game while Manarino's recent promotion to Double-A Midland means he won't participate in the game this year being hosted by the Visalia Rawhide.
There'll also be four former Snappers participating in the Texas League All-Star Game, with Tyler Marincov being named a starting outfielder. He'll be joined by RockHounds teammates and former Snappers OF B.J. Boyd, RHP Lou Trivino and RHP Kyle Finnegan at game taking place in in Frisco, Texas.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.