Oakland’s Single-A Beloit Squad Looking to Improve in Season’s Second Half

The Beloit Snappers finished the first half of their Midwest League season (26-44) 20 games behind their Western division foes, the Quad City River Bandits (45-23.) They’re starting their second half a little better (8-10) but unfortunately at the moment the Kane County Cougars are tearing up the competition, rocketing to a 15-3 start. Overall in 2015 the Snappers (34-54) are 23 games behind the Quad City River Bandits. By the way, if you’re not certain as to why Single-A breaks the season into halves, they have an interesting playoff system. Read here to check out how it all breaks down.

At the midway point of their 2015 campaign, Beloit is dead last in the Midwest League as far as team batting (.227) and pitching (4.86 ERA) are concerned. Offensively, the Snappers are fourth in the league in home runs and third in walks. Unfortunately they’re also among the worst in strike outs, stolen bases and slugging percentage. Beloit pitching isn’t faring any better as they’re the only team without a shutout in 2015, on top of the fact that they’re once again amongst the worst in the Midwest in hits allowed, home runs given up and walks given.

The season hasn’t bee all bad though. On the plus side, there’s no where to go but up, right? It should be noted that individually, the Snappers aren’t doing too shabby. Four members of the squad attended the All-Star Game in June: second baseman Trent Gilbert (pictured above), first baseman/ designated hitter Sandber Pimentel, shortstop Yairo Munoz and righty pitcher Brent Graves. It’s nice to notice these individuals for their accomplishments, but as a whole, this Oakland A’s Single-A affiliate needs work or an infusion of fresh talent.

In the midst of so much individual success within the Midwest League (Ryan McBroom/Toronto, Michael Gerber/Detroit, Felix Jorge/Minnesota), it’s increasingly difficult for the Beloit squad as a whole to make their mark in 2015, but that doesn’t mean that their players can’t still be individually competitive as well.

As with a few others in the Midwest League a few former Snappers players have been bumped up to at least the California (Class-A Advanced) League, such as centerfielder Brett Vertigan and shortstop Melvin Mercedes. Who should we be keeping an eye on in the second half? Iolana Akau is a recent re-aquired catcher batting .387 since rejoining the Snappers. Trent Gilbert is a modest second baseman hitting .274 this season but he’s averaging more than a hit per game and 26% of those hits are for extra bases. Carlos Navas has been the most consistent pitcher for this Southern Wisconsin team and is a reliever, not a starter, as most would expect with that distinction. He’s logged 43 2/3 innings in 31 appearances with a 3-1 record and a 2.47 ERA. He also owns a 3.4/1 K/BB ratio, one of thefts on the team.

The Snappers may not have been one of the better teams in the Midwest League over the first half, but regardless of lackluster team stats, a few individual efforts are shining through the bleakness of a 24 game from first deficit. No one can ever truly foresee how a season will end, but the Beloit Snappers are at least looking to make it an interesting finish.

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