Four A’s pitching prospects headline Snappers roster

INF Melvin Mercedes returns to Beloit this year after batting .222 in 98 games with the Snappers in 2014. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Infielder Melvin Mercedes returns to Beloit this year after batting .222 in 98 games with the Snappers in 2014. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Four pitchers ranked by Baseball America among the top 30 Oakland Athletics prospects headline the initial 2015 Beloit Snappers roster.

Those pitchers are all right-handers: Daniel Gossett (No. 15 A’s prospect), Brett Graves (No. 20), Heath Fillmyer (No. 28), and Jordan Schwartz (No. 29). One Snappers position player, infielder Yairo Munoz (No. 16), is ranked in the top 30.

The four ranked pitchers all have fastballs that can reach the upper 90s, according to Baseball America: Gossett can reach 96 mph, and the other three can get up to 97 mph. This is the first full-season assignment for all four hurlers.

After struggling offensively at rookie level in 2012 and 2013, Munoz improved greatly in the short-season New York-Penn League in 2014 (.298, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 14 SB in 66 games). Baseball America describes him as “a live-bodied athlete with all kinds of tools. He has quick hands and already shows some pull-side power.” He needs to work on his fielding after committing 20 errors last season.

There are five previous Snappers back on the roster: RHP Trevor Bayless, RHP Junior Mendez, catcher Jose Chavez, infielder Melvin Mercedes, and outfielder Brett Vertigan.

RHP Junior Mendez returns to Beloit this year after pitching for the Snappers in 2014. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

RHP Junior Mendez returns to Beloit this year after pitching for the Snappers in 2014. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

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