Bride leads Oakland contingent for Mesa

November 12th, 2021

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A's fans got a good glimpse at several prospects on Friday as the Mesa Solar Sox trotted out an Oakland-heavy lineup against Surprise.

The four A’s prospects combined to go 4-for-13 with two walks and played a part in three of Mesa’s runs in a 4-4 tie at Surprise Stadium.

Jonah Bride reached in all four of his plate appearances, finishing 2-for-2 with a walk, a hit by pitch and a run scored.

, the A’s No. 12 prospect, plated a run with a single to center in the first inning two at-bats after (No. 26) scored the first run of the game. Austin Beck (No. 28) was also in the lineup but finished 0-for-4.

“It’s great to see guys that I’ve played with for a couple years play well,” Bride said. “We’re all cheering for each other, along with the rest of the guys. It’s great being out here. Great group of guys.”

The perfect day at the plate brought Bride’s AFL average up to .261, and the 2018 draftee (23rd round) has hits in four of his past five games. After a slow start this fall, Bride has started to turn a corner, further refining an improved approach that led to success in the regular season.

He played 78 games with Double-A Midland this season, slashing .265/.407/.414. Both the slugging and on-base marks were career highs, and he walked as many times (57) as he struck out and saw both a decrease in his strikeout rate and an increase in his walk rate.

“Pitch selection,” Bride said of the improvements. “Getting more and more used to seeing a lot of breaking balls and offspeed, but at the same time, trying to maintain the zone and get my pitch to hit.”

In addition to getting more at-bats, Bride is using his time in the Fall League to learn a new defensive position. After spending the first three years of his professional career on the infield, Bride was approached midseason and asked if he wanted to take up catching.

He agreed, came to Arizona early and started learning the position in instructs. He’s continued working at the position this fall, getting additional reps in the bullpen on days he’s not in the lineup.

“It was definitely new, but as I’ve gone, it’s gotten more and more comfortable,” Bride said. “Legs are starting to get under me more, so I’m looking more and more forward to it and doing whatever they want me to do.”

(Marlins No. 5) continued his hot stretch for the Solar Sox, extending his hitting streak to four games with an RBI single in the first inning. Gabriel Moreno (Blue Jays No. 1) also plated a run in the first and is batting .361 after his 2-for-3 afternoon.

 was the only Surprise player with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-3. The Rangers' No. 4 prospect singled in the fifth, then tied the game with a two-out homer in the bottom of the seventh.