Preview: Parker, Peacock and Ross Lead Rivercats Rotation in 2012

Raley Field in Sacramento

The opening day roster for the A’s Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, the Sacramento Rivercats, hadn’t been officially announced as of Wednesday night. But with a few exceptions, it’s pretty clear how the Rivercats’ roster will shape up.

The Rivercats are likely to start the season with 13 pitchers, including top prospects Jarrod Parker and Brad Peacock, as well as right-hander Tyson Ross until he’s needed as the A’s fifth starter in mid-April. The offense will include five outfielders led by promising sluggers Jermaine Mitchell and Grant Green, five infielders anchored by first baseman Chris Carter and third baseman Stephen Parker, and a catching corps led by top catching prospect Derek Norris.

The Rivercats’ regular lineup is likely to include Norris behind the plate – backed up by veteran minor leaguer Joel GalarragaCarter, Wes Timmons, Adam Rosales and Parker around the horn in the infield – with minor league pickup Brandon Hicks backing them up – and Green, Mitchell, Michael Taylor and minor league veterans Brandon Moss and Jeff Fiorentino rotating in the outfield and in the designated hitter spot.

The Rivercats’ rotation will be made up of Ross, Parker and Peacock along with returning Rivercats Travis Banwart and Carlos Hernandez. Meanwhile, the bullpen will primarily be comprised of minor league veterans, all of whom will be at least 26 years old at the start of the season, and most of whom were signed as minor league free agents in the off-season.

You’ll find the Sacramento Rivercats’ likely roster, along with profiles of some of the team’s top players, below. And be sure to check back with A’s Farm throughout the season for daily updates on all the A’s minor league games and top prospects!

 

Jarrod Parker

JARROD PARKER

Right-handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2007 – 1st Round

Probably the most talented of all the A’s young pitching acquisitions this off-season, Parker was a first-round draft pick in 2007 who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and ended up missing all of the 2010 season. He returned to Double-A Mobile in 2011 and turned in a 3.79 ERA in 26 starts, striking out 112 in 130 2/3 innings. After earning a late-season call-up with the Diamondbacks, he gave up no runs in his only major league start. Parker should eventually end up as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher for the A’s, but he could benefit from a little more seasoning at Sacramento this year.

 

Brad Peacock

BRAD PEACOCK

Right-handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2006 – 41st Round

Of all the young hurlers the A’s acquired this off-season who pitched above Single-A last year, Peacock had the lowest ERA and the best strikeout rate of them all, turning in a stellar 2.39 ERA and striking out 177 in 146 2/3 innings between Triple-A Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg last year. He earned a late-season call-up with the Nationals and gave up only 1 run in 12 innings of major league action. The Florida native seems to be a smart pitcher who’s figured out what it takes to win, and it’d be surprising if he didn’t get a chance to be pitching in the majors before the season’s through.

 

Derek Norris

DEREK NORRIS

Right-handed Hitting Catcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2007 – 4th Round

The only hitter the A’s acquired in the Gio Gonzalez deal with the Nationals, Norris certainly fits the A’s mold in that he’s a power hitter who has a propensity for drawing walks. His career minor league OBP of .403 no doubt got the A’s attention. But while he slugged 20 home runs at Double-A Harrisburg last season, he managed to hit only .210. If he can just keep his average above the Mendoza line, Norris could serve to bridge the gap between Kurt Suzuki and young catching prospect Max Stassi.

 

Chris Carter

CHRIS CARTER

Right-handed Hitting First Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2005 – 15th Round

Acquired in the Dan Haren deal with the Diamondbacks, it was originally hoped that the slugging first baseman would be anchoring the heart of the A’s lineup by now. He’s put up big power numbers in the minors, clubbing 31 home runs at Triple-A Sacramento in 2010 and posting a career minor league slugging percentage of .540. But Carter will have to take the opportunity to open some eyes and really show the A’s what he can do at Sacramento in 2012.

 

Michael Taylor

MICHAEL TAYLOR

Right-handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 26

Drafted 2007 – 5th Round

Along with Carter, Taylor had lots of expectations thrust upon him as soon as the A’s managed to pry him away from Philadelphia. And while the 6’5” outfielder put up stellar numbers in the Phillies system, his progress has stagnated a bit since coming to the A’s. But Taylor does still have a .296/.371/.476 career minor league slash line along with some good tools. At 26 though, 2012 may be his last real opportunity to show the A’s just what’s he’s capable of.

 

Grant Green

GRANT GREEN

Right-handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2009 – 1st Round

Green was originally selected by the A’s in the first round of the 2009 draft as a shortstop but has since been moved to the outfield. Midway through the 2011 season, Green took over in center field for Double-A Midland, where he turned in a .291/.343/.408 slash line. But his home run numbers dipped from 20 at Class-A Stockton in the 2010 season down to just 9 last year. His plate discipline has been an issue too, as he’s struck out three times as often as he’s walked in his minor league career. Still, he hits the ball hard and Green could earn a shot in the A’s outfield before long.

 

Jermaine Mitchell

JERMAINE MITCHELL

Left-handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 27

Drafted 2006 – 5th Round

A six-year minor league veteran, Mitchell finally put it all together in 2011. The outfielder hit .332 with 29 doubles, 16 triples, 15 homers, and 27 stolen bases in 536 at bats between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento last season. He also posted an impressive .430 on-base percentage to go along with a .530 slugging percentage. The A’s brass thinks this talented player may have finally figured it all out and will be looking to his performance this year at Sacramento to determine whether or not he’s truly got what it takes.

 

-SACRAMENTO RIVERCATS LIKELY 2012 ROSTER-

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Tyson Ross

Jarrod Parker

Brad Peacock

Travis Banwart

Carlos Hernandez

 

LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS

Fabio Castro

Pedro Figueroa

Erick Threets

 

RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS

Jim Miller

Justin Souza

Merkin Valdez

Neil Wagner

Evan Scribner or Travis Schlichting

 

CATCHERS

Derek Norris

Joel Galarraga

 

INFIELDERS

Chris Carter

Wes Timmons

Adam Rosales

Stephen Parker

Brandon Hicks

 

OUTFIELDERS

Michael Taylor

Grant Green

Jermaine Mitchell

Brandon Moss

Jeff Fiorentino

 

 

Be sure to check back with A’s Farm throughout the season for daily updates on all the A’s minor league games and top prospects

 

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