Spring’s Young Over-Achievers!
Well, we’re a little over three weeks into spring training now, and we’ve had the chance to get a good look at a number of the A’s most promising young hitters. There are 13 hitters who are likely to start the season in the A’s minor league system who’ve gotten into anywhere between 4 and 21 major league spring training games thus far – and most of them have performed pretty well!
However, only 3 of the 13 still remain in major league camp – outfielder Shane Peterson along with infielders Andy Parrino and Eric Sogard. They aren’t the only ones to make their mark though. Catcher David Freitas, infielders Jefry Marte, Grant Green and Darwin Perez as well as outfielder Michael Choice all hit the ball well during their time with the major league team.
Below is a list of the 13 players who we’re likely to see starting the year at Sacramento, Midland or Stockton who got at least 10 at-bats in major league games this spring, followed by a profile of a few particular over-achievers…
Shane Peterson (OF-1B) 18-for-42 / 6 2B / 1 HR / .429 AVG / .489 OBP / .690 SLG
Michael Choice (OF) 13-for-42 / 2 2B / 1 HR / .310 AVG / .333 OBP / .476 SLG
Eric Sogard (IF) 16-for-31 / 7 2B / 0 HR / .516 AVG / .559 OBP / .742 SLG
Andy Parrino (IF) 12-for-31 / 5 2B / 1 HR / .387 AVG / .457 OBP / .645 SLG
Michael Taylor (OF) 5-for-23 / 2 2B / 0 HR / .217 AVG / .250 OBP / .304 SLG
Grant Green (IF-OF) 9-for-22 / 5 2B / 0 HR / .409 AVG / .409 OBP / .636 SLG
Scott Moore (IF-OF) 4-for-20 / 0 2B / 1 HR / .200 AVG / .304 OBP / .350 SLG
David Freitas (C) 8-for-17 / 1 2B / 1 HR / .471 AVG / .471 OBP / .706 SLG
Luke Montz (C) 1-for-17 / 0 2B / 1 HR / .059 AVG / .105 OBP / .235 SLG
Addison Russell (SS) 4-for-16 / 1 2B / 0 HR / .250 AVG / .294 OBP / .313 SLG
Darwin Perez (IF) 5-for-15 / 1 2B / 0 HR / .333 AVG / .412 OBP / .400 SLG
Jefry Marte (3B) 4-for-10 / 2 2B / 0 HR / .400 AVG / .455 OBP / .600 SLG
Miles Head (3B) 1-for-10 / 0 2B / 0 HR / .100 AVG / .091 OBP / .100 SLG
With Hiro Nakajima and Jed Lowrie added to the roster in the off-season and Adam Rosales both out of options and carrying a guaranteed contract, Sogard’s likely to start the season bouncing around Sacramento’s infield. But his spring performance has certainly helped to keep his name in play anyway. In his first 31 at-bats, Sogard is hitting over .500 and leads the team with 7 doubles. He also has just 1 strikeout. And with that kind of performance at the plate, if another infielder is needed in Oakland at some point, Sogard’s name should be quick to come to mind.
At 25, Peterson has yet to see time in the majors. But let’s not forget that he was a 2nd-round draft pick for the Cardinals in 2008 before coming over to the A’s in the Matt Holliday deal. With five outfielders already on the A’s roster, there doesn’t appear to be much room for Peterson. But after posting an impressive .460 OBP last season between Sacramento and Midland, he’s definitely opened some eyes this spring by batting .429 in 42 at-bats while bashing 6 doubles. He’s likely to start the season in the Sacramento outfield, along with Michael Choice and Michael Taylor. But Peterson can also play first base, and he’ll undoubtedly see some time there as well, which could help offer him another route to the big leagues.
No one seemed to pay too much attention to Freitas when he came over from the Nationals last summer in the Kurt Suzuki deal. But they’re certainly noticing him now after he went 8-for-17 this spring, hitting .471 with a home run, a double and just 1 strikeout. Freitas has never played above Double-A though, and he’s likely to start the season at either Midland or Sacramento. But at this point, with the departure of Max Stassi, Freitas appears to be the most promising young catcher in the A’s minor league system.
Parrino came to the A’s this off-season along with LHP Andrew Werner in the Tyson Ross trade. And much like Sogard, Parrino is another infielder whose chances of making the roster are greatly hindered by the presence of Lowrie, Nakajima and Rosales. He’s likely to start the season playing shortstop at Sacramento, though the A’s have been giving him some time in the outfield this spring as well. But Parrino has put himself on the map with his consistent hot-hitting this spring, going 12-for-31 and hitting .387 with 5 doubles and a home run. And if the shortstop spot proves troublesome for the A’s this season, Parrino could end up earning a shot.