With the end of June arriving, lots of top prospects were on the move in the A’s minor league system. Not only were the recent batch of draft picks assigned to their teams, but many other players found themselves being shuffled around to different affiliates for the second half.
SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:
(Statistics through games of 7/5/15)
2B Colin Walsh (Midland – AA)
8 HR / 64 BB / 72 K / .290 AVG / .426 OBP / .466 SLG / .893 OPS
C Carson Blair (Midland/Nashville – AA/AAA)
6 HR / 34 BB / 69 K / .276 AVG / .389 OBP / .503 SLG / .892 OPS
3B Matt Chapman (Stockton – A+)
14 HR / 23 BB / 52 K / .244 AVG / .332 OBP / .543 SLG / .875 OPS
OF Brett Vertigan (Stockton/Beloit – A+/A)
4 HR / 43 BB / 52 K / .314 AVG / .393 OBP / .431 SLG / .824 OPS
OF Jason Pridie (Nashville – AAA)
9 HR / 26 BB / 65 K / .291 AVG / .347 OBP / .460 SLG / .807 OPS
OF Chad Oberacker (Midland – AA)
4 HR / 25 BB / 56 K / .296 AVG / .356 OBP / .443 SLG / .799 OPS
SP Nate Long (Midland/Nashville – AA/AAA)
95 IP / 79 H / 33 ER / 33 BB / 78 K / 3.13 ERA / 1.18 WHIP
SP Joel Seddon (Stockton – A+)
81 IP / 79 H / 30 ER / 11 BB / 62 K / 3.33 ERA / 1.11 WHIP
SP Brad Mills (Nashville – AAA)
88 1/3 IP / 80 H / 35 ER / 32 BB / 64 K / 3.57 ERA / 1.27 WHIP
SP Dylan Covey (Stockton – A+)
90 IP / 88 H / 36 ER / 29 BB / 62 K / 3.60 ERA / 1.30 WHIP
RP Ryan Dull (Midland – AA)
37 IP / 23 H / 1 ER / 10 BB / 42 K / 0.24 ERA / 0.89 WHIP
RP Dan Otero (Nashville – AAA)
14 2/3 IP / 14 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 11 K / 1.23 ERA / 1.09 WHIP
NASHVILLE SOUNDS (38-46)
Pacific Coast League – Triple-A
There’s been an awful lot of of coming and going in Nashville over the past couple of weeks. The most recent additions were RHPs Cody Martin, acquired from Atlanta, and Parker Frazier, acquired from the Arizona organization, and both made less-than-impressive starts for the Sounds this week. 29-year-old RHP Nate Long, who’s been the best starting pitcher in the A’s system this season, arrived from Midland and immediately tossed 7 shutout innings to earn a win. LHP Sean Nolin joined RHP A.J. Griffin on the disabled list with a sore pitching shoulder. Struggling catcher Luke Carlin was released and hot-hitting backstop Carson Blair was called up from Midland to take his place. Nashville’s outfield also underwent a bit of a makeover as Kent Matthes and Matt Carson were both released and Jake Smolinski, acquired off waivers from Texas, and Dayan Viciedo, signed as a free agent, were both added to the outfield mix, though Viciedo has actually been spending most of his time playing first base. Craig Gentry and Jason Pridie have remained staples in the Sounds’ outfield. Infielders Max Muncy and Andy Parrino returned to Nashville from Oakland. Muncy has primarily been playing third base since his return, while Parrino was serving as the Sounds’ starting shortstop before departing to participate in the Pan Am Games. And then, of course, first baseman Nate Freiman has been seen both coming and going. Freiman was first sidelined when he was designated for assignment but then returned to the roster once he cleared waivers and was outrighted to Nashville.
MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS (42-38)
Texas League – Double-A
Midland has had the most stable roster of any of the A’s affiliates this season, with only 15 position players making plate appearances for the RockHounds through the end of June. But there were even a few changes for the Hounds this past week. With RHP Nate Long moving up to Nashville, promising LHP Dillon Overton was promoted to replace him. And Overton won his first Double-A start by allowing just 1 run and striking out 4 over 5 innings of work. The catching corps also underwent a bit of an overhaul when hot-hitting backstop Carson Blair was promoted to Nashville, catcher Phil Pohl, who had been on the disabled list, was dealt to the Rockies’ organization, and Stockton catcher Nick Rickles was reassigned to the RockHounds. Bruce Maxwell still remains Midland’s primary option behind the plate. A couple of weeks ago, RHP Bobby Wahl was placed on the disabled list and LHP Omar Duran was called up from Stockton to take his place in the RockHounds’ bullpen. Meanwhile, RHP Ryan Dull has still allowed just 1 run while striking out 42 in 37 innings of work so far this season, and RHP Tucker Healy has struck out 40 in 34 2/3 innings while posting a 2.08 ERA for Midland. Hounds second baseman Colin Walsh still leads all A’s minor leaguers with 24 doubles and an impressive .426 on-base percentage, while outfielder Josh Whitaker leads the team with a .485 slugging percentage.
STOCKTON PORTS (44-36)
California League – High-A
The Ports have had fewer changes than most A’s affiliates over the past few weeks, but most of their moves have involved notable lefties. A few days after LHP Dillon Overton moved up to Midland, LHP Victor Veliz joined the team after appearing in just one game for Vermont. And a few days after LHP Omar Duran made his move to Midland, the A’s signed veteran LHP Phil Coke and assigned him to Stockton. After starting the season pitching out of the Cubs bullpen, Coke has surrendered 5 runs in his first 4 1/3 innings pitching out of the Ports ‘pen. And with Rickles’ promotion to Midland, catcher Jose Chavez was called up from Beloit to serve as primary backstop Beau Taylor’s backup. Meanwhile, last year’s top draft pick for the A’s, third baseman Matt Chapman, showed off his power potential by blasting 3 home runs this past week, and he now leads all A’s minor leaguers with 14 home runs in his first 51 games. Center fielder and leadoff hitter Brett Vertigan leads all A’s minor leaguers in hits (96), runs (60), stolen bases (21) and batting average (.314). RHP Dylan Covey made the California League All-Star squad, but RHP Joel Seddon has been Stockton’s best starter of late, and he’s now struck out 62 and walked just 11 while putting up a 3.33 ERA in 81 innings for the Ports.
BELOIT SNAPPERS (31-50)
Midwest League – Class-A
The A’s decided to completely change the Snappers’ catching corps to kick off the second half. With Jose Chavez heading to Stockton and Andy Paz reassigned to the AZL A’s, catchers Lana Akau and Argenis Raga were both brought up from Vermont. Outfielder Shawn Duinkerk was also brought back from Vermont, while outfielder Robert Martinez was sent to the AZL A’s. And this year’s 35th-round draft pick for the A’s, shortstop Tim Proudfoot, was assigned to the Snappers, while infielder Edwin Diaz ended up back in Arizona. On the pitching side, RHP Dominique Vattuone was promoted to Beloit after making just one appearance for Vermont, and last year’s 10th-round draft pick, RHP Corey Miller, was sent to Vermont after posting a 4.54 ERA pitching out of Beloit’s bullpen in the first half. Meanwhile, last year’s 20th-round pick for the A’s, RHP Koby Gauna, has put up a 1.77 ERA while appearing in 20 games out of Beloit’s bullpen since coming back from his suspension. Hot-hitting first baseman Sandber Pimentel has cooled off a bit lately but still leads the Snappers with 10 home runs and a .419 slugging percentage.
VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS (6-10)
New York-Penn League – (Class-A Short-Season)
Nine pitchers and nine position players from the A’s 2015 draft class have been assigned to Vermont. The position players are: #1 SS Richie Martin, #2 SS Mikey White, #4 OF Skye Bolt, #8 C Nicholas Collins, #10 OF Steven Pallares, #12 1B Chris Iriart, #15 2B-OF Ryan Howell, #19 1B-OF Seth Brown and #26 C Jordan Devencenzi. The pitchers are: #5 LHP Kevin Duchene, #6 RHP Bowdien Derby, #7 RHP Kyle Friedrichs, #9 LHP Jared Lyons, #20 RHP James Naile, #21 LHP Andrew Tomasovich, #24 RHP Heath Bowers, #25 LHP Evan Manarino and #31 RHP John Gorman. Top pick Richie Martin has gotten off to a hot start, going 10 for 19 with a double, a triple and a home run and batting .526 over his first 4 games. #2 pick Mikey White has also been hitting well, putting up a healthy .313/.411/.479 slash line with 5 doubles and a home run in his first 12 games. Friedrichs has been the most impressive of the pitchers in the early going, allowing just 1 hit and 1 run over his first 6 innings of work, while Derby struck out 5 in 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his first appearance for the Lake Monsters, and Duchene gave up 1 run in 3 innings in his Vermont debut. Another significant addition for the Lake Monsters has been 2013’s 3rd-round supplemental pick, LHP Chris Kohler, who allowed 3 runs over 5 innings in his first start, threw 5 shutout innings in his second start, then gave up 4 runs in 3 innings of relief in his third appearance. And Kohler has now walked just 1 while striking out 14 over his first 13 innings for Vermont. His fellow 2013 draft class alum, RHP Dustin Driver, has also made 3 appearances for the Lake Monsters and has posted 3.75 ERA in his first 12 innings of work.
AZL A’s (7-6)
Arizona League – (Rookie Short-Season)
Six pitchers and five position players from the A’s 2015 draft class have been assigned to the AZL A’s. The position players are: #11 OF James Terrell, #13 OF Brett Siddall, #18 C Brett Sunde, #33 OF Mike Martin and #34 1B Shane Conlon. The pitchers are: #3 RHP Dakota Chalmers, #16 RHP Dustin Hurlbutt, #27 RHP Xavier Altamirano, #28 RHP Marc Berube, #29 RHP Armando Ruiz and #30 RHP Brendan Butler. 13th-rounder Brett Siddall has been hitting well in the early going, putting up a .280/.379/.480 slash line over his first 7 games, while 3rd-rounder Dakota Chalmers tossed 2 scoreless innings in his pro debut on Thursday. There were plenty of other significant additions in Arizona, with catcher Andy Paz, infielder Edwin Diaz, outfielder Robert Martinez and pitchers Jordan Schwartz, Jesus Rivas and Tyler Willman all arriving from either Beloit or Vermont. Catcher-turned-pitcher Ryan Gorton was activated from the disabled list and infielder Rangel Ravelo started his rehab assignment in Arizona. Gorton tossed 3 scoreless innings over his first 3 pitching appearances this season, while Ravelo has put up an impressive .360/.543/.560 slash line in his first 9 games in Arizona.