A’s Minor League Leaders – August 2015 Update

The calendar has turned the page to August and, with just about a month left in the minor league season, it’s a good time to take a look at the A’s minor league leaders in a few key hitting and pitching categories. A minimum of 200 at-bats is required for the hitting categories and a minimum of 90 innings is required for the pitching categories, with the exception of saves, of course.

Players from all four of the A’s full-season affiliates – Nashville, Midland, Stockton and Beloit – are included and the stats are complete through games of Sunday. Some of the names you might expect to see atop the lists, while others may come as a bit of a surprise!

 

Chad Pinder

Chad Pinder

BATTING AVERAGE

1) Chad Pinder .317

2) Colin Walsh .306

3) Chad Oberacker .305

After having a breakthrough season last year by batting .288 at Stockton, shortstop Chad Pinder has taken things to another level this year by batting .317 in a much tougher hitting environment at Midland. He’s currently second in the Texas League batting race and has also upped his on-base percentage .29 points from last season to .365. Pinder’s double-play partner for the RockHounds, second baseman Colin Walsh, is second on the list, and the pair has formed quite a productive combo at the plate for Midland. RockHounds center fielder Chad Oberacker has also had a very solid season with the bat, but keep in mind that this is the 26-year-old’s third season with Midland.

 

Colin Walsh

Colin Walsh

ON-BASE PERCENTAGE

1) Colin Walsh .431

2) Matt Olson .376

3) Carson Blair .370

Midland second baseman Colin Walsh has done an incredible job of getting on base for the RockHounds this season, with his 116 hits and 80 walks. The 25-year-old switch-hitter leads both the Texas League and the A’s minor league system in on-base percentage as well as in doubles with 32. And Walsh and Midland first baseman Matt Olson, who is second on our organizational OBP list, are tied for both the Texas League lead and the A’s organizational lead in walks with 80. Olson may be batting just .237 but his 80 walks still make him a major on-base threat. Catcher Carson Blair started the season with Midland but has since moved on to Nashville. The 25-year-old backstop has been a bit of a surprise since signing as a minor league free agent in the offseason. After playing just 17 games above Class-A prior to 2015, his .370 on-base percentage and his .474 slugging percentage while splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A this season have proven to be a pleasant surprise.

 

Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman

SLUGGING PERCENTAGE

1) Matt Chapman .587

2) Jason Pridie .497

3) Franklin Barreto .492

After Stockton third baseman Matt Chapman was taken as the A’s top draft pick last year, many in the A’s organization raved about his power potential, and his .587 slugging percentage this season certainly attests to that. Chapman has 21 doubles to go along with 23 home runs in his first 77 games for Stockton. Meanwhile, 31-year-old Nashville outfielder Jason Pridie has wielded the big bat for the Sounds all season and currently boasts 40 extra-base hits. Before being sidelined with a wrist injury a couple of weeks ago, Stockton shortstop Franklin Barreto was on a tear, with a .700 slugging percentage in the month of July. And the 19-year-old has shown some real pop, collecting 22 doubles to go along with 12 home runs over 88 games for the Ports.

 

Jason Pridie

Jason Pridie

HOME RUNS

1) Matt Chapman 23

2) Jason Pridie 16

3) Renato Nunez 14

Despite missing the first month of the season due to an offseason knee injury, Stockton third baseman Matt Chapman still has more home runs than any other A’s minor leaguer and is currently tied for second in the California League home run race. In Nashville, not only does Sounds outfielder Jason Pridie lead his team in home runs, but he actually has 10 more than his nearest teammate. Like Chapman, Midland third baseman Renato Nunez missed the first month of the season due to injury. He got off to a somewhat slow start but warmed up with the weather and now leads the RockHounds with 14 home runs in just 78 games so far this season.

 

Joey Wendle

Joey Wendle

HITS

1) Joey Wendle 118

2) Brett Vertigan 117

3) Colin Walsh 116

Nashville second baseman Joey Wendle has been an incredibly steady presence in the Sounds lineup this season, playing in 103 of the team’s 109 games and batting second much of that time. Wendle doesn’t walk much but he has more hits than all A’s minor leaguers and he’s currently batting .274 on the season. Stockton center fielder Brett Vertigan started the season with Beloit but, after getting off to a hot start there, quickly made the move up to Stockton, where he’s been a spark plug in the leadoff spot, and he’s currently batting .283 with a .361 on-base percentage this season. Meanwhile, Midland second baseman Colin Walsh has been the most consistent hitter for the RockHounds all season.

 

Barry Zito

Barry Zito

ERA

1) Joel Seddon 3.47

2) Barry Zito 3.64

3) Dylan Covey 3.69

Stockton RHP Joel Seddon has started 14 games for the Ports after starting out the season in the bullpen. And after settling into the starting rotation, Seddon quickly became one of the most effective starters in the A’s system while pitching in the hitter-friendly California League. Nashville LHP Barry Zito had a rough start to the season, putting up a 5.96 ERA in April, but the veteran soon settled in and has become a consistent and dependable presence in the Sounds starting rotation this season. Stockton RHP Dylan Covey, though not overpowering, has been very effective at getting groundball outs and keeping too many runners from crossing the plate for the Ports.

 

Joel Seddon

Joel Seddon

WHIP

1) Joel Seddon 1.13

2) Dillon Overton 1.26

3) Zach Neal 1.27

One of the things that’s helped Stockton RHP Joel Seddon be so effective for the Ports this year is his incredibly low walk rate. Seddon has walked just 14 batters over 96 innings so far this season. And when you don’t give yourself any more base runners to worry about than you have to, then life becomes an awful lot easier for you as a pitcher. RockHounds LHP Dillon Overton spent most of the season at Stockton with Seddon before moving up to Midland and, like Seddon, has done a good job of not making trouble for himself by keeping runners off base, and Overton has issued just 18 walks in 91 1/3 innings so far this season. Nashville RHP Zach Neal started the season at Midland before joining the Sounds but, wherever he’s been, Neal has always done a good job of keeping the walks to a minimum. And so far this season, he’s walked 27 over 124 1/3 innings of work.

 

Nate Long

Nate Long

STRIKEOUTS

1) Nate Long 99

2) Daniel Gossett 90

3) Barry Zito 87

The A’s unlikely strikeout leader this season is Nashville’s 29-year-old RHP Nate Long. The A’s 26th-round draft pick in 2009 spent most of the season at Midland before getting his first extended stay in Triple-A. Long has struck out 99 over 120 innings at two levels this season, which should help him get some looks when he becomes a minor league free agent in the offseason. 22-year-old Beloit RHP Daniel Gossett was the A’s 2nd-round draft pick last year. As an experienced college pitcher, his fastball/slider combo has enabled him to get some swings-and-misses for the Snappers this year and, as his command improves, he should hopefully be able to increase those totals. Meanwhile, in Nashville, veteran LHP Barry Zito has been able to fool a lot of Triple-A hitters with that old familiar curveball.

 

Zach Neal

Zach Neal

WINS

1) Zach Neal 10

2) Brett Graves 9

3) Jonathan Joseph 9

Nashville Starter Zach Neal currently leads all A’s minor leaguers in wins with 10. The 26-year-old posted 3 wins with Midland before notching 7 more with Nashville. His control has been his biggest asset, and Neal has walked an average of just 2 batters per 9 innings this season. 22-year-old Beloit RHP Brett Graves was the A’s 3rd-round draft pick last year, and a good fastball and solid command have enabled him to be a steady winner for the Snappers this season. Midland RHP Jonathan Joseph started the season in the Stockton bullpen before moving up to Midland and getting a shot in the RockHounds rotation. The 27-year-old took to it like a duck to water and, between the bullpen and the rotation, the veteran minor leaguer has managed to put up 9 wins so far this season.

 

Brendan McCurry

Brendan McCurry

SAVES

1) Brendan McCurry 21

2) Ryan Dull 12

3) Ryan Cook 8

RockHounds RHP Brendan McCurry spent most of the season serving as the closer at Stockton before recently moving up to Midland but still remains the California League saves leader. The 23-year-old has struck out 60 batters over 49 1/3 innings while posting a 1.82 ERA in 38 games this season. Nashville RHP Ryan Dull spent most of the season as Midland’s closer before recently being promoted to Nashville. The 25-year-old was almost unhittable at Double-A, allowing just 3 runs in 45 innings of relief for the RockHounds. Meanwhile, at Nashville, former A’s RHP Ryan Cook accumulated 8 saves for the Sounds before being shipped off to Boston.

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