Well, with the end of August arriving, there’s now just about two weeks left in the minor league season. So let’s take a quick look at what’s been happening with each of the A’s six affiliates over the past month.
SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:
(Statistics through games of 8/23/15)
3B Matt Chapman (Stockton – A+)
23 HR / 39 BB / 77 K / .259 AVG / .353 OBP / .587 SLG / .940 OPS
2B Colin Walsh (Midland – AA)
12 HR / 102 BB / 122 K / .303 AVG / .437 OBP / .466 SLG / .903 OPS
OF Jason Pridie (Nashville – AAA)
17 HR / 50 BB / 96 K / .300 AVG / .369 OBP / .493 SLG / .862 OPS
SS Chad Pinder (Midland – AA)
15 HR / 27 BB / 99 K / .318 AVG / .361 OBP / .492 SLG / .854 OPS
SS Franklin Barreto (Stockton – A+)
12 HR / 15 BB / 65 K / .298 AVG / .329 OBP / .492 SLG / .821 OPS
OF Chad Oberacker (Midland – AA)
5 HR / 36 BB / 67 K / .303 AVG / .366 OBP / .446 SLG / .812 OPS
SP Barry Zito (Nashville – AAA)
137 IP / 121 H / 53 ER / 60 BB / 90 K / 3.48 ERA / 1.32 WHIP
SP Joel Seddon (Stockton – A+)
100 2/3 IP / 99 H / 41 ER / 16 BB / 79 K / 3.67 ERA / 1.14 WHIP
SP Dylan Covey (Stockton – A+)
128 1/3 IP / 126 H / 54 ER / 41 BB / 88 K / 3.79 ERA / 1.30 WHIP
SP Dillon Overton (Stockton/Midland – A+/AA)
111 1/3 IP / 116 H / 48 ER / 23 BB / 91 K / 3.88 ERA / 1.25 WHIP
RP Ryan Dull (Midland/Nashville – AA/AAA)
58 1/3 IP / 36 H / 4 ER / 15 BB / 68 K / 0.62 ERA / 0.87 WHIP
RP Brendan McCurry (Stockton/Midland – A+/AA)
58 IP / 36 H / 12 ER / 16 BB / 73 K / 1.86 ERA / 0.90 WHIP
NASHVILLE SOUNDS (59-70)
Pacific Coast League – Triple-A
One good sign at Nashville lately is that second baseman Joey Wendle has really been heating up in the second half, and he’s posted a .343/.363/.515 slash line in August. Infielder Tyler Ladendorf recently returned to action with Nashville and has gone 7 for 27 in 6 games back with the Sounds. First baseman Rangel Ravelo was promoted to Nashville a couple of weeks ago and he’s gone 16 for 50 over his first 14 games. The A’s signed third baseman Brent Morel, a former top prospect with the White Sox, to a minor league contract and assigned him to the Sounds and he’s since put up a .312/.333/.468 slash line over 19 games. The A’s released Dayan Viciedo, who’d struggled in 30 games at Nashville, and also cut loose infielder Niuman Romero, who’d mainly played shortstop and third base for the Sounds this season. Meanwhile, on the mound, it looks like A.J. Griffin may miss the rest of the season with shoulder issues, while veteran Barry Zito has now been on the disabled list for two weeks, which is one week longer than he was originally expected to be sidelined. LHP Sean Nolin recently returned to the mound though and has allowed 1 earned run in 5 innings of work since being back in action and now has a 2.56 ERA over 38 2/3 innings so far this season. RHP Aaron Brooks has given up 3 runs while walking none and striking out 11 over 12 innings of work in his first two starts since joining the Sounds. The A’s released veteran LHP Phil Coke after he posted a 9.82 ERA in 10 games with Nashville, but RHP Ryan Dull has continued to look strong since his promotion from Midland, allowing just 1 run while striking out 16 over 13 1/3 innings in relief for the Sounds.
MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS (74-52)
Texas League – Double-A
Shortstop Chad Pinder’s been having a great season for Midland, but he’s been getting even hotter lately, and he’s put up a .340/.363/.596 slash line in August. He, Matt Olson, who’s primarily been playing in right field lately, and third baseman Renato Nunez, who’s been on the disabled list with a hamstring strain for the past two and a half weeks, currently lead the team with 15 home runs apiece. Infielder Ryon Healy has gone on quite a tear lately and is now 14 for 27 over his last 5 games. First baseman Anthony Aliotti joined the team from Nashville a couple of weeks ago, while catcher Beau Taylor was promoted from the Ports to the RockHounds. LHP Sean Manaea, who was acquired from Kansas City in the Ben Zobrist trade, has struck out 31 in 29 2/3 innings while putting up a 2.73 ERA over his first 4 starts for Midland, while LHP Dillon Overton has a 3.96 ERA in his first 10 starts since being reassigned from Stockton. RHP Jake Sanchez recently joined RHPs Tim Atherton and Bobby Wahl on the RockHounds’ disabled list, but reliever Brendan McCurry has been solid since his promotion from the Ports, posting 17 strikeouts and allowing just 2 runs over his first 11 2/3 innings for Midland.
STOCKTON PORTS (65-61)
California League – High-A
Stockton’s two top prospects, shortstop Franklin Barreto and third baseman Matt Chapman, have both been sidelined with wrist injuries for the past few weeks, but Chapman is apparently expected to be back in action before long. Outfielder J.P. Sportman returned to the disabled list for the third time this season last week. Shortstop Yairo Munoz and second baseman Trent Gilbert both arrived from Beloit last month, and Munoz has responded well to Stockton, putting up a .305/.336/.438 slash line over his first 27 games in the California League. The Scott Kazmir and Tyler Clippard trades have also helped fortify the Ports for the second half. Catcher Jacob Nottingham has a .287/.344/.361 slash line in 29 games with Stockton, while RHP Daniel Mengden has posted a 3.67 ERA over 6 starts, and RHP Casey Meisner has put up a 4.15 ERA in his first 4 starts for Stockton. LHP Chris Lamb has spent the past four weeks on the disabled list, while RHP Dylan Covey spent about a week and a half on the DL before returning to action earlier in the week. LHP Matt Stalcup has been solid since coming out of the bullpen to join the starting rotation last month. And after impressing in a starting role, RHP Joel Seddon returned to the bullpen last month.
BELOIT SNAPPERS (49-75)
Midwest League – Class-A
With two of Beloit’s best hitters, shortstop Yairo Munoz and second baseman Trent Gilbert, being promoted to the Ports last month, others have had to step up to take their place for the Snappers. Outfielder Joe Bennie has answered the call and has been Beloit’s best hitter, posting a .269/.360/.432 slash line on the season, while third baseman Jose Brizuela has also been solid with a .261/.352/.433 slash line for the Snappers. This year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s, shortstop Mikey White, has struggled since joining Beloit from Vermont last month, going 13 for 82 in his first 23 games. Last year’s 3rd-round pick, RHP Brett Graves, leads all A’s minor leaguers with 12 wins, despite his 5.11 ERA, while last year’s 2nd-rounder, RHP Daniel Gossett, is second among A’s minor leaguers in strikeouts with 101, despite an ERA of 5.26.
VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS (26-33)
New York-Penn League – (Class-A Short-Season)
This year’s 6th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Bowdien Derby, has been the prized pitching pupil so far this season at Vermont. Derby has allowed just 2 runs while striking out 31 in 26 2/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters. Last year’s 10th-round pick, RHP Corey Miller, recently left the bullpen to join the starting rotation and just tossed 5 shutout innings on Sunday to earn his 2nd win for Vermont. 21-year-old Venezuelan RHP Angel Duno was promoted to the Lake Monsters after impressing for the AZL A’s and has put up a 2.40 ERA in his first 3 starts for Vermont. RHP Dustin Driver’s ERA stands at 4.40 after 12 appearances, while LHP Chris Kohler currently has a 4.83 ERA while striking out 33 in 31 2/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters. Top pick Richie Martin started off hot but has cooled off a bit of late, though he’s still been getting on base at a good clip, and Martin’s currently sporting a .228/.353/.331 slash line for Vermont. This year’s 19th-round pick, outfielder Seth Brown, has been the team’s best hitter, boasting a .276/.342/.403 slash line over 47 games for the Lake Monsters.
AZL A’s (22-29)
Arizona League – (Rookie Short-Season)
Since RHP Angel Duno’s elevation to Vermont, 20-year-old Venezuelan LHP Ivan Andueza has clearly been the AZL A’s best pitcher, putting up a 1.98 ERA while striking out 40 over 41 innings. 19-year-old Venezuelan RHP Argenis Blanco has been solid as well with a 3.40 ERA and just 10 walks in 53 innings of work. This year’s 3rd-round draft pick for the A’s, 18-year-old RHP Dakota Chalmers, has a 2.89 ERA, but he’s still working on his command, as he’s allowed 16 walks in 18 2/3 innings. RHP Tanner Peters has given up 3 runs in 9 innings of work while rehabbing with the A’s. Oakland signed former Angels RHP Ryan Brasier, who’s returning from Tommy John surgery, and he’s allowed 2 runs in 3 2/3 innings since returning to action with the A’s. And after struggling mightily with Beloit earlier in the year, last year’s 4th-round pick, RHP Jordan Schwartz, has an 0.69 ERA in 13 innings in Arizona. The team’s best hitter has been this year’s 34th-round pick, first baseman Shane Conlon, who’s currently sporting a .337/.394/.427 slash line for the A’s.