A’s Farm Report for Week of April 11-17: Prospects Get Going

Nashville Sounds 3B Renato Nunez

Nashville Sounds 3B Renato Nunez

 

By now, most people know where most of the A’s minor leaguers have been assigned this season. But which position players are playing every day, what positions are they actually playing, who’s riding the pine and who’s hurt? That’s what we’ll be focusing on here – and next week we’ll take a look at what’s up with the pitchers in the system. A version of this weekly minor league report by Athletics Farm originally appeared on Athletics Nation

 

Click here for this week’s update on Nashville, Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

 

SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:

(through games of 4/16/16)

1B Chris Iriart (Beloit – A)

3 HR / 3 BB / 7 K / .378 AVG / .415 OBP / .703 SLG / 1.117 OPS

OF Tyler Marincov (Stockton – A+)

1 HR / 4 BB / 13 K / .359 AVG / .432 OBP / .564 SLG / .996 OPS

1B Ryon Healy (Midland – AA)

2 HR / 6 BB / 8 K / .303 AVG / .410 OBP / .576 SLG / .986 OPS

OF James Harris (Stockton – A+)

1 HR / 4 BB / 6 K / .341 AVG / .413 OBP / .561 SLG / .974 OPS

3B Renato Nunez (Nashville – AAA)

2 HR / 1 BB / 5 K / .303 AVG / .314 OBP / .576 SLG / .890 OPS

 

NASHVILLE SOUNDS

Pacific Coast League – Triple-A

C – Bruce Maxwell

1B – Rangel Ravelo

2B – Joey Wendle

SS – Chad Pinder

3B – Renato Nunez

LF – Jake Smolinski

CF – Tyler Ladendorf

RF – Matt Olson

DH – Max Muncy/Andrew Lambo

After impressing A’s manager Bob Melvin and the coaching staff with a strong spring in the major league camp, Bruce Maxwell has been handed the bulk of the catching duties at Nashville this season. Matt McBride and Bryan Anderson are the back-ups. The Sounds infield is pretty much set. Rangel Ravelo’s played exclusively at first, Joey Wendle’s played exclusively at second, and Renato Nunez has played exclusively at third, while Chad Pinder has started all his games as shortstop, except for one when he shifted to second. Jake Smolinski’s been the Sounds’ regular left fielder. Tyler Ladendorf has started all but two of the team’s games in center field, when Smolinski shifted over to center. And since there’s really no one else on the roster capable of playing the position, Ladendorf should be manning center on a pretty regular basis this season. When it comes to right field, say hello to Josh Reddick’s possible replacement in 2017 – Matt Olson. As I expected, Olson has been Nashville’s primary right fielder. In fact, Olson has appeared exclusively in right field so far this season and has yet to spend even a single inning at first base for the Sounds. Max Muncy has occasionally spelled Nunez at third and Ravelo at first and has also made a few appearances as the team’s designated hitter. Since he started the season with the A’s, Andrew Lambo got a late start with the Sounds. But since he’s been in Nashville, he’s primarily been slotted in the DH spot while making a couple of starts in left field. By and large, the Sounds haven’t been hitting that well in the early going. Nunez has been the team’s top hitter with 2 home runs and a .576 slugging percentage, while Maxwell has held his own with a .409 on-base percentage through Saturday.

 

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

Texas League – Double-A

C – Carson Blair

1B – Ryon Healy

2B – Josh Rodriguez

SS – Franklin Barreto

3B – Matt Chapman

LF – J.P. Sportman

CF – Jaycob Brugman

RF – Brett Vertigan

DH – Viosergy Rosa

Rather than have him share the catching duties with Bruce Maxwell at Nashville, the A’s chose to send Texas native Carson Blair to Midland, where he could get the bulk of the starts for the RockHounds. As expected, top prospects Matt Chapman and Franklin Barreto have been holding down the left side of the infield at third base and shortstop respectively. With Chapman at third, returning RockHound Ryon Healy has been spending most of his time at first base this season. And with Yairo Munoz sidelined with heel and quad injuries this spring, minor league free agent signee Josh Rodriguez has been the Hounds’ starting second baseman. Jaycob Brugman, who might have ended up in Nashville if not for the Triple-A roster crunch, has been handling center field for the Hounds. He’s been flanked by a couple of players who made positive impressions when they were occasionally called over to the big league camp this spring – J.P. Sportman, who’s been playing in left field, and Brett Vertigan, who’s been patrolling in right. Viosergy Rosa, whom the A’s selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, has been serving as the team’s primary designated hitter. Fellow Rule 5 selectee Danny Oh has also spent some time in the DH slot as well as filling in in the corner outfield spots, while Wade Kirkland has gotten a few starts filling in in the middle infield, and Beau Taylor has been the back-up backstop to Carson Blair. Like Nashville, the Hounds hitters haven’t been setting the world on fire so far this season. Healy, who’s now in his second season at Double-A, has been the team’s best hitter in the early going with 2 home runs and a .576 slugging percentage, while Rosa has also been hot, getting on base at a .429 clip through Saturday.

 

STOCKTON PORTS

California League – High-A

C – Argenis Raga

1B – Sandber Pimentel/John Nogowski

2B – Joe Bennie

SS – Mikey White

3B – Jose Brizuela

LF – Tyler Marincov

CF – James Harris

RF – Seth Brown

DH – B.J. Boyd/John Nogowski

Argenis Raga, who had only caught 56 games above rookie ball, has been Stockton’s starting backstop this season, with Andy Paz, who’d only caught 39 games above rookie ball, serving as his back-up. Lana Akau likely would have been splitting the catching duties at Stockton with Raga if he hadn’t suffered a concussion late in the spring. In the outfield, it’s been a pretty regular diet of Tyler Marincov in left, James Harris in center and Seth Brown in right for the Ports. In the infield, Jose Brizuela has been holding down the hot corner. And with last year’s #1 draft pick Richie Martin sidelined after knee surgery, last year’s #2 pick Mikey White has had shortstop all to himself at Stockton. After being moved from second base to the outfield last year at Beloit, Joe Bennie has been switched back to second this season at Stockton. Sandber Pimentel has been sharing time at first base with returning Port John Nogowski, who’s also been seeing some time as the team’s designated hitter. B.J. Boyd has also done some time in the DH spot when he hasn’t been filling in in the outfield. And Melvin Mercedes has been the back-up infielder for the Ports. Stockton is the only A’s affiliate that’s really been hitting so far this season. Outfielder Tyler Marincov and James Harris have been leading the Ports’ attack. Both carried on-base percentages over .400 and slugging percentages over .550 through Saturday.

 

BELOIT SNAPPERS

Midwest League – Class-A

C – Santiago Chavez/Nick Collins

1B – Chris Iriart

2B – Jesus Lopez

SS – Trace Loehr

3B – Ryan Howell

LF – Steven Pallares

CF – Skye Bolt

RF – Brett Siddall

DH – Trent Gilbert/Justin Higley

Santiago Chavez and Nick Collins have been alternating everyday at catcher for the Snappers. Around the infield, it’s been Beloit’s best hitter, Chris Iriart, at first, the team’s youngest hitter, 19-year-old Jesus Lopez, at second, Trace Loehr at short and Ryan Howell at third. Three top 13 draft picks for the A’s from last year have been handling the bulk of the outfield duties for Beloit. 4th-round pick Skye Bolt has been holding things down in center field, while being flanked by 10th-round pick Steven Pallares in left and 13th-round pick Brett Siddall in right. Trent Gilbert has been handling the bulk of the DH duties. Justin Higley has also seen some time in the DH slot when he hasn’t been filling in in one of the three outfield spots. Meanwhile, back-up infielder Edwin Diaz had yet to register a hit in 15 at-bats through Saturday. Iriart has been Beloit’s best hitter with 3 home runs and a .703 slugging percentage, while Bolt has looked good as well with a .389 on-base percentage through Saturday.

 

SIDELINED POSITION PLAYERS:

Infielders Yairo Munoz, Richie Martin, Branden Cogswell, A.J. Kubala, catcher Lana Akau, outfielder James Terrell.

 

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