Results tagged ‘ BRAD PEACOCK ’

A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013

Last year's top prospect Jarrod Parker - who will be the next to make it big?

Last year’s top prospect Jarrod Parker – who will be the next to make it big?

With the first A’s players set to report to spring training camp just days from now, it’s time to present A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013. We’ve combined a total of eight different A’s prospect lists to come up with a consensus list that reflects the broadest base of wisdom where A’s prospects are concerned.

You can find the prospect lists that we used to compile our consensus list at the very end of this piece. Some of the eight lists we’ve selected are better known and some are lesser known, but they’ve all been selected because they represent intelligent and informed opinions about the A’s system. For the purposes of this list, we’ve looked at the top ten picks from each list and assigned points to each player as follows: 10 points for each first place finish, 9 points for second, 8 for third, all the way on down to 1 point for each tenth place finish.

It’s important to note that most prospect lists were compiled before pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock were dealt away. A few folks have updated their lists since then, but most have not. So rather than have the pair included on some older lists and not on some of the newer ones, we’ve chosen to use the original prospect lists that included them both for the sake of comparison.

Now that that’s clear, the other thing that’s clear is that the list breaks into a few clear groupings. The top group of vote-getters was comprised of young shortstop Addison Russell, right-handed hurler Dan Straily, outfielder Michael Choice and right-hander A.J. Cole, who was dealt back to the Nationals in the John Jaso trade – these four players were included in the top half of most lists. The next group was comprised of pitching prospects Sonny Gray and Brad Peacock along with hitting prospects Grant Green and Miles Head – and these four players were included in the bottom half of most lists.

After that, the selections start to get a little more unpredictable, with infielders Daniel Robertson and Renato Nunez clearly being the most popular vote-getters amongst the next group of players. And since Cole and Peacock are no longer with the organization, we’ve decided to include the next top two vote-getters – Nolan Sanburn at #11 and Chris Bostick at #12 – as bonus additions to the list.

So without any further ado, let’s take a look at A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013…

 

A’S FARM’S CONSENSUS TOP 10 PROSPECT LIST (+2)

#1 – Addison Russell (SS) – 78 points / 8 lists

#2 – Dan Straily (SP) – 64 points / 8 lists

#3 – Michael Choice (OF) – 63 points / 8 lists

#4 – A.J. Cole (SP) – 61 points / 8 lists *

#5 – Sonny Gray (SP) – 41 points / 8 lists

#6 – Brad Peacock (SP) – 39 points / 8 lists *

#7 – Grant Green (IF-OF) – 32 points / 7 lists

#8 – Miles Head (3B) – 25 points / 8 lists

#9 – Daniel Robertson (SS-3B) – 18 points / 7 lists

#10 – Renato Nunez (3B) – 10 points / 4 lists

————————————————————

#11 – Nolan Sanburn (SP) – 3 points / 2 lists

#12 – Chris Bostick (2B-SS) – 3 points / 1 list

————————————————————

* No longer with organization

 

arfPCk2bFI2#1 ADDISON RUSSELL

(78 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 19

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Making the top spot on 7 of our 8 lists, the A’s top pick in last year’s draft was not only the star of the A’s 2012 draft class but was also the star of the team’s entire minor league system. And it didn’t take long for Russell to quickly become a favorite amongst A’s fans who had their eyes on the future. The Florida native earned it by tearing through three levels of minor league ball at the age of 18, and he’s currently expected to start 2013 with the Stockton Ports in the High-A California League at the age of 19. In 217 at-bats in the Arizona League, the NY-Penn League and the Midwest League in 2012, Russell had 10 doubles, 9 triples, 7 home runs and 16 stolen bases with an impressive .369/.432/.594 slash line. He didn’t disappoint in the field either, showing nice range and a good arm. The bottom line is that Russell is very young, very talented and very hard-working, and there’s no reason that he shouldn’t rise as quickly as his performance demands.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

dsstraily-dan3#2 DAN STRAILY

(64 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2009 – 24th Round

The former 24th-round draft pick started the season as a bit of an unknown quantity in the A’s system and didn’t make anyone’s top 10 list prior to the 2012 season. But Straily put himself on the map rather quickly last year and didn’t let up, starting the season at Double-A Midland and ending it in Oakland. The Oregon native led all A’s minor leaguers in strikeouts (190), ERA (2.78) and WHIP (1.00) in 152 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, and posted a 3.89 ERA in 7 late-season starts with the A’s. With five starters ahead of him on the team’s current depth chart, Straily’s expected to spend the early part of the season at Sacramento. But like most #6 starters, it likely won’t be long before his services are needed, and we can probably expect to be seeing the right-hander back at the big league level again before long in 2013.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

mcmichaelchoiceoaklandathleticsphotodaynwngr_fbjvxl3#3 MICHAEL CHOICE

(63 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2010 – 1st Round

Big things were expected this year from the A’s 2010 1st-round draft pick after Choice hit 30 home runs at High-A Stockton in 2011. But the right-handed slugger got off to a slow start in the first half at Double-A Midland, showing very little of the power that had garnered him so much attention in the first place. Then just when it looked like he might have been starting to come around, Choice suffered a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch, and that was the end of the outfielder’s season. He finished with 10 home runs and a .287/.356/.423 slash line in 359 at-bats. The A’s still believe in Choice though and currently plan on having him play center field for Sacramento in 2013 and letting him show what he’s capable of doing at Triple-A.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

#4 A.J. COLE

(61 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2010 – 4th Round

When he was acquired from the Nationals last year in the Gio Gonzalez deal, Cole was considered a highly prized prospect. But the big right-hander got off to a horrific start with High-A Stockton, going 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in 8 starts, before being demoted to Class-A Burlington. He quickly turned it around in the Midwest League though, striking out 102 in 95 2/3 innings while posting a much more impressive 2.07 ERA. Cole’s rough start may have planted enough seeds of doubt in the minds of the A’s front office though that the team was willing to ship him back to Washington as part of the deal to get their mitts on catcher John Jaso.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Potomac Nationals (A-Washington)

 

sgsonnygray_large1#5 SONNY GRAY

(41 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2011 – 1st Round

Just like Michael Choice, Gray was a former A’s 1st-round draft pick whom the team was expecting big things from at Double-A Midland in 2012. And just like Choice, Gray got off to a bit of a shaky start. But the right-hander looked better as the season wore on and he seemed to gain greater command of his stuff. Gray finished up at Midland with a 4.14 ERA in 26 starts before getting one final start at Sacramento, where he’s expected to begin the season as the A’s top pitching prospect right behind fellow right-hander Dan Straily.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

bp140238660_display_image#6 BRAD PEACOCK

(39 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2006 – 41st Round

Peacock came over from the Nationals last year as one of the three young pitchers the A’s received in the Gio Gonzalez deal. He ended up kicking off the season in Sacramento and was looking like he might be just about ready for the big leagues when he hit a horrible stretch for about a month and a half in the summer. Peacock was getting knocked around badly just about every time out, and the word was that his fastball command had completely deserted him. The right-hander seemed to get it back together again during the last month or so of the season, but he still finished the year with an ERA of 6.01 in 134 2/3 innings. Most of that damage to his ERA occurred during that rough month and a half in the summer, but it obviously was enough to make the A’s a little more comfortable including him in the package of players they shipped to the Astros in the Jed Lowrie trade.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA-Houston)

 

#7 GRANT GREEN

(32 points / 7 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Infielder/Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2009 – 1st Round

The fourth 1st-round draft pick to appear on our list, Green was originally selected by the A’s in 2009 as a shortstop but has since been tried at almost every other position on the diamond. Last year, Green started off playing center field before moving over to left. But he spent most of the second half bouncing around the infield, with 19 games at shortstop, 19 games at second base and 11 games at third base. The organization hasn’t felt totally comfortable with Green at any position in the field, but his newfound versatility could aid his chances of eventually making the roster. The southern California native had a bounce-back year at the plate in 2013 after seeing his numbers drop off a bit at Double-A Midland in 2011. Green finished 2012 with 15 home runs and a slash line of .296/.338/.458 in 524 at-bats at Sacramento. And he figures to start 2013 there again, waiting for an opening to finally find his way on to the big league roster.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

mh542535_10150896496846662_1633034326_n#8 MILES HEAD

(25 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2009 – 26th Round

Head was acquired, along with Josh Reddick and minor league pitcher Raul Alcantara, from Boston last year in the deal that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox. The big third baseman had an unbelievable first half at High-A Stockton, bashing 23 doubles and 18 home runs in just 267 at-bats while posting a truly impressive slash line of .382/.433/.715. The Georgia native spent the second half at Double-A Midland, where he put up a much more mortal .272/.338/.404 slash line in 234 at-bats. Head will likely get the chance to master the Texas League again in 2013. He played all but a handful of games at third base last year, and the team hopes that Head will stick at third, but it’s still quite possible that he could end up at first base before all is said and done.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

drdanielrobertson_mlb_display_image#9 DANIEL ROBERTSON

(18 points / 7 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop/Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 19

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Robertson was the A’s second overall draft pick last year, right behind fellow shortstop Addison Russell. And like Russell, Robertson got off to a solid start in rookie ball, posting a .297/.405/.554 slash line in 101 at-bats. He was pushed to third base while he and Russell were both on the squad but, once Robertson got to Class-A Vermont, he spent most of his time back at shortstop. Robertson had a little more trouble at the plate in the NY-Penn League though, putting up a .181/.238/.234 slash line and striking out about once every three at-bats. Robertson should start the season there again, where his innate talent will undoubtedly allow the 19-year-old to figure things out over the course of the year and do whatever he needs to do to get ready to advance to the next level.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Vermont Lake Monsters (A)

 

rnnc3bac3b1ez-renato3#10 RENATO NUNEZ

(10 points / 4 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 19

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

The A’s invested heavily in Nunez when the team reportedly gave the young Venezuelan slugger $2.2 million to sign back in 2010. And there’s no question that Nunez seems to have a pretty special bat. Last year in rookie ball, he put up a .325/.403/.550 slash line with 18 doubles in 160 at-bats. But in the field, Nunez made 7 errors in just 30 games at third base, botching 1 in every 10 chances at the hot corner. He’ll move up the chain as fast as his bat can carry him, but the A’s will obviously have to figure out how and where to make sense of him in the field.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Vermont Lake Monsters (A)

 

nsresized_99261-5csanburn3colbw_47-15782_t728#11 NOLAN SANBURN

(3 points / 2 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2012 – 2nd Round

The A’s fifth overall draft pick last year, Sanburn was the first pitcher selected by the A’s in the 2012 draft. A hard-throwing right-hander out of the University of Arkansas, Sanburn didn’t sign right away but got off to a good start last year while making it into 7 games with Class-A Vermont. Sanburn posted a 3.86 ERA while maintaining a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and the A’s hope that the 21-year-old has what it takes to move up the ladder quickly.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

cbC.-Bostick2#12 CHRIS BOSTICK

(3 points / 1 list)

Right-Handed Hitting Second Baseman/Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 20

Drafted 2011 – 44th Round

Bostick was hardly high on anyone’s radar when he was drafted in the 44th-round in 2011, but lots of folks seem to think he does a lot of things the right way – and baseball people like that. Bostick spent most of last season playing second base at Class-A Vermont but also spent a little time at shortstop. His .251/.325/.369 slash line wasn’t remarkable, but he was still just 19 last season. And if Bostick keeps playing the game the right way, he’ll continue to be given the chance to go out there and play and see how far his talents will take him.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

Last Year’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List

 

Baseball America’s Top A’s Prospects

Jonathan Mayo’s Top A’s Prospects

John Sickels’ Top A’s Prospects

Oakland Clubhouse’s Top A’s Prospects

Bleacher Report’s Top A’s Prospects

MLB Dirt’s Top A’s Prospects

Bullpen Banter’s Top A’s Prospects

Prospect 361’s Top A’s Prospects 

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Swap Spare Parts For Second Shortstop!

Jed Lowrie: From worst to first?

Jed Lowrie: From worst to first?

As we pointed out in our analysis of the John Jaso trade just recently, the A’s are clearly in “WIN NOW” mode. And the team made another “WIN NOW” move on Monday, dealing part-time first baseman Chris Carter, minor league pitcher Brad Peacock and minor league catcher Max Stassi to the Houston Astros for infielder Jed Lowrie and right-handed reliever Fernando Rodriguez.

Lowrie is a 28-year-old former 1st-round draft pick out of Stanford. The switch-hitter hit a career-high 16 home runs in 340 at-bats with the Astros last season. He’s played primarily at shortstop in his 5-year major league career but has also spent time at third, second and first, and his versatility provides the A’s with added depth at every infield position.

Rodriguez is a hard-throwing right-handed reliever who has some control issues but who also managed to strike out an average of 10 batters per 9 innings last year. The 28-year-old has a tendency to give up the long ball and posted an ERA of 5.37 in 70 1/3 innings with the Astros last season. Rodriguez will likely have to battle with Pat Neshek and Chris Resop for a spot on the right side of the A’s bullpen.

To acquire the pair, the A’s parted with three players who’ve all spent far more time in the minors than the majors: Max Stassi, the most highly rated catching prospect in the system who has been praised for his abilities behind the plate but who has also been hampered by injuries and has yet to progress beyond A ball; Brad Peacock, who was slated to be one of the top starters at Sacramento this season but who had his ups and downs last year and ended up posting a 6.01 ERA with the River Cats; and Chris Carter, who was supposed to be the right-handed half of the A’s first base platoon this year. Carter, the only one of the three who was expected to start the year on the major league roster, had formerly been a top prospect but, despite his strong power numbers in the second half last year, his September struggles strengthened the A’s doubts about his potential for long-term success.

Fernando Rodriguez: International Man Of Mystery

Fernando Rodriguez: International Man Of Mystery

About coming to A’s, the Stanford alum Lowrie was quoted as saying, “I’m excited to come to a team that won one of the better divisions in baseball last year. I’m excited to have an opportunity to come back and play baseball in the Bay Area.” He graciously neglected to mention the fact that he’s also undoubtedly excited not to be playing for the Astros, who will likely be bringing up the rear in their new division this year.

With Lowrie’s addition, the A’s infield situation suddenly becomes a bit murkier. Lowrie has played short, second, third and first. Scott Sizemore has played second and third. Hiro Nakajima can play short, and possibly even second. And then there’s also Jemile Weeks, who can play second, and Josh Donaldson, who can play third.

Being a switch-hitter, of course, only increases Lowrie’s versatility. But his left/right splits are somewhat curious. For his career, he has an OPS that’s .154 points better against lefties. But last year, he had an OPS that was .196 points better against righties. Lowrie claims that his previous struggles as a left-handed hitter were primarily related to lingering injuries, and his minor league splits do lend some credence to that claim. But it would be nice to see his splits even out a bit given the fact that he’s likely to be seeing plenty of action against both righties and lefties for the A’s this season.

But how exactly will the A’s use Lowrie this year? Well, they’ve certainly got plenty of options. But in a conference call with reporters, A’s general manager Billy Beane said that he and manager Bob Melvin had discussed their options and that they view Japanese import Hiro Nakajima as their shortstop. Beane also mentioned that he could see Lowrie as a nice right-handed complement to Brandon Moss at first base, much like Chris Carter had been.

Chris Carter: The object of the Astros' affections

Chris Carter: The object of the Astros’ affections

If we take Beane’s comments to heart, that then raises the question of where Lowrie would play against right-handers. The most obvious answer would be at second base, where there’s already a great deal of uncertainty, and where the top two current candidates, Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks, have both performed better against lefties than righties in recent times – Sizemore, who seems to be the favored candidate, even more so, which could make him a perfect platoon partner with Lowrie at second base.

Lowrie could also be available to back up both Nakajima at shortstop and Donaldson at third base if either struggles or just needs some time off. Of course, if Nakajima, whose defensive ability at shortstop is still a big question mark, spends much of the spring butchering balls at short, Lowrie could always take over the spot full-time and push Nakajima into duty at second. But wherever he plays, as long as he’s healthy – and that’s been something of an issue in the past – it looks like Lowrie will be in the lineup. So he should end up getting into a lot more games for the A’s than Chris Carter would have this year, which ought to make him a productive addition to the major league roster.

One of the biggest winners in this trade could turn out to be the A’s former first baseman Daric Barton, who now stands a decent chance of making the roster as the only true first baseman on the squad. Moss and Lowrie only have a combined 68 major league games at first base between them, and teams often like to have a little defensive certainty on the roster. Before this trade, Barton’s chances of landing a roster spot rested on something happening to either Moss or Carter – and now something has most definitely happened to Carter. Of course, it’s possible that Barton still doesn’t make the roster, but it’s certainly a whole lot more likely that he does now.

Brad Peacock:

Brad Peacock: Now standing tall for the last-place Astros

On the other side of the coin, one of the biggest losers in this deal could be infielder Adam Rosales. With his guaranteed contract and major league experience, Rosales was the favorite to land the utility infielder role. But now – with Lowrie, Nakajima, Donaldson and either Weeks or Sizemore likely to make the roster – the A’s will have at least two available options at each infield position, making another spare infielder somewhat redundant. Both Weeks and Sizemore could both be losers in this deal too since whoever wins a roster spot will undoubtedly have his at-bats at second base reduced by Lowrie’s arrival. The deal doesn’t do anything to help Eric Sogard’s and Grant Green’s prospects either as it just pushes both of them further down the infield depth chart.

As far as position players on the major league roster go, this deal might just boil down to Lowrie and Barton replacing Carter and Rosales on the A’s 2013 roster. As far as the pitching end of things goes, Beane clearly likes Rodriguez, referring to him as “a real big arm” and saying that he was a key to getting the deal done. But the hard-throwing righty will have to compete for a roster spot with fellow right-handers Pat Neshek and Chris Resop in an already crowded A’s bullpen that’s also likely to include right-handers Grant Balfour and Ryan Cook along with left-handers Sean Doolittle, Jerry Blevins and Travis Blackley – with guys like Jordan Norberto, Pedro Figueroa, Evan Scribner, Arnold Leon and James Simmons waiting in the wings.

Max Stassi: Taking 'the tools of ignorance' to Houston

Max Stassi: Taking the ‘tools of ignorance’ to Houston

Another beneficiary of the deal could be former 1st-round draft pick Sonny Gray, who will no longer have to compete for attention with fellow prospect Brad Peacock at Sacramento this season. If he pitches well at Triple-A this year, the odds of Gray getting the opportunity to see some time in Oakland before the season’s through have just greatly increased with Peacock out of the equation.

Vying for time with Gray in the River Cats rotation this year will be last year’s phenom Dan Straily, new acquisition Andrew Werner, veteran lefty Garrett Olson, and long-time minor leaguers Jesse Chavez, Bruce Billings and Travis Banwart. It’s my guess that Straily will end up in the major league rotation before long, like most 6th starters do, due to injury, and Banwart will start the season in the Sacramento bullpen, leaving the River Cats with a rotation of Gray, Werner, Olson, Chavez and Billings.

But this deal clearly wasn’t about the minor league roster; it was all about the major league roster – increasing the A’s infield depth and versatility and having a solid backup plan in place just in case Nakajima doesn’t pan out at short, Donaldson regresses at third, or nothing else works out at second. It’s clearly a “WIN NOW” move, just like it was with the Jaso deal. Peacock, Cole and Treinen represent a lot of young arms to give up – not to mention Carter and Stassi – in the two deals. But the A’s focus is clearly on winning now while the window of contention is open. And Beane admitted as much in his conference call with reporters, saying “Given where the club finished last year and where we see it having a chance to compete this year, we wanted to do everything we could to help ourselves right now.”

And for the A’s, the future is clearly NOW!

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

What Did We Learn From A’s FanFest?

There were lots of interesting quotes to come out of last weekend’s FanFest in Oakland. And based on what was said by A’s management, coaches and players, here are a few things that I think we can safely surmise…

cccoco-crisp.6* Coco Crisp will be the A’s primary center fielder and leadoff hitter.

* Chris Young will be in the lineup against lefties, give other starters regular days off against righties, and will move around in the lineup and see time at every spot in the outfield.

* Seth Smith will get most of the at-bats at DH.

* The Brandon Moss/Chris Carter platoon will remain in effect at first base.

* Something will have to happen to Brandon Moss or Chris Carter for Daric Barton to make the roster.

* The A’s have a lot more confidence in Hiro Nakajima‘s bat than they do in his glove and his arm.

Oakland Athletics vs Los Angeles Angels* Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore will be in direct competition for the second base job in spring training.

* Shooty Babbitt really isn’t a big fan of Jemile Weeks.

* Barring injuries, the A’s starting rotation will consist of Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tom Milone, A.J. Griffin and Bartolo Colon (after missing his first start while serving out his suspension).

* If the starting rotation is healthy, Dan Straily will be at Sacramento until he’s needed in Oakland.

* After Dan Straily, the next go-to guys at Sacramento if needed will likely be Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray.

* Top prospect Michael Choice will start the season at Sacramento.

* Billy Beane loves John Jaso, almost as much as he loved Erubiel Durazo.

DSC02363b* Everybody loves Addison Russell, and the 19-year-old will be invited to attend the major league camp in spring training.

* Josh Reddick didn’t bother wasting any money on razors this off-season.

* Coco Crisp is committed to upholding Oscar Gamble‘s ‘fro-tastic legacy.

* Chris Young is still in the early stages of his Bernie Lean lessons.

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Assistant GM David Forst On New Catcher John Jaso, New Shortstop Hiro Nakajima, And The Importance Of Team Chemistry

David Forst

David Forst: Hoping ‘Hiro’ translates into ‘Hero’

As part of A’s FanFest this past weekend, a few members of the A’s staff took some time out to attend a bloggers-only press conference in the bowels of the Oracle Arena. One of those who stopped in to chat with us was A’s assistant general manager David Forst. And A’s Farm was especially eager to find out what it was that got the A’s front office so excited about shortstop Hiro Nakajima…

 

On the team’s belief that Japanese shortstop Hiro Nakajima could succeed in the major leagues…

I did not actually see him myself. We have a number of guys who’ve seen him back through the WBC in 2009 – a lot of our pro scouts, our international guys. Part of it is based on the numbers. His offensive numbers do translate well based on what other Japanese players have done here. But the reports, not only scouting reports, but from other players who’ve played with him – I think we mentioned Bob Melvin had talked to Ichiro and to Hideki about him. The guys who’ve done well over here are guys who have some leadership over there, who have the personality, who aren’t as affected by the off-the-field things that they gave to adjust to, which are huge. We saw that with Yoenis too – there’s so much that foreign players have to deal with aside from just baseball. We felt like he’d be able to handle that stuff, so his talent would play. Defensively, that’s the hardest thing for us to predict, because we don’t have the same metrics we have on the offensive side. But our reports are good – the hands, the arm strength. All the things you look for from a scouting perspective, we feel pretty good about…we do think he can play the position.

 

On evaluating defensive metrics…

The key on defense is to have everything sort of match up. If you’re looking at Range Factor and UZR and all the stuff that takes into account the Field f/x stuff, the SportVision data, the key is to have everything match up. So if you have conflicting reports, that’s when you sort of look at your scouting reports. I think you only feel good about defensive stats when things are aligned across the board.

 

On the team’s strategy in this year’s amateur draft…

We got together with (scouting director) Eric Kubota and his guys a couple weeks ago just to sort of go over the list. It’s a lot deeper in college players this year – both pitching and position players. We certainly didn’t set out to take a bunch of high school guys last year. That’s just where we felt like the talent was. But it is deeper in the college level…We’ve obviously traded away a lot of pitching. We have pitching here, and then there’s a little bit of a gap after guys like Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray. There’s a gap down to A ball, and having traded A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen kind of opened that gap up a little bit…Obviously you always need to replenish your pitching every year.

 

John Jaso: Object of the A's affection

John Jaso: Object of the A’s affection

On the acquisition of catcher John Jaso

He’s been on the target list for a while. You look at what he did in the minor leagues, the type of offensive player he was – he’s certainly the kind of guy that historically we’ve coveted. And he had a year in Seattle where he really finally broke out offensively. So as we watched him a lot over the course of the season, seeing him in our division, he was certainly a guy we thought about towards the end of the season and all off-season and figured out a way to see if Seattle would part with him. And it obviously took a long time for (Mariners’ general manager) Jack Zduriencik to come around. And getting Mike Morse was the piece that he needed. In fact, one of our pro scouts, Craig Weissmann, was an amateur guy with Tampa when he signed Jaso originally in the draft. So we’ve kind of had our eye on John for a while.

 

On trading pitching prospect A.J. Cole back to the Nationals in the John Jaso deal…

(Nationals’ general manager) Mike Rizzo had said a couple times in the last twelve months how disappointed he was in having given up A.J., so Billy sort of knew in the back of his head that that was going to get us in the door. And when things sort of matched up, he knew Seattle wanted Morse. And obviously Rizzo knew we didn’t have interest in Morse, but we were able to say, “Hey Mike, if you’re still interested in A.J., we might be able to work something out here.”

 

On pitchers’ workloads…

We’re always aware of it. It’s something that we constantly talk about. (A’s pitching coach) Curt Young does a great job of keeping track of these guys start by start and then on a three-starts-by-three-starts basis. But it’s certainly not a situation where we’re going in saying we’re going to cut pitcher A off here or whatever. Our trainers do a lot of work in between starts, and they do a good job of keeping track of historical comps for each guy. So whether it’s Jarrod Parker, who increased his workload significantly last year, or Brett Anderson, who had a limited workload because of the injury, I think we have the best feel for them just because our trainers have their hands on these guys after each start. So I expect that we will continuously talk about and be aware of it, but I don’t imagine that anyone will have a limit set on them to start the season.

 

Bartolo Colon: Added depth - and width

Bartolo Colon: Added depth – and width

On the possible need for the team to add more veteran pitching depth…

Obviously we’re aware that a lot of what we accomplished last year was based a lot on our starting pitching depth, and the fact that we ended up using 7-8-9 starters who were effective. The fact that Travis Blackley is still here obviously and can fill that role and you expect a full season out of Brett Anderson, we felt like adding Bartolo Colon was probably as much as we needed to do. At the same time, it’s just not easy to add those veteran guys when, on paper, you have a rotation like we do. It’s not necessarily an attractive place for a veteran guy to come and have to make the team or fight for it. So we feel like, with A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily in the 5-6 spot, with Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray at AAA, with Travis here being able to be a swing man, we feel like there is the depth there to get it done.

 

On clubhouse chemistry…

There’s no doubt that clubhouse culture is important, and it starts with Bob Melvin - that’s the most important thing. He set the tone for those guys, and they kind of followed his lead, which isn’t the case everywhere. I think there’s been a lot made of Jonny Gomes leaving and Brandon Inge, and you’re never going to keep all 25 guys together. But…we like the mix we have – personalities combined with guys who take it seriously on the field. But also you have a bunch of guys who should continue to get better, whether that’s about age or getting a chance to play everyday, this team should not have guys who regress – they should continue to trend upwards.

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Deal Pitchers of the Future for Catcher of the Present

John Jaso: Along with the hirsute Derek Norris, the A's could boast the most bearded catching tandem in the major leagues in 2013

John Jaso: Along with the hirsute Derek Norris, the A’s could boast the most bearded catching tandem in the major leagues.

It was announced on Wednesday that the A’s had acquired catcher John Jaso from the Seattle Mariners as part of a three-team deal that sent A’s minor league pitchers A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen, along with a player to be named later, to the Washington Nationals, who sent first baseman-outfielder Michael Morse to the Mariners. As a result of the trade, catcher George Kottaras, who had just signed a $1 million deal with the A’s earlier in the week, was designated for assignment. Kottaras, and his contract, will presumably be traded by the A’s sometime within the next ten days.

The left-handed hitting Kottaras became expendable with the arrival of Jaso, who also bats left-handed. Kottaras and the right-handed hitting Derek Norris were expected to split the A’s catching duties fairly evenly in 2013. But with Jaso, who hits right-handers far better than he handles left-handers, now in the fold, the arrangement is likely to become much more of a strict platoon, with Jaso getting most of the starts against right-handed pitchers and Norris getting most of the starts against left-handers – who represent no more than a quarter of all major league starters. This will give the 23-year-old Norris the chance to develop at his own pace, without the pressure of having to carry too much of the load right away.

Many A’s fans had been clamoring for an upgrade behind the plate, and this deal gives them just that. But some hard-core A’s followers were upset that the team gave up so much promising young pitching talent in the trade. The loss of Cole, who came over just last year in the Gio Gonzalez deal with the Nationals (to whom he now returns), particularly rankled many fans. The 21-year-old right-hander was considered one of the A’s top three pitching prospects, along with Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray, while Blake Treinen was the A’s 7th-round draft pick in 2011.

A.J. Cole: Back from whence ye came

A.J. Cole: Back from whence ye came!

The 24-year-old Treinen was a little inconsistent at High-A Stockton last year. While he had a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, he posted an ERA of 4.37 and gave up a little over 10 hits per 9 innings while barely managing 100 innings between the starting rotation and the bullpen. Meanwhile, Cole had a disastrous start to his season at Stockton, going winless in 8 starts while compiling an astronomical ERA of 7.82. But after being sent down to Class-A Burlington in the Midwest League, he bounced back to post an impressive 2.07 ERA while striking out 102 in 95 2/3 innings. And his late-season turnaround gave many A’s fans great hope for his future.

The bottom line though is that neither of these two pitchers has ever thrown a pitch above A ball. And while they may one day develop into quality pitchers, they both still have a long way to go. The 29-year-old Jaso may not be an All-Star, but he is a major leaguer, and at least the A’s feel they know what they’re getting with him. The team clearly preferred a major league catcher in the hand to two minor leaguers in the bush leagues!

As for Jaso’s past performance, since he’ll really only be expected to carry the load against right-handed pitchers, the fact that he’s never shown any ability to hit left-handers is irrelevant. All that really matters is what he can do against righties. And last year, Jaso carried an impressive .302/.419/.508 slash line against right-handers. That’s compared to Kottaras’s .207/.335/.434 slash line against righties last year. Though neither Jaso nor Kottaras is likely to win any Gold Gloves, it’s a clear upgrade at the plate from the catching position for the A’s.

Jaso has a particular knack for getting on base – last year he walked an average of once every 6 plate appearances against right-handers while batting over .300 against them. He also has a knack for hitting doubles – last year Jaso doubled once every 15 ½ at-bats while Kottaras doubled just once every 28 ½ at-bats. So if nothing else, the A’s should expect to see Jaso standing on first base and second base a lot more than they saw Kottaras at those two locations!

The main conclusion that can be drawn from this deal though is that A’s general manager Billy Beane wants to win now! If he can unload part of the A’s pitching future to make an upgrade to the major league roster, he’s not going to hesitate to do it. If the A’s had finished in last place last year, it might be another matter and this deal might not have happened. But the A’s were the A.L. West champions last year, and you better believe that Billy Beane wants to turn them into the two-time A.L. West champions.

Beane clearly stated as much in a post-trade conference call with reporters when he said, “We’re shifting all of our focus on the major league club and trying to take as much advantage as we can of the opportunity we have.” In other words, “Win now!” – which, after having endured some years of rebuilding, ought to be a welcome rallying cry for most A’s fans!

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Is the A’s Roster Set? And the River Cats Roster Too?

Will Hiro have A's fans smiling too?

Will Hiro have A’s fans smiling too?

On Monday, we unofficially learned that shortstop Stephen Drew had agreed to a deal with the Red Sox and would not be returning to the A’s, and we also unofficially learned that the A’s would be filling the hole at shortstop by signing Japanese import Hiroyuki Nakajima. It was announced on Tuesday, after our last A’s Off-Season Transactions Update, not only that the Nakajima signing was official but also that, to clear room on the roster for their new shortstop, the A’s had traded outfielder Collin Cowgill to the Mets for Double-A third baseman Jefry Marte.

With the A’s new shortstop in the fold, it looks like their work is essentially done for the off-season and that the major league roster, barring any unforeseen (yet inevitable) injuries, is pretty much set. But it also seems that the Triple-A roster at Sacramento may be pretty much set at this point too. This really shows a remarkable level of certainty for an organization that’s typically had any number of question marks remaining at this time of year.

Below you’ll find a complete listing of the anticipated A’s and River Cats opening day rosters, barring any unexpected deals or injuries, as of this point in time almost 3 ½ months before opening day. Any changes should be minor, especially where the major league roster is concerned. I’d expect any changes to most likely come from potential moves involving some of the minor league pitchers or infielders. Following the roster lists below, we’ll go around the horn and discuss where things stand at every position for both the A’s and the River Cats…

 

Brandon Moss

Brandon Moss

2013 OAKLAND A’S

–CATCHERS–

Derek Norris C

George Kottaras C

–INFIELDERS–

Brandon Moss 1B

Chris Carter 1B

Jemile Weeks 2B

Hiroyuki Nakajima SS

Josh Donaldson 3B

Adam Rosales IF 

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

–OUTFIELDERS–

Yoenis Cespedes OF

Josh Reddick OF

Coco Crisp OF

Seth Smith OF

Chris Young OF

–STARTING PITCHERS–

Brett Anderson LHP

Jarrod Parker RHP

Tom Milone LHP

A.J. Griffin RHP

Dan Straily RHP

Grant Balfour

Grant Balfour

–RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Grant Balfour RHP

Ryan Cook RHP

Pat Neshek RHP

Chris Resop RHP

–LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Sean Doolittle LHP

Jerry Blevins LHP

Travis Blackley LHP

–SUSPENDED FOR 5 GAMES–

Bartolo Colon

 

2013 SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

Michael Choice

Michael Choice

–HITTERS–

Luke Montz C

Steven Hill C

Daric Barton IF

Scott Sizemore IF

Andy Parrino IF

Eric Sogard IF

Stephen Parker IF

Scott Moore IF-OF

Grant Green IF-OF

Shane Peterson OF

Michael Choice OF

Michael Taylor OF

–STARTING PITCHERS–

Brad Peacock RHP

Sonny Gray RHP

Andrew Werner LHP

(+2 of the following 4 in the rotation with 1 in the bullpen & 1 traded or released)

Garrett Olson LHP

Jesse Chavez RHP

Bruce Billings RHP

Travis Banwart RHP

James Simmons

James Simmons

–RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Evan Scribner RHP

Arnold Leon RHP

James Simmons RHP

Mike Ekstrom RHP

–LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Jordan Norberto LHP

Pedro Figueroa LHP

Justin Thomas LHP

 

2013 OAKLAND A’S

Derek Norris: Catcher of the future or lumberjack in training?

Derek Norris: Catcher of the future or lumberjack in training?

As far as the 2013 A’s go, catcher and first base are two positions that are pretty clearly set. Right-handed hitter Derek Norris and left-handed hitter George Kottaras will make up the A’s catching tandem. This likely won’t be a strict platoon though, as the A’s view Norris as their catcher of the future. I’d expect Norris to get between 350-400 at-bats, with Kottaras getting somewhere between 200-250 at-bats – of course, performance on the field could have a big effect on playing time behind the plate. The first base platoon of Brandon Moss and Chris Carter will remain in place in 2013. This should be a pretty strict left/right platoon, unless Moss regresses and Carter starts coming on strong, in which case the big right-hander could end up stealing some at-bats from Moss.

Second base may represent the biggest question mark on the A’s roster. Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore both stand a decent chance of claiming the starting job, while prospect Grant Green appears to be a long shot. It’s my feeling that, as long as he can show in the spring that he’s ready to put it together, the edge will go to former #1 draft pick Weeks. But if Weeks looks like he hasn’t learned anything, then Sizemore should be ready to step in – though we do have to remember that he is coming back from an injury that sidelined him for a solid year and will be competing at a position that he hasn’t played much over the past two years. Whichever one of these guys doesn’t claim the major league job will probably end up at Sacramento with Green. At this point, my guess is that Weeks opens the season with the A’s, while Sizemore ends up at Sacramento waiting for a chance to come back and take over in the event that Weeks or Donaldson struggles – but that could very easily change based on what happens in the spring.

Your 2013 starting shortstop will be Hiro Nakajima, with Adam Rosales likely serving as his backup – as well as the backup at second at third. If Nakajima proves to be more of a “zero” than a “Hiro,” then Rosales will step in and start getting more at-bats at short. Josh Donaldson will be the starting third baseman unless and until he proves that his second-half surge last season was just a fluke. If that happens, then Sizemore is the most likely candidate to step in at third.

Josh Reddick: The undisputed champion of the "Bernie Lean" dance competition

Josh Reddick: The undisputed champion of the ‘Bernie Lean’ dance competition

In the outfield, the A’s have five players (Cespedes, Reddick, Crisp, Smith and Young) to fill the three outfield spots as well as the designated hitter spot in the lineup. Those four positions should offer up about 2400 at-bats, which would mean there’s close to 500 at-bats to go around for each of them – that’s if they’re all healthy. Of course, they won’t all be healthy. I’d guess that at just about any point in the season, one of them will be dinged up enough to, if not warrant a stint on the DL, at least warrant a little time out of the lineup. So I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about who plays where and when. I suspect it’ll work itself out one way or another and we’ll end up seeing plenty of all of them in the starting lineup.

As for the starting rotation, it’s important to remember that Bartolo Colon will be suspended for the first five games of the season and the A’s will play the first seven games of the season without a day off. That means that, barring injury, Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tom Milone, A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily will open the season as the A’s starting five. Of course, there’s a reasonable chance that one of those pitchers could have some nagging injury to start the season. In that case, Colon could be ready to step into the rotation after the first week. If, miracle of miracles, all five starting pitchers are fully healthy and functioning to start the season, then Colon could always kill time in the bullpen until one of them is sidelined with a balky elbow, shoulder, rib cage or back.

The A’s bullpen will be a crowded place though. Aside from Colon, there will be nine or ten legitimate contenders for the seven bullpen spots. On the right-handed side of things, Grant Balfour will be the closer and Ryan Cook will be the primary right-handed set-up man, while Pat Neshek will surely have a spot after signing a guaranteed contract, and Chris Resop is bound to get a spot after the A’s made a concerted effort to acquire him from the Pirates. That would push Evan Scribner to Sacramento.

On the left-handed side of things, Sean Doolittle and Jerry Blevins appear to be assured spots after their consistent performances throughout 2012, and Travis Blackley seems to be locked in as the long-man in the ‘pen. That would push Jordan Norberto and Pedro Figueroa to Sacramento. Of course, the odds that one of those seven relievers starts the season with some kind of injury is fairly high, which would open the door to one of those spots.

 

Daric Barton: Don't worry, A's fans - only in case of emergency!

Daric Barton: Don’t worry, A’s fans – only in case of emergency!

2013 SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

If we make the preceding assumptions about the major league roster, and take into account the fact that the Triple-A roster rarely includes more than 12 hitters and rarely has any fewer than 13 pitchers, then the River Cats roster starts to fall pretty clearly into place.

The A’s acquired two experienced minor league catchers – 29-year-old Luke Montz and 27-year-old Steven Hill – who should share the catching duties at Sacramento this year. Meanwhile, veteran Daric Barton will be standing in at first base, waiting for his chance should anything happen with Moss or Carter.

If Jemile Weeks doesn’t make the roster in Oakland, then he’ll surely be the starting second baseman at Sacramento. But if Scott Sizemore is the one to get sent down, as I suspect, then I’d expect him to get the majority of the starts at second base in Sacramento, preparing himself in case Weeks again struggles. Andy Parrino, who was acquired from San Diego in the Tyson Ross trade, is bound to be Sacramento’s primary starting shortstop this year. I’d expect to see the versatile Eric Sogard getting most of his starts at third base this year, while also picking up a few other starts around the infield. When Sogard’s not starting at third, then fading prospect Stephen Parker is likely to get some starts at the hot corner as well.

Grant Green: Still looking for a home

Grant Green: Still looking for a home

Scott Moore, who has been the A’s most promising minor league free agent signing this off-season, can play third base, as well as first base, second base and the outfield, but will probably end up seeing a lot of at-bats as the designated hitter for the River Cats. Sacramento’s starting outfield should be made up of on-base machine Shane Peterson in left, top prospect Michael Choice in center and former top prospect Michael Taylor in right. That just leaves our old friend Grant Green, whom the organization could make the River Cats’ regular second baseman, but I’m guessing that, when it’s all said and done, they’ll end up utilizing his versatility and giving him starts all over the field – preparing him for his most likely future role with the A’s as a versatile utility man.

There are three pitchers who, as long as they’re healthy, are sure to make Sacramento’s starting rotation – top prospects Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray, along with left-hander Andrew Werner, who was acquired from San Diego in the Tyson Ross deal. The rest of the River Cats’ rotation will be filled out by two of the following four hurlers – right-handers Jesse Chavez, Bruce Billings and Travis Banwart, as well as major league veteran and minor league free agent signee Garrett Olson. Of the two who don’t make the rotation, one will likely end up as the long-man in the River Cats’ bullpen with the other either DL’d, traded or released.

Sacramento’s 2013 bullpen ought to boast an impressive array of arms who could be ready to step in and help at the major league level at a moment’s notice. If all the major league bullpen arms are healthy, then the River Cats’ ‘pen should include names like Evan Scribner, Arnold Leon, James Simmons and minor league free agent signee Mike Ekstrom from the right side and Jordan Norberto, Pedro Figueroa and minor league free agent signee Justin Thomas from the left side.

On the whole, it looks like a River Cats roster that ought to be more than ready to defend its division title and, hopefully, so should the 2013 A’s!

 

*     *     *

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Preview: Green, Head and Stassi to Lead A’s Arizona Fall League Squad

Fall isn’t just time for post-season play, it can also be an important time for some of the minor leagues’ top prospects. And as the A’s begin Game #3 of their American League playoff series against Detroit at the Coliseum on Tuesday, some of the team’s top prospects will begin play in the Arizona Fall League.

The league has been going strong for 20 years now, and its schedule runs for about 6 weeks from early-October through mid-November. There are 6 teams in the AFL, with each team comprised of prospects from 5 different organizations. A’s prospects play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, where this year they’ll be joined by prospects from the Rays, Braves, Brewers and Marlins.

The attendance at AFL games typically tops out at around 200 or so, with the crowds comprised of a healthy dose of scouts, agents, and various professional baseball personnel. Most organizations use the AFL as an opportunity to get some of their top prospects a little more live game action to hopefully help advance their development.

This year, it looks like the A’s are definitely doing that with some of their top hitting prospects while giving their top pitching prospects a little time off. Many of you will certainly recognize the names of top minor league position players like Grant Green, Miles Head and Max Stassi, but don’t expect to be seeing the likes of top pitching prospects Brad Peacock, Sonny Gray or A.J. Cole in Arizona this time around…

 

A’s Prospects in the AFL in 2012

 

Grant Green

Infielder/Outfielder

Age: 25

Drafted 2009 – 1st Round

2012: Sacramento

15 HR / .296 AVG / .338 OBP / .458 SLG / .796 OPS

It will be interesting to see where the A’s #1 draft pick from 2009 ends up playing for the Desert Dogs. At Sacramento in 2012, the former USC shortstop made starts in left field, center field, second base, third base and short. After slumping a bit at the plate for Midland in 2011, Green’s offensive numbers rebounded this season at Sacramento. And a strong performance in the AFL could bolster his chances of landing a utility role with the major league club next year.

 

Miles Head

Third Baseman

Age: 21

Drafted 2009 – 26th Round

2012: Stockton/Midland

23 HR / .333 AVG / .391 OBP / .577 SLG / .968 OPS

Acquired along with Josh Reddick and Raul Alcantara from the Red Sox in the Andrew Bailey/Ryan Sweeney deal, Head turned out to be the best hitter in the A’s minor league system in 2012. The majority of his starts came at third base, though he did get a handful of starts at first base as well. The 21-year-old right-handed slugger will continue trying to make his mark with the bat in the AFL while also working on refining his skills in the field.

 

Max Stassi

Catcher

Age: 21

Drafted 2009 – 4th Round

2012: Stockton

15 HR / .268 AVG / .331 OBP / .468 SLG / .799 OPS

The former 4th-round draft pick had his most productive season in the system with Stockton in 2012, and his defensive skills behind the plate are considered solid. Once viewed as the A’s catcher of the near-future, injuries have slowed Stassi’s progress a bit, and the team is eager to see him get some extra at-bats in the AFL before giving him a chance to see what he can do at Double-A Midland next year.

 

Gary Daley

Starting Pitcher

Age: 26

Drafted 2006 – 3rd Round

2012: Midland

118 IP / 130 H / 67 ER / 71 BB / 79 K / 5.11 ERA / 1.70 WHIP

At age 26, Daley has been bouncing around the minor leagues for 7 seasons now. He struggled in 2012 at Midland and has a career ERA of 5.91 in 605 minor league innings. Lack of control has been the main issue with Daley, as he has averaged 5.7 walks per 9 innings over his extensive minor league career.

 

Shawn Haviland

Starting Pitcher

Age: 26

Drafted 2008 – 33rd Round

2012: Midland

120 IP / 124 H / 64 ER / 47 BB / 104 K / 4.80 ERA / 1.43 WHIP

The 33rd-round draft pick was never considered a top prospect but put himself on the map with a strong 2010 season at Stockton. He struggled mightily at Midland in 2011 though, posting an ERA of 7.08 in 27 starts. The right-hander settled down a bit in his second season at Double-A, but Haviland needs to make a strong impression in the AFL if he really wants to put himself back in the mix again.

 

James Simmons

Relief Pitcher

Age: 26

Drafted 2007 – 1st Round

2012: Midland/Sacramento

63 1/3 IP / 53 H / 21 ER / 22 BB / 50 K / 2.98 ERA / 1.18 WHIP

The former 1st-round draft pick has struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness since being drafted in 2007, but he may have re-invented himself this season as a dependable reliever. In 2012 with Midland and Sacramento, the right-hander struck out 7.1 batters per 9 innings, and a strong season in the AFL could help to bolster Simmons’ chances of landing a spot in the A’s bullpen next season.

 

Brett Hunter

Relief Pitcher

Age: 25

Drafted 2008 – 7th Round

2012: Midland

56 IP / 53 H / 28 ER / 31 BB / 60 K / 4.50 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

Hunter has yet to truly impress since being drafted in 2008. The only thing that really stands out about the right-hander is his career strikeout rate of 10.1 batters per 9 innings over 193 minor league innings Unfortunately, he also has a career walk rate of 6.7 per 9 innings and a 4.99 career ERA. But if Hunter can just learn to harness his stuff in the AFL, he could see his stock start to rise.

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Saturday, September 8th: River Cats Send Series to Game 5 Finale after Barton’s Bomb in 10th

 

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Sacramento River Cats first baseman Daric Barton (Game-Winning Home Run)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

PCL Playoffs Round 1 – Game #4

Sacramento River Cats  4

Reno Aces                       3

(WP – Jeremy Accardo)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First baseman Daric Barton

(Game-Winning Home Run)

 

 

Worth Noting: Sacramento won Game #4 of their best-of-five playoff series in a cliff-hanger on Saturday. Catcher Blake Lalli, acquired from the Cubs in the Anthony Recker deal, hit a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning to give the River Cats the lead. Starter Brad Peacock allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 5 innings of work, and right-hander Arnold Leon surrendered 1 run in 2 innings of relief to tie the game at 3-3 in the 7th. The game remained tied until first baseman Daric Barton led off the top of the 10th inning by blasting a home run over the right field wall to provide the decisive blow for the River Cats. Right-hander Jeremy Accardo picked up the win with 3 scoreless innings in relief. The rubber game of the series will take place Sunday afternoon at Reno.

 

Sunday’s Game:

Sacramento @ Reno – 1:05pm PT (PCL Playoffs Round 1 – Game #5)

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Sunday, August 26th: Bees Win while All Others Fall on Sunday

 

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Burlington Bees second baseman Sam Roberts (2 for 4 / Triple / 3 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Salt Lake Bees                4

Sacramento River Cats  2

(LP – Peacock 12-8 / 5.62)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Michael Taylor

(2 for 4 / Double / RBI / Stolen Base)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Brad Peacock allowed 3 runs in 4 2/3 innings to take his 8th loss, while outfielder Michael Taylor had 2 hits, including a double, drove in a run and stole a base, and second baseman Jemile Weeks collected a pair of hits in the loss.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

GAME #1

Frisco RoughRiders      4

Midland RockHounds  2

(LP – Castro 2-6 / 4.59)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Eliezer Mesa

(2 for 3 / Double / RBI)

 

Worth Noting: Starter Fabio Castro allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, on 7 hits and 5 walks over 6 innings to take his 6th loss. Outfielder Eliezer Mesa had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a run for the RockHounds.

 

GAME #2

Frisco RoughRiders     11

Midland RockHounds  4

(LP – McSwain 1-1 / 10.80)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Anthony Aliotti

(2 for 3 / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Matt McSwain had a rough outing, allowing 6 runs on 10 hits in just 2 innings of work to take the loss. First baseman Anthony Aliotti, serving as the designated hitter in Sunday’s 2nd game, collected 2 hits and drove in a pair of runs for the RockHounds.

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

Stockton Ports   6

Visalia Rawhide  11

(LP – Murphy 7-8 / 5.08)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Second Baseman Ryan Pineda

(2 for 3 / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Sean Murphy had a rocky outing and, once again, the long ball was the culprit. The right-hander gave up 8 runs on 8 hits, 4 of which were home runs, to take his 8th loss on Sunday. Second baseman Ryan Pineda had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair of runs for the Ports.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Burlington Bees          7

Kane County Cougars  6

(WP – Eppley 1-1 / 10.00)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Second Baseman Sam Roberts

(2 for 4 / Triple / 3 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Second baseman Sam Roberts had 2 hits, including a triple, and drove in 3 runs, including the tying and winning runs, for the Bees on Sunday. Starter Chris Lamb allowed 5 runs, 4 earned, in 5 innings of work, while right-hander Nate Eppley picked up the win with 2 scoreless innings in relief.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Vermont Lake Monsters  4

Tri-City ValleyCats            9

(LP – Ynoa 0-3 / 9.82)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Third Baseman Jacob Tanis

(2 for 2 / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Former top prospect Michael Ynoa had a rough outing, allowing 8 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 2 over just 1 1/3 innings to take his 3rd loss. This year’s 6th-round draft pick Seth Streich came on to strike out 5 in 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, while third baseman Jacob Tanis collected 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair of runs in the loss.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL Angels      5

AZL Athletics  2

(LP – Paulino 4-4 / 5.70)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Third Baseman Renato Nunez

(2 for 3 / 2 Doubles / RBI)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Gregory Paulino allowed 2 runs on 9 hits in 5 innings to take his 4th loss, while third baseman Renato Nunez collected 2 doubles and drove in a run for the A’s on Sunday.

 

Monday’s Games:

Sacramento @ Colorado Springs – 5:05pm PT

Frisco @ Midland – 6:30pm CT

Stockton @ Visalia – 6:00pm PT

Burlington @ Kane County – 6:30pm CT

Connecticut @ Vermont – 7:05pm ET

AZL D-backs @ AZL Athletics – 7:00pm PT

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Tuesday, August 21st: Murphy Pitches Ports to Victory while Cats & Bees Win and Russell & Ynoa Impress

 

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Stockton Ports RHP Sean Murphy (6 IP / 0 ER / 7 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Las Vegas 51s                 2

Sacramento River Cats  6

(WP – Peacock 12-7 / 5.61)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Shortstop Brandon Hicks

(Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Shortstop Brandon Hicks doubled and hit a 2-run homer, his 16th, while outfielders Shane Peterson and Michael Taylor contributed 2 hits apiece in the win. Starter Brad Peacock had another strong outing for Sacramento, allowing 2 runs on just 2 hits while striking out 4 over 5 1/3 innings to earn his 12th win on Tuesday. Catcher Jason Jaramillo doubled in his 1st game with the River Cats, while pitcher Graham Godfrey was designated for assignment and second baseman Jemile Weeks was optioned to Sacramento.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

Midland RockHounds  1

Corpus Christi Hooks   7

(LP – Castro 2-5 / 4.52)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Catcher Beau Taylor

(2 for 4 / RBI)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Fabio Castro allowed 3 runs over 5 1/3 innings on Tuesday to take his 5th loss, while catcher Beau Taylor had a pair of hits and drove in the RockHounds’ only run of the game.

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

Modesto Nuts    0

Stockton Ports  1

(WP – Murphy 7-7 / 4.56)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Sean Murphy

(6 IP / 0 ER / 7 K / Win)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Sean Murphy turned in an impressive outing for the Ports, striking out 7 over 6 scoreless innings to earn his 7th win on Tuesday. First baseman Tony Thompson doubled in the only run of the game for the Ports.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Kane County Cougars  3

Burlington Bees          6

(WP – Lamb 3-2 / 4.88)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Shortstop Addison Russell

(3 for 5 / 2 Runs / RBI / Stolen Base)

 

 

Worth Noting: The A’s top draft pick of 2012, shortstop Addison Russell, had a big game for the Bees, collecting 3 hits, scoring twice, driving in a run and stealing a base. His batting average now stands at .333 after his first 4 games with Burlington. Starter Chris Lamb allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, over 5 1/3 innings to earn his 3rd win for the Bees.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Vermont Lake Monsters  3

Staten Island Yankees     5

(LP – Tanner 0-1 / 18.00)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Michael Ynoa

(2 2/3 IP / 0 ER / 5 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Seth Streich allowed 2 runs on 4 hits over 2 innings of work, but former top prospect Michael Ynoa had his best outing so far this season, striking out 5 over 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Catcher Bruce Maxwell, serving as the designated hitter for the day, doubled in a run, while outfielders Brett Vertigan and John Wooten contributed 2 hits apiece in the loss.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL Athletics  1

AZL D-backs    3

(LP – Paulino 4-3 / 5.89)

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Michael Soto

(Triple / RBI)

Worth Noting: Starter Gregory Paulino allowed 2 runs over 5 innings to take his 3rd loss, while first baseman Michael Soto tripled in the team’s only run of the game on Tuesday.

 

Wednesday’s Games:

Salt Lake @ Sacramento – 7:05pm PT

Midland @ Corpus Christi – 7:05pm CT

Modesto @ Stockton – 7:05pm PT

Clinton @ Burlington – 6:30pm CT

Vermont @ Staten Island – 7:00pm ET

AZL Athletics @ AZL Dodgers – 7:00pm PT

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers

%d bloggers like this: