Tag Archive for Bruce Maxwell

Meet Your 2016 Nashville Sounds

nstumblr_nn6zzrPnCN1qedy4lo1_500bYesterday we previewed the Oakland A’s 2016 major league roster (here), and today it’s time to take a look ahead at the Triple-A Nashville Sounds roster for the coming season. The Sounds will be beginning their second season as the A’s top affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, with Steve Scarsone returning as the team’s skipper. And many of the organization’s top young hitting prospects, including Matt Olson, Chad Pinder and Renato Nunez, are expected to make their Triple-A debuts at Nashville this season. The organization typically likes to start the season with 12 position players and 13 pitchers on the Triple-A roster, so let’s take a look at the players who are most likely to find themselves filling out the Nashville Sounds opening day roster in 2016.

 

CATCHERS

Carson Blair

Carson Blair

As things currently stand, it looks like last year’s primary catching corps at Midland could be taking over at Nashville this season. In 2015, Carson Blair made it all the way from Midland to Oakland over the course of his first season in the system after signing on as a minor league free agent, and he should start the year at Nashville as the most likely candidate to get the call should the A’s need reinforcements behind the plate. Bruce Maxwell, who spent all of last season at Midland, appears well-positioned to move up a level and join Blair as part of the Sounds’ 2016 catching combo. There is some chance though that Matt McBride, whom the A’s signed as a minor league free agent, could possibly end up taking over the role as the Sounds’ second catcher. The minor league veteran has primarily served as an outfielder and first baseman of late and hasn’t appeared behind the plate since 2013, but he has caught 169 minor league games and the A’s do currently have him listed among the catching corps on the team’s list of non-roster invitees to its major league training camp this spring. Meanwhile, top young catching prospect Jacob Nottingham should be starting the season just one level away at Double-A Midland.

 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Chad Pinder

Chad Pinder

Joey Wendle appeared in 137 of Nashville’s 144 games last season and didn’t spend one inning anywhere in the field other than at second base. And the 25-year-old prospect should be the starting second baseman in Music City again next season but, with Andy Parrino gone via free agency, Wendle’s primary double play partner this year is set to to be shortstop Chad Pinder, who is coming off his Texas League MVP season. The versatile Tyler Ladendorf is also likely to get playing time at both middle infield positions and should see some time in the outfield as well. Minor league free agent infielder Josh Rodriguez, whom the A’s signed in the offseason, has spent plenty of time at both middle infield positions as well as at third base but, if Wendle, Pinder and Ladendorf all start the season at Nashville, then Rodriguez could end up being a better fit for the second base spot at Double-A Midland, right across the bag from top shortstop prospect Franklin Barreto.

 

CORNER INFIELDERS

Renato Nunez

Renato Nunez

There should be no shortage of candidates for the corner infield positions at Nashville next season, but there will now be one less name in the mix with the release of first baseman Nate Freiman. Young slugger Renato Nunez will move up from Midland and should get the majority of the starts at third base, while Rangel Ravelo is likely to spend the bulk of his time at first base, with Max Muncy bouncing between both corner infield positions. Top prospect Matt Olson will also see some time at first base, but the slugger actually spent more time in the outfield than at first base during the second half of last season and seems poised to spend much more time in the outfield again next season. And if Nunez, Ravelo, Muncy and Olson all start the season with Nashville, until a roster spot opens up, first baseman/third baseman Ryon Healy may have to start the year repeating a level at Double-A Midland, where 2014’s #1 draft pick for the A’s, Matt Chapman, is likely to be the main man at the hot corner in 2016.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Jake Smolinski

Jake Smolinski

A trio of outfielders with MLB experience is set to see time in the Sounds’ outfield next season. If Josh Reddick, Billy Burns, Coco Crisp, Mark Canha and Sam Fuld all open the season on the A’s major league roster as expected, then Jake Smolinski will end up starting the year at Nashville, along with 27-year-old outfielder Andrew Lambo (who’s spent time with the Pirates) and 30-year-old outfielder Matt McBride (who’s appeared with the Rockies). Lambo and McBride are also capable of playing first base, and McBride could end up seeing some time behind the plate as well. Top prospect Matt Olson, who, as previously mentioned, spent more time in the outfield than at first base during the second half of last season, will be joining this experienced trio in the Sounds’ outfield mix and should be spending plenty of time roaming the outfield grass at First Tennessee Park as he looks to make his mark at the Triple-A level next season. All four of them will undoubtedly spend some time rotating through the designated hitter slot for the Sounds as well. But since they all are primarily corner outfielders, that could open up the opportunity for Jaycob Brugman to receive the bulk of the starts in center field for the Sounds, with Tyler Ladendorf available to give Brugman a break in center when he’s not busy appearing elsewhere in the infield.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Sean Manaea

Sean Manaea

Since left-handers Sean Nolin and Felix Doubront are both out of options, it seems somewhat unlikely that they’ll be factoring into things at Nashville next season unless either of them could somehow manage to make it through waivers. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty of other viable candidates for the Sounds’ starting rotation though. Right-hander Aaron Brooks, who made nine starts for the A’s late last year, seems as likely as anyone to start the season in the Triple-A rotation. And since the A’s front office has made it sound as if they still view Jarrod Parker as a starter, then Nashville’s rotation would appear to be Parker’s most likely landing spot in the coming season. Right-hander Zach Neal, who was one of the Sounds’ most reliable starters last year, seems like a good bet to open the season in the rotation, as does veteran righty Chris Smith, whom the A’s signed as a minor league free agent after he was solid in 22 starts for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate at El Paso last year. The final spot in the Sounds’ starting rotation seems likely to go to the A’s top minor league pitching prospect, left-hander Sean Manaea, who was impressive at Double-A Midland last season after coming over from Kansas City in the Ben Zobrist deal. And if another spot should open up in the Triple-A rotation due to either injuries or trades, then another left-handed pitching prospect, Dillon Overton, could be in line to make the move up from Midland as well.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

R.J. Alvarez

R.J. Alvarez

As usual, there are far more deserving candidates for the bullpen at the Triple-A level than there are available spots. The organization usually likes to start the season with eight relievers at Triple-A. And if there’s no room in the reconfigured major league bullpen on opening day for Ryan Dull – especially with Fernando Rodriguez out of options – then the right-hander may find himself waiting in the wings at Nashville to start the season. R.J. Alvarez and the recently-acquired J.B. Wendelken should join Dull as two other promising young righty relievers for the Sounds. Angel Castro, who made his major league debut with the A’s last season, was re-signed as a minor league free agent and will surely be back in the Nashville bullpen, along with returning right-hander Taylor Thompson, likely leaving room on the right side for one of either Ryan Brasier on Aaron Kurcz – and Brasier may hold the edge as he has major league experience and has received an invitation to the A’s major league spring training camp, unlike Kurcz. Meanwhile, Daniel Coulombe, who appeared with the A’s late last season after coming over from the Dodgers, and minor league free agent signee Eric Surkamp, who’s spent time in the majors with the Dodgers, Giants and White Sox, seem set to provide reliable relief options from the left side. Of course, there are plenty of other worthy candidates for spots in the Triple-A bullpen, including a couple of recent minor league free agent signees, lefty Patrick Schuster and righty Eduard Santos, as well as recently-acquired right-hander Trey Cochran-Gill, and organizational stalwarts like Seth Frankoff, Tucker Healy, Ryan Doolittle, Kris Hall and Jeff Urlaub, who’ve all done their duty at the Double-A level.

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Meet Your 2016 Nashville Sounds!

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Of course, we’ve still got just a little ways to go until the opening of the 2016 season. And, of course, there will certainly be some trades, some free agent signings (both major league and minor league), some releases, some injuries and, knowing the A’s, some totally unexpected developments during the offseason as well as in spring training.

Considering the way the 2015 season has played out for the A’s, there could certainly be some considerable changes to come. But, just for fun, let’s take a look at the players currently in the A’s organization who will most likely find themselves in the running for a roster spot in Nashville next season…

 

CATCHERS

Carson Blair

Carson Blair

Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley appear likely to return as the catching corps for the A’s in 2016. And with Carson Blair the only other catcher currently on the A’s 40-man roster, it seems reasonably safe to assume that he could be making a return trip to Nashville next season. The Sounds primary receiver this season, Bryan Anderson, can become a minor league free agent in the offseason if he’s not added to the A’s 40-man roster. And the A’s could replace him by signing another experienced minor league backstop, as they seem fond of doing. But if they don’t, then Midland’s Bruce Maxwell would probably be the most likely suspect to join Blair as part of the catching combo at Nashville next season.

 

CORNER INFIELDERS

Rangel Ravelo

Rangel Ravelo

It’s questionable whether the A’s will choose to offer Ike Davis arbitration in the offseason. And if they don’t, that makes it much more likely that Max Muncy will find a spot somewhere on Oakland’s roster next season. The left-handed hitter could serve as a great option to get some playing time at first base, third base and designated hitter, especially if right-handed hitters Brett Lawrie, Danny Valencia, Mark Canha and Billy Butler remain as the primary options at those positions. If he’s not added to the A’s 40-man roster, first baseman Nate Freiman can become a minor league free agent in the offseason. And Midland first baseman Matt Olson has been spending more time in right field than at first base during the second half of the season. So if Muncy finds a spot on the A’s opening day roster, Freiman departs for potentially greener pastures and Olson does indeed spend more time in the outfield – all of which seem likely – then Rangel Ravelo could find himself getting most of the starts at first base for Nashville next season. The situation at third base seems considerably less complicated. One of the organization’s top hitting prospects, Midland third baseman Renato Nunez, will be ready to make the jump to Triple-A next year, while his Midland teammate, Ryon Healy, who has been splitting time between third base and first base the past couple seasons, seems set to join Nashville as well, splitting time with Nunez at third and Ravelo at first in 2016.

 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Chad Pinder

Chad Pinder

One thing seems clear. After putting together an impressive season at Midland this year, it’s Chad Pinder’s turn to be the starting shortstop for Nashville next season. If he’s not added to the A’s 40-man roster, Andy Parrino can become a minor league free agent in the offseason, which will just help clear the path for Pinder. If Joey Wendle doesn’t win a starting job with the A’s in spring training, which seems less and less likely as Brett Lawrie spends more and more time at second base, then he’ll end up returning as Nashville’s starting second baseman again next season and serve as Pinder’s double-play partner. And if Tyler Ladendorf doesn’t land a roster spot as a utility man for the A’s, then he’ll also figure into the Sounds’ middle infield picture, along with Midland infielder Colin Walsh. If those two both end up on the Nashville roster, then expect to see them playing all over the diamond. While they’re both primarily suited to play second base, they’ve both got plenty of experience playing elsewhere. Ladendorf would most likely spend time at second base, shortstop and in the outfield, while Walsh would probably find time at second base, third base and in the outfield.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Matt Olson

Matt Olson

Craig Gentry and Jason Pridie were both staples of the Sounds outfield for most of 2015, but it’s quite possible that neither will be back in 2016. It would be surprising if the A’s chose to offer Gentry arbitration in the offseason, and it seems unlikely that Pridie would retain a 40-man roster spot throughout the offseason, though it is possible that he’ll manage to hang on. As mentioned earlier, top prospect Matt Olson has spent more time in right field than at first base during the second half of the season. And with Canha, Muncy and Ravelo all in the A’s first base picture and a lack of top-quality outfield prospects in the system, it seems likely that Olson will continue to see more time in the outfield at Nashville next season. Midland’s other primary outfielders – Chad Oberacker, Josh Whitaker and Jaycob Brugman – all seem ready to take the next step and could join Olson in the Sounds’ outfield picture next year. Jake Smolinski could land a spot with the A’s, sharing time with Coco Crisp in left field or giving Josh Reddick a break in right field against lefties. But if he doesn’t, possibly because the A’s acquire another outfielder, then he’ll be right in the middle of Nashville’s outfield mix next season as well.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks

A number of potential starting pitching candidates for the A’s will be out of options next season, including LHPs Sean Nolin, Felix Doubront and Drew Pomeranz as well as RHP Jesse Chavez – as noted by Jeremy F. Koo on Athletics Nation – so it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing any of them doing time at Nashville in 2016. In addition, RHPs Chris Bassitt and Kendall Graveman seem to have earned spots in the A’s major league rotation. So who does that leave as the likely starters in Nashville next season? Well, Aaron Brooks seems as likely as anyone to start the season in the Triple-A rotation. When it comes to current Sounds starters, unless they’re added to the A’s 40-man roster, Brad Mills and Nate Long will both become minor league free agents in the offseason. And if RHP Cody Martin remains on the A’s 40-man roster through all the offseason’s wheelings and dealings, then he’s likely to land a starting spot, as is reliable RHP Zach Neal. A.J. Griffin, who’s still working his way back from injury issues following last year’s Tommy John surgery, seems unlikely to be a leading candidate for the A’s starting rotation next spring and could end up starting the year as one of Nashville’s starting five. Jarrod Parker is also working his way back from injuries after his Tommy John surgery. It’s not clear whether or not he’ll return to a starting role but, if he does, then he could pose another potential Triple-A rotation option. And a few Midland starters could factor into the picture as well. RHP Jake Sanchez has already been called up to finish the season with the Sounds, while LHPs Sean Manaea and Dillon Overton are two of the team’s most promising pitching prospects who could be pushed up to Nashville in 2016.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Aaron Kurcz

Aaron Kurcz

Well, it should be noted that in recent years the A’s have tended to sign a big batch of minor league free agent relievers to stock their Triple-A bullpen. So if that ends up being the strategy again this offseason, then the Sounds bullpen is likely to be comprised of a bunch of guys we’ve yet to meet! But there certainly are plenty of arms currently in the organization who could fill the relief role in Nashville next season. First of all, if not added to the 40-man roster, then familiar names like Angel Castro, Brock Huntzinger, Jim Fuller, Taylor Thompson and Ryan Doolittle could all become minor league free agents in the offseason. When it comes to arms currently on the A’s 40-man roster, if he doesn’t find a spot in the A’s bullpen, then Ryan Dull will certainly be returning to the Sounds, as will Dan Otero, R.J. Alvarez and Pat Venditte. Aaron Kurcz also seems highly likely to be making a return appearance in 2016. Arnold Leon is out of options but, if the A’s can manage to sneak him through waivers, then he could find himself back in Nashville as well. Jarrod Parker could also be a candidate to start the season in the Sounds bullpen as he makes his way back from a serious arm injury incurred after his Tommy John surgery. And then there are a number of RockHounds relievers who’ve all earned the opportunity to see time at Triple-A, most notably Seth Frankoff and Tucker Healy (who’ve both had a taste of the PCL), Kris Hall (who’ll be showcasing in the Arizona Fall League starting next month) and Brendan McCurry (who’ll also be in the AFL and has been one of the most impressive relievers in the A’s system over the past two seasons). Add in the inevitable minor league free agent signees, and there shouldn’t be any shortage of available relief arms to stock the bullpen at First Tennessee Park in 2016.

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Wednesday, August 5th: Chad Pinder’s Grand Slam Helps Hounds Win while Dustin Driver Earns 1st Win for Vermont & Rangel Ravelo Joins Nashville

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Chad Pinder (Grand Slam)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Chad Pinder (Grand Slam)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Frisco RoughRiders       7

Midland RockHounds  8

WP – Manaea 2-1 / 3.60

HR – Pinder (13), Maxwell (2)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Shortstop Chad Pinder

(Grand Slam)

Shortstop Chad Pinder has wielded the big bat in Midland’s series against Frisco. After hitting 2 home runs on Tuesday, Pinder slugged a grand slam in the 2nd inning on Wednesday to stake the RockHounds to a big lead early in what would turn out to be a tight, 1-run game. And Pinder is now hitting .450 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and 7 RBIs over his last 5 games. Catcher Bruce Maxwell singled in a run in the 2nd and then hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd. Starter Sean Manaea allowed 4 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 over 6 innings of work to pick up his 2nd win for the RockHounds. Meanwhile, infielder Rangel Ravelo was promoted to Nashville, first baseman Anthony Aliotti was reassigned to the RockHounds, and RHP Tanner Peters was sent to the AZL A’s on a rehab assignment.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Monday, July 20th: Jason Pridie’s 2 HRs Lead Sounds to Victory while Matt Chapman’s 19th HR Helps Ports Prevail

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jason Pridie (2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jason Pridie (2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds            10

Colorado Springs Sky Sox  5

WP – Mills 4-9 / 4.09

HR – Pridie 2 (14), Freiman (1)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Jason Pridie

(2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

Outfielder Jason Pridie slugged a pair of home runs for the Sounds on Monday to increase his team-leading total to 14. Designated hitter Nate Freiman hit his 1st round-tripper of the season and also doubled, while second baseman Joey Wendle collected 4 hits, including a pair of doubles, for Nashville. Starter Brad Mills allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, over 7 innings of work to earn his 4th win for the Sounds.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Friday, July 10th: Chris Iriart’s Big Bat Leads Vermont to Victory while Daniel Gossett Is Solid in Snappers Loss

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters First Baseman Chris Iriart (3 for 5 / 2 Doubles / 4 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters First Baseman Chris Iriart (3 for 5 / 2 Doubles / 4 RBI)

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE  (Class-A Short-Season)

Mahoning Valley Scrappers  1

Vermont Lake Monsters     8

WP – Kohler 2-0 / 4.00

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Chris Iriart

(3 for 5 / 2 Doubles / 4 RBIs)

First baseman Chris Iriart collected 3 hits for the Lake Monsters for the second straight night. On Friday, two of them were doubles and he also ended up driving in 4 runs on the night. Outfielder Seth Brown had a pair of hits and drove in a run, while third baseman Mikey White singled, walked twice and drove in a pair. LHP Chris Kohler had a strong start, allowing just 1 run over 5 innings of work to earn his 2nd win, while RHP Bowdien Derby pitched 3 perfect innings in relief for the Lake Monsters.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Stockton, Beloit & AZL A’s…

Saturday, June 20th: Michael Soto Has Big Hit & Matt Chapman Hits 10th HR as Ports Win 8th Straight in a Walk-Off while AZL A’s Drop Opener and 25 Draft Picks Join A’s Affiliates

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Michael Soto (2 for 4 / Double / GWRBI)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Michael Soto (2 for 4 / Double / GWRBI)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Bakersfield Blaze  3

Stockton Ports    4

WP – Roberts 2-1 / 3.45

HR – Chapman (10)

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Michael Soto

(2 for 4 / Double / GWRBI)

With two outs, a man on and the game tied in the bottom of the 9th, first baseman Michael Soto doubled to drive in the winning run as the Ports won in a walk-off on Saturday to post their eighth straight victory. Soto also singled but was left stranded in the 7th, while third baseman Matt Chapman homered for the second straight night, hitting his 10th to tie him with Beloit’s Sandber Pimentel for most among A’s minor leaguers, and designated hitter John Nogowski singled in a run in the 3rd for Stockton. Starter Kyle Finnegan allowed 3 runs over 5 innings of work and left with the game tied, while RHPs Trevor Bayless and Sam Roberts each tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, with Roberts picking up his 2nd win for the Ports.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Taking a Look at A’s Recent Drafts

Addison Russell

Addison Russell

With the major league amateur draft set to take place today, it’s a good time to take a look back at some of the A’s recent drafts.

We’ll focus on the top five picks from the team’s last three drafts and examine how those players are currently performing and how they’re shaping up as major league prospects.

So take a look and see how you think the A’s have done in recent drafts – and let’s see how they do later today! This article was also posted on Athletics Nation earlier today…

 

–2014 DRAFT–

Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman

#1 – 3B Matt Chapman

Stockton – A+ (A’s organization)

8 HR / 13 BB / 33 K / .236 AVG / .325 OBP / .538 SLG / .863 OPS

#2 – RHP Daniel Gossett

Beloit – A (A’s organization)

54 1/3 IP / 62 H / 34 ER / 30 BB / 47 K / 5.63 ERA / 1.69 WHIP

#3 – RHP Brett Graves

Beloit – A (A’s organization)

63 IP / 65 H / 29 ER / 25 BB / 38 K / 4.14 ERA / 1.43 WHIP

#4 – RHP Jordan Schwartz

Beloit – A (A’s organization)

36 2/3 IP / 56 H / 37 ER / 27 BB / 35 K / 9.08 ERA / 2.26 WHIP

#5 – RHP Heath Fillmyer

Beloit – A (A’s organization)

30 IP / 41 H / 24 ER / 15 BB / 25 K / 7.20 ERA / 1.87 WHIP

Despite all the A’s deal-making in the offseason, all the A’s top picks from last year’s draft are still in the system. Top pick Matt Chapman, who was touted as a defensively-gifted third baseman with raw power potential, got a late start to the season after injuring his knee right before the start of spring training. The 22-year-old finally got started at Stockton about a week into May and he’s really been heating up of late with 5 home runs over his last 7 games, and he now has 8 homers in just 106 at-bats so far this season. And if he can keep up that pace, Chapman’s prospects could be looking good. The A’s decided to insert their top four pitching picks from last year’s draft directly into the Class-A Beloit Snappers’ starting rotation this season, with mixed results. 3rd-rounder Brett Graves so far has emerged as the pick of the litter. His fastball gets up to 95 mph and he induces a lot of ground balls while showing good control but his off-speed pitches could still use some work. 2nd-rounder Daniel Gossett has a solid fastball and breaking ball and generates lots of swings-and-misses but his changeup is still a work in progress and he’s shown a tendency to surrender the long ball. But both Graves and Gossett have shown the potential to improve as the season goes on. On the other side of the coin though, 4th-rounder Jordan Schwartz struggled mightily at Beloit and was recently removed from the Snappers roster and is expected to start pitching for short-season Vermont as soon as its season begins in a couple of weeks. 5th-rounder Heath Fillmyer, who spent most of last month on the disabled list, has also struggled but still remains with the Snappers for the time being despite taking the loss in all 6 of his starts this season. Overall, Chapman has shown the potential to develop into a solid power-hitting corner infielder, while Gossett and Graves could develop into rotation candidates one day, but they’ve still got a ways to go. And as far as Schwartz and Fillmyer go, it remains to be seen.

 

–2013 DRAFT–

Billy McKinney

Billy McKinney

#1 – OF Billy McKinney

Tennessee/Myrtle Beach – AA/A+ (Cubs Organization)

4 HR / 23 BB / 26 K / .324 AVG / .399 OBP / .497 SLG / .896 OPS

#2 – LHP Dillon Overton

Stockton – A+ (A’s organization)

46 1/3 IP / 45 H / 19 ER / 11 BB / 44 K / 3.69 ERA / 1.21 WHIP

#3 – SS Chad Pinder

Midland – AA (A’s organization)

7 HR / 18 BB / 47 K / .294 AVG / .364 OBP / .457 SLG / .820 OPS

#4 – 1B-3B Ryon Healy

Midland – AA (A’s organization)

4 HR / 17 BB / 35 K / .273 AVG / .325 OBP / .380 SLG / .704 OPS

#5 – LHP Chris Kohler

Extended Spring Training (A’s organization)

The A’s started off the 2013 draft somewhat surprisingly, by picking a high school outfielder with a sweet swing – Billy McKinney. I’ve heard that A’s GM Billy Beane had to be sold on the pick by the scouting department, which might help explain the quickness with which McKinney ended up being dealt. But since going to the Cubs in the deal for hurlers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel last summer, the 20-year-old outfielder has shown that he can indeed hit, consistently batting over.300 with a solid number of extra-base hits, particularly doubles. He started the season at High-A but is currently one of the youngest players in the Double-A Southern League, and he hasn’t missed a beat at that level. The Cubs clearly don’t see McKinney’s future in center field though. Ever since he joined the Cubs organization last summer, he hasn’t started a single game in center, instead spending most of his time in right. 2nd-rounder Dillon Overton got off to an inauspicious start by undergoing Tommy John surgery before ever throwing a pitch in the A’s organization. But Overton’s been solid so far this season for Stockton. His command has been excellent and, despite the fact that he’s still recovering his velocity, he’s been posting solid strikeout numbers. And the 23-year-old could still shape up as an effective major league hurler somewhere down the line. 3rd-rounder Chad Pinder has been one of the fastest movers of the A’s 2013 draft class. After playing second base at Stockton last year, the 23-year-old’s been playing a solid shortstop for Midland this season while showing some pop with 7 home runs so far in a low-offense league, and Pinder could prove to be a middle infield option at some point in the future. 4th-rounder Ryon Healy has been on the same fast track as Pinder while spending time at both first and third base. He’s shown some pop at times as well, but his plate discipline could still stand some improvement. Meanwhile, 5th-rounder Chris Kohler has shown potential but has been slowed by injuries and has spent this season at extended spring training in Arizona with the expectation that he should be getting into action sometime after the draft. He missed all of last season. But in his only competitive play in the Arizona League in 2013, Kohler showed some real promise by striking out 32 batters in just 22 2/3 innings as an 18-year-old. Now 20, he’s still got some time to show what he can do.

 

–2012 DRAFT–

Daniel Robertson

Daniel Robertson

#1 – SS-2B Addison Russell

Cubs – MLB

4 HR / 10 BB / 53 K / .241 AVG / .295 OBP / .407 SLG / .702 OPS

Iowa – AAA (Cubs organization)

1 HR / 1 BB / 7 K / .318 AVG / .326 OBP / .477 SLG / .803 OPS

#2 – SS Daniel Robertson

Montgomery – AA (Rays organization)

3 HR / 17 BB / 41 K / .272 AVG / .347 OBP / .436 SLG / .783 OPS

#3 – 1B Matt Olson

Midland – AA (A’s organization)

7 HR / 50 BB / 56 K / .222 AVG / .378 OBP / .407 SLG / .785 OPS

#4 – C Bruce Maxwell

Midland – AA (A’s organization)

1 HR / 19 BB / 22 K / .233 AVG / .319 OBP / .288 SLG / .607 OPS

#5 – RHP Nolan Sanburn

Birmingham – AA (White Sox organization)

22 IP / 20 H / 12 ER / 14 BB / 22 K / 4.91 ERA / 1.55 WHIP

Well, we all know about the A’s top pick in the 2012 draft – the golden child, Addison Russell. While most people didn’t know much about the young Floridian before the draft, it didn’t take long for A’s fans to fall in love with the humble but hot-hitting infielder. Russell shot through the A’s system before being dealt to the Cubs, along with Billy McKinney, in last summer’s deal for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. And Russell’s rise only hastened with his arrival in the Cubs camp. Russell became the first member of the A’s 2012 draft class to make his debut in the major leagues when he broke in with the Cubs in April at the age of 21 (though Max Muncy made his major league debut with the A’s just four days later). Russell has been the Cubs’ everyday second baseman since then, despite appearing in just 5 games at second base in his minor league career. Russell has had his ups and downs so far in the majors, as anyone that young will, but he’s already shown some pop by accumulating 12 doubles in his first 40 games and will undoubtedly settle in and likely become a fixture in the Cubs infield for many years to come. One of Russell’s best friends and former roommates, 2nd-rounder Daniel Robertson, went to the Rays in the Ben Zobrist deal. Also a shortstop, Robertson has shown some solid doubles power while playing at Double-A this year. He left last Tuesday’s game with an apparent wrist injury but is currently considered one of Tampa Bay’s top prospects and the team’s shortstop of the future. 3rd-rounder Matt Olson is the top pick from the A’s 2012 draft class still left in the system. Olson has always been known for his power and patience, leading the A’s system last year in home runs with 37 and in walks with 117. This season at Midland, which is a notorious death trap for power hitters, the 21-year-old so far has put up 7 home runs while walking an incredible 50 times in his first 55 games. Olson’s also been making a number of starts in right field to increase his versatility and perhaps help him find an opening in the majors a little faster. 4th-rounder Bruce Maxwell has struggled a bit at the Double-A level so far this season, and the backstop will have to show greater production at the plate if he hopes to move up the ladder in the near future. 5th-rounder Nolan Sanburn was dealt to the White Sox in the Adam Dunn deal last season. The 23-year-old has shown some promise by striking out a batter per inning throughout his minor league career, but he’s also been slowed by injuries and is currently on the disabled list at Double-A Birmingham. If he can stay healthy though, Sanburn could prove to be an effective bullpen piece for the Sox somewhere down the line.

*          *          *

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Monday, May 25th: Ports Win behind Brett Vertigan’s Big Bat while Sean Nolin Leads Sounds’ Shutout of Sacramento & Hounds Fall Despite Bruce Maxwell’s Grand Slam

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Brett Vertigan (3 for 6 / Double / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Brett Vertigan (3 for 6 / Double / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports       12

Lake Elsinore Storm  6

WP – Seddon 2-3 / 4.15

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Brett Vertigan

(3 for 6 / Double / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

With the bases loaded, two outs and Stockton down by a run in the top of the 4th inning, outfielder Brett Vertigan stroked a bases-clearing double to bring home 3 runs and give the Ports a lead they would never surrender on Monday. Vertigan also had a pair of singles and stole his 6th base for Stockton and his 12th on the season. Outfielder Tyler Marincov walked twice and tripled in a pair in the 6th, while catcher Nick Rickles singled and doubled in 2 runs in the 9th, and shortstop Franklin Barreto collected 3 hits and drove in a pair for the Ports. Starter Joel Seddon allowed 3 runs over 5 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Stockton. RHP Sam Roberts gave up 1 run in 2/3 of an inning in relief, while LHP Matt Stalcup was charged with 2 runs over 1 1/3 innings, and RHP Ben Bracewell got the final six outs to post his 2nd save for the Ports.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

A’s Farm’s 2014 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team

First baseman Matt Olson led all A's minor leaguers with 37 home runs for Stockton

First baseman Matt Olson led all A’s minor leaguers with 37 home runs for Stockton.

With the 2014 minor league season now complete, it’s time to take a step back and determine who the true standouts on the field really were in the A’s system in 2014. And with that in mind, it’s time to name A’s Farm’s 2014 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team!

Below you’ll find the primary starting players at each position for Triple-A Sacramento, Double-A Midland, High-A Stockton, Class-A Beloit, Class-A Short-Season Vermont and the Rookie League Short-Season Arizona League A’s in 2014. Offensive starters were selected from the players who had the most games played at each position for each team, with notable players not leading in games played at a particular position listed in the designated hitter category. Starting pitchers for each club were selected from hurlers who’ve had at least 10 starts for their team, while closers were selected from each team’s saves leader.

Players who left the A’s system during the season – Michael Taylor, Dusty Robinson, Billy McKinney, B.A. Vollmuth, etc. – have not been included. And the asterisks denote players with combined statistics from multiple minor league teams within the A’s system, but players’ major league statistics and statistics acquired while with other organizations have not been included.

Check out our list of All-Star contenders at each position below. Then just click on the link below our list of contenders to find A’s Farm’s winning Organizational All-Stars at each position. The winners were determined based purely on performance, not potential. Remember, we’re not selecting the top prospects here, we’re choosing the top performers on the field this season. So take a good look at the candidates for yourself and feel free to chime in with your own thoughts and selections!

 

A’s Farm’s Organizational All-Star Team – The Contenders

 

CATCHER

Sacto – Ryan Ortiz (2 HR / .215 AVG / .291 OBP / .362 SLG / .653 OPS)

Midland – Blake Forsythe (5 HR / .224 AVG / .307 OBP / .349 SLG / .656 OPS)

Stockton – Bruce Maxwell (6 HR / .243 AVG / .334 OBP / .334 SLG / .668 OPS) *

Beloit – Philip Pohl (6 HR / .242 AVG / .313 OBP / .374 SLG / .687 OPS) *

Vermont – Kyle Wheeler (0 HR / .181 AVG / .227 OBP / .205 SLG / .432 OPS)

AZL A’s – Argenis Raga (0 HR / .338 AVG / .400 OBP / .479 SLG / .879 OPS)

 

FIRST BASE

Sacto – Anthony Aliotti (9 HR / .267 AVG / .365 OBP / .406 SLG / .771 OPS) *

Midland – Max Muncy (7 HR / .264 AVG / .385 OBP / .379 SLG / .764 OPS)

Stockton – Matt Olson (37 HR / .262 AVG / .404 OBP / .543 SLG / .947 OPS)

Beloit – Michael Soto (9 HR / .290 AVG / .353 OBP / .492 SLG / .845 OPS) *

Vermont – John Nogowski (1 HR / .264 AVG / .351 OBP / .347 SLG / .699 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Shawn Duinkerk (0 HR / .167 AVG / .222 OBP / .254 SLG / .476 OPS)

 

SECOND BASE

Sacto – Jose Martinez (8 HR / .276 AVG / .345 OBP / .372 SLG / .717 OPS)

Midland – Conner Crumbliss (10 HR / .251 AVG / .358 OBP / .394 SLG / .752 OPS)

Stockton – Chad Pinder (13 HR / .288 AVG / .336 OBP / .489 SLG / .824 OPS)

Beloit – Chih Fang Pan (1 HR / .254 AVG / .311 OBP / .331 SLG / .642 OPS)

Vermont – Trent Gilbert (0 HR / .242 AVG / .300 OBP / .317 SLG / .618 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Jesus Lopez (0 HR / .221 AVG / .316 OBP / .272 SLG / .588 OPS)

 

SHORTSTOP

Sacto – Andy Parrino (7 HR / .286 AVG / .363 OBP / .404 SLG / .767 OPS)

Midland – Dusty Coleman (18 HR / .223 AVG / .300 OBP / .397 SLG / .697 OPS)

Stockton – Daniel Robertson (15 HR / .310 AVG / .402 OBP / .471 SLG / .873 OPS)

Beloit – Melvin Mercedes (2 HR / .222 AVG / .303 OBP / .316 SLG / .618 OPS)

Vermont – Yairo Munoz (5 HR / .298 AVG / .319 OBP / .448 SLG / .768 OPS)

AZL A’s – Trace Loehr (0 HR / .244 AVG / .313 OBP / .288 SLG / .600 OPS)

 

THIRD BASE

Sacto – Alden Carrithers (2 HR / .284 AVG / .381 OBP / .349 SLG / .729 OPS)

Midland – Jefry Marte (10 HR / .259 AVG / .333 OBP / .375 SLG / .709 OPS)

Stockton – Renato Nunez (29 HR / .279 AVG / .336 OBP / .517 SLG / .853 OPS)

Beloit – Luis Baez (7 HR / .237 AVG / .260 OBP / .344 SLG / .603 OPS)

Vermont – Jose Brizuela (6 HR / .254 AVG / .320 OBP / .413 SLG / .733 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Jean Carlo Rodriguez (0 HR / .184 AVG / .296 OBP / .224 SLG / .520 OPS)

 

LEFT FIELD

Sacto – Nick Buss (4 HR / .307 AVG / .371 OBP / .380 SLG / .751 OPS)

Midland – Chad Oberacker (2 HR / .221 AVG / .280 OBP / .315 SLG / .595 OPS) *

Stockton – Aaron Shipman (1 HR / .292 AVG / .414 OBP / .410 SLG / .824 OPS)

Beloit – B.J. Boyd (6 HR / .226 AVG / .300 OBP / .319 SLG / .619 OPS)

Vermont – Ben McQuown (2 HR / .239 AVG / .313 OBP / .319 SLG / .632 OPS)

AZL A’s – Robert Martinez (5 HR / .219 AVG / .339 OBP / .411 SLG / .749 OPS)

 

CENTER FIELD

Sacto – Shane Peterson (11 HR / .308 AVG / .381 OBP / .460 SLG / .841 OPS)

Midland – Billy Burns (1 HR / .237 AVG / .315 OBP / .302 SLG / .618 OPS) *

Stockton – Bobby Crocker (11 HR / .271 AVG / .336 OBP / .421 SLG / .757 OPS)

Beloit – Boog Powell (3 HR / .343 AVG / .451 OBP / .435 SLG / .886 OPS) *

Vermont – Brett Vertigan (1 HR / .265 AVG / .309 OBP / .364 SLG / .673 OPS)

AZL A’s – Jonesy Zarraga (0 HR / .228 AVG / .283 OBP / .307 SLG / .590 OPS)

 

RIGHT FIELD

Sacto – Josh Whitaker (12 HR / .295 AVG / .342 OBP / .488 SLG / .830 OPS) *

Midland – Kent Matthes (16 HR / .232 AVG / .291 OBP / .424 SLG / .715 OPS) *

Stockton – Jaycob Brugman (21 HR / .280 AVG / .354 OBP / .506 SLG / .860 OPS) *

Beloit – Tyler Marincov (18 HR / .268 AVG / .347 OBP / .486 SLG / .833 OPS) *

Vermont – Scott Masik (1 HR / .218 AVG / .321 OBP / .276 SLG / .598 OPS)

AZL A’s – Vicmal De La Cruz (0 HR / .210 AVG / .306 OBP / .299 SLG / .605 OPS)

 

DESIGNATED HITTER

Sacto – Daric Barton (9 HR / .261 AVG / .371 OBP / .411 SLG / .781 OPS)

Midland – Hiroyuki Nakajima (6 HR / .247 AVG / .321 OBP / .342 SLG / .664 OPS) *

Stockton – Ryon Healy (16 HR / .285 AVG / .318 OBP / .428 SLG / .746 OPS)

Beloit – Ryan Mathews (12 HR / .269 AVG / .317 OBP / .454 SLG / .771 OPS)

Vermont – Max Kuhn (5 HR / .275 AVG / .345 OBP / .426 SLG / .772 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Edwin Diaz (1 HR / .241 AVG / .343 OBP / .359 SLG / .702 OPS)

 

STARTING PITCHER

Sacto – Zach Neal (166 IP / 170 H / 57 ER / 20 BB / 124 K / 3.09 ERA / 1.14 WHIP) *

Midland – Chris Jensen (160 1/3 IP / 147 H / 56 ER / 62 BB / 94 K / 3.14 ERA / 1.30 WHIP)

Stockton – Seth Streich (114 IP / 110 H / 40 ER / 22 BB / 116 K / 3.16 ERA / 1.16 WHIP)

Beloit – Kyle Finnegan (125 IP / 109 H / 56 ER / 53 BB / 61 K / 4.03 ERA / 1.30 WHIP) *

Vermont – A.J. Burke (71 2/3 IP / 76 H / 31 ER / 13 BB / 57 K / 3.89 ERA / 1.24 WHIP)

AZL A’s – Carlos Navas (71 IP / 75 H / 26 ER / 20 BB / 61 K / 3.30 ERA / 1.34 WHIP)

 

CLOSER

Sacto – Jeremy McBryde (65 IP / 40 H / 16 ER / 26 BB / 66 K / 2.22 ERA / 1.02 WHIP / 17 SV)

Midland – Seth Frankoff (64 1/3 IP / 59 H / 24 ER / 21 BB / 69 K / 3.36 ERA / 1.24 WHIP / 16 SV) *

Stockton – Austin House (61 2/3 IP / 50 H / 21 ER / 23 BB / 82 K / 3.06 ERA / 1.18 WHIP / 19 SV) *

Beloit – Andres Avila (69 2/3 IP / 66 H / 22 ER / 17 BB / 64 K / 2.84 ERA / 1.19 WHIP / 8 SV) *

Vermont – Koby Gauna (24 2/3 IP / 19 H / 9 ER / 4 BB / 19 K / 3.28 ERA / 0.93 WHIP / 12 SV) *

AZL A’s – Jesus Rivas (21 IP / 28 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 10 K / 2.14 ERA / 1.52 WHIP / 7 SV)

 

Click here to see A’s Farm’s 2014 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team…

Thursday, August 21st: Chad Pinder Helps Ports Win Big while Drew Pomeranz Takes 1st Loss for Sacramento

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Chad Pinder (3 for 6 / Double / 2 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Chad Pinder (3 for 6 / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports       11

Lake Elsinore Storm  3

WP – Alderson 4-0 / 4.39

Farmhand Of The Game:

Shortstop Chad Pinder

(3 for 6 / Double / 2 RBIs)

Shortstop Chad Pinder helped lead Stockton to an 11-3 victory on Thursday night. Pinder collected 3 hits, including a double, and drove in 2 runs, while outfielder Tyler Marincov doubled, had a pair of singles and drove in a run, and third baseman Renato Nunez had 3 hits and drove in a pair for the Ports. Starter Tim Alderson allowed 3 runs over 7 innings of work to earn his 4th win for Stockton.

Click here for more on Sacramento, Midland, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…