Tag Archive for Matt Olson

Monday, July 27th: Matt Olson’s 2 HRs Help Hounds Win while Barry Zito Struggles in Sounds Loss and Yairo Munoz & Trent Gilbert Make Debuts for Ports

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Matt Olson (2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Matt Olson (2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  12

Frisco RoughRiders         9

WP – Joseph 7-4 / 4.20

HR – Olson 2 (12), Walsh (12), Ravelo (2)

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(2 Home Runs / 5 RBI)

First baseman Matt Olson has definitely been heating up again as we approach the final month of the minor league season. On Monday, he hit a pair of home runs, a 2-run shot to give his team the lead in the top of the 4th as well as a 3-run drive in the 5th, to give Olson a total of 4 home runs over his last 5 games. Designated hitter Rangel Ravelo doubled and hit a 2-run homer, while second baseman Colin Walsh homered in the 1st and singled in a run in the 8th, and shortstop Chad Pinder and outfielder Chad Oberacker had a pair of hits apiece for the Hounds. Starter Jonathan Joseph allowed 5 runs over 5 1/3 innings of work to pick up his 7th win, while LHP Omar Duran was charged with 4 runs in just 1/3 of an inning in relief, and RHP Ryan Dull got the final two outs in the 9th to notch his 12th save for Midland.

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Sunday, July 26th: Matt Olson’s HR Helps Hounds Win while Matt Chapman Hits 21st HR in Ports Loss

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Designated Hitter Matt Olson (Home Run / Double)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Designated Hitter Matt Olson (Home Run / Double)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

San Antonio Missions    5

Midland RockHounds  6

WP – Jensen 6-9 / 5.68

HR – Olson (10)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Matt Olson

(Home Run / Double)

A’s top prospect Matt Olson started off the season hot, hitting 6 home runs in 20 games in April. He cooled off considerably in May and June though, hitting just 1 home run in each month. But Olson’s been getting his power stroke back lately. He hit his second home run in Midland’s 4-game series with San Antonio on Sunday and also collected his 8th double of the month in the game. Second baseman Colin Walsh had 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, while first baseman Rangel Ravelo had 2 hits and a walk and drove in the go-ahead run for the RockHounds. Starter Chris Jensen allowed 4 runs over 7 innings of work to earn his 6th win, while RHP Ryan Doolittle got the final six outs to post his 1st save for Midland.

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

Thursday, July 23rd: Parker Frazier Leads Midland to Shutout Win while Franklin Barreto & Dylan Covey Land on DL for Stockton

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Parker Frazier (8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 1 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Parker Frazier (8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 1 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

San Antonio Missions    0

Midland RockHounds  7

WP – Frazier 2-0 / 0.44

HR – Olson (9)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Parker Frazier

(8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 1 K / Win)

RHP Parker Frazier, recently acquired from the Arizona organization, allowed just 3 hits over 8 shutout innings to earn the win for the RockHounds on Thursday. And Frazier has now tossed 14 2/3 scoreless innings over his last two starts for Midland. RHP Ryan Doolittle returned from the disabled list to toss a scoreless 9th and complete the 4-hit shutout for the RockHounds. Left fielder Jaycob Brugman had 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in a run, while center fielder Chad Oberacker singled, doubled, tripled and scored twice. Right fielder Matt Olson slugged his 9th home run, his first since June 20, and second baseman Colin Walsh had a pair of doubles to run his league-leading total to 29.

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

Exclusive: Down On The Farm with A’s Special Assistant Grady Fuson

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A’s special assistant Grady Fuson

Long-time baseball man Grady Fuson served as the A’s scouting director from 1995 until 2001, when the team drafted such talented players as Eric ChavezTim HudsonMark MulderBarry Zito and Rich Harden. He left the A’s at the end of 2001 to become the assistant general manager of the Texas Rangers and, after moving on to head up the Padres scouting department, Fuson eventually returned to the A’s a little over five years ago to serve as a special assistant to general manager Billy Beane.

Of course, many know Fuson as the scout in the cinematic version of Moneyball who has a dramatic confrontation with the A’s general manager – though that’s not quite how it happened (which we chronicled here), and he and Beane are both back on the same team and rowing in the same direction.

Prior to the draft in early-June, Fuson’s duties primarily consist of scouting amateur players in preparation for the draft. But once the draft is complete, he typically begins a tour around the A’s system while also checking out some of the team’s potential targets prior to the trade deadline.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Fuson in Stockton a few days before the start of the major league All-Star break. We took the opportunity to pick the brain of one of baseball’s top talent evaluators and get the lowdown on some of the A’s top prospects at Stockton, as well as a number of other promising players from throughout the system…

 

AF:  Well, let’s start out here in Stockton with last year’s top draft pick for the A’s, third baseman Matt Chapman. Ever since you guys drafted him, you and others with the A’s have always talked a lot about his power potential. And now, here he is leading the A’s minor league system in home runs after missing the first month or so of the season. So what have you been seeing out of him this year and how do you feel about the development of his power potential?

mcChapman, Matt2GF:  Well, I don’t think there’s any question about the power. The power is actually staying ahead of the quality of the day-to-day at-bats. He’s in the middle of the process now. This is his first full year, even though he missed almost a month and a half. So we’re just trying to get him into better positions day in and day out so that more of those four at-bats a night become of quality. There’s no doubt about the power – the power’s going to be there. It’s all going to depend on how good a hitter he ends up becoming.

AF:  Yeah, the batting average is still a little low and his strikeout numbers could stand to be a little lower.

GF:  Yeah, he’s got some fundamental things that, little by little, we’re trying to pick apart on him and trying to get him into better positions more often. There’s growth but, like with anybody at this level, things are always a work in progress.

AF:  Well, I’m sure it must be nice to see those home runs flying off his bat anyway. But another top prospect here in Stockton is shortstop Franklin Barreto. He started off a little slow, but he’s really been coming on strong of late. So what kind of development have you seen with him over the first half of the season?

fbBarreto, Franklin2GF:  Well, now that we’ve been able to see more of him on a day-to-day basis, going back to our first look in spring training, I think a lot of it was just getting used to a new organization and getting comfortable with people. He did not come into camp prepared. So, out of the chute, we got kind of an obscured look. And then, he got off to a sluggish start, but we kind of figured on that being a 19-year-old in this league. But he’s picked it up. There are some things defensively he’s done better than we thought he’d do. Obviously, he’s still got some errors, but that’s typical. But he’s starting to be more comfortable with his at-bats. He’s squaring it up often and swinging at better pitches, and he’s got enough strength to make himself a little dangerous from time to time. So it’s starting to blossom into a good year. From where he played in short-season last year and for a teenager to walk into this league, that’s a big step. That was quite a push in our eyes to put him here. But this is such an easier league early in the year to become comfortable in. I don’t care how good you are, the Midwest League in April and May is just difficult – the weather is inconsistent, the temperatures are inconsistent. So this was a better spot for his development.

AF:  It seems like the A’s have been pushing a lot of the top prospects right past Beloit lately.

GF:  Yeah, it’s almost like, if you’re good enough, you’re coming.

AF:  A guy who didn’t start out the season as a top prospect but who’s been having a great year on the field here is center fielder Brett Vertigan. So what’s accounted for his success this year?

bvVertigan, Brett2GF:  I think the biggest thing is everything he had to go through last year. If you go back to last year, he didn’t even break camp – he got stuck in extended spring training. And it was tough on all of us – it was tough to see him have to stay there. But we just felt that we had some other guys who needed to get out and play. And for a college guy at that age to be told that he’s going to extended, it’s kind of hard to take. But he got over it and he earned his way back into Beloit and, since then, he’s kind of taken off. But I think the biggest difference this year is he’s a lot more confident. And what he’s needed to work on, he’s worked on. He’s done a much better job keeping the ball out of the air. But when things go the way they’re going for Brett, he’s seeing the baseball better and he’s putting better swings on better pitches. So his whole game has taken off. He’s stealing more bases, he’s walking more, and he’s doing all the things that come with the building of confidence. And when you start doing some things at the plate and you know you can compete, your confidence grows and the odds of your whole game playing up come up. I think he’s got 20 plus stolen bases between two clubs, he’s got around 50 walks between two clubs and he’s hitting around .300 between two clubs, so he’s done a great job.

dcCovey, Dylan2AF:  I wanted to talk to you about a few of the pitchers here. Dylan Covey has been pitching well all season. He’s doesn’t strike out a lot of guys or blow guys away, but he seems to be getting the job done. So what’s been coming together for him this year?

GF:  Well, his command is better. I think we all believe he still needs to work on pitching down in the zone better. But as far as him working ahead in counts and staying ahead in counts, he’s done a much better job. But you’re right, he’s not a big strikeout guy. He’s got a good sinker when he throws it, but the sinker is a contact pitch, and it needs to be down in the bottom half of the zone for him to get the groundballs. But there are times when this guy will come out and he’ll get you ten or twelve groundballs a night, and that’s the way he needs to pitch.

jsSeddon, Joel2AF:  The guy who’s been a bit of a surprise here lately is Joel Seddon, who was a reliever but has been turned into a starter this year, and he’s really been rounding into shape nicely here lately.

GF:  Well, he started a little bit in college. And then I think in his last year or so at South Carolina, they made him a reliever. But he’s always had three pitches. And we just don’t have the depth of starters in this system, so that opened up an opportunity for him to become one. He was the guy we kind of hand-picked to give some starts and get him on the mound longer. And since the middle of last month, the quality of his starts has really improved.

AF:  A guy who was here during the first half and just recently moved up to Midland is Dillon Overton, who’s still making his way back from Tommy John surgery. So what have you seen out of him this year?

doOverton, Dillon2GF:  Well, we’re finally getting him out to a level where he can be challenged a little bit. We still need to watch his workload, but I think he got what was needed out of here. We’re still waiting for the velocity to come back another tick. But even if he doesn’t come back to 93mph, at 89-90mph, this guy’s got the breaking ball and the changeup and the deception to still be very effective.

AF:  Well, he seems to know how to pitch anyway.

GF:  Yeah, exactly.

AF:  So has he basically been hovering in the high-80s on the radar gun?

GF:  Yeah, he’s kind of an 87-91mph type of guy. 88-89mph is where he’s been comfortable.

raAlcantara, Raul3bAF:  Raul Alcantara is another guy who’s been coming back from Tommy John. How’s he been doing here?

GF:  Well, if you ask him, he hates it! But if you ask us who’ve been around, you know how the whole rehab process works. There’s no science to it. You don’t know how certain guy’s are going to feel. His stuff is certainly there. It’s just about him getting his rhythm and delivery back so that he commands the baseball a little better.

AF:  So I guess he’s eager to get it going!

GF:  Oh yeah, his expectations at this point are probably a little higher than ours are. But that’s good. Every time you take the mound, you want to throw a no-hitter, right?

bmMcCurry, Brendan2AF:  Right, I guess there are worse attitudes to have! Now the guy out of the bullpen here who’s been really impressive is the closer Brendan McCurry. He just seems to be solid every time out there.

GF:  As expected! He was a very polished college guy when we got him. He’s still a bit of the trickster. He drops arm angles and he’s got all these different slots. But the guy’s got four pitches and he commands them and he attacks the strike zone. He probably is what he is, but he’s got the stuff to keep it going and do the kind of things he’s doing at every level.

AF:  Okay, let’s touch on a few of the A’s top prospects at Midland, starting with first baseman Matt Olson. Of course, Midland is a notoriously difficult hitting environment, but what do you think about what Olson’s done there so far this year?

moOlson, Matt2GF:  Well, I would say the first month and a half, the target was being met. He hovered around .270 and he was hitting some homers. And we all know the conditions are much different there. We might have cursed him because in spring training we told him, “Hey, be the first guy who goes from Stockton to Midland and doesn’t have to stumble around a bit.” He’s kind of hit a wall. He’s had a rough patch, but we’ve got plenty of time to get things fixed and get back on track and end up having the kind of year he hopes to have.

AF:  Is there anything in particular that he’s struggling with at the moment?

GF:  The swing-and-miss is still there, and that’s obviously getting exposed. So if there’s any part of his game that needs to take the next step, it’s that – it’s the contact.

AF:  So the tougher pitchers there are just getting him to swing and miss more often.

GF:  Right, but at the same time, he’s such a studious kid and a hard-working kid, his ability to make those adjustments and get better should be no different than the pitchers who’ve climbed to that level.

AF:  So you think he’s capable of making those adjustments then.

GF:  Yeah, yeah.

cpPinder, Chad2AF:  So what about Chad Pinder, who’s been back playing shortstop at Midland this year? He’s been hitting well, and he’s also been getting on base more often than he had been last year, which I think was a bit of an issue. I’m not sure how he’s been in the field, but tell me a little bit about where you think he’s at both at the plate and in the field.

GF:  He’s been great on both sides. He’s played a very solid short. I think he’s opened a lot of eyes as a shortstop. Time will only tell where he ends up position-wise, but he’s done a remarkable job. He’s been consistent. There haven’t been a lot of peaks and there haven’t been a lot of valleys in his game. He’s been pretty solid. When it comes to his numbers, across the board, the arrows are pointing up. He’s walking at a higher percentage and his recognition is improving. So his growth to me is right on target.

AF:  The other guy at Midland who everyone’s always interested in is third baseman Renato Nunez, who’s another one, like Chapman, who got a bit of a late start to the season and is maybe just now starting to get into the swing of things. So what are you seeing in terms of his progress this year?

rnNunez, Renato2GF:  Well, I think we’re speaking at a time here in July when things are finally clicking again, where the quality of the at-bats every night are a little more on target, and obviously the performance is coming out of that. He’s being moved around – he’s playing a little third, playing a little first – because we’re using Olson in the outfield quite a bit more now, so he’s getting an opportunity at both spots. So I’m hoping for a big second half from him. You know, that league doesn’t become quite as difficult for righties as it does for lefties. The right-handers aren’t hitting it into the teeth of the wind every day.

AF:  Well, I know Michael Choice and Grant Green didn’t enjoy it there too much.

GF:  Well, it’s one of those things you’ve got to overcome – you’ve got to go through there.

AF:  I guess that’s what hurdles look like!

GF: Exactly.

AF:  Now one pitcher of particular interest in the bullpen there at Midland is Ryan Dull, who’s only given up two runs all year long. So how’s he been doing it and what’s he got to do to get out of Midland?

rdDull, Ryan2GF:  Well, he’s doing it with the same stuff he’s always had. When he’s been good, he’s been 90-92mph, his ball has a little sink and dive to it, and he pitches at the bottom of the strike zone fabulously. He’s got a hard little slider and he’s got a nice little changeup. He’s one of the better pitchers in our system when it comes to really pitching down in the strike zone consistently, and that’s the biggest attribute he has, plus he pounds the strike zone. You know, nobody expects a run like this, so God bless him!

AF:  So is there anything in particular that he needs to do or work on still to get to being a major-league-ready reliever?

GF:  No, I think his stuff is what it is. I don’t think he’s the kind of guy you can project bigger stuff out of. I think he’s got to do it the way he’s doing it right now. And if he continues to do that at every level, he will pitch in the big leagues.

AF:  So I guess it’s obviously just a matter of getting the opportunities then.

GF:  Exactly.

AF:  Well, there certainly aren’t an awful lot of young prospects in Nashville this year – it’s a real veteran team. But one guy the A’s got in the offseason, second baseman Joey Wendle, has been the youngest position player there for most of the season. So what have you been seeing out of Joey Wendle so far this year?

jwWendle, Joey2GF:  It’s all been good. Collectively, between most of us, we think there’s certainly a hitterish-looking guy there. He’s got enough power to kind of be a little scary. And I think his approach leaks back into a power mode a little too often. With the numbers that he’s putting up, I think our expectation might have been a little bit more – but at the same time, close to .270 and some homers. There’s some defense that still can take another jump. I look at him as like a younger Sogard defensively – you know, the defense just kept getting better and better and better all the time. And I use Sogie because I drafted him in San Diego, and he was all offense. That’s what bothers me when Sogie hasn’t hit, but he’s become a superb defender. By the way, [A’s hitting coach] Darren Bush has done a tremendous job with Sogie. He’s got him lengthening out his stride. You know for the last couple years Sogie’s gone with a no-stride approach, and it’s changed the way he attacks pitches in the zone and actually how he sees pitches. I don’t know why Sogie in the past has not walked when this guy used to be an on-base machine. So now Bushie’s got him back into getting some distance in his stride and being in a better position to see the ball, and obviously he’s having a much better offensive year.

AF:  So you’re looking at Wendle as possibly being on a similar sort of path as Sogard was on then.

GF:  Yeah, with a little bit more pop in his bat. He’s more physical.

bzZito, Barry2AF:  One of the most interesting stories at Nashville this year has been Barry Zito’s return to baseball. Since you go way back with him, do you have anything to say about what he’s been doing there this year?

GF:  Yeah, I’ve always got a lot to say about Barry because, shit, I signed him way back when! I’m proud of what’s happened the last month or so. You know, the first five or six starts he made, you just kind of went, “Ugh, here we go.” Not the command that he’s used to throwing with, and we all know the velocity’s down. But he’s been grinding through it and he’s been working at it. I know [pitching coach] Don Schulze and [manager] Steve Scarsone say he’s been a tremendous citizen. And I would say his last five or six starts have been off the charts. He’s been efficient, he’s been pounding the strike zone and his breaker’s been more consistent. His changeup still kind of comes and goes, but he’s been really good.

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AF:  And finally, I just wanted to get your take on a couple of the A’s top draft picks this year starting with your #1 pick, shortstop Richie Martin.

GF:  Yeah, he’s a high-upside athlete. He’s got all the skills you want. He’s a plus runner and thrower. He’s got actions, he’s got hands. There are some things in the offense that we’ve got to keep our eyes on. He’s not a power guy per se, but he’s got the strength to hit a few. There are some things, maybe once he gets his legs underneath him a little bit, that we may tinker with offensively in instructional league. But he’s got a chance to be a complete guy, minus the big home run threat, but he’s a big upside athlete.

AF:  And what about the top pitcher you guys took in the 3rd round, the high school pitcher Dakota Chalmers?

dc_MG_8530_resize2GF:  It was nice to take a run and get the young kid Chalmers. After taking Martin number one and White number two, we lost some pitching in that area of the draft. So it was nice to be able to come back and get a nice upside guy like Chalmers. I didn’t see him throw in high school, but I saw his first or second side down in Arizona, and it was impressive. But he’s like most 18-year-olds – you’ve got to let the body grow up. He’s tall and he’s thin. His body’s going to go through a lot of transformations in the next three or four years. But he’s got a good delivery, he’s got a good breaking ball and there’s some heat coming out of his arm. He looks like he’s got a chance to be a little more of a mature strike-thrower, and there’s some upside there, no doubt!

AF:  Well, that’s good to hear. Thanks!

*          *          *

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Thursday, June 25th: Tim Atherton & Brad Mills Pitch Hounds & Sounds to Shutout Victories while Snappers Drop 9th Straight

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Tim Atherton (8 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 7 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Tim Atherton (8 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 7 K)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  5

San Antonio Missions    0

WP – Atherton 5-3 / 5.31

HR – Nunez (10)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Tim Atherton

(8 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 7 K / Win)

RHP Tim Atherton turned in his best start yet for Midland on Thursday, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7 over 8 scoreless innings to earn his 5th win for the RockHounds as they shut out San Antonio in the opening game of the series. RHP Andres Avila got the final three outs in the 9th to complete the shutout for the Hounds. Third baseman Renato Nunez hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 1st, while left fielder Jaycob Brugman singled in a pair in the 7th, and first baseman Matt Olson and right fielder Josh Whitaker had a pair of hits apiece for the RockHounds. In other news, Olson and Nunez were both selected to participate in the Futures Game, which will be played on Sunday, July 12 in Cincinnati.

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

A’s Farm’s 2015 Mid-Season Organizational All-Star Team

Matt Chapman

Third baseman Matt Chapman leads all A’s minor leaguers with 11 home runs for Stockton

With the California League and the Midwest League All-Star breaks taking place this week and all the minor league affiliates right around the halfway points of their seasons, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and determine who the true standouts on the field have been in the A’s system in the first half of 2015. And with that in mind, it’s time to name A’s Farm’s 2015 Mid-Season Organizational All-Star Team!

Below you’ll find the primary starting players at each position for Triple-A Nashville, Double-A Midland, High-A Stockton and Class-A Beloit. Offensive starters were selected from the players who’ve 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 ten starts for their team, while closers were selected from each team’s saves leader. Statistics listed are through games of Monday, June 22.

The asterisks denote players with combined statistics from multiple minor league teams within the A’s system. Center fielder Brett Vertigan spent about a month with Beloit before being promoted to Stockton, while third baseman Jose Brizuela appeared in ten games with Stockton before joining Beloit. Right fielder Robert Martinez spent most of the season with Beloit before being sent to Vermont just a few days ago, and Midland’s Nate Long made one emergency start for Nashville.

Check out our list of All-Star contenders at each position. Then just click on the link below the 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 so far this season. So take a good look at the candidates for yourself and feel free to chime in with your own thoughts and selections!

 

–THE CANDIDATES–

 

CATCHER

Nashville – Bryan Anderson (2 HR / .192 AVG / .267 OBP / .297 SLG / .564 OPS)

Midland – Bruce Maxwell (1 HR / .244 AVG / .328 OBP / .297 SLG / .625 OPS)

Stockton – Beau Taylor (3 HR / .213 AVG / .332 OBP / .338 SLG / .669 OPS)

Beloit – Jose Chavez (0 HR / .158 AVG / .229 OBP / .192 SLG / .421 OPS)

 

FIRST BASE

Nashville – Anthony Aliotti (0 HR / .287 AVG / .361 OBP / .337 SLG / .698 OPS)

Midland – Matt Olson (8 HR / .217 AVG / .383 OBP / .391 SLG / .775 OPS)

Stockton – John Nogowski (1 HR / .264 AVG / .355 OBP / .338 SLG / .693 OPS)

Beloit – Max Kuhn (3 HR / .199 AVG / .286 OBP / .290 SLG / .576 OPS)

 

SECOND BASE

Nashville – Joey Wendle (5 HR / .258 AVG / .306 OBP / .406 SLG / .712 OPS)

Midland – Colin Walsh (8 HR / .299 AVG / .425 OBP / .494 SLG / .919 OPS)

Stockton – Branden Cogswell (2 HR / .262 AVG / .358 OBP / .344 SLG / .702 OPS)

Beloit – Trent Gilbert (4 HR / .306 AVG / .342 OBP / .426 SLG / .768 OPS)

 

SHORTSTOP

Nashville – Andy Parrino (4 HR / .271 AVG / .366 OBP / .429 SLG / .795 OPS)

Midland – Chad Pinder (7 HR / .300 AVG / .364 OBP / .457 SLG / .822 OPS)

Stockton – Franklin Barreto (6 HR / .271 AVG / .310 OBP / .432 SLG / .743 OPS)

Beloit – Yairo Munoz (7 HR / .250 AVG / .280 OBP / .381 SLG / .660 OPS)

 

THIRD BASE

Nashville – Ryan Roberts (1 HR / .285 AVG / .344 OBP / .389 SLG / .733 OPS)

Midland – Ryon Healy (5 HR / .274 AVG / .324 OBP / .383 SLG / .708 OPS)

Stockton – Matt Chapman (11 HR / .244 AVG / .328 OBP / .544 SLG / .872 OPS)

Beloit – Jose Brizuela (4 HR / .196 AVG / .311 OBP / .321 SLG / .633 OPS) *

 

LEFT FIELD

Nashville – Jason Pridie (8 HR / .305 AVG / .358 OBP / .474 SLG / .832 OPS)

Midland – Jaycob Brugman (2 HR / .274 AVG / .331 OBP / .402 SLG / .733 OPS)

Stockton – B.J. Boyd (4 HR / .283 AVG / .347 OBP / .411 SLG / .758 OPS)

Beloit – Joe Bennie (3 HR / .252 AVG / .356 OBP / .374 SLG / .729 OPS)

 

CENTER FIELD

Nashville – Craig Gentry (2 HR / .240 AVG / .315 OBP / .326 SLG / .640 OPS)

Midland – Chad Oberacker (4 HR / .302 AVG / .363 OBP / .458 SLG / .820 OPS)

Stockton – Brett Vertigan (3 HR / .322 AVG / .408 OBP / .443 SLG / .851 OPS) *

Beloit – James Harris (4 HR / .250 AVG / .365 OBP / .408 SLG / .773 OPS)

 

RIGHT FIELD

Nashville – Kent Matthes (2 HR / .233 AVG / .294 OBP / .358 SLG / .652 OPS)

Midland – Josh Whitaker (7 HR / .280 AVG / .320 OBP / .518 SLG / .838 OPS)

Stockton – Tyler Marincov (7 HR / .258 AVG / .331 OBP / .405 SLG / .736 OPS)

Beloit – Robert Martinez (3 HR / .184 AVG / .262 OBP / .293 SLG / .555 OPS) *

 

DESIGNATED HITTER

Nashville – Alden Carrithers (1 HR / .286 AVG / .379 OBP / .344 SLG / .723 OPS)

Midland – Renato Nunez (9 HR / .228 AVG / .304 OBP / .413 SLG / .717 OPS)

Stockton – Michael Soto (5 HR / .265 AVG / .328 OBP / .399 SLG / .727 OPS)

Beloit – Sandber Pimentel (10 HR / .258 AVG / .340 OBP / .447 SLG / .787 OPS)

 

STARTING PITCHER

Nashville – Brad Mills (73 1/3 IP / 68 H / 29 ER / 31 BB / 54 K / 3.56 ERA / 1.35 WHIP)

Midland – Nate Long (83 IP / 70 H / 25 ER / 29 BB / 68 K / 2.71 ERA / 1.19 WHIP) *

Stockton – Dylan Covey (79 2/3 IP / 69 H / 28 ER / 26 BB / 55 K / 3.16 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)

Beloit – Brett Graves (72 2/3 IP / 78 H / 37 ER / 27 BB / 39 K / 4.58 ERA / 1.45 WHIP)

 

CLOSER

Nashville – Ryan Cook (20 2/3 IP / 13 H / 6 ER / 9 BB / 16 K / 2.61 ERA / 1.07 WHIP / 5 SV)

Midland – Ryan Dull (34 IP / 21 H / 1 ER / 9 BB / 39 K / 0.26 ERA / 0.88 WHIP / 6 SV)

Stockton – Brendan McCurry (32 2/3 IP / 27 H / 10 ER / 9 BB / 38 K / 2.76 ERA / 1.10 WHIP / 12 SV)

Beloit – Jose Torres (38 2/3 IP / 28 H / 15 ER / 13 BB / 42 K / 3.49 ERA / 1.06 WHIP / 5 SV)

 

Click here to see A’s Farm’s 2015 Mid-Season Organizational All-Star Team…

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…

Monday, June 15th: Kyle Finnegan & Tim Atherton Pitch Ports & Hounds to Victory while Eight RockHounds Are Named TX League All-Stars

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Kyle Finnegan (6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Kyle Finnegan (6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports         7

Lake Elsinore Storm  1

WP – Finnegan 4-4 / 5.29

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Kyle Finnegan

(6 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

RHP Kyle Finnegan turned in a strong start for Stockton on Monday, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings of work to earn his 4th win. The 23-year-old had given up 12 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over his last 3 starts for the Ports. A’s RHP Edward Mujica made his first rehab appearance for Stockton and struck out 2 in a spotless 7th. RHP Corey Walter also struck out a pair in the 8th, and RHP Trevor Bayless pitched a perfect 9th in his return from the disabled list. Outfielder Tyler Marincov singled, doubled and drove in 3, while third baseman Matt Chapman doubled in a pair in the 2nd. After collecting 4 hits on Sunday, shortstop Franklin Barreto had 3 hits, including a double, on Monday, and first baseman John Nogowski and second baseman Branden Cogswell had a pair of hits apiece for the Ports. While Trevor Bayless was activated from the disabled list on Monday, outfielder J.P. Sportman returned to the disabled list for Stockton.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

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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Thursday, May 28th: Nate Long & Brad Mills Pitch Hounds & Sounds to Victory while Sandber Pimentel Homers Again in Snappers Loss

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Nate Long (7 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 8 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Nate Long (7 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 8 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Tulsa Drillers                  0

Midland RockHounds  9

WP – Long 3-3 / 2.81

HR – Olson (7), Walsh (5)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Nate Long

(7 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 8 K / Win)

The RockHounds shut out Tulsa on just 5 hits on Thursday. After a 90-minute rain delay, RHP Nate Long took the mound and ended up striking out 8 over 7 shutout innings to earn his 3rd win for the Hounds. It was the 29-year-old’s sixth quality start since moving into Midland’s starting rotation in late-April. RHP Jonathan Joseph tossed a scoreless 8th and 9th to close things out for the RockHounds. Top prospect Matt Olson, making his 12th start this season in right field, drew 3 walks, singled and slugged his team-leading 7th home run, while second baseman Colin Walsh clubbed his 5th homer. Catcher Carson Blair drew a pair of walks and doubled with the bases loaded to drive in 3 runs, and outfielder Chad Oberacker collected 2 doubles and drove in a pair to help the Hounds notch their fourth win in their last five games.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton & Beloit…