Results tagged ‘ Max Muncy ’

Saturday, April 5th: Taylor Homers to Lead Cats to Victory while Ports Win, Hounds Lose & Snappers Split Twinbill

 

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Sacramento River Cats Outfielder Michael Taylor (Home Run / Double / 3 RBIs)

Sacramento River Cats Outfielder Michael Taylor (HR / Double / 3 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Sacramento River Cats  12

Salt Lake Bees                    7

WP – Blanton 1-0 / 9.00

HR – Taylor (1)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Michael Taylor

(Home Run / Double / 3 RBIs)

River Cats’ all-time hit-leader Michael Taylor tagged a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning to give Sacramento the lead, and the team never looked back, tacking on ten more runs before the night was through. Taylor doubled in another run, while shortstop Tyler Ladendorf singled, doubled and drove in 3, outfielder Jake Goebbert tripled, doubled and drove in 2, and third baseman Alden Carrithers collected 3 hits and drove in a pair. Joe Blanton, making his first start since returning to the A’s organization, allowed 6 runs, 5 earned, on 9 hits over 5 innings of work to pick up the win for the Cats.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

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Exclusive: Down on the Farm with Farhan Zaidi, the A’s new Assistant General Manager – Part 2

fzFarhanZaidiYesterday, we brought you Part 1 of A’s Farm’s exclusive interview with A’s assistant general manager and director of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, where he gave us the lowdown on top prospects like Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson, Michael Ynoa, Raul Alcantara and Arnold Leon. In Part 2, we’ll cover Billy McKinney, Billy Burns, Max Muncy and more. So let’s get back to the action – we rejoin our game, already in progress…

 

AF:  Another guy who’s spent a little time in the big league camp this spring is last year’s top draft pick, Billy McKinney. So what have your impressions been of him to this point?

Billy McKinneyFZ:  I think the more times he’s come over, the more comfortable he’s been. I thought he was a little gun shy in his first couple of at-bats, which is totally understandable. But his performance last year somehow went a little under the radar, maybe because it was mostly in Arizona – he spent the last ten days in Vermont. But he did about as well as you could expect a high school position player to do. And we’ve seen some of that the more times he’s come over – the quality at-bats, the swing. You know, his bread and butter is going to be what he does offensively. And all that he‘s given us is positive in the times we’ve seen him.

AF:  Now what are your thoughts about the guy who everyone seems to be most excited about this spring, Billy Burns?

FZ:  The combination of elite speed and the ability to get on base isn’t as common as you would think. First of all, there aren’t that many elite speed guys. And the guys who do have elite speed don’t necessarily make enough contact or walk enough to really fully leverage that speed. I think he’s one of the best handful of guys at that in the minor leagues. And he’s got his strengths and weaknesses like every player. But he knows his strengths and he tailors his game to fully exploit those strengths. He tries to put the ball in play. He hits the ball on the ground. He has the speed to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. And I wouldn’t say he’s got Josh Reddick’s arm, but what he does is he gets to balls quickly. He’s accurate and he releases balls quickly when he does get to them. We saw him have a couple of assists in a game. And that was an area where we had some questions about whether he had the arm to play center field, and so far he’s shown every ability to play out there. So his all-around game has been great. And I think what coaches love is having a guy like that who knows what he has to do to be successful and knows what he has to do to help the team as much as possible. And obviously he’s really excited the fans, which is great. You know, he’s only spent about a month at Double-A, so he’s got a little bit of a ways to go. But we know the speed is going to play at this level for sure. It’s just letting some of those other skills catch up with that part.

AF:  I don’t think people realize how inexperienced he really is. He’s only had about 30 games above Class-A. So do you anticipate him getting a little more time in at Double-A this year?

FZ:  That’s the plan for right now. Things can change seeing how the rest of the depth chart plays out. But for a guy who hasn’t been switch-hitting for that long, getting more left-handed at-bats will be big for him. And in that sense, if a guy is still learning to swing from one side of the plate, you don’t want him to just be trying to stay afloat. And that’s maybe what moving a guy like that too aggressively might do. We want him to get comfortable hitting from the left side of the plate. So sending him back to the level where he finished last year and had some success makes some sense. But he’s a guy who’s made a strong enough impression that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with us at some point this year.

AF: Now I want to ask you about a guy who, along with Addison Russell, has moved up the ladder more quickly than anyone, and that’s Max Muncy. How do you view him at this point?

mmDSC02925bxFZ:  Very advanced bat. He’s sort of lived up to every expectation we had when we drafted him…but the way things look right now, he’s probably going to go back and start the year in Midland. But he’s a guy who could move quickly because he has a pretty polished game, particularly offensively.

AF:  Would you say that, along with Addison Russell, he’s as close to being major-league ready as anyone you’ve drafted in the last couple of years?

FZ:  Yeah, I think from the position player side, that’s a fair statement.

AF:  I’ve talked to him a few times and I get the impression that he’s a really smart hitter who’s got a pretty good approach to things.

FZ:  Yeah, very cerebral guy – probably for us, the poster child for the kind of approach we want. We want guys to control the zone. And that means both not swinging at pitches out of the zone but also looking to do damage when you’re in hitter’s counts. And I haven’t seen the guy take a bad at-bat, so that’s very exciting. He has the kind of consistency that some of our younger guys still need to develop.

AF:  Are there any somewhat under-the-radar guys in the A’s system you’d suggest people might want to keep an eye on?

thDSC03367cFZ:  You know, one guy who has a chance to move pretty quickly is Tucker Healy, who started in Beloit and finished last year in Stockton…Every time Tucker’s name comes up, whether it’s regarding the depth chart or whether a team asks about him in a trade, which has happened a couple of times, and I go back and look, I’m always taken aback by how good he really was last year. So maybe not a guy who has the pedigree draft-wise…but between Beloit and Stockton last year, he had a 1.31 ERA and in 48 innings, he had 10 walks and 74 strikeouts. I mean, it’s ridiculous. And then the year before that in Vermont, he had 45 strikeouts and 13 walks in 29 innings. I would say he’s very under the radar.

AF:  What about any position players?

FZ:  I would say it’s harder for position players to slide under the radar. But two guys I think could take a big step forward are the first two college position players we drafted last year – Chad Pinder and Ryon Healy. Not that those guys are under the radar, but they didn’t get a ton of reps after signing. They’re both guys who are very advanced, and I expect them to either start the year in Stockton or wind up there at some point. And advanced college hitters can put up some noticeable numbers at that level.

cpDSC03243dAF:  And Pinder was hindered by injuries much of last year.

FZ:  Yeah, I don’t think we’ve seen any sort of true indication of his ability level. He’s a guy who could have gone as high as the late first round. So he could sneak up on people.

AF:  And he’s staying at shortstop?

FZ:  Yeah, I think we’ve been happy with how he’s looked there.

AF:  And what about Healy position-wise at this point? He’s primarily a first baseman but you also had him at third a little bit last year.

FZ:  I know we tried him at third base. Our guys liked him there. I think we’ll continue to at least give him a chance there. He likes playing third and he wants to get better there. So when a guy is being challenged on the defensive spectrum the fact that the guy wants to do it and wants to get better is always a big factor.

AF:  Now one last general question about the draft. You guys have drafted a lot more high school players in the past couple of years than you had in the past. And David Forst has said that he feels you have so much more information available on high school players now than you did even five years ago that you really feel a lot more confident going with high school guys at this point. Would you agree with that assessment?

FZ:  I think so, yeah. It’s sort of having a comfort level, seeing these guys the whole previous summer before their senior years playing in these summer circuits where they face a good level of competition…Now people have a long history of these guys dating back at least to the summer before their senior years. And scouting staffs are a little bigger now, so you get more looks…and we don’t think it’s a useful strategy to just lop off half of the draft pool and say we’re just taking these guys. We’re probably going to lose out on talent if we do that…and just to be clear, that’s not something that’s happened in the last three years. I think the balancing of value between high school and college guys is something that probably started ten or fifteen years ago and has sort of very slowly and steadily worked its way into what I think is pretty close to parity at this point. And that’s because of team’s drafting tendencies but also because of the correction of what was once a pretty big information asymmetry between these players.

AF:  Great, thanks a lot – that was even more informative than I’d hoped!

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Exclusive: A’s Special Assistant Grady Fuson Talks Top Prospects with A’s Farm

gfDSC01787-1[2c]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 Chavez, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry 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 four 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.

During spring training, Fuson can most frequently be found patrolling the A’s minor league fields at Papago Park, keeping a close eye on the team’s most prized prospects. And it was there that we took the opportunity to pick the brain of one of baseball’s top talent evaluators to get the lowdown on some of the A’s top hitting and pitching prospects…

 

AF:  So what are your impressions of Addison Russell after his first full year of pro ball now that he’s been out here in big league camp?

arDSC02922fGF:  I think the impression he’s made is the same. He hasn’t missed a beat. He’s played well on both sides of the ball. He’s made some very good plays at short. He’s gotten a lot of playing time. The first ten games or so until he had the hamstring strain, he almost played the last half of every game. So I think he’s had 25 at-bats over there and held his own in every category.

AF:  Is there anything that he needs to focus on this season just to get him a little bit closer to being major-league ready?

GF:  Well, you know, when he did come to camp, it looked like he toyed with his stance and his hand-set a little bit. So that was a little confusing at the beginning. But he figured a few things out with his hands and changed that. And you know, this kid looks like he’s really close – no matter where he goes, he looks like he’s close.

AF:  So it’s just a matter of letting nature take its course at this point.

GF:  Yep, nature will take its course.

AF:  What about Daniel Robertson? Where’s he at in his development at this stage of the game?

drrobertson480_szmaxxpi_ibplc2rl2GF:  Robbie’s had a nice camp. He was here early for the mini-camp. He’s actually been over there [in the big league camp] quite a bit. He’s had some opportunities. He’s another guy who’s held his own. I think he’s impressed them with his at-bats. And he’s made some good plays on some tough hops over there. He’s got a very polished look for a 20-year-old.

AF:  In the future, with Addison Russell moving along as quickly as he has and looking like the A’s shortstop of the near future, looking at Robertson down the line, are there other positions you could see him being a good fit at?

GF:  Yeah, I don’t think any of us think there’s going to ever be an issue if he has to go over to second or if he has to go to third. But there’s not a guy you would talk to in this camp who doesn’t look at him as a shortstop, so we’ll just keep that going.

AF:  Another guy who’s seen a little time in the big league camp this spring is last year’s top draft pick, Billy McKinney.

bmc320xGF:  Yep, Billy’s been over there a little bit. He actually had some quality at-bats. I was there for his first one. He battled a couple tough ones off and then they threw him an ultra-big-league slider and I think it froze him up a little bit. But yesterday, I think he went 0-2 in that count and battled back a little bit and hit a nice line drive to right. He’s done well…Those kids who get to go across the street [to big league camp], there’s nothing like it for them. I was talking to Renato Nunez this morning, and he came back from there, and he’s on fire. He was talking to all the guys over there, and it’s a thrill and a great experience for those kids to go over there for a day or two.

AF:  Since you just mentioned him, I’m guessing Renato Nunez is probably going to get the chance to hit a lot of home runs at Stockton in the California League this year. What’s the outlook on him, especially defensively at third base?

rnNunez_480_copy_rvisuyh3_iun9o7x5cGF:  We’re still grinding away defensively. It comes and goes. Sometimes his feet get in the way a little bit. But a couple of balls the other day, he reacted really well on. And then a couple of balls he kind of kicked around. It’s a work in progress. You know, I think his body is still evolving. He was such a young guy when we signed him…now he’s bulked up a little bit and he’s a little stronger, so he’s still going into those years where his body’s still growing and he’s starting to learn what’s going to feel good in the future as far as what weight he plays at and everything. You know, that’s what the minor leagues are for is to figure all that stuff out before you get there.

AF:  So he’s basically still a growing kid getting coordinated.

GF:  Exactly.

AF:  So what about his bat? Are you just letting him go or are you working on anything in particular with him?

GF:  It’s nothing major with him. It’s just time and repetition and doing the right thing more often. It’s taking a little bit more focus and intent in his batting practice as far as what he’s trying to do. And it’s all coming. I was down here where he hit today, and he hit about twenty out.

AF:  What about Max Muncy?

mmDSC02925bxGF:  Muncy’s been all-world on both sides. He’s had quality at-bats every single time out. He’s stronger and the ball’s getting off the bat even a little bit farther. You could see his power really starting to come…One of the issues was always how much power this guy was going to have. He only hit 7 [home runs] at Baylor, but a few of us thought there was going to be some juice in there.

AF:  I’ve talked to him a couple of times and he seems to be a pretty smart hitter who really thinks about hitting and has a good approach and knows what he’s doing up there.

GF:  He is, yeah. Up and down the whole system, he might be one of our most complete hitters. He’s got the swing to match the eyes, and his plan, his patience, his pitch selection – he’s got a clue, he’s advanced.

AF:  So now let me ask you about a couple of pitchers. Where’s Michael Ynoa at at this stage of the game?

Michael YnoaGF:  He’s ahead of where he’s ever been. He had a couple of the best innings I’ve ever seen him throw over on the big league side. In his first outing, he was 93-96 mph. He was around the plate with his fastball and threw some of the best breaking balls I’ve seen him throw. The arm strength is fully recovered and the shape to the breaking ball is intact, so now it’s just about turning him loose and letting him pitch.

AF:  My understanding is that you guys are looking at starting him out in the bullpen this year.

GF:  Yeah, we’re probably going to keep him in the bullpen for a while and just let that arm play…

AF:  …and not have to worry about trying to fine-tune too many pitches.

GF:  The changeup’s still a work in progress with him.

AF:  Now what about Raul Alcantara? He looked really good in the big league camp and everyone seems to be saying nothing but good things about him.

raraul-alcantara01cGF:  Yeah, I think they were really impressed by him. He’s a strike thrower. He changes speeds. He’s got the fastball and the changeup. The breaking ball has always been on the bubble a little bit. It’s not a big, buckling pitch, but it’s a strike. His poise and everything else that goes into it, he was impressive over there in the big league games.

AF:  He’s potentially got to be your top pitching prospect right now.

GF:  Yeah, one of them. We got a nice little group out of last year’s draft who are going to be fun to watch.

AF:  What about Arnold Leon? He’s looked awfully good in the big league camp this year.

al628x471eGF:  The odds are he’s going to go back to Triple-A and be in that rotation, but he’s pitched very well. He’s got a four pitch mix, he’s throwing strikes, he’s a lot more aggressive and he’s using his fastball better. He’s got a very good curveball, he’s got a tremendous changeup, and he’s up to 94 mph – he’s got some weapons. You know, he’s everything you’re looking for.

AF:  He really looks like somebody who could be ready to step in if they need someone at some point this year.

GF:  Yeah, he’s close. He’s close.

AF:  What about the new guy in camp, Billy Burns? Are you as excited about him as everyone else is?

bbu1275322bGF:  Yeah, no doubt…I never saw him as an amateur, or even with Washington. So I was expecting a little bit more raw of a player, and he’s not. He gets good jumps in the outfield. I think he’s got an idea of what he’s doing at the plate. The worst thing we could do is try to get him to hit it harder and farther. But everything you’ve heard about the legs is dead on – when this guy puts it in play, there’s action.

 

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–GRADY’S GUYS TO WATCH–

We asked Grady to tip us off to a few guys in the A’s system to keep an eye on and here’s what we got…

 

kf1217079bKyle Finnegan

He’s very aggressive. He’s got a good fastball. He’s really taken to the changeup. He had a better breaking ball last year than he’s throwing in this camp. He’s kind of struggling with his breaker. But I really like the way he goes about it and the things he does.

 

ckChrisKohler12bChris Kohler

We’re still building his innings, but he’s pitched 90 mph here. He’s got a good curveball. He’s really come a long way with the changeup. He’s around the plate. He’s got some strength in his body. And for 19, he’s doing great!

 

cp1226965bChad Pinder

We took him fairly high last year. One of the issues with him was, for a college guy, he was very physically immature – nice frame, but no muscle – but he’s put on twenty pounds. And it’s good weight, and it is showing in the BPs and in the game work – so we’ll see!

 

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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 updates e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2014

Former top pitching prospect Sonny Gray - who will be the next to make it big?

Former top pitching prospect Sonny Gray – who will be the next to make it big?

With the first A’s players set to report to spring training camp in just a couple of weeks, it’s time to present A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2014. We’ve combined half a dozen different A’s prospect lists to come up with a consensus list that reflects a broad 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 lists we’ve included are from better known sources and some are from lesser known sources, but they’ve all been chosen 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 interesting to note that the A’s 2012 top draft pick, shortstop Addison Russell, was the unanimous choice as the A’s top prospect, and the top five picks on our consensus list – Russell, McKinney, Alcantara, Ynoa and Nunez – were each included on all six lists. Six of the top ten are position players, while only four are pitchers. Half are products of the 2012 draft class. Half will also be 20 years old or younger to start the season, and only two are certain to start out above Class-A (Russell and Muncy, who are both expected to start the year at Midland), with none of the top ten starting out at Triple-A. So without any further ado, let’s take a look at A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2014…

 

A’S FARM’S CONSENSUS TOP 10 PROSPECT LIST

#1 – Addison Russell (SS) – 60 points / 6 lists

#2 – Billy McKinney (OF) – 41 points / 6 lists

#3-4 (tie) – Raul Alcantara (RHP) – 40 points / 6 lists

#3-4 (tie) – Michael Ynoa (RHP) – 40 points / 6 lists

#5 – Renato Nunez (3B) – 37 points / 6 lists

#6-7 (tie) – Daniel Robertson (SS) – 26 points / 5 lists

#6-7 (tie) – Matt Olson (1B) – 26 points / 5 lists

#8 – Bobby Wahl (RHP) – 21 points / 4 lists

#9 – Nolan Sanburn (RHP) – 12 points / 6 lists

#10 – Max Muncy (1B) – 10 points / 3 lists

 

arDSC02922dx#1 ADDISON RUSSELL

(60 points / 6 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 20

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

The unanimous pick as the A’s top prospect, Russell got off to a slow start at Stockton in 2013 as the youngest player in the California League. But the then-19-year-old eventually settled in and put together a solid season both at the plate and in the field. The young shortstop slugged 29 doubles, 10 triples and 17 home runs and committed just 15 errors while playing on some pretty rocky California League fields. Russell’s attitude and his ability to learn and adapt has helped to fuel his fast rise. He’s scheduled to start the season at Double-A Midland but, if he gets off to faster start there than he did last year at Stockton, he could find himself in Sacramento before long. And with A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie set to hit free agency after the 2014 season, Russell could be just a year away from landing in Oakland.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

bmc320x#2 BILLY MCKINNEY

(41 points / 6 lists)

Left-Handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 19

Drafted 2013 – 1st Round

The A’s most recent 1st-round draft pick, the team went after McKinney because of his sweet swing. And the Texas native lived up to his reputation at the plate, hitting .326 in 215 at-bats in 2013. Though he might not flash a lot of power, his ability to make contact seems solid. The center fielder looked strong in the outfield as well. And a full season facing slightly more advanced pitchers in the Midwest League should tell us a lot more about how fast McKinney will rise in the future.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

raraul-alcantara01b#3-4 (tie) RAUL ALCANTARA

(40 points / 6 lists)

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

Acquired from Boston with Josh Reddick and Miles Head in the Andrew Bailey/Ryan Sweeney deal, with Sonny Gray and Dan Straily now in the majors, Alcantara has emerged as the top pitching prospect in the A’s minor league system. Splitting the season between Stockton and Beloit, the right-hander posted a 3.11 ERA and led all A’s minor league starters with a 1.16 WHIP. Alcantara flashed an impressive changeup and showed solid control – walking just 24 batters over 156 1/3 innings. The A’s might start Alcantara at Midland but, since he just turned 21, they could still take it slow and have him start the season at Stockton.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

myspringtraining22_4599LI-401x600#3-4 (tie) MICHAEL YNOA

(40 points / 6 lists)

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 22

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

The biggest bonus baby in A’s history, the team reportedly paid Ynoa $4.25 million when they signed him as a flame-throwing teenager out of the Dominican Republic back in 2008. Many injury issues later, Ynoa made it back onto the mound to throw 75 2/3 innings in 2013. The 6’7” right-hander looked impressive at Beloit, posting a 2.14 ERA in 15 starts, but he put up a 7.71 ERA in just 21 innings at Stockton. Ynoa is capable of flashing a mid-90s fastball and possesses tremendous potential, but he still needs to prove that he can command his repertoire and endure a full season on the mound. Ynoa might get the chance to do that at Midland, but he’s more likely to start the season at Stockton.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

rnNunez_480_copy_rvisuyh3_iun9o7x5c#5 RENATO NUNEZ

(37 points / 6 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 20

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

Another international bonus baby like Ynoa, the A’s reportedly signed Nunez for $2.2 million out of Venezuela in 2010. Nunez turned 19 on opening day last year and celebrated by hitting a 3-run homer. His raw power is what originally attracted the A’s to the young Venezuelan, and he notched 19 homers and 27 doubles for Beloit in 2013. Nunez could improve his plate discipline a bit though – he struck out 136 times while drawing just 28 walks last season. The third baseman also led all A’s minor leaguers with 39 errors in 114 games at the hot corner in 2013. But Nunez should get the chance to show off his bat with Stockton in the hitter-friendly California League in 2014. And as long as he continues to hit, the A’s will find a way to work around his glove.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

drdanielrobertson_mlb_display_image2#6-7 (tie) DANIEL ROBERTSON

(26 points / 5 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 20

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Drafted by the A’s with their next pick after Russell in 2012, Robertson is currently the second-best shortstop prospect in the A’s system. There was originally some question about his ability to play the position, but Robertson played solely at short last season and showed some ability to stick there. While being able to play short clearly increases his value, with Russell penciled in as the A’s shortstop of the future, Robertson should also start seeing some time at second and third to increase his versatility. The California native hit .277 with 9 home runs and a .353 OBP for Beloit in 2013. He spent part of the year hitting near the top of the lineup and showed some ability to get on base, but it’s hoped that Robertson can also develop a little more pop as his bat matures.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

mo15095_4110106706138_1463379083_n4#6-7 (tie) MATT OLSON

(26 points / 5 lists)

Left-Handed Hitting First Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 20

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

The next pick by the A’s after Russell and Robertson in 2012, Olson’s raw power potential was what most-impressed scouts. And in his first full season in the A’s system in 2013, he blasted 23 homers for Beloit, which was more than any A’s minor leaguer except for fellow first baseman Max Muncy. Olson also put up 32 doubles to go with 72 walks, 148 strikeouts and a .225 batting average. More than half his hits were for extra bases, putting him in that category of players who walks, strikes out and gets extra-base hits more often than he singles. The Georgia native should have the chance to put his power on display for Stockton in the hitter-friendly California league in 2014. And if the 6’4” first baseman can just cut down on the K’s and put a few more balls in play, he could be a big hit in Mudville.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

bwEP-130529103b#8 BOBBY WAHL

(21 points / 4 lists)

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 22

Drafted 2013 – 5th Round

With more college experience than most of the A’s current crop of pitching prospects, the former Ole Miss hurler could be poised to make a quick rise. Drafted last year in the 5th-round, Wahl signed later than most and only ended up getting into 10 games, all but one with Vermont. The right-hander boasts an impressive slider and clearly was able to fool a few of the NY-Penn League hitters he faced, striking out 27 of them in his 20 2/3 innings with the Lake Monsters. Expect to see him start the 2014 season in Beloit, where the typically chilly Midwest League spring temps could help Wahl put hitters there in a deep freeze.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

nsresized_99261-5csanburn3colbw_47-15782_t728#9 NOLAN SANBURN

(12 points / 6 lists)

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 22

Drafted 2012 – 2nd Round

The first pitcher taken by the A’s in the 2012 draft, Sanburn is a hard-throwing right-hander out of the University of Arkansas. And like Wahl, he’s one of the most promising college pitchers among the A’s current crop of pitching prospects. Sanburn didn’t sign quickly after the draft and only ended up making it into 7 games with Vermont in 2012. And injury issues limited him to just 16 games last year. In his 23 appearances since being drafted, Sanburn’s posted a 2.40 ERA while striking out 45 batters in 48 2/3 innings. And with a mid-90s fastball and a solid curve, the Indiana native could move quickly if he can stay healthy and get his work in on the mound.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

mmDSC02951cx#10 MAX MUNCY

(10 points / 3 lists)

Left-Handed Hitting First Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2012 – 5th Round

Muncy led all A’s minor leaguers in home runs, RBIs, total bases and walks in 2013. The Texas native is a better-than-average defender at first base too. And his 88 walks attest to the fact that he may have the best plate discipline of any current A’s hitting prospect. 21 of his 25 home runs came in the hitter-friendly California League, which tends to exaggerate almost everyone’s power numbers, but it was still a solid season for Muncy. He struggled a bit after making the move to Midland but, after a rough first few weeks, he seemed to settle in and start having productive at-bats again. Muncy should start the 2014 season back at Midland, where he’ll be joined in the infield by shortstop Addison Russell. And of all the A’s top hitting prospects besides Russell, Muncy is probably the most advanced at this point.

Likely To Start 2014 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

*          *          *

 

Last Year’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List

 

Baseball America’s Top A’s Prospects

MLB.com’s Top A’s Prospects

Oakland Clubhouse’s Top A’s Prospects

Bleacher Report’s Top A’s Prospects

Prospect 361’s Top A’s Prospects

Grading On The Curve’s Top A’s Prospects

 

 

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A’s Top Prospects Talk About Life In The AFL

DSC02957bxThe Arizona Fall League just wrapped up its 31-game schedule this past week. As some of you probably already know, there are six teams in the AFL with each team comprised of prospects from five different organizations. Organizations typically use the AFL as an opportunity to get their top prospects a little more live game action to hopefully help advance their development.

The A’s prospects logged one extra game this year as their team, the Mesa Solar Sox, lost the AFL championship game on Saturday after having clinched the AFL East title on Thursday.

A’s Farm had the chance to visit the team earlier in the final week of the AFL season and talked with most of the A’s prospects there. The language barrier prevented us from talking to LHP Omar Duran, and catcher David Freitas’s early departure from the desert due to his impending nuptials kept us from catching up with him. But fortunately, the rest were all game for our enquiries…

 

ADDISON RUSSELL

At age 19, shortstop Russell started the year as the youngest player in the California League, and the former 1st-round draft pick turned in a solid season both at the plate in the field for Stockton. The A’s top prospect is expected to start 2014 at Midland.

DSC02922bxAF:  The AFL is a unique kind of league with all these mixed teams. So how has the experience of playing out here with all these different guys been for you?

AR:  Pretty good. It’s a mix of a lot of people from different organizations. We’re all just kind of meshing together and we’re all getting along. And we’re all just here to play baseball and get better.

AF:  Well, you’ve got a few guys here you played with in Stockton, guys like Max Muncy, Seth Frankoff, Ryan Dull. So it must be nice to have a few familiar faces around anyway.

AR:  Oh yeah, for sure. When you first get here, it breaks that kind of tension. You can talk to them and see what they’ve been up to and see how they’ve been doing. It’s a good thing to see those familiar faces.

AF:  What’s your impression of the talent level here in the AFL?

AR:  You know, it’s the best young talent. They’re all top prospects from their teams. They’re first-round guys, and I expect them to play the way that they’ve been playing to get to this point. So they’ve been doing something right, and I’m fortunate enough to be among them.

AF:  Well, you’re still just 19. So do you feel it steps up your game to be playing with guys who might be a little older or a little more advanced?

AR:  Oh yeah, for sure. The young guys always want to prove themselves and show what they can do on the baseball field. And that’s how I feel. The guys kind of get a sense of how I go about my business, and hopefully I think I’m liked in the clubhouse. And everyone’s been cool.

AF:  You’ve been coming on strong at the end of the AFL season, kind of like you did at Stockton this year. Are there any particular adjustments you’ve made?

DSC02964dxAR:  Just staying patient and looking for my pitch.

AF:  And what’s your pitch?

AR:  Nine times out of ten everyone wants to hit a fastball. I’m just trying to see the fastball early and just know where’s it’s going to be pitched, and then just adjust to the off-speed stuff. So I’m just looking out for the fastball.

AF:  Is there any particular part of the plate where you usually prefer to be looking for a pitch?

AR:  No, not really. I kind of stay over the center of the plate. I work three-quarters of the way in and three-quarters of the way out. So if he throws me an inside pitch, I’m ready for it, and if he throws me an outside pitch, I’m ready for it.

AF:  So what about your play out in the field? I think you only made a handful of errors in the second half this year. Is there anything you’ve been working on out there?

AR:  I’m just trying to go about my business the right way. It’s just staying in the game. You just have to stay in the game and be on your toes and just be ready.

AF:  Was there anything you learned or were there any adjustments you made in the field as the season went on?

AR:  I just try to play pitch by pitch. You know, if the catcher’s setting up outside to a right-handed hitter, I might shade up the middle just a little bit. Just trying to see what kind of pitch the pitcher’s going to throw so I can kind of get a good idea where he might hit it. If he throws a right-hander a curveball, I’m trying to shade into the six hole a little bit. So just trying to stay ready and stay in the game.

AF:  When the season’s over, what are you going to do when you finally get a little time off?

AR:  I’m probably just going to sleep, see some family and get back to training.

AF:  So where are you planning on spending the off-season?

AR:  Back in my hometown in Florida.

AF:  Well, I’m sure they’ll be glad to see you!

2013: 17 HR / 61 BB / 125 K / .269 AVG / .369 OBP / .495 SLG / .865 OPS

AFL: 1 HR / 10 BB / 15 K / .282 AVG / .361 OBP / .435 SLG / .796 OPS

 

MAX MUNCY

First baseman Muncy led all A’s minor leaguers in home runs with 25 in 2013, 21 of them coming when he got off to a blazing start in the California League before being promoted to Midland in July.

DSC02925bxAF:  Well, you got off to a great start in Stockton this year. Then you went up to Midland and it was a little more of a challenge there. So what were the biggest differences for you when it came to facing those pitchers and hitting in those parks?

MM:  The difference for me was pitchers were a lot more confident in their stuff. They weren’t afraid to throw whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. And I can honestly say the back-foot slider was the biggest difference to me. In the Cal League, there were a lot of high-powered arms that we saw. They had sharp curveballs, but none of them would try and back-foot it. I get to the Texas League, and I’m automatically seeing two back-foot pitches each at-bat. I’ve never really seen that, so it took quite a while to get used to that. My strikeout numbers went up quite a bit at first and then I started making the adjustments towards the end. And I really enjoyed the challenge because that was really the first time I’ve ever really failed. And I’m glad I went through it then, so now I know how to deal with it going into this next year. Well, hopefully I won’t be dealing with it – but playing the sport of baseball, it’s impossible not to.

AF:  Well, even the best hitters fail two out of three times! So what were the specific adjustments you actually had to make to deal with that?

MM:  Just setting my sights differently. You know, seeing that pitch down and in and trying to lay off that. When I was hitting all those home runs in the Cal League, if I saw a pitch down and in, I got ready to turn on it and try and lift it in the air. I started trying to do that in the Texas League, but instead of being a fastball, it was a curveball or a slider and it disappeared off the table. So just laying off certain pitches and having a better approach at the plate and attacking the better pitches over the plate. Also one of the bigger adjustments was trying to pick up on patterns that the pitchers were doing, certain things they would do – trying to speed you up and then slow you down with a different pitch, just little things like that.

AF:  So assuming you start next season back at Midland, do you feel you’ve learned the lessons you needed to in order to get off to a good start next year?

DSC02951cxMM:  Yeah, I really feel and believe that I can go back in there and have a strong start just like I did this year. Obviously, the home run numbers probably aren’t going to be there. That entire league is a tough league to hit in. Everywhere you go, the wind blows in 30-40 mph. And on top of it blowing in, the field in Midland and a lot of the fields, they’re big dimensions, so it’s tough to get the ball out. But hopefully at the beginning of the season, the wind’s not quite blowing in yet, so hopefully I can take advantage of that. But that was also one of the big adjustments for me was getting back to my line drive swing and not hitting the ball in the air as much. And once I started doing that, I actually ended up hitting a couple of home runs and my average started climbing up and I was going back to what I was used to doing.

AF:  It’s often such a big adjustment for hitters going from the California League to the Texas League because the parks and the conditions are just so different.

MM:  Everyone had always told me it was different hitting in the Texas League because the wind blows in. But I went there and I was kind of in shock at how different it really was. One of my first couple of games there, I hit a ball to right field that probably would have been about 100 feet out of Stockton and the right fielder was almost coming in on it. The ball got up in the wind and just died.

AF:  We’re not in Stockton anymore!

MM:  No.

AF:  And the park in Midland often has some of the lowest home run totals in the whole league. Michael Choice had a hard time there. Grant Green had a hard time there. All these guys have big years at Stockton then go there and have a tough time hitting it out.

MM:  Yeah, it was really tough. I think I even got a couple of triples there. You hit the ball in the gap and it goes for days out there. You can just run all around the bases.

AF:  I notice they’ve had you playing a little third base out here. So what’s that all about? Was that part of the plan or was it just out of circumstance?

MM:  I don’t know what the plan is to be honest. Our first couple of days out here, we were having practice and (manager) Bill Richardson was having a meeting with us and he comes to me and goes, “You play first and third, right?” But after I got over the actual shock of that, I was like, “Yeah, I used to play third all the time before I got to college, so I’m used to it.” I’ve gotten a couple of games there and it’s been a lot of fun for me. It’s always fun to play a different position. I haven’t been told if that’s a plan for me in the long run, but it’s good to keep my versatility up. It makes it easier to move up.

2013: 25 HR / 88 BB / 102 K / .273 AVG / .381 OBP / .476 SLG / .857 OPS

AFL: 0 HR / 10 BB / 10 K / .224 AVG / .350 OBP / .265 SLG / .615 OPS

 

RYAN DULL

RHP Dull pitched well enough to sail through three levels of the A’s system in 2013, starting the season in the Midwest League before moving up to the California League and finally finishing the season in the Texas League.

DSC02918bxAF:  Well, you started the season in the Midwest League and now you find yourself out here in the Arizona Fall League. Looking at the guys you were facing to start the year compared to the guys you’re facing here in the AFL, what kind of differences do you see?

RD:  You definitely see a lot more polished approaches in the hitters here. They hit the pitch that they want. You don’t really see them swing at many pitches out of the zone, as compared to earlier in the year – there were a lot more free swingers.

AF:  You were dominant in the Midwest League early in the year and you did really well in the California League where a lot of pitchers often have trouble. And then came the jump to Double-A – was that the biggest leap you felt in the course of the season?

RD:  I did, I definitely felt that. We changed some sequences on how to attack hitters and be a little more conscious of actually pitching inside a lot more than I did. Working on changing sequences from hitter to hitter so everybody doesn’t see the same sequence every time. And we tried to work on bringing that approach out here as well.

AF:  So are there any particular pitches you’re working on at all or do you pretty much feel you’ve got your repertoire down at this point?

RD:  I think I have it down now. It’s just making sure it’s all consistent and I can be able to put it where I want to instead of just relying on one pitch to get all the outs.

AF:  Do you still have certain pitches that you feel most comfortable going to in a tough spot?

RD:  I feel like recently I could use any three that I want to at any time, which makes it a little easier to pitch because whatever the catcher throws down, you have the confidence to throw that.

AF:  So you feel pretty confident in all your pitches at this point.

RD:  I do.

AF:  Well that is a help! So when you got to the Texas League late in the year, what were you finding different about the hitters there from the hitters you’d faced at the lower levels?

RD:  They can hit your good pitches well. Even if you think it’s a good pitch, they still might hit it hard. And they definitely know how to hit the mistakes a lot better. And I really had to learn how to mix it up even more. They can swing at really good pitches or pitches out of the zone and they’ll still find a way to get a hit. They know how to hit the bad pitches and still get hits out of it somehow.

AF:  How would you compare the general level of play out here in the AFL to what you experienced in the Texas League?

RD:  I would say it’s a step up, because you’re playing with the best in the minor leagues right now. And it’s guys you’re going to be playing against for years to come.

AF: So what’s the key thing that you’ve been focused on during your time here in the AFL?

RD:  Just trying to keep my game plan the same. I feel like at the beginning of this fall league, I just wasn’t the same. I wasn’t sticking to the game plan that I used all season. But then, as of late, we’ve been going back to my game plan of just continuing to stay aggressive and using hitters’ aggressiveness to my advantage so I can try to get them out as quick as possible.

2013: 60 IP / 44 H / 16 ER / 9 BB / 78 K / 2.40 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

AFL: 11 IP / 11 H / 6 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / 4.91 ERA / 1.36 WHIP

 

SETH FRANKOFF

RHP Frankoff was the most reliable arm out of Stockton’s bullpen in 2013 and finished the year with the best ERA and WHIP of any pitcher on the team who threw more than 70 innings.

DSC02927bxAF:  So when you found out you were going to be given the chance to play in the AFL this year, how did you feel about it?

SF:  It was a goal that I’d had. So it was nice to get a little bit of recognition. It’s a great honor to be invited here. It means that the organization sees something in you. So obviously this was something that made me feel good about the kind of year I had.

AF:  You spent all year in the California League. So how does the talent level out here in the AFL compare?

SF:  Well, it’s kind of a who’s who of prospects. So you’ve heard a lot of the names before. There are some very talented individuals in this league – and some guys who’ve gotten paid a lot of money.

AF:  Some guys who’ve got some pretty nice cars, right?

SF:  Absolutely, the parking lot’s always interesting to see!

AF:  So what about pitching here? You’ve been doing well out here, but are there any particular adjustments you’ve had to make?

SF:  Just trying to buy into the philosophy that the A’s have preached to us. You hear it so many times, but really it’s true – just getting ahead, strike one, strike two, putting guys away in less than three pitches, and really working the fastball command is paramount. Stay out of the middle of the plate, stay down in the zone, and just try to continue what I was working on this season and continue to improve every time I get out there.

AF:  So when you came out here, did the A’s tell you they wanted you to work on anything in particular?

SF:  One thing that (minor league pitching coach) John Wasdin who’s here with us has conveyed to me that they want to see is really working the fastball down and away to right-handers and then throwing my curveball for more strikes. I think I’ve shown that I can throw my cutter and my changeup in most every count, but they really want me to get the strike percentages up with my fastball and curveball. So that’s a couple of things I’ve been working on.

AF:  The cut fastball’s what you’ve always relied on, right?

SF:  It’s been my bread and butter a little bit. But you have to be able to adapt. Scouting reports get out, so you have to be able to show guys other things to be successful.

AF:  Well, that’s what happens. As you move up, there’s always something new they need you to work on to get to that next level. And even if you might not be comfortable with it, you’ve got to get comfortable with it if you want to move on.

SF:  Absolutely. This is a game you always have to try to improve at. The day you think you have it all figured out is the day the game will pass you by. So that’s kind of what I try to live by.

AF:  Things obviously went well for you this year in the California League. Was there anything you felt you really learned there?

5def91afafe2db66b97fcd415781568b4xSF:  I think that I threw a lot more strikes. I’m not a big statistical guy, but I want to keep my walks down obviously. So I think that getting ahead in the count and not giving guys free passes helped me out tremendously. I think that just pitching with confidence is a big thing. You have to have conviction in every pitch you throw and know that you have the ability to be successful in what you’re doing out there.

AF:  Well, obviously your command this year at Stockton was very good just looking at the numbers. Was that just the result of confidence or a commitment to throwing more strikes or what?

SF:  Well, I’m very fortunate to live in the same basic area as our (minor league) pitching coordinator Scott Emerson. So I was able to work with him a couple of times in the off-season and he kind of cleaned up a couple of things with my delivery, really working direction-wise, getting on a straight line to the plate. And that really helped me out going into spring training.

AF:  The California League is such a tough league for so many pitchers, but you did very well there. I’m sure you saw plenty of balls sailing out of those parks…

SF:  It’s not very forgiving!

AF:  So is there anything you felt you were doing differently that allowed you to succeed there?

SF:  I put a premium on groundball outs. My goal every time I go out there is to not let a ball get out of the infield. So if you’re staying down in the zone, you’re going to get those groundball outs. So that’s what I try to do is work down in the zone, try to get downward plane on the baseball and make guys, if they are going to put it in play, hit it weakly and hit in on the ground, because you aren’t going to get hurt very often when they put it on the ground.

AF:  Yeah, your odds are definitely much better if no one’s having to look up! So I guess you’re finally about to get to enjoy a little off-season time. Are you looking forward to getting back to North Carolina for a while?

SF:  Absolutely, it’s been a joy to be out here. But it’ll certainly be nice to get back home and see my family and get to do a little fishing and some golfing and stuff like that. I plan on taking a couple of weeks off as soon as I get home and eat quite a bit for Thanksgiving. But then when December 1st comes around, I’ll start getting back after it in the weight room.

2013: 74 1/3 IP / 57 H / 23 ER / 23 BB / 93 K / 2.78 ERA / 1.08 WHIP

AFL: 12 1/3 IP / 8 H / 2 ER / 3 BB / 15 K / 1.46 ERA / 0.89 WHIP

 

JEFF URLAUB

LHP Urlaub spent all of the 2013 season as a key lefty out of the bullpen for Midland.

DSC02916bxAF:  So how’s this whole AFL experience been for you?

JU:  It’s been a blast. This has been the best experience ever. The guys, when we came together in early October, we meshed so well. And 90% of these guys are the future of major league baseball, so it’s been a blast to get to know a lot of guys from different organizations. They’re so good that it makes it so much more fun to play.

AF:  You’re from out here in Phoenix, right?

JU:  Yeah, born and raised out here. Growing up out here, I’ve seen so many Fall League games. I was a bat boy for a team when I was in high school. So the transition for me was a lot easier, because I get to go see my family every night. I get to see my friends, everybody gets to come out and see me play and it makes it a lot easier for me.

AF:  You spent all year in the Texas League this season. So how would you compare the level of competition out here?

JU:  The competition is better. Don’t get me wrong, no matter what, when you get to Double-A, it’s a different game. And I learned a lot my first year in Double-A this year, which I felt helped me transition into the Fall League as far as preparation and caliber of play. It’s tough. This league is everything that everybody says it is.

AF:  I’ve always thought of the AFL as sort of comparable to a Double-A All-Star league.

JU:  Absolutely. I’d say Double-A, Triple-A all-star guys – and that might even be an understatement. I can say a lot of the guys on our team could play in the big leagues for somebody right now.

DSC02965bxAF:  You got off to a really good start out here, so you were obviously up to the challenge and must have been feeling pretty confident.

JU:  I was. I came in confident. But I didn’t want to come in over-confident, because the game of baseball’s very humbling. But I got off to a great start. I pitched well the entire month of October. I’ve hit a little speed bump now towards the end. But I don’t think I’ve done anything different as far as the Midland season to now.

AF:  What were the key lessons you learned in Double-A this year at Midland?

JU:  Mainly, it was believing in myself and believing that I belonged there. Only spending half a year in High-A last year and being able to be successful there, I went into spring training with the goal to make it to Double-A at least at some point this year. A lot of it was mental. You’ve got to study hitters a lot more. You’ve got to look at more scouting reports. It was tough, but you learn a lot as you go through. You hit a bunch of little speed bumps here and there. And it’s how you get past those and get back on track.

AF:  What was the difference in the hitters you were facing in Double-A as opposed to the hitters you were facing in High-A?

JU:  They’re a lot smarter. They make a lot more adjustments quicker. You can have success pitching a guy how you want to pitch him with your strengths one time. But then if you face him a day or two later, everybody’s got the scouting report on you. You don’t want to over-think the situation, you still have to pitch to your strengths, but then sometimes you might have to alter it a little bit. Guys at the Double-A level make a lot better adjustments a lot faster. Some even make adjustments mid-at-bat. But all these guys can hit – that’s why they’re there.

2013: 46 2/3 IP / 49 H / 20 ER / 13 BB / 40 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.33 WHIP

AFL: 13 IP / 14 H / 4 ER / 3 BB / 16 K / 2.77 ERA / 1.31 WHIP

 

BRUCE MAXWELL

Maxwell started the year as the backstop for Beloit before being promoted to Stockton. He was the new kid on the block in the AFL, taking the place of catcher David Freitas who took an early exit to get married. Maxwell made it into just one game before the end of the AFL season.

DSC02921bxAF:  You spent the first part of the season in the Midwest League and then you made it up to the California League. What was the difference in those leagues from your perspective?

BM:  The difference is, in the Cal League, pitchers had a better understanding of what they were trying to do. When we were in the Midwest League, we still had a lot guys who were ironing some things out. And when I got up to the Cal League, a lot of pitchers already had an idea of what they wanted to do. They had pretty good control for the most part. There were more plans, there was more execution, there were more goals, instead of just going out there and just trying to get people out with whatever. The scouting report’s more in-depth, and our guys actually worked with us catchers very well.

AF:  I know you haven’t actually been catching for all that long. So how do you feel your catching game’s been coming along?

BM:  I think I’ve made big strides thanks to our coordinators and all the catching coaches I’ve had here in the A’s organization. But it’s just going to continue to get better. When I first got here, just the speed of the game overwhelmed me. And now it’s just ironing out the little things, because my receiving, my blocking, my game-calling’s gotten a lot better.

AF:  How do you feel about working with the pitchers, getting the scouting reports, working on a game plan? Do you enjoy that aspect of the game?

BM:  Oh yeah, I love it. When stuff doesn’t get executed, of course, the fingers get pointed at us first, but at the same time, I love the responsibility. When it does work, you and the pitcher have a camaraderie that can’t be matched in any other sport.

AF:  Are there any particular pitchers you worked with this season who really impressed you with their approach?

BM:  On the whole, Tanner Peters. He was real calm. He never really got worked up over anything. And he just really focused on executing his pitches and his game plan. Every time we’d go over a scouting report, it’d be like, “I got this guy with this, this guy with that. Let’s keep it up till they make an adjustment.” He was on his game all the time, and it showed in his productivity. So it was good to work with him.

AF:  Now what about hitting in the California League? Were there any particular adjustments for you this year?

BM:  Not even just in the Cal League, I’ve been making adjustments this year hitting-wise in general. Basically, I was just trying to go out there and just stick to my game plan. Middle-of-the-field is my strong suit. I’m not a very pull-oriented hitter. I’m working on some things. But for the most part, I’m just trying to barrel as many baseballs as possible.

AF:  So going forward, what are you primarily going to be focused on in terms of your hitting?

BM:  Having an approach and executing that approach. I mean, you’re not always going to get a hit – we do play a game of failure. Just kind of accepting the fact that just because I might be on time or I know what’s coming doesn’t mean it’s always going to work out the way I want. And at the same time, just consistency. Just like behind the plate, my consistent game-calling and attentiveness, I need the same thing at the plate. My biggest goal this year was to make sure I had the biggest progress with my catching in my first full season. I wasn’t really worried about my hitting, and I hit well. So now it’s kind of like I need to put a little more focus into the little things in my hitting and catching just to make things that much better.

2013: 7 HR / 43 BB / 63 K / .275 AVG / .348 OBP / .390 SLG / .739 OPS

AFL: 4 AB / 0 HR / 0 BB / 1 K / .000 AVG / .000 OBP / .000 SLG / .000 OPS

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A’s In The AFL – November 11-16 Update

 

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week

Shortstop Addison Russell

 Shortstop Addison Russell

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(November 11-16)

Monday, November 11th:

Shortstop Addison Russell had 2 singles and a double and LHP Omar Duran and RHP Seth Frankoff each tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 4-0 shutout win on Monday.

Tuesday, November 12th:

DH Max Muncy had 2 hits and a walk, shortstop Addison Russell walked twice and scored twice and RHP Ryan Dull tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 8-1 win on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 13th:

Shortstop Addison Russell doubled, LHP Jeff Urlaub tossed 2 scoreless innings and RHP Seth Frankoff tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 3-2 win on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 14th:

Shortstop Addison Russell walked and stole a base and LHP Omar Duran allowed 2 runs in 2 innings in Mesa’s AFL East division-clinching win on Thursday.

Saturday, November 16th:

Shortstop Addison Russell went 1 for 4 and LHP Jeff Urlaub tossed 2 scoreless innings and picked off 2 in Mesa’s 2-0 AFL championship game loss on Saturday.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 8 – November 16)

Addison Russell (SS)

85 AB / 1 HR / 10 BB / 15 K / .282 AVG / .361 OBP / .435 SLG / .796 OPS

Max Muncy (1B-3B)

49 AB / 0 HR / 10 BB / 10 K / .224 AVG / .350 OBP / .265 SLG / .615 OPS

David Freitas (C)

27 AB / 1 HR / 4 BB / 6 K / .222 AVG / .382 OBP / .333 SLG / .716 OPS

Bruce Maxwell (C)

4 AB / 0 HR / 0 BB / 1 K / .000 AVG / .000 OBP / .000 SLG / .000 OPS

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

13 IP / 14 H / 4 ER / 3 BB / 16 K / 2.77 ERA / 1.31 WHIP

Seth Frankoff (RHP)

12 1/3 IP / 8 H / 2 ER / 3 BB / 15 K / 1.46 ERA / 0.89 WHIP

Ryan Dull (RHP)

11 IP / 11 H / 6 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / 4.91 ERA / 1.36 WHIP

Omar Duran (LHP)

9 2/3 IP / 9 H / 6 ER / 7 BB / 6 K / 5.59 ERA / 1.66 WHIP

 

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 updates e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s In The AFL – November 4-9 Update

 

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week

Shortstop Addison Russell

 Shortstop Addison Russell

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(November 4-9)

Monday, November 4th:

Shortstop Addison Russell, first baseman Max Muncy and catcher David Freitas had 1 hit apiece and Jeff Urlaub, Seth Frankoff and Ryan Dull each tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 5-4 win on Monday.

Tuesday, November 5th:

LHP Omar Duran struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning of relief in Mesa’s 8-0 loss on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 6th:

Shortstop Addison Russell doubled and scored a run and first baseman Max Muncy went 0 for 3 with a walk in Mesa’s 6-4 loss on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 7th:

Third baseman Max Muncy tripled, walked and drove in 2 runs, catcher Bruce Maxwell went 0 for 4 in his AFL debut, RHP Ryan Dull struck out 3 in 2 scoreless innings, RHP Seth Frankoff struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning and LHP Jeff Urlaub gave up 2 runs in 1 inning in Mesa’s 5-4 11-inning loss on Thursday.

Friday, November 8th:

Shortstop Addison Russell had a triple and 2 singles and scored 3 runs and LHP Omar Duran tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 6-1 win on Friday.

Saturday, November 9th:

Shortstop Addison Russell had 2 hits, a walk and an RBI and LHP Jeff Urlaub allowed 2 runs in 1 inning of relief in Mesa’s 9-4 win on Saturday.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 8 – November 9)

Addison Russell (SS)

70 AB / 1 HR / 7 BB / 12 K / .286 AVG / .354 OBP / .443 SLG / .797 OPS

Max Muncy (1B-3B)

46 AB / 0 HR / 9 BB / 10 K / .196 AVG / .321 OBP / .239 SLG / .561 OPS

David Freitas (C)

27 AB / 1 HR / 4 BB / 6 K / .222 AVG / .382 OBP / .333 SLG / 716 OPS

Bruce Maxwell (C)

4 AB / 0 HR / 0 BB / 1 K / .000 AVG / .000 OBP / .000 SLG / 000 OPS

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

11 IP / 12 H / 4 ER / 2 BB / 14 K / 3.27 ERA / 1.27 WHIP

Seth Frankoff (RHP)

10 1/3 IP / 6 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 13 K / 1.74 ERA / 0.77 WHIP

Ryan Dull (RHP)

10 IP / 11 H / 6 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / 5.40 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

Omar Duran (LHP)

6 2/3 IP / 7 H / 4 ER / 5 BB / 4 K / 5.40 ERA / 1.80 WHIP

 

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 updates e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s In The AFL – Oct. 28-Nov. 2 Update

 

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week

Catcher David Freitas

 Catcher David Freitas

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 28 – November 2)

Monday, October 28th:

Shortstop Addison Russell went 1 for 4, catcher David Freitas went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run and LHP Jeff Urlaub and RHP Ryan Dull each tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 3-2 AFL loss on Monday.

Tuesday, October 29th:

First baseman Max Muncy went 0 for 2 with 2 walks in Mesa’s 7-3 AFL loss on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 30th:

Shortstop Addison Russell doubled, stole a base and scored a run and RHP Seth Frankoff struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning of relief in Mesa’s 7-0 AFL shutout win on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 31st:

Catcher David Freitas went 3 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, shortstop Addison Russell went 2 for 4, DH Max Muncy went 1 for 3, LHP Jeff Urlaub struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning and RHP Ryan Dull allowed 2 runs in 1 inning in Mesa’s 7-3 AFL win on Thursday.

Friday, November 1st:

RHP Seth Frankoff allowed 1 run on 2 hits and struck out 3 in 1 inning of relief in Mesa’s 5-4 AFL loss on Friday.

Saturday, November 2nd:

Shortstop Addison Russell went 0 for 2 with a strikeout in the AFL Fall Stars Game on Saturday.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 8 – November 2)

Addison Russell (SS)

53 AB / 1 HR / 6 BB / 9 K / .245 AVG / .328 OBP / .396 SLG / .724 OPS

Max Muncy (1B)

37 AB / 0 HR / 7 BB / 8 K / .189 AVG / .311 OBP / .189 SLG / .500 OPS

David Freitas (C)

24 AB / 1 HR / 4 BB / 6 K / .208 AVG / .387 OBP / .333 SLG / 720 OPS

Seth Frankoff (RHP)

8 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 10 K / 2.16 ERA / 0.84 WHIP

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

8 IP / 7 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 11 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

Ryan Dull (RHP)

7 IP / 11 H / 6 ER / 3 BB / 6 K / 7.71 ERA / 2.00 WHIP

Omar Duran (LHP)

4 2/3 IP / 5 H / 4 ER / 5 BB / 2 K / 7.71 ERA / 2.14 WHIP

 

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 updates e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s In The AFL – October 21-26 Update

 

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week

Shortstop Addison Russell

 Shortstop Addison Russell

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 21-26)

Monday, October 21st:

Shortstop Addison Russell and catcher David Freitas both homered and LHP Jeff Urlaub struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning of relief in Mesa’s 9-6 win on Monday.

Tuesday, October 22nd:

DH Max Muncy went 0 for 4, RHP Seth Frankoff tossed a scoreless 1/3 of an inning and LHP Omar Duran allowed 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning to take the loss as Mesa fell 4-2 on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 23rd:

Shortstop Addison Russell doubled, LHP Jeff Urlaub tossed 1 scoreless inning and RHP Ryan Dull gave up the winning run in the bottom of the 10th in Mesa’s 2-1 loss on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 24th:

Shortstop Addison Russell doubled and drove in a run, third baseman Max Muncy went 0 for 3 and catcher David Freitas went 0 for 2 with a walk and an RBI in Mesa’s 7-4 win on Thursday.

Friday, October 25th:

First baseman Max Muncy went 2 for 3 and RHP Seth Frankoff allowed 1 run in 1 2/3 innings of relief in Mesa’s 7-5 win on Friday.

Saturday, October 26th:

Shortstop Addison Russell went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts in Mesa’s 6-1 loss on Saturday.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 8-26)

Addison Russell (SS)

41 AB / 1 HR / 5 BB / 6 K / .220 AVG / .298 OBP / .390 SLG / .688 OPS

Max Muncy (1B-3B)

32 AB / 0 HR / 4 BB / 7 K / .188 AVG / .270 OBP / .188 SLG / .458 OPS

David Freitas (C)

19 AB / 1 HR / 2 BB / 5 K / .105 AVG / .292 OBP / .263 SLG / .555 OPS

Seth Frankoff (RHP)

6 1/3 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K / 1.42 ERA / 0.79 WHIP

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

6 IP / 6 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 8 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.17 WHIP

Ryan Dull (RHP)

5 IP / 8 H / 4 ER / 3 BB / 3 K / 7.20 ERA / 2.20 WHIP

Omar Duran (LHP)

4 2/3 IP / 5 H / 4 ER / 5 BB / 2 K / 7.71 ERA / 2.14 WHIP

 

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 updates e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s In The AFL – October 14-19 Update

 

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week

RHP Seth Frankoff

 RHP Seth Frankoff

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 14-19)

Monday, October 14th:

Shortstop Addison Russell and first baseman Max Muncy each went 1 for 5 and RHP Seth Frankoff and LHP Omar Duran each tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 7-6 win on Monday.

Tuesday, October 15th:

Catcher David Freitas went 0 for 3 in Mesa’s 7-4 win on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 16th:

Shortstop Addison Russell singled, walked and stole a base, first baseman Max Muncy went 0 for 3 and LHP Jeff Urlaub struck out 2 in 2 scoreless innings to earn the win in Mesa’s 3-1 victory on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 17th:

Shortstop Addison Russell singled and walked, first baseman Max Muncy and catcher David Freitas each went 0 for 3 and RHP Seth Frankoff and LHP Omar Duran each tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 6-1 win on Thursday.

Friday, October 18th:

RHP Ryan Dull tossed 1 scoreless inning of relief in Mesa’s 11-9 loss, the team’s first of the AFL season, on Friday.

Saturday, October 19th:

Shortstop Addison Russell and first baseman Max Muncy both went 0 for 4 and RHP Seth Frankoff tossed 1 scoreless inning of relief in Mesa’s 8-2 loss on Saturday.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 8-19)

Addison Russell (SS)

23 AB / 0 HR / 5 BB / 3 K / .217 AVG / .357 OBP / .261 SLG / .618 OPS

Max Muncy (1B)

22 AB / 0 HR / 2 BB / 5 K / .182 AVG / .240 OBP / .182 SLG / .422 OPS

David Freitas (C)

13 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 5 K / .077 AVG / .250 OBP / .077 SLG / .327 OPS

Seth Frankoff (RHP)

4 1/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.69 WHIP

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

4 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

Omar Duran (LHP)

4 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 2 K / 2.25 ERA / 1.25 WHIP

Ryan Dull (RHP)

4 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / 4.50 ERA / 1.25 WHIP

 

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 updates e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

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