Catcher Dusty Brown collected 3 hits, including a double, drove in 3 runs and scored twice to help lead the AZL A’s to victory on Wednesday night. Brown was originally signed with the expectation that he’d be beginning the season at either Sacramento or Midland, but that was before undergoing shoulder surgery in the spring. Brown’s been working his way back in Arizona and is now hitting .400 with a home run, a double and 5 RBIs over his last 5 games and is starting to look like he might be ready to get back in action at a higher level before long. 17-year-old Venezuelan starter Jesus Zambrano allowed 1 run and struck out 6 over 5 innings to earn his 3rd win, while LHP Derek Beasley struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings of relief, and RHP Dawson Brown pitched a perfect 9th to post his 2nd save for the A’s. Meanwhile, 3rd-round draft pick, RHP Brett Graves, 15th-round draft pick, infielder Trent Gilbert, and hot-hitting Korean catcher Seongmin Kim were all promoted from Arizona to Vermont.
The River Cats won in another walk-off on Friday, thanks to first baseman Nate Freiman’s RBI single with the game tied in the bottom of the 9th. Freiman also homered in the 2nd to put the Cats on the board, and he finished the night with a single, double, home run and 2 RBIs. Shortly after Freiman’s homer in the 2nd, outfielder Nick Buss slugged a grand slam for Sacramento. But starter Josh Lindblom surrendered 7 runs in 4 1/3 innings to allow Albuquerque to even things up in the 5th, and the game remained tied until Freiman’s single in the bottom of the 9th. Andy Parino, making his first start of the season at second base for Sacramento, collected 3 hits, while catcher Stephen Vogt singled and doubled, and shortstop Tyler Ladendorf drove in a pair of runs for the River Cats. Sacramento has now won 9 of its last 10 games. In other news, recent River Cat Sean Murphy was activated from the disabled list and reassigned to Stockton.
First baseman Nate Freiman continued his recent power surge on Thursday, slugging his 4th and 5th home runs of the season (and his 3rd and 4th in the last 7 days) and driving in 3 runs for the River Cats. Catcher Ryan Ortiz collected 3 hits, including his 1st home run, while shortstop Andy Parrino singled and doubled for Sacramento. Starter Sean Murphy had his roughest outing yet for the River Cats, allowing 7 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in just 2 innings of work to take his 4th loss. RHP Jose Flores surrendered 3 runs in just 1 inning of relief, while RHP Deryk Hooker gave up 2 runs in 3 innings of work, and RHP Fernando Nieve tossed 2 scoreless innings to close things out for the Cats. And, after spending one day on the A’s roster, RHP Arnold Leon was optioned back to Sacramento on Thursday.
It was a big night for Stockton second baseman Chad Pinder, who played a key role in the Ports’ 18-inning win on Thursday night. Last year’s 3rd overall draft pick for the A’s hit a 2-run homer in the 5th inning to tie the game, and doubled to lead off the bottom of the 18th and ultimately scored the winning run when outfielder Billy McKinney singled to bring him home from second and finally bring an end to the 5 hour and 27 minute home opener for Stockton on Thursday. McKinney had previously struck out 3 times in the game, as did designated hitter Ryon Healy, who went 0 for 8. Catcher Bruce Maxwell collected 3 hits, while first baseman Matt Olson singled, doubled and walked twice, third baseman Renato Nunez hit his second homer in as many games to put the Ports on the board in the 1st, and outfielder Bobby Crocker homered in the 9th to send the contest to extra innings. RHP Manny Correa started the game and allowed 4 runs in 6 innings of work, while RHP Nolan Sanburn surrendered 1 run in 2 innings of relief, RHPs Tucker Healy and Kris Hall each tossed 2 scoreless innings, converted outfielder Jeremy Barfield struck out 5 in 3 scoreless innings in his third pitching appearance for the Ports. Infielder Wade Kirkland came in to toss a scoreless 16th and 17th and outfielder Dusty Robinson, who’d doubled twice and driven in a run, pitched a scoreless 18th inning to earn the win.
While the big league team was busy battling the Royals and dealing with injuries to starting pitchers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin on Friday, there were also plenty of A’s minor leaguers in action around Arizona…
Intrasquad Game at A’s Minor League Camp at Papago Park
Rickey Henderson coaching a minor league game Friday at Papago Park
It wasn’t a good night for the River Cats. Starter Bruce Billings had his worst outing in over a month, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits over 3 1/3 innings to take his 4th loss, while RHP Darren Byrd surrendered another 4 runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Third baseman Scott Moore drew 3 walks to reach base in all but 1 of his plate appearances, but the River Cats totaled just 3 hits on the night, including doubles by first baseman Daric Barton and outfielder Michael Taylor, who now holds the River Cats’ all-time hit record with 402.
With the 2012 minor league season now complete, it’s a good time to take a step back and determine who the true standouts on the field really were in the A’s system in 2012. And with that in mind, we’re naming A’s Farm’s 2012 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team!
Below you’ll find the primary starting players at each position for Triple-A Sacramento, Double-A Midland, High-A Stockton, Class-A Burlington, Class-A Short-Season Vermont and the Rookie League Short-Season AZL A’s in 2012. Offensive starters were selected from the players who had the most games played at each position for each team, with notable players not leading in games played at a particular position listed in the designated hitter category. Starting pitchers were selected from hurlers who had at least 100 innings pitched for each club, while closers were selected from each team’s saves leader. The asterisks denote players with combined statistics from multiple minor league teams within the A’s system, and players’ major league statistics were not included.
Below the list of contenders, you’ll find A’s Farm’s selection of Organizational All-Stars at each position. The winners were determined based purely on performance, not potential. Remember, we’re not selecting the top prospects here, we’re choosing the top performers on the field this season. So take a good look at the candidates for yourself and feel free to chime in with your own thoughts and selections!
A’s Farm’s 2012 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team – The Contenders
Top pick Addison Russell: Keepin’ his eye on the ball!
A few weeks ago, after almost 2 months of play, we offered a little progress report on the A’s top 20 draft picks of 2012. And now with the minor league regular season over, it’s time for a complete season-end recap of the progress of the A’s top 20.
The most improved player over the past few weeks since our last report has been the A’s 8th overall draft pick, first baseman Max Muncy, who has spent the entire season playing at as high a level as any of this year’s picks. The 22-year-old left-handed hitter got his on-base percentage at Class-A Burlington all the way up to .383 in just his first year of pro ball while playing against a lot of guys who already had a year or two under their belts. He was eventually joined at Burlington by the A’s top draft pick of 2012, shortstop Addison Russell, who continued to look solid despite facing a higher level of competition.
The player who took the biggest dip over the past few weeks since our last report has been the A’s 2nd overall draft pick, shortstop Daniel Robertson. After looking impressive in the Arizona League, the 18-year-old struggled after his promotion to Vermont. After hitting almost .300 in the Arizona League, the infielder hit under .200 at Vermont, and he went from striking out once every 7 at-bats to striking out once every 3 at-bats. But the good news is he’s still a teenager just a few months out of high school and, based on what he showed in rookie league ball, he’ll surely adjust with a little more time.
You’ll find the A’s top 20 draft picks of 2012 along with their vital stats through the end of the season listed below. All the teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games for listed first and the team they ended the season with in bold. So without any further ado, the most promising seeds of the A’s 2012 farm crop in all their splendor…
#1 pick Addison Russell: Which hand does this thing go on again?
Thanks to the loss of free agent outfielders Josh Willingham and David DeJesus, the A’s had a few more picks than usual in the upper ranks of this June’s amateur draft – 5 of the first 75 picks to be exact. And the team used a number of those picks to target high school players this year, something that’s been uncommon for the organization in the past.
Well, it’s now been about 8 weeks since most of those players began playing for either the A’s short-season rookie-ball Arizona League A’s or the Vermont Lake Monsters of the short-season Class-A NY-Penn League. One of the A’s draftees, 21-year-old first baseman Max Muncy out of Baylor, has actually started out playing for the A’s Class-A affiliate in the Midwest League, the Burlington Bees. And 4 of the A’s top 20 picks went unsigned – the most prominent being promising 3rd-round left-hander Kyle Twomey.
With most of the players who chose to sign having almost 2 months of play under their belts now, it seems like a good time to check in for a little progress report on the new kids down on the farm. And the good news is that most of them have been looking awfully good so far. #1 pick Addison Russell has been hitting for both average and power, #2 pick Daniel Robertson and #7 pick B.J. Boyd have both shown a knack for getting on base consistently and #3 pick Matt Olson has demonstrated the ability to hit for real power, while pitchers like Austin House and Dakota Bacus have shown the ability to strike out more than a batter per inning and keep runners off base.
You’ll find the A’s top 20 draft picks of 2012 along with their vital stats through August 15 listed below. All the teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games for listed first and the team they’re currently with in bold. So without any further ado, we now present the A’s top 20 draft picks, the most promising seeds of our 2012 farm crop, in all their splendor…