Led by last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s, Dillon Overton, some of the A’s most newly-minted pitching prospects combined to shut out Aberdeen on just 3 hits on Tuesday. Overton, who’s working his way back from Tommy John surgery, started the game off by pitching 3 perfect innings while striking out 3 of the minimum 9 batters he faced. This year’s 3rd-round pick, RHP Brett Graves, allowed just 1 hit in 3 shutout innings to earn the win, while this year’s 2nd-round pick, RHP Daniel Gossett, struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings of relief, and RHP Lee Sosa came on to get the final three outs in the 9th for the Lake Monsters. Left fielder Max Kuhn singled, doubled, walked and drove in 3, while third baseman Jose Brizuela singled, doubled, drove in a run and scored twice, and shortstop Yairo Munoz and designated hitter Seong-min Kim had a pair of hits apiece for Vermont.
The Ports once again upheld their reputation for hitting home runs by slugging 4 round-trippers on Sunday night. Outfielder Jaycob Brugman belted 2 home runs to give him a total of 5 over Stockton’s last 5 games. Catcher Beau Taylor homered for the third straight night, while third baseman Renato Nunez hit his 29th home run in the 3rd inning to give Stockton the lead, and shortstop Daniel Robertson singled, doubled and walked to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and raise his batting average to .307. RHP Tim Alderson turned in his fourth straight quality start for Stockton, allowing just 2 runs while striking out 6 over 7 innings of work to earn his 3rd win for the Ports.
Ports third baseman Renato Nunez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the top of the 1st inning and slugged a grand slam to give Stockton a quick 4-0 lead on Saturday. Nunez would later double in a run to finish the night with 5 RBIs. Matt Olson, getting the start in right field, singled, doubled, homered and drove in 2 runs, while first baseman Ryon Healy had 3 hits, and second baseman Wade Kirkland doubled in a pair. Despite allowing 4 runs on 8 hits over 5 2/3 innings, starter Josh Bowman picked up his 4th win, while RHP Bobby Wahl tossed a scoreless 9th in his first appearance for the Ports.
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