Results tagged ‘ Nolan Sanburn ’

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

 

 

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.

Sunday, September 8th: Snappers Win Game #2 of 2nd-Round Playoff Series Behind Bostick’s Big Bat

 

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Beloit Snappers Second Baseman Chris Bostick (3 for 4 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

Beloit Snappers Second Baseman Chris Bostick (3 for 4 / HR / 3 RBIs)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

WESTERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – Game #2

Quad Cities River Bandits  3

Beloit Snappers               4

WP – Nolan Sanburn

HR – Chris Bostick

cbDSC02502xxd

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Second Baseman Chris Bostick

(3 for 4 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

 

After losing the opener of the best-of-three series, the Snappers came back to beat the River Bandits by a score of 4-3 in the second game of the series on Sunday. Second baseman Chris Bostick kicked off the scoring in the 1st inning with a 2-run homer, and the Snappers added another run in the inning after outfielder Brett Vertigan singled in third baseman Renato Nunez. Starter Kyle Finnegan allowed 2 runs in the top of the 2nd, but Bostick singled home another run in the bottom of the 2nd for the Snappers. RHP Deyvi Jimenez surrendered 1 run in the 4th to make it a 1-run game, but Beloit’s bullpen took care of business the rest of the way, with 4 pitchers combining to throw 5 1/3 scoreless innings. LHP Chris Lamb went 1 1/3, while RHP Kris Hall struck out 3 in 1 inning of relief, RHP Nolan Sanburn went 2 innings to pick up the win, and RHP Austin House got the final 3 outs for the save. On another note, Snappers shortstop Daniel Robertson has missed both games of the series with the passing of his father this weekend. The rubber game of the match is scheduled to take place on Monday at Beloit with RHP Derek De Young the scheduled starter for the Snappers.

 

Monday’s Game:

Quad Cities @ Beloit – 4:30pm PT / 6:30pm CT

 

 

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

A’s 2012 Draft Picks Mid-Season Progress Report

arfPCk2bFI5Last week we offered a progress report on the A’s top 12 picks from the 2013 amateur draft. And it seemed like it might be interesting to take a similar look at the A’s top 12 picks from the 2012 amateur draft. Of course, that draft class featured some of the A’s most high-profile prospects like Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson and Matt Olson.

The A’s chose to be aggressive with shortstop Russell’s development this season and assigned him to Stockton, making the 19-year-old the youngest player in the High-A California League. Last year’s top pick for the A’s struggled over the first couple months of the season, but then he began to turn things around in June, and he ended up posting an impressive .344/.440/.609 slash line in July.

The A’s 7th overall pick last season, outfielder B.J. Boyd, started the year with Vermont of the Class-A short-season New York-Penn League, so he didn’t get going until June – but ever since he got going, there’s been no stopping him, and the outfielder’s currently sporting a .321/.406/.506 slash line after a month and a half of play.

The fastest-riser of last year’s draft class has been the A’s 8th overall pick, first baseman Max Muncy, who started the season with Russell at Stockton but made it all the way up to Double-A Midland just a little over a year after first being drafted by Oakland. And Muncy currently tops all A’s minor leaguers in home runs with 21 and RBIs with 83.

A couple of the top pitching picks from last year’s draft, right-handers Seth Streich and Dakota Bacus, have proven to be the two most reliable members of the Beloit Snappers starting rotation this season. Unfortunately, fellow right-hander Cody Kurz, last year’s 10th pick, has spent the season rehabbing from knee surgery and has yet to make an appearance on the mound.

You’ll find the A’s top 12 draft picks from the 2012 draft along with their current statistics through August 5 below. The teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games with listed first and their current team in bold. So let’s take a look at the top picks of the A’s 2012 farm crop…

 

arDSC02744d#1 – 1st Round

Addison Russell

Age: 19 / Shortstop

Stockton

12 HR / 39 BB / 97 K / .271 AVG / .350 OBP / .507 SLG / .857 OPS

 

drdanielrobertson_mlb_display_image#2 – 1st Round

Daniel Robertson

Age: 19 / Shortstop

Beloit

4 HR / 32 BB / 64 K / .264 AVG / .342 OBP / .365 SLG / .707 OPS

 

mo15095_4110106706138_1463379083_n4#3 – 1st Round

Matt Olson

Age: 19 / First Baseman

Beloit

15 HR / 62 BB / 110 K / .223 AVG / .331 OBP / .407 SLG / .738 OPS

 

bmBruce Maxwell#4 – 2nd Round

Bruce Maxwell

Age: 22 / Catcher

Beloit + Stockton

4 HR / 36 BB / 52 K / .271 AVG / .347 OBP / .373 SLG / .720 OPS

 

nsresized_99261-5csanburn3colbw_47-15782_t728#5 – 2nd Round

Nolan Sanburn

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Beloit + AZL A’s

16 IP / 11 H / 4 ER / 8 BB / 14 K / 2.25 ERA / 1.19 WHIP

 

kt11CALUDG19#6 – 3rd Round

Kyle Twomey

Age: 19 / Left-Handed Pitcher

DID NOT SIGN

 

 

bb2011-10-14.boyd#7 – 4th Round

B.J. Boyd

Age: 20 / Outfielder

Vermont

5 HR / 20 BB / 37 K / .321 AVG / .406 OBP / .506 SLG / .912 OPS

 

mm165457_10151385210931662_1498946120_n5#8 – 5th Round

Max Muncy

Age: 22 / First Baseman

Stockton + Midland

21 HR / 73 BB / 85 K / .273 AVG / .381 OBP / .462 SLG / .843 OPS

 

ssStreich_480_copy_hjr49a6f_3nfc3gb7b#9 – 6th Round

Seth Streich

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Beloit

110 2/3 IP / 114 H / 47 ER / 41 BB / 82 K / 3.82 ERA / 1.40 WHIP

 

ck348641_t607#10 – 7th Round

Cody Kurz

Age: 20 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Disabled List

Has Not Played

 

khKris Hall#11 – 8th Round

Kris Hall

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Beloit

40 IP / 45 H / 26 ER / 25 BB / 39 K / 5.85 ERA / 1.75 WHIP

 

dbGDANVEKZHIQAYID.20120227195554#12 – 9th Round

Dakota Bacus

Age 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Beloit

103 2/3 IP / 113 H / 44 ER / 32 BB / 74 K / 3.82 ERA / 1.40 WHIP

 

 

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

Sunday, June 30th: Streich’s Stellar Outing Leads Snappers to Victory while Cats & Hounds Win and Ports Fall

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Beloit Snappers Pitcher Seth Streich (6 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / Win)

 Beloit Snappers Pitcher Seth Streich      (6 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Reno Aces                         3

Sacramento River Cats  5

WP – Figueroa 2-0 / 4.75

HR – Barton (5)

bb530c87329ccf4df68b8d70d5e7f73166_i3

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Bruce Billings

(7 IP / 4 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

 

Starter Bruce Billings had a strong outing for Sacramento on Sunday, allowing 2 runs on just 4 hits while striking out 5 over 7 innings of work and left the game with a 1-run lead. LHP Pedro Figueroa gave up the tying run in the top of the 8th inning, but first baseman Daric Barton homered in the bottom of the 8th to give the River Cats the lead and hand Figueroa his 2nd win. RHP Brian Gordon got the final 3 outs for his 5th save, while Jemile Weeks made his second straight start in center field.

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

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Exclusive: A’s Director of Player Personnel Billy Owens Talks 2012 Draft Class with A’s Farm

bo1151079bBelieve it or not, baseball’s amateur draft is only five weeks away, and hard-core A’s fans will soon have a fresh batch of hot prospects to ponder. With this in mind, it seems like a good time to take a look back at last year’s draft class and see where things stand. And it’d be hard to find anyone better-suited to help us do that than the A’s director of player personnel Billy Owens.

Owens originally joined the A’s organization in 1999, working as an area scout and coaching short-season baseball over the next five years. He was promoted to his current position in 2004, where he’s been able to put his knowledge of the game and its players to much more thorough use. Owens spoke with us earlier this week from an undisclosed location, where he was secretly scouting prospects for the draft. We talked about the A’s draft picks from last year’s first five rounds as well as a couple of top international prospects who are currently making their mark in the A’s system…

 

arfPCk2bFI5#1  (1st Round)

ADDISON RUSSELL

Shortstop / Age: 19

The A’s top draft pick in 2012, Russell got off to a blazing start last season. Just 19, the A’s invited him to big league camp this spring and aggressively started him off this year at Stockton in the High-A California League. He got off to a slow start and then had a brief stint on the DL, but he seems to have started heating up a bit over the past week or so.

BILLY OWENS: He had a sensational debut (last season), and we couldn’t be more excited. And seeing him in major league spring training – how he handled himself, the professionalism that he showed, just the constant energy that he plays with everyday – he has a maturity beyond his years. It’s obvious that he’s had tremendous parenting, and he’s got a lot of talent. It’s a pretty advanced assignment going to High-A ball, but we feel he’s going to be up for the challenge. We feel pretty confident that he can go there and handle himself. It’s a long year. We’re going to see how the season goes all the way through the end of the minor league championship season. And we’re pretty confident that he’s going to be able to catch up to the league, stay mature, show his tools, and be an exciting part of our system going forward.

 

drdanielrobertson_mlb_display_image#2  (1st Round)

DANIEL ROBERTSON

Shortstop / Age: 19

Robertson got off to a great start in the Arizona League last year but then struggled a bit with short-season Vermont in the NY-Penn League. He injured his knee in the instructional league. The ensuing surgery kept him out of competitive action this spring and delayed the start of his season. But he arrived in Beloit last week with a hot bat, blasting a home run in his first game.

BILLY OWENS: His make-up is outstanding. He’s a very coachable kid – talented, mature. He got dinged up a little bit, but he’s gone straight to Low-A (this season). I think his first night, he was a triple short of a cycle, and he got another hit yesterday, and he’s playing a solid shortstop. This kid definitely likes to play baseball and has been well-coached. His skill level is outstanding. He’s a solid shortstop prospect. He can definitely play the position. His hands are solid. He’s got a strong arm. He’s fundamentally sound.

 

mo15095_4110106706138_1463379083_n4#3  (1st Round)

MATT OLSON

First Baseman / Age: 19

Another one of the A’s top draft picks who got off to a great start in Arizona last year, Olson began the season with Beloit in the Midwest League. His bat remained cold through most of a very cold April in Wisconsin, but he’s begun heating up over the past week, homering in two consecutive games over the past few days.

BILLY OWENS: Matt Olson comes from a baseball family. His father played college ball. His brother plays at Harvard currently. And he’s a baseball rat. He can play first base, and he could even dabble in the outfield if need be. He’s got a short, efficient swing. I think initially he had such a strong debut – he hit a home run in his first at bat last year in Arizona rookie ball – he might have gotten a little too pull-confident and tried to force the issue with power. But we think that Matt Olson’s going to be a very good all-around hitter, be able to use the field line-to-line, and the power will just develop over time. He’s just a natural hitter. We like his hands – his hands are fluid, they’re strong, they’re direct. He had a couple of doubles the other night and hit his first home run. He’s using all the field again and squaring up multiple pitches. He’s got a very good eye – he walked 3 times the other night. I’m seeing the trends, and I’m more excited seeing the all-fields approach and the walks start to pick up versus the power. The power’s going to be there ‘cause this kid’s 6’4”, 230 pounds and just naturally strong. So it should be exciting.

 

bmBruce Maxwell#4  (2nd Round)

BRUCE MAXWELL

Catcher / Age: 22

Maxwell appeared to be a dependable hitter in his debut last year and has continued to look like a solid hitter this year at Beloit. He specializes in getting on base, but some have wondered about his ability to stick behind the plate. 

BILLY OWENS: His numbers at Birmingham Southern were just ridiculous. They were pretty amazing when you look at the extra-base hits versus the little amount of strikeouts. This kid’s got a tremendous eye, discerning at the plate. His swing path is fluid – it’s very compact, direct to the baseball. He’s strong, he’s going to have power, he’s going to be a high-walk guy. His catching is improving. Just at first glance, he reminds me of ex-Athletic Mickey Tettleton. He can catch, he’s probably going to mix in some first base down the road and get involved every now and then as a designated hitter. But first and foremost, he’s a slugger who’ll be an essential part of the Oakland Athletics organization.

 

nsresized_99261-5csanburn3colbw_47-15782_t728#5  (2nd Round)

NOLAN SANBURN

RHP / Age: 21

The first pitcher the A’s selected in last year’s draft, Sanburn appears to be a talented young hurler with an arsenal of pitches, but he spent a lot of his college career pitching out of the bullpen. So without a lot of innings under his belt, he still needs to build his stamina as a starter.

BILLY OWENS: We were excited to get Nolan when we got him. With his arm and his variety of pitches, it was a coup where we got him in the draft last year. When he went to rookie ball in short-season (Class-A), he was 96 mph+. His curveball broke off the table, and he’s got a solid changeup. He’s a very athletic kid. Just being predominantly a reliever in college last year, we’re starting to get him prepared him for X amount of innings. We’re kind of taking baby steps initially, but he’s raring to go and ready to unleash that arsenal out there.

 

bbmce_052312_0222B#6  (4th Round)

B.J. BOYD

Outfielder / Age: 19

Boyd was best known as a big Bay Area high school football prospect when the A’s drafted him last year. He’s loaded with talent and got off to a great start last year, but he’s young and his baseball skills will need a little refinement.

BILLY OWENS: He’s got a dynamic skill set. Last year, he was by far the fastest player in our draft class. And then he went straight out to rookie ball and showed that speed. He’s just explosive. He was an accomplished football player, had multiple Division I offers, but we were able to draft him. And all that carried over to rookie ball last year. That was a fun team that lost the final to the Rangers’ rookie ball squad, but B.J. was a catalyst for that team. He hit a few home runs, he walked, he hit for a high average, he stole bases, he played a good center field. The Midwest League is a great league, we’re proud to be there, but it’s a little bit cold initially, so we held a couple guys back. We’ve got him back there in extended (spring training), but at some point, I think he’ll be ready for the Midwest League this year. And I honestly believe that he’ll make a positive impression once he gets there. Right now he’s chomping at the bit, working hard in extended, shedding a few pounds, and getting ready to hopefully take the Midwest League by storm later on.

 

mm628x471b#7  (5th Round)

MAX MUNCY

First Baseman / Age: 22

Drafted out Baylor, Muncy was the only member of the A’s draft class to start last season in the Class-A Midwest League, and he held his own there. This year, the A’s decided to start him out at High-A Stockton along with Addison Russell, and Muncy has flourished. He already has twice as many home runs in April, 8, as he did all of last year at Burlington, and he currently leads all A’s minor leaguers in round-trippers.

BILLY OWENS: Maxwell Muncy is a guy we’re excited about. Armann Brown, our area scout out there in Texas, pointed Max out early, always liked the make-up. Max came from a good family structure and background. He’s at the field early. He’s there late. He’s watching video. He’s just ready to play everyday, so we’re excited. He’s amongst the minor league home run leaders, and we like his skill set. He can pick it at first base – we like his range there. His swing is the type of swing that’s going to be able to hit advanced level pitching. And first and foremost, this guy’s a baseball rat. I mean, he’s a cage-wrecker. You’ve got to turn the lights off otherwise he’s going to be in that cage 24/7. He’s a fun guy to watch.

 

rnnc3bac3b1ez-renato3(International Amateur Free Agent)

RENATO NUNEZ

Third Baseman / Age: 19

The A’s invested heavily in Nunez when they reportedly gave the young Venezuelan $2.2 million to sign back in 2010. He made his American debut in the Arizona Rookie League last year and didn’t disappoint, flashing the bat the A’s had hoped to see. He’s started this season wielding the biggest bat at Beloit, and he even celebrated his 19th birthday on opening night by blasting his first home run.

BILLY OWENS: He’s an exciting kid to watch. Sam Geaney, our international scouting director, and Julio Franco, our chief scout in Venezuela, they identified Renato all the way back to when he was 14 years old. And we were able to track him, follow him, and we were able to secure his services. He went to the Dominican Summer League at 16 years old and was able to get his feet wet and was able to do pretty well there. Last year, in the Arizona Rookie League, I believe he led the league in doubles. He just has that short stroke – it’s a very accurate barrel. He’s pretty advanced to send him at 19 years old to the Midwest League. This kid’s got outstanding make-up, he’s not afraid of anything. I think he’s hit 4 home runs, 5 doubles. He’s having a good start up there in Beloit. And it’ll be fun to watch him this year, because this kid likes to play a lot and his background is excellent and he’s a natural-born hitter.

 

mymichael-ynoa.p1(International Amateur Free Agent)

MICHAEL YNOA

RHP / Age: 21

The A’s originally signed Ynoa for over $4 million as a 16-year old. He’s now a 21-year-old. And thanks to injuries, through last season, he’d thrown less than 40 innings. But Ynoa finally appears to be healthy and is back on the mound for Beloit this season.

BILLY OWENS: It’s definitely fun to see Michael in the box scores. The talent’s always been immense, and now it’s just a matter of him continuing to increase his workload and get out there on the diamond. He’s a fabulous athlete. He’s topped out at 96-97 mph, his breaking ball is getting better everyday, and his command is improving. So seeing him every five days in that box score is an exciting thing, and hopefully he can keep on doing that, because the talent’s there. And hopefully we’re crossing our fingers that he’s passed certain hurdles and he can be out there and enjoy a healthy season.

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Exclusive: A’s Director of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi Talks Top Prospects with A’s Farm – Part 2

fz0511cnzaidi_x582cYesterday, we brought you Part 1 of A’s Farm’s exclusive interview with A’s director of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, where he gave us the lowdown on top prospects Addison Russell, Dan Straily, Michael Choice, Sonny Gray and Grant Green. In Part 2, we’ll cover Miles Head, Daniel Robertson, Renato Nunez, Michael Ynoa and more of the A’s top prospects. So let’s get back to the action – we rejoin our game, already in progress…

AF:  Next on our list is a guy who got off to a phenomenal start last year, hitting probably as well as anyone in pro ball in the first half at Stockton, and who you guys very shrewdly targeted in last year’s trade with Boston – and that’s third baseman Miles Head. He came back down to earth a bit at Midland in the second half but still held his own there. Tell me what you think about Miles Head at his point and where you see him playing in the field this year now that you’ve got another third baseman like Jefry Marte in the system who’s basically at the same level as him.

mh542535_10150896496846662_1633034326_nFZ:  He was a guy that we did sort of tack on to that deal a little late. And one of the things about him, similar to the Brandon Moss story, when we went and looked at him in the 2011 season, he was a guy who got better every month – first in the South Atlantic League and then even in the Carolina League in 2011, where his overall numbers weren’t great. He was getting better there every month. We’re very optimistic about him. He’s one of the best pure hitters in the system. He’s a very aggressive hitter. He wants to put the ball in play, and he makes consistently loud contact. Defensively, we moved him over to third base last year, the position he played as an amateur. Everybody has more value at third base than at first base. But in the long run, he’s going to be a guy who plays both positions. And with Marte in the system, and both of those guys potentially starting the year in Double-A, I think both guys will see time at both spots. That still enables both guys to get plenty of reps at third, but it’s a case where having that flexibility and experience at a couple of different spots doesn’t hurt.

AF:  The seventh guy on our list was your second overall draft pick last year, shortstop Daniel Robertson. He got off to a great start in the Arizona League. He had a little tougher time of it in his brief time at Vermont, but obviously everybody still seems to feel very positive about his abilities and what he’s capable of doing in the long run. So tell me what you think about Daniel Robertson at this stage of the game.

drdanielrobertson_mlb_display_imageFZ:  We feel very good about him. You’re right. He played very well in Arizona. He didn’t really have the results to show for it in Vermont, but nobody who was there thought that he was over-matched. And if he had another 10 or 20 games in the season at Vermont, I think he would have brought up his numbers. So we’re not concerned about that small sample that he had there. He’s one of the brightest and most motivated players I think we’ve ever brought into the system, so the intangibles that he brings in make you all the more excited about him. And our guys who really study swings, from (minor league hitting coordinator) Todd Steverson on down, all think he has one of the best and one of the most compact swings of the young guys out there. So that’s exciting when you hear about those kinds of skills that you know translate as you move up the ladder.

AF:  Where do you see him playing in the field this year? Do you see him still starting at shortstop, or do you plan on moving him around the infield a bit?

FZ:  It really sort of depends on how things shake out on the depth chart. His ability to play probably the most premium position on the field isn’t something you want to give up easily. So I think he’ll probably wind up getting time at both spots on the left side of the infield. But as well as he played short when he got the chance last year, we think it’s worth keeping him there and having him get some reps there.

rnnc3bac3b1ez-renato3AF:  Eighth on our list is another infielder who hit really well in Arizona last year, and that’s third baseman Renato Nunez. He obviously doesn’t seem to have any problem swinging the bat, but he’s been a little shaky in the field thus far. So tell me what you think of Nunez both offensively and defensively at this point.

FZ:  Yeah, you’re right. It was great to see him come over last year and put up the numbers that he did. And it was actually just a little unfortunate that we ran out of time and didn’t get the chance to move him up to Vermont because he was as deserving as Robertson and Olson of getting that late-season promotion. Defensively, it’s a work in progress. He has all the tools. I think it’s just a matter of him getting a few reps. Our defensive coaches, Juan Navarrete and the rest of the group, feel good about his chances to improve at third. You know, people have said this for a long time, you don’t want to read too much into error totals at the low minor league level. I think Derek Jeter’s first full season error total (56 in 126 games) is one of the most constantly thrown around statistics. We’re not concerned about that. He has plenty of time to work on refining his skills.

nsresized_99261-5csanburn3colbw_47-15782_t728AF:  Ninth on our list is the top pitcher you took in the draft last year, right-hander Nolan Sanburn. He only got in about 18 or 19 innings last year, but a lot of people are very high on him. So with the limited opportunity you’ve had to see him, what do you think about him so far?

FZ:  It’s interesting. He doesn’t really fit the profile of the typical college pitcher we’ve drafted. He didn’t throw a ton of innings at Arkansas. He was only there for a year. He was really more of a middle reliever at Arkansas and didn’t get much of an opportunity to become a mainstay on that pitching staff for whatever reason. So what we got was a guy who you felt there was some track record, because he’s a guy who did pitch with a reasonable amount of success, but you also had the upside of a junior college or high school player almost. What we’ve seen so far has been really encouraging. He’s obviously got out stuff. He’s got a plus curveball. For him, he’s going to just have to work on his fastball command and refining a third pitch. But he has the physical build and endurance to be a starter. He’s got two pitches that are a really good foundation. And if he can refine the rest of his arsenal, he could be an impact-type guy.

cbC.-Bostick3AF:  Tenth on our list is a guy who certainly wasn’t a high draft pick but who a lot of people have been saying good things about – Chris Bostick, who’s been playing both second and short. I think he was drafted in the 44th round and the numbers don’t necessarily jump off the page at you, but there are a lot of folks who seem to have a good feeling about him.

FZ:  Chris was one of those guys at the tail end of the draft who we just wanted to see how he progressed over the summer. And he went to the NYCBL, which is probably one of the top ten summer college leagues around. And I’m not sure if he won the batting title, but he was either first or second in the league in hitting. I think he hit like .450. He had more walks than strikeouts. It was really one of the most impressive performances I’ve seen in a summer league for a kid who has just graduated from high school and was playing against college sophomores and juniors. So that’s what really got us excited about him. And you’re right, the numbers don’t necessarily pop off the page, but he has that performance history and all the ingredients and tools are there. So he’s definitely a little bit under the radar, but someone we are excited about.

mo15095_4110106706138_1463379083_n2AF:  Your third overall draft pick last year, first baseman Matt Olson, is another guy who hit really well in the Arizona League and showed a lot of power there and looked good in a very brief stint with Vermont as well. So how to do you see Matt Olson at this point?

FZ:  You know, it isn’t our common practice to take a high school first baseman that high in the draft. If you do that, it’s because you feel really good and excited about the bat. And he was a guy who matched that description. He’s a guy who we think has future plus, or even double-plus, power. He hit some long home runs in Arizona and carried that over into Vermont. So he’s a guy who profiles as an above-average offensive first baseman, which is saying a lot, because that’s a position that demands a lot offensively. But the whole key is that he continues to progress and starts moving towards achieving that power projection.

AF:  And the final guy that everyone is always curious to know about is pitcher Michael Ynoa. After lots of time off due to injuries, he’s on the mend and getting back into the swing of things. So where are things at with Michael Ynoa?

mymichael-ynoa.p1FZ:  I really think that the way he finished last season has given us a lot of reason for optimism. He went out and pitched outside the Arizona League for the first time. He had a couple of rough outings, but also had a couple of positive outings. And the reports on his stuff were really very encouraging. He was up to 95-96 mph, showing a full arsenal of pitches. And that was something that he carried into the Instructional League – he was one of the best pitchers for us both in terms of stuff and performance. He unfortunately got a late start this spring. He was a little sick in the Dominican and didn’t get over until a week into camp. He threw his first live bullpen session today against hitters over at Phoenix Muni. If everything went well with that, then he should be able to get into a game sometime soon. I think that would be a huge achievement and benchmark for him. He’s a guy who I think we’ve always felt that once he can get over his injuries, with the kind of stuff he has, he can make up for some of the lost time he’s had over the last few years.

AF:  One last thing I’m curious to ask you about. When you’re analyzing minor league guys and their numbers, what is the first thing you’re looking at for both hitters and pitchers to try to get a handle on who the guys are who are most likely to be successful at the major league level?

FZ:  Well, for a hitter, to be honest, for me, one of the biggest and most important metrics is walks and strikeouts. Guys that have a good ratio – just because those are an indicator of good plate discipline – the guys who, for the most part, swing at strikes and don’t swing at balls. And with the kind of stuff that you face in the big leagues, if you can’t do that, your chances for success drop dramatically. Hey, I’m not going to complain about the guy who hits .300 or has a .600 slugging percentage, but really, that’s the first thing that I look at because having good plate discipline is what really enables a lot of the actual hitting production to translate at a higher level. As far as pitching goes, strikeouts are a big factor. The other thing that really goes along with that is strike percentage. And I say that because sometimes we forget that not all strikeouts are created equal. There’s a big difference between throwing three strikes and just overpowering a guy, and having a 7-8-9 pitch at-bat where you have a full count and the guy fouls off a few pitches and then finally you strike him out. That first type of strikeout is a lot better indicator of skill and performance than the second type – so that’s why looking at strikeouts in conjunction with strike percentage is so important to me. Like I mentioned, once you get to the big leagues, you have to be able to pitch in the strike zone. If you’re striking out players in the minors by getting them to chase, it’s going to be a lot harder to replicate that success at the highest level. So those are the first things that I look at for hitters and pitchers at the minor league level.

AF:  I was just reading something that said something pretty similar about walks and strikeouts for hitters. It was basically saying that whatever your hitting profile, once you get to the major leagues, you’re going to be striking out a lot more than you were in the minors. So you better start out with a decent ratio, because it’s going to be going down once you start having to face major league pitchers.

ycCincinnati Reds v Oakland AthleticsFZ:  You know, I think there’s this common perception that that’s not something that you can get better at. I look at Grant Green, who went from Double-A to Triple-A and actually cut his strikeout rates dramatically, and I think that was maybe the single most encouraging thing about Grant’s season last year. And you look at Yoenis Cespedes, and there have been many articles written about his plate discipline through the course of the season from April to September and how he started swinging at more strikes and fewer balls and how, as he continued to do that, his production continued on an upward trajectory. Guys can get better, so I would never want to totally doom somebody to failure. And frankly, on the flip side, just because you have a good walk/strikeout ratio doesn’t guarantee success. But I think it is one of the best statistical predictors of hitters’ success at the big league level.

AF:  Right, absolutely. That’s a lot of great information. I really appreciate it.

FZ:  No problem. Just imagine how much more informative it would have been if I wasn’t out driving around and was at my computer.

AF:  Well, the next time I talk to you, we’ll just have to make sure you’re staring at a computer!

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013

Last year's top prospect Jarrod Parker - who will be the next to make it big?

Last year’s top prospect Jarrod Parker – who will be the next to make it big?

With the first A’s players set to report to spring training camp just days from now, it’s time to present A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013. We’ve combined a total of eight different A’s prospect lists to come up with a consensus list that reflects the broadest 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 eight lists we’ve selected are better known and some are lesser known, but they’ve all been selected 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 important to note that most prospect lists were compiled before pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock were dealt away. A few folks have updated their lists since then, but most have not. So rather than have the pair included on some older lists and not on some of the newer ones, we’ve chosen to use the original prospect lists that included them both for the sake of comparison.

Now that that’s clear, the other thing that’s clear is that the list breaks into a few clear groupings. The top group of vote-getters was comprised of young shortstop Addison Russell, right-handed hurler Dan Straily, outfielder Michael Choice and right-hander A.J. Cole, who was dealt back to the Nationals in the John Jaso trade – these four players were included in the top half of most lists. The next group was comprised of pitching prospects Sonny Gray and Brad Peacock along with hitting prospects Grant Green and Miles Head – and these four players were included in the bottom half of most lists.

After that, the selections start to get a little more unpredictable, with infielders Daniel Robertson and Renato Nunez clearly being the most popular vote-getters amongst the next group of players. And since Cole and Peacock are no longer with the organization, we’ve decided to include the next top two vote-getters – Nolan Sanburn at #11 and Chris Bostick at #12 – as bonus additions to the list.

So without any further ado, let’s take a look at A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013…

 

A’S FARM’S CONSENSUS TOP 10 PROSPECT LIST (+2)

#1 – Addison Russell (SS) – 78 points / 8 lists

#2 – Dan Straily (SP) – 64 points / 8 lists

#3 – Michael Choice (OF) – 63 points / 8 lists

#4 – A.J. Cole (SP) – 61 points / 8 lists *

#5 – Sonny Gray (SP) – 41 points / 8 lists

#6 – Brad Peacock (SP) – 39 points / 8 lists *

#7 – Grant Green (IF-OF) – 32 points / 7 lists

#8 – Miles Head (3B) – 25 points / 8 lists

#9 – Daniel Robertson (SS-3B) – 18 points / 7 lists

#10 – Renato Nunez (3B) – 10 points / 4 lists

————————————————————

#11 – Nolan Sanburn (SP) – 3 points / 2 lists

#12 – Chris Bostick (2B-SS) – 3 points / 1 list

————————————————————

* No longer with organization

 

arfPCk2bFI2#1 ADDISON RUSSELL

(78 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 19

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Making the top spot on 7 of our 8 lists, the A’s top pick in last year’s draft was not only the star of the A’s 2012 draft class but was also the star of the team’s entire minor league system. And it didn’t take long for Russell to quickly become a favorite amongst A’s fans who had their eyes on the future. The Florida native earned it by tearing through three levels of minor league ball at the age of 18, and he’s currently expected to start 2013 with the Stockton Ports in the High-A California League at the age of 19. In 217 at-bats in the Arizona League, the NY-Penn League and the Midwest League in 2012, Russell had 10 doubles, 9 triples, 7 home runs and 16 stolen bases with an impressive .369/.432/.594 slash line. He didn’t disappoint in the field either, showing nice range and a good arm. The bottom line is that Russell is very young, very talented and very hard-working, and there’s no reason that he shouldn’t rise as quickly as his performance demands.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

dsstraily-dan3#2 DAN STRAILY

(64 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2009 – 24th Round

The former 24th-round draft pick started the season as a bit of an unknown quantity in the A’s system and didn’t make anyone’s top 10 list prior to the 2012 season. But Straily put himself on the map rather quickly last year and didn’t let up, starting the season at Double-A Midland and ending it in Oakland. The Oregon native led all A’s minor leaguers in strikeouts (190), ERA (2.78) and WHIP (1.00) in 152 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, and posted a 3.89 ERA in 7 late-season starts with the A’s. With five starters ahead of him on the team’s current depth chart, Straily’s expected to spend the early part of the season at Sacramento. But like most #6 starters, it likely won’t be long before his services are needed, and we can probably expect to be seeing the right-hander back at the big league level again before long in 2013.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

mcmichaelchoiceoaklandathleticsphotodaynwngr_fbjvxl3#3 MICHAEL CHOICE

(63 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2010 – 1st Round

Big things were expected this year from the A’s 2010 1st-round draft pick after Choice hit 30 home runs at High-A Stockton in 2011. But the right-handed slugger got off to a slow start in the first half at Double-A Midland, showing very little of the power that had garnered him so much attention in the first place. Then just when it looked like he might have been starting to come around, Choice suffered a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch, and that was the end of the outfielder’s season. He finished with 10 home runs and a .287/.356/.423 slash line in 359 at-bats. The A’s still believe in Choice though and currently plan on having him play center field for Sacramento in 2013 and letting him show what he’s capable of doing at Triple-A.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

#4 A.J. COLE

(61 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2010 – 4th Round

When he was acquired from the Nationals last year in the Gio Gonzalez deal, Cole was considered a highly prized prospect. But the big right-hander got off to a horrific start with High-A Stockton, going 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in 8 starts, before being demoted to Class-A Burlington. He quickly turned it around in the Midwest League though, striking out 102 in 95 2/3 innings while posting a much more impressive 2.07 ERA. Cole’s rough start may have planted enough seeds of doubt in the minds of the A’s front office though that the team was willing to ship him back to Washington as part of the deal to get their mitts on catcher John Jaso.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Potomac Nationals (A-Washington)

 

sgsonnygray_large1#5 SONNY GRAY

(41 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2011 – 1st Round

Just like Michael Choice, Gray was a former A’s 1st-round draft pick whom the team was expecting big things from at Double-A Midland in 2012. And just like Choice, Gray got off to a bit of a shaky start. But the right-hander looked better as the season wore on and he seemed to gain greater command of his stuff. Gray finished up at Midland with a 4.14 ERA in 26 starts before getting one final start at Sacramento, where he’s expected to begin the season as the A’s top pitching prospect right behind fellow right-hander Dan Straily.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

bp140238660_display_image#6 BRAD PEACOCK

(39 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2006 – 41st Round

Peacock came over from the Nationals last year as one of the three young pitchers the A’s received in the Gio Gonzalez deal. He ended up kicking off the season in Sacramento and was looking like he might be just about ready for the big leagues when he hit a horrible stretch for about a month and a half in the summer. Peacock was getting knocked around badly just about every time out, and the word was that his fastball command had completely deserted him. The right-hander seemed to get it back together again during the last month or so of the season, but he still finished the year with an ERA of 6.01 in 134 2/3 innings. Most of that damage to his ERA occurred during that rough month and a half in the summer, but it obviously was enough to make the A’s a little more comfortable including him in the package of players they shipped to the Astros in the Jed Lowrie trade.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA-Houston)

 

#7 GRANT GREEN

(32 points / 7 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Infielder/Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2009 – 1st Round

The fourth 1st-round draft pick to appear on our list, Green was originally selected by the A’s in 2009 as a shortstop but has since been tried at almost every other position on the diamond. Last year, Green started off playing center field before moving over to left. But he spent most of the second half bouncing around the infield, with 19 games at shortstop, 19 games at second base and 11 games at third base. The organization hasn’t felt totally comfortable with Green at any position in the field, but his newfound versatility could aid his chances of eventually making the roster. The southern California native had a bounce-back year at the plate in 2013 after seeing his numbers drop off a bit at Double-A Midland in 2011. Green finished 2012 with 15 home runs and a slash line of .296/.338/.458 in 524 at-bats at Sacramento. And he figures to start 2013 there again, waiting for an opening to finally find his way on to the big league roster.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

mh542535_10150896496846662_1633034326_n#8 MILES HEAD

(25 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2009 – 26th Round

Head was acquired, along with Josh Reddick and minor league pitcher Raul Alcantara, from Boston last year in the deal that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox. The big third baseman had an unbelievable first half at High-A Stockton, bashing 23 doubles and 18 home runs in just 267 at-bats while posting a truly impressive slash line of .382/.433/.715. The Georgia native spent the second half at Double-A Midland, where he put up a much more mortal .272/.338/.404 slash line in 234 at-bats. Head will likely get the chance to master the Texas League again in 2013. He played all but a handful of games at third base last year, and the team hopes that Head will stick at third, but it’s still quite possible that he could end up at first base before all is said and done.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

drdanielrobertson_mlb_display_image#9 DANIEL ROBERTSON

(18 points / 7 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop/Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 19

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Robertson was the A’s second overall draft pick last year, right behind fellow shortstop Addison Russell. And like Russell, Robertson got off to a solid start in rookie ball, posting a .297/.405/.554 slash line in 101 at-bats. He was pushed to third base while he and Russell were both on the squad but, once Robertson got to Class-A Vermont, he spent most of his time back at shortstop. Robertson had a little more trouble at the plate in the NY-Penn League though, putting up a .181/.238/.234 slash line and striking out about once every three at-bats. Robertson should start the season there again, where his innate talent will undoubtedly allow the 19-year-old to figure things out over the course of the year and do whatever he needs to do to get ready to advance to the next level.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Vermont Lake Monsters (A)

 

rnnc3bac3b1ez-renato3#10 RENATO NUNEZ

(10 points / 4 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 19

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

The A’s invested heavily in Nunez when the team reportedly gave the young Venezuelan slugger $2.2 million to sign back in 2010. And there’s no question that Nunez seems to have a pretty special bat. Last year in rookie ball, he put up a .325/.403/.550 slash line with 18 doubles in 160 at-bats. But in the field, Nunez made 7 errors in just 30 games at third base, botching 1 in every 10 chances at the hot corner. He’ll move up the chain as fast as his bat can carry him, but the A’s will obviously have to figure out how and where to make sense of him in the field.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Vermont Lake Monsters (A)

 

nsresized_99261-5csanburn3colbw_47-15782_t728#11 NOLAN SANBURN

(3 points / 2 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2012 – 2nd Round

The A’s fifth overall draft pick last year, Sanburn was the first pitcher selected by the A’s in the 2012 draft. A hard-throwing right-hander out of the University of Arkansas, Sanburn didn’t sign right away but got off to a good start last year while making it into 7 games with Class-A Vermont. Sanburn posted a 3.86 ERA while maintaining a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and the A’s hope that the 21-year-old has what it takes to move up the ladder quickly.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

cbC.-Bostick2#12 CHRIS BOSTICK

(3 points / 1 list)

Right-Handed Hitting Second Baseman/Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 20

Drafted 2011 – 44th Round

Bostick was hardly high on anyone’s radar when he was drafted in the 44th-round in 2011, but lots of folks seem to think he does a lot of things the right way – and baseball people like that. Bostick spent most of last season playing second base at Class-A Vermont but also spent a little time at shortstop. His .251/.325/.369 slash line wasn’t remarkable, but he was still just 19 last season. And if Bostick keeps playing the game the right way, he’ll continue to be given the chance to go out there and play and see how far his talents will take him.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

Last Year’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List

 

Baseball America’s Top A’s Prospects

Jonathan Mayo’s Top A’s Prospects

John Sickels’ Top A’s Prospects

Oakland Clubhouse’s Top A’s Prospects

Bleacher Report’s Top A’s Prospects

MLB Dirt’s Top A’s Prospects

Bullpen Banter’s Top A’s Prospects

Prospect 361’s Top A’s Prospects 

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Top 20 Draft Picks Post-Season Progress Report

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

Addison Russell

(1st Round – Age 18 – Shortstop – AZL A’s+Vermont+Burlington)

7 HR / 23 BB / 48 K / .369 AVG / .432 OBP / .594 SLG / 1.027 OPS

 

 

#2

Daniel Robertson

(1st Round – Age 18 – Shortstop – AZL A’s+Vermont)

5 HR / 23 BB / 46 K / .241 AVG / .330 OBP / .400 SLG / .730 OPS

 

 

#3

Matt Olson

(1st Round – Age 18 – First Baseman – AZL A’s+Vermont)

9 HR / 19 BB / 50 K / .282 AVG / .352 OBP / .521 SLG / .873 OPS

 

 

#4

Bruce Maxwell

(2nd Round – Age 21 – Catcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

0 HR / 31 BB / 38 K / .277 AVG / .356 OBP / .349 SLG / .705 OPS

 

 

#5

Nolan Sanburn

(2nd Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont)

18 2/3 IP / 23 H / 8 ER / 6 BB / 19 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.55 WHIP

 

#6

Kyle Twomey

(3rd Round – Age 18 – Pitcher)

UNSIGNED

 

#7

B.J. Boyd

(4th Round – Age 19 – Outfielder – AZL A’s)

1 HR / 23 BB / 36 K / .301 AVG / .401 OBP / .434 SLG / .835 OPS

 

 

#8

Max Muncy

(5th Round – Age 22 – First Baseman – Burlington)

4 HR / 41 BB / 37 K / .275 AVG / .383 OBP / .432 SLG / .816 OPS

 

 

#9

Seth Streich

(6th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

37 1/3 IP / 27 H / 11 ER / 18 BB / 48 K / 2.65 ERA / 1.21 WHIP

 

 

#10

Cody Kurz

(7th Round – Age 19 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

21 1/3 IP / 18 H / 11 ER / 29 BB / 9 K / 4.64 ERA / 2.20 WHIP

 

 

#11

Kris Hall

(8th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

29 1/3 IP / 18 H / 4 ER / 15 BB / 27 K / 1.23 ERA / 1.13 WHIP

 

 

#12

Dakota Bacus

(9th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

30 IP / 12 H / 4 ER / 5 BB / 35 K / 1.20 ERA / 0.57 WHIP

 

 

#13

Brett Vertigan

(10th Round – Age 22 – Outfielder – Vermont)

1 HR / 24 BB / 31 K / .266 AVG / .338 OBP / .375 SLG / .713 OPS

 

#14

Alex Gonzalez

(11th Round – Age 18 – Shortstop)

UNSIGNED

 

#15

John Caputo

(12th Round – Age 18 – Third Baseman)

UNSIGNED

 

#16

Stuart Pudenz

(13th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

33 1/3 IP / 21 H / 9 ER / 9 BB / 40 K / 2.43 ERA / 0.90 WHIP

 

 

#17

Austin House

(14th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+Burlington)

28 1/3 IP / 15 H / 4 ER / 11 BB / 36 K / 1.27 ERA / 0.92 WHIP

 

 

#18

Vince Voiro

(15th Round – Age 22 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

37 1/3 IP / 35 H / 15 ER / 8 BB / 41 K / 3.62 ERA / 1.15 WHIP

 

 

#19

Melvin Mercedes

(16th Round – Age 20 – Second Baseman – AZL A’s)

0 HR / 10 BB / 15 K / .381 AVG / .440 OBP / .495 SLG / .935 OPS

 

#20

Tyler Olson

(17th Round – Age 22 – Pitcher)

UNSIGNED

 

TOP HITTERS

Addison Russell (1st Round – Age 18 – Shortstop – AZL A’s+Vermont+Burlington)

7 HR / 23 BB / 48 K / .369 AVG / .432 OBP / .594 SLG / 1.027 OPS

B.J. Boyd (4th Round – Age 19 – Outfielder – AZL A’s)

1 HR / 23 BB / 36 K / .301 AVG / .401 OBP / .434 SLG / .835 OPS

Matt Olson (1st Round – Age 18 – First Baseman – AZL A’s+Vermont)

9 HR / 19 BB / 50 K / .282 AVG / .352 OBP / .521 SLG / .873 OPS

Max Muncy (5th Round – Age 22 – First Baseman – Burlington)

4 HR / 41 BB / 37 K / .275 AVG / .383 OBP / .432 SLG / .816 OPS

 

TOP PITCHERS

Dakota Bacus (9th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

30 IP / 12 H / 4 ER / 5 BB / 35 K / 1.20 ERA / 0.57 WHIP

Austin House (14th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+Burlington)

28 1/3 IP / 15 H / 4 ER / 11 BB / 36 K / 1.27 ERA / 0.92 WHIP

Kris Hall (8th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

29 1/3 IP / 18 H / 4 ER / 15 BB / 27 K / 1.23 ERA / 1.13 WHIP

Stuart Pudenz (13th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

33 1/3 IP / 21 H / 9 ER / 9 BB / 40 K / 2.43 ERA / 0.90 WHIP

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Top 20 Draft Picks Mid-Season Progress Report

#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…

 

 

#1

Addison Russell

(1st Round – Age 18 – Shortstop – AZL A’s+Vermont)

7 HR / 18 BB / 33 K / .388 AVG / .456 OBP / .658 SLG / 1.114 OPS

 

 

#2

Daniel Robertson

(1st Round – Age 18 – Third Baseman – AZL A’s+Vermont)

4 HR / 17 BB / 21 K / .292 AVG / .390 OBP / .525 SLG / .915 OPS

 

 

#3

Matt Olson

(1st Round – Age 18 – First Baseman – AZL A’s)

6 HR / 13 BB / 39 K / .283 AVG / .344 OBP / .536 SLG / .880 OPS

 

 

#4

Bruce Maxwell

(2nd Round – Age 21 – Catcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

0 HR / 24 BB / 27 K / .311 AVG / .396 OBP / .401 SLG / .797 OPS

 

 

#5

Nolan Sanburn

(2nd Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont)

8 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 8 K / 2.25 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

 

#6

Kyle Twomey

(3rd Round – Age 18 – Pitcher)

UNSIGNED

 

#7

B.J. Boyd

(4th Round – Age 19 – Outfielder – AZL A’s)

1 HR / 19 BB / 31 K / .298 AVG / .393 OBP / .430 SLG / .823 OPS

 

 

#8

Max Muncy

(5th Round – Age 21 – First Baseman – Burlington)

4 HR / 23 BB / 25 K / .251 AVG / .344 OBP / .407 SLG / .751 OPS

 

 

#9

Seth Streich

(6th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

23 2/3 IP / 16 H / 9 ER / 11 BB / 32 K / 3.42 ERA / 1.14 WHIP

 

 

#10

Cody Kurz

(7th Round – Age 19 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

16 IP / 14 H / 5 ER / 21 BB / 7 K / 2.81 ERA / 2.19 WHIP

 

 

#11

Kris Hall

(8th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

27 IP / 15 H / 3 ER / 13 BB / 26 K / 1.00 ERA / 1.04 WHIP

 

 

#12

Dakota Bacus

(9th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

23 2/3 IP / 12 H / 4 ER / 4 BB / 24 K / 1.52 ERA / 0.68 WHIP

 

 

#13

Brett Vertigan

(10th Round – Age 21 – Outfielder – Vermont)

0 HR / 20 BB / 21 K / .243 AVG / .326 OBP / .320 SLG / .646 OPS

 

#14

Alex Gonzalez

(11th Round – Age 18 – Shortstop)

UNSIGNED

 

#15

John Caputo

(12th Round – Age 18 – Third Baseman)

UNSIGNED

 

#16

Stuart Pudenz

(13th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

22 2/3 IP / 15 H / 8 ER / 6 BB / 26 K / 3.18 ERA / 0.93 WHIP

 

 

#17

Austin House

(14th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont)

22 2/3 IP / 12 H / 3 ER / 8 BB / 29 K / 1.19 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

 

 

#18

Vince Voiro

(15th Round – Age 22 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

31 1/3 IP / 30 H / 13 ER / 8 BB / 34 K / 3.73 ERA / 1.21 WHIP

 

 

#19

Melvin Mercedes

(16th Round – Age 20 – Second Baseman – AZL A’s)

0 HR / 7 BB / 6 K / .371 AVG / .443 OBP / .484 SLG / .927 OPS

 

#20

Tyler Olson

(17th Round – Age 22 – Pitcher)

UNSIGNED

 

TOP HITTERS

Addison Russell  (1st Round – Age 18 – Shortstop – AZL A’s+Vermont)

7 HR / 18 BB / 33 K / .388 AVG / .456 OBP / .658 SLG / 1.114 OPS

Daniel Robertson  (1st Round – Age 18 – Third Baseman – AZL A’s+Vermont)

4 HR / 17 BB / 21 K / .292 AVG / .390 OBP / .525 SLG / .915 OPS

Matt Olson  (1st Round – Age 18 – First Baseman – AZL A’s)

6 HR / 13 BB / 39 K / .283 AVG / .344 OBP / .536 SLG / .880 OPS

B.J. Boyd  (4th Round – Age 19 – Outfielder – AZL A’s)

1 HR / 19 BB / 31 K / .298 AVG / .393 OBP / .430 SLG / .823 OPS

 

TOP PITCHERS

Kris Hall  (8th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont+AZL A’s)

27 IP / 15 H / 3 ER / 13 BB / 26 K / 1.00 ERA / 1.04 WHIP

Austin House  (14th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont)

22 2/3 IP / 12 H / 3 ER / 8 BB / 29 K / 1.19 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

Dakota Bacus  (9th Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – AZL A’s)

23 2/3 IP / 12 H / 4 ER / 4 BB / 24 K / 1.52 ERA / 0.68 WHIP

Nolan Sanburn  (2nd Round – Age 21 – Pitcher – Vermont)

8 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 8 K / 2.25 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Wednesday, August 8th: Thompson’s 2 HRs Lead Ports to Victory while Cats & Bees Win and Hounds Fall


A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Stockton Ports first baseman Tony Thompson (2 Home Runs / 6 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Nashville Sounds             0

Sacramento River Cats  1

(WP – Banwart 8-3 / 3.89)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Bruce Billings

(7 IP / 0 ER / 6 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Bruce Billings turned in another impressive outing for the River Cats on Wednesday, striking out 6 and allowing just 2 hits over 7 scoreless innings. Unfortunately, he left with the game tied 0-0 and with no chance to earn the win. Shortstop Brandon Hicks doubled in the bottom of the 10th inning and eventually scored when, with the bases loaded, Daric Barton was hit by a pitch. Right-hander Travis Banwart picked up the win with 3 scoreless innings in relief.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

Midland RockHounds   4

NW Arkansas Naturals  5

(LP – Hunter 2-2 / 4.33)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Sonny Gray

(7 IP / 2 ER / 3 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Sonny Gray had another solid outing for Midland, allowing just 2 runs over 7 innings of work on Wednesday, but the RockHounds’ bullpen surrendered the lead by giving up 3 runs in the 8th and 9th. Outfielder Jeremy Barfield hit his 10th home run, while infielder Josh Horton, first baseman Anthony Aliotti and designated hitter Matt Rizzotti all contributed 2 hits in the loss. In other news, left-hander Ian Krol has been promoted and will be joining Midland from Stockton.

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

San Jose Giants  12

Stockton Ports   14

(WP – Huttenlocker 2-1 / 6.20)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Tony Thompson

(2 Home Runs / 6 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: First baseman Tony Thompson had a big night in Stockton, blasting a pair of home runs, one a 3-run shot in the 3rd inning and one a game-winning walk-off 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th for the Ports. Outfielder Chad Oberacker hit his 10th home run, while shortstop Yordy Cabrera had a double and a triple, and outfielder Dusty Robinson collected a pair of doubles in the win.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Peoria Chiefs       8

Burlington Bees  9

(WP – Fabiaschi 1-0 / 0.00)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Second Baseman Chih Fang Pan

(2 for 4 / 1 RBI / 2 Runs / Stolen Base)

 

Worth Noting: Second baseman Chih Fang Pan drove in the tying run in the 9th inning and scored the winning run in the 14th inning for Burlington on Wednesday night. Outfielder Rashun Dixon blasted his 11th home run for the Bees, and catcher John Nester had 2 hits and scored twice. Starter Seth Frankoff had a rough outing, allowing 4 runs over 4 innings of work, while right-hander Logan Chitwood helped keep Burlington in the game with 4 scoreless innings of relief, and infielder Michael Fabiaschi picked up the win by taking to the mound to get the final out of the game for the Bees. Right-hander Blake Hassebrock has been demoted and will soon be re-joining the Bees’ pitching staff from Stockton.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Vermont Lake Monsters    0

Hudson Valley Renegades  2

(LP – Menna 0-6 / 4.06)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Nolan Sanburn

(3 IP / 0 ER / 3 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: The A’s 5th overall draft pick this year, right-hander Nolan Sanburn, had another solid outing for Vermont, allowing no hits while striking out 3 over 3 innings of work on Wednesday. Right-hander J.C. Menna gave up 2 runs in 2 2/3 innings to take the loss. Outfielder John Wooten had 2 of Vermont’s 5 hits in the game, including the team’s only extra base hit, a double.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL Athletics

OFF-DAY

 

Thursday’s Games:

Midland @ NW Arkansas – 7:00pm CT

San Jose @ Stockton – 7:05pm PT

Peoria @ Burlington – 6:30pm CT

Vermont @ Hudson Valley – 7:05pm ET

AZL Athletics @ AZL Mariners – 7:00pm PT

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

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