RHP Chris Jensen turned in his 6th straight quality start for the RockHounds on Tuesday, but Midland couldn’t manage to pull out the win. Acquired from Colorado in the Brett Anderson trade, the 23-year-old has been one of the Hounds’ most consistent starters while allowing a remarkably miniscule 3 home runs over 129 innings this season. On Tuesday, Jensen allowed 2 runs, only 1 earned, on just 3 hits and left after 7 innings with the game tied. But in the 8th, RHP Marcus Walden loaded the bases before LHP Omar Duran came on to surrender a grand slam. Midland managed just 3 hits in the game, with outfielder Kent Matthes homering for the 4th straight day – and he now has 5 home runs in his last 4 games.
Outfielder Kent Matthes continued his hot hitting for Midland on Monday, homering for the third straight day while also adding a single and a double and driving in 3 runs for the RockHounds. Shortstop Dusty Coleman doubled in 2 runs, while catcher Bruce Maxwell had 2 hits and drove in the tying run, and second baseman Hiro Nakajima had 2 hits and drove in a pair, including the winning run for the RockHounds. Starter Shawn Haviland was a little shaky, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits over 4 1/3 innings of work, while RHP Deryk Hooker picked up the win with 3 scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Jose Flores got the final three outs for his 5th save. Meanwhile, with Craig Gentry landing on the disabled list for the A’s, Midland outfielder Billy Burns was called up to take his place and went 0 for 1 in his first major league appearance on Monday. Outfielder Chad Oberacker, who was on the disabled for Stockton, was activated and reassigned to the RockHounds.
With the bases loaded and Midland down by two runs in the bottom of the 9th, designated hitter Kent Matthes slugged a grand slam to give the RockHounds the walk-off win on Friday night, and the Hounds have now won 13 of their last 15 games. Catcher Beau Taylor and third baseman Jefry Marte had a pair of hits apiece in the game. Starter Shawn Haviland had a solid outing, allowing 2 runs and striking out 6 in 6 innings of work, while LHP Frank Gailey tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Blake Hassebrock picked up the win after giving up an unearned run in the top of the 9th.
With RHP Josh Lindblom placed on the disabled list, RHP Drew Granier was called up from Midland to make the start for Sacramento on Sunday night. Granier allowed 7 runs on 12 hits over 4 innings of work but, with the River Cats scoring 9 runs over the first 3 innings and a total of 14 runs on the night, it really didn’t matter. Right fielder Josh Whitaker, who just arrived from Midland a little over a week ago, singled, doubled, walked, drove in 3 runs and scored twice, while center fielder Shane Peterson singled, doubled and also drove in 3, and shortstop Andy Parrino singled, doubled, walked and drove in a pair. RHPs Philip Humber, Fernando Rodriguez and Jeremy McBryde combined on 5 scoreless innings of relief for the River Cats, with Humber picking up his 4th win. Meanwhile, Granier was expected to return to the RockHounds rotation later in the week. And in other news, former River Cats Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Derek Norris and Sean Doolittle were all named to the American League All-Star team.
RHP Arnold Leon turned in a strong start for Sacramento on Sunday, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 5 over 6 innings of work to earn his team-leading 8th win for the River Cats. RHP Fernando Rodriguez pitched 2 perfect innings in relief, while RHP Evan Scribner tossed a scoreless 9th to earn his 11th save. Outfielder Nick Buss delivered the decisive blow for the second straight night, hitting his 4th home run in the 5th inning to break a 1-1 tie. First baseman Anthony Aliotti had a pair of hits filling in for Nate Freiman, who, with A’s outfielder Josh Reddick landing on the disabled list, was promoted to the big club. And Freiman turned out to be the hero for Oakland on Sunday, hitting a 3-run homer in the 6th-inning to put the A’s on top. Meanwhile, infielder Alden Carrithers was activated from the disabled list to take Freiman’s place on the River Cats roster.
Stockton’s bats continued to boom on Saturday night and center fielder Billy McKinney drove in the decisive go-ahead run in the 7th inning as the Ports came back to win their 5th straight. McKinney hit his 8th home run in the 2nd, singled in 2 runs with the bases loaded in the 7th and drove in another run in the 8th with a sacrifice fly. Designated hitter Ryon Healy had 4 hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in 3 runs, while second baseman Chad Pinder singled, doubled and scored 3 times. Starter Hunter Adkins was a little shaky for Stockton, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 5 walks over 4 2/3 innings, while RHP Josh Bowman gave up 1 run in 3 1/3 innings of relief to pick up his 1st win for the Ports.
RHP Dan Straily turned in an impressive start for Sacramento on Saturday, allowing just 1 run while striking out 9 over 7 innings to earn his 4th win for the River Cats. First baseman Nate Freiman had another big night at the plate, hitting his 11th home run and his 19th double and driving in 2 runs, while shortstop Tyler Ladendorf homered and had a pair of doubles. Left fielder Colin Walsh and third baseman Jose Martinez each drove in a pair of runs, and second baseman Wade Kirkland went 0 for 4 with a stolen base in his debut for Sacramento. In other news, the River Cats’ all-time hit-leader, outfielder Michael Taylor, was traded to the White Sox in exchange for RHP Jake Sanchez. This year for Class-A Kannapolis, Sanchez has posted an ERA of 2.80 and struck out 66 batters in 61 innings of work. And word has it that RHP Zach Neal is set to be promoted from Midland to Sacramento to take Michael Taylor’s place on the River Cats roster.
RHP Sean Murphy, who was activated from the disabled list and sent from Sacramento to Stockton this week, made his first start for the Ports on Sunday. Murphy looked impressive in limited action in his return to the mound, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 6 while throwing 58 pitches over 4 innings of work, and he left the game with a 1-run lead. RHP Jonathan Joseph tossed 2 scoreless innings to pick up his 1st win, while RHP Josh Bowman threw a scoreless 7th, 8th and 9th to earn his 1st save. First baseman Ryon Healy hit his 6th home run in the 2nd inning, which was all the Ports would need, but they added two more runs in the 7th thanks to RBI-singles from outfielders Dusty Robinson and Bobby Crocker, both of whom also stole a base. Meanwhile, Ports catcher Ryan Lipkin was reassigned to Sacramento, while catcher Ryan Gorton returned to Stockton from extended spring training in Arizona.
Designated hitter Ryon Healy had 2 doubles and drove in the first and last runs for the Ports on Tuesday night. After getting off to a slow start this season, Healy is hitting .382 over his last 8 games. Second baseman Chad Pinder singled, doubled and scored a run, while outfielder Dusty Robinson doubled and drove in a pair for the Ports. Starter Hunter Adkins allowed 2 runs over 5 innings of work, while LHP Jeremy Barfield gave up 1 run in 3 innings of relief to pick up his 3rd win, and RHP Austin House got the final 3 outs for his 5th save.
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