Tag Archive for Renato Nunez

Down On The Farm with A’s Special Assistant Grady Fuson

gfDSC01787-1[2c]Long-time baseball man Grady Fuson served as the A’s scouting director from 1995 until 2001, when the team drafted such talented players as Eric ChavezTim HudsonMark MulderBarry Zito and Rich Harden. He left the A’s at the end of 2001 to become the assistant general manager of the Texas Rangers and, after moving on to head up the Padres scouting department, Fuson eventually returned to the A’s a little over five years ago to serve as a special assistant to general manager Billy Beane.

Of course, many know Fuson as the scout in the cinematic version of Moneyball who has a dramatic confrontation with the A’s general manager – though that’s not quite how it happened (which we chronicled here), and he and Beane are both back on the same team and rowing in the same direction.

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

 

AF:  Well, let’s start right off with the team’s top prospect, Matt Olson. He spent some time in the big league camp this spring. And everyone’s really got their eyes on him now. So what have you been seeing out of him?

moOlson, Matt2GF:  Well, he impressed over there. He did a great job defensively. He got off to a little bit of a slow start, swinging and missing early in camp, but then it all came around. He’s a young kid, still just 20 years old when he went over there – he just had his 21st birthday. But his swings were good. His development is on track. He’s got huge power, and I think he let everybody know who he was over there. He’s what’s left of that high school group.

AF:  Yep, he had to say goodbye to his buddies Addison Russell and Daniel Robertson this past year. But what does he need to focus on or try to work on this season at Midland?

GF:  I think the same things – just trying to improve the contact, and instead of missing balls, maybe he’s got the ability to foul them off and get them out of play. He’s still got a tremendous eye. He knows the strike zone – very advanced for a young guy. It’s a little bit of new ground when you’re dealing with a young kid who’s advancing at this rate. There’s no rush, to me it’s just going to be typical development.

AF:  Pretty much just let nature take its course!

GF:  Yeah. Now’s he’s going to play where the game really starts to get real. But whatever problems happen to arise should be easily fixed. He’s had a lot of at-bats now in the minor leagues, he’s starting to grow up and become a man, and he knows more about his swing and how to fix things. So it’s going to be fun to watch.

AF:  Another guy who impressed in big league camp this year is Max Muncy. He’s been hitting well and learning a new position at third base. How close is he to being ready?

mmMuncy, Max2GF:  He’s definitely back on time from where he was late last year at Double-A. I think he got out of sorts a little bit. Midland has a way of doing that to a lot of hitters. I think they try to overpower the conditions there sometimes and it just wreaks havoc on their day-to-day approach. And I think Max and a lot of guys who’ve gone through the Texas League get caught up in that.

AF:  He actually told me that himself just the other day.

GF:  Yeah, it happens. I mean, we’ve already talked to Olson and said, “Are you going to be the first guy who can go there and not come out of there crushed?” But with Muncy, he’s back on time with his swing. He’s always seen the ball very well. He’s always swung at good pitches and taken balls. He got out of sorts, but in this camp he came along great. And on top of that, he’s played more games at third base in big league camp than he’s played in the minor leagues, but he held up. We always thought this guy could go over there and do it. We just never had the flexibility to get him over there for long enough. But where things are in the system now, he’s going to get a lot more time over there.

AF:  So do you think his bat is fairly close to being able to handle major league pitching on a regular basis?

GF:  Yeah, and I think he showed that. He didn’t go to big league camp and just get five or six quick at-bats. I think he got enough of a good look-see for everybody to know that this kid’s got a sound approach. He stays in the middle of the field, he sees the baseball well, he takes good at-bats, and it’s just a matter of time before that opportunity comes for him.

bbBurns, Billy2AF:  A guy who seems to have made some big improvements this year is Billy Burns. He didn’t have a great offensive season last year, but he’s been one of the A’s best hitters this spring and has looked great. So is that just an illusion or has he made some real improvements that are going to last?

GF:  Well, it’s his second year of being the gold star spring training player, so we’re going to see! But I’ll tell you the difference. Last year, so many of his hits were ground balls and a lot of things he out-ran. This year, it seems like he’s in his legs better, using a little core, using the bottom half and driving the baseball a little bit better. That was always the goal last year. And a few of us thought, if he’s just going to be a handsy, punch hitter, they’re going to shrink the field on him the higher he goes up. But now, he’s at his second camp and he’s driving the ball a little bit better, so hopefully he stays with this part of his game. He’s another year into the switch-hitting, so he’s getting a little bit more comfortable from the left side. But he’s staying in his legs, and when you use your legs in hitting, that’s so much of your body mass and where your strength comes from.

AF:  And how to do you feel about his abilities as a center fielder?

GF:  I think he’s a keeper. There’s no issue with him in center. He’s very fundamental. Billy’s a guy who can play a little shallower and do pretty good behind him. He’s definitely a well above average center fielder.

tlLadendorf, Tyler3AF:  Another guy who’s made a great impression in big league camp this year is Tyler Ladendorf. He’s been moving on up the depth chart. He never hit that much in the system until he got to Sacramento last year. He was hitting great there and then the suspension happened. But where do you see Ladendorf’s at at this point?

GF:  Well, he’s fighting to be one of the last guy’s on that club right now. And as long as we’re an outfielder short, his versatility is holding up because he’s one of the few who can play second, third, short and get in the outfield and do some things. And obviously something started to click halfway through last year where the at-bats started to become more quality. I hand it to him, he’s put himself in a very good position. I think he’s grown up a lot in life, more importantly than just baseball. You know, the last 300 at-bats of his life so far have been pretty solid, so God bless him!

AF:  Do you think second base is his most natural position where he really fits the best?

GF:  Yeah, without a doubt.

jwWendle, Joey2AF:  Now speaking of second base, what about Joey Wendle? When the A’s traded Brandon Moss for him, a lot of A’s fans were wondering what was so great about him to justify that deal. But now that you’ve had a chance to see him here in camp, what have you seen out of Joey Wendle?

GF:  Well, he’s a player I never really knew much about until Billy [Beane] made the trade. But he seems to come as advertised. He’s athletic, he’s got quickness and he’s a tough out. He’s got a little pop in the bat and he uses the whole field. It looks like he’s got the chance to be solid at second. I don’t know how much versatility there could be to him. That’s going to take some time for us to see him some more. But he’s an offensive second baseman, he’s a gamer and it seems like he’s got some character to him as well.

AF:  A guy I know you were very high on last year in camp is Chad Pinder. What have you seen out of him this spring and what are you expecting out of him this year?

cpIMG_0155x2cGF:  I go back to last year when he went home and put on some strength. You know, he’s really come into himself as a baseball player, not only defensively but offensively. He’s got a good, pure swing. The only thing with him right now is just his patience at the plate. He’s been a very low walk-rate guy, and I think when it’s all said and done, that needs to improve. But when you think about where his career is, he hasn’t played that much baseball professionally. It’s really just a year and a half. We’re going to have him at shortstop, probably open the year at Midland. But he’s going to get his opportunity every day at shortstop to begin this year and we’ll see where it goes.

AF:  Another guy I wanted to ask you about who was in big league camp for a while is Renato Nunez. So where’s he at in his learning curve?

GF:  Yeah, he’s a guy we started with at 16 or 17, and how many changes have been made to his body and size and strength? He’s an improving third baseman. The accuracy of his throwing continues to be on the bubble – that’s one thing he’s going to have to step up. You know, the one place that we’re starting to get some depth right now, even with the trades, is third base and short. When you think about, you know, if Matt Chapman was out here, and Nunez and Ryon Healy, and Pinder actually looks more third base-ish than he does second base or short. The young kid Edwin Diaz is becoming very physical and very big. So we have all this depth. And depending on how they’re moving up together and getting them time…Nunez got some at-bats in big league camp and wasn’t overly productive. He’s been hurt since he’s been down here [in minor league camp]. He’s got some nagging little things, but he shouldn’t be out too long. You know, he’s still got to get a little firmer with his body, get a little tougher and stronger as far as his commitment to how he’s taking care of himself. But he certainly comes with a ton of impact if everything really hits. You know, he’s got time on his side.

rnNunez, Renato2AF:  Well, I guess Midland will be a big challenge for him this year. He’ll either have to rise to the occasion or not. So for now, he’s staying at third though?

GF:  Yeah, that’s going to be an organizational discussion. If we move him – when, where? Obviously, you’re not loaded with options. But depending on the movement of a Chapman or a Healy or him, who stays at third? Healy’s a first baseman by trade. Chapman has the edge defensively on all of them, but he’s behind Healy and Nunez and even Pinder on the depth chart right now. And he’s hurt – he’s missed the whole camp so far. Get them healthy and get them out and playing, and then we’ll go from there.

AF:  So do you think Healy’s going to end up in a similar situation to last year, maybe playing first and third at Midland with Olson also at first and Nunez also at third?

GF:  Well, if Nunez doesn’t break camp, then Healy’s got the nod.

AF:  Since you mentioned Chapman, it’s his knee he tore up, right?

GF:  The day before he showed up. He was running some stairs.

AF:  So he’ll miss the start of the season then.

GF:  The odds are he’ll miss April.

ym-bur0824racineaward1.jpg20140824bAF:  You mentioned the left side of the infield and you’ve got a couple of particularly interesting guys over there now. The young shortstop Yairo Munoz really came on strong last year. What have you been seeing out of him this spring?

GF:  He’s taken this camp by storm. He’s come in stronger and smarter. He’s been showing more patience at the plate, playing hard, playing aggressively, playing smart. He’s done everything right in this camp. He’s good to go. Electric tools – there’s power in the bat, super arm strength. There’s life in his body, and he plays the game with vigor and enthusiasm.

AF:  And how do you see him in the field as a shortstop?

GF:  Good – I mean, typical young mistakes here and there. But skill-set-wise, he’s solid. This guy runs, he throws, he’s got life, he’s got actions, he’s got pop in the bat. He’s got everything you’re looking for.

AF:  So you think he’s got the ability to stick there at the shortstop position long-term?

GF:  Yeah.

AF:  The A’s also got another shortstop from Toronto this offseason, Franklin Barreto. I know he was late to camp, but he’s another highly-touted shortstop. So what have you been able to see out of him in the time that he’s been here?

fbDSC04083bGF:  Definitely seen the bat. It’s quick, it’s short and it’s direct to the ball. He impacts the ball well. It seems like he’s got a clue at the dish. He’s got good actions in the field. We haven’t seen a lot of arm strength yet at this point, so we don’t know if he’s a little tired. I’ve checked, and he’s not hurting. And again, he’s kind of behind physically…so we’re just waiting to see that one out.

AF:  So how would you compare Barreto and Munoz?

GF:  Well, there’s two ways to look at it. When you compare their numbers from a year ago, Barreto’s numbers were better than Yairo’s at the same level of play. But at the same time, Yairo’s got some impact skills that might be ahead of him. Obviously, it’ll take time to find out who delivers the consistency. One of them can have the bigger upside, but who’s going to be the guy who develops the consistency and becomes a true player?

AF:  What other positions could you see each of them most naturally slotting into?

GF:  Munoz could go to third because he’s probably got the bigger upside power, whereas Barreto would go to second. But I’m reserving judgment on that, because we just haven’t seen enough.

AF:  All right, let’s talk about some young pitchers with some upside. What about Bobby Wahl? There’s obviously a lot of promise there, but he struggled a bit last year. What are you seeing out of him at this point?

WahlGF:  Biggest stuff we’ve got in the system – I mean, when you just break down a breaking ball and a fastball. He can throw it real hard and he can drop a breaking ball that’ll buckle you. The whole thing is he’s so talented and he’s got such good stuff that in the real scheme of development, you’d want him on the mound more often. But trying to protect some of his past injuries and keep him healthy, we have to try to develop him as a 1-2 inning type of guy. Sometimes that slows down development, which is evident with him going to Stockton and not doing very well and then walking into a big league camp and punching out the side. You know, when you’ve got that kind of stuff, you just never know when it’s going to show up in the right spots. I will give him this – he pitched down a lot better in these big league games than he has historically in the minor leagues. So that’s been his biggest thing. He’s always had the stuff. It’s just his location and elevation that’s gotten him in trouble in the minor leagues. You know, he was throwing some fastballs 97 mph at the knees in big league camp. Well, that’s pretty much going to beat anybody. So it’s about him bringing that here.

AF:  So he’ll be pitching out of the bullpen this year then.

GF:  Yeah.

doDillon-Overton-2014-bm-300x225cAF:  Now Dillon Overton looked good coming back from Tommy John surgery in the second half of last season. What have you seen out of him this spring?

GF:  There have been flashes of who he really is, and then there have been flashes of him getting out of rhythm a little bit, but his stuff is back. I thought his breaking ball and his changeup were back at the end of last year. The only thing that kind of deteriorated through the rehab was his velocity. So the velocity’s back to somewhere between 87-90 mph. And I think that’s going to increase the more that he goes out there and feels confident.

AF:  So far he’s topped out around 90 mph then?

GF:  Yeah, but he’s the kind of guy that, even if it never climbs over 90 mph, this guy’s got a good chance of getting people out. He’s got a chance to really locate. He’s got feel and deception with his breaking ball, he’s got a quality changeup, and he’s got an idea what he’s doing. So this isn’t a guy whose success is going to rely on how hard he throws. This kid’s got a clue. I see some dominance coming out of him.

AF:  Is there going to be an innings limit on him this season?

GF:  Oh, yeah.

raAlcantara, Raul3bAF:  Let me ask you about Raul Alcantara, who had Tommy John surgery last May. I believe he’s been throwing some bullpens lately. How’s he looking?

GF:  He’s been good, very good. He threw a side the other day.

AF:  So you think he’s still got a few months before he’ll be back out there later in the season?

GF:  Yeah, he’s a June guy probably.

AF:  A young guy who missed last season with various issues but is back in action this spring is Dustin Driver. He pitched well here the other day. What have you been seeing out of him now that he’s back on the mound?

GF:  He’s healthy. He had a good instructional league. He’s stronger, his body’s in better shape, and he’s got a more mature awareness of the sport. He’s got a changeup that he didn’t have when he arrived. So it’s about commanding the baseball, pure and simple. It’s about him throwing fastballs in the strike zone. And when he can prove that he can be efficient enough to go out some place and start filling up that zone with strikes, then he’s on his way. His breaking ball’s not quality for a guy who throws as hard as he can throw, so that’s a work in progress. But he’s come a long way with his changeup.

ckDSC04067x2AF:  Another young guy who missed last season is Chris Kohler. So what have you been seeing out of him now that he’s back on the mound again?

GF:  He’s been good. He’s fully confident in his fastball. He’s extending, he’s getting out front and he’s letting it go. He’s got plenty of 92s coming out of his hand. The biggest thing that he’s been going through is he’s lost the feel for his breaker a little bit. So this camp has kind of been more geared to him getting his breaking ball back. I think our intent was to have him ready to go out, but that’s still under discussion what’s going to happen. That breaking ball that he has is a weapon for him, and we’ve got to make sure he’s got it. But he’ll get it back.

AF:  Before we’re through, let me ask you about one last position player I know you like who had a big year last year, and that’s outfielder Jaycob Brugman. What do you like about him?

jb595144GF:  He’s a baseball guy, he comes to play and he’s well-rounded on all sides of the game. To me, I think he’s our best fundamentally sound outfielder – not only his routes and his reads, but crow hops and his technique in throwing. I think he’s got instincts for the game. He’s always been a listener and he’s learned quick. He doesn’t do anything over the top – there’s not a lot of big things you see out of him. But you’re talking about a guy who hits, he’ll hit it out, he’ll steal a base, he’ll throw you out. He just does everything well. And last year, between Beloit and Stockton, this guy put up a super year. So let’s just keep it going!

AF:  Well, let’s hope they all do! Thanks.

*          *          *

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

A’s Asst GM David Forst Gives the Lowdown on Team’s New Acquisitions & Top Minor League Prospects

David Forst

David Forst

In what’s become his annual winter interview with bloggers, A’s assistant general manager David Forst addressed a wide range of topics covering both the major league squad as well as the team’s minor league system at A’s FanFest on Sunday.

When asked which of the A’s offseason acquisitions he was personally most excited about, Forst hesitated to single out any one player, but he eventually got around to talking about infielder Marcus Semien, who was acquired from the White Sox in the Jeff Samardzija deal, saying, “Marcus was a guy we were really focused on…We really believe in his ability to play the middle of the infield. As much as anybody we’ve added this offseason, he’s as deserving of an opportunity to play every day in the big leagues, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he does.”

Despite critiques by some of Semien’s range at shortstop, Forst praised his strong arm and quick release and said, “We’ve seen enough of Marcus to believe he can handle the position.”

Asked to assess the prospects of some of the A’s newly-acquired young pitchers with the team this season, Forst started out by praising right-hander Chris Bassitt, who arrived with Semien from the Sox, saying, “Bassitt pitched really well against us in September last year. He’s shown what he can do in the big leagues.”

But of all the A’s new arms, the A’s assistant GM sounded most intrigued by righty Kendall Graveman, who came over from the Blue Jays in the deal that sent third baseman Josh Donaldson to Toronto: “Kendall is the guy who moved up as quickly as anybody in the game last season and dominated almost every level. So you sort of hope that the projection on him continues to go in that direction.”

Regarding talk of Bassitt or lefty Sean Nolin, who was acquired along with Graveman in the Donaldson deal, possibly being useful bullpen pieces, Forst said the team plans to keep them as starters since, “We’re not going to get through the season with five starters.”

Ike Davis

Ike Davis

When asked how newly-acquired first baseman Ike Davis fits into the picture, Forst said, “I think he has a chance to fit into the way we set the lineup…particularly against right-handed pitching. There have not been any inconsistencies in his performance against righties…There’s no reason he’s not in the lineup against right-handers all the time.”

Forst also said that Davis had mentioned he wants to get a shot at getting some playing time in the outfield to increase his opportunities to play. But later, when asked about his abilities in the outfield, Davis sounded a little less enthusiastic, saying “I’m not going to be amazing…I can catch the ball if I get to it, and I can throw it in pretty quickly, but I’m down to do anything.”

Addressing the subject of team chemistry on a roster full of new faces, Forst admitted, “I recognize that we’re bringing twenty-something new guys into a clubhouse, and frankly they’re all down there shaking hands right now and introducing themselves.” But he expressed plenty of confidence in manager Bob Melvin’s ability to make it all gel.

Forst was asked about the apparent lack of home run power in the team’s new lineup and admitted, “We’re not unaware of that concern. The home run totals look different certainly than they did a year ago. That said, Coco’s hit 20, Reddick’s hit 30, Ike has hit 30…I don’t think power is as big a concern for us as some people have made it out to be.”

He also noted that the team has other advantages: “I do think we’re going to have a lot of options in terms of matchups and platoons. When you look at [Josh] Phegley and Davis and [Mark] Canha – all are here because of their particular skill sets.”

Forst discussed some of the infield prospects that fans can look forward to seeing at the team’s new Triple-A affiliate in Nashville this season. He mentioned that he expects Rangel Ravelo, acquired from the White Sox, to play “a good amount of third base” in addition to first base, and noted that Max Muncy could also see some playing time at third in addition to first for Nashville. And Forst named newly-acquired second baseman Joe Wendle along with Andy Parrino and Tyler Ladendorf as the Triple-A team’s middle infield options.

Matt Olson

Matt Olson

Regarding the A’s top young hitting prospect, first baseman Matt Olson, Forst seemed happy to still have him around after having recently traded away some of the team’s other hitting prospects: “I think Matt Olson is as surpised as anyone that he’s still here. In fact, when I called him last week to officially tell him he was coming to big league camp, I had to promise I wouldn’t trade any more of his friends.”

He praised Olson’s power and approach, saying that he “fits the bill” as the prototypical type of A’s hitter, and has hopes that he’ll go to Double-A Midland and pick up where he left off last year at Stockton.

Forst claimed that Olson’s Stockton teammate, third baseman Renato Nunez - who’s also ticketed for Midland – took a big step forward this year, particularly when it comes to his ability to handle breaking pitches and said, “At that age, with what he’s done, you can put a really high ceiling on a guy like that.”

As far as the team’s top draft pick last year, third baseman Matt Chapman, Forst praised his brief time at Double-A Midland and in the instructional league, saying the team saw a guy with a lot of power and a chance to be a really good third baseman and claimed, “Other than [Eric] Chavez, we haven’t seen anyone come through the system with that kind of ability and that arm at third base.”

Forst expects Chapman to start the season at Stockton but said, “If he keeps the power and increases the contact rate, he has the chance to move quickly.”

Another top prospect who appears likely to end up at Stockton is young shortstop Franklin Barreto, who came over from the Jays in the Donaldson deal. There have been some questions about Barreto’s ability to stick at short. But while admitting that he has some work to do on his throwing, Forst clearly stated, “We see Franklin at shortstop.” He also had praise for another one of the organization’s young shortstops, Yairo Munoz, whom he said was a popular target in offseason trade talks and who seems likely to end up at Beloit this season.

Speaking of Stockton though, with the team’s Triple-A affiliate moving from Sacramento to Nashville, Forst admitted that fans in Stockton might be getting a lot more chances to see some of the team’s rehabbing major leaguers this season, and mentioned pitchers A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, both of whom will be returning from Tommy John surgery, as distinct possibilities to be seeing time in Stockton this season.

Forst said that he doesn’t expect the team to make any other significant additions before spring training and said that the front office was “not spending a lot of time” on highly-touted Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada. But he did mention that newly-hired assistant general manager Dan Kantrovitz and director of pro scouting Dan Feinstein were leaving that day to attend a two-day prospect showcase in the Dominican.

On the subject of Kantrovitz, who replaced former assistant general manager Farhan Zaidi who was hired as the Dodgers’ new general manager this offseason, Forst said the fact that he had a clear skill set in quantitative analysis made him a particularly attractive candidate for the job and that he’s now running the A’s analytics department and “was integral, as soon as he got here, in helping with the decisions we made on player personnel.”

Forst also praised the A’s new hitting coach, Darren Bush, whom he claimed Bob Melvin has leaned on heavily since he joined the coaching staff prior to the 2013 season and said that “moving him into the hitting coach position was a logical next step.”

*          *          *

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

A’s Farm’s 2015 Top 10 Prospect List

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

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

With the first A’s players set to start turning up at the team’s new spring training camp in just a couple of weeks, it’s time to present A’s Farm’s 2015 Top 10 Prospect List.

It’s interesting to note that half the players from last year’s top 10 list are no longer with the organization. #1 Addison Russell and #2 Billy McKinney were both dealt to the Cubs in the Jeff Samardzija deal, and #6 Daniel Robertson went to Tampa Bay in the Ben Zobrist trade, while #4 Michael Ynoa and #9 Nolan Sanburn were both shipped off to the White Sox, Ynoa along with Jeff Samardzija and Sanburn in the Adam Dunn deal.

Those returning from last year’s list include third baseman Renato Nunez, first baseman Matt Olson, who’s shot to the top of the list on the strength of a solid 2014 season at Stockton, and RHP Raul Alcantara, who’s dropped a few spots thanks to Tommy John surgery. But that still leaves room for seven new entries making their first appearances on the list this year, four of them freshly arrived in this offseason’s flurry of trades – pitchers Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin along with infielders Franklin Barreto and Joe Wendle.

Six of this year’s top 10 are position players, while only four are pitchers. Most A’s prospect lists this year feature either first baseman Matt Olson or shortstop Franklin Barreto in the top spot, but we’ve opted to go with Olson as the more mature, advanced and polished prospect. So without any further ado, let’s take a look at A’s Farm’s 2015 Top 10 Prospect List

 

A’S FARM’S 2015 TOP 10 PROSPECT LIST

#1 – Matt Olson (1B)

#2 – Franklin Barreto (SS)

#3 – Matt Chapman (3B)

#4 – Renato Nunez (3B)

#5 – Kendall Graveman (RHP)

#6 – Sean Nolin (LHP)

#7 – Chad Pinder (2B)

#8 – Dillon Overton (LHP)

#9 – Raul Alcantara (RHP)

#10 – Joe Wendle (2B)

 

moMatt+Olson+2014+Arizona+Fall+League+O_O__VUX80Kl2#1 MATT OLSON

Left-Handed Hitting First Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

The two most important things to know about Olson are that he led all A’s minor leaguers in home runs (37) and also in walks (117) in 2014. And combining that kind of power and discipline as a 20-year-old is certainly a good way to endear yourself to an organization like the A’s. The 6’4” first baseman also led A’s minor leaguers in total bases and slugging percentage and tallied 31 doubles while cutting down his strikeout rate and raising his batting average from the previous season. Olson has a sweet swing, turns in solid defense at first base and got into a handful of games in the outfield at Stockton in 2014. After leading the hitter-friendly California League in homers last season, the much less friendly confines of Midland – where those west Texas winds have wreaked havoc with past prospects like Michael Choice and Grant Green – will pose a much bigger challenge for Olson’s big bat this year. But if he can keep the strikeouts at a manageable level, his raw power, willingness to take a walk and competence in the field should put him in a good position to make his way to the majors in the next couple of years.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

fbBaretto_and_Davis_i1c6k3mz_vqb1gd05b#2 FRANKLIN BARRETO

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 19

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

A highly-touted young prospect out of Venezuela, Barreto found his way to the A’s in the Josh Donaldson trade this winter. While playing in the Class-A Northwest League as an 18-year-old last year, Barreto slugged 23 doubles while swiping 29 bases in just 73 games. Though fairly small at 5’9”, he swings the bat well and seems to have some pop, especially for a middle infielder, to go along with his speed. There’s a question as to whether or not he can stick at shortstop but, at his age, there’s still time to see just how much his skills can develop in the field. The A’s are looking to have him pull an Addison Russell and start the season as a 19-year-old at Stockton in the High-A California League. And after dealing Russell to the Cubs last season and Daniel Robertson to Tampa Bay in the offseason, the organization is also looking for Barreto to take over as the A’s latest shortstop of the future.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

mcMB13476f#3 MATT CHAPMAN

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2014 – 1st Round

The A’s top pick in last year’s amateur draft, Chapman quickly found his way to the full-season Beloit Snappers last year. Chapman’s pedigree as an experienced college player at a top program (Cal State Fullerton) and his reputation as perhaps the best defensive college third baseman on the landscape helped give the A’s confidence in his ability to handle the challenge. While showing great plate discipline in the college game, the southern California native was a little too free-swinging during his time in the Midwest League – striking out 46 times while drawing just 7 walks. But Chapman performed well when he got a chance with Double-A Midland during the Texas League postseason after some late-season injuries created an opening for the slick-fielding third baseman with the RockHounds. The 21-year-old is likely to start the season with High-A Stockton in the hitter-friendly California League, where he should have the opportunity to unleash his power potential. And if Chapman can combine some genuine pop with his elite defense at third, then he could find himself on the fast track to the majors.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

rnRenato Nunez 8x10b#4 RENATO NUNEZ

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 21

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

Nunez moved up one notch on our list this year on the strength of a strong season at Stockton. The young slugger was second only to Olson in home runs and total bases among A’s minor leaguers last year. He also turned in a healthy .517 slugging percentage while hitting 28 doubles and 29 homers for Stockton. Nunez reduced his strikeout rate as well as his error total – from 39 down to 15 – between 2013 and 2014, but he still has plenty of work to do on both his defense and his plate discipline. Nunez struck out 113 times while drawing just 34 walks last year and it’s still a question whether or not he’ll be able to stick at third base, but he showed that his power potential is real. Like Olson, Nunez will face a bigger challenge having to hit at Midland this year, but if he can just learn to be a little more disciplined at the plate, his power could take him a long way.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

kg37-kendall-graveman2#5 KENDALL GRAVEMAN

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2013 – 8th Round

After being drafted in 2013 out of Mississippi State, Graveman rocketed through the Blue Jays’ system and made it all the way to the majors for a brief spell last year. The Alabama native, who came to the A’s in the Josh Donaldson deal, has four pitches – highlighted by a solid fastball and an effective cutter – shows good command and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Over four minor league levels last season, Graveman walked 31 while surrendering just 2 home runs over 167 1/3 innings. He definitely profiles as the kind of pitcher the A’s like, and A’s general manager Billy Beane has even said that Graveman might have an inside track on claiming one of the open spots in the A’s starting rotation this year. And with a strong spring, the odds are good that A’s fans could end up seeing Graveman on the mound every fifth day this year.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Oakland A’s (MLB)

 

sn20140225_mse_sv7_1687.0b#6 SEAN NOLIN

Left-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2010 – 6th Round

Like Graveman, Nolin came to the A’s in the Josh Donaldson deal, and the A’s apparently have had their eye on the lefty for quite a while. Also like Graveman, Nolin doesn’t walk many and doesn’t give up a lot of longballs. He’s also managed to strike out more than one batter per inning over his minor league career. The 6’4” lefty was sidelined for a while with a groin injury last year and was only able to throw 96 2/3 innings, but he struck out 24 in 22 1/3 innings during a strong Arizona Fall League campaign. Nolin will surely be in the competition for a spot in the A’s rotation this spring, along with Graveman, Drew Pomeranz, Chris Bassitt and others, but if he doesn’t make it, he’ll be waiting in the wings at Nashville.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Nashville Sounds (AAA)

 

cpDSC03243d#7 CHAD PINDER

Right-Handed Hitting Second Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2013 – 2nd Round

After a rough start in 2013, primarily due to injury, Pinder got off to a great start in 2014 and was perhaps the A’s best all-around minor league hitter early in the season. Some lingering injuries slowed him down a bit later in the season, but Pinder still performed well while making the move from shortstop to second base at Stockton. Pinder showed some power, putting up 15 homers and 32 doubles in just 94 games while posting a .489 slugging percentage for the Ports. His plate discipline could still use a bit of work as he drew just 22 walks while whiffing 99 times. His ability to show a little pop from the middle infield should serve him well though. But like Olson and Nunez, he’ll find himself facing a much more challenging hitting environment in Midland this year.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

dodillon_overton_yol4qgc8_l2u3nnii2#8 DILLON OVERTON

Left-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2013 – 2nd Round

The A’s 2nd-round pick in 2013, it was discovered shortly after the draft that Overton was going to need Tommy John surgery. Overton returned during the latter half of last season and looked impressive. The former University of Oklahoma ace struck out 53 while walking just 4 and allowing no home runs over 37 innings in the low minors last season. With a strong college pedigree and an effective fastball, slider and changeup, now that he appears to be healthy, the lanky lefty should start out the year with Beloit but could move up the ladder quickly if he can continue to confound minor league batters.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

ra534361b3098d7.image4#9 RAUL ALCANTARA

Right-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 22

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

Last year at this time, Alcantara was looking like the A’s top pitching prospect but, like Overton, Alcantara ended up in need of Tommy John surgery. Alcantara went under the knife last spring and hopefully, if all goes well, he’ll be able to make a return to the mound sometime later this season. But before the injury, Alcantara showed what he was capable of in 2013, walking just 24 and striking out 124 while posting a 3.11 ERA in 156 1/3 innings for Class-A Beloit and Stockton. His strong fastball and changeup combined with an aggressive approach on the mound could push Alcantara back to the front of the pitching pack if he can make a return to good health this season.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Arizona League A’s (Rk)

 

jw11275-JoeyWendle-400x300b#10 JOE WENDLE

Left-Handed Hitting Second Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2012 – 6th Round

The most important thing to know about Wendle is that the A’s traded slugger Brandon Moss to Cleveland for him straight up. And given the overall track record of the A’s front office, you’ve got to assume they must know something. Wendle was a solid college player and earned Cleveland’s minor league player of the year honors after putting up a .295/.372/.513 slash line in 2013, but he missed some time in 2014 with a broken hamate bone and saw his line dip to .253/.311/.414 over 87 games at Double-A. Wendle does appear to have a little pop in his bat, and it seems like middle infielders with some pop are an asset that the A’s have been zeroing in on of late. Wendle is slated to start the season at Nashville and, if all goes well, he could be in a position to take over for free-agent-to-be Ben Zobrist in 2016.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Nashville Sounds (AAA)

 

Honorable Mentions: Rangel Ravelo (1B), Max Muncy (1B), Yairo Munoz (SS), Chris Bassitt (RHP), Bobby Wahl (RHP), Daniel Gossett (RHP)

 

Last Year’s Top 10 Prospect List

 

 

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

A’s Farm’s 2014 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team

First baseman Matt Olson led all A's minor leaguers with 37 home runs for Stockton

First baseman Matt Olson led all A’s minor leaguers with 37 home runs for Stockton.

With the 2014 minor league season now complete, it’s time to take a step back and determine who the true standouts on the field really were in the A’s system in 2014. And with that in mind, it’s time to name A’s Farm’s 2014 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 Beloit, Class-A Short-Season Vermont and the Rookie League Short-Season Arizona League A’s in 2014. 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 for each club were selected from hurlers who’ve had at least 10 starts for their team, while closers were selected from each team’s saves leader.

Players who left the A’s system during the season – Michael Taylor, Dusty Robinson, Billy McKinney, B.A. Vollmuth, etc. – have not been included. And the asterisks denote players with combined statistics from multiple minor league teams within the A’s system, but players’ major league statistics and statistics acquired while with other organizations have not been included.

Check out our list of All-Star contenders at each position below. Then just click on the link below our list of contenders to find A’s Farm’s winning 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 Organizational All-Star Team – The Contenders

 

CATCHER

Sacto – Ryan Ortiz (2 HR / .215 AVG / .291 OBP / .362 SLG / .653 OPS)

Midland – Blake Forsythe (5 HR / .224 AVG / .307 OBP / .349 SLG / .656 OPS)

Stockton – Bruce Maxwell (6 HR / .243 AVG / .334 OBP / .334 SLG / .668 OPS) *

Beloit – Philip Pohl (6 HR / .242 AVG / .313 OBP / .374 SLG / .687 OPS) *

Vermont – Kyle Wheeler (0 HR / .181 AVG / .227 OBP / .205 SLG / .432 OPS)

AZL A’s – Argenis Raga (0 HR / .338 AVG / .400 OBP / .479 SLG / .879 OPS)

 

FIRST BASE

Sacto – Anthony Aliotti (9 HR / .267 AVG / .365 OBP / .406 SLG / .771 OPS) *

Midland – Max Muncy (7 HR / .264 AVG / .385 OBP / .379 SLG / .764 OPS)

Stockton – Matt Olson (37 HR / .262 AVG / .404 OBP / .543 SLG / .947 OPS)

Beloit – Michael Soto (9 HR / .290 AVG / .353 OBP / .492 SLG / .845 OPS) *

Vermont – John Nogowski (1 HR / .264 AVG / .351 OBP / .347 SLG / .699 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Shawn Duinkerk (0 HR / .167 AVG / .222 OBP / .254 SLG / .476 OPS)

 

SECOND BASE

Sacto – Jose Martinez (8 HR / .276 AVG / .345 OBP / .372 SLG / .717 OPS)

Midland – Conner Crumbliss (10 HR / .251 AVG / .358 OBP / .394 SLG / .752 OPS)

Stockton – Chad Pinder (13 HR / .288 AVG / .336 OBP / .489 SLG / .824 OPS)

Beloit – Chih Fang Pan (1 HR / .254 AVG / .311 OBP / .331 SLG / .642 OPS)

Vermont – Trent Gilbert (0 HR / .242 AVG / .300 OBP / .317 SLG / .618 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Jesus Lopez (0 HR / .221 AVG / .316 OBP / .272 SLG / .588 OPS)

 

SHORTSTOP

Sacto – Andy Parrino (7 HR / .286 AVG / .363 OBP / .404 SLG / .767 OPS)

Midland – Dusty Coleman (18 HR / .223 AVG / .300 OBP / .397 SLG / .697 OPS)

Stockton – Daniel Robertson (15 HR / .310 AVG / .402 OBP / .471 SLG / .873 OPS)

Beloit – Melvin Mercedes (2 HR / .222 AVG / .303 OBP / .316 SLG / .618 OPS)

Vermont – Yairo Munoz (5 HR / .298 AVG / .319 OBP / .448 SLG / .768 OPS)

AZL A’s – Trace Loehr (0 HR / .244 AVG / .313 OBP / .288 SLG / .600 OPS)

 

THIRD BASE

Sacto – Alden Carrithers (2 HR / .284 AVG / .381 OBP / .349 SLG / .729 OPS)

Midland – Jefry Marte (10 HR / .259 AVG / .333 OBP / .375 SLG / .709 OPS)

Stockton – Renato Nunez (29 HR / .279 AVG / .336 OBP / .517 SLG / .853 OPS)

Beloit – Luis Baez (7 HR / .237 AVG / .260 OBP / .344 SLG / .603 OPS)

Vermont – Jose Brizuela (6 HR / .254 AVG / .320 OBP / .413 SLG / .733 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Jean Carlo Rodriguez (0 HR / .184 AVG / .296 OBP / .224 SLG / .520 OPS)

 

LEFT FIELD

Sacto – Nick Buss (4 HR / .307 AVG / .371 OBP / .380 SLG / .751 OPS)

Midland – Chad Oberacker (2 HR / .221 AVG / .280 OBP / .315 SLG / .595 OPS) *

Stockton – Aaron Shipman (1 HR / .292 AVG / .414 OBP / .410 SLG / .824 OPS)

Beloit – B.J. Boyd (6 HR / .226 AVG / .300 OBP / .319 SLG / .619 OPS)

Vermont – Ben McQuown (2 HR / .239 AVG / .313 OBP / .319 SLG / .632 OPS)

AZL A’s – Robert Martinez (5 HR / .219 AVG / .339 OBP / .411 SLG / .749 OPS)

 

CENTER FIELD

Sacto – Shane Peterson (11 HR / .308 AVG / .381 OBP / .460 SLG / .841 OPS)

Midland – Billy Burns (1 HR / .237 AVG / .315 OBP / .302 SLG / .618 OPS) *

Stockton – Bobby Crocker (11 HR / .271 AVG / .336 OBP / .421 SLG / .757 OPS)

Beloit – Boog Powell (3 HR / .343 AVG / .451 OBP / .435 SLG / .886 OPS) *

Vermont – Brett Vertigan (1 HR / .265 AVG / .309 OBP / .364 SLG / .673 OPS)

AZL A’s – Jonesy Zarraga (0 HR / .228 AVG / .283 OBP / .307 SLG / .590 OPS)

 

RIGHT FIELD

Sacto – Josh Whitaker (12 HR / .295 AVG / .342 OBP / .488 SLG / .830 OPS) *

Midland – Kent Matthes (16 HR / .232 AVG / .291 OBP / .424 SLG / .715 OPS) *

Stockton – Jaycob Brugman (21 HR / .280 AVG / .354 OBP / .506 SLG / .860 OPS) *

Beloit – Tyler Marincov (18 HR / .268 AVG / .347 OBP / .486 SLG / .833 OPS) *

Vermont – Scott Masik (1 HR / .218 AVG / .321 OBP / .276 SLG / .598 OPS)

AZL A’s – Vicmal De La Cruz (0 HR / .210 AVG / .306 OBP / .299 SLG / .605 OPS)

 

DESIGNATED HITTER

Sacto – Daric Barton (9 HR / .261 AVG / .371 OBP / .411 SLG / .781 OPS)

Midland – Hiroyuki Nakajima (6 HR / .247 AVG / .321 OBP / .342 SLG / .664 OPS) *

Stockton – Ryon Healy (16 HR / .285 AVG / .318 OBP / .428 SLG / .746 OPS)

Beloit – Ryan Mathews (12 HR / .269 AVG / .317 OBP / .454 SLG / .771 OPS)

Vermont – Max Kuhn (5 HR / .275 AVG / .345 OBP / .426 SLG / .772 OPS) *

AZL A’s – Edwin Diaz (1 HR / .241 AVG / .343 OBP / .359 SLG / .702 OPS)

 

STARTING PITCHER

Sacto – Zach Neal (166 IP / 170 H / 57 ER / 20 BB / 124 K / 3.09 ERA / 1.14 WHIP) *

Midland – Chris Jensen (160 1/3 IP / 147 H / 56 ER / 62 BB / 94 K / 3.14 ERA / 1.30 WHIP)

Stockton – Seth Streich (114 IP / 110 H / 40 ER / 22 BB / 116 K / 3.16 ERA / 1.16 WHIP)

Beloit – Kyle Finnegan (125 IP / 109 H / 56 ER / 53 BB / 61 K / 4.03 ERA / 1.30 WHIP) *

Vermont – A.J. Burke (71 2/3 IP / 76 H / 31 ER / 13 BB / 57 K / 3.89 ERA / 1.24 WHIP)

AZL A’s – Carlos Navas (71 IP / 75 H / 26 ER / 20 BB / 61 K / 3.30 ERA / 1.34 WHIP)

 

CLOSER

Sacto – Jeremy McBryde (65 IP / 40 H / 16 ER / 26 BB / 66 K / 2.22 ERA / 1.02 WHIP / 17 SV)

Midland – Seth Frankoff (64 1/3 IP / 59 H / 24 ER / 21 BB / 69 K / 3.36 ERA / 1.24 WHIP / 16 SV) *

Stockton – Austin House (61 2/3 IP / 50 H / 21 ER / 23 BB / 82 K / 3.06 ERA / 1.18 WHIP / 19 SV) *

Beloit – Andres Avila (69 2/3 IP / 66 H / 22 ER / 17 BB / 64 K / 2.84 ERA / 1.19 WHIP / 8 SV) *

Vermont – Koby Gauna (24 2/3 IP / 19 H / 9 ER / 4 BB / 19 K / 3.28 ERA / 0.93 WHIP / 12 SV) *

AZL A’s – Jesus Rivas (21 IP / 28 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 10 K / 2.14 ERA / 1.52 WHIP / 7 SV)

 

Click here to see A’s Farm’s 2014 Post-Season Organizational All-Star Team…

A’s Minor League Leaders – August 2014 Update

With just a couple of weeks left in the minor league season, we thought we’d take a quick look at the A’s minor league leaders in a few key hitting and pitching categories. A minimum of 200 at-bats is required for the hitting categories and a minimum of 100 innings is required for the pitching categories, with the exception of saves, of course. Included are current players from Sacramento, Midland, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont and the Arizona League A’s, but not from the Dominican Summer League A’s, and the stats below are complete through Sunday. Some of the names you might expect to see atop the lists, while others may come as a bit of a surprise!

 

js656996

J.P. Sportman

BATTING AVERAGE

1) J.P. Sportman .346

2) Herschel Powell .344

3) Shane Peterson .316

It’s interesting to note that the A’s 27th-round draft pick this year out of Central Connecticut State, J.P. Sportman, currently boasts the best batting average among all A’s minor leaguers. And the 22-year-old center fielder has been hitting even better for Vermont than he was for Arizona, batting .367 for the Lake Monsters. #2 on the list is Stockton outfielder Herschel “Boog” Powell, who’s currently serving a 50-game suspension after testing positive for amphetamines. Meanwhile, Sacramento outfielder Shane Peterson has been the River Cats most consistent hitter all season, and he also leads all A’s minor leaguers in doubles with 35.

 

Powell

Herschel Powell

ON-BASE PERCENTAGE

1) Herschel Powell .453

2) J.P. Sportman .402

3 tie) Matt Olson .401

3 tie) Daniel Robertson .401

Stockton center fielder Herschel Powell did an incredible job of getting on base in April, May, June and the first week of July before being served with a 50-game suspension after testing positive for amphetamines. Powell did most of his damage while leading off for Beloit but continued getting on base at a similar rate in almost two weeks at Stockton before receiving his suspension. Powell should be eligible to rejoin Stockton for the last few games of the season as well as for the California League playoffs. Vermont outfielder J.P. Sportman boasts the second-best on-base percentage despite drawing just 19 walks. Stockton first baseman Matt Olson’s is tied for the third-best OBP despite batting just .254 thanks to the fact that he leads all A’s minor leaguers in walks with 108. Meanwhile, Stockton shortstop Daniel Robertson’s .308 batting average has helped to keep him on base all season for the Ports.

 

rn600524

Renato Nunez

SLUGGING PERCENTAGE

1) Renato Nunez .552

2) Matt Olson .543

3) Jaycob Brugman .519

When it comes to slugging, you need not look any further than Stockton. Ports third baseman Renato Nunez currently sports the best slugging percentage among all A’s minor leaguers. Nunez’s 59 extra-base hits in 111 games mean that he’s been averaging more than 1 extra-base hit in every 2 games for the Ports. The 20-year-old Venezuelan also leads all A’s’ minor leaguers in RBIs with 91. Matt Olson’s 35 home runs also help to put him high on the slugging list. Meanwhile, Stockton outfielder Jaycob Brugman might be the most surprising addition to the top sluggers’ list, but the 22-year-old has now hit 9 home runs in his last 10 games for the Ports.

 

mo621566

Matt Olson

HOME RUNS

1) Matt Olson 35

2) Renato Nunez 29

3) Jaycob Brugman 19

Not only are Matt Olson and Renato Nunez #1 and #2 in home runs in the A’s minor league system, but they’re also #1 and #2 in the California League home run race. The California League may have the reputation of being a hitters’ league, but these two Ports infielders have been the most prolific home run hitters in the league so far this season. Stockton outfielder Jaycob Brugman has recently climbed his way up the home run list by hitting 9 homers in his last 10 games for the Ports. Brugman has definitely warmed up to the California League. After hitting 8 home runs in 70 games for Beloit, Brugman’s hit 11 home runs in just 37 games for Stockton.

 

dr621002

Daniel Robertson

HITS

1) Daniel Robertson 155

2) Shane Peterson 154

3) Ryon Healy 142

Stockton shortstop Daniel Robertson has been playing every day and batting leadoff much of the time, giving him the opportunity to rack up a whopping 155 hits in 121 games while posting a .308 batting average for the Ports. Sacramento outfielder Shane Peterson has been healthy all season and playing every day for the River Cats, so he’s collected 154 hits while while batting .316. #3 on the hits list may be a bit of a surprise. First baseman/third baseman Ryon Healy started off the season in a terrible slump for Stockton but hung in there and has now cranked out 142 hits while playing every day and putting up a .281 batting average for the Ports.

 

nl534361e552a71.preview-300b

Nate Long

ERA

1) Nate Long 3.12

2) Seth Streich 3.16

3) Chris Lamb 3.21

RockHounds starter Nate Long started out the season as a middle reliever for Midland until injuries to Raul Alcantara and Tanner Peters forced him into the RockHounds’ rotation, where he’s blossomed. The 28-year-old currently boasts the best ERA among all A’s minor league starters and is second in the system in both wins and strikeouts. Meanwhile, Stockton’s Seth Streich has been the most impressive starting pitcher in the A’s minor league system this season, ranking among the ERA, WHIP and strikeout leaders, but a shoulder injury has sidelined him for the past three weeks. Stockton starter Chris Lamb may be the most surprising entry on the list. The 24-year-old posted a 4.53 ERA last season for Beloit, but he started out well this season for the Snappers and has flourished since his promotion to the hitter-friendly California League – go figure!

 

ss572172

Seth Streich

WHIP

1) Seth Streich 1.16

2) Zach Neal 1.16

3) Kyle Finnegan 1.24

Before being sidelined with a shoulder injury, Stockton starter Seth Streich had been demonstrating great command, which really helped him do a terrific job of keeping men off base this season. The 23-year-old walked just 22 batters in 114 innings. He also managed to surrender just 7 home runs in the homer-happy California League. River Cats starter Zach Neal, who’s done stints with Sacramento, Midland and Stockton this season, is right behind Streich on the WHIP list and has walked a miniscule 19 batters in 145 1/3 innings this season. Meanwhile, Beloit starter Kyle Finnegan has done a great job of keeping runners off base by allowing just 88 hits over 108 2/3 innings of work for the Snappers.

 

mb501936

Matt Buschmann

STRIKEOUTS

1) Matt Buschmann 119

2) Nate Long 117

3) Seth Streich 116

Stockton starter Seth Streich far out-paced all other A’s minor league pitchers in strikeouts for most of the season, until he was sidelined by a shoulder injury. With Streich out of action, Sacramento starter Matt Buschmann, who was signed as a minor league free agent in the offseason, has moved to the top of the list by striking out 119 batters in just 121 2/3 innings. Midland starter Nate Long is second on the strikeout list with 117 in 138 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, River Cats starter Arnold Leon should soon pass Streich for third on the list as he currently stands at 112 strikeouts for Sacramento.

 

cj53928658ec32a.image2

Chris Jensen

WINS

1) Chris Jensen 12

2) Nate Long 11

3) Arnold Leon 10

Midland starter Chris Jensen, acquired from Colorado in the Brett Anderson trade, currently leads all A’s minor leaguers in wins with 12. Jensen also sports a 3.32 ERA and has given up just 3 home runs in 146 1/3 innings of work this season. Fellow Midland starter Nate Long is second on the wins list with 11, while Sacramento starter Arnold Leon is third with 10. Leon also boasts strong strikeout numbers, but he’s allowed 155 hits in just 128 innings of work, leading to a 5.27 ERA for the season.

 

ah572934

Austin House

SAVES

1) Austin House 17

2) Seth Frankoff 16

3) Evan Scribner 15

Stockton closer Austin House leads all A’s minor leaguers in saves with 17. House has also struck out 70 batters in just 48 1/3 innings of work so far this season. Sacramento reliever Seth Frankoff is second on the saves list, with all but one of his 16 saves coming during his time with Midland. The 25-year-old Frankoff has struck out 63 in 58 innings of relief for both Midland and Sacramento this season. #3 on the saves list is a familiar name to A’s fans, the River Cats’ Evan Scribner. When not with the A’s, Scribner’s been sharing Sacramento’s closing duties with Jeremy McBryde, who’s right behind him on the saves list with 14. Scribner’s been showing great command this season, walking just 9 while striking out 68 over 44 innings of work for Sacramento.

 

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

Sunday, August 17th: Dillon Overton Impresses Again for Vermont while Deck McGuire Takes the Loss for Sacramento

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Dillon Overton (3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Pitcher Dillon Overton (3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE  (Class-A Short-Season)

Brooklyn Cyclones               7

Vermont Lake Monsters  3

LP – Graves 3-2 / 6.75

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Dillon Overton

(3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

One of the best stories in the A’s system in the second half of the season has to be the return of last year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s, LHP Dillon Overton, to the mound 12 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery. On Sunday, Overton allowed just 1 baserunner while striking out 5 over 3 scoreless innings for the Lake Monsters. Since returning to action, Overton has struck out 42 and walked just 4 over 31 innings while putting up a 1.45 ERA, and has now allowed just 1 run and struck out 11 over 9 innings of work since joining Vermont. After Overton exited Sunday’s game, this year’s 3rd-round draft pick, RHP Brett Graves, allowed 5 runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief to take the loss. Designated hitter Max Kuhn tripled, doubled and scored, while shortstop Yairo Munoz and outfielder Ben McQuown both singled, stole a base and scored a run for the Lake Monsters.

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

Sunday, August 10th: Jaycob Brugman Hits Pair of Homers in Ports Victory while Sacramento Wins Slugfest in Reno

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Jaycob Brugman (2 Home Runs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Jaycob Brugman (2 Home Runs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Modesto Nuts       2

Stockton Ports  6

WP – Alderson 3-0 / 2.76

HR – Nunez (29), Brugman 2 (7), Taylor (4)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Jaycob Brugman

(2 Home Runs)

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.

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

Monday, August 4th: Jake Sanchez Pitches Ports to Victory as Matt Olson & Renato Nunez Homer Once Again for Stockton

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Jake Sanchez (6 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Jake Sanchez (6 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide   2

Stockton Ports   8

WP – Sanchez 7-1 / 3.27

HR – Olson (33), Nunez (28), Robertson (15), Crocker (10)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Jake Sanchez

(6 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

RHP Jake Sanchez turned in another solid start for Stockton on Monday, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings of work to earn his 7th win for the Ports. Sanchez has now struck out 51 and walked only 11 in 55 innings while posting a 3.27 ERA and winning 7 of his 9 starts since joining Stockton. After slugging a grand slam in the 1st inning on Saturday, designated hitter Renato Nunez hit a 3-run homer in the 1st to give the Ports a quick lead on Monday. First baseman Matt Olson singled, doubled and homered, while outfielder Bobby Crocker singled and homered, and shortstop Daniel Robertson hit his 15th home run for Stockton. Meanwhile, Ports pitcher Chris Lamb was named the California League Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

Click here for more on Sacramento, Beloit & Vermont…

Saturday, August 2nd: Stockton Wins with the Help of Renato Nunez’s Grand Slam while Drew Pomeranz Posts 1st Win for Sacramento

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Renato Nunez (Grand Slam)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Renato Nunez (Grand Slam)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  13

San Jose Giants    7

WP – Bowman 4-7 / 5.60

HR – Olson (31), Nunez (27)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Third Baseman Renato Nunez

(Grand Slam)

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.

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

Tuesday, July 29th: Chris Jensen & Kent Matthes Star in Hounds Loss while Tommy Milone Struggles for Sacramento and Seth Streich Exits with Apparent Injury in Stockton

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Chris Jensen (7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 3 BB / 2 K)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Chris Jensen (7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 3 BB / 2 K)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  2

Frisco RoughRiders        6

LP – Walden 1-2 / 2.05

HR – Matthes (10)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Chris Jensen

(7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 3 BB / 2 K)

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.

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