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A’s Farm’s 2016 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 spring training camp in just a few weeks, it’s time to present A’s Farm’s 2016 Top 10 Prospect List.

It’s interesting to note that six players from last year’s list have made a return to this year’s list, including Franklin Barreto, who made his debut in the A’s system last season, along with returning prospects Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Renato Nunez, Chad Pinder and Dillon Overton.

New to this year’s list are starting pitcher Sean Manaea and catcher Jacob Nottingham, who were both acquired in deadline deals last summer, as well as last year’s top draft pick for the A’s, shortstop Richie Martin, and young shortstop Yairo Munoz.

Eight of this year’s top 10 are position players, while only two are pitchers – both of them left-handers. And half of this year’s top 10 could start the season at Triple-A Nashville, while another three to five players are likely to begin the year at Double-A Midland, with only one or two top prospects starting the year in A ball.

Most A’s prospect lists this year feature shortstop Franklin Barreto in the top spot, but we’ve opted to go with left-handed hurler Sean Manaea as the more mature, advanced and polished prospect who’s more likely to make a big impact at the major league level. So without any further ado, let’s take a look at A’s Farm’s 2016 Top 10 Prospect List

 

A’S FARM’S 2016 TOP 10 PROSPECT LIST

#1 – Sean Manaea (LHP)

#2 – Franklin Barreto (SS)

#3 – Matt Olson (OF-1B)

#4 – Matt Chapman (3B)

#5 – Renato Nunez (3B)

#6 – Chad Pinder (SS)

#7 – Dillon Overton (LHP)

#8 – Jacob Nottingham (C)

#9 – Yairo Munoz (SS)

#10 – Richie Martin (SS)

 

sm640455b#1 SEAN MANAEA

Left-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2013 – 1st Round

As a big lefty with big strikeout numbers who stands a chance of becoming the A’s #2 starter, behind staff ace Sonny Gray, at some point over the next year and a half, Manaea takes the top spot on our prospect list this year. Of course, how he fares while facing more experienced hitters at Triple-A Nashville next season will determine whether or not Manaea ends up finding himself on the fast track to Oakland. After coming over from Kansas City in the Ben Zobrist deal, the southpaw posted an impressive 1.90 ERA while striking out 10.8 per 9 innings in 7 starts for Double-A Midland, and he then went on to lead the Arizona Fall League in strikeouts by whiffing 33 in just 25 2/3 innings. Manaea works with a slider, a changeup and a fastball that occasionally touches 97 mph and can seem unhittable at times. Since being drafted in 2013, he’s missed some time due to both hip and abdomen injuries but, fortunately, he hasn’t experienced any arm issues thus far. As a 6’5” lefty who has the ability to put up gaudy strikeout numbers, the Indiana native has a lot of upside. And A’s general manager David Forst recently remarked that Manaea has “everything that you’re looking for out of a top-of-the-rotation guy.”

Likely To Start 2016 With: Nashville Sounds (AAA)

 

fb620439#2 FRANKLIN BARRETO

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 20

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

Universally considered the best young hitting prospect in the A’s system, Barreto turned in an impressive .302/.333/.500 slash line as a 19-year-old at High-A Stockton last season after coming over from Toronto in the Josh Donaldson trade. The shortsop started off slow in April, batting just .171 with a .243 slugging percentage in the first month of the season. But he heated up as the season unfolded and, in July, he hit .375 with a slugging percentage of .700. Barreto obviously has the ability to swing the bat, but he also has some speed. And though he’s fairly small at just 5’9”, he has some pop as he showed by hitting 13 home runs last year despite sitting out six weeks with a wrist injury. The young Venezuelan can be a bit of a free-swinger though, and he drew just 15 walks against 67 strikeouts over 364 plate appearances last season. But the big question about Barreto surrounds his defense. While he has a strong arm, his play in the field can be erratic, and he chalked up a total of 34 errors in 86 games at shortstop last year. He spent some time in the outfield in the Venezuelan Winter League, and A’s general manager David Forst has indicated that he may end up dividing his time between shortstop and second base at Midland next season. But he also noted that Barreto is still quite young and that the team does believe he has the ability to stick at shortstop over the long run.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

mo621566#3 MATT OLSON

Left-Handed Hitting Outfielder/First Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 22

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Most A’s fans who follow the team’s farm system are pretty familiar with Matt Olson’s profile by now. The big, strong left-handed slugger is generally considered to be the team’s top young power-hitting prospect after notching 77 home runs over the last three seasons. While making his Double-A debut last year, his 17 home runs (at the power-crushing confines of Midland) were the fourth-most among A’s minor leaguers, while his 105 walks were the second-most, and his 139 strikeouts were the third-most. And 45% of Olson’s plate appearances resulted in either a home run, a walk or a strikeout last season. The 6’5” slugger has been solid defensively at first base, but he actually spent more time in right field during the second half last year, where he may not have a lot of range but where his strong arm serves him well. And the Georgia native is likely to see more time in the outfield at Triple-A Nashville next season. Olson’s combination of power and plate discipline will ultimately be his ticket to the show. But if he has the ability to play first base as well as the corner outfield positions, then that versatility should only accelerate his ascent to Oakland.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Nashville Sounds (AAA)

 

mc656305b#4 MATT CHAPMAN

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 22

Drafted 2014 – 1st Round

2014’s #1 draft pick for the A’s missed the first month of the season due to a knee injury and the last month of the season due to a wrist injury, but that still didn’t stop him from leading the A’s minor league system in home runs with 23 in just 304 at-bats at High-A Stockton last year. Of course, the friendly confines of the California League helped make that possible, but it did prove that Chapman’s power potential, which the A’s front office has always believed in, could be real. Of course, that will be put to the test in the far less hospitable habitat of Midland next season. In the field, there’s no doubt that Chapman possesses a good glove and a great arm and is well-suited for the hot corner. He can be a bit too much of a free-swinger at times and he batted just .250 last year, but his walk rate was up over his inaugural campaign, boosting his on-base percentage to a respectable .341 for 2015. And with his solid defensive work in the field, if Chapman can just manage to get on base with enough frequency, he should hopefully have enough pop to make him a credible candidate to handle the corner in Oakland before long.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

rn600524#5 RENATO NUNEZ

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 22

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

Along with Olson, Nunez is one of the top two power-hitting prospects in the A’s system. The young Venezuelan hit 18 home runs in just 381 at-bats at Double-A Midland last season and has totaled 66 bombs over the last three years. His plate discipline could still use a little work, as he drew just 28 walks last season, but he did manage to lower his strikeout rate significantly in 2015. There’s no doubt that Nunez’s power potential is real, and it’s played at every level. The big question about Nunez has always concerned his defense. He’s primarily played third base throughout his minor league career, but he’s never really looked comfortable there. He appears slow in the field without a lot of range, and it’s hard to imagine seeing him handle the hot corner in the majors. Nunez got a handful of starts at first base last season and didn’t really look at home there either. But his bat may just be good enough to get him to the majors, perhaps sooner rather than later. And if the young slugger can live up to his potential at the plate, then the A’s will surely find a way to get his bat into the lineup one way or another.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Nashville Sounds (AAA)

 

cp640461#6 CHAD PINDER

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2013 – 2nd Round

Pinder moved up one notch on our list this year on the strength of his Texas League MVP season at Midland. He posted an impressive .317/.361/.486 slash line and showed plenty of pop, particularly for the pitcher-friendly Texas League, by putting up 32 doubles and 15 home runs in his Double-A debut. He could still stand to improve his plate discipline though, as he drew just 28 walks in 522 plate appearances this season. After primarily playing second base for Stockton in 2014, the Virginia native made a smooth transition back to shortstop in 2015. Though he doesn’t show great range, Pinder does have a strong arm that serves him well. Many feel that he’ll ultimately end up being a better fit at either second or third base, but he did show this season that he can do a credible job at shortstop. And being a versatile infielder with a decent bat may give Pinder as good a chance as anyone at getting a shot in Oakland sometime before the season’s through.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Nashville Sounds (AAA)

 

do592614b#7 DILLON OVERTON

Left-Handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2013 – 2nd Round

2013’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after signing in the summer of 2013 and has been building himself back up ever since returning to action the following summer. The A’s have been handling the lanky lefty with great care, never letting him go more than 4 innings in an outing in 2014 and never letting him go more than 5 innings in an outing in 2015. Overton’s command has been sharp ever since his return from surgery, walking just 31 and striking out 159 in 163 innings over the past two seasons. But his velocity has yet to fully return, and his fastball has mostly been sitting in the high-80s. Overton does have an effective breaking ball and changeup though and, as mentioned, he commands his repertoire well. The Oklahoma native performed well at both High-A Stockton and Double-A Midland last year, putting up a combined 3.43 ERA on the season. A’s general manager David Forst recently said, “If we can get this guy to 91-92 [mph] again, he’s here in no time.” And if that does indeed happen, then Overton could have the potential to be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. But if his velocity doesn’t fully return, then he could still end up as a finesse lefty at the back end of the rotation or possibly an effective left-handed reliever coming out of the bullpen for the A’s.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Midland RockHounds (AA) / Nashville Sounds (AAA)

 

jn641924#8 JACOB NOTTINGHAM

Right-Handed Hitting Catcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2013 – 6th Round

Acquired from the Astros in the Scott Kazmir deal, Nottingham took over as the starting catcher at High-A Stockton last July and immediately became the top catching prospect in the A’s system. After not looking particularly impressive in his first two minor league seasons in 2013 and 2014, the 6’3” backstop had a breakthrough year with the bat in 2015, putting up a .316/.372/.505 slash line while playing with three different teams in A ball. The biggest boost came in his power numbers, as he collected 33 doubles and 17 home runs over 465 at-bats, though it may be a bit of a challenge for the young catcher to replicate those numbers in the pitcher-friendly Texas League next season. Nottingham walked just 33 times last year, so he could show a little more discipline, but his career minor league .284 batting average and .352 on-base percentage demonstrate his ability to be productive at the plate. Behind the plate, the big backstop has shown a strong arm, but his receiving skills could still use some work, as is evidenced by his 19 passed balls last season. He is still young though – he’ll be turning 21 just before opening day – so there is time for improvement. There’s a chance that Nottingham could end up being moved from behind the plate, and he did appear in 18 games at first base last season. But if he can stick at catcher, then his powerful bat could made him a potent backstop for the A’s in the not-too-distant future.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

ym622168b#9 YAIRO MUNOZ

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 21

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

After spending the first few months of the season struggling to put up a .236/.278/.363 slash line with Class-A Beloit, Munoz seemed reborn after a promotion to the California League, where he posted a healthy .320/.372/.480 line over the last six weeks of the season while playing as a 20-year-old for High-A Stockton. Munoz possesses good speed and more pop than you’d expect out of a middle infielder, and he stole 11 bases while collecting 13 home runs and 26 doubles over the course of the season. The Dominican native also has a strong enough arm and enough range to be able to stick at shortstop, though he should easily be able to make the transition to second or third base if needed. Munoz just turned 21 and could start the season either as the primary shortstop at Stockton or splitting time at shortstop and second base with top prospect Franklin Barreto at Midland, which A’s general manager David Forst has mentioned as a distinct possibility. But either way, as a versatile young infielder with some speed and some pop, he’ll be given plenty of opportunites to prove himself, and he’ll get the chance to move up quickly if he does.

Likely To Start 2016 With: Midland RockHounds (AA) / Stockton Ports (A+)

 

rm621006#10 RICHIE MARTIN

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2015 – 1st Round

Last year’s top draft pick for the A’s, Martin came to the team from the University of Florida with a well-deserved reputation as a slick-fielding shortstop. A strong arm, good range and sharp instincts enable him to make lots of plays that few other shortstops his age can. So defense is definitely not a question with Martin. He possesses good speed as well, and he swiped a total of 45 bases over three college seasons. The question with Martin has always been about his bat. He put up a .284/.376/.376 slash line with 7 home runs during his collegiate career. The Florida native impressed in the Cape Cod League in 2014 by finishing second in batting with a .364 average. But his slash line in his first pro season at Vermont in 2015 was a rather uninspiring .237/.353/.342. Martin’s never shown much pop, but he has shown the ability to take a walk to get on base. And the hope is, with his solid defensive skills and his patience at the plate, that his bat will develop enough to make him a legitimate defense-first shortstop in the major leagues.

Likely To Start 2015 With: Beloit Snappers (A) / Stockton Ports (A+)

 

HONORABLE MENTION: CASEY MEISNER

Just barely missing out on our top 10 list this year was right-handed starting pitcher Casey Meisner, who was acquired from the Mets last summer in the Tyler Clippard trade. The 20-year-old was drafted out of high school by the Mets in the 3rd round in 2013, and the 6’7” hurler has put up a career 2.88 ERA while notching 208 strikeouts in 241 minor league innings since then. The tall Texan impressed in seven starts at Stockton last season and could start the year back at Stockton or at Double-A Midland if the A’s want to be aggressive with him. He’s still young, but he’s got a solid fastball that sits in the low-90s, a promising curveball, good command and plenty of potential.

 

Last Year’s Top 10 Prospect List

 

 

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Meet Your 2016 Nashville Sounds

nstumblr_nn6zzrPnCN1qedy4lo1_500bYesterday we previewed the Oakland A’s 2016 major league roster (here), and today it’s time to take a look ahead at the Triple-A Nashville Sounds roster for the coming season. The Sounds will be beginning their second season as the A’s top affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, with Steve Scarsone returning as the team’s skipper. And many of the organization’s top young hitting prospects, including Matt Olson, Chad Pinder and Renato Nunez, are expected to make their Triple-A debuts at Nashville this season. The organization typically likes to start the season with 12 position players and 13 pitchers on the Triple-A roster, so let’s take a look at the players who are most likely to find themselves filling out the Nashville Sounds opening day roster in 2016.

 

CATCHERS

Carson Blair

Carson Blair

As things currently stand, it looks like last year’s primary catching corps at Midland could be taking over at Nashville this season. In 2015, Carson Blair made it all the way from Midland to Oakland over the course of his first season in the system after signing on as a minor league free agent, and he should start the year at Nashville as the most likely candidate to get the call should the A’s need reinforcements behind the plate. Bruce Maxwell, who spent all of last season at Midland, appears well-positioned to move up a level and join Blair as part of the Sounds’ 2016 catching combo. There is some chance though that Matt McBride, whom the A’s signed as a minor league free agent, could possibly end up taking over the role as the Sounds’ second catcher. The minor league veteran has primarily served as an outfielder and first baseman of late and hasn’t appeared behind the plate since 2013, but he has caught 169 minor league games and the A’s do currently have him listed among the catching corps on the team’s list of non-roster invitees to its major league training camp this spring. Meanwhile, top young catching prospect Jacob Nottingham should be starting the season just one level away at Double-A Midland.

 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Chad Pinder

Chad Pinder

Joey Wendle appeared in 137 of Nashville’s 144 games last season and didn’t spend one inning anywhere in the field other than at second base. And the 25-year-old prospect should be the starting second baseman in Music City again next season but, with Andy Parrino gone via free agency, Wendle’s primary double play partner this year is set to to be shortstop Chad Pinder, who is coming off his Texas League MVP season. The versatile Tyler Ladendorf is also likely to get playing time at both middle infield positions and should see some time in the outfield as well. Minor league free agent infielder Josh Rodriguez, whom the A’s signed in the offseason, has spent plenty of time at both middle infield positions as well as at third base but, if Wendle, Pinder and Ladendorf all start the season at Nashville, then Rodriguez could end up being a better fit for the second base spot at Double-A Midland, right across the bag from top shortstop prospect Franklin Barreto.

 

CORNER INFIELDERS

Renato Nunez

Renato Nunez

There should be no shortage of candidates for the corner infield positions at Nashville next season, but there will now be one less name in the mix with the release of first baseman Nate Freiman. Young slugger Renato Nunez will move up from Midland and should get the majority of the starts at third base, while Rangel Ravelo is likely to spend the bulk of his time at first base, with Max Muncy bouncing between both corner infield positions. Top prospect Matt Olson will also see some time at first base, but the slugger actually spent more time in the outfield than at first base during the second half of last season and seems poised to spend much more time in the outfield again next season. And if Nunez, Ravelo, Muncy and Olson all start the season with Nashville, until a roster spot opens up, first baseman/third baseman Ryon Healy may have to start the year repeating a level at Double-A Midland, where 2014’s #1 draft pick for the A’s, Matt Chapman, is likely to be the main man at the hot corner in 2016.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Jake Smolinski

Jake Smolinski

A trio of outfielders with MLB experience is set to see time in the Sounds’ outfield next season. If Josh Reddick, Billy Burns, Coco Crisp, Mark Canha and Sam Fuld all open the season on the A’s major league roster as expected, then Jake Smolinski will end up starting the year at Nashville, along with 27-year-old outfielder Andrew Lambo (who’s spent time with the Pirates) and 30-year-old outfielder Matt McBride (who’s appeared with the Rockies). Lambo and McBride are also capable of playing first base, and McBride could end up seeing some time behind the plate as well. Top prospect Matt Olson, who, as previously mentioned, spent more time in the outfield than at first base during the second half of last season, will be joining this experienced trio in the Sounds’ outfield mix and should be spending plenty of time roaming the outfield grass at First Tennessee Park as he looks to make his mark at the Triple-A level next season. All four of them will undoubtedly spend some time rotating through the designated hitter slot for the Sounds as well. But since they all are primarily corner outfielders, that could open up the opportunity for Jaycob Brugman to receive the bulk of the starts in center field for the Sounds, with Tyler Ladendorf available to give Brugman a break in center when he’s not busy appearing elsewhere in the infield.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Sean Manaea

Sean Manaea

Since left-handers Sean Nolin and Felix Doubront are both out of options, it seems somewhat unlikely that they’ll be factoring into things at Nashville next season unless either of them could somehow manage to make it through waivers. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty of other viable candidates for the Sounds’ starting rotation though. Right-hander Aaron Brooks, who made nine starts for the A’s late last year, seems as likely as anyone to start the season in the Triple-A rotation. And since the A’s front office has made it sound as if they still view Jarrod Parker as a starter, then Nashville’s rotation would appear to be Parker’s most likely landing spot in the coming season. Right-hander Zach Neal, who was one of the Sounds’ most reliable starters last year, seems like a good bet to open the season in the rotation, as does veteran righty Chris Smith, whom the A’s signed as a minor league free agent after he was solid in 22 starts for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate at El Paso last year. The final spot in the Sounds’ starting rotation seems likely to go to the A’s top minor league pitching prospect, left-hander Sean Manaea, who was impressive at Double-A Midland last season after coming over from Kansas City in the Ben Zobrist deal. And if another spot should open up in the Triple-A rotation due to either injuries or trades, then another left-handed pitching prospect, Dillon Overton, could be in line to make the move up from Midland as well.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

R.J. Alvarez

R.J. Alvarez

As usual, there are far more deserving candidates for the bullpen at the Triple-A level than there are available spots. The organization usually likes to start the season with eight relievers at Triple-A. And if there’s no room in the reconfigured major league bullpen on opening day for Ryan Dull – especially with Fernando Rodriguez out of options – then the right-hander may find himself waiting in the wings at Nashville to start the season. R.J. Alvarez and the recently-acquired J.B. Wendelken should join Dull as two other promising young righty relievers for the Sounds. Angel Castro, who made his major league debut with the A’s last season, was re-signed as a minor league free agent and will surely be back in the Nashville bullpen, along with returning right-hander Taylor Thompson, likely leaving room on the right side for one of either Ryan Brasier on Aaron Kurcz – and Brasier may hold the edge as he has major league experience and has received an invitation to the A’s major league spring training camp, unlike Kurcz. Meanwhile, Daniel Coulombe, who appeared with the A’s late last season after coming over from the Dodgers, and minor league free agent signee Eric Surkamp, who’s spent time in the majors with the Dodgers, Giants and White Sox, seem set to provide reliable relief options from the left side. Of course, there are plenty of other worthy candidates for spots in the Triple-A bullpen, including a couple of recent minor league free agent signees, lefty Patrick Schuster and righty Eduard Santos, as well as recently-acquired right-hander Trey Cochran-Gill, and organizational stalwarts like Seth Frankoff, Tucker Healy, Ryan Doolittle, Kris Hall and Jeff Urlaub, who’ve all done their duty at the Double-A level.

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A’s In The AFL – November 16-19 Final Update

A's AFL MVP: Pitcher Sean Manaea

A’s AFL MVP: Pitcher Sean Manaea

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(November 16 – 19)

Monday, November 16th:

Game cancelled due to wet grounds.

Tuesday, November 17th:

Second baseman Chad Pinder went 0 for 2 with a walk in Mesa’s 4-2 loss on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 18th:

Right fielder Jaycob Brugman went 1 for 4 with an RBI and RHP Brendan McCurry tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in Mesa’s 6-1 win on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 19th:

LHP Sean Manaea allowed just 1 unearned run and struck out 7 over 4 2/3 innings, LHP Jeff Urlaub struck out 2 in 1 scoreless frame, and center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 3 for 4 with a double in Mesa’s 5-1 loss on Thursday. Thursday’s loss marked Mesa’s final game of the AFL season. The Solar Sox finished the season with a league-worst 9-21 record. Meanwhile, Sean Manaea finished the season as the AFL strikeout leader with 33.

 

A’s Prospect Final AFL Stats

(October 13 – November 19)

Renato Nunez (3B)
71 AB / 4 HR / 4 BB / 14 K / .296 AVG / .333 OBP / .493 SLG / .826 OPS

Jaycob Brugman (OF)

64 AB / 0 HR / 6 BB / 19 K / .266 AVG / .333 OBP / .375 SLG / .708 OPS

Chad Pinder (2B-SS)

51 AB / 4 HR / 4 BB / 13 K / .235 AVG / .316 OBP / .549 SLG / .865 OPS

Sean Manaea (LHP)

25 2/3 IP / 22 H / 11 ER / 6 BB / 33 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.09 WHIP

Brendan McCurry (RHP)

13 1/3 IP / 13 H / 7 ER / 2 BB / 16 K / 4.73 ERA / 1.13 WHIP

Kris Hall (RHP)

10 2/3 IP / 11 H / 8 ER / 5 BB / 11 K / 6.75 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

4 IP / 6 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / 11.25 ERA / 2.50 WHIP

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

4 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 2.25 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

 

In Other News…

On Friday, Oakland added two minor leaguers to the team’s 40-man roster, second baseman Joey Wendle and LHP Jose Torres. Minor league free agent catcher Carson Blair was re-signed by the A’s this week. The team also signed minor league free agent RHPs Chris Smith and Eduard Santos, and MLB Trade Rumors reported on Saturday that the A’s had signed minor league free agent LHP Patrick Schuster.

 

 

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 In The AFL – November 9-14 Update

A's AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Pitcher Sean Manaea

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week: LHP Sean Manaea

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(November 9 – 14)

Monday, November 9th:

Center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 1 for 4, shortstop Chad Pinder went 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts, and RHP Kris Hall allowed 1 run in 1 inning in Mesa’s 5-3 loss on Monday.

Tuesday, November 10th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez went 2 for 4, RHP Brendan McCurry struck out 3 in 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and LHP Jeff Urlaub allowed 1 run in 1 inning in Mesa’s 10-3 loss on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 11th:

Second baseman Chad Pinder went 1 for 3 with a walk and right fielder Jaycob Brugman went 1 for 2 with 2 walks in Mesa’s 7-5 win on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 12th:

Designated hitter Chad Pinder went 0 for 3 with a walk, center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 0 for 4, and RHP Kris Hall tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 1-0 shutout loss on Thursday.

Friday, November 13th:

LHP Sean Manaea allowed 1 run and struck out 9 in 5 innings, RHP Brendan McCurry struck out 3 in 1 scoreless inning, and LHP Jeff Urlaub tossed 1 scoreless frame in Mesa’s 2-1 win on Friday.

Saturday, November 14th:

Right fielder Jaycob Brugman went 1 for 3 with a triple and shortstop Chad Pinder went 0 for 3 in Mesa’s 5-1 win on Saturday.

Sunday, November 15th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 13 – November 14)

Renato Nunez (3B)
71 AB / 4 HR / 4 BB / 14 K / .296 AVG / .333 OBP / .493 SLG / .826 OPS

Jaycob Brugman (OF)

56 AB / 0 HR / 6 BB / 18 K / .232 AVG / .313 OBP / .339 SLG / .652 OPS

Chad Pinder (2B-SS)

49 AB / 4 HR / 3 BB / 13 K / .245 AVG / .315 OBP / .571 SLG / .886 OPS

Sean Manaea (LHP)

21 IP / 19 H / 11 ER / 5 BB / 26 K / 4.71 ERA / 1.14 WHIP

Brendan McCurry (RHP)

12 IP / 13 H / 7 ER / 2 BB / 15 K / 5.25 ERA / 1.25 WHIP

Kris Hall (RHP)

10 2/3 IP / 11 H / 8 ER / 5 BB / 11 K / 6.75 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

4 IP / 6 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / 11.25 ERA / 2.50 WHIP

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

3 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 3.00 ERA / 2.00 WHIP

 

In Other News…

The Arizona Fall League named A’s LHP Sean Manaea its pitcher of the week after striking out a league-best 9 batters while allowing just 1 run on 2 hits and a walk in 5 innings of work in Friday’s start.

 

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 In The AFL – November 2-7 Update

A's AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Infielder Chad Pinder

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Infielder Chad Pinder

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(November 2 – 7)

Monday, November 2nd:

Shortstop Chad Pinder went 1 for 4 with a 2-run homer, third baseman Renato Nunez went 0 for 3 with a walk, and starting pitcher Sean Manaea allowed 1 run in 4 innings in Mesa’s 6-3 loss on Monday.

Tuesday, November 3rd:

Shortstop Chad Pinder went 2 for 5 with a triple and drove in a run, while center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 1 for 4. RHP Brendan McCurry allowed 1 run in 1 inning, and RHP Kris Hall tossed 1 scoreless frame in Mesa’s 14-5 loss on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 4th:

Designated hitter Chad Pinder went 1 for 5 with a home run, third baseman Renato Nunez went 2 for 5, and LHP Jeff Urlaub tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 12-6 loss on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 5th:

Center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, while shortstop Chad Pinder went 1 for 4 and drove in a run, and designated hitter Renato Nunez went 1 for 4. RHP Kris Hall tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in Mesa’s 4-2 win on Thursday.

Friday, November 6th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez went 2 for 5 and drove in 2 runs, and RHP Brendan McCurry allowed 2 runs in 1 2/3 innings in Mesa’s 7-6 loss on Friday.

Saturday, November 7th:

Starting pitcher Sean Manaea struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings, shortstop Chad Pinder went 1 for 4, and third baseman Renato Nunez went 0 for 2 in the AFL all-star game on Saturday.

Sunday, November 8th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 13 – November 7)

Renato Nunez (3B)
67 AB / 4 HR / 4 BB / 14 K / .284 AVG / .324 OBP / .493 SLG / .816 OPS

Jaycob Brugman (OF)

43 AB / 0 HR / 4 BB / 13 K / .233 AVG / .292 OBP / .326 SLG / .617 OPS

Chad Pinder (2B-SS)

35 AB / 4 HR / 1 BB / 8 K / .314 AVG / .351 OBP / .771 SLG / 1.123 OPS

Sean Manaea (LHP)

16 IP / 17 H / 10 ER / 4 BB / 17 K / 5.63 ERA / 1.31 WHIP

Brendan McCurry (RHP)

9 2/3 IP / 12 H / 7 ER / 2 BB / 9 K / 6.52 ERA / 1.45 WHIP

Kris Hall (RHP)

8 2/3 IP / 9 H / 7 ER / 3 BB / 8 K / 7.27 ERA / 1.38 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

4 IP / 6 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / 11.25 ERA / 2.50 WHIP

Jeff Urlaub (LHP)

1 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

 

In Other News…

A number of A’s minor league players have recently elected to become free agents, including infielders Andy Parrino, Anthony Aliotti, Alden Carrithers and Conner Crumbliss, catcher Bryan Anderson and pitchers Angel Castro, Brad Mills, Nate Long, Brock Huntzinger, Jim Fuller, Tim Atherton, Parker Frazier, Jonathan Joseph, Omar Duran and Darwin Frias. All are now free to sign with any organization they choose.

 

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 In The AFL – October 26-31 Update

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Third Baseman Renato Nunez

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Third Baseman Renato Nunez

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 26 – 31)

Monday, October 26th:

No A’s prospects participated in Monday’s game, but former A’s prospect Daniel Robertson went 1 for 4 and scored a run in Mesa’s 10-9 comeback win.

Tuesday, October 27th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez and left fielder Jaycob Brugman both went 1 for 5, while starter Sean Manaea gave up 5 runs over 4 innings of work. RHP Brendan McCurry allowed 1 run in 1 2/3 innings, RHP Kris Hall tossed 1 1/3 scoreless frames, and RHP Aaron Kurcz gave up 3 runs in 1 inning as Mesa lost 9-5 on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 28th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez went 2 for 5 with a home run, his 4th, and made 2 throwing errors in Mesa’s 11-10 win on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 29th:

No A’s prospects participated in Thursday’s game, but former A’s prospect Daniel Robertson went 0 for 4 in Mesa’s 5-3 win.

Friday, October 30th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez went 2 for 4, while RHP Kris Hall allowed 3 runs in 1 inning, and RHP Brendan McCurry tossed 2 scoreless frames in Mesa’s 12-1 loss on Friday.

Saturday, October 31st:

Designated hitter Renato Nunez went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts, and center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 0 for 2 with a walk and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in Mesa’s 6-2 loss on Saturday.

Sunday, November 1st:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 13 – 31)

Renato Nunez (3B)
50 AB / 4 HR / 3 BB / 12 K / .280 AVG / .321 OBP / .560 SLG / .881 OPS

Jaycob Brugman (OF)

35 AB / 0 HR / 3 BB / 10 K / .200 AVG / .256 OBP / .286 SLG / .542 OPS

Chad Pinder (2B)

17 AB / 2 HR / 1 BB / 4 K / .353 AVG / .389 OBP / .824 SLG / 1.212 OPS

Sean Manaea (LHP)

12 IP / 13 H / 9 ER / 3 BB / 13 K / 6.75 ERA / 1.33 WHIP

Brendan McCurry (RHP)

7 IP / 8 H / 4 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / 5.14 ERA / 1.29 WHIP

Kris Hall (RHP)

6 1/3 IP / 9 H / 7 ER / 2 BB / 8 K / 9.95 ERA / 1.74 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

4 IP / 6 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / 11.25 ERA / 2.50 WHIP

 

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 In The AFL – October 19-24 Update

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Third Baseman Renato Nunez

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Third Baseman Renato Nunez

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 19 – 24)

Monday, October 19th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez hit 3 home runs and drove in 5 runs, while second baseman Chad Pinder had 2 doubles, a walk and a stolen base, and center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 2 for 4 in Mesa’s 10-6 loss on Monday.

Tuesday, October 20th:

Designated hitter Renato Nunez went 1 for 4 with a walk and drove in the winning run in the 9th, and center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 1 for 3 with a triple and a walk as Mesa notched it’s first win by a score of 5-4 on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 21st:

Second baseman Chad Pinder went 1 for 4, while third baseman Renato Nunez and center fielder Jaycob Brugman both went 0 for 4. Starter Sean Manaea allowed 3 runs in 4 innings, and RHPs Aaron Kurcz, Kris Hall and Brendan McCurry each tossed 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 5-3 loss on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 22nd:

Designated hitter Renato Nunez went 1 for 4 in Mesa’s 5-3 loss on Thursday.

Friday, October 23rd:

Center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 1-4, and RHP Kris Hall struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning in Mesa’s 5-1 loss on Friday.

Saturday, October 24th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk and drove in a run, while RHP  Aaron Kurcz tossed 1 scoreless inning, and RHP Brendan McCurry allowed 2 runs in 1/3 of an inning to take the loss as Mesa fell 5-4 on Saturday.

Sunday, October 25th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 13 – 24)

Renato Nunez (3B)
32 AB / 3 HR / 3 BB / 9 K / .281 AVG / .343 OBP / .625 SLG / .968 OPS

Jaycob Brugman (OF)

28 AB / 0 HR / 2 BB / 7 K / .214 AVG / .267 OBP / .321 SLG / .588 OPS

Chad Pinder (2B)

17 AB / 2 HR / 1 BB / 4 K / .353 AVG / .389 OBP / .824 SLG / 1.212 OPS

Sean Manaea (LHP)

8 IP / 7 H / 4 ER / 1 BB / 8 K / 4.50 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

Kris Hall (RHP)

4 IP / 7 H / 4 ER / 0 BB / 5 K / 9.00 ERA / 1.75 WHIP

Brendan McCurry (RHP)

3 1/3 IP / 6 H / 3 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / 8.10 ERA / 2.10 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

3 IP / 2 H / 2 ER / 3 BB / 4 K / 6.00 ERA / 1.67 WHIP

 

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 In The AFL – October 13-16 Update

A's AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Infielder Chad Pinder

A’s AFL Farmhand Of The Week: Infielder Chad Pinder

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 13 – 16)

Tuesday, October 13th:

Second baseman Chad Pinder hit 2 home runs, singled and drove in 4 runs in his AFL debut, while third baseman Renato Nunez went 0 for 3 with a walk in Mesa’s 8-7 loss on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 14th:

Center fielder Jaycob Brugman went 0 for 4 with a walk, while LHP Sean Manaea allowed 1 run in 4 innings. RHP Aaron Kurcz gave up 3 runs, 2 earned, in 1 inning, RHP Bendan McCurry tossed 1 scoreless frame, and RHP Kris Hall allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, in 1 inning, to take the loss as Mesa fell 7-6 on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 15th:

Third baseman Renato Nunez and center fielder Jaycob Brugman each went 1 for 4 with a double, while second baseman Chad Pinder went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts as Mesa was shut out 3-0 on Thursday.

Friday, October 16th:

Designated hitter Renato Nunez and center fielder Jaycob Brugman both went 1 for 5, while RHP Kris Hall gave up 3 runs in 1 inning, and RHP Brendan McCurry allowed 1 run in 1 inning in Mesa’s 20-6 loss on Friday.

Saturday-Sunday, October 17th-18th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 13 – 16)

Jaycob Brugman (OF)

13 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 4 K / .154 AVG / .214 OBP / .231 SLG / .445 OPS

Renato Nunez (3B)
12 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 5 K / .167 AVG / .231 OBP / .250 SLG / .481 OPS

Chad Pinder (2B)

9 AB / 2 HR / 0 BB / 3 K / .333 AVG / .333 OBP / 1.000 SLG / 1.333 OPS

Sean Manaea (LHP)

4 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / 2.25 ERA / 0.50 WHIP

Brendan McCurry (RHP)

2 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 4.50 ERA / 2.00 WHIP

Kris Hall (RHP)

2 IP / 7 H / 4 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 18.00 ERA / 3.50 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

1 IP / 2 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 1 K / 18.00 ERA / 4.00 WHIP

 

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.

Renato Nunez Joins Chad Pinder as A’s Top Hitting Prospects in Arizona Fall League while Matt Chapman Is Sidelined with Wrist Injury

afl_rsardpq5_oyouytpm1bWhile most baseball fans are focused on the drama of postseason play in the fall, it’s also an important time for some of the minor leagues’ top prospects. And starting next Tuesday, some of the A’s most promising young prospects will begin play in the Arizona Fall League. Last year’s top draft pick for the A’s, third baseman Matt Chapman, was originally scheduled to participate, but a lingering wrist injury will leave him sidelined, and he’ll be replaced by fellow third baseman Renato Nunez.

The Arizona Fall League has been going strong for the past couple of decades now, and its schedule runs for about 5-6 weeks from early-October through mid-November. There are 6 teams in the AFL, with each team comprised of prospects from 5 different organizations. A’s prospects will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox this year, where they’ll be joined by players from the Angels, Marlins, Cubs and Rays, including former A’s prospect Daniel Robertson.

Attendance at AFL games typically hovers in the 200s, with the crowds comprised largely of scouts, agents and various professional baseball personnel. Most organizations use the AFL as an opportunity to get some of their top prospects a little more live game action to hopefully help advance their development.

Some of the A’s top young hitting prospects will be seeing action in Arizona, including shortstop Chad Pinder and third baseman Renato Nunez along with their Midland teammate, outfielder Jaycob Brugman, while the A’s AFL pitching contingent this year will be comprised of promising left-hander Sean Manaea as well as right-handed relievers Brendan McCurry, Kris Hall and Aaron Kurcz.

 

–A’s Prospects in the AFL in 2015–

 

cpPinder, Chad3Chad Pinder

Shortstop

Age: 23

Midland RockHounds

15 HR / 28 BB / 103 K / .317 AVG / .361 OBP / .486 SLG / .847 OPS

Pinder put together an impressive season while serving as Midland’s starting shortstop this year. The 23-year-old led all A’s minor league regulars with a .317 batting average, while his 86 RBIs were the second-most in the system next to Nashville’s Jason Pridie. Pinder possesses a little pop too, and he posted 15 home runs to go along with 32 doubles in the notoriously difficult hitting environment at Midland. Pinder could still stand to improve his plate discipline a bit though, and he’ll have the opportunity to work on that in the AFL while he prepares to take over as the starting shortstop at Nashville next season.

 

rnNunez, Renato3Renato Nunez

Third Baseman

Age: 21

Midland RockHounds

18 HR / 28 BB / 66 K / .278 AVG / .332 OBP / .480 SLG / .812 OPS

With Matt Chapman sidelined with a wrist injury, Nunez will now get the chance to make his AFL debut in 2015. The 21-year-old put together a solid season at Midland and, despite missing the first month of the season due to injury, still managed to post the third-highest home run total in the A’s minor league system with 18. Nunez also improved his walk and strikeout rates a bit this year while increasing his versatility by making a handful of starts at first base for the RockHounds. And the Venezuelan slugger will now have the opportunity to continue to refine his game in the AFL as he prepares to make his Triple-A debut in 2016.

 

jbBrugman, Jaycob3Jaycob Brugman

Outfielder

Age: 23

Midland RockHounds

6 HR / 62 BB / 89 K / .260 AVG / .343 OBP / .382 SLG / .725 OPS

The A’s 17th-round draft pick in 2013, Brugman is a solid all-around player who doesn’t jump off the page at you but manages to do everything well enough to be a productive performer on the field. The 23-year-old reduced his strikeout rate this season and totaled 8 triples, which were as many as anyone in the A’s system, to go along with 27 doubles, 62 walks and 11 stolen bases. Brugman will try to make a positive impression in the AFL as he hopes to boost his chances of opening the season as a member of Nashville’s starting outfield.

 

sm640455bSean Manaea

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age: 23

Midland RockHounds

42 2/3 IP / 34 H / 9 ER / 15 BB / 51 K / 1.90 ERA / 1.15 WHIP

Manaea came over from Kansas City in the Ben Zobrist trade and was impressive in almost every outing for Midland. After finishing the season as the RockHounds’ top starter, the former 1st-round draft pick went on to throw 8 shutout innings in the first game of the Hounds’ three-game sweep of the Texas League Championship Series. The 6’5” lefty missed a lot of time early in the season with a groin injury, so he’ll look to make up for lost time in the AFL as he also attempts to firm up his reputation as the A’s most promising pitching prospect.

 

bmMcCurry, Brendan3Brendan McCurry

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher

Age: 23

Stockton Ports / Midland RockHounds

63 IP / 39 H / 13 ER / 17 BB / 82 K / 1.86 ERA / 0.89 WHIP

McCurry was the A’s minor league saves leader this year, notching 21 at Stockton before going on to post 6 for Midland, and he failed to convert just 1 save opportunity all season. The A’s 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 also walked just 17 while striking out 82 in 63 innings and has struck out an average of 11.7 batters per 9 innings over his minor league career. Much like Ryan Dull, McCurry isn’t physically imposing (he’s listed at 5’10” and 165 lbs.), but an impressive stint in the AFL could help put him on the fast track to the majors.

 

khHall, Kris2Kris Hall

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher

Age: 24

Midland RockHounds / Nashville Sounds

74 IP / 61 H / 23 ER / 57 BB / 77 K / 2.80 ERA / 1.59 WHIP

The A’s 8th-round draft pick in 2012, Hall has always put up solid strikeout numbers, but he’s also struggled with control issues throughout his career. The 24-year-old struck out 9.4 and walked 6.9 per 9 innings this season, and he allowed a meager 5 home runs over 74 innings of work. Hall is currently coming off his best season, and he has good stuff, but he’ll be looking to gain greater mastery of his command while working in the AFL.

 

ak594891Aaron Kurcz

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher

Age: 25

Nashville Sounds

26 IP / 29 H / 12 ER / 15 BB / 31 K / 4.15 ERA / 1.69 WHIP

The veteran among the A’s AFL contingent this year, Kurcz came over from Atlanta midseason. He has shown a consistent ability to put up big strikeout totals throughout his minor league career, but he also battles with bouts of wildness at times and has yet to make it to the majors since being drafted by the Cubs back in 2010. The 25-year-old Las Vegas native will be making his second consecutive appearance in the Arizona Fall League after playing for Surprise in 2014.

 

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Friday, September 18th: Parker Frazier’s 3-Hit Shutout Secures Hounds’ Second Straight Texas League Title

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Parker Frazier (9 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 9 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Parker Frazier (9 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 9 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds   7

NW Arkansas Naturals   0

WP – P. Frazier

HR – J. Whitaker

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Parker Frazier

(9 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 9 K / Win)

The RockHounds clinched their second straight Texas League Championship on Friday behind a stellar pitching performance by RHP Parker Frazier. Frazier struck out 9 while twirling a masterful 3-hit shutout to earn the victory as the Hounds won their third straight against NW Arkansas to sweep the best-of-five series and bring the Texas League title back home to Midland for the second consecutive season. Left fielder Josh Whitaker, who suffered a hand injury during the playoffs, returned to action on Friday and singled in a pair of runs in the top of the 4th and then homered in the 6th. Third baseman Ryon Healy and right fielder Matt Olson both doubled in runs in the 4th, while this year’s Texas League walk leader, second baseman Colin Walsh, walked with the bases loaded in the 6th, and catcher Beau Taylor and designated hitter Renato Nunez had a pair of hits apiece for the Hounds. Midland finished the regular season with a 83-57 record and went 6-1 in the postseason. Meanwhile, RockHounds players were named to 7 of the 11 spots on A’s Farm’s 2015 Organizational All-Star Team on Thursday.

 

photo courtesy of Midland RockHounds' twitter

Photo courtesy of Midland RockHounds’ twitter

 

 

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.