Tag Archive for Renato Nunez

Exclusive: Skipper Ryan Christenson Gives the Lowdown on the A’s Top Prospects at Stockton

rcchristenson_4j13f5yu2Many A’s fans might remember Ryan Christenson from his days patrolling the Oakland outfield from 1998 through 2001. But he may have an even more important job now, as he’s been entrusted with overseeing some of the A’s top prospects currently playing for the Ports in Stockton. Four of the A’s top five picks from the 2012 draft and three of the team’s top four picks from 2013 all started the season with Stockton.

Christenson spent last season with many of the same players in Beloit, where he was considered to have done such a masterful job of managing the team’s top prospects that they made him the manager in Stockton this year. And with players like Daniel Robertson, Matt Olson, Renato Nunez, Ryon Healy, Chad Pinder and – until his recent promotion – Bruce Maxwell, the team is currently tied for first-place in the California League North second-half standings. A’s Farm recently took the opportunity to talk with the Stockton skipper to get his take on his talented cast of characters…

 

AF:  First off, let me ask you about Daniel Robertson. With the trade of Addison Russell, he’s now the guy in the spotlight as the A’s new shortstop of the future. So what have you seen from him at the shortstop position in the field this year, and have you seen any sort of evolution from last year to this year?

drrobertson480_szmaxxpi_ibplc2rl2RC:  As good as he was with us last year in Beloit, he is noticeably better this year. The guy makes all the routine plays. He comes out here to play every day…and he’s been solid for us at shortstop. The fact that I believe we’re leading the league in defense this year just kind of goes to show how strong we’ve been up the middle – and he’s been the captain of that.

AF:  Now what about at the plate? It looks like he’s been showing a little more discipline and taking more walks and getting on base a lot. So what have you seen in his approach at the plate this year?

RC:  I think his approach at the plate has been solid. He’s hit #1 and #2 primarily for us this year. I don’t think leadoff is a comfortable position for him, but he’s done it for us because that’s what we’ve needed – and he’s been getting on base a lot. For a 20-year-old, I think the power is starting to show its potential. He’s hit a couple balls this year that I’ve just been saying “Wow!” They’ve really come off the bat well with a lot of noise and have true carry. And he’s hit a couple home runs to right field, so I think the power that he has in that frame is coming around. The guy works his butt off in the weight room, so he’s just going to continue to get stronger. And as he comes into his twenties and gets some of that man strength, I think he’s really going to be a special player.

mo15095_4110106706138_1463379083_n4AF:  Well, speaking of power, what about your first baseman Matt Olson? He’s always had power, but he’s really been taking it to another level lately. What have you seen from him, and is there anything in particular that he’s been improving on or doing any differently this year?

RC:  His plate discipline has really impressed me this year. The fact that I believe he’s still leading all of minor league baseball in walks right now just goes to show what he’s able to do up at the plate. His eye is impeccable. He’s cut down on the swings-and-misses. He’s always had a pretty stroke. But I think the difference between last year and this year is that when he does get the mistake in the at-bat, he’s not fouling it off or missing it, he’s connecting with it. And he’s just so strong that if he does get it going in the right direction with any kind of trajectory, it’s going to go out.

AF:  What about your third baseman, Renato Nunez? Like Olson, his power seems to be hitting another level here lately. Has he been doing anything differently in his approach?

rnrenato-nunez-2013cRC:  I don’t think he’s been doing anything differently. I just think it’s a matter that they’re not missing that mistake when they get it. That’s kind of the nuts and bolts of what we try to preach as an offensive approach is to wait out that great pitch. It might be the first pitch of the at-bat, it might be the seventh pitch of the at-bat – and the walks and working the count are kind of a by-product of that mindset of getting that good pitch in the at-bat and not missing it. And that’s all he’s done here of late in this power purge is that he just has not missed his pitch. And he’s hitting it out of the ballpark, he’s been hitting it off the wall, he’s hitting doubles – the power shots are coming with regularity with him.

AF:  What about in the field? You had him last year and know he had an awful lot of errors there in Beloit. So where’s he at defensively this year?

RC:  I think he’s definitely showing some improvement in making the routine play. I think he might have had 40 errors over at third base last year. I think he doesn’t even have 10 to this point in the season. So it’s just a testament to the work that these guys do. Juan Navarrete, our infield coordinator, has a simple program that we go through every day as far as getting their ground balls and staying in that routine of consistently working on the fundamentals. He’s made some good plays for us, and he’s played a solid third base. He and Healy both have come a long way. [Ryon] Healy as well has shown tremendous improvement over there at third base, and I have no problem throwing either one of them over there and feeling very comfortable throughout the game.

AF:  That was actually the next guy I was going to ask you about, Ryon Healy. Obviously, he got off to a slow start and has really climbed a long way back and has really been playing great lately.

rh1223780bRC:  His start really wasn’t as slow as the numbers might indicate. The guy’s hit the ball the same the entire season. I really started feeling bad. We were joking around with him to start the season about how many line drives and hard fly balls he was hitting at people or guys were making diving plays on. So I wasn’t tremendously worried about him. He wasn’t overmatched by any means. And that was what I kept feeding the brass – he’s not overmatched here and I think this is where he belongs. And I’m glad they kept him here to continue to work through it. And hats off to him and the fact that he’s climbed up to where he is at this point. The way he started, if he gets off to any kind of halfway decent start, he’d have monster numbers right now. I like what he does – he’s able to put the ball in play pretty regularly, he’s not a big strikeout guy. And he’s just going to continue to get bigger and stronger and really continue to come into his own as far as his power stroke.

AF:  And you like what you’ve seen out of him so far in the field at third base?

RC:  I really have. He’s a guy who it was a new position for. He was a first baseman in college. In Instructional League last year, they moved him to third and he struggled mightily. But he’s put the work in. That’s my main credit to this whole team and why I enjoy being around these guys all the time. It’s easy for me to get them out on the field and get that extra work in. And to see it pay off with the numbers that they’ve put up as a club defensively really is just a testament to what they’ve done.

cpDSC03243dAF:  Like Healy, another guy you didn’t have last year in Beloit but who’s had a big role here this year is Chad Pinder, who’s changed positions and has been playing second base here for you. Where do you see he’s at at this point?

RC:  I got my first look at Chad in the Instructional League last offseason, and I was very impressed with his power, not just bombing balls to left but he’s got tremendous strength to drive the ball to the opposite-field gap. And he’s hit a few home runs here with us this year to the right-field side, so that’s very impressive. He’s got quick hands, and he’s really put the work in at second base. Bret Boone was in with us to start the season and got him comfortable and kind of changed his mindset. It was the first time he’d ever played on the right side of the infield after being a third baseman and shortstop in college. So, with him, I think just getting that comfort with the throw – that sidearm flip from second base as he’s going to his left – and getting used to the pivot there at second base and turning the double play. He’s definitely gotten comfortable. And we all know he’s got the arm to go to short or third if we need it. So he’s a special player – I think we’ve got something in him.

AF:  What about catcher Bruce Maxwell [who was recently promoted to Midland]? Tell me a little bit about where he’s at both at the plate and also behind the plate. His throwing has obviously improved tremendously.

bmDSC02921bxRC:  I think everybody believes that Bruce is going to hit. That’s what he is – he’s a hitter. So I don’t think that there’s any worry there. There’s some fine tinkering here and there. I think offensively his biggest challenge is just separating his offense from his defense. He would have a tendency to take an at-bat, be frustrated and go back behind the plate and make some silly mental mistakes as far as having some balls get by him, but he’s really cleaned that up…and he’s tightened his game up back there. He still has some work as far as just controlling the blocks consistently and not having the drops show up here and there. But as far as the way he’s thrown the ball, it’s been night and day from last year.

AF:  You’ve been with a lot of these guys for the past two seasons now. They seem like a pretty special crop of prospects to a lot of people. But you see more of them than anybody, so what’s your overall view of this group of players you’ve got here in Stockton?

RC:  I think everybody sees the talent on the field. It’s been a joy just to watch them play the game every single evening. But for me personally, just to be around them and see the way they interact in the clubhouse, to see the way they get their work done, to see the way that they influence not only the other position players but also the pitching staff and this group of 25 guys as a whole is really what makes them special. They really get it, they have leadership qualities, they’re just ballplayers and I just have to pinch myself when I think that the majority of them are still just 20 years old. But I’m excited for them. They’re great pieces for this organization. I don’t know what the long-term plan is for them. I know we’re in win-now mode in Oakland. So they’re valuable pieces. If they feel like they want to push them through and see them in Oakland one day, I would love that. But I know that they’re also valuable to help get a huge piece like what we’ve done with Addison Russell to get us [Jeff] Samardzija and [Jason] Hammel up there in the big leagues. So I’ve been blessed to be with them for two years and just enjoy being around them.

 

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Monday, July 21st: Zach Neal Pitches Sacramento to Victory as Andy Parrino Returns to River Cats and Renato Nunez Homers to Help Stockton Win

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Pitcher Zach Neal (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Pitcher Zach Neal (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Sacramento River Cats  6

El Paso Chihuahuas          1

WP – Neal 3-5 / 4.48

HR – Whitaker (3)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Zach Neal

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

RHP Zach Neal delivered an impressive start for Sacramento on Monday, allowing just 2 baserunners on a pair of singles while walking none and striking out 3 over 5 innings of work to earn his 3rd win for the River Cats. Neal also had to endure a 67-minute rain delay in the middle of the 4th inning before returning to the mound. RHP Tucker Healy gave up 1 run in 1 inning of relief, while RHP Paul Smyth pitched 2 perfect innings, and RHP Jeremy McBryde tossed a scoreless 9th for Sacramento. Designated hitter Josh Whitaker homered for the second straight night, while third baseman Jose Martinez had 3 hits, and first baseman Daric Barton drove in 3 runs for the River Cats. Meanwhile, shortstop Andy Parrino was optioned back to Sacramento, while infielder Colin Walsh was placed on the disabled list. And River Cats outfielder Shane Peterson was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week.

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

Thursday, July 17th: Shane Peterson’s 3 HRs Help River Cats Win Drew Pomeranz’s Second Start for Sacramento while Olson & Nunez HRs in 9th Aren’t Enough for Ports

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Outfielder Shane Peterson (3 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Outfielder Shane Peterson (3 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Sacramento River Cats  10

Albuquerque Isotopes          9

WP – Scribner 4-1 / 3.19

HR – Peterson 3 (8)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Shane Peterson

(3 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

Triple-A All-Star outfielder Shane Peterson had a big night for the River Cats, slugging 3 home runs to help the Cats come out the winners in a 10-inning contest on Thursday. His first home run put Sacramento on the board in the 3rd, his second brought the River Cats within 2 runs in the 5th and his third gave his team a 3-run lead in the 6th. Second baseman Jose Martinez collected 4 hits, including a double, and drove in the winning run in the 10th, while outfielder Nick Buss had a double and a pair of singles and also drove in a run. First baseman Daric Barton singled, tripled, walked and scored the winning run, and third baseman Alden Carrithers and designated hitter Anthony Aliotti had a pair of hits apiece and both drove in a run for the River Cats. Starter Drew Pomeranz had a rough outing, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, including a pair of home runs, over 4 innings of work, while RHP Evan Scribner picked up the win despite giving up the tying run in the 9th, and RHP Jeremy McBryde tossed a scoreless 10th to notch his 9th save.

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

Thursday, July 10th: Renato Nunez’s Grand Slam and a Rare Triple Play Help Ports Win while Arnold Leon K’s 13 in Cats Loss

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

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

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Modesto Nuts       2

Stockton Ports  7

WP – Bowman 2-6 / 5.58

HR – Nunez (21), Healy (11)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Renato Nunez

(Grand Slam)

Designated hitter Renato Nunez had the big blast for Stockton on Thursday night, slugging his second grand slam this week in the bottom of the 1st to overcome a 2-0 deficit and give the Ports a lead that would not be lost for the rest of the evening. The home run was Nunez’s 21st, which puts him only behind teammate Matt Olson, who has 25, in the California League home run race. Third baseman Ryon Healy hit his 11th homer as well as his 21st double. And with two men on and no outs in the top of the 4th, Healy also started a rare triple play for the Ports, getting the first out at third before tossing on to Colin Walsh who got the out at second before relaying it on to Matt Olson for the final out at first. Starter Josh Bowman gave up a home run on the first pitch of the ballgame and allowed a second run in the top of the 1st as well. But after that, he tossed 5 shutout innings and ended up allowing 2 runs and striking out 5 over 6 innings to earn his 2nd win. RHP Andres Avila struck out 4 in 2 perfect innings of relief, while RHP Kris Hall pitched a perfect 9th for the Ports. Meanwhile, catcher Ryan Lipkin was activated off the disabled list for Sacramento and reassigned to Stockton while catcher Bruce Maxwell leaves the team for a couple of days to tend to a family emergency. And it looks likely that RHP Tim Atherton will land on the disabled list with a quadriceps issue, but no official announcement has yet been made.

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

Monday, July 7th: Renato Nunez Hits Pair of HRs to Help Stockton Win while Ports’ Powell Gets Suspension

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Renato Nunez (2 Home Runs / 6 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Renato Nunez (2 Home Runs / 6 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports   7

San Jose Giants   0

WP – Castillo 1-2 / 9.00

HR – Nunez 2 (20)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Third Baseman Renato Nunez

(2 Home Runs / 6 RBIs)

Third Baseman Renato Nunez pretty much took care of things single-handedly for Stockton on Monday night. The 20-year-old hit a 2-run homer to put the Ports on the board in the top of the 1st and then followed that up by slugging a grand slam in the 7th. Outfielder Aaron Shipman doubled, while designated hitter Matt Olson walked 3 times and scored twice, and outfielder Jaycob Brugman went 1 for 4 and scored a run in his Stockton debut. Starter Yeiper Castillo turned in his first solid outing for the Ports, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. Brugman joined the Stockton outfield from Beloit after Billy McKinney was traded and Herschel “Boog” Powell was suspended. Powell was banned for 50 games after testing positive for a banned amphetamine. RHP Tim Atherton returned to the Ports after making an emergency start for Sacramento this weekend, and RHP Rodolfo Fernandez was assigned to Stockton after being acquired from the Brewers on Monday.

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

Friday, July 4th: A’s Trade Addison Russell, Billy McKinney & Dan Straily to Cubs for Jeff Samardzija & Jason Hammel while Robertson, Olson & Nunez All Homer in Ports Win

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Daniel Robertson (3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 6 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Daniel Robertson (3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 6 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  17

San Jose Giants    6

WP – Sanchez 2-0 / 2.70

HR – Olson (24), Nunez (18), Robertson (12)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Shortstop Daniel Robertson

(3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 6 RBIs)

On a night that saw two of the A’s top prospects, shortstop Addison Russell and outfielder Billy McKinney, traded to the Cubs, three of the team’s other big prospects had big nights for the Ports. Daniel Robertson, who is now the A’s top shortstop prospect, singled, doubled, homered and drove in 6 runs, while first baseman Matt Olson doubled, homered and drove in 4, and third baseman Renato Nunez singled, homered and drove in a pair. Catcher Ryan Gorton and outfielder Bobby Crocker collected 3 hits apiece. Starter Jake Sanchez allowed 6 runs, 4 earned, over 7 innings to pick up his 2nd win, while RHP Michael Ynoa tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief for the Ports. Meanwhile, second baseman Chad Pinder was placed on the Ports disabled list and, with McKinney’s departure, Herschel “Boog” Powell should now expect to see most of the playing time in center field for Stockton.

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Tuesday, July 1st: Jake Elmore’s 9th Inning Hit Helps Cats Win 10th Walk-Off while Michael Ynoa Picks up Win in Ports’ Victory and Dillon Overton Looks Strong Again for AZL A’s

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Second Baseman Jake Elmore (3 for 5 / RBI / Stolen Base)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Second Baseman Jake Elmore (3 for 5 / RBI / Stolen Base)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Fresno Grizzlies                 4

Sacramento River Cats  5

WP – Savery 5-0 / 2.52

Farmhand Of The Game:

Second Baseman Jake Elmore

(3 for 5 / RBI / Stolen Base)

After being down by four runs earlier in the game, the River Cats mounted a comeback and ended up celebrating their 10th walk-off win on Tuesday night. Second baseman Jake Elmore had 3 hits and scored the tying run in the bottom of the 6th and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th to provide division-leading Sacramento with its league-leading 32nd home win of the season. Center fielder Shane Peterson singled, doubled, tripled and walked, while first baseman Daric Barton had a pair of hits and drove in a run for the River Cats. Starter Josh Lindblom exited the game in the 1st inning after being hit in the ankle with a line drive. That gave the two newest members of the River Cats roster, RHPs Tucker Healy and Seth Frankoff, the opportunity to get their first appearance with Sacramento out of the way after just flying in from Midland earlier in the day. Healy struck out the first two batters he faced and ended up allowing 1 run over 2 2/3 innings, while Frankoff gave up 3 runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief. LHP Joe Savery tossed a scoreless 8th and 9th to pick up the win for Sacramento. To make room for Healy and Frankoff on the River Cats roster, RHPs Deryk Hooker and Jose Flores were reassigned to Midland.

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

Monday, June 30th: AZL A’s Mount Comeback Win in 9th while Brandon Belt Homers Off Dan Straily in Cats Loss and Renato Nunez Named Cal League Player of the Week

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: AZL A’s Designated Hitter John Nogowski (4 for 5 / 3 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: AZL A’s Designated Hitter John Nogowski (4 for 5 / 3 RBIs)

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE  (Rookie Short-Season)

AZL A’s          9

AZL Rangers  8

WP – Stull 1-0 / 1.50

Farmhand Of The Game:

Designated Hitter John Nogowski

(4 for 5 / 3 RBIs)

The AZL A’s came back from a 4-run deficit to score 5 runs in the 9th to win in a wild one on Monday. This year’s 34th-round draft pick for the A’s, designated hitter John Nogowski, had 4 hits and drove in 3 runs, including one of the key runs in the 9th,and scored the winning win, while first baseman Robert Kuhn doubled in a pair of runs with the bases loaded in the 9th, and catcher Seongmin Kim singled in the tying run for the A’s. Outfielder J.P. Sportman reached base in all 5 plate appearances, on a triple, 2 singles and a pair of walks, while outfielder Jonesy Zarraga had 2 hits and stole a base, and shortstop Edwin Diaz singled, walked, scored twice and drove in a run for the A’s. Starter Jesus Zambrano allowed 5 runs, 3 earned, on 7 hits over 5 innings, while RHP Cody Kurz surrendered 2 runs in 1 inning of relief. LHP Cody Stull gave up 1 run in 2 innings of work but still picked up the win, while RHP Jesus Rivas tossed a scoreless 9th to earn his 1st save for the A’s.

Click here for more on Sacramento, Midland, Beloit & Vermont…

Sunday, June 29th: Arnold Leon Pitches Cats to Victory while #1 Pick Matt Chapman Belts 1st HR for Beloit, Renato Nunez Socks a Pair for Ports and Nate Freiman Takes His Big Bat to Oakland

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Pitcher Arnold Leon (6 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Sacramento River Cats Pitcher Arnold Leon (6 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Las Vegas 51s                   1

Sacramento River Cats  2

WP – Leon 8-2 / 4.55

HR – Buss (4)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Arnold Leon

(6 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K / Win)

RHP Arnold Leon turned in a strong start for Sacramento on Sunday, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 5 over 6 innings of work to earn his team-leading 8th win for the River Cats. RHP Fernando Rodriguez pitched 2 perfect innings in relief, while RHP Evan Scribner tossed a scoreless 9th to earn his 11th save. Outfielder Nick Buss delivered the decisive blow for the second straight night, hitting his 4th home run in the 5th inning to break a 1-1 tie. First baseman Anthony Aliotti had a pair of hits filling in for Nate Freiman, who, with A’s outfielder Josh Reddick landing on the disabled list, was promoted to the big club. And Freiman turned out to be the hero for Oakland on Sunday, hitting a 3-run homer in the 6th-inning to put the A’s on top. Meanwhile, infielder Alden Carrithers was activated from the disabled list to take Freiman’s place on the River Cats roster.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit & Vermont…

Wednesday, June 25th: Nunez’s 2 HRs Help Ports Win 9th Straight while Granier Pitches Hounds to Victory and Cats’ Ladendorf Gets 50-Game Suspension

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Renato Nunez (4 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Renato Nunez (4 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports       10

Lancaster JetHawks  2

WP – Joseph 3-3 / 5.21

HR – Nunez 2 (14), Olson (20), Kirkland (2)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Renato Nunez

(4 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

Designated hitter Renato Nunez helped the Ports post their 9th straight win on Wednesday. Nunez had 4 hits, including a pair of home runs, and drove in 3 runs for Stockton. And the 20-year-old is now 15 for 27 with 4 doubles, 5 home runs and 13 RBIs in 7 games since the California League All-Star break. First baseman Matt Olson hit his league-leading 20th home run, while second baseman Wade Kirkland hit his 2nd, while center fielder Herschel Powell tripled in a pair of runs for the Ports. Starter Chris Lamb allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks over 4 2/3 innings of work, while RHP Jonathan Joseph pitched 3 1/3 perfect innings in relief to pick up the win.

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