Tag Archive for Stockton Ports

A’s 2015 Minor League Staff

 

Nashville Sounds manager Steve Scarsone

Nashville Sounds manager Steve Scarsone

NASHVILLE SOUNDS (Triple-A)

Manager Steve Scarsone

Pitching Coach Don Schulze

Hitting Coach Webster Garrison

Steve Scarsone was named manager of the A’s new Triple-A affiliate at Nashville.  This will be his third consecutive season as manager of the A’s Triple-A club as he guided Sacramento to a 79-65 record in each of the previous two seasons.  Scarsone now has a 568-554 record in eight seasons as a minor league manager, including stints in the A’s system with Midland from 2011-12, Stockton in 2010 and Kane County in 2009.  Don Schulze and Webster Garrison earn their first Triple-A assignments in 2015 as pitching coach and hitting coach, respectively.  This will be Schulze’s 10th year as a pitching coach in the A’s system, including the last four at Double-A Midland, and Garrison’s 15th as a coach or manager.  Brad LaRosa returns as the athletic trainer and Terence Brannic was named strength coach.

 

Midland RockHounds manager Ryan Christenson

Midland RockHounds manager Ryan Christenson

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS (Double-A)

Manager Ryan Christenson

Pitching Coach John Wasdin

Hitting Coach Eric Martins

Ryan Christenson takes over as manager at Midland after leading Stockton to an 85-55 record and a playoff appearance in 2014.  He made his managerial debut in 2013 at Single-A Beloit after spending six seasons as a player in the Major Leagues, including four with the A’s from 1998-2001.  John Wasdin will be the pitching coach on Christenson’s staff for the third consecutive season and Eric Martins was named hitting coach.  Martins served as a scout for the A’s for the past seven seasons.  Justin Whitehouse returns as the athletic trainer and A.J. Seeliger is the new strength coach.

 

Stockton Ports manager Rick Magnante

Stockton Ports manager Rick Magnante

STOCKTON PORTS (High-A)

Manager Rick Magnante

Pitching Coach Rick Rodriguez

Hitting Coach Brian McArn

Rick Magnante assumes the managerial reins at Stockton, his 13th season as a minor league manager.  He has a 457-497 record in his previous 12 seasons, including 55-84 last season with Beloit.  Rick Rodriguez will be the pitching coach after two seasons in that capacity at Sacramento.  Rodriguez is in his 31st season in the A’s organization, which includes seven seasons as a player and two years as bullpen coach in Oakland (2011-12). Brian McArn returns as hitting coach, his 18th in that role with the A’s and his fourth at Stockton (2011-12, 14).  Travis Tims returns as athletic trainer and Henry Torres takes over as strength coach.

 

Beloit Snappers manager Fran Riordan

Beloit Snappers manager Fran Riordan

BELOIT SNAPPERS (Class-A)

Manager Fran Riordan

Pitching Coach Steve Connelly

Hitting Coach Lloyd Turner

Fran Riordan joins the A’s organization as manager at Beloit after spending 14 years managing in independent leagues.  Riordan spent the last four seasons at the helm of Florence in the Frontier League, guiding the Freedom to a 190-194 record over that stretch.  Steve Connelly, who had his first professional coaching assignment as pitching coach at Vermont last year, takes over those duties at Beloit in 2015.  Lloyd Turner returns for his second consecutive season as hitting coach with the Snappers and Brian Thorson returns as athletic trainer.  JD Howell will serve as strength coach.

 

Vermont Lake Monsters manager Aaron Nieckula

Vermont Lake Monsters manager Aaron Nieckula

VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS (Class-A Short-Season)

Manager Aaron Nieckula

Pitching Coach Carlos Chavez

Hitting Coach Tommy Everidge

In addition to his duties as minor league field coordinator, Aaron Nieckula will manage the A’s short-season club at Vermont, his ninth year as a manager in the A’s farm system.  He has spent the last two seasons at Midland and guided the RockHounds to a 77-63 record and the Texas League Championship in 2014.  Carlos Chavez will be the pitching coach after two seasons with the A’s affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.  Tommy Everidge returns for his second consecutive season as Vermont’s hitting coach and Toshi Nagahara returns as the athletic trainer.

 

Arizona League A's pitching coach Ariel Prieto

Arizona League A’s pitching coach Ariel Prieto

ARIZONA LEAGUE A’S (Rookie Short-Season)

Manager Ruben Escalera

Pitching Coach Ariel Prieto

Hitting Coach Juan Dilone

Ruben Escalera will manage the A’s affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League for the second consecutive season and ninth season overall.  He previously managed from 2002-08 and spent the five years in between in various roles as an instructor in the A’s system.  Ariel Prieto was named pitching coach after serving as a coach on the Major League staff the previous three seasons.  He previously served as pitching coach with the A’s rookie club from 2009-11 and will also serve as a liaison between the A’s Dominican Republic and United States based operations.  Juan Dilone returns for his seventh season as hitting coach and Gabriel Ortiz is in his second season as coach.  Chris Lessner returns as the athletic trainer.

 

Minor league hitting coordinator Greg Sparks

Minor league hitting coordinator Greg Sparks

Minor League Field Coordinator: Aaron Nieckula

Minor League Hitting Coordinator: Greg Sparks

Minor League Pitching Coordinator: Garvin Alston

Minor League Rehab Pitching Coordinator: Craig Lefferts

Minor League Defensive Coordinator: Juan Navarrette

Aaron Nieckula was named minor league field coordinator and will oversee minor league spring training, extended spring training and instructional league.  Greg Sparks will take over as minor league hitting coordinator after spending three seasons as hitting coach at Triple-A Sacramento.  Sparks is in his 18th season in the A’s organization, which includes eight years as minor league roving hitting instructor from 2004-11.  Garvin Alston was named minor league pitching coordinator after spending the previous six seasons as minor league pitching rehab coordinator.  Craig Lefferts, who spent the previous 12 seasons as a pitching coach in the A’s farm system, replaces Alston as minor league rehab pitching coordinator.  Juan Navarrette is in his 21st season with the A’s and will be the minor league defensive, base running and bunting coordinator.  

 

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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 Final 2014 Minor League Hitting & Pitching Leaders

Included: Sacramento River Cats (AAA), Midland RockHounds (AA), Stockton Ports (A), Beloit Snappers (A), Vermont Lake Monsters (A), AZL A’s (Rk)

 

–HITS–

dr621002170 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

167 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

160 Ryon Healy 3B-1B (Sto)

142 Renato Nunez 3B (Sto)

138 Nick Buss OF (Sac)

 

–DOUBLES–

sp45108940 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

37 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

34 Tyler Marincov OF (Bel-Sto)

32 Chad Pinder 2B (Sto)

31 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

 

–TRIPLES–

Mercedes7 Melvin Mercedes SS-2B (Bel)

6 Aaron Shipman OF (Sto)

6 Bobby Crocker OF (Sto)

6 Jaycob Brugman OF (Bel-Sto)

6 Tyler Marincov OF (Bel-Sto)

 

–HOME RUNS–

mo62156637 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

29 Renato Nunez 3B (Sto)

21 Jaycob Brugman OF (Bel-Sto)

18 Tyler Marincov OF (Bel-Sto)

18 Dusty Coleman SS (Mid)

 

–TOTAL BASES–

mo621566278 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

263 Renato Nunez 3B (Sto)

258 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

250 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

240 Ryon Healy 3B-1B (Sto)

 

–RBIs–

mo62156697 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

96 Renato Nunez 3B (Sto)

90 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

83 Ryon Healy 3B-1B (Sto)

81 Dusty Coleman SS (Mid)

 

–RUNS–

mo621566111 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

110 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

101 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

79 Nick Buss OF (Sac)

79 Dusty Coleman SS (Mid)

 

–WALKS–

mo621566117 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

87 Max Muncy 1B-3B (Mid)

72 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

69 Conner Crumbliss 2B-OF (Mid)

66 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

 

–STRIKEOUTS–

dc543038202 Dusty Coleman SS (Mid)

149 Bobby Crocker OF (Sto)

140 Anthony Aliotti 1B-OF (Sac-Mid)

139 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

137 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

 

–STOLEN BASES–

bb54299354 Billy Burns OF (Mid-Sac)

31 Bobby Crocker OF (Sto)

18 Tyler Marincov OF (Bel-Sto)

16 Justin Higley OF (Bel-Ver), Boog Powell OF (Bel-Sto), Dusty Coleman SS (Mid)

 

–ERRORS–

lb54218226 Luis Baez 3B-SS (Bel)

22 Dusty Coleman SS (Mid)

21 Melvin Mercedes SS-2B (Bel)

21 Jefry Marte 3B (Mid)

20 Yairo Munoz SS (Ver)

 

–BATTING AVERAGE– (minimum 300 at-bats)

Powell.343 Boog Powell OF (Bel-Sto)

.310 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

.308 Shane Peterson OF (Sac)

.307 Nick Buss OF (Sac)

.288 Chad Pinder 2B (Sto), Nate Freiman 1B (Sac-Bel)

 

–ON-BASE PERCENTAGE– (minimum 300 at-bats)

Powell.451 Boog Powell OF (Bel-Sto)

.404 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

.402 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

.385 Max Muncy 1B-3B (Mid)

.381 Shane Peterson OF (Sac), Alden Carrithers 3B (Sac)

 

–SLUGGING PERCENTAGE– (minimum 300 at-bats)

mo621566.543 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

.520 Nate Freiman 1B (Sac-Bel)

.517 Renato Nunez 3B (Sto)

.506 Jaycob Brugman OF (Bel-Sto)

.489 Chad Pinder 2B (Sto)

 

–ON-BASE + SLUGGING– (minimum 300 at-bats)

mo621566.947 Matt Olson 1B (Sto)

.893 Nate Freiman 1B (Sac-Bel)

.886 Boog Powell OF (Bel-Sto)

.873 Daniel Robertson SS (Sto)

.860 Jaycob Brugman OF (Bel-Sto)

 

Click here for A’s minor league pitching leaders…

Thursday, September 4th: Kenny Wilson Helps Hounds Even Up Series while Stockton’s Season Comes to an End

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder Kenny Wilson (3 for 5 / RBI / Run / Stolen Base)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder Kenny Wilson (3 for 5 / RBI / Run / Stolen Base)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Texas League South Division Championship Series – Game #2

Midland RockHounds  6

Frisco RoughRiders       3

WP – Dull 1-0 / 0.00

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Kenny Wilson

(3 for 5 / RBI / Run / Stolen Base)

With the game tied in the top of the 9th, the RockHounds pushed three runs across the plate to secure the victory and even up their best-of-five playoff series with Frisco on Thursday. Center fielder Kenny Wilson, who has proven to be one of Midland’s most productive hitters in this playoff series, had 3 hits on Thursday while driving in the tying run in the 6th and scoring the winning run in the 9th for the RockHounds. Right fielder Kent Matthes singled, doubled and walked, while second baseman Conner Crumbliss singled, walked and drove in a pair, and 1st-round draft pick Matt Chapman went 2 for 4 with a walk and scored a run for the RockHounds. Scheduled starter Chris Jensen was scratched for unknown reasons and RHP Tim Sexton came out of the bullpen to make the start on Thursday. Sexton was charged with 2 runs over 3 innings of work, while LHP Frank Gailey pitched 2 2/3 perfect innings in relief after Midland tied the game in the top of the 6th. RHP Ryan Dull struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning to earn the win, and RHP Jose Flores got the final out to pick up the save. The series will now shift to Midland for Game #3 on Friday.

Click here for more on the Stockton Ports’ Game #2 Result…

Wednesday, September 3rd: Tim Alderson & Michael Ynoa Struggle in Stockton’s Loss while Nate Long & Hiro Nakajima Have a Rough Time as RockHounds Lose

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Catcher Beau Taylor (2 for 2 / 2 Walks / Home Run)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Catcher Beau Taylor (2 for 2 / 2 Walks / Home Run)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

California League North Division Miniseries – Game #1

Stockton Ports    3

Visalia Rawhide  13

LP – Alderson 0-1 / 16.20

HR – Taylor (1)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Catcher Beau Taylor

(2 for 2 / 2 Walks / Home Run)

A pair of 5-run innings did in the Ports in the first game of their best-of-three California League playoff series on Wednesday night. Starter Tim Alderson allowed a total of 6 runs, 5 in the 4th inning, to take the loss. RHP Michael Ynoa gave up another 4 runs in the 6th on a hit batter, a single, a double, a walk and an errant pickoff throw. Ynoa apparently injured himself on the throw and walked off the field with the trainer after the attempted pickoff. RHP Bobby Wahl replaced him and immediately surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced, while RHP Josh Bowman gave up 2 more runs in the 8th. Catcher Beau Taylor reached base 5 times, on a single, a pair of walks, a hit-by-pitch and a 2nd inning home run which briefly gave Stockton the lead. First baseman Matt Olson doubled twice, singled, walked and drove in a run, while shortstop Daniel Robertson singled twice, walked twice and scored a run, and designated hitter Renato Nunez singled in a run in the loss. The series moves to Stockton on Thursday with LHP Chris Lamb taking the mound for the Ports.

Click here for more on the Midland RockHounds’ Game #1 Result…

The Stockton Ports: A Team That Plays Together – And Stays Together

drobertson-Oak3This year’s Stockton Ports are a pretty special team. Not only is the roster loaded with many of the A’s best young prospects, but the team finished the regular season with the best record in the California League at 85-55 and will begin play in a best-of-three California League playoff series starting Wednesday in Visalia.

In July, A’s Farm spoke with a number of the Ports’ top players about how their seasons have been going on the field – which you can see here – so this time around, we thought we’d take a look at how things have been going off the field. In particular, we spoke with four Ports players who’ve been living together all season – shortstop Daniel Robertson, first baseman Matt Olson, second baseman Chad Pinder and pitcher Austin House. Outfielder Billy McKinney began the season with them but, with his trade to Chicago, has since been replaced by pitcher Dylan Covey.

All four of the house regulars have had solid seasons for Stockton. Robertson finished the year as the California League hits leader, while Olson won the league’s home run title. Despite missing about a month’s worth of time due to injuries, Pinder was still second on the team in doubles and batting average, and House tied for the second most saves in the league.

While most people know the kind of money that major league ballplayers make, most fans don’t really appreciate what life is like in the minor leagues and would probably be a bit surprised to find five of the A’s top prospects all spending the season together in one two-bedroom apartment. But that’s the way it often works below the major league level, where cramped quarters and long bus rides are a way of life. But when you’re busy chasing the dream, it’s all a part of the adventure – and can also help to foster the kind of camaraderie that’s needed to succeed in a game that truly is a team sport.

We talked to Robertson, Olson, Pinder and House last week, just a day after they’d clinched the California League Northern Division second-half title and with less than a week left in the regular season…

 

(DR=Daniel Roberston, MO=Matt Olson, CP=Chad Pinder, AH=Austin House, AF=A’s Farm)

 

AF:  So we’ve got the four of you roommates together here the final week of the regular season. You’ve been living together all season long, and I know Billy McKinney was living with you before he was traded, but has anyone else taken his place since the trade?

ALL:  Dylan Covey.

AF:  So then Dylan took over Billy’s spot when he got here from Beloit.

ALL:  Right.

AF:  Well how’s this living arrangement been working out so far this year?

DR:  Honestly, I get so sick of these guys sometimes. No, I’m just kidding. It’s worked out great. We drove up here after spring training and found an apartment. We’ve got two to a room. [Austin] House lives in the living room.

AF:  So you’ve got your own room?

AH:  Yeah, I have my own room!

DR:  The only thing he’s missing is a door. But it’s worked out great. We’re there to sleep most of the time. If you get more people in, it kind of helps out with the money situation – it just makes it a little cheaper. And these guys are awesome to live with. So I’ve had a blast all year.

AF:  So who’s rooming with who?

DR:  Me and Olson, Pinder and Covey.

Daniel Robertson

Daniel Robertson

AH:  And then they all hang out in my room.

AF:  And you and Olson were roommates in spring training too, right?

DR:  Yeah.

AF:  So what’s your average daily schedule look like?

MO:  I’m always up first…no later than 10:00 most days.

DR:  He [Pinder] is the last.

AF:  So when are you usually getting up?

CP:  11:30.

AH:  And I wake up whenever they come out in my room.

AF:  So when do you normally leave for the park?

DR:  I’m normally driving every day. So whenever the crew is ready, we’ll take off. We normally get here around 1:00-1:30 after we go grab some food, either Subway or The Habit.

AF:  What’s The Habit?

AH:  It’s like a burger joint.

DR:  And they’ve got awesome salads and quality food. We basically have the same routine every single day. We’ve done it for five months straight, eating the same food every day. Then we show up here around 1:00-1:30 and start getting on it. And then afterwards, we’re fortunate enough to eat here. And then we just head home and hang out for an hour or two and call it a night.

AF:  So when do you guys usually crash at night?

ALL: 12:30 or 1:00.

AF:  So not too many late-night video game sessions then?

AH:  We do movie night every once in a while.

DR:  He [Pinder] will pick out a great movie. He’s really into those scary movies. He picks out great movies.

AF:  So what was the best movie of the year?

Chad Pinder

Chad Pinder

CP:  What did you think the best one I picked was?

DR:  Maybe The Devil Inside. That one was awesome.

ALL:  Yeah!

MO:  Great ending!

AF:  Well that’s sounds pretty unanimous! So who’s the most responsible member of the household?

AH:  Probably Danny.

ALL:  Yeah.

AF:  So he’s the adult?

DR:  I’m a clean freak. My area and the kitchen always have to be clean or it bugs me. I’m not going to lie.

AF:  So you’re the OCD one?

DR:  I’m the OCD one, I’ll admit it. There’s got to be that guy in the house who keeps everything neat because if there’s not then it just turns into a pig sty.

AF:  Who’s the messiest person in the house?

AH:  I’m going to go ahead and nominate you [Pinder]…He just leaves food, shoes or there’s always a pair of shorts or something…

MO:  I’m not too far behind him though.

AF:  Who’s the craziest or most random person where you never know what to expect from them?

ALL:  Billy [McKinney]!

DR:  When he was with us, you never knew his next move…I think, living there now, it’s probably House.

AH:  I usually ride pretty solo…I usually go by myself. I’m a pitcher.

AF:  Not only are you a pitcher, you’re a closer! So you’re really on your own wavelength.

AH:  Yeah, I usually kind of do my own thing.

AF:  So if you all end up in Midland next year by any chance, would you consider reconstituting this arrangement?

DR:  No, probably not. I’ve lived with Olson for three years now. It’s kind of getting old.

AH:  I might go back to hanging out with pitchers.

DR:  No, I’m just kidding. I would live with these guys for sure.

ALL:  Yeah.

AH:  Honestly, we get along pretty well. We have fun together and enjoy hanging out with each other.

AF:  So there could be chapter two in Midland?

Austin House

Austin House

AH:  There probably is going to be chapter two…but we’ve got to get to Midland first!

AF:  Of course. Now you’re just wrapping up your season here and you’re going to the playoffs. Looking back, you’ve accomplished a lot as a team this year, but what do you take out of your time here this season?

AH:  We kind of expected to be a winning team. We’ve got a lot of good players. Not saying that we expected to get to the playoffs or anything, but we expected to win.

DR:  I think last year we had a winning tradition in Beloit, and it’s most of the same guys here, with a couple of major additions like Chad Pinder and some of the other guys. We had the same coaching staff and most of the same crew here, and we won last year and we expected to carry it on again this year.

AH:  I think we kind of had a chip on our shoulder too because I think we could have won the Midwest League. And coming into this league, we had the same kind of squad, so we want to win it.

AF:  So you feel like you’ve got a little something to prove this year.

AH:  Exactly.

AF:  So I guess you’re looking forward to getting into the postseason and trying to go all the way then.

DR:  Yeah, I feel like if you get there, you want to make the most out of it and win it all, and not get bounced in the first round or something.

AF:  Now it looks like three of you [Robertson, Olson, House] are going to be together out in the Arizona Fall League this year.

AH:  He [Pinder] is responsible. He’s going to school.

AF:  Where are you going to school?

CP:  Virginia Tech.

AF:  So back home – what’s your major?

CP:  Communication studies – so not really a major. [Laughter]

AF:  How much do you have left to do?

CP:  35 credits, so I’m going to do 15 this fall and then knock out the rest periodically.

AF:  So are the rest of you looking forward to going to the AFL?

DR:  Yes, definitely. It’s an honor for sure. I think it’ll be fun. It’s just the next step of the process.

Matt Olson

Matt Olson

MO:  Seeing the competition, we probably haven’t faced half of those teams just because they’re on the east coast, so it’ll be good to see what all’s out there. And like he said, it’s an honor to be included.

AF:  Yeah, you’ll definitely be seeing a lot of talent out there you haven’t seen before. And you’ll also be seeing your old friend Addison Russell since he’ll actually be on the same team with you guys. I guess you must be looking forward to that.

DR:  Of course.

AF:  You’ve still got your place out in Arizona, right?

DR:  Yeah, it’s up to him if he wants to stay with us again or not.

AF:  Individually, you’ve each had really strong seasons this year. Starting with you Chad, you got off to a great start. You’ve had a few injuries, but you’ve still been out there most of the year and have had a really solid season while learning a new position at second base. What do you feel you’ve been able to accomplish this year?

CP:  I think the big thing was defense at second base. When I was first over there, I was like a fish out of water. I was really uncomfortable and making a lot of errors. And then I worked hard and it started to get better throughout the season. So I feel like that’s the main thing that I’ve gotten out of this year.

AF:  Austin, you’ve really been coming on strong in the second half, and your strikeout numbers have really been on the rise. Is there anything that’s been clicking here for you later in the season?

AH:  Just trying to be consistent every outing. I think in the first half, I was throwing well. Some of the results just weren’t where I wanted them to be, but that’s a part of the game.

AF:  Well, eventually it all evens out!

AH:  Yeah, it’s a full season.

AF:  Matt, you’ve had a great season, but you’ve really had an exceptional second half, hitting lots of home runs and walking a lot. Is there anything in particular you’ve learned or adapted to over the course of the season?

MO:  Yeah, I think just the experience of getting more at-bats under your belt, and just sticking to a plan up there. And obviously as the season goes on, you get more at-bats and you become more comfortable up there. I wouldn’t say there’s been any specific adjustments.

AF:  And what about you, Daniel? It’s late in the season, you’ve been out there grinding every day, and still you’re hitting as well as you have all season right now, so something must be clicking for you.

DR:  I just think it’s preparation and staying with the routine, getting the work in and just trying to stay within myself at the plate and trying to control the zone. Getting down to later in the season, you’ve got to stay mentally strong, and how you prepare is what will help you finish strong. Like Olson said, there’s no major adjustment that I’ve made. It’s just staying with the routine, and the more at-bats you get, the better you’re going to get. And it’s been a fun year.

AF:  As you look back on the season, were there any particularly memorable moments or highlights that stand out in your mind?

DR:  Last night, clinching the second half, especially beating a team that won the first half and dominated us in the first half. So to do it against them was pretty fun. You get into the playoffs and it’s a fresh start and anything can happen…One thing that sticks out in my mind, we didn’t win this game, but we were down 11-3 against San Jose a couple of weeks ago and scored seven runs in the bottom of the ninth, and that was probably one of the most exciting games I’ve been a part of in a while. We didn’t come out on top in that game, but we sure felt like we won with the display we put on in the bottom on the ninth – and those are games you like to play.

AF:  So did that help infuse you with a little extra confidence coming down the stretch, like you could come back in any situation?

AH:  Yeah, we’ve done it like five or six times.

MO:  We did at Visalia two weeks ago!

DR:  The other day in Rancho Cucamonga, we were down 2-0 in the top of the ninth and we put a couple of runs together and Ryan Gorton comes up with a big hit and the next thing you know we’re on top 3-2.

MO:  And Josh Reddick hitting that game-tying bomb for us!

AH:  It happens all the time! In the eighth inning, we’ll be down by four or something, and I know somehow we’ll pull it off. Who knows how? But we always do! We just battle until the very end.

AF:  So how did you guys celebrate when you clinched your playoff berth?

AH:  Just hung out with the teammates and enjoyed their company. That’s what’s good about our team. We have a real good clubhouse. It makes it easy to come to work when you enjoy your teammates, so we always have fun.

AF:  Well, I guess for you, it’s just like being at home!

ALL:  Yeah!

 

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Monday, September 1st: Michael Soto’s HR Helps Snappers Go Out with a Win while Sacramento’s Season Ends with a Big Loss and Hounds & Ports Prepare for Playoffs

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Beloit Snappers First Baseman Michael Soto (2 for 3 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Beloit Snappers First Baseman Michael Soto (2 for 3 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers  5

Beloit Snappers               11

WP – Bragg 4-0 / 3.23

HR – Soto (7), Pohl (6), Ludy (3)

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Michael Soto

(2 for 3 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

With Beloit down by a run in the bottom of the 3rd, first baseman Michael Soto slugged a 2-run homer to put the Snappers up for good on Monday. Soto also singled and walked in the game, while catcher Philip Pohl hit a 2-run homer of his own, and designated hitter Josh Ludy launched a 3-run shot. Starter Joe Michaud allowed 5 runs, 3 earned, on 6 hits over just 3 innings of work, while RHP Sam Bragg tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to pick up his 4th win for Beloit. And with the victory, the Snappers end their season with a 55-84 record. In other news, Beloit’s Kyle Finnegan and Matt Chapman were both promoted to the Double-A Midland RockHounds, who are headed to the Texas League playoffs.

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

Sunday, August 31st: Pitching Prospect Nolan Sanburn Dealt in Adam Dunn Deal while Stockton Wins Behind Matt Olson’s Big Bat and Sacramento Loss Forces Dramatic Finale on Monday

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Matt Olson (2 for 4 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports First Baseman Matt Olson (2 for 4 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  6

Modesto Nuts     2

WP – Joseph 7-3 / 3.58

HR – Olson (37)

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(2 for 4 / Home Run / 4 RBIs)

First baseman Matt Olson hit his league-leading 37th home run, a 3-run shot, and also singled in a run to help Stockton win its sixth straight on Sunday. Shortstop Daniel Robertson singled, doubled and scored twice, while designated hitter Renato Nunez had a pair of hits and drove in a run, and center fielder Boog Powell went 2 for 5 and scored a run in his second game for Stockton since returning from his suspension. Starter Jake Sanchez returned to the mound after spending two weeks on the disabled list and allowed just 1 run and struck out 5 over 4 innings of work, while RHP Jonathan Joseph followed up by tossing 4 scoreless frames to earn his 7th win for the Ports. Meanwhile, Stockton’s bullpen lost RHP Nolan Sanburn to the White Sox as a result of the Adam Dunn deal. Sanburn struck out 73 in 71 1/3 innings while posting a 3.28 ERA in 42 relief appearances this season for Stockton. The Ports also lost RHPs Tim Atherton and Blake Hassebrock when the two were promoted to Sacramento. Jake Sanchez was activated from the disabled list to make Sunday’s start and RHP Brendan McCurry was promoted from Beloit to bolster Stockton’s bullpen.

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

Saturday, August 30th: Ryon Healy Hits Game-Winning HR in 11th for Ports while Daric Barton Drives in 3 to Help Cats Win and Nate Freiman Homers in Beloit Victory

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Ryon Healy (Home Run / Double / GWRBI)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Ryon Healy (Home Run / Double / GWRBI)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  5

Modesto Nuts     4

WP – House 3-4 / 3.46

HR – Healy (16)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Ryon Healy

(Home Run / Double / GWRBI)

With the game tied in the top of the 11th, designated hitter Ryon Healy led off the inning by belting his 16th home run to provide the Ports with the winning run and give Stockton its fifth straight win on Saturday. Shortstop Daniel Robertson singled in a pair of runs with two outs in the top of the 9th to tie things up and send the game to extra innings. First baseman Matt Olson singled, doubled and scored, while second baseman Chad Pinder singled in a run and stole his 12th base. Catcher Beau Taylor had a pair of hits and scored a run, and center fielder Boog Powell went 0 for 4 but walked twice, once with the bases loaded, in his first game back in action since returning from his 50-game suspension. Starter Chris Lamb allowed 3 runs in 5 innings of work, while RHP Michael Ynoa pitched 2 perfect innings in relief, and RHP Austin House tossed a scoreless 10th and 11th to pick up his 3rd win for the Ports. To make room for Powell’s return to the roster, outfielder Zeke DeVoss was reassigned to the River Cats.

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

Friday, August 29th: Wade Kirkland Slugs Grand Slam in Stockton Win while Sacramento Slips into Second Place after Loss

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Second Baseman Wade Kirkland (Grand Slam)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Second Baseman Wade Kirkland (Grand Slam)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  17

Modesto Nuts       5

WP – Bowman 8-7 / 5.03

HR – Kirkland (4)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Second Baseman Wade Kirkland

(Grand Slam)

After scoring 11 runs in Thursday’s game, Stockton came back to put 17 runs on the board on Friday. Second baseman Wade Kirkland slugged a grand slam in the 6th inning to help put the game out of reach, while third baseman Ryon Healy collected 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in 3, and catcher Beau Taylor doubled, had a pair of singles and a pair of walks and drove in 4. Starter Josh Bowman allowed 5 runs over 5 innings of work to pick up his 8th win, while RHPs Andres Avila and Bobby Wahl each tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief for the Ports.

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