Future Athletic Round-up 1.3

Future Athletic Roundup for Saturday, June 23 2007. (One day late due to a sluggish internet connection slowing my research)

That was close!  I was almost traded to the Kansas City Royals, but it turns out when I was typing the last issue of Future Athletics Roundup my keyboard strained its enter key on the last sentence so here I am.   As always this is an interactive medium so fan-Scouting reports on any mentioned player and differentiating opinions are encouraged.

Future Athletic News:

Call-ups:  With the class of 2007 starting to sign "en masse," there have been call-ups galore (and one very notable but expected call-down) in the A’s minor league system.  Some of the more notable call-ups include: high batting average (and low power) infielder Gregorio Petit called up to AAA from AA (and off to a slow start batting .000/.083/.000 in 11 at bats), power hitting catcher Anthony Recker called up to AA from high A (and off to a slow start batting .214/.313/.214 in 14 at bats), 2005 first round pick Cliff Pennington called up to AA from high A (more about him later), and hyped outfield prospect Matt Sulentic demoted to short season Vancouver from low A Kane County (and off to a slow start batting .143/.250/.143).

First round picks debuted:  2007 first round picks first baseman Sean Doolittle and outfielder Corey Brown made their debuts in Low A Vancouver this week, and both are off to good starts.  Doolittle is hitting .313 with little power and Brown is hitting .333 with a .500 slugging percentage.

The Curse of Bradley:  Midland’s power hitting third baseman Jeff Baisley was placed on the AA DL for his knee.  This is a huge blow to him and the A’s; considering that he’s blocked by Eric Chavez and is an older prospect, he needs all the time he has to move through the system and increase his trade value.

Future Athletic Power Rankings:  Outfield

I was going to start at the catcher position, but with the Bradley DFA I thought it would be nice to take a look at who the A’s have in the pipeline for the outfield.  I could have had this list go on ten prospects strong, but for the sake of not scaring away people with a long diary, here’s my top five:

  1. Danny Putnam – He hasn’t played since May, but there’s no one closer to the big leagues with skills better than his.  He had a 1.001ops in AA, but only had a .613ops in AAA before he got injured.  He’s number one at this point because no other outfielder in the system has put up the numbers or is close enough to the show to justify giving it to them instead.
  1. Richie Robnett – The AA outfielder didn’t start out well this year, but he might be turning it around with a .300/.366/.489 June.  He’s shown brilliance before but hasn’t been able to keep it up and become the power hitting outfielder that he has the potential to be.
  1. Jermaine Mitchell – I don’t like putting a low A outfielder up this high, but he had a great June and some of the people ahead of him in the system didn’t.  In his first full season of play, Mitchell started out fairly average in his first two months, but has turned it on in June to the tune of .274/.329/.507; pretty good numbers for low A.  He could be a candidate for a call-up to high A later this year.
  1. Javier Herrera – I’m being forgiving to the player whose name is often used in the same sentence as "future superstar."  Herrera looked like he had found his stroke in May but cooled off again in June by hitting a line of .216/.245/.357.  He missed a year and was promoted aggressively by the A’s, so it’s not too surprising to see him struggle; unfortunately he needs to start hitting more consistently soon or he might get passed in the depth charts by Jermaine Mitchell.
  1. Jason Perry – He’s 26 and his stats have fallen considerable compared to his AA and May AAA .900+ OPS, but should the entire A’s outfield gets injured at once—for a second time this year--this is the guy that will probably get the call-up.  He’ll have to turn it around soon and start showing the A’s he means business by return to his .900+ OPS hitting; if not he’ll get the AAAA label, and have his name buried permanently beneath the likes of Denorfia and Putnam (if healthy) when the A’s need a call-up this year or choose outfield spots next year.

Notables—Future Athletics Who Throw Stuff:

Dan Meyer:  5.1 innings, 7 hits, 4ER, 3HR, 3BB, and 10K's

Meyer got 10 of his 16 outs with the strike out.  It’s frustrating to see someone with such good stuff, a pitcher the A’s desperately need, not be able to put it together.  Meyer got 10 of his 16 outs with the strike out, but gave up 7 hits, 3 home runs, and 3 walks, and that is why he isn’t ready for the A’s rotation yet.

Mike Madsen:  6.0 innings, 3H, 0ER, 0HR, 3BB, 3K's

The Midland ace is back to pitching like an ace.  He may only have had three strike outs last game, but you have to think it’s only a matter of time before he’s called up to AAA, especially with the A’s rotation troubles.

Mario Ramos:  5.0 innings, 6H, 0ER, 0HR, 4BB, 4K

The lefty pitched a shut-out in his 2007 Sacramento debut, but his numbers suggest he was lucky; next time he allows 10 base-runners in 5 innings, one of them will probably score.

Notables—Future Athletics Who Hit Things:

Daric Barton:   .330avg/.420obp/.494slg/.914ops
Daric Barton appears on the "Future Athletics Who Hit Things" List for a record three times in a row!  Why you may ask?  Well, because there is no one--NO ONE--in the A’s system who is hitting things (mostly balls I hope) better then Daric Barton.  On Tuesday I complained about his drop in power and he’s raised it from .433 to .494 in five games.  With Barton hitting like this, the only thing that will save Dan Johnson from a trade at the deadline or in the offseason is a prolonged slump by Jack Cust for the rest of the year--because Barton is the A’s first baseman of the future.

Cliff Pennington:  .255avg/.348obp/.399slg/.747ops
For most of the A’s prospects, outside of Daric Barton and the Vancouver Canadians, it wasn’t a strong four days offensivly(since my last edition), but Pennington has (sadly) done better than most so I’ll mention him.  Since Tuesday Pennington went 4 for 14 with a double and 3 walks.  It’s a good start for just being called up to AA, but he’ll need to get that average up eventually.

Walter Correa:  .438avg/.474obp/.563slg/1.036ops
The Venezuelan born Correa shared time between second and short in the four game series Vancouver played against Tri-City this week, and he had a great series.  He went 6 for 12 with a double and two walks.

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