Well, we all know that, after this busy off-season, the A’s system is just loaded with exciting young prospects. And it’s a great time for any A’s fan interested in the future to keep an eye on what’s going on down on the farm. That’s what I’ve been doing on my A’s Farm blog, where a lot of you have been stopping by to keep up to date on things. But now I’ll also be doing weekly “Down On The Farm” updates right here on Athletics Nation. So I hope everyone will take the chance to check out these minor league wrap-ups every week and get a little more excited about what the future has to hold for the A’s! You’ll find the best from opening week down on the farm right after the jump…
(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)
Record This Week: 3-1
The Rivercats came out of the gate swinging, scoring 34 runs over their first 4 games. Catcher Derek Norris clubbed 2 home runs and 2 doubles in the first 3 games he started, and outfielder Michael Taylor had 8 hits and 8 RBIs in his first 4 games. Outfielders Grant Green and Brandon Moss both homered on opening night, and first baseman Daric Barton – on a minor league rehab assignment before his recall – had 7 hits and 5 RBIs in his first 4 games. Brad Peacock was the only Sacramento starter to pick up a win in the first week, giving up two earned runs and striking out 6 over 6 innings. Jarrod Parker gave up 3 runs over 6 innings in his first start for Sacramento, and Tyson Ross gave up 1 run over 4 innings but walked 3 in his season debut.
Rivercats Of The Week:
Catcher Derek Norris (2 Doubles / 2 Home Runs / 6 RBIs / 15 Total Bases)
Outfielder Michael Taylor (1 Double / 1 Home Run / 8 RBIs / 12 Total Bases)
(Double-A Texas League)
Record This Week: 2-2
Speedy outfielder Conner Crumbliss showed surprising power, blasting the Rockhounds’ only 2 home runs in the first week. The team’s expected primary power source, outfielder Michael Choice, went 4 for 12 with 1 double, 3 RBIs and 6 walks in his first week at Double-A. Pitcher A.J. Griffin had the week’s most impressive outing for Midland, striking out 8 over 5 shutout innings. Meanwhile, first-round draft pick Sonny Gray struggled in his season debut, walking 3 and giving up 4 earned runs over 5 innings pitched.
Rockhounds Of The Week:
Outfielder Conner Crumbliss (2 Home Runs / 2 Stolen Bases / 11 Total Bases)
Pitcher A.J. Griffin (5 IP / 0 ER / 8 K)
(Advanced-A California League)
Record This Week: 3-1
Outfielder Josh Whitaker was the hitting star for Stockton in the first week, going 6 for 16 with 2 homers over his first 4 games. But the impressive performance of the Ports’ pitching staff was the big story for Stockton this week. The Ports managed to give up only 10 runs over their first 4 games thanks to strong outings from starters Blake Hassebrock, T.J. Walz and Blake Treinen. The team’s most highly-touted pitching prospect, A.J. Cole, lost his season debut though, giving up 3 earned runs over 5 innings. Former first baseman Sean Doolittle, trying to make the switch to pitching, made an impressive debut on the mound, striking out 4 of the 5 batters he faced over 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Ports Of The Week:
Outfielder Josh Whitaker (2 Home Runs / 2 Stolen Bases / 13 Total Bases)
Shortstop Michael Gilmartin (2 Doubles / 1 Home Run / 10 Total Bases)
(Class-A Midwest League)
Record This Week: 2-1
There was clearly only one star in Burlington this week, and that was former Fresno State slugger Dusty Robinson, who hit a grand slam on opening night, and then followed it up the next night by blasting another homer for the Bees. Over the first week, the Babe Ruth of Burlington leads the team in home runs, runs, RBIs and total bases – and he even stole a base to boot! Taiwanese import Chih Fang Pan went 3 for 6 in his first week in the Midwest League.
Bees Of The Week:
Outfielder Dusty Robinson (2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs / 10 Total Bases)
Pitcher Brent Powers (3 IP / 0 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / 1 Win)
You can check out my blog - A's Farm - for daily updates on the A’s minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.