Now that we hit the 1Q mark of the season, it would be good to see how well our top prospects are performing and what "sleepers" has open some eyes around the minors.
Triple A Prospects (according to MLB.com)
1. Jarrod Parker (1 overall): Combined record of 2-2 with a 3.17 ERA, promoted 1 month ago to Oakland, he has been as good as advertised. He showed some lack of command on his last outing on SF (a LOT of command issues) that were no problem on his first 3 starts, so it might be just 1 game. So far, he is still our #1 prospect.
2. Brad Peacock (3): 5-1 record. with a not very impresive 4.17 ERA, but has a decent 2.7 K/BB ratio. Seems ready for the majors, but a few more months in Triple A won't hurt him.
3. Grant Green (6): He is doing very well in Sacto, hitting for average (.311) and some decent power (.490 SLG) with a %K of 17.88% of his ABs, he is clearly cutting down his Ks which was a major concern. He is on peace to make an MLB debut on September.
4. Derek Norris (7): He is having a very good season. He was supposed to be a high SLG% low AVG catcher, but his AVG is actually very good (.312) and his power numbers are right there too (.529 SLG and .875 OPS) and with the offensive issues at MLB level, there are more and more fans asking for an opportunity to Norris sooner rather than later.
5. Chris Carter (9): Probably on his make or break year, Carter has a very good start for the Cats, leading the team in RBIs and HRs, with a very decent AVG and only 2 errors while playing on 1B most of his starts. He deserves a fair shot with the A's or to be traded to a team that can give him that shot. The kid has too much talent to let it go in Triple A.
6. AJ Griffin (13): Started the year DOMINATING the Texas League (2.49 ERA, 44 Ks and 0.88 WHIP in 7 starts) and that earned him a promotion to Sacto. In his 2 starts, he has been punished a little bit, but he should be fine after a few starts.
7. Jermaine Mitchell (16): After a breakout season on '11, Mitchell has slowed down this season. His current line of .244/.340/.378/.718 is not going to take him anywhere, specially with the seasons from Green and Taylor.
8. Stephen Parker (18): Victim of a logjam on 3B where the Cats needs to accomodate Donaldson, Parker and Hughes on 3B, Parker has seen his action limited. Despite that, he already logged 113 ABs but with not very impressive results. .248/.346/.372 line just shows that he is still getting used to the Triple A pitching.
9. Josh Donaldson (20): Started the year as the A's starting 3B, but his struggles sent him down to Triple A. After Inge's injury, he is on his second stint, and after his series against the Giants, let's just hope his Triple A numbers starts to replicate at the MLB level.
10. Michael Taylor (-): Taylor was out of the Top Prospects list from MLB.com, but his fast start earned him a trip to Oakland, were he shows some holes in his swing that needs to be corrected if he wants to be an MLB player. His numbers at Triple A suggests that he has nothing else to prove there, so we might need to give him a real shot to make or break with the big team.
11. Pedro Figueroa(-): Figueroa was once a top prospect as a starter, and this season seems to be his breakout season as an MLB reliever. Recently he has shown command issues, but that is expected since he is returning from a TJ surgery.
Sacramento has the most talented prospects from the 4 full season affiliates and most of them are performing.
Double A Prospects:
Midland has a decent record and solid numbers overall, but individually, very few players show outstanding numbers to start the season, being one of those exceptions AJ Griffin, already promoted to Sacto.
1. Michael Choice (2): Choice came from an outstanding season with Stockton, but he started the season slowly for the Hounds. Only 3 HRs in 159 ABs, for an OPS of .705 with 19 RBIs suggests that he is still adjusting to Double A pitching.
2. Sonny Gray (4): Our first pick from the last draft has an unimpressive start as well. In 8 starts, he has an ERA of 4.23 with a 1.32 WHIP. Still, scouts are not worried and a promotion to Triple A is still on the cards for the 2H of the season.
3. Dan Straily (-): The righty has been a strikeout machine in Midland to start the year, with 69 Ks in 52.1 IPs, for almost 12 K/9 ratio.
4. Jeremy Barfield (-): On his 2nd year at Midland, Barfield is having a fast start, witha .317/.359/.489 line to go with 26 RBIs.
5. Conner Crumbliss (-): His .425 OBP is outstanding, and probably will make the FO very happy. Probably the most consistent hitter in Midland.
6. Sean Doolittle (-): After his performance during the 1Q, Doolittle might cracks the Top 20 Prospect List. The LHP has K 38 in 20.1 IPs between STK and MID. His ERA of 0.89 has being sustained in 2 different levels and he might find himself in Sacto sooner rather than later.
Shane Peterson, Jonathan Ortiz and Anthony Allioty also deserve mentions as good performers during this 1Q.
Single A Advance Prospects
At the beggining of the year, the Ports had a very good opportunity to shine in the Cal League due to the number of prospects that started the season with them. Some of those prospects had a very slow start, and that is reflected on the Ports record, dead last on the Cal League.
1. AJ Cole (5): Things could not being worst to start the season for Cole. 0-7 record with a 7.82 ERA. His WHIP of 1.84 is astronomic, and his K rate (31 in 38 IPs) its just good.
2. Yordy Cabrera (8): The buzz was that Cabrera was having a tremendous Spring until he got injured. He just came back to action, but is still warming up (I hope!) since he is just batting .158 in 5 games. Too early to get any conclusions for his season.
3. Ian Krol (10): Not as bad as Cole, but Krol is still looking for his first W in 6 starts (0-3) with a 6.04 ERA and a high 1.54 WHIP.
4. Blake Hassebrock (14): Another starter with a bad start of the season. Blake is currently on the DL, but before that, he had a 7.36 ERA in 4 starts with a 1.91 WHIP.
5. Max Stassi (19): The injury prone catcher has already a trip to the DL this season. He has been hitting better lately, but still shows a poor line of .219/.257/.406.
6. Miles Head (-); Among the bad news in Stockton, there is a very good one. The best hitter in the A's Minors is Head, and he is playing 3B!!. With a 1.062 OPS, 8 HRs and 30 RBIs, we might have a true 3B prospect here! With only 5 errors (I haven't seen him playing to rate range or other better metrics to evaluate his defense) seems like he is playing good enough defensively to give him a shot in Double A, probably before midseason.
7. Dusty Robinson (-): Recently promoted from Burlington, Robinson has been terrific. Twice already Player of the Week for the Midwest League, Robinson started hot in Stockton, going 6-12 in 3 games, including 2 HRs.
8. AJ Kirby Jones (-): Another hot starter, has been the ideal protection for Head in the lineup. With a line of .297/.410/.514, along with 8 HRs and 25 RBIs, Kirby Jones is having a very nice season in Stockton.
Blake Trainnen, TJ Walz, Connor Hoehn and Ryan Doolittle also deserve a mention here.
Low Class A Prospects:
1. Raul Alcantara (11): Not very good overall numbers to start the season, specially on a pitchers friendly league, but Alcantara has improved lately, with a 3-1 record in his last 4 starts.
2. Aaron Shipman (15): Just starting his season, since he started the season on the DL, he is just warming up and playing better lately, hitting .323 in his last 10 games, compared to his .214 AVG for the season.
3. BA Valmouth (-): His bat has been there in clutch moments (28 RBIs and his AVG is raising) but his defense is a question mark, with 8 errors already from the hot corner.
4. Sean Jamieson (-): Interesting SS prospect, with 13 SBs already, 20/28 BB/K ratio, and an OBP of .370 is showing that he might be a sleeper, with felow SS prospect Chih Fang Pan.
5. Chih Fang Pan (-): Very similar numbers to Jamieson, except for the SB total. Better average but lower OBP.
6. Drew Granier (-): Excellent numbers to start the season: 6-2, 1.74 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 53 Ks in 9 starts.
7. Sean Murphy (-): Similar numbers to Granier. 1.97 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 52 Ks in 8 starts.