Down On The Farm – Week #5: Who’s Hot And Who’s Not?

Graham Godfrey - with Tyson Ross struggling, could he be due for another ride on the I-80 Express?

While perpetual prospect Michael Taylor finally got the call from the big club last week, the recently demoted Josh Donaldson, Graham Godfrey and Andrew Carignan have all been tearing it up at Sacramento. Former top prospect Josh Horton has really started heating up at Midland, Miles Head has continued living up to his hype at Stockton, and outfielder Dusty Robinson has been looking like the Babe Ruth of Burlington! You can get daily updates on everything that’s going on with the A’s minor league teams and top prospects on my Athletics Farm blog and lots more details on the last week of A’s minor league action right here on Athletics Nation after the jump…

SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Record This Week: 5-3

Record This Season: 21-11

One of the Sacramento’s best hitters so far this season, outfielder Michael Taylor, was finally called up to the big club on Friday, temporarily relieving a bit of the River Cats’ outfield logjam. But the team’s logjam at third base got even worse after Australian infielder Luke Hughes was sent down, which followed hot on the heels of third baseman Josh Donaldson’s demotion. Stephen Parker had been getting most of the starts at the hot corner early in the season, but Wes Timmons and Adam Rosales had seen time there too. Donaldson has snagged most of the playing time at third since his arrival, though he’s also gotten a few starts behind the plate. His hot-hitting has assured him a daily spot in the lineup somewhere. Since his return to Sacramento, Donaldson has been hitting like a man possessed, clubbing 4 homers in his 9 games and maintaining a healthy .467 batting average. Outfielder/designated hitter Brandon Moss has been the team’s other big power source, launching 3 homers in the past week to give him a team-leading 7 on the season. Sacramento’s starting rotation has continued to look strong, with Graham Godfrey, Brad Peacock, Bruce Billings and Travis Banwart all turning in solid performances last week. Godfrey has been particularly impressive since his demotion, giving up just 1 run over his 3 starts for a 0.45 ERA and a 3-0 record. If Tyson Ross continues to struggle with the big club, it’s possible Godfrey could be taking a ride on the I-80 Express again before long. And right-hander Andrew Carignan’s performance with the Cats might have him in line to be the next righty added to the A’s bullpen mix. So far at Sacramento, Carignan’s struck out 14 and walked only 1 in his 9 innings of relief work.

Top Cats:

3B/C Josh Donaldson (9 R / 4 HR / 13 RBI / 4 BB / 4 K / .467 AVG / .543 OBP / .967 SLG / 1.510 OPS)

Outfielder Brandon Moss (16 R / 7 HR / 16 RBI / 11 BB / 16 K / .317 AVG / .391 OBP / .594 SLG / .985 OPS)

First baseman Chris Carter (20 R / 4 HR / 22 RBI / 15 BB / 34 K / .304 AVG / .383 OBP / .496 SLG / .879 OPS)

Pitcher Graham Godfrey (20 IP / 20 H / 1 ER / 3 BB / 16 K / 0.45 ERA / 1.15 WHIP)

Pitcher Bruce Billings (20 2/3 IP / 21 H / 7 ER / 4 BB / 20 K / 3.05 ERA / 1.21 WHIP)

Pitcher Brad Peacock (33 1/3 IP / 31 H / 12 ER / 13 BB / 32 K / 3.24 ERA / 1.32 WHIP)

Pitcher Andrew Carignan (9 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 14 K / 2.00 ERA / 0.67 WHIP)


MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Record This Week: 6-1

Record This Season: 18-12

The RockHounds really started firing on all cyclinders last week, winning 6 of their 7 games. Outfielder Shane Peterson has been Midland’s hottest hitter all season. But last week, Josh Horton, a former top shortstop prospect who’s been the team’s starting third baseman, really started coming on strong, and he now leads the team in hits and total bases and is tied for the team lead in home runs and doubles. The RockHounds’ pitching staff has continued to be dominant, with A.J. Griffin and his 1.93 ERA and Daniel Straily and his 46 strikeouts in 35 innings leading the way. Part-time starter Murphy Smith, who’s been strong both starting and relieving, is currently sporting an impressive 0.99 WHIP to go along with a 2.37 ERA. And right-hander Jonathan Ortiz currently leads all A’s minor leaguers with 6 saves.

Top Hounds:

Outfielder Shane Peterson (23 R / 2 HR / 19 RBI / 28 BB / 32 K / .297 AVG / .458 OBP / .485 SLG / .943 OPS)

Third Baseman Josh Horton (13 R / 4 HR / 19 RBI / 21 BB / 27 K / .288 AVG / .398 OBP / .477 SLG / .876 OPS)

Outfielder Conner Crumbliss (20 R / 3 HR / 13 RBI / 20 BB / 20 K / .282 AVG / .402 OBP / .437 SLG / .838 OPS)

Pitcher A.J. Griffin (37 1/3 IP / 23 H / 8 ER / 5 BB / 41 K / 1.93 ERA / 0.75 WHIP)

Pitcher Daniel Straily (35 IP / 27 H / 11 ER / 11 BB / 46 K / 2.83 ERA / 1.09 WHIP)

Pitcher Murphy Smith (30 1/3 IP / 20 H / 8 ER / 10 BB / 25 K / 2.37 ERA / 0.99 WHIP)

Pitcher Jonathan Ortiz (12 IP / 9 H / 2 ER / 3 BB / 11 K / 1.50 ERA / 1.00 WHIP / 6 Saves)


STOCKTON PORTS

(Advanced-A California League)

Record This Week: 0-6

Record This Season: 11-18

Stockton’s offense has really been struggling of late and, consequently, the team went 0-6 last week. The Ports are currently riding a 7-game losing streak and have lost 12 of their last 13 games. Last week, the team scored more than 2 runs only once. The Ports’ only real consistent offensive threat has been infielder Miles Head, who currently sports a .347/.376/.669 slash line and leads the team in almost every offensive category. Right-hander T.J. Walz continues to lead Stockton’s starting staff with a 2.70 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 30 innings. Meanwhile, right-hander Blake Hassebrock was placed on the disabled list last week, and catcher Max Stassi returned from the disabled list after missing the past 3 weeks due to an ankle injury.

Top Ports:

Infielder Miles Head (24 R / 7 HR / 25 RBI / 5 BB / 28 K / .347 AVG / .376 OBP / .669 SLG / 1.045 OPS)

1B A.J. Kirby-Jones (13 R / 4 HR / 17 RBI / 16 BB / 30 K / .290 AVG / .391 OBP / .473 SLG / .864 OPS)

Outfielder Josh Whitaker (18 R / 2 HR / 8 RBI / 13 BB / 37 K / .255 AVG / .345 OBP / .382 SLG / .727 OPS)

Pitcher T.J. Walz (30 IP / 26 H / 9 ER / 6 BB / 34 K / 2.70 ERA / 1.07 WHIP)

Pitcher Blake Treinen (38 IP / 42 H / 19 ER / 7 BB / 33 K / 4.50 ERA / 1.29 WHIP)


BURLINGTON BEES

(Class-A Midwest League)

Record This Week: 2-3

Record This Season: 14-15

The Bees have basically been riding on their pitching staff and relying on the Babe Ruth of Burlington, outfielder Dusty Robinson, for what little offense they can generate. Much like Miles Head with Stockton, Robinson leads the team in almost all offensive categories, and he leads all A’s minor leaguers in home runs with 8. The team’s only other consistent hitter, outfielder Chad Oberacker, was recently bumped up to Stockton, making things even tougher for the Bees’ struggling offense. But Burlington’s pitching staff has been more than capably led by right-handers Drew Granier and Sean Murphy. Granier boasts a 1.42 ERA and Murphy sports a 1.57 ERA and, combined, the two have struck out 68 batters in 60 1/3 innings. After getting off to a rocky start early in the season, 19-year-old prospect Raul Alcantara has turned in solid outings his last 2 times out, allowing just 1 run over 11 innings of work.

Top Bees:

Outfielder Dusty Robinson (20 R / 8 HR / 25 RBI / 13 BB / 22 K / .283 AVG / .369 OBP / .613 SLG / .982 OPS)

Outfielder Royce Consigli (11 R / 0 HR / 9 RBI / 11 BB / 13 K / .262 AVG / .347 OBP / .369 SLG / .716 OPS)

First Baseman Doug Landaeta (11 R / 3 HR / 9 RBI / 5 BB / 18 K / .257 AVG / .300 OBP / .459 SLG / .759 OPS)

Pitcher Drew Granier (31 2/3 IP / 27 H / 5 ER / 7 BB / 31 K / 1.42 ERA / 1.07 WHIP)

Pitcher Sean Murphy (28 2/3 IP / 19 H / 5 ER / 13 BB / 37 K / 1.57 ERA / 1.12 WHIP)


You can check out my blog - Athletics Farm - for daily updates on the A’s minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.


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