Down On The Farm – Week #10: As A’s Fall, River Cats Rise

Tyson Ross - one of the best AAAA pitchers around?

While the A’s have sunk to the bottom of the American League West, their Triple-A affiliate – the Sacramento River Cats – have risen to the top of the Pacific Coast League. And while the A’s offense continues to struggle, placing last in the league in batting average, OPS and runs scored, the River Cats' offense averaged 9 runs per game last week and is second in home runs and runs scored in their league. After winning 5 of its 6 games last week, Sacramento now boasts the best record in the 16-team PCL with a winning percentage of .641. And in a minor league version of the Bay Bridge series (the I-5 series, perhaps?), the River Cats will open a 3-game set against the team with the next best record in the PCL, the San Francisco Giants’ Triple-A affiliate - the Fresno Grizzlies - on Monday. It should be an interesting battle for Pacific Coast League supremacy with right-handers Brad Peacock and A.J. Griffin due to start two of the games for Sacramento. You can get daily updates on everything that’s going on with all 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: 5-1

Record This Season: 41-23

Sacramento’s latest hot streak can primarily be attributed to its hot-hitting lineup, as the team averaged 9 runs per game over the past week. Outfielder Michael Taylor continued to lead the Cats’ offense last week, homering, driving in 7 runs and raising his batting average 18 points to a healthy .339 mark. Shortstop Brandon Hicks continues to wield a hot bat. He also homered and drove in 7 last week and sports the second best OPS among River Cats regulars. Catcher Derek Norris has continued to be productive at the plate and is currently second on the team in RBIs with 36 and third in home runs with 8. Outfielder Grant Green picked up the pace last week and now leads the team in hits and is third in both runs and RBIs. The River Cats’ rotation has also been impressive. Starters Graham Godfrey and Tyson Ross both turned in two impressive outings last week, allowing a combined total of 3 earned runs over 27 innings. Right-hander A.J. Griffin allowed only 2 unearned runs on just 3 hits in his start on Friday and has now allowed a total of 5 hits over his last two starts with Sacramento.

Top Cats:

Outfielder Michael Taylor (35 R / 4 HR / 29 RBI / 33 BB / 41 K / .339 AVG / .437 OBP / .505 SLG / .942 OPS)

Shortstop Brandon Hicks (38 R / 7 HR / 30 RBI / 22 BB / 63 K / .266 AVG / .357 OBP / .492 SLG / .849 OPS)

Catcher Derek Norris (32 R / 8 HR / 36 RBI / 16 BB / 36 K / .283 AVG / .329 OBP / .497 SLG / .826 OPS)

1B Chris Carter (37 R / 10 HR / 48 RBI / 29 BB / 64 K / .260 AVG / .344 OBP / .466 SLG / .810 OPS)

Pitcher Graham Godfrey (51 2/3 IP / 41 H / 6 ER / 8 BB / 40 K / 1.05 ERA / 0.95 WHIP)

Pitcher Tyson Ross (22 IP / 21 H / 6 ER / 5 BB / 11 K / 2.45 ERA / 1.18 WHIP)

Pitcher Bruce Billings (48 IP / 39 H / 16 ER / 10 BB / 44 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.02 WHIP)

Pitcher A.J. Griffin (36 1/3 IP / 29 H / 13 ER / 6 BB / 32 K / 3.22 ERA / 0.96 WHIP)



MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Record This Week: 3-3

Record This Season: 32-29

The RockHounds continue to ride the hot arm of right-hander Daniel Straily, as 2 of the team’s 3 wins last week came in Straily’s starts. In his 2 starts last week, the former 24th-round draft pick out of Marshall University in West Virginia allowed 1 run in 13 innings while walking 1 and striking out 20, and he currently leads all A’s minor leaguers in strikeouts with 99, averaging 11.4 K’s per 9 innings. Top prospect Sonny Gray had a disastrous outing on Friday, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits in just 2 2/3 innings to run his record on the season to 1-5. Outfielder Michael Choice had a big game on Sunday, collecting 3 hits and launching a 3-run homer to give him 5round-trippers on the season.

Top Hounds:

Outfielder Shane Peterson (27 R / 2 HR / 23 RBI / 42 BB / 44 K / .285 AVG / .449 OBP / .437 SLG / .886 OPS)

1B Anthony Aliotti (28 R / 4 HR / 24 RBI / 29 BB / 51 K / .319 AVG / .423 OBP / .436 SLG / .858 OPS)

2B Tyler Ladendorf (23 R / 3 HR / 22 RBI / 19 BB / 25 K / .299 AVG / .386 OBP / .429 SLG / .815 OPS)

Pitcher Murphy Smith (63 1/3 IP / 62 H / 22 ER / 27 BB / 43 K / 3.13 ERA / 1.41 WHIP)

Pitcher Daniel Straily (77 1/3 IP / 69 H / 31 ER / 23 BB / 99 K / 3.61 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)

Pitcher Sonny Gray (56 1/3 IP / 52 H / 31 ER / 26 BB / 34 K / 4.95 ERA / 1.38 WHIP)

Pitcher Jonathan Ortiz (24 2/3 IP / 22 H / 7 ER / 8 BB / 20 K / 2.55 ERA / 1.22 WHIP / 9 SV)



STOCKTON PORTS

(Advanced-A California League)

Record This Week: 3-4

Record This Season: 24-39

The Ports’ pitching staff has been picking up the pace of late with the addition of right-hander Sean Murphy from Burlington and the return of left-hander Ian Krol from the disabled list. In his last start on Friday, Murphy threw 6 1/3 shutout innings while walking 1 and striking out 10 and has posted a miniscule ERA of just 1.33 in his 4 starts since joining Stockton. Meanwhile, in his 2 starts last week, Krol allowed 4 runs on just 7 hits over 12 innings while striking out 10. First baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones, outfielder Dusty Robinson, catcher Max Stassi and infielder Tony Thompson all had big games for the Ports last week, but third baseman Miles Head continues to wield one of the biggest bats in the A’s system, and he currently leads all A’s minor leaguers in hits with 88, batting average at .368 and slugging percentage at .653.

Top Ports:

3B Miles Head (49 R / 12 HR / 45 RBI / 21 BB / 48 K / .368 AVG / .422 OBP / .653 SLG / 1.075 OPS)

1B A.J. Kirby-Jones (30 R / 12 HR / 40 RBI / 41 BB / 64 K / .303 AVG / .423 OBP / .561 SLG / .984 OPS)

Outfielder Josh Whitaker (31 R / 7 HR / 26 RBI / 21 BB / 71 K / .276 AVG / .340 OBP / .424 SLG / .764 OPS)

Pitcher Sean Murphy (27 IP / 16 H / 4 ER / 3 BB / 28 K / 1.33 ERA / 0.70 WHIP)

Pitcher Jacob Brown (55 2/3 IP / 49 H / 20 ER / 8 BB / 44 K / 3.23 ERA / 1.02 WHIP)

Pitcher T.J. Walz (56 1/3 IP / 52 H / 22 ER / 13 BB / 57 K / 3.51 ERA / 1.15 WHIP)



BURLINGTON BEES

(Class-A Midwest League)

Record This Week: 2-4

Record This Season: 28-34

Burlington’s sluggish offense fell back into its deep sleep last week, averaging just 2 ½ runs per game before putting up 16 runs in an 11-inning slugfest on Sunday. Fortunately for the Bees, their starting rotation has been rounding into shape behind Drew Granier. The right-hander had another impressive outing on Wednesday, tossing 7 scoreless innings to pick up his team-leading 8th win and lower his ERA on the season to 1.89. Top prospect A.J. Cole had another solid outing for Burlington on Thursday, allowing just 1 unearned run while walking 1 and striking out 6 in 5 innings of work. Raul Alcantara followed up on Friday by giving up 2 runs over 6 innings. And right-hander Max Perlman had an impressive outing on Saturday in first start of the season for Burlington, allowing 1 run on just 1 walk and 3 hits over 5 innings of work.

Top Bees:

Shortstop Sean Jamieson (38 R / 3 HR / 18 RBI / 38 BB / 36 K / .254 AVG / .383 OBP / .376 SLG / .759 OPS)

Outfielder Royce Consigli (21 R / 4 HR / 18 RBI / 21 BB / 24 K / .252 AVG / .343 OBP / .442 SLG / .785 OPS)

2B Chih Fang Pan (23 R / 2 HR / 29 RBI / 14 BB / 33 K / .298 AVG / .358 OBP / .409 SLG / .767 OPS)

Pitcher Drew Granier (71 1/3 IP / 61 H / 15 ER / 23 BB / 65 K / 1.89 ERA / 1.18 WHIP)

Pitcher Max Perlman (42 1/3 IP / 32 H / 12 ER / 12 BB / 33 K / 2.53 ERA / 1.03 WHIP)

Pitcher A.J. Cole (16 1/3 IP / 20 H / 7 ER / 5 BB / 19 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.53 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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