Down On The Farm – Week #22: Late-Season Promotions Make Life Interesting

Once we hit the final stretch of the season, not only do a handful of minor leaguers get the chance to show what they can do in the majors, but a number of players at the lower levels of the system are also given a taste of life at the higher levels. Top pitching prospect Sonny Gray will soon be getting the chance to make his first start for Sacramento, where he’s joining fellow former-RockHound Josh Horton, who made an auspicious debut for the River Cats this week. Stockton’s best starter this season, right-hander Josh Bowman, got his first taste of life in Midland this week, where his former Ports teammate, left-hander Ian Krol, has been residing for a few weeks now. Meanwhile, Vermont’s best hitter, outfielder John Wooten, shipped out to Burlington this week, where he joined fellow 2012 draftees Addison Russell and Max Muncy. And the A’s 3rd overall pick this year, first baseman Matt Olson, debuted with a bang for Vermont this week. You can get daily updates on all the A’s top prospects on my Athletics Farm blog and lots more details on the last week of A’s minor league action here on Athletics Nation right after the jump…


SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Record This Week: 5-2

Record This Season: 86-57

The River Cats had another winning week in their final push to the playoffs. Second baseman Jemile Weeks has a slash line of .366/.435/.463 since being sent down to Sacramento. There have been a few other new arrivals on the River Cats’ roster as well. Shortstop Josh Horton arrived from Midland and immediately drove in the winning run in his first game with Sacramento. Catcher/first baseman Blake Lalli, who was acquired from the Cubs in the Anthony Recker deal, had 3 hits, including a home run, in his first game with the Cats. Meanwhile, on the mound, starter Dan Straily turned in another impressive outing on Sunday, striking out 9 in 6 scoreless innings. New arrival Jesse Chavez had a solid outing in his first start for Sacramento, allowing just 1 run while striking out 8 over 6 innings of work. Graham Godfrey, who was designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and was returned to the River Cats’ roster. And we’ll soon be getting the chance to see top pitching prospect Sonny Gray make his debut with Sacramento after getting promoted from Midland. The River Cats’ final regular season game occurs this Monday, and the first round of the playoffs starts this Wednesday at Raley Field.

Top Cats:

Outfielder Michael Taylor (80 R / 12 HR / 66 RBI / 85 BB / 104 K / .288 AVG / .405 OBP / .443 SLG / .848 OPS)

DH Kila Ka’aihue (44 R / 15 HR / 50 RBI / 44 BB / 60 K / .252 AVG / .367 OBP / .496 SLG / .863 OPS)

First Baseman Daric Barton (48 R / 8 HR / 34 RBI / 66 BB / 53 K / .250 AVG / .408 OBP / .414 SLG / .822 OPS)

Pitcher Dan Straily (66 2/3 IP / 40 H / 15 ER / 19 BB / 82 K / 2.03 ERA / 0.89 WHIP)

Pitcher Tyson Ross (78 1/3 IP / 69 H / 26 ER / 29 BB / 64 K / 2.99 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)

Pitcher Graham Godfrey (104 IP / 98 H / 38 ER / 26 BB / 60 K / 3.29 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)



MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Record This Week: 3-4

Record This Season: 63-74

The hottest recent arrival in the RockHounds’ lineup has been catcher David Freitas, acquired from the Nationals in the Kurt Suzkui deal. The 23-year-old receiver has a .333/.392/.524 slash line since his arrival in Midland. Sonny Gray’s final start for the RockHounds this season was a good one. He allowed just 1 run on 4 hits over 8 innings. Meanwhile, right-hander Josh Bowman made his first start for Midland since being promoted from Stockton and allowed 3 runs in 5 innings of work. Left-hander Ian Krol, who made the move from Stockton in early August, has an ERA of 5.06 after his first 8 relief appearances with the RockHounds.

Top Hounds:

DH Matt Rizzotti (20 R / 5 HR / 27 RBI / 9 BB / 33 K / .315 AVG / .359 OBP / .521 SLG / .880 OPS)

OF Conner Crumbliss (93 R / 9 HR / 44 RBI / 120 BB / 97 K / .258 AVG / .414 OBP / .386 SLG / .800 OPS)

1B Anthony Aliotti (72 R / 10 HR / 76 RBI / 68 BB / 129 K / .292 AVG / .385 OBP / .426 SLG / .811 OPS)

Pitcher Sonny Gray (148 IP / 148 H / 68 ER / 57 BB / 97 K / 4.14 ERA / 1.39 WHIP)

Pitcher Shawn Haviland (120 IP / 124 H / 64 ER / 47 BB / 104 K / 4.80 ERA / 1.43 WHIP)

Pitcher Murphy Smith (140 IP / 171 H / 75 ER / 57 BB / 83 K / 4.82 ERA / 1.63 WHIP)



STOCKTON PORTS

(High-A California League)

Record This Week: 4-3

Record This Season: 55-84

Third baseman B.A. Vollmuth has been swinging the bat well for Stockton since his mid-season promotion from Burlington. Most of his struggles have been with the glove, as evidenced by his 23 errors in just 64 games with the Ports. Outfielder Dusty Robinson had a big week with the bat for Stockton, hitting his 16th and 17th home runs and driving in 9 runs on the week. Left-hander A.J. Huttenlocker got his first start of the season for the Ports this week and ended up striking out 7 over 5 innings to earn the win. Meanwhile, right-hander Sean Murphy got back on the beam with his last start on Friday, tossing 6 scoreless innings to earn his 8th win with Stockton.

Top Ports:

1B A.J. Kirby-Jones (62 R / 21 HR / 69 RBI / 85 BB / 128 K / .250 AVG / .383 OBP / .465 SLG / .847 OPS)

Outfielder Josh Whitaker (62 R / 20 HR / 61 RBI / 33 BB / 122 K / .259 AVG / .325 OBP / .472 SLG / .796 OPS)

3B B.A. Vollmuth (45 R / 7 HR / 29 RBI / 27 BB / 67 K / .340 AVG / .404 OBP / .744 SLG / .763 OPS)

Pitcher Blake Treinen (102 IP / 116 H / 50 ER / 23 BB / 92 K / 4.41 ERA / 1.36 WHIP)

Pitcher Sean Murphy (108 2/3 IP / 98 H / 58 ER / 35 BB / 107 K / 4.80 ERA / 1.22 WHIP)

Pitcher Jacob Brown (133 1/3 IP / 162 H / 75 ER / 26 BB / 94 K / 5.06 ERA / 1.41 WHIP)



BURLINGTON BEES

(Class-A Midwest League)

Record This Week: 1-5

Record This Season: 67-70

Vermont’s best hitter and the A’s 37th-round draft pick this year, outfielder John Wooten, was promoted to Burlington this week to join fellow 2012 draftees Addison Russell and Max Muncy, who’ve both been performing well thus far in the Midwest League. Muncy has a .272/.376/.429 slash line in his debut in pro ball and has been collecting doubles and walks at a notable pace. Meanwhile, Russell’s slash line is .314/.368/.451 after his first couple of weeks at Burlington. And in his first 4 starts with the Bees, right-hander Blake Hassebrock seems to be turning his disastrous start with Stockton around, going 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA while striking out 17 in 22 innings of work.

Top Bees:

First Baseman Max Muncy (33 R / 4 HR / 23 RBI / 38 BB / 35 K / .272 AVG / .376 OBP / .429 SLG / .805 OPS)

Outfielder Bobby Crocker (56 R / 6 HR / 53 RBI / 37 BB / 107 K / .272 AVG / .348 OBP / .374 SLG / .722 OPS)

3B Wade Kirkland (48 R / 8 HR / 55 RBI / 27 BB / 98 K / .241 AVG / .309 OBP / .404 SLG / .713 OPS)

Pitcher A.J. Cole (95 2/3 IP / 78 H / 22 ER / 19 BB / 102 K / 2.07 ERA / 1.01 WHIP)

Pitcher Drew Granier (162 2/3 IP / 149 H / 58 ER / 53 BB / 167 K / 3.21 ERA / 1.24 WHIP)

Pitcher Raul Alcantara (102 2/3 IP / 119 H / 58 ER / 38 BB / 57 K / 5.08 ERA / 1.53 WHIP)



VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS

(Class-A Short-Season New York-Penn League)

Record This Week: 5-2

Record This Season: 32-41

As you may recall, the A’s 3rd overall draft pick this season, first baseman Matt Olson homered in his pro debut with the Arizona League A’s. Well, he did it again - the 18-year-old clubbed a homer in his first game this week after being promoted to Vermont. The A’s second overall pick, shortstop Daniel Robertson, has been struggling with the Lake Monsters of late and sports a slash line of .179/.233/.238 since joining the team. Meanwhile, former top prospect Michael Ynoa made big news by winning his first game for Vermont by tossing 3 scoreless innings in relief. And 22-year-old Mexican right-hander Andres Avila put together two impressive outings this week, striking out 14 while walking none over 11 scoreless innings.

Top Monsters:

Outfielder Brett Vertigan (32 R / 1 HR / 15 RBI / 24 BB / 31 K / .270 AVG / .343 OBP / .381 SLG / .724 OPS)

First Baseman Jacob Tanis (24 R / 2 HR / 29 RBI / 21 BB / 43 K / .274 AVG / .346 OBP / .353 SLG / .699 OPS)

2B Chris Bostick (40 R / 3 HR / 27 RBI / 26 BB / 62 K / .254 AVG / .328 OBP / .373 SLG / .701 OPS)

Pitcher Andres Avila (66 IP / 68 H / 28 ER / 16 BB / 60 K / 3.82 ERA / 1.27 WHIP)

Pitcher Tyler Vail (51 2/3 IP / 39 H / 22 ER / 18 BB / 49 K / 3.83 ERA / 1.10 WHIP)

Pitcher J.C. Menna (62 2/3 IP / 60 H / 32 ER / 27 BB / 47 K / 4.60 ERA / 1.39 WHIP)



AZL ATHLETICS

(Rookie Short-Season Arizona League)

Record This Week: 1-1

Postseason Games:

AZL Semi-Final Game - Won 15-3 vs. AZL Cubs

AZL Championship Game - Lost 3-1 vs. AZL Rangers

Record This Season: 37-17

Third baseman Renato Nunez proved to be the A’s hottest hitter down the stretch, clubbing 2 home runs and 2 triples while driving in 8 runs in the team’s final 3 games. This year’s 16th-round draft pick, second baseman Melvin Mercedes, came on strong in the last month, and the 5’8" 20-year-old from the Bronx ended the season hitting .381 with an impressive .440 on-base percentage. This year’s 15th-round draft pick, right-hander Vince Voiro, proved to be the team’s most effective starter, posting a 3.62 ERA while striking out 41 and walking just 8 in 37 1/3 innings of work. The A’s ended the season with the best record in the Arizona League, and went on to pound the Cubs in the semi-final game with the help of Nunez’s hot bat. But the team lost the championship game to the dreaded Rangers, scoring just 1 run thanks to Nunez’s homer.

Top AZL A’s:

3B Renato Nunez (31 R / 4 HR / 42 RBI / 17 BB / 32 K / .325 AVG / .403 OBP / .550 SLG / .953 OPS)

2B Melvin Mercedes (24 R / 0 HR / 12 RBI / 10 BB / 15 K / .381 AVG / .440 OBP / .495 SLG / .935 OPS)

Outfielder B.J. Boyd (37 R / 1 HR / 20 RBI / 23 BB / 36 K / .301 AVG / .401 OBP / .434 SLG / .835 OPS)

Pitcher Vince Voiro (37 1/3 IP / 35 H / 15 ER / 8 BB / 41 K / 3.62 ERA / 1.15 WHIP)

Pitcher Jose Torres (52 IP / 52 H / 25 ER / 29 BB / 41 K / 4.33 ERA / 1.56 WHIP)

Pitcher Gregory Paulino (60 IP / 75 H / 38 ER / 16 BB / 56 K / 5.70 ERA / 1.52 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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