Down On The Farm: The A’s Minor League Hitting Heroes!

Outfielder Shane Peterson - USA TODAY Sports

Well, with a week and a half of minor league action now in the books, it looks like the hitters are out in front of the pitchers in the A’s system at this stage of the game. And nowhere is that more true than at Sacramento, where the River Cats have scored in double digits in each of their last 3 games. The Cats’ attack has been led by outfielder Shane Peterson and catcher Stephen Vogt, who have been tearing up Pacific Coast League pitching lately. Meanwhile, first baseman Anthony Aliotti has had the big bat at Midland. Fellow first baseman Max Muncy has been one of the hottest hitters in the A’s minor league system at Stockton. And catcher Bruce Maxwell has been heating things up for Beloit in the chilly Midwest League. You can get daily updates on all the A’s top prospects on my Athletics Farm blog and lots more details on the first week and a half of A’s minor league action right here on Athletics Nation

SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Season Record: 5-6

The River Cats’ lineup has been on fire lately, scoring 53 runs over their last 3 games! The offense has been led by recently acquired catcher Stephen Vogt, who leads the team in home runs, total bases, AVG, OBP and SLG. Outfielder Shane Peterson, picking up right where he left off this spring, has been getting on base just over 57% of the time. And before being recalled by the A’s, outfielder Michael Taylor was batting .410 with 3 home runs for the River Cats. Before Sunday, top prospect Michael Choice’s bat had been quiet, and he was hitting under .200 with just 2 extra-base hits. But in Sunday’s game, he collected 4 extra-base hits – 2 home runs and 2 doubles – and raised his average to a respectable .261. Jemile Weeks, who started a few games at shortstop this week, is batting .354 while Grant Green, who’s been getting most of the starts at second base, is batting .235. RHPs Sonny Gray and Jesse Chavez have been leading the starting staff in the early going, while LHP Andrew Werner has struggled in all 3 of his starts. RHP Dan Otero has looked sharp out of the bullpen, while LHP Jordan Norberto has been placed on the disabled list after allowing 7 walks and 6 runs in his first 3 appearances.

Top Cats:

C Stephen Vogt (9 R / 3 2B / 4 HR / 12 RBI / 1 BB / 2 K / .593 AVG / .607 OBP / 1.296 SLG / 1.903 OPS)

OF Shane Peterson (12 R / 5 2B / 0 HR / 7 RBI / 13 BB / 6 K / .412 AVG / .574 OBP / .559 SLG / 1.133 OPS)

OF Michael Taylor (6 R / 5 2B / 3 HR / 11 RBI / 3 BB / 6 K / .410 AVG / .452 OBP / .769 SLG / 1.222 OPS)

RHP Jesse Chavez (11 1/3 IP / 14 H / 3 ER / 1 HR / 4 BB / 10 K / 2.38 ERA / 1.59 WHIP)

RHP Sonny Gray (11 IP / 9 H / 3 ER / 0 HR / 6 BB / 9 K / 2.45 ERA / 1.36 WHIP)

RHP Dan Otero (6 2/3 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 0 HR / 0 BB / 5 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.60 WHIP)

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Season Record: 6-4

The RockHounds started out hot, winning their first 5 games of the season, but they’ve cooled off considerably since, losing 4 of their last 5. First baseman Anthony Aliotti has had the hot bat for the Hounds. He leads all regulars in hits, walks, doubles, total bases, AVG, OBP and SLG. Shortstop Dusty Coleman has been swinging a surprisingly hot bat and is currently hitting .324. Third baseman Jefry Marte, who came over from the Mets in the Collin Cowgill trade, is off to a good start and boasts a healthy on-base percentage of .426. Miles Head, who’s been getting most of his starts as the designated hitter lately, is off to a much colder start than last year, hitting just .217. The RockHounds’ rotation has been solid. And in his first start since 2011, RHP Arnold Leon allowed just 1 baserunner in 5 innings of work.

Top Hounds:

1B Anthony Aliotti (4 R / 5 2B / 1 HR / 8 RBI / 10 BB / 9 K / .395 AVG / .521 OBP / .605 SLG / 1.126 OPS)

SS Dusty Coleman (6 R / 3 2B / 0 HR / 5 RBI / 8 BB / 10 K / .324 AVG / .444 OBP / .405 SLG / .850 OPS)

3B Jefry Marte (7 R / 4 2B / 0 HR / 7 RBI / 9 BB / 9 K / .297 AVG / .426 OBP / .405 SLG / .831 OPS)

LHP Carlos Hernandez (10 1/3 IP / 8 H / 3 ER / 0 HR / 3 BB / 6 K / 2.38 ERA / 1.59 WHIP)

RHP Zach Neal (8 1/3 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 0 HR / 2 BB / 8 K / 1.08 ERA / 0.48 WHIP)

RHP Arnold Leon (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 HR / 0 BB / 1 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.20 WHIP)

STOCKTON PORTS

(High-A California League)

Season Record: 8-3

First baseman Max Muncy, who was the A’s 5th-round pick in last year’s draft, has been one of the hottest hitters in the A’s minor league system so far this year. After appearing in the Ports’ first 11 games, Muncy tops the team in almost every offensive category and leads all A’s minor leaguers with 5 home runs. Outfielder Dusty Robinson, who led all A’s minor leaguers in home runs last year, has already slugged 3 at Stockton. Top prospect Addison Russell has just returned from a stint on the 7-day disabled list and, after appearing in just 3 games, is batting .231. Stockton’s starting rotation has done a good job so far this season, led by RHPs Drew Granier, Sean Murphy and Andres Avila. As usual in the California League, most of the runs scored off the starters have come courtesy of the long ball.

Top Ports:

1B Max Muncy (13 R / 2 2B / 5 HR / 10 RBI / 10 BB / 8 K / .366 AVG / .491 OBP / .780 SLG / 1.271 OPS)

OF Dusty Robinson (10 R / 0 2B / 3 HR / 8 RBI / 8 BB / 12 K / .250 AVG / .389 OBP / .455 SLG / .843 OPS)

SS Wade Kirkland (5 R / 1 2B / 2 HR / 2 RBI / 3 BB / 7 K / .258 AVG / .324 OBP / .484 SLG / .807 OPS)

RHP Sean Murphy (12 IP / 12 H / 4 ER / 3 HR / 2 BB / 11 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.17 WHIP)

RHP Andres Avila (10 IP / 7 H / 4 ER / 2 HR / 2 BB / 7 K / 3.60 ERA / 0.90 WHIP)

RHP Drew Granier (15 IP / 11 H / 6 ER / 2 HR / 8 BB / 16 K / 3.60 ERA / 1.27 WHIP)

BELOIT SNAPPERS

(Class-A Midwest League)

Season Record: 4-6

It’s been a cold start in the Midwest League, with rain, snow, ice and wet turf putting a damper on the early action. But catcher Bruce Maxwell has still been swinging a hot bat. The A’s 2nd-round pick in last year’s draft is currently hitting a nifty .343. Outfielders Brett Vertigan and Ryan Mathews have also been big offensive contributors for Beloit. Third baseman Renato Nunez has a pair of home runs, but first baseman Matt Olson’s been off to a bit of a cold start and is batting just .175. RHP Dakota Bacus has been the standout on the Snappers’ pitching staff, allowing just 2 runs while striking out 16 over 11 innings. Former top prospect Michael Ynoa, who’s battling his way back from injuries and has been on a strict pitch limit in his outings, has so far allowed 1 run while walking 4 and striking out 2 in his first 5 innings of work for the Snappers.

Top Snappers:

C Bruce Maxwell (6 R / 3 2B / 1 HR / 7 RBI / 3 BB / 5 K / .343 AVG / .395 OBP / .514 SLG / .909 OPS)

OF Brett Vertigan (5 R / 1 2B / 0 HR / 2 RBI / 2 BB / 2 K / .357 AVG / .406 OBP / .464 SLG / .871 OPS)

OF Ryan Mathews (2 R / 1 2B / 2 HR / 7 RBI / 2 BB / 7 K / .280 AVG / .345 OBP / .560 SLG / .905 OPS)

RHP Dakota Bacus (11 IP / 6 H / 2 ER / 0 HR / 2 BB / 16 K / 1.64 ERA / 0.73 WHIP)

RHP Seth Streich (10 IP / 8 H / 3 ER / 0 HR / 6 BB / 6 K / 2.70 ERA / 1.40 WHIP)

RHP Michael Ynoa (5 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 1 HR / 4 BB / 2 K / 1.80 ERA / 1.40 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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