Down On The Farm: Second-Half Promotions

Stephen Dunn

It's not uncommon for minor leaguers who perform exceptionally well at their assigned level during the first half of the season to get promoted to the next level for the second half. And that's certainly been the case with many of the A's top first-half performers this year. First baseman Anthony Aliotti, who had the best overall numbers of any hitter in the A's system in the first half, finally found his way to Sacramento this week, while Stockton's star slugger Max Muncy took his place at Midland, where he joins Stockton's best first-half pitcher, RHP Drew Granier, who's now a member of the RockHounds rotation. Meanwhile, two of Beloit's top pitchers in the first half, RHPs Raul Alcantara and Michael Ynoa, are now in Stockton's starting rotation. But the A's 4th-round pick in this year's draft, RHP Dylan Covey, has proven to be a fast-riser and has now taken their place as a starter for the Snappers. You can keep tabs on all the A's top prospects and minor league teams on my Athletics Farm blog and get lots more details on these fast-risers as well as the last week of A's minor league action right here on Athletics Nation...


SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Record This Week: 2-2

Record This Season: 52-49

Top Cats:

C Stephen Vogt (12 HR / 35 BB / 43 K / .325 AVG / .394 OBP / .543 SLG / .938 OPS)

1B Daric Barton (6 HR / 67 BB / 39 K / .297 AVG / .435 OBP / .441 SLG / .876 OPS)

OF Michael Taylor (13 HR / 25 BB / 59 K / .304 AVG / .368 OBP / .514 SLG / .883 OPS)

RHP Sonny Gray (102 1/3 IP / 96 H / 32 ER / 34 BB / 107 K / 2.81 ERA / 1.27 WHIP)

RHP Bruce Billings (99 2/3 IP / 97 H / 50 ER / 37 BB / 95 K / 4.52 ERA / 1.34 WHIP)

RHP Evan Scribner (33 IP / 28 H / 10 ER / 8 BB / 40 K / 2.73 ERA / 1.09 WHIP)

Since catcher Stephen Vogt's return to Sacramento, he's returned to being the River Cats' biggest threat at the plate and he currently leads all A's minor leaguers with a slugging percentage of .543. Outfielder Michael Taylor leads the team in home runs with 13, while first baseman Daric Barton's .435 on-base percentage leads the team. With Scott Moore's release, Barton got his first couple of starts at third base this week while Anthony Aliotti, who finally got a promotion after tearing up the Texas League all season, took over at first base. And after his first 3 games at Sacramento, Aliotti was 2 for 14 with a double. Jemile Weeks has been getting starts in center field and at second base of late, while Hiro Nakajima has been bouncing between shortstop, third base and second base. Meanwhile, the decision was recently made to convert outfielder Jeremy Barfield to a pitcher - so look out Sean Doolittle! And speaking of pitchers, the two Pedros have recently joined the River Cats relief corps. LHP Pedro Viola has allowed 1 run in his first 3 2/3 innings, while RHP Pedro Vidal has allowed 5 runs in his first 3 2/3 innings.


MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Record This Week: 2-4

Record This Season: 45-54

Top Hounds:

OF Conner Crumbliss (7 HR / 45 BB / 28 K / .279 AVG / .408 OBP / .465 SLG / .873 OPS)

OF Jake Goebbert (17 HR / 40 BB / 73 K / .274 AVG / .353 OBP / .485 SLG / .838 OPS)

3B Tyler Ladendorf (4 HR / 15 BB / 27 K / .273 AVG / .353 OBP / .433 SLG / .786 OPS)

LHP Carlos Hernandez (103 IP / 90 H / 30 ER / 33 BB / 72 K / 2.62 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)

RHP Murphy Smith (108 IP / 111 H / 40 ER / 27 BB / 65 K / 3.33 ERA / 1.28 WHIP)

RHP Sean Murphy (93 2/3 IP / 87 H / 43 ER / 31 BB / 87 K / 4.13 ERA / 1.26 WHIP)

With Midland's top hitter, Anthony Aliotti, getting promoted to Sacramento, Max Muncy was moved up from Stockton to take over at first base for the RockHounds. Muncy dominated California League pitching all season, but is just 4 for 25 with a double after his first 7 games with Midland. Third baseman Jefry Marte, who recently returned from the disabled list, has been hitting well lately, hitting .333 with 3 doubles over his last 4 games. LHP Carlos Hernandez has been the RockHounds' most dependable starting pitcher of late and currently has the best ERA and WHIP of all Hounds' starters while RHP Drew Granier, who was promoted after dominating at Stockton, has struggled in his last couple of starts, allowing 10 runs over 12 1/3 innings. LHP Jake Brown, who had been hit hard since his promotion from Stockton, was recently released, while RHP Blake Hassebrock was promoted from Stockton and RHP Brett Hunter returned from the restricted list.


STOCKTON PORTS

(High-A California League)

Record This Week: 2-4

Record This Season: 52-49

Top Ports:

OF Josh Whitaker (7 HR / 17 BB / 39 K / .282 AVG / .358 OBP / .471 SLG / .828 OPS)

SS Addison Russell (9 HR / 35 BB / 92 K / .262 AVG / .341 OBP / .477 SLG / .817 OPS)

OF Bobby Crocker (9 HR / 14 BB / 100 K / .255 AVG / .308 OBP / .455 SLG / .763 OPS)

RHP Tanner Peters (116 IP / 121 H / 55 ER / 20 BB / 100 K / 4.27 ERA / 1.22 WHIP)

RHP James Simmons (67 2/3 IP / 66 H / 31 ER / 15 BB / 56 K / 4.12 ERA / 1.20 WHIP)

RHP Seth Frankoff (56 2/3 IP / 32 H / 12 ER / 18 BB / 69 K / 1.91 ERA / 0.88 WHIP)

With first baseman Max Muncy's elevation to Midland, outfielder Josh Whitaker has taken over as Stockton's biggest threat and currently holds the Ports' best batting average and on-base percentage. Third baseman B.A. Vollmuth has shown signs of emerging from his season-long slump and hit 3 home runs this week, while shortstop Addison Russell missed a lot of time this week due to his participation in the Futures Game. RHP Raul Alcantara leads all A's minor leaguers with 10 wins, a 2.42 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP between his time with Stockton and Beloit. RHP Michael Ynoa's transition to the California League hasn't gone nearly as smoothly though. In his first 3 starts, he's allowed 18 hits, 10 walks and 16 earned runs over just 9 2/3 innings of work.


BELOIT SNAPPERS

(Class-A Midwest League)

Record This Week: 1-4

Record This Season: 60-38

Top Snappers:

2B Chris Bostick (12 HR / 38 BB / 81 K / .292 AVG / .364 OBP / .486 SLG / .850 OPS)

1B Matt Olson (12 HR / 56 BB / 98 K / .234 AVG / .343 OBP / .409 SLG / .753 OPS)

OF Ryan Mathews (10 HR / 36 BB / 70 K / .241 AVG / .333 OBP / .424 SLG / .758 OPS)

RHP Dakota Bacus (84 IP / 93 H / 36 ER / 21 BB / 68 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.36 WHIP)

RHP Vince Voiro (81 1/3 IP / 92 H / 35 ER / 35 BB / 52 K / 3.87 ERA / 1.56 WHIP)

RHP Seth Streich (97 2/3 IP / 101 H / 43 ER / 39 BB / 75 K / 3.96 ERA / 1.43 WHIP)

Second baseman Chris Bostick continues to be Beloit's best hitter and currently leads the team in hits, runs, RBIs, total bases, stolen bases, batting average and slugging percentage. Meanwhile, 19-year-old first baseman Matt Olson has been mastering the art of drawing the walk and leads the team with 56. With Raul Alcantara's and Michael Ynoa's promotions to Stockton, RHPs Seth Streich, Vince Voiro and Dakota Bacus have been ably anchoring the Snappers starting rotation. The A's 4th-round draft pick this year, RHP Dylan Covey, recently joined the Snappers starting staff after dominating at Vermont and currently sports a 2.79 ERA after his first 2 starts for Beloit.


VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS

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

Record This Week: 3-3

Record This Season: 15-18

Top Monsters:

OF B.J. Boyd (4 HR / 11 BB / 24 K / .336 AVG / .400 OBP / .533 SLG / .933 OPS)

OF Herschel Powell (0 HR / 12 BB / 15 K / .319 AVG / .396 OBP / .404 SLG / .800 OPS)

1B Ryan Huck (2 HR / 11 BB / 16 K / .262 AVG / .375 OBP / .426 SLG / .801 OPS)

LHP Jose Torres (23 2/3 IP / 22 H / 6 ER / 6 BB / 19 K / 2.28 ERA / 1.18 WHIP)

RHP Gregory Paulino (28 IP / 26 H / 8 ER / 8 BB / 19 K / 2.57 ERA / 1.21 WHIP)

LHP Brent Powers (30 IP / 28 H / 9 ER / 7 BB / 27 K / 2.70 ERA / 1.17 WHIP)

Outfielder B.J. Boyd continues to wield the big bat for Vermont and he currently leads the team in hits, runs, home runs, total bases, batting average and slugging percentage - and on top of that, he hit a game-winning grand slam this week! After tearing up the Arizona League, first baseman Ryan Huck, the A's 27th-round draft pick this year, has done a good job since his elevation to Vermont and has been the only consistent slugger in the Lake Monsters lineup besides Boyd. RHP Gregory Paulino and LHPs Jose Torres and Brent Powers have all been solid citizens in Vermont's starting rotation. Meanwhile, RHPs Bobby Wahl and Sam Bragg were recently promoted to the Lake Monsters pitching staff from Arizona and have looked impressive. Bragg has allowed just 2 hits and struck out 5 in his first 6 innings, while Wahl has struck out 11 and walked just 1 in his first 7 2/3 innings of work.


AZL A'S

(Rookie Short-Season Arizona League)

Record This Week: 2-3

Record This Season: 9-16

Top A's:

OF Ben McQuown (0 HR / 6 BB / 11 K / .326 AVG / .396 OBP / .457 SLG / .853 OPS)

OF Jonesy Zarraga (2 HR / 3 BB / 11 K / .256 AVG / .341 OBP / .513 SLG / .854 OPS)

OF Justin Higley (3 HR / 7 BB / 16 K / .250 AVG / .333 OBP / .481 SLG / .814 OPS)

OF Billy McKinney (0 HR / 5 BB / 19 K / .323 AVG / .350 OBP / .398 SLG / .748 OPS)

RHP Cristhian Perez (19 IP / 18 H / 6 ER / 1 BB / 9 K / 2.84 ERA / 1.00 WHIP)

RHP Ronald Herrera (31 1/3 IP / 38 H / 16 ER / 4 BB / 28 K / 4.60 ERA / 1.34 WHIP)

In Arizona, outfielders Ben McQuown, Jonesy Zarraga, Justin Higley and Billy McKinney have been carrying most of the offensive load for the A's. The team's 3rd-round draft pick this year, first baseman Ryon Healy, recently joined the squad and hit 2 home runs in his first 21 at-bats. Meanwhile, RHP Ronald Herrera leads the team with 4 wins and 28 strikeouts while walking just 4, and RHP Cristhian Perez sports a 2.84 ERA after 4 games and has walked just 1 batter over his first 19 innings of work for the A's.


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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