Down On The Farm: Top Prospects Finishing Strong

Addison Russell - Photo by Bill Moriarity/Athletics Farm

With the end of the minor league season just a week away, some of the A's top prospects have been taking the opportunity to go out on a high note and leave a great impression. Guys like Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson, Matt Olson, B.J. Boyd and Billy McKinney have all been heating up as we head into the homestretch. 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 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: 3-4

Record This Season: 75-61

Top Cats:

1B-3B Daric Barton (7 HR / 87 BB / 57 K / .297 AVG / .423 OBP / .430 SLG / .853 OPS)

OF Michael Taylor (17 HR / 49 BB / 83 K / .290 AVG / .371 OBP / .488 SLG / .859 OPS)

OF Michael Choice (14 HR / 65 BB / 112 K / .300 AVG / .386 OBP / .443 SLG / .829 OPS)

RHP Bruce Billings (139 IP / 129 H / 65 ER / 44 BB / 129 K / 4.21 ERA / 1.24 WHIP)

RHP Brian Gordon (59 IP / 58 H / 25 ER / 9 BB / 62 K / 3.81 ERA / 1.14 WHIP / 20 SV)

RHP Evan Scribner (42 2/3 IP / 32 H / 11 ER / 9 BB / 53 K / 2.32 ERA / 0.96 WHIP)

Daric Barton, who's been Sacramento's most consistent hitter this season, was pulled from Sunday's game in the 3rd inning, presumably just in case Josh Reddick's sprained wrist lands him on the disabled list and Barton's services are needed by the A's. Catcher David Freitas was reportedly close to getting his first call to the majors until the A's closed the deal to bring Kurt Suzuki back to the Bay. After going a bit cold last week, outfielder Michael Taylor's bat heated up again this week, going 9 for 21 with 9 RBIs. First baseman Anthony Aliotti, who had been struggling since his promotion from Midland last month, has been picking up the pace a bit lately too, going 9 for 27 this week. Fellow Midland transplant, LHP Carlos Hernandez, won his first game for Sacramento this week. Another recent addition, RHP Fernando Nieve, made his first start for Sacramento this week and allowed just 1 unearned run while giving up no hits and no walks over 4 innings of work for the River Cats.


MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Record This Week: 3-3

Record This Season: 58-74

Top Hounds:

OF Conner Crumbliss (10 HR / 64 BB / 50 K / .288 AVG / .412 OBP / .453 SLG / .865 OPS)

3B Tyler Ladendorf (6 HR / 24 BB / 40 K / .267 AVG / .346 OBP / .419 SLG / .765 OPS)

SS Dusty Coleman (3 HR / 57 BB / 155 K / .260 AVG / .344 OBP / .390 SLG / .735 OPS)

RHP Murphy Smith (143 IP / 149 H / 57 ER / 45 BB / 93 K / 3.59 ERA / 1.36 WHIP)

RHP Sean Murphy (127 2/3 IP / 125 H / 54 ER / 45 BB / 115 K / 3.81 ERA / 1.33 WHIP)

RHP Zach Neal (156 IP / 160 H / 73 ER / 35 BB / 91 K / 4.21 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)

Outfielder Conner Crumbliss continues to be Midland's most consistent hitter, leading all current RockHounds in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Third baseman Jefry Marte, who's had a rough season, really kicked things into gear this week, going 10 for 26 to raise his batting average to .263. Despite an often ineffective offense, the RockHounds starting rotation continues to keep the team in games. The latest addition to the starting staff, former 2nd-round draft pick Drew Carpenter whom the A's signed earlier in the month after he was released by the Angels, has allowed a total of just 2 earned runs in his first 3 starts for Midland. And RHP Jesus Castillo, who was signed earlier this month out of the Mexican League, hasn't allowed a run in his first 4 relief appearances for the RockHounds. RHP Drew Granier, who's struggled since his promotion from Stockton, had a solid outing this week, allowing just 1 run while striking out 6 over 5 innings of work to lower his ERA with Midland to 5.58.


STOCKTON PORTS

(High-A California League)

Record This Week: 1-5

Record This Season: 66-66

Top Ports:

SS Addison Russell (17 HR / 54 BB / 112 K / .279 AVG / .371 OBP / .519 SLG / .891 OPS)

OF Bobby Crocker (10 HR / 29 BB / 145 K / .285 AVG / .348 OBP / .464 SLG / .812 OPS)

1B Tony Thompson (18 HR / 45 BB / 91 K / .256 AVG / .329 OBP / .445 SLG / .774 OPS)

RHP Tanner Peters (154 1/3 IP / 158 H / 70 ER / 25 BB / 149 K / 4.08 ERA / 1.19 WHIP)

RHP Raul Alcantara (66 IP / 58 H / 26 ER / 13 BB / 56 K / 3.55 ERA / 1.08 WHIP)

RHP Seth Frankoff (72 2/3 IP / 52 H / 20 ER / 23 BB / 92 K / 2.48 ERA / 1.03 WHIP)

Shortstop Addison Russell just keeps getting better as his first full season wears on. The A's top prospect went 8 for 24 with a pair of home runs this week to raise his batting average to .279 and his home run total to 17, and he still boasts the best slugging percentage among all A's minor leaguers. Outfielder Bobby Crocker, who's been swinging a hot bat as well, also went 8 for 24 this week. But he's among a trio of Stockton hitters, along with third baseman B.A. Vollmuth and outfielder Dusty Robinson, who could end the season with 150 strikeouts. The Ports pitching staff really struggled this week, surrendering a total of 51 runs over 6 games. Starter Josh Bowman's ERA currently stands at 6.19, while fellow starter James Simmons' is at 5.62, and RHP Michael Ynoa has not pitched since experiencing shoulder soreness three weeks ago. On the other side of the coin, RHP Tanner Peters still leads all A's minor leaguers with 149 strikeouts and RHP Raul Alcantara's 1.13 WHIP tops all A's minor league starters.


BELOIT SNAPPERS

(Class-A Midwest League)

Record This Week: 6-1

Record This Season: 73-59

Top Snappers:

2B Chris Bostick (14 HR / 48 BB / 111 K / .288 AVG / .359 OBP / .468 SLG / .826 OPS)

SS Daniel Robertson (9 HR / 40 BB / 77 K / .279 AVG / .353 OBP / .407 SLG / .761 OPS)

OF John Wooten (19 HR / 53 BB / 110 K / .257 AVG / .338 OBP / .432 SLG / .770 OPS)

RHP Seth Streich (110 2/3 IP / 114 H / 47 ER / 41 BB / 82 K / 3.82 ERA / 1.40 WHIP)

RHP Derek De Young (107 IP / 113 H / 52 ER / 40 BB / 78 K / 4.37 ERA / 1.43 WHIP)

RHP Vince Voiro (97 IP / 105 H / 38 ER / 41 BB / 67 K / 3.53 ERA / 1.51 WHIP)

A couple of the A's top prospects have really been heating up heading into the homestretch for Beloit. Shortstop Daniel Robertson went 9 for 23 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs this week, while first baseman Matt Olson had a remarkable week, going 11 for 29 with 5 doubles, 5 home runs and 12 RBIs - that's right, only 1 of his 11 hits on the week was NOT a double or a home run. Third baseman Renato Nunez had a rough time in the field this week and now has an organization-leading 37 errors in 108 games at third base this season. The Snappers lost their best starting pitcher this week when 22-year-old RHP Dakota Bacus, who had an ERA of 3.56 in 26 games, was traded to Washington for catcher Kurt Suzuki. This year's 6th-round draft pick for the A's, RHP Kyle Finnegan, was promoted from Vermont to take his place and promptly picked up his first win in first start for the Snappers.


VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS

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

Record This Week: 1-5

Record This Season: 29-36

Top Monsters:

OF B.J. Boyd (8 HR / 31 BB / 55 K / .309 AVG / .400 OBP / .486 SLG / .886 OPS)

1B Ryan Huck (3 HR / 21 BB / 36 K / .246 AVG / .357 OBP / .393 SLG / .750 OPS)

OF Herschel Powell (0 HR / 25 BB / 34 K / .283 AVG / .361 OBP / .344 SLG / .706 OPS)

LHP Brent Powers (64 2/3 IP / 57 H / 19 ER / 17 BB / 56 K / 2.64 ERA / 1.14 WHIP)

RHP Lou Trivino (52 1/3 IP / 50 H / 21 ER / 19 BB / 39 K / 3.61 ERA / 1.32 WHIP)

RHP Tyler Johnson (39 IP / 30 H / 8 ER / 16 BB / 24 K / 1.85 ERA / 1.18 WHIP)

On a team that's struggled offensively all season, outfielder B.J. Boyd continues to wield the big bat for Vermont. This week he went 10 for 24 with 2 home runs and drove in 8 of the Lake Monsters' 17 runs on the week. When RHP Kyle Finnegan was elevated to Beloit to take the place of RHP Dakota Bacus, RHP Cristhian Perez was promoted from the Arizona League to Vermont. The 21-year-old Venezuelan struggled in his first start though, allowing 5 runs in just 3 innings of work. With Finnegan gone, the Lake Monsters' best starter is clearly LHP Brent Powers, who sports a 2.64 ERA after 12 starts and leads the team with 56 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings. RHP Hunter Adkins has looked sharp since joining the team from the Arizona League, posting a 1.20 ERA after his first 3 games.


AZL A'S

(Rookie Short-Season Arizona League)

Record This Week: 4-2

Record This Season: 24-29

Top A's:

OF Justin Higley (5 HR / 21 BB / 55 K / .264 AVG / .361 OBP / .472 SLG / .833 OPS)

OF Billy McKinney (2 HR / 17 BB / 29 K / .320 AVG / .383 OBP / .414 SLG / .798 OPS)

OF Ben McQuown (0 HR / 19 BB / 28 K / .274 AVG / .402 OBP / .358 SLG / .760 OPS)

RHP Ronald Herrera (70 2/3 IP / 76 H / 30 ER / 11 BB / 58 K / 3.82 ERA / 1.23 WHIP)

RHP Jonathan Massad (28 IP / 34 H / 13 ER / 5 BB / 24 K / 4.18 ERA / 1.39 WHIP)

LHP Chris Kohler (20 2/3 IP / 15 H / 7 ER / 9 BB / 29 K / 3.05 ERA / 1.16 WHIP)

The A's top draft pick this year, outfielder Billy McKinney, has looked good coming down the stretch. The left-handed hitter, who just turned 19 on Friday, went 10 for 25 this week to raise his batting average to .320. Fellow outfielder Justin Higley has been solid all season and currently leads the team in walks, triples, home runs and RBIs. With RHP Cristhian Perez's promotion to Vermont, RHP Ronald Herrera is clearly the star of the starting staff. The 18-year-old from Venezuela has walked just 11 while striking out 58 in 70 2/3 innings of work. The A's 5th overall draft pick this year, LHP Chris Kohler has impressed as well. The 18-year-old from southern California has struck out 29 batters in his first 20 2/3 innings in the Arizona League.


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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