Down On The Farm: Teams' Top Bats and Arms

USA TODAY Sports

The A's top three affiliates - Sacramento, Midland and Stockton - will all be playing their last game on Monday. The Arizona League A's have already wrapped up their schedule, while the Vermont Lake Monsters will be playing through Wednesday, and the Beloit Snappers are the only A's affiliate who'll be participating in post-season play this year, beginning their playoff games later this week. So it seems like a good time to take a look at some of this season's top hitters and top pitchers for each of the A's affiliates. You can always keep tabs on all the A's top prospects and minor league teams on my Athletics Farm blog and get lots more details right here on Athletics Nation...


SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Record This Week: 3-4

Record This Season: 78-65

Top Cats:

OF Michael Choice (14 HR / 69 BB / 115 K / .302 AVG / .390 OBP / .445 SLG / .835 OPS)

OF Michael Taylor (18 HR / 50 BB / 87 K / .282 AVG / .361 OBP / .477 SLG / .838 OPS)

OF Shane Peterson (12 HR / 77 BB / 127 K / .251 AVG / .360 OBP / .386 SLG / .746 OPS)

RHP Bruce Billings (148 1/3 IP / 140 H / 71 ER / 51 BB / 135 K / 4.31 ERA / 1.29 WHIP)

RHP Arnold Leon (66 1/3 IP / 72 H / 31 ER / 11 BB / 45 K / 4.21 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)

RHP Brian Gordon (62 IP / 60 H / 25 ER / 9 BB / 64 K / 3.63 ERA / 1.11 WHIP / 22 SV)

When catcher Stephen Vogt was called up by the A's a little over a month ago, that left infielder Daric Barton as Sacramento's best hitter. But when Barton joined the A's last week, that left outfielder Michael Choice as the River Cats most reliable hitter. Of course, Choice was just called up on Sunday - along with LHP Pedro Figueroa and infielders Jemile Weeks and Andy Parrino - but he left Sacramento on a high note, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and a single in his last game with the River Cats. And with the strides he's made this year, I wouldn't be surprised if we see Choice taking Chris Young's place on the A's roster next season. Choice's 154 hits are the second-most among all A's minor leaguers, trailing teammate Anthony Aliotti, who collected most of his while with Midland. With infielders Parrino and Weeks headed to Oakland, shortstop Addison Russell joined Sacramento for the last 3 games of the season, and the A's top prospect went 0 for 8 with 5 strikeouts in his first 2 games with the River Cats. Besides Sonny Gray, RHPs Bruce Billings and Arnold Leon have been Sacramento's best starting pitchers this season. Billings' leads all A's minor leaguers with 13 wins, while Leon has walked just 11 batters in 66 1/3 innings of work. LHP Carlos Hernandez leads A's minor league starters with a 2.66 ERA, though his ERA with the River Cats stands at 5.85 after 4 starts. Meanwhile, RHP Brian Gordon's 22 saves has set a single-season record for Sacramento.


MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Record This Week: 3-4

Record This Season: 61-78

Top Hounds:

OF Conner Crumbliss (10 HR / 67 BB / 57 K / .278 AVG / .401 OBP / .432 SLG / .833 OPS)

1B Max Muncy (4 HR / 24 BB / 32 K / .256 AVG / .347 OBP / .423 SLG / .770 OPS)

3B Jefry Marte (2 HR / 25 BB / 48 K / .278 AVG / .350 OBP / .382 SLG / .732 OPS)

RHP Murphy Smith (150 IP / 157 H / 58 ER / 46 BB / 98 K / 3.48 ERA / 1.35 WHIP)

RHP Sean Murphy (136 2/3 IP / 137 H / 62 ER / 50 BB / 121 K / 4.08 ERA / 1.37 WHIP)

RHP Zach Neal (165 2/3 IP / 172 H / 80 ER / 36 BB / 96 K / 4.35 ERA / 1.26 WHIP)

First baseman Anthony Aliotti was clearly the RockHounds' best hitter this season and, even after his promotion to Sacramento, he still has the best batting average among all current A's minor leaguers. Outfielder Connor Crumbliss was Midland's most consistent hitter after Aliotti's departure, and he has the team's best OBP after Aliotti. First baseman Max Muncy, who got off to a slow start at Midland after his promotion from Stockton, finally started heating up this week, going 10 for 25 with 2 home runs. And third baseman Jefry Marte, who struggled with injuries and inconsistency during the first half of the season has really started to turn things around over the past few weeks, and he went 11 for 28 with 3 extra-base hits this week. Meanwhile, outfielder D'Arby Myers' hitting streak was snapped this week after 33 games. On the pitching mound, with LHP Carlos Hernandez's elevation to Sacramento, RHP Murphy Smith has been Midland's most consistent starting pitcher this year, leading the RockHounds in wins with 9. RHP Sean Murphy leads the team in strikeouts with 121 in 136 2/3 innings of work.


STOCKTON PORTS

(High-A California League)

Record This Week: 3-4

Record This Season: 69-70

Top Ports:

SS Addison Russell (17 HR / 61 BB / 116 K / .275 AVG / .377 OBP / .508 SLG / .885 OPS)

OF Bobby Crocker (11 HR / 32 BB / 157 K / .279 AVG / .346 OBP / .458 SLG / .804 OPS)

OF Rashun Dixon (12 HR / 48 BB / 115 K / .210 AVG / .343 OBP / .406 SLG / .749 OPS)

RHP Tanner Peters (161 2/3 IP / 163 H / 73 ER / 26 BB / 154 K / 4.06 ERA / 1.17 WHIP)

RHP Raul Alcantara (79 IP / 73 H / 33 ER / 17 BB / 66 K / 3.76 ERA / 1.14 WHIP)

RHP Seth Frankoff (73 2/3 IP / 52 H / 20 ER / 23 BB / 93 K / 2.44 ERA / 1.02 WHIP)

First baseman Max Muncy was Stockton's most dangerous hitter in the first half but, once he was promoted to Midland, it was left to shortstop Addison Russell to do most of the damage. Russell leads the team in total bases and has the best slugging percentage among all current A's minor leaguers. The A's top prospect was promoted to Sacramento for the last 3 games of the season, where he's gone 0 for 8 with 5 strikeouts in his first 2 games. Starter Drew Granier was Stockton's best starting pitcher early on but, since he was sent to Midland, RHP Tanner Peters has been the Ports' most reliable starter, and his 154 strikeouts lead all A's minor leaguers. RHP Raul Alcantara has also been impressive, both before and after his elevation from Beloit, and he currently has the best WHIP and the second best ERA of all A's minor league starters. Meanwhile, RHP Michael Ynoa has made 2 appearances since returning from the disabled list, allowing just 1 hit while walking 1 and striking out 4 over 3 scoreless innings of work.


BELOIT SNAPPERS

(Class-A Midwest League)

Record This Week: 4-2

Record This Season: 77-61

Top Snappers:

2B Chris Bostick (14 HR / 51 BB / 121 K / .285 AVG / .356 OBP / .456 SLG / .812 OPS)

OF Ryan Mathews (14 HR / 45 BB / 97 K / .263 AVG / .340 OBP / .451 SLG / .790 OPS)

SS Daniel Robertson (9 HR / 41 BB / 79 K / .277 AVG / .353 OBP / .401 SLG / .754 OPS)

RHP Derek De Young (113 IP / 118 H / 53 ER / 41 BB / 83 K / 4.22 ERA / 1.41 WHIP)

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

RHP Vince Voiro (99 1/3 IP / 109 H / 41 ER / 43 BB / 69 K / 3.71 ERA / 1.53 WHIP)

The Snappers are the A's only minor league affiliate headed to the postseason this year. The team's best hitter has been second baseman Chris Bostick, who leads all current Snappers in hits, total bases, stolen bases, batting average and slugging percentage. Around the infield, shortstop Daniel Robertson has done a great job of getting on base this year, while first baseman Matt Olson has flashed some real power, and his 23 home runs trail only Muncy's total among A's minor leaguers. Third baseman Renato Nunez has worn down a bit in the second half. His 26 doubles and 19 home runs on the year still look good, but his batting average had dropped to .256 while his OBP has dipped to .300, and his 39 errors are tops among A's minor leaguers. The Snappers lost their best starting pitcher when RHP Dakota Bacus was shipped to Washington in the Kurt Suzuki deal last week.


VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS

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

Record This Week: 3-5

Record This Season: 32-41

Top Monsters:

OF B.J. Boyd (8 HR / 34 BB / 65 K / .291 AVG / .381 OBP / .454 SLG / .835 OPS)

OF Herschel Powell (0 HR / 26 BB / 34 K / .283 AVG / .364 OBP / .344 SLG / .708 OPS)

1B Ryan Huck (3 HR / 23 BB / 50 K / .242 AVG / .341 OBP / .373 SLG / .713 OPS)

LHP Brent Powers (70 2/3 IP / 64 H / 21 ER / 18 BB / 60 K / 2.67 ERA / 1.16 WHIP)

RHP Lou Trivino (57 1/3 IP / 52 H / 21 ER / 20 BB / 44 K / 3.30 ERA / 1.26 WHIP)

RHP Tyler Johnson (42 IP / 32 H / 8 ER / 17 BB / 24 K / 1.71 ERA / 1.17 WHIP)

Though he went a bit cold this week, outfielder B.J. Boyd has been the big bat at Vermont all year long, leading all Lake Monsters regulars in hits, home runs, walks, RBIs, total bases, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage - while just turning 20 this summer. With outfielder Herschel Powell injured, this year's top draft pick for the A's, Billy McKinney, joined Boyd in the Lake Monsters outfield this week and hit .304 in his first 6 games with Vermont. LHP Brent Powers has been the Lake Monsters' most reliable starter this season, striking out 60 in 70 2/3 innings. 18-year-old Venezuelan RHP Ronald Herrera made his first start for Vermont this week after being called up from the Arizona League and looked good, allowing 2 runs, just 1 earned, on 3 hits while striking out 4 over 5 innings of work.


AZL A'S

(Rookie Short-Season Arizona League)

Record This Week: 1-1

Record This Season: 25-30

Top A's:

OF Justin Higley (6 HR / 21 BB / 57 K / .275 AVG / .363 OBP / .490 SLG / .853 OPS)

OF Ben McQuown (0 HR / 22 BB / 30 K / .277 AVG / .417 OBP / .366 SLG / .784 OPS)

OF Jonesy Zarraga (3 HR / 7 BB / 31 K / .275 AVG / .339 OBP / .440 SLG / .779 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 (30 IP / 34 H / 13 ER / 5 BB / 24 K / 3.90 ERA / 1.30 WHIP)

LHP Chris Kohler (22 2/3 IP / 19 H / 7 ER / 9 BB / 32 K / 2.78 ERA / 1.24 WHIP)

The AZL A's wrapped up their season this week, finishing with a record of 25-30. Billy McKinney had the team's best batting average before his promotion to Vermont this week, but 13th-round draft pick Justin Higley was the team's most dangerous hitter this year, leading the team in home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage. RHPs Ronald Herrera and Cristhian Perez were the team's top starting pitchers before spending the final days of the season with Vermont. But the A's 5th overall draft pick this year, 18-year-old LHP Chris Kohler, looked impressive as well, striking out 32 batters in 22 2/3 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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