Well, top prospects can be fragile things - quite literally! We're only about a week and a half into the minor league season and the A's have already lost two of theirs. It looks like shortstop Addison Russell will be out for at least a month with a torn hamstring, and it's unknown how much time RHP Michael Ynoa is likely to miss after hitting the disabled list this week with a bicep strain. Both may represent a bit of bad news for the organization but, fortunately, other promising prospects like RHP Raul Alcantara and infielder Chad Pinder have really been on the rise in the first week and a half of the minor league season. You can always keep tabs on all the A's top prospects and minor league teams on my Athletics Farm site and get lots more details on the last week of minor league action right here on Athletics Nation...
SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS
(Pacific Coast League - Triple-A)
Record This Season: 7-5
OF Jake Goebbert (0 HR / 4 BB / 6 K / .364 AVG / .447 OBP / .636 SLG / 1.084 OPS)
3B-2B Alden Carrithers (0 HR / 7 BB / 5 K / .394 AVG / .512 OBP / .424 SLG / .936 OPS)
OF Michael Taylor (2 HR / 9 BB / 8 K / .226 AVG / .415 OBP / .581 SLG / .995 OPS)
RHP Paul Smyth (5 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.53 WHIP)
RHP Fernando Rodriguez (4 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / 2.25 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)
RHP Philip Humber (7 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 5 BB / 10 K / 2.45 ERA / 1.36 WHIP)
The big news out of Sacramento on Sunday was the retirement of RHP Joe Blanton. With Blanton out of the equation, that opens up a spot in the River Cats rotation behind RHPs Arnold Leon, Josh Lindblom, Matt Buschmann and Sean Murphy. And RHP Zach Neal would have to be considered the most likely candidate to receive a promotion from Midland, unless the A's decide they really want to rush RHP Raul Alcantara. None of Sacramento's starters have been terribly impressive so far this season. In fact, Blanton was the only one with an ERA under 6.00. RHP Paul Smyth has been the best out of the bullpen with 5 2/3 scoreless innings, while rehabbing RHP Fernando Rodriguez has looked solid as well, and RHP Philip Humber now leads the team in strikeouts with 10 in 7 1/3 innings of relief. After being acquired from the Astros, LHP Eric Berger was released after just 3 appearances when Evan Scribner was assigned to Sacramento, and popular catcher Stephen Vogt hit the disabled list this week with an oblique strain. The River Cats' outfielders have been carrying the bulk of the offensive load so far, with Michael Taylor leading the team with in home runs, Shane Peterson leading the team in hits and total bases and Jake Goebbert leading the team in SLG and OPS. Minor league free agent signee Alden Carrithers has also acquitted himself well at the plate, posting a .512 OBP while manning third base and second base for the Cats.
(Texas League - Double-A)
Record This Season: 6-4
SS-2B Dusty Coleman (2 HR / 5 BB / 13 K / .361 AVG / .429 OBP / .639 SLG / 1.067 OPS)
OF Josh Whitaker (2 HR / 4 BB / 8 K / .333 AVG / .410 OBP / .576 SLG / .986 OPS)
OF D'Arby Myers (1 HR / 6 BB / 8 K / .324 AVG / .415 OBP / .529 SLG / .944 OPS)
RHP Zach Neal (10 IP / 6 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 11 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.90 WHIP)
RHP Raul Alcantara (14 2/3 IP / 11 H / 2 ER / 2 BB / 8 K / 1.23 ERA / 0.89 WHIP)
RHP Chris Jensen (11 2/3 IP / 12 H / 3 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / 2.31 ERA / 1.37 WHIP)
It was reported this week that it now looks like A's top prospect Addison Russell is likely to miss at least a full month due to his torn hamstring. And he's now at the A's facilities in Phoenix being overseen by the team's training staff there. It was also announced this week that the A's signed minor league free agent infielder, and Stanford alum, Colin Walsh and added him to the RockHounds roster. Infielder Dusty Coleman has been performing well in Addison's absence and currently leads the team in most offensive categories. Meanwhile, most of Midland's pitchers have been getting the job done on the mound. RHP Zach Neal has allowed no earned runs in his first 2 starts, while 21-year-old RHP Raul Alcantara has given up a total of 2 runs and 2 walks over his first 2 starts. The Hounds bullpen has also been solid, with LHP Jeff Urlaub and RHPs Seth Frankoff and Jesus Castillo combining to allow no earned runs in 13 combined innings in relief.
(California League - High-A)
Record This Season: 5-6
2B-SS Chad Pinder (5 HR / 4 BB / 7 K / .390 AVG / .444 OBP / .902 SLG / 1.347 OPS)
OF Dusty Robinson (3 HR / 6 BB / 7 K / .355 AVG / .474 OBP / .742 SLG / 1.216 OPS)
C Bruce Maxwell (2 HR / 3 BB / 3 K / .406 AVG / .457 OBP / .625 SLG / 1.082 OPS)
RHP Tucker Healy (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 7 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.20 WHIP)
RHP Nolan Sanburn (6 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 8 K / 1.50 ERA / 0.50 WHIP / 2 SV)
RHP Ryan Doolittle (6 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 7 K / 1.50 ERA / 0.67 WHIP)
The bad news out of Stockton this week was the return of former top prospect Michael Ynoa to the disabled list once again - this time due to a bicep strain. Ynoa hit the first batter he faced with the first pitch he threw on Friday before exiting after tossing two low-velocity balls to the next batter. RHPs Manny Correa, Shawn Haviland and Seth Streich have been doing a solid job in Stockton's starting rotation, but the Ports bullpen has been even more impressive. RHP Tucker Healy has allowed just 1 baserunner over his first 5 innings, while top prospect Nolan Sanburn, Sean's little brother Ryan Doolittle and converted outfielder Jeremy Barfield have combined to walk 3 and strike out 23 in 18 innings of relief. Meanwhile, last year's third overall draft pick for the A's, infielder Chad Pinder, has emerged as the team's top hitter over the first week and a half of the season. Pinder, who skipped over the Midwest League, currently leads the California League in total bases and is tied for the league lead in home runs with teammate Billy McKinney with 5. McKinney has shown surprising power so far, but almost the entire team has been hitting well, with Pinder, McKinney, Bruce Maxwell, Dusty Robinson, Daniel Robertson and Renato Nunez leading the way.
(Midwest League - Class-A)
Record This Season: 4-6
OF Tyler Marincov (1 HR / 6 BB / 9 K / .296 AVG / .424 OBP / .556 SLG / .980 OPS)
2B Chih Fang Pan (0 HR / 3 BB / 5 K / .276 AVG / .344 OBP / .414 SLG / .758 OPS)
OF Ryan Mathews (0 HR / 1 BB / 8 K / .259 AVG / .286 OBP / .444 SLG / .730 OPS)
RHP Kyle Finnegan (10 IP / 7 H / 1 ER / 4 BB / 3 K / 0.90 ERA / 1.10 WHIP)
RHP Ronald Herrera (12 IP / 12 H / 3 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / 2.25 ERA / 1.17 WHIP)
RHP Bobby Wahl (8 1/3 IP / 11 H / 4 ER / 3 BB / 10 K / 4.32 ERA / 1.68 WHIP)
As usual early in the year in the chilly Midwest League, the pitchers seem to be a bit ahead of the hitters. RHP Kyle Finnegan has allowed just 1 run over his first 2 starts while 18-year-old Ronald Herrera has been solid in his first 2 starts as well. RHP Bobby Wahl rebounded nicely in his second start after a shaky opening day outing. But on the offensive side of things, outfielder Tyler Marincov has really been the only truly hot bat for Beloit so far. He has the team's only home run and leads the Snappers in OBP and SLG. Meanwhile, infielder Melvin Mercedes and LHP Matt Stalcup were both placed on the disabled list this week, while outfielder Jaycob Brugman returned from the DL and infielder Luis Baez was added to the roster.
You can check out my blog - Athletics Farm - for updates on the A's minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.