With the minor league season now a third of the way through, it's a good time to take a look at how each affiliate is doing as well as who some of the top hitting and pitching performers have been thus far. As A's director of player personnel Billy Owens recently told me, "If they play well, they'll get opportunities!" And you can always keep tabs on all the A's top-performing prospects and minor league teams on my Athletics Farm site and get lots more details on all the recent minor league action right here on Athletics Nation...
SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS
(Pacific Coast League - Triple-A)
Record This Week: 6-1
Record This Season: 30-20
2B-SS Tyler Ladendorf (1 HR / 25 BB / 31 K / .310 AVG / .418 OBP / .444 SLG / .861 OPS)
3B Alden Carrithers (1 HR / 26 BB / 18 K / .315 AVG / .415 OBP / .370 SLG / .785 OPS)
OF Shane Peterson (3 HR / 29 BB / 45 K / .302 AVG / .397 OBP / .402 SLG / .799 OPS)
RHP Dan Straily (19 IP / 11 H / 7 ER / 8 BB / 20 K / 3.32 ERA / 1.00 WHIP)
RHP Arnold Leon (46 2/3 IP / 57 H / 26 ER / 16 BB / 35 K / 5.01 ERA / 1.56 WHIP)
RHP Marcus Walden (36 1/3 IP / 45 H / 21 ER / 15 BB / 21 K / 5.20 ERA / 1.65 WHIP)
The River Cats have been hot of late and have taken over first place in their division. The team has only lost twice in the last two weeks and has mainly been propelled by a productive lineup led by guys who know how to get on base like infielders Tyler Ladendorf and Alden Carrithers along with outfielder Shane Peterson. They certainly haven't been doing it with power since the team in last in the league in home runs, and the River Cats lost their home run leader when outfielder Jake Goebbert was traded to the Padres in the Kyle Blanks deal. But Sacramento's offense got a boost with the return from the disabled list of catcher Stephen Vogt, who's had 6 multi-hit games over his last 8. First baseman Nate Freiman has also enjoyed some big games and is tied for the team lead in doubles with 13 and was second only to Goebbert in home runs with 6. Fellow first baseman Daric Barton went 7 for 21 with 2 doubles and 3 walks in his first week back in Sacramento. RHP Dan Straily's looked strong in his return to Sacramento, winning 2 of his first 3 starts while striking out 20 over his first 19 innings. And Josh Lindblom's been impressive after a brief stint on the disabled list, allowing just 2 runs over his last 2 starts while striking out 14, though he still sports a 6.19 ERA on the season. Meanwhile, RHP Sean Murphy headed to the disabled list and RHP Zach Neal was sent down to Stockton when Sacramento's starting staff started to get a little crowded with the addition of Straily and the return of Lindblom. The River Cats bullpen received some reinforcements with the return of LHP Joe Savery from Oakland and the promotion of LHP Jeff Urlaub from Midland.
(Texas League - Double-A)
Record This Week: 2-4
Record This Season: 27-22
1B-OF Anthony Aliotti (3 HR / 22 BB / 30 K / .311 AVG / .451 OBP / .489 SLG / .940 OPS)
1B-3B Max Muncy (2 HR / 25 BB / 16 K / .313 AVG / .433 OBP / .464 SLG / .897 OPS)
OF-1B Josh Whitaker (8 HR / 10 BB / 30 K / .308 AVG / .356 OBP / .534 SLG / .890 OPS)
RHP Chris Jensen (57 1/3 IP / 64 H / 26 ER / 20 BB / 33 K / 4.08 ERA / 1.47 WHIP)
RHP Drew Granier (51 IP / 49 H / 21 ER / 31 BB / 33 K / 3.71 ERA / 1.57 WHIP)
RHP Nate Long (43 1/3 IP / 32 H / 15 ER / 14 BB / 30 K / 3.12 ERA / 1.06 WHIP)
Even with top prospect Addison Russell still out of action and the A's offering no updates on his expected return, the RockHounds are still holding on to second place in their division mainly due to an offense that's second in the Texas League in total runs and is tied for the league lead in home runs. Outfielder Josh Whitaker is the team's home run leader with 8, while 3B-1B Miles Head is second on the team with 5. First baseman Anthony Aliotti has been the team's top hitter since his return from Sacramento. Fellow first baseman Max Muncy spent a little time on the disabled list with a broken left middle finger but returned to action on Friday. And even after missing some time, he's still second on the team in walks, doubles and OBP. Hiro Nakajima's been hitting well at Midland with a .339/.420/.424 slash line over his first 17 games. He's been playing primarily at second base, but in his one start at shortstop, he made a total of 4 errors in one game! Depsite the losses of RHPs Raul Alcantara and Tanner Peters, the RockHounds pitching staff has begun to settle in with RHPs Chris Jensen, Drew Granier, Nate Long and Shawn Haviland leading the way. Meanwhile, reliever Tucker Healy was promoted to Midland after allowing just 2 runs and striking out 29 in 17 1/3 innings at Stockton.
(California League - High-A)
Record This Week: 4-3
Record This Season: 25-26
2B Chad Pinder (9 HR / 5 BB / 36 K / .319 AVG / .351 OBP / .618 SLG / .969 OPS)
OF Aaron Shipman (1 HR / 27 BB / 28 K / .290 AVG / .415 OBP / .427 SLG / .843 OPS)
SS Daniel Robertson (4 HR / 25 BB / 31 K / .305 AVG / .394 OBP / .435 SLG / .829 OPS)
RHP Seth Streich (52 1/3 IP / 53 H / 21 ER / 12 BB / 57 K / 3.61 ERA / 1.24 WHIP)
RHP Tim Atherton (40 2/3 IP / 37 H / 16 ER / 13 BB / 36 K / 3.54 ERA / 1.23 WHIP)
RHP Nolan Sanburn (27 2/3 IP / 30 H / 9 ER / 11 BB / 29 K / 2.93 ERA / 1.48 WHIP / 2 SV)
The Ports have pretty much been hovering right around .500 for most of the season, though the team leads the league in home runs. First baseman Matt Olson is the league leader with 12, while second baseman Chad Pinder is second on the team with 9, outfielder Dusty Robinson is third with 7, and outfielder Billy McKinney and third baseman Renato Nunez are tied for fourth with 6 each. Daniel Robertson has been solid playing shortstop everyday and he currently leads the Ports in both hits and doubles. Outfielder Aaron Shipman has been coming on strong of late and is 8 for 14 with 4 extra-base hits in his last 3 games. RHPs Seth Streich, Tim Atherton and Hunter Adkins have continued to anchor Stockton's starting rotation, but RHP Josh Bowman was moved to the bullpen and RHP Manny Correa was placed on the disabled list. LHP Chris Lamb from called up from Beloit and RHP Zach Neal was sent down from Sacramento to take their place. RHP Nolan Sanburn has been solid out of the bullpen, striking out 29 in 27 2/3 innings, and RHP Michael Ynoa has looked strong since his return from the disabled. In his last 6 appearances, Ynoa has allowed 2 runs while walking 1 and striking out 18 over 13 innings in relief.
(Midwest League - Class-A)
Record This Week: 3-4
Record This Season: 22-27
OF Herschel Powell (2 HR / 37 BB / 35 K / .337 AVG / .455 OBP / .430 SLG / .885 OPS)
OF Tyler Marincov (6 HR / 21 BB / 47 K / .255 AVG / .346 OBP / .461 SLG / .806 OPS)
OF Jaycob Brugman (2 HR / 15 BB / 29 K / .276 AVG / .357 OBP / .423 SLG / .780 OPS)
RHP Kyle Finnegan (51 2/3 IP / 40 H / 15 ER / 18 BB / 28 K / 2.61 ERA / 1.12 WHIP)
RHP Dylan Covey (54 IP / 46 H / 19 ER / 14 BB / 29 K / 3.17 ERA / 1.11 WHIP)
RHP Ronald Herrera (50 2/3 IP / 53 H / 19 ER / 10 BB / 35 K / 3.38 ERA / 1.24 WHIP)
Despite playing well over the past couple of weeks, the Snappers are still languishing in last place in their division, and the team's .248 batting average hasn't helped. Outfielder Herschel "Boog" Powell continues to be the big bright spot amongst Beloit's batters, and he currently leads the team in hits, walks, stolen bases and OBP. Meanwhile, fellow outfielder Tyler Marincov has been one of the team's top sluggers. After spending over a month on the disabled list, second baseman Chih Fang Pan returned to action this weekend and catcher Phil Pohl returned to Beloit from Sacramento, while catcher Andy Paz and first baseman Ryan Huck were returned to extended spring training in Arizona. On the pitching front, RHPs Kyle Finnegan, Dylan Covey and Ronald Herrera have formed a talented trio in the Snappers starting rotation. RHP Bobby Wahl has been kept on a tight pitch count since his return to action after missing almost a month with a strained oblique. LHP Matt Stalcup also made his way back from the DL, while RHPs Tyler Vail and Blake McMullen both joined Beloit's bullpen from extended spring training and RHPs Lee Sosa and Trevor Bayless were shipped back to Phoenix.
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.