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Monday Morning Fall League Musings

Last week Taj Adib and I sat down at our respective computers and devised Top 20 lists for the A’s minor league system. When we compared our lists it was apparent that we didn’t see eye-to-eye on a few of the players. Over the next couple weeks Taj and I are going to debate our choices and then share those discussions with AN’s hordes in an attempt to convince you of the righteousness of our particular side.


In the meantime, allow me to update you on the goings on in Hawaii and Arizona.

The Hawaiian Baseball League


The A’s have three players in Hawaii; in a league that features a mix of American and Japanese ballplayers. The competition is somewhere between AA and AAA so the HBL serves as a sort of competitive sampling of what life has in store for this group of A’s prospects. Corey Brown, Chris Carter and Sam Demel all left High-A Stockton to play for the North Shore Honu. The early results are mixed. Demel is getting hammered thus far while Brown and Carter are holding their own. Strike outs continue to be an issue with the two hitters but they’ve continued to show some pop and the ability to draw a walk. They’re about 1/3 of the way through a 40 game season so there’s still time to see some progress against more advanced talent.


The Arizona Fall League


The AFL is only 5 games into its 38 game schedule, but setting the small sample size aside, the seven Oakland farmhands playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs have had more success than not. Sean Doolittle has 3 doubles and 2 HR in 20 at bats but more importantly a 2:1 BB/K rate. Doolittle showed during the season he could hit for power but he lost some control of the strike zone. If Doolittle can cut back on the K’s while not losing any of the power his stock will go up considerably. BTW, Sean has started all 5 games for Phoenix in RF.


Josh Donaldson is in the midst of a positional change as well. The A’s are allowing him to play 1B for Phoenix; my guess is they’re more interested in getting Donaldson at bats against AA and above pitchers than they are of getting him more innings behind the plate.


Andrew Carignan has the only Phoenix save, so I guess we could call him the closer!


The Mexican Winter League


A’s prospect and PaulThomas obsession Arnold Leon is pitching for Culiacan. This is the last of his contractual obligation South of the border. Next year he becomes sole property of the A’s. He’s pitched 1 inning so far, striking out 1.


The Dominican and Venezuelan Leagues start up in a few days, the Dominican League in early November. Taj and I will do our best keep you updated on any A’s prospects participating in those leagues.