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Minor League Update... Finally!

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Sorry it’s been so long, but Life sometimes has a way of prioritizing things in a way other than what we wish. In fact, if things hadn’t gone to Hell at work this weekend I wouldn’t be posting this piece at all! (I’ll let you come up with what that means… your ideas will probably be more exciting than the reality.) There are some guys in the lower minors that have caught my eye lately and I thought I’d share my notes. So grab your preferred hangover cure ('cause last night's game was a dandy) and enjoy some smooth, soothing scouting reports.


OK, that was beyond cheesy... possibly approaching Velveeta. I apologize.


A couple distasteful housekeeping items to being with… KCC 3B/2B Jason Christian separated his left shoulder and is on the DL. It also looks like the A’s are going to have trouble signing their projected over-slot draftees prior to mid-August. Word is Bud Selig wants to cut the slot signing bonuses by 10% from 2008 and it appears that MLB is going to hold off on approving any contract between the teams and their draftees until the deadline. So even if the A’s had deals agreed to in principle with Grant Green, Max Stassi, Sam Dyson, Josh Leyland and Ian Krol they wouldn’t be able to get the paperwork processed and get them into the minor league system. When I write on the Front Page I’m supposed to maintain some level of decorum, so I need someone reading this to express our joint displeasure towards Mr. Selig.


Please, be creative.


On to healthy players being relatively productive!


Connor Crumbliss was the A’s 28th round draft pick back in June and he currently plays for Vancouver as their… well… lead-off hitter. He’s seen time in the infield and the outfield, this after spending most of the past year as Emporia State’s CF. He’s hitting 288/466/400 in 85 at bats. He also has 30 walks to go with 13 strike-outs and has some speed, stealing 8 of 9 for Canadians and 30 for 32 in school. Is he strong enough to keep a good fastball from knocking the bat out of his hand? Guess we’ll see.


Paul Smyth is another 2009 draftee (35th round) that’s having a statistically impressive debut in Vancouver. In 10 games he hasn’t allowed a run over 16 IP, giving up 4 hits and 2 walks and striking out 21.


The Canadian most folks have their eyes on is Rashun Dixon, the walking tool shed the A’s went over-slot to sign in 2008. He probably wishes you wouldn’t watch him so closely, as he struggling with a 180/284/290 line. He still has some contact issues (40 K in 100 AB) but the bigger problem is he can’t get a hit on the road. He’s not hitting to the tune of 125/246/196 on away games.


The most impressive performance of late in Kane County comes from SP Anthony Capra. It seems he had some conditioning issues early on, but he’s in shape now and over his last 6 GS has thrown 37.2 IP while allowing 18 hits, 7 walks and 8 ER for an ERA of 1.94. He’s also struck out 40.


Stockton’s Tyson Ross has also been a daisy over his last 5 starts, going 31 IP and giving up 19 hits, 12 walks, 8 ER (for an ERA of 2.32) while striking out a batter an inning.


Of course, the best pitching prospect in the lower minors continues to be Mickey Storey. Mr. Storey earned a promotion from Kane County to Stockton at the end of June (I know, only in baseball could a move to Stockton be considered a promotion) and his cumulative line stands at 23 Games, 14 Saves, 26.1 IP, 11 hits, 1 ER (0.34 ERA) 3 walks and 35 strike-outs. How does he do it? With a 90 MPH fastball that he can spot where he wants and a 73-74 MPH curveball he can throw for strikes.


On a final note, congratulations to Pedro Figueroa and Jaime Richmond for finally leaving Kane County behind and now pitch for the Stockton Ports.