Well, it looks like the wily vets have gotten off to a good start for the A's Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats so far this season. Two of the team's top hitters, catchers Stephen Vogt and Luke Montz, and top pitchers, Jesse Chavez and Dan Otero, are all 28 or 29 years of age. Meanwhile, 2 of the A's top 3 draft picks from last year, 19-year-old infielders Addison Russell and Matt Olson, are both hitting under .200 in A ball. And the other member of that trio, Daniel Robertson, has yet to be healthy enough to see game action this season. You can get daily updates on all the A's top prospects on my <strong><a href="http://athleticsfarm.com/" target="new">Athletics Farm</a></strong><em></em> blog and lots more details on the first few weeks of A's minor league action right here on <strong>Athletics Nation</strong><em></em>...
SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS
(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)
Record This Week: 3-4
Record This Season: 8-10
The River Cats' offensive attack may have slowed a bit since last week, but Sacramento's catching corps has remained hot. After the first two and a half weeks of the minor league season, catcher Stephen Vogt leads all A's minor leaguers in hits, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And his fellow backstop, Luke Montz, who's been doing his best to keep up with him, is currently among the A's minor league leaders in both OBP and SLG. Outfielder Shane Peterson has continued to get on base over 50% of the time, and first baseman Daric Barton has been batting .327 with a .441 OBP so far this season. The River Cats' rotation has been led by RHPs Jesse Chavez, who was recently recalled by the A's, and Dan Straily, who might soon be recalled by the A's if Brett Anderson can't make his next scheduled start on Wednesday. Chavez has struck out 19 over 18 1/3 innings while Straily has struck out 16 in just 12 2/3 innings. RHP Dan Otero continues to dominate out of the bullpen, tossing 8 2/3 scoreless innings and posting 3 saves.
C Stephen Vogt (16 R / 6 2B / 5 HR / 17 RBI / 6 BB / 5 K / .518 AVG / .565 OBP / .964 SLG / 1.529 OPS)
C Luke Montz (10 R / 5 2B / 4 HR / 11 RBI / 11 BB / 11 K / .317 AVG / .462 OBP / .732 SLG / 1.193 OPS)
OF Shane Peterson (15 R / 5 2B / 0 HR / 8 RBI / 18 BB / 13 K / .340 AVG / .507 OBP / .434 SLG / .941 OPS)
RHP Dan Straily (12 2/3 IP / 8 H / 2 ER / 0 HR / 1 BB / 16 K / 1.42 ERA / 0.71 WHIP)
RHP Jesse Chavez (18 1/3 IP / 20 H / 5 ER / 1 HR / 4 BB / 19 K / 2.45 ERA / 1.31 WHIP)
RHP Dan Otero (8 2/3 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 0 HR / 1 BB / 5 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.58 WHIP / 3 SV)
(Double-A Texas League)
Record This Week: 4-2
Record This Season: 10-6
The RockHounds won 4 of their 6 games last week, primarily due to the efforts of their solid pitching staff. RHPs Zach Neal, Josh Bowman and Murphy Smith have led the way. Neal, a former Miami Marlins farmhand, has been dominant over his first 4 starts and currently leads all A's minor league starters with a 1.33 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. RHP Kyler Newby has also impressed as the RockHounds' closer, allowing just 1 run in his 8 appearances while posting 4 saves. First baseman Anthony Aliotti leads a somewhat lackluster offense at Midland with a .367 batting average and a .486 on-base percentage. Shortstop Dusty Coleman has continued his surprisingly hot hitting, batting .344 with a .429 OBP. Shaquille O'Neal's cousin, outfielder D'Arby Myers, has had a hot bat of late and has raised his batting average up to .319. And catcher Beau Taylor made his 2013 debut with the team this week after spending some time in extended spring training and had 2 doubles in his first 6 at-bats.
1B Anthony Aliotti (4 R / 5 2B / 1 HR / 10 RBI / 14 BB / 15 K / .367 AVG / .486 OBP / .500 SLG / .986 OPS)
SS Dusty Coleman (11 R / 5 2B / 0 HR / 5 RBI / 9 BB / 16 K / .344 AVG / .429 OBP / .426 SLG / .855 OPS)
OF D'Arby Myers (9 R / 3 2B / 1 HR / 6 RBI / 2 BB / 13 K / .319 AVG / .347 OBP / .447 SLG / .794 OPS)
RHP Zach Neal (20 1/3 IP / 16 H / 3 ER / 1 HR / 4 BB / 16 K / 1.33 ERA / 0.98 WHIP)
RHP Josh Bowman (15 IP / 11 H / 4 ER / 1 HR / 7 BB / 5 K / 2.40 ERA / 1.20 WHIP)
RHP Murphy Smith (22 2/3 IP / 20 H / 7 ER / 1 HR / 6 BB / 16 K / 2.78 ERA / 1.15 WHIP)
(High-A California League)
Record This Week: 4-3
Record This Season: 12-6
First baseman Max Muncy continues to be one of the hottest hitters in the A's system so far this season, and he currently leads all A's minor leaguers with 8 home runs in his first 18 games and is second only to Sacramento's Vogt with a .738 slugging percentage. Second baseman Antonio Lamas has also been swinging a hot bat of late and is sporting a slash line of .340/.400/.500. Shortstop Addison Russell has yet to get going at the plate and is currently batting just .129 and has struck out 16 times in his first 31 at-bats. The Ports' pitching staff has been led by RHPs Drew Granier and Sean Murphy. Granier leads all A's minor leaguers with 26 strikeouts in 20 innings, while Murphy has struck out 19 over 18 2/3 innings and has just been promoted to Double-A Midland. Meanwhile, RHP Jonathan Joseph has been impressive out of the bullpen, allowing just 1 run while striking out 15 over 10 innings in relief.
1B Max Muncy (19 R / 2 2B / 8 HR / 16 RBI / 16 BB / 12 K / .338 AVG / .471 OBP / .738 SLG / 1.209 OPS)
2B Antonio Lamas (9 R / 2 2B / 2 HR / 14 RBI / 5 BB / 12 K / .340 AVG / .400 OBP / .500 SLG / .900 OPS)
OF Dusty Robinson (15 R / 4 2B / 3 HR / 11 RBI / 11 BB / 20 K / .239 AVG / .357 OBP / .451 SLG / .808 OPS)
RHP Sean Murphy (18 2/3 IP / 19 H / 6 ER / 4 HR / 4 BB / 19 K / 2.89 ERA / 1.23 WHIP)
RHP Drew Granier (20 IP / 15 H / 7 ER / 2 HR / 12 BB / 26 K / 3.15 ERA / 1.35 WHIP)
RHP Jonathan Joseph (10 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 0 HR / 1 BB / 15 K / 0.90 ERA / 0.50 WHIP / 1 SV)
(Class-A Midwest League)
Record This Week: 3-2
Record This Season: 7-8
Many of the Snappers' hitters have gotten off to a cold start in the chilly Midwest League where, on any given day in April, games are almost as likely to get rained out as they are to get played. One big exception to that has been third baseman Renato Nunez, who currently leads the team in RBIs, total bases, batting average and slugging percentage. Outfielder Ryan Mathews is tied with Nunez for the team lead in home runs with 3 and is second to Nunez in total bases and slugging. The A's 4th overall draft pick last year, catcher Bruce Maxwell, has been a solid contributor at the plate so far, but the A's 3rd overall pick last year, first baseman Matt Olson has yet to heat up and is batting just .173 with no home runs. Beloit's best hurler has been RHP Dakota Bacus who's struck out 21 batters over his first 15 innings, while former top prospect Michael Ynoa, who's still being brought along slowly, has given up just 1 run while striking out 7 in 8 innings of work.
3B Renato Nunez (7 R / 4 2B / 3 HR / 10 RBI / 4 BB / 9 K / .326 AVG / .383 OBP / .628 SLG / 1.011 OPS)
SS Sam Roberts (6 R / 2 2B / 1 HR / 2 RBI / 10 BB / 12 K / .237 AVG / .396 OBP / .421 SLG / .817 OPS)
OF Ryan Mathews (6 R / 1 2B / 3 HR / 8 RBI / 2 BB / 10 K / .282 AVG / .326 OBP / .538 SLG / .864 OPS)
C Bruce Maxwell (8 R / 3 2B / 1 HR / 8 RBI / 4 BB / 6 K / .271 AVG / .327 OBP / .396 SLG / .723 OPS)
RHP Michael Ynoa (8 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 1 HR / 5 BB / 7 K / 1.13 ERA / 1.25 WHIP)
RHP Dakota Bacus (15 IP / 13 H / 4 ER / 0 HR / 4 BB / 21 K / 2.40 ERA / 1.13 WHIP)
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.