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Farm Report: Pitching Prospects In The Spotlight

Sean Nolin
Sean Nolin
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Well, there have been lots of pitchers on the move in the A's system this week, so I figured it might be a good time to take a quick look at the pitching staffs of all four of the A's affiliates. The pitching depth is definitely not what it's been in past years. In pre-season prospect polls, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Dillon Overton were the most common names to top the lists of the A's pitching prospects. Graveman opened the season with the A's before being sent to Nashville, while Nolin has been injured but just recently joined the Sounds to begin a rehab assignment, and Overton has been pitching well so far for Stockton. You can always stay up to date on all the daily minor league action in the A's system on my Athletics Farm site and you can see how the A's top minor league hurlers have been doing right here on Athletics Nation...


OF Chad Oberacker (Midland - AA)

2 HR / 9 BB / 15 K / .370 AVG / .434 OBP / .603 SLG / 1.036 OPS

1B Matt Olson (Midland - AA)

6 HR / 22 BB / 23 K / .253 AVG / .418 OBP / .560 SLG / .978 OPS

OF Tyler Marincov (Stockton - A+)

3 HR / 6 BB / 21 K / .333 AVG / .388 OBP / .522 SLG / .910 OPS

2B Joey Wendle (Nashville - AAA)

3 HR / 3 BB / 16 K / .294 AVG / .337 OBP / .565 SLG / .902 OPS

1B Sandber Pimentel (Beloit - A)

2 HR / 12 BB / 21 K / .306 AVG / .414 OBP / .486 SLG / .900 OPS

SP Tim Atherton (Midland/Stockton - AA/A+)

29 IP / 16 H / 6 ER / 7 BB / 33 K / 1.86 ERA / 0.79 WHIP

SP Lou Trivino (Stockton - A+)

16 2/3 IP / 11 H / 4 ER / 8 BB / 15 K / 2.16 ERA / 1.14 WHIP

RP Andres Avila (Stockton - A+)

13 2/3 IP / 8 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 13 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.73 WHIP

RP Ryan Dull (Midland - AA)

11 1/3 IP / 9 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 13 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.06 WHIP


Pacific Coast League - Triple-A

It's safe to say that the Sounds have veteran pitching staff. The average age of the team's pitchers this season is 29. LHP Barry Zito, who'll be turning 37 in a little over a week, leads the veteran contingent, but Brad Mills, Angel Castro, Kevin Whelan and Fernando Rodriguez are all in their 30s as well. The team started the season with a rotation of Zito, Mills, Arnold Leon, Chris Bassitt and a tandem of Castro and Ryan Verdugo. Kendall Graveman has since arrived to replace Bassitt and, with Jarrod Parker's recent arrival, Castro and Verdugo have been pushed to the bullpen. Zito and Mills both have ERAs just shy of 6.00, while Leon's ERA is a lofty 7.56. Graveman gave up 3 earned runs over 5 innings in his first start for Nashville this week, and Jarrod Parker gave up 3 runs over 4 1/3 innings in his initial rehab appearance for the Sounds. Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte's been the best out of the bullpen, allowing just 2 runs while striking out 14 over 16 innings of work. The team recently lost RHPs R.J. Alvarez and Chad Smith when both were recalled by the A's and also lost LHP Eury De La Rosa when he was claimed off waivers. But LHP Jim Fuller and RHP Seth Frankoff were recently promoted from Midland and, of course, Ryan Cook has also returned from Oakland. LHP Sean Nolin has joined the Sounds on a rehab assignment but has yet to make his first appearance on the mound. Nashville lost its leadoff hitter this week when Billy Burns was recalled by the A's. Jason Pridie has since switched to center field and outfielder Alex Hassan was claimed off waivers and added to the Sounds' roster. Veteran infielder Ryan Roberts, who was signed to a minor league deal a little over a week ago, has gone 8 for 24 in his first 6 games with Nashville. But second baseman Joey Wendle has been the team's best hitter, leading all A's minor leaguers in extra-base hits with 14 while posting a .294/.337/.565 slash line.


Texas League - Double-A

Midland's pitching staff is considerably younger than Nashville's, averaging 25 years of age. The rotation has been led by RHP Chris Jensen, who boasts a solid 3.38 ERA after 5 starts. RHPs Zach Neal, Jake Sanchez and Tanner Peters along with LHP Chris Lamb all started the season in the RockHounds' rotation as well. But Peters has landed on the disabled list with a right elbow injury and Lamb recently returned to extended spring training in Arizona after posting an unsightly ERA of 19.00 after his first 3 starts. They've been replaced in the rotation by RHP Nate Long, who came out of the bullpen, and RHP Tim Atherton, who was recently promoted from the Ports. Neal made one spot start in Nashville before returning to the RockHounds. He's posted a 4.94 ERA overall, while Sanchez has struggled with a 7.59 ERA in 4 starts, though he has struck out 20 in 21 1/3 innings. Midland's bullpen has been solid though. RHP Ryan Dull has yet to be scored upon in his first 7 appearances, while RHP Tucker Healy just gave up his first runs of the season on Sunday, and RHP Seth Frankoff allowed just 1 run before his recent promotion to Nashville. RHPs Bobby Wahl and Ryan Doolittle have both struggled though, with Wahl giving up 8 earned runs in 8 innings and Doolittle allowing 9 runs in 10 innings of work. First baseman Matt Olson, shortstop Chad Pinder and outfielder Chad Oberacker have been the team's top hitters. Olson leads all A's minor leaguers with 6 home runs and 22 walks, while Pinder boasts a .256/.351/.463 slash line and Obaracker still leads the system in batting average (.370), on-base percentage (.434) and slugging percentage (.603).


California League - High-A

Stockton started the season with a rotation consisting of RHPs Tim Atherton, Dylan Covey, Lou Trivino and Kyle Finnegan along with LHP Dillon Overton. Atherton got off to a great start, posting a 1.17 ERA while striking out 31 in 23 innings, and was recently promoted to Midland. Trivino, Covey and Overton have been solid as well, with all of them putting up ERAs under 3.00 after their first few weeks of action. Overton has allowed 4 earned runs on 14 hits and 5 walks while striking out 12 over 16 1/3 innings. But Finnegan has struggled a bit with an ERA of 4.91 after his first 5 starts. Jarrod Parker made 2 starts for Stockton before moving on to Nashville. He allowed 5 earned runs on 8 hits while walking none and striking out 8 over 8 1/3 innings for the Ports. RHP Andres Avila has been the best out of the bullpen, allowing just 1 unearned run while striking out 13 over 13 2/3 innings, but he was just promoted to Midland on Sunday. RHP Ben Bracewell joined the Ports' bullpen this week, with RHP Tyler Hollstegge heading to Beloit. Outfielder Tyler Marincov has been the team's hottest hitter of late, going an astounding 14 for 25 with a pair of home runs this week, and he leads the team in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.388) and slugging percentage (.522). Fellow outfielder Justin Higley has also been coming on strong of late, and he currently boasts a slash line of .288/.342/.507.


Midwest League - Class-A

The Snappers' starting rotation has been as stable as any in the A's system so far this year. It also contains more top-tier prospects than any, with last year's 2nd-round, 3rd-round, 4th-round and 5th-round draft picks all on the starting staff. Unfortunately though, they've all been struggling to find their footing in the early going this season. 2nd-rounder Daniel Gossett has struck out 19 in 21 innings with a 5.57 ERA; 3rd-rounder Brett Graves has struck out 17 in 24 1/3 innings with a 7.03 ERA; 4th-rounder Jordan Schwartz has struck out 21 in 22 1/3 innings with a 7.66 ERA; and 5th-rounder Heath Fillmyer has struck out 20 in 22 innings with a 6.14 ERA. Meanwhile, the other rotation member, RHP Junior Mendez, has struck out just 12 in 18 1/3 innings with a 5.89 ERA. RHP Trevor Bayless tossed 6 scoreless innings out of the bullpen before being promoted to the Ports. RHP Rob Huber was placed on the temporarily inactive list this week, and RHP Tyler Hollstegge joined the team from Stockton. First baseman Sandber Pimentel has been the Snappers' hottest hitter of late, and he currently leads the team in batting average (.306), on-base percentage (.414) and slugging percentage (.486).

You can check out my site - Athletics Farm - for updates on the A's minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.