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A’s Farm Report: 2018 Mid-Season Organizational All-Star Team

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A’s top catching prospect Sean Murphy
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

*Before we dive into this week’s subject, one little tidbit of news to share first – 24-year-old Cuban RHP Norge Ruiz is set to make his Triple-A debut when he makes his first start for the Nashville Sounds on Monday.

With the California League and the Midwest League All-Star breaks taking place last week, I took the opportunity to name my 2018 Mid-Season Organizational All-Star Team on my Athletics Farm site last week.

Below you’ll find the primary starting players at each position for Triple-A Nashville, Double-A Midland, High-A Stockton and Class-A Beloit. Offensive players were selected from the primary starters at each position for each team, with notable players not leading in games played at a particular position listed in the designated hitter category. Starting pitchers for each club were selected from among the top starters for each team, while closers were selected from each team’s saves leader. And players on the A’s major league roster at the time were not eligible.

Asterisks denote players who’ve played for multiple minor league teams within the A’s system during the first half. Players are listed with the team they’ve spent most of the first half of the season with, and only their statistics with their primary team are included below. Statistics listed are complete through games of Wednesday, June 20 – the last day of the California League and the Midwest League All-Star breaks.

Check out the list of All-Star candidates at each position. Then scroll down below the list of contenders to find the winning Organizational All-Stars at each position. The winners were determined based purely on performance, not potential. Remember, we’re not selecting the top prospects here, we’re choosing the top performers on the field so far this season. So take a good look at the candidates for yourself and then feel free to chime in with your selections!

*Outfielder Brett Vertigan was promoted from Midland to Nashville on June 17. His statistics from his 58 games with Midland are included below.

*Outfielder Skye Bolt began the season with Midland before being reassigned to Stockton on April 24. He was promoted from the Ports to the RockHounds on June 17. His statistics from his 46 games with Stockton are included below.

*Infielder Edwin Diaz was promoted from the Ports to the RockHounds on June 7. His statistics from his 48 games with Stockton are included below.

*Infielder Melvin Mercedes has spent time with Nashville, Midland and Stockon this season. He’s been on the Sounds roster since May 23, and his statistics with Nashville are included below.

*Starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo was promoted to the RockHonds from the Ports on April 24 after making just three starts for Stockton. His statistics with Midland are included below.

*Relief pitcher Miguel Romero was promoted from the Ports to the RockHounds on June 13. His statistics from his 22 games with Stockton are included below.

*Starting pitcher Brian Howard was promoted from the Ports to the RockHounds on June 21. His statistics from his 12 games with Stockton are included below.

*This report was prepared for my site last week and the stats included below are complete through games of Wednesday, June 20 – the last day of the California League and the Midwest League All-Star breaks*

--THE CANDIDATES--

CATCHER

Nashville – Beau Taylor (143 AB / 0 HR / .273 AVG / .388 OBP / .343 SLG / .731 OPS)

Midland – Sean Murphy (219 AB / 7 HR / .315 AVG / .367 OBP / .539 SLG / .905 OPS)

Stockton – Jonah Heim (244 AB / 6 HR / .295 AVG / .363 OBP / .447 SLG / .809 OPS)

Beloit – Jordan Devencenzi (147 AB / 1 HR / .313 AVG / .377 OBP / .408 SLG / .785 OPS)

FIRST BASE

Nashville – Nick Martini (216 AB / 5 HR / .315 AVG / .427 OBP / .444 SLG / .872 OPS)

Midland – Seth Brown (255 AB / 8 HR / .298 AVG / .348 OBP / .467 SLG / .814 OPS)

Stockton – Luke Persico (164 AB / 2 HR / .311 AVG / .366 OBP / .421 SLG / .787 OPS)

Beloit – Hunter Hargrove (218 AB / 4 HR / .289 AVG / .329 OBP / .408 SLG / .737 OPS)

SECOND BASE

Nashville – Steve Lombardozzi (164 AB / 1 HR / .232 AVG / .299 OBP / .299 SLG / .598 OPS)

Midland – J.P. Sportman (205 AB / 6 HR / .288 AVG / .329 OBP / .449 SLG / .778 OPS)

Stockton – Nate Mondou (256 AB / 5 HR / .277 AVG / .343 OBP / .406 SLG / .749 OPS)

Beloit – Trace Loehr (226 AB / 2 HR / .296 AVG / .367 OBP / .398 SLG / .765 OPS)

SHORTSTOP

Nashville – Jorge Mateo (230 AB / 3 HR / .222 AVG / .269 OBP / .357 SLG / .626 OPS)

Midland – Richie Martin (205 AB / 1 HR / .322 AVG / .389 OBP / .478 SLG / .867 OPS)

Stockton – Kevin Merrell (270 AB / 0 HR / .267 AVG / .308 OBP / .326 SLG / .634 OPS)

Beloit – Nick Allen (212 AB / 0 HR / .198 AVG / .263 OBP / .250 SLG / .513 OPS)

THIRD BASE

Nashville – Sheldon Neuse (239 AB / 0 HR / .213 AVG / .262 OBP / .276 SLG / .538 OPS)

Midland – Mikey White (225 AB / 6 HR / .218 AVG / .306 OBP / .324 SLG / .630 OPS)

Stockton – William Toffey (83 AB / 2 HR / .277 AVG / .435 OBP / .398 SLG / .833 OPS)

Beloit – Jesus Lopez (203 AB / 8 HR / .251 AVG / .300 OBP / .429 SLG / .728 OPS)

LEFT FIELD

Nashville – Anthony Garcia (217 AB / 12 HR / .263 AVG / .387 OBP / .488 SLG / .875 OPS)

Midland – Tyler Ramirez (259 AB / 5 HR / .286 AVG / .366 OBP / .440 SLG / .806 OPS)

Stockton – Dairon Blanco (254 AB / 1 HR / .280 AVG / .333 OBP / .394 SLG / .727 OPS)

Beloit – Logan Farrar (218 AB / 7 HR / .234 AVG / .292 OBP / .408 SLG / .700 OPS)

CENTER FIELD

Nashville – BJ Boyd (246 AB / 2 HR / .272 AVG / .317 OBP / .354 SLG / .671 OPS)

Midland – Brett Vertigan (215 AB / 0 HR / .233 AVG / .344 OBP / .284 SLG / .628 OPS) *

Stockton – Skye Bolt (169 AB / 9 HR / .266 AVG / .382 OBP / .521 SLG / .902 OPS) *

Beloit – Austin Beck (234 AB / 1 HR / .299 AVG / .339 OBP / .368 SLG / .706 OPS)

RIGHT FIELD

Nashville – Ramon Laureano (98 AB / 3 HR / .276 AVG / .374 OBP / .418 SLG / .792 OPS)

Midland – Tyler Marincov (234 AB / 13 HR / .231 AVG / .302 OBP / .432 SLG / .733 OPS)

Stockton – Luis Barrera (220 AB / 2 HR / .268 AVG / .335 OBP / .382 SLG / .717 OPS)

Beloit – Mickey McDonald (210 AB / 0 HR / .286 AVG / .370 OBP / .348 SLG / .717 OPS)

DESIGNATED HITTER

Nashville – Melvin Mercedes (37 AB / 0 HR / .162 AVG / .225 OBP / .216 SLG / .441 OPS) *

Midland – Eli White (253 AB / 6 HR / .308 AVG / .390 OBP / .474 SLG / .864 OPS)

Stockton – Edwin Diaz (166 AB / 6 HR / .229 AVG / .319 OBP / .392 SLG / .711 OPS) *

Beloit – Jack Meggs (160 AB / 4 HR / .256 AVG / .333 OBP / .425 SLG / .758 OPS)

STARTING PITCHER

Nashville – James Naile (80 IP / 90 H / 36 ER / 19 BB / 51 K / 4.05 ERA / 1.36 WHIP)

Midland – Jesus Luzardo (47 2/3 IP / 43 H / 18 ER / 13 BB / 55 K / 3.40 ERA / 1.17 WHIP) *

Stockton – Brian Howard (72 IP / 53 H / 19 ER / 14 BB / 77 K / 2.38 ERA / 0.93 WHIP) *

Beloit – Xavier Altamirano (70 IP / 58 H / 24 ER / 16 BB / 63 K / 3.09 ERA / 1.06 WHIP)

CLOSER

Nashville – Bobby Wahl (29 1/3 IP / 16 H / 9 ER / 15 BB / 44 K / 2.76 ERA / 1.06 WHIP / 6 SV)

Midland – Nolan Blackwood (32 IP / 39 H / 14 ER / 9 BB / 27 K / 3.94 ERA / 1.50 WHIP / 8 SV)

Stockton – Miguel Romero (29 1/3 IP / 21 H / 6 ER / 5 BB / 33 K / 1.84 ERA / 0.89 WHIP / 13 SV) *

Beloit – Seth Martinez (36 IP / 35 H / 12 ER / 8 BB / 22 K / 3.00 ERA / 1.19 WHIP / 8 SV)

--A’s Farm’s Mid-Season Organizational All-Star Team--

CATCHER

Sean Murphy – Midland RockHounds

(219 AB / 7 HR / .315 AVG / .367 OBP / .539 SLG / .905 OPS)

2016’s 3rd-round draft pick for the A’s has always been known for his strong throwing arm and his solid work behind the plate, but Murphy has also been one of the most productive hitters in the A’s minor league system in the first half. The 23-year-old leads all A’s minor leaguers with 24 doubles, 33 extra-base hits and a .539 slugging percentage.

FIRST BASE

Nick Martini – Nashville Sounds

(216 AB / 5 HR / .315 AVG / .427 OBP / .444 SLG / .872 OPS)

The veteran minor leaguer was signed as a minor league free agent by the A’s in the offseason, and he’s turned out to be one of the most valuable hitters for Nashville in the first half. The 27-year-old leads all A’s minor leaguers with 43 walks and leads the Sounds with a .427 on-base percentage. He’s also riding a 52-game on-base streak.

SECOND BASE

J.P. Sportman – Midland RockHounds

(205 AB / 6 HR / .288 AVG / .329 OBP / .449 SLG / .778 OPS)

Drafted by the A’s in the 27th-round back in 2014, the 26-year-old is currently in the midst of his third season with Midland. After spending most of his time in the outfield in past seasons, Sportman has spent the majority of his time at second base, while still seeing some time in the outfield, this season. He leads the RockHounds with 13 stolen bases while also hitting 6 home runs in the first half.

SHORTSTOP

Richie Martin – Midland RockHounds

(205 AB / 1 HR / .322 AVG / .389 OBP / .478 SLG / .867 OPS)

The A’s top pick in 2015 had consistently struggled at the plate since joining the A’s system. Prior to this year, Martin had never posted a batting average higher than .237 in a single season. But this year, after making some adjustments to his swing, the 23-year-old leads all A’s minor leaguers with a batting average of .322. He’s also improved his power numbers a bit and has compiled 19 doubles and 5 triples in 53 games for Midland.

THIRD BASE

William Toffey – Stockton Ports

(83 AB / 2 HR / .277 AVG / .435 OBP / .398 SLG / .833 OPS)

Last year’s 4th-round draft pick for the A’s out of Vanderbilt, Toffey missed almost six weeks with a shoulder injury in the first half. But when he’s been in the lineup, the 23-year-old has done a great job of getting on base for the Ports. Known for his plate discipline as a college player, Toffey’s .435 on-base percentage is the best among A’s minor leaguers.

LEFT FIELD

Anthony Garcia – Nashville Sounds

(217 AB / 12 HR / .263 AVG / .387 OBP / .488 SLG / .875 OPS)

The A’s signed the slugging outfielder as a minor league free agent in the offseason, and he’s proven to be one of the most productive hitters for Nashville in the first half. The 26-year-old has served as the Sounds’ cleanup hitter for much of the season and leads the team with 12 home runs and a .488 slugging percentage.

CENTER FIELD

Skye Bolt – Stockton Ports

(169 AB / 9 HR / .266 AVG / .382 OBP / .521 SLG / .902 OPS) *

Bolt got off to a rough start with the RockHounds in April and was quickly shipped back to Stockton, where it didn’t take long for him to find his groove again. The 24-year-old was promoted to Midland last weekend. But after appearing in just 46 games for Stockton, Bolt still leads the Ports with 9 home runs and 31 walks, and he’s looked much more at home in his second time around with the RockHounds.

RIGHT FIELD

Ramon Laureano – Nashville Sounds

(98 AB / 3 HR / .276 AVG / .374 OBP / .418 SLG / .792 OPS)

Once a highly-touted prospect, Laureano was acquired from the Astros in the offseason after an uninspiring performance at Double-A in 2017. The 23-year-old spent the first month and a half of the season on the disabled list. But since returning to action, he’s gotten off to a good start for the Sounds. Laureano has drawn 16 walks and swiped 5 bases in his first 26 games while boasting a .374 on-base percentage for Nashville.

DESIGNATED HITTER

Eli White – Midland RockHounds

(253 AB / 6 HR / .308 AVG / .390 OBP / .474 SLG / .864 OPS)

2016’s 11th-round draft pick for the A’s, White has played all over the field for the RockHounds in first half. The 23-year-old has mainly split time between shortstop, second base and third base, but he’s made a few appearances in center field as well. Wherever he’s played this season, White has done nothing but hit. He leads all A’s minor leaguers with 78 hits and 120 total bases while sporting a .390 on-base percentage and a .474 slugging percentage for the RockHounds.

STARTING PITCHER

Brian Howard – Stockton Ports

(72 IP / 53 H / 19 ER / 14 BB / 77 K / 2.38 ERA / 0.93 WHIP) *

Last year’s 8th-round draft pick for the A’s, the 6-foot-9 righty has been dominant for the Ports in the first half. His 2.38 ERA and his 0.93 WHIP are both bests among A’s minor league starting pitchers. Perhaps most impressive, the 23-year-old has issued just 14 walks while notching 77 strikeouts in 72 innings of work for Stockton. And he’s sure to be making his Double-A debut before long.

CLOSER

Miguel Romero – Stockton Ports

(29 1/3 IP / 21 H / 6 ER / 5 BB / 33 K / 1.84 ERA / 0.89 WHIP / 13 SV) *

The Cuban righty made his debut in the A’s system last year. But this season, he really established himself as a potent force out of the Ports bullpen. Romero notched 13 saves in 14 opportunities for Stockton in the first half, and his saves total leads all A’s minor leaguers. The 24-year-old issued just 5 walks while striking out 33 in 29 1/3 innings of work and earned a promotion from the Ports to the RockHounds last week.

Visit Athletics Farm for updates on the A’s minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.