As we all know, for some reason, many A’s hitters often seem to start heating up during the month of June. So, I thought I’d take a look at which A’s minor league hitters followed the trend and turned up the heat at the minor league level in June. It should come as no surprise that Franklin Barreto was one of the minor league system’s hottest hitters during the month, but a few other familiar names like Luis Barrera made their mark during the month as well.
I also wanted to let you know about our most recent A’s Farm podcast with A’s top scout Neil Avent, who’s scouted and signed players like Chad Pinder, Sean Doolittle, Skye Bolt, Austin Beck and Parker Dunshee, as well as this year’s top two draft picks for the A’s, Logan Davidson and Tyler Baum. We talk about his career in scouting and get his take on this year’s draft as well as his insights into some of the top talent that he’s helped bring into the A’s system. You can hear it right here – A’s Cast. And, of course, you can always find daily updates on the A’s top prospects and all the daily action in the A’s minor league system on Athletics Farm.
--LAS VEGAS AVIATORS--
2B-1B Corban Joseph
(76 AB/1 HR/.500 AVG/.562 OBP/.711 SLG/1.272 OPS)
Of all the amazing hitting performances this year at Vegas, no one has been more impressive than Corban Joseph, and he took things to another level in June. The 30-year-old minor league veteran, who got into 14 major league games with the Orioles last year, went 38 for 76 in June to hit an even .500 for Las Vegas. He only homered once but notched 11 doubles during the month, and Joseph currently leads the Pacific Coast League in batting with a .395 average. With his .435 batting average against righties this season, it’s possible that he could be a useful September call-up as a potential left-handed pinch-hitter for the A’s.
2B-SS Franklin Barreto
(106 AB/9 HR/.387 AVG/.402 OBP/.802 SLG/1.204 OPS)
There’s a reason that Barreto got promoted when he did. He was absolutely on fire for Las Vegas in June. The 23-year-old was consistently hitting the ball hard throughout the month, collecting 13 doubles, 2 triples and 9 home runs for the Aviators, and more than half of his 41 hits in June were extra-base hits. Barreto also managed to swipe 6 bases during the month. And on the season, he’s tallied 24 doubles in just 73 games for Las Vegas.
OF Luis Barrera
(96 AB/1 HR/.406 AVG/.420 OBP/.594 SLG/1.014 OPS)
Before re-injuring his shoulder late in the month, Barrera was having one of the best months of any player in the A’s minor league system. The 23-year-old hit over .400 and notched 6 triples during the month. Barrera has shown tremendous speed on the bases, and he now leads the Texas League with 11 triples. He’s also second in the Texas League batting race with a .321 average on the season. Hopefully, Barrera can return from his shoulder injury and pick up where he left off before long.
OF Dairon Blanco
(95 AB/3 HR/.263 AVG/.314 OBP/.484 SLG/.798 OPS)
Blanco has probably been the RockHounds’ most productive hitter this year besides Barrera. For the month, the 26-year-old Cuban import tallied 10 extra-base hits, including 5 triples, and swiped 8 bases for Midland. Blanco leads the RockHounds in hits, runs and RBIs, while his 23 stolen bases are good for third in the league, and his 10 triples trail only Barrera in the Texas League.
1B Alfonso Rivas
(96 AB/1 HR/.292 AVG/.420 OBP/.427 SLG/.847 OPS)
Last year’s 4th-round draft pick for the A’s turned in his best month of the season in June. Always known for his plate discipline, Rivas drew 22 walks during the month to help boost his June OBP to .420, and he’s now boasting an OBP of .390 on the season. Rivas also collected 8 doubles during the month, but the 22-year-old only has 5 home runs on the season, and the question with him has always been whether or not he’ll be able to develop enough power to continue to be a productive hitter as he moves through the system.
3B Jonah Bride
(76 AB/2 HR/.263 AVG/.385 OBP/.461 SLG/.845 OPS)
Many considered it to be an aggressive assignment when last year’s 23rd-round draft pick for the A’s was assigned to Stockton to start the season. And the 23-year-old got off to a rough start with an anemic .143 batting average in April. Bride turned things around in June though by compiling a .385 on-base percentage and a .461 slugging percentage while notching 9 extra-base hits for the month. And so far, he’s continued his hot hitting into July.
SS-2B Ryan Gridley
(80 AB/1 HR/.288 AVG/.345 OBP/.425 SLG/.770 OPS)
There hasn’t been an awful lot of offensive production at Beloit this season with the Snappers compiling a slash line of .221/.311/.311 and averaging just 3.5 runs per game to give the team the lowest run production in the 16-team Midwest League. One of the few bright spots in the Snappers’ lineup this season was Ryan Gridley, but Beloit lost his services when his strong June earned him a promotion to Stockton, where the 24-year-old has been busy hitting up a storm for the Ports.
OF Logan Farrar
(52 AB/1 HR/.269 AVG/.397 OBP/.327 SLG/.724 OPS)
Aside from Gridley, there wasn’t a lot to cheer about in the Snappers’ lineup in June. But Logan Farrar started making more contact and took 10 walks in 63 plate appearances to give him a .397 on-base percentage for the month. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old only notched one extra-base hit in June, but at least it must have been refreshing for Beloit batters to occasionally see someone on base when they stepped to the plate.
--VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS—
2B-1B Nick Ward
(45 AB/2 HR/.267 AVG/.433 OBP/.444 SLG/.878 OPS)
Vermont started its schedule mid-month on June 14. And from the start of the season, Nick Ward was the team’s top hitter. The 23-year-old spent most of the first couple months of the season with the Snappers but came into his own upon his arrival in Vermont, putting up an impressive .433 on-base percentage over 13 games in June. His performance quickly earned him a return trip to Beloit at the end of the month, leaving the Lake Monsters without their productive leadoff hitter.
3B Jordan Diaz
(65 AB/3 HR/.308 AVG/.309 OBP/.554 SLG/.863 OPS)
The 18-year-old Colombian third baseman impressed last year in the Arizona League, when he started the season as a 17-year-old. The teenager is currently Vermont’s team leader in hits, home runs, doubles and RBIs. In June, he tallied a total of 10 extra-base hits to give him a healthy .554 slugging percentage for the month. And his 42 total bases on the season are currently tied for second most in the 14-team NY-Penn League.
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