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Minor League Report

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Minor League Report
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - 10:11 am:

Baseball Prospectus has a brief look at the early season happenings for the A's minor league teams.

Triple-A Sacramento (2-8; 13-17)
As impressive as Jeremy Brown's .333/.400/.507 start is, more impressive still has been his defense. He's thrown out eight of 16 potential base stealers, a huge improvement over his allowing 111 stolen bases last year while nailing just 23 percent. With that going for him, he might get to the big leagues before top prospect Daric Barton, who started off gangbusters but is currently in a 4-for-32 slump. In 2004, outfielder Matt Watson hit .305/.377/.515 for the RiverCats, last year he hit .315/.404/.516, and this year he's batting .324/.409/.523. Unfortunately, he's 27, limited to left field, and he bombed in a brief big league cameo last year. Lefthander Dan Meyer's 3.73 ERA is a significant improvement from last year's debacle, but with 16 strikeouts in 31.1 innings, he's still a shadow of his former prospect self.

Double-A Midland (7-3; 18-12)
Catcher Kurt Suzuki hit .277/.378/.440 last year for Stockton, and was seen as a good-not-great hitting catcher with good-not-great defensive skills behind the plate. The former College World Series hero for Cal State Fullerton has taken a step forward in both regards, batting .330/.443/.477 while nailing more than half (12 of 22) of opposing stolen base attempts. Suzuki's battery mate with the Titans, righthander Jason Windsor, had a 5.71 ERA in 11 starts for Midland last year before going down with a sore arm. He's bounced back early this season, allowing just two runs over 18 innings in his last three starts. Nobody can accuse righty Brad Ziegler of not making adjustments. On May 2, he gave up six home runs to Tulsa in three innings, and five days later he limited them to four hits over seven shutout innings.

High-A Stockton (5-5; 15-16)
The Ports roster is filled with both good stories and disappointments. A 2005 first-round pick, Travis Buck is a fantastic hitter, but his lack of power made his profile as a left fielder a little cloudy. His three home runs in 110 at-bats isn't drawing any Albert Pujols comparisons, but he is batting .345 and leads the minor leagues with 15 doubles. Outfielder Richie Robnett has returned to Stockton this season, and he's improving his plate control, striking out 27 times in 117 at-bats after whiffing 151 times last year. After missing all of 2005 recovering from major knee surgery, 2004 first-round pick Landon Powell has been fantastic both at the plate (.296/.363/.519) and behind it, throwing out a remarkable 17 of 28 potential base stealers. On the bad side we have Oakland's top pick last June, shortstop Cliff Pennington. Pennington had four hits on Sunday, and that raised his average to .150, because he started the season 11-for-94 (.117).

Low-A Kane County (5-5; 17-13)
It's amazing how much a few in-person views can fool you, and here's a split you'll never see anywhere else. In games I've attended, 2005 6th-round pick Justin Sellers is 9-for-13 with a pair of doubles. In his other 26 games, he's 15-for-91 (.165), so I'll stop raving about him. Two-thirds of the team's much-hyped teenage trio--Vince Mazzaro and Craig Italiano--have been both impressive and inconsistent, while the third, Jared Lansford, fired five shutout innings in his season debut last week.

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