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Oakland Athletics 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (12) | 2009 (3) | 2008 (27) | 2007 (27) | 2006 (26) | 2005 (8) | 2004 (17)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [81 – 81] AL West
AAA: [79 – 65] Pacific Coast League – Sacramento
AA: [70 – 70] Texas League – Midland
A+: [74 – 66] California League – Stockton
A: [71 – 67] Midwest League – Kane County
A(ss): [42 – 36] Northwest League – Vancouver
R: [30 – 26] Arizona Rookie League

The Run Down
After the 2009 season in which the A’s saw eight prospects graduate, the 2010 season saw only one – Tyson Ross. Their minors had several disappointments, such as Michael Ynoa pitching only nine innings before having to have Tommy John surgery; Jemile Weeks continuing his consistent string of injuries to his legs and hip; Max Stassi, the A’s prized catching prospect, struggled at Low-A with a line of .229/.310/.380 in 411 at bats (showed power potential, but bat was not polished (poor pitch recognition and struggled with contact) and defensively wasn’t as good as pre-draft expectations); Michael Taylor struggling at Triple-A and a string of other poor performances from pitching prospects. There is good news, 2011 is a new season. Chris Carter has home run derby-type power. Grant Green one of the best young hitting shortstops and should be moving to Double-A. Josh Donaldson is a sneaky catcher if given the playing time. Pitching may be thin, but there are a few relievers in the minors that could help when the inevitable injury to a pitcher happens in the Bay Area. Without further ado, the 2010 Oakland A’s Minor League Review.

Arizona Fall League Players – Phoenix Desert Dogs
Pitchers: (RHP) Travis Banwart; (RHP)Mike Benacka; (LHP) Carlos Hernandez; (RHP) Justin James
Hitters: #3 (SS) Grant Green; (3B) Stephen Parker; #3 (PHI; OF) Michael Taylor

Graduated Prospects
#6 (RHP) Tyson Ross

Players of Interest
Hitters
#1 Chris Carter | 1B | D.o.B: 12-18-86 | Stats (AAA): .258/.365/.529 | 465 AB | 62 XBH | 31 Hr | .271 ISO | 1/1 SB/CS | 138:73 K:BB | .296 BABIP
Carter is ranked number 29 in my Top 50 Fantasy Prospects. He would be higher, but I don’t know how much playing time he’s going to receive, his power potential alone could rank him in the mid teens. Grey went over him in a 2011 Fantasy Outlook article in late January. If you need more information you could read his Scouting the Unknown article, or you know, just ask in the comments.

#3 (PHI) Michael Taylor | OF | D.o.B: 12-19-85 | Stats (AAA): .272/.348/.392 | 464 AB | 38 XBH | 6 Hr | .120 ISO | 16/5 SB/CS | 92:51 K:BB | .325 BABIP
Talk about a downer. 2010 was his worst season of career. The strikeouts went up, the slugging disappeared, but at least his walk rate was near career average. John Sickels doesn’t know what happened – the hype train may be blowing its departure whistle – though he did suffer a shoulder injury early. Taylor still possesses great athleticism, good defense, and slightly-above average strikeout-to-walk rate. Expect him to rebound and see significant time in the majors. His age is catching up to him (25 years old), though. I think his upside over a full season, early in his career, would be 10 home runs and 20 steals.

#14 Josh Donaldson | C | D.o.B: 12-8-85 | Stats (AAA): .238/.336/.476 | 294 AB | 33 XBH | 18 Hr | .238 ISO | 3/1 SB/CS | 79:45 K:BB | .255 BABIP
Solid defender, power hitter, good plate discipline (at least in the past), catches and Kurt Suzuki is ridden hard. Donaldson has a career .280 average in the minors and his .255 BABIP this past year should be a contributing factor to the low average this past year. I like Donaldson as a sneaky catcher pick in deep leagues, especially AL-only leagues. Could be up in early summer.

#9 Adrian Cardenas | 2B | D.o.B: 10-10-87 | Stats (AA/AAA): .304/.379/.396 | 404 AB | 28 XBH | 4 Hr | .094 ISO | 6/8 SB/CS | 51:50 K:BB | .368 BABIP (AA); .302 BABIP (AAA)

Not sure what to think of Cardenas at this point in his career. He’s boring, average defensively, a gap power, contact hitting MI with strong control of the strike zone. He’s a perfect utility player, even if his defense is only solid at second. Last year I compared him to Orlando Hudson at best. I’m starting to think Cardenas won’t ever had a full time gig barring injuries. Oh, and he has struggled at Triple-A to the tune of .260/.319/.349 in 393 at bats at Triple-A.

Corey Wimberly | 2B | D.o.B: 10-26-83 | Stats (AAA): .284/.373/.354 | 531 AB | 24 XBH | 3 Hr | .070 ISO | 56/18 SB/CS | 64:58 K:BB | .317 BABIP
An older Eric Young Jr. All speed and no power. His career slash line is .302/.373/.363 with 259 steals (80 CS) and a solid strikeout-to-walk rate of 262:191 all in 2215 at bats. I don’t really expect him to have much playing time. Reminds of Eugenio Velez from San Francisco.

Pitchers
#13 Henry Rodriguez | RHP | D.o.B: 2-25-87 | Stats (AAA): 13.1 K/9 | 3.8 BB/9 | 21 1/3 IP | 1.69 ERA | 2.17 FIP | .90 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 4.2 H/9 | .200 BABIP
The A’s don’t have a lot of starting pitching on the way to the majors this year. This is assuming a conservative outlook on their younger pitchers, but you just never know. However, Henry Rodriguez pitched a fair amount in the majors this past year posting the following line:   Majors: 10.7 K/9; 4.2 BB/9 | 27 2/3 IP | 4.55 ERA | 3.15 FIP | .319 BABIP. Not bad. Definitely has the ability to be a Wuertz-type and worth a look at in Holds leagues.

Mickey Storey | RHP | D.o.B: 3-16-86 | Stats (AA/AAA): 8.2 K/9 | 2.9 BB/9 | 84 IP | 3.64 ERA | 3.40 FIP (AA); 5.20 FIP (AAA) | 1.19 WHIP | .9 Hr/9 | 7.8 H/9 | .264 BABIP (AA); .316 BABIP (AAA)
71 IP at Double-A and 13 IP at Triple-A.
Storey pitched primarily at Double-A last year, 71 of 84 innings. From the 2009 article, “Fastball sits between 86 and 90 mph and a devastating curveball that is thrown with tremendous accuracy.” At best, looks like a solid early innings reliever.

#14 Danny Farquhar | RHP | D.o.B: 2-17-87 | Stats (AA): 9.3 K/9 | 4.9 BB/9 | 76 2/3 IP | 3.52 ERA | 4.28 FIP | 1.20 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 5.9 H/9 | .239 BABIP
Part of the Rajai Davis trade. I am quoting his blurb from the Toronto Blue Jays 2010 Minor League Review.
His fastball has improved to 93 to 94 MPH topping out at 95 to 96 MPH. The 89 to 91 MPH fastball in the quote is a two-seamer with good sink. All of his pitches have good action. He struggles with control due to the different arm slots.

Honorable Mention
Hitters
#3 Grant Green | SS | D.o.B: 9-27-87 | Stats (A+): .318/.363/.520 | 548 AB | 65 XBH | 20 Hr | .202 ISO | 9/5 SB/CS | 117:38 K:BB | .366 BABIP
Baseball America (2010) said, “… [P]erhaps a lesser version of Troy Tulowitzki.” The positives first:  plus speed, a smooth defender with decent range and a strong bat. The negatives:  average will drop as the pitching gets better (see 117:38 K:BB and 2011 Arizona Fall League ratio), questions about long-term defensive position (37 errors and large frame), and his 2010 season was inflated by playing in the California League. Don’t be surprised to see Green play on the other side of second in the near future. Wouldn’t hurt to have a 20 to 25 home run hitting second basemen for fantasy, especially with 10 to 15 steals.

Steve Parker | 3B | D.o.B: 9-3-87 | Stats (A+): .296/.392/.508 | 524 AB | 64 XBH | 21 Hr | .212 ISO | 3/1 SB/CS | 105:84 K:BB | .327 BABIP
His defense is average. Scouts saw him in the Arizona Fall League and believe his numbers weren’t solely a product of the California League. He has a strong grasp of the strike zone (105:84 K:BB), power was both gap (38 doubles) and fence (21 home runs), and his BABIP was not extraordinarily high. Parker is not a young chap, but with only Kouzmanoff manning third for the near future. Another strong campaign could see Parker getting to the majors.

Pitchers
#16 Ian Krol | LHP | D.o.B: 5-9-91 | Stats (A): 6.9 K/9 | 1.8 BB/9 | 118 2/3 IP | 2.65 ERA | 2.87 FIP | .99 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 7.4 H/9 | .263 BABIP
Throws a 88 to 90 MPH fastball with good sinking action, curveball could be a plus pitch in the future, and his changeup is already league average. Middle of the rotation-type. Scouts feel what you see with Krol is what you’re going to get with little improvement. I don’t know if I believe that completely as his frame (6’1” 180lbs).  He could add more mass. Velocity may not increase, which is the scouts issue with Krol’s ability to be projectable. Krol did throw 19 innings at High-A in four starts, I would expect him to return to High-A and make the transition to Double-A towards the end of the year.

  1. Beau says:
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    Good read but Corey Wimberly was traded to the Pirates this offseason.

  2. Lava says:
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    And Henry Rodriguez was traded to the Nationals.

    Good summary, however!

  3. Tom Thumb says:
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    Blech to this run of old prospects.

    What makes Chris Carter not a candidate to be the next Chris Davis? I guess he walks a bit more and is less of a line-drive hitter. But generally a low-ish minors AVG isn’t a good sign.

  4. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Beau: Thanks for the heads up. The fantasy info still applies. Man, some days I feel like I need to trade search every single prospect that isn’t in the headlines.

    @Lava: Thanks for the heads up and the compliment.

    @Tom Thumb: Carter could be a Chris Davis. Carter has a far superior K:BB rate; Carter is roughly 2:1 and Davis is roughly 3.5:1. They both had similar OPS rates. Carter also has been the better prospect of the two. Davis was ranked #65 (Baseball America) pre-2008 season. Carter was #28 pre-2010 season. Carter’s career slash line is .284/.380/.540 and yes, he had struggles making contact last year. I still think he has strong hitting skills and could be the 2011′s Ike Davis.

  5. Tom Thumb says:
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    I like the comparison to Ike Davis. Ike walked at a really solid clip last year so if Carter can keep that up, it really helps his value. Carter has a ton more power than Ike does though. If Carter’s OBP and SLG transfer to major league skills, that would be tremendous. Based on his minor league power numbers could you see development to an Adam Dunn type in the MLB? I am always just so weary of old (24 isn’t ancient) prospects…

  6. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Tom Thumb: Carter does have “old player” skills which typically do not age well. He still isn’t that old for a prospect. If he was 25 (born in 1984/5) I would be more worried.

    Adam Dunn had far more speed in his younger days; there was a near 20/20 season in 2002 (26/19). I’d say he’s a lesser Ryan Howard. Howard didn’t reach Triple-A until 2005 at age 25. Carter was 23 during the entire 2010 season.

  7. RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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    Hey Stephen,

    I asked Grey this question this morning, I’d like to get your read on it as well:

    Keeper league question (12-team, 5X5, roto, with MI, CI, OF, LF, CF, RF, UTIL, 3 SP, 3 RP, 3 P). This team is in pretty bad shape and I went into rebuild mode last season. SO I have a LOT of guys who could be very good in a few years. We keep 6…at least 2 of which need to be pitchers. Unlimited keepers, no draft position effects. Here is my list of candidates:

    Beckham, Domonic Brown, Starlin Castro, Adam Jones, Ka’aihue, Kendry Morales, Carlos Pena, Travis Snider, Wieters, Wright, Cain, Gallardo, Jaime Garcia, Garza, Hellickson, Matusz, Nolasco, Wandy, Jonathan Sanchez, Volquez.

    I have no problem whatsoever with playing for next year because I can’t see this team competing this year. I thought for sure to keep Kendry…but this latest injury news has me a bit spooked. I may have to keep him anyway.

    What do you think??

  8. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @RandomItalicizedVoice: What do you mean by unlimited Keepers?

    The six from that last that I would choose, assuming you’re punting the 2011 season: Wright, Cain, Gallardo, Morales, Brown, Wieters/Hellickson

  9. Rick says:
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    I want to be a baseball player. Even a minor leaguer is ok. hopefully a minor leaguer with potential. Realized potential! no delmon young!

  10. Moonlight's Grahams says:
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    I think cut Stassi a little slack. 13 HR in 411 ABs at catcher and he’s only 19. I’ll admit some Sacramento bias in this plea.

  11. JoeC says:
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    Let’s go, Oakland (cha-cha cha-cha-cha)!!

  12. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Moonlight’s Grahams: He may have hit 13 home runs, but a .380 slugging percentage along with playing in the California League negates some of the excitement. He’s still young, yes. He still needs to prove himself too.

  13. polczek5 says:
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    @JoeC: I second that! RCL-11 just got even better.

Comments are closed.