Spring Training TTM Batch No. 1 Ready

It’s that time of the year. Pitchers and Catchers start reporting this week and soon Spring Training will be in full swing. It is also the time where I send a couple of TTM batches to current Major and Minor Leaguers in hopes of getting their autographs on some cards.

This year my first batch is almost exclusively Oakland Athletics. Honestly this is no different than in years past. There is only one non-Athletics player and that is Daniel Robertson of the Tampa Bay Rays. As many know he was drafted by and played for the Athletics’ minor league system until he was traded prior to the 2015 season.

In the first batch there are 11 players/coaches that I am sending requests to. Usually my batches are in groups of 10, but I had a couple of extra stamps so I decided to add one more. 4 of these players are ones I have received TTM successes from in the past. 7 I have not sent to before. 1 of those 7 can be classified as “Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?” (i.e. Long Shot)

Here is the list of players in the first batch:

Sean Doolittle*
Stephen Vogt*
Billy Burns*
Mark Canha
Jed Lowrie*
Renato Nunez
Kendall Graveman
Daniel Robertson
R.J. Alvarez
Jesse Hahn

The Long Shot:
Mark McGwire

From time to time I see successes from Mark McGwire so I figured why not? What’s the worst that is going to happen? I lose 1 card. The potential reward far out weighs the risk.

*Received prior successes.

Billy Burns to Get 1st MLB Start Against Astros

In the series finale versus the Houston Astros, the Oakland Athletics will start rookie Billy Burns in center field. With Coco Criso still out with a neck strain Bob Melvin has said that Billy will start against left handed pitchers. Billy will be starting and leading off against the Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel.

Billy was called up from AA Midland RockHounds on Monday after the Athletics had to place Craig Gentry on the 15 day DL with a broken hand. He has played in both games of the series. He pinch hit on Monday night (o-1) and was a defensive replacement in Tuesday’s comeback win. This will be Billy’s first start.

Billy was acquired by the Athletics in the trade that sent reliever Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals. The Athletics took a long look at Billy during Spring Training. He played in 26 games and hit .306 (22 for 72) with 8 walks and 10 stolen bases. For the RockHounds Billy was batting .250 (91 for 364) with 44 walks and 51 stolen bases. In 2013 with the Potomac Nationals, Billy hit .315 (170 for 444) with 72 walks and 74 stolen bases.

Post-Draft Top 20 Prospects

Now that the signing deadline for the 2014 June Draft has passed the Top 20 Prospects have been updated by MLB.com. There are many new faces on the Oakland Athletics list as well and a few that have moved up the ranks based on their performance so far this season.

New to the list are 2014 Draft Picks Matt Chapman (No. 4), Brett Graves (No. 13) and Daniel Gossett (No. 14).  Also new to the list are Ryon Healy (No. 18) and Jaycob Brugman (No. 20). Aaron Shipman (No. 19) makes a return to the list for the first time since 2012 with his breakout season under the radar in Stockton.

Notable jumps on the list are Bruce Maxwell who moves from No. 14 to No. 10. Chad Pinder makes the jump from No. 15 to No. 6. Seth Streich makes the biggest jump moving from No. 18 to No. 8 with his All-Star season with the Stockton Ports.

Off the list are B.J. Boyd, Dylan Covey, Chris Kohler, Miles Head, Arnold Leon and Dustin Driver. Boyd and Covey are having strong seasons, so they are not far off the list. Meanwhile Kohler and Head have been battling injuries and could possibly make a return to the list in the next season or so as they return to form.

1. Daniel Robertson
2. Matthew Olson
3. Renato Nunez
4. Matt Chapman
5. Dillon Overton
6. Chad Pinder
7. Raul Alcantara
8. Seth Streich
9. Max Muncy
10. Bruce Maxwell
11. Bobby Wahl
12. Nolan Sanburn
13. Brett Graves
14. Daniel Gossett
15. Tucker Healy
16. Michael Ynoa
17. Billy Burns
18. Ryon Healy
19. Aaron Shipman
20. Jaycob Brugman

To be eligible for the list the player must have rookie eligibility.  Players cannot exceed 130 at bats or 50 innings pitches with a Major League club.  Also the player cannot be on the active roster for more than 45 days during the 25 player limit period.

Top 20 Prospects – Updated July 2014

Following the blockbuster trade that sent the Oakland Athletics top 2 prospects, Addison Russell and Billy McKinney (along with Dan Straily) to the Chicago Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel the Top 20 Prospect list needed to be updated. Here is the updated list as compiled by MLB.com.

New to the list is Tucker Healy at No. 18 who is having a breakout year pitching at three levels with the Stockton Ports (High A), Midland RockHounds (AA) and currently with the Sacramento River Cats (AAA). Arnold Leon returns to the list at No. 19 as he is hiving a strong year posting a 9-2 record with a 4.47 ERA in 17 games for the River Cats.

This list will be changing over the next few months as Draft Pick from the 2014 June Draft are evaluated and other prospects have their seasons re-evalutaed.

1. Daniel Robertson
2. Raul Alcantara
3. Matthew Olson
4. Renato Nunez
5. Bobby Wahl
6. Dillon Overton
7. Billy Burns
8. Nolan Sanburn
9. Michael Ynoa
10. B.J. Boyd
11. Dylan Covey
12. Chris Kohler
13. Max Muncy
14. Bruce Maxwell
15. Chad Pinder
16. Seth Streich
17. Miles Head
18. Tucker Healy
19. Arnold Leon
20. Dustin Driver

To be eligible for the list the player must have rookie eligibility.  Players cannot exceed 130 at bats or 50 innings pitches with a Major League club.  Also the player cannot be on the active roster for more than 45 days during the 25 player limit period.

Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects: 2014 Pre-Season Edition

Here is the list of the Top 20 Prospects of Oakland Athletics coming into the 2014 season as compiled by MLB.com.  To be eligible for the list the player must have rookie eligibility.  Players cannot exceed 130 at bats or 50 innings pitches with a Major League club.  Also the player cannot be on the active roster for more than 45 days during the 25 player limit period.

1. Addison Russell
2. Billy McKinney
3. Daniel Robertson
4. Raul Alcantara
5. Matthew Olson
6. Renato Nunez
7. Bobby Wahl
8. Dillon Overton
9. Billy Burns
10. Nolan Sanburn
11. Michael Ynoa
12. B.J. Boyd
13. Dylan Covey
14. Chris Kohler
15. Max Muncy
16. Ronald Herrera
17. Bruce Maxwell
18. Chad Pinder
19. Miles Head
20. Dustin Driver

One for the more notable jumps came from Billy McKinney who jumped from 7th to 2nd on the list. Interestingly enough Dillon Overton has jumped from 13th to 8th eventhough he is recovering from Tommy John surgery and has not played a game in the Oakland system.

New names on the list include the speedy Billy Burns, Bobby Wahl, Chris Kohler, Ronald Herrera and Dustin Driver. Off the pre-season list are Arnold Leon, Drew Granier, Vicmal De La Cruz, Anthony Aliotti and Blake Hassebrock. The prospects taken off the list are not necessarily any worse than they were last year. This is a highly competitive list and there is not room for everyone.

Spring Training Prospect Update 03/26/2014

With the Cactus League wrapping up today I thought I would wait until this time to do the final update for Oakland Athletics Prospects. The Athletics finish with a Cactus League record of 13-13-5. While there are some prospects who will be travelling to the Bay Area to play in the Bay Bridge Series, this will essentially be the final Spring Training Update.

Position Players
Anthony Aliotti, 1st base: 1-6, 1 2B, 1 RBI in 6 games
Billy Burns, outfield: 22-71, 12 runs scored, 10 stolen bases in 25 games
Chris Giminez, catcher: 8-33, 3 2B, 3 RBI in 25 games
Jose Martinez, 2nd base: 6-27, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored in 19 games
Bruce Maxwell, catcher: 1-4, 1 2B in 4 games
Billy McKinney, outfield: 5-13, 1 2B, 2 RBI in 12 games
Luke Montz, catcher: 7-24, 2 HR, 5 RBI in 13 games
Max Muncy, 1st base: 1-1, 1 run scored, 1 RBI in 1 game
Ryan Ortiz: 1-3 in 4 games
Shane Peterson, outfield/1st base: 2-12, 4 walks, 1 RBI in 10 games
Daniel Robertson, shortstop: 5-23, 1 RBI in 17 games
Addison Russell, shortstop: 7-25, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 stolen base in 12 games
Michael Taylor, outfield: 17-62, 5 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs in 26 games

Pitchers
Raul Alcantara: 4 IP, 2 SO
Ryan Dull: 27.00 ERA, 5 ER, 1.2 IP, 2 SO
Seth Frankoff: 1 IP, 1 SO
Arnold Leon: 2.13 ERA, 12.2 IP, 11 SO
Sean Murphy: 4.1IP, 2 SO
Zach Neal: 1 W, 3.2 IP, 6 SO
Drew Pomeranz: 1-1, 3.27 ERA, 11 IP, 18 SO
Nolan Sanburn: 16.20 ERA 1.2IP, 1 SO
Paul Smyth: 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1 SO
Jeff Urlaub: 1-1, 8.10 ERA, 3.1 IP
Michael Ynoa: 3 IP,9.00 ERA, 3 SO

Spring Training Prospect Update 03/19/2014

So I’m a couple of days late for this update, but that’s okay. In Spring Training the Oakland Athletics are 10-8-5 heading into play today. Dan Straily will take the mound as the Athletics take on Danny Salazar and the Cleveland Indians at 1:05 at Goodyear Ballpark, the Indians’s Spring Training home. Here is how the Athletics prospects are progressing this Spring.

Position Players
Anthony Aliotti, 1st base: 0-3 in 3 games
Billy Burns, outfield: 14-52, 10 runs scored, 8 stolen bases in 18 games
Chris Giminez, catcher: 4-23, 3 walks in 19 games
Jose Martinez, 2nd base: 6-25, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored in 16 games
*Bruce Maxwell, catcher: 1-4, 1 2B in 4 games
Billy McKinney, outfield: 4-10, 1 2B, 2 RBI in 9 games
Luke Montz, catcher: 7-24, 2 HR, 5 RBI in 13 games
*Max Muncy, 1st base: 1-1, 1 run scored, 1 RBI in 1 game
Ryan Ortiz: 1-2 in 2 games
Shane Peterson, outfield/1st base: 2-12, 4 walks, 1 RBI in 10 games
Daniel Robertson, shortstop: 4-17, 1 RBI in 13 games
*Addison Russell, shortstop: 7-25, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 stolen base in 12 games
Michael Taylor, outfield: 14-48, 3 5B, 3 HR, 9 RBIs in 20 games

Pitchers
*Raul Alcantara: 4 IP, 2 SO
*Ryan Dull: 67.50 ERA, 5 ER, 0.2 IP, 1 SO
*Seth Frankoff: 1 IP, 1 SO
Arnold Leon: 2.79 ERA, 9.2 IP, 7 SO
Zach Neal: 1 W, 3.2 IP, 6 SO
Drew Pomeranz: 0-1, 4.26 ERA, 6.1 IP, 11 SO
Paul Smyth: 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1 SO
*Jeff Urlaub: 1 W, 1.1 IP
*Michael Ynoa: 3 IP,9.00 ERA, 3 SO

*Reassigned to Minor League Camp.

Spring Training Prospect Update 03/10/2014

For the second time in two days the Oakland Athletics ended the game in a tie. Sunday was a 2-2 tie with the Chicago White Sox and today was an 8-8 tie against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Here is how the Athletics’s Prospects are faring this Spring.

Position Players
Anthony Aliotti, 1st base: 0-2 in 2 games
Billy Burns, outfield: 9-35, 7 runs scored, 7 stolen bases in 12 games
Chris Giminez, catcher: 2-15, 3 walks in 12 games
Jose Martinez, 2nd base: 5-20, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored in 11 games
Bruce Maxwell, catcher: 1-4, 1 2B in 4 games
Billy McKinney, outfield: 1-3, in 4 games
Luke Montz, catcher: 3-14, 3 RBI in 9 games
Max Muncy, 1st base: 1-1, 1 run scored, 1 RBI in 1 game
Shane Peterson, outfield/1st base: 2-12, 4 walks, 1 RBI in 10 games
Daniel Robertson, shortstop: 2-5, in 7 games
Addison Russell, shortstop: 7-25, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 stolen base in 12 games
Michael Taylor, outfield: 10-31, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs in 13 games

Pitchers
Raul Alcantara: 4 IP, 2 SO
Ryan Dull: 0.2 IP, 1 SO
Seth Frankoff: 1 IP, 1 SO
Arnold Leon: 7 IP, 6 SO
Zach Neal: 1 W, 1.2 IP, 2 SO
Drew Pomeranz: 0-1, 8.10 ERA, 3.1 IP, 4 SO
Paul Smyth: 1 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1 ER
Jeff Urlaub: 1 W, 1.1 IP
Michael Ynoa: 3 IP,9.00 ERA, 3 SO

This feature will be updated every Monday through Spring Training.

Spring Training Prospect Update 03/03/2014

After today’s 7-3 victory over Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Oakland Athletics now have a record of 4-1-1. Here is how the prospects are progressing this Spring.

Position Players
Billy Burns, outfield: 5-16, 4 runs scored, 5 stolen bases in 6 games
Jose Martinez, 2nd base: 3-10, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored in 5 games
Bruce Maxwell, catcher: 0-1, in 1 game
Billy McKinney, outfield: 0-1, in 1 game
Luke Montz, catcher: 2-4, 1 walk in 4 games
Shane Peterson, outfield/1st base: 2-8, 2 walks, 1 RBI in 6 games
Daniel Robertson, shortstop: 0-1, in 1 game
Addison Russell, shortstop: 2-12, 1 RBI, 1 stolen base in 6 games
Michael Taylor, outfield: 2-15, 1 walk, 2 RBIs in 6 games

Pitchers
Raul Alcantara: 2 IP, 1 SO
Ryan Dull: 0.2 IP, 1 SO
Arnold Leon: 2 IP, 2 SO
Zach Neal: 1 W, 1.2 IP, 2 SO
Drew Pomeranz: 1 IP, 2 SO
Paul Smyth: 1 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1 ER
Jeff Urlaub: 0.1 IP
Michael Ynoa: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 SO

This feature will be updated every Monday through Spring Training.

Spring Training Prospect Update

Four games are now in the books and with today’s 2-2 tie game against the Texas Rangers, the Oakland Athletics have a record of 2-1-1. Here is how some of the prospects are doing in the first four games of Spring Training:

Position Players
Billy Burns, outfield: 4-11, 3 runs scored, 4 stolen bases in 4 games
Jose Martinez, 2nd base: 3-8, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored in 4 games
Bruce Maxwell, catcher: 0-1, in 1 game
Billy McKinney, outfield: 0-1, in 1 game
Luke Montz, catcher: 2-4 in 3 games
Shane Peterson, outfield/1st base: 1-7, 1 RBI in 4 games
Daniel Robertson, shortstop: came in game as a pinch runner for Luke Montz on 3/1/14
Addison Russell, shortstop: 1-9, 1 RBI in 4 games
Michael Taylor, outfield: 2-9, 1 walk, 1 RBI in 4 games

Pitchers
Raul Alcantara: 2 IP, 1SO
Ryan Dull: 0.2 IP, 1SO
Arnold Leon: 2IP, 2 SO
Zach Neal: 1W, 1.2 IP, 2 SO
Drew Pomeranz: 1IP, 2 SO
Michael Ynoa: 1.1IP, 3H, 1SO

This will be a weekly update on Mondays beginning March 3rd.