Card of the Week: Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate

Now that I just completed a stretch of working 16 days in a row, I can get back to some semblance of routine. This week’s Card of the Week is the 2014 Topps Pro Debut Printing Plate of Bruce Maxwell. Bruce is currently the Oakland Athletics No. 28 Prospect on MLB.com. This card features Bruce’s time on the Beloit Snappers. This is the 3rd printing plate I own. The great thing about printing plates is that they are a true 1/1.

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 - Front

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 – Front

Bruce was drafted in the 2nd round of the June 2012 Draft. This past year he was with the Midland RockHounds and helped them to their 2nd straight Texas League Championship. Bruce spent part of the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Stockton Ports where I got to see him play. He was also named to the 2014 California League All-Star team.

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 - Back

Bruce Maxwell 2014 Topps Pro Debut Magenta Printing Plate 1/1 – Back

Click to see the previous Card of the Week entries.

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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.

California League Prevails in All-Star Game

The California League won the All-Star game by the score of 3-2 over the Carolina League on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, DE. The Annual All-Star game showcases some of the finest talent in the Class A High level.

Kyle Waldrop of the Bakersfield Blaze provided all of the runs for the California League. He singled in the 2nd inning driving in Brandon Drury. In the 4th inning Kyle hit a 2-run home run.  Pitching was the order of the night as the pitchers on both sides dominated allowing only 11 hit in the contest.

Bruce Maxwell and Seth Streich represented the Stockton Ports at the game. Bruce went 0-2, but did throw out Chris Garia who was trying to steal 2nd base in the 3rd inning. Seth pitched a scoreless 3rd inning, giving up only 1 hit. He was on the mound when Bruce threw out the would-be base stealer.

The 2nd half of the season begins on Thursday, June 19th as the Stockton Ports take on the Bakersfield Blaze at Banner Island Ballpark.

Stockton Ports Slug Their Way to Victory

The Stockton Ports out hit the High Desert Mavericks en route to a 9-7 victory at Banner Island Ballpark on Monday night. At first it seemed like it would be a night of follow the leader. Stockton scored 3 in the bottom of the 3rd, and the Mavericks came right back and scored 3 in the top of the 4th. The Ports would add 1 on a solo home run by Bobby Crocker in the bottom of the 5th. Then in the top of the 6th Travis Witherspoon would hit his first of 2 home runs.

Then in the bottom of the 6th inning Bruce Maxwell would put the Ports up for good with a 3-run blast into the visitor’s bullpen. In the 7th inning the Mavericks could only respond with 1 run. Stockton would add 2 more in the 8th on Ryon Healy’s 2 run double. High Desert would add 2 more in the 9th, but Nolan Sanburn would get D.J. Peterson looking, as he came to bat as the potential tying run.

Hunter Adkins gets the victory improving his record to 2-3 with a 5.57 ERA. He struck out 4 batters in 6 innings. The losing pitcher was Scott DeCecco. His record falls to 2-6 with a 6.90 ERA.

After a day off on Tuesday, the Ports will travel to San Jose to begin a 4 game set with the Giants that will wrap up the first half. The California/Carolina League All-Star game will take place on June 17th. The Ports will start the second half at home after the All-Star Break on June 19th against the Bakersfield Blaze.

Bruce Maxwell and Seth Streich to Represent Stockton at All Star Game

On Wednesday morning the California League announced the All Star roster for the 2014 California/Carolina League All Star Game. The game will take place on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at the Daniel S. Frawley Stadium, home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, in Wilmington, DE.

Two of Oakland Athletics’s Top 20 Prospects will represent the Stockton Ports. Catcher, Bruce Maxwell (No. 16) and Pitcher, Seth Streich (No. 18) will be making the trip to Delaware.

This season, Bruce Maxwell continues to show why he is a top prospect in the Oakland organization. He is batting .282 with 4 home runs and 19 RBIs in 48 games. Bruce has also thrown out 43% of all would-be base stealers.

Seth Streich has picked up right where he left off in 2013. On the 2014 season he is 6-4 with a 3.41 and 67 strikeouts in 63.1 IP.

For a complete list of California League All Stars click here: 2014 California League All Stars.

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.

Ports Extinguish Blaze’s Hot Start

On Monday night the Stockton Ports (3-2) handed the Bakersfield Blaze (4-1) their first loss of the 2014 season. The Ports won by a score of 4 to 1 at Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield. The Blaze were held to only 2 hits in the first of 28 meetings between the 2 teams this season.

Seth Streich started for Stockton and pitched 5 strong innings. Bakersfield’s only run came in the 5th inning when Marquez Smith hit an RBI double off Streich scoring Kyle Waldrop. Tucker Healy and Nolan Sanburn both pitched 2 scoreless inning securing the victory for Streich.

Stockton’s offense provided 10 hits Monday night. Oakland Athleteics No. 3 Prospect Daniel Robertson led the charge going 2 for 5 raising his average to an impressive .450 in the first 5 games. Chad Pinder, Dusty Robinson and Bruce Maxwell each hit a home run.

This series continues Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. in Bakersfield as Josh Bowman (0-0, 3.00 ERA) will take the mound for the Ports.

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.

Sogard’s Glasses: Predicting the Stockton Ports Roster

About “Sogard’s Glasses”: Occasionally I will predict or suggest things that I think will happen during the course of the season, I decided to call these posts “Sogard’s Glasses.” This stems from a Tweet I saw during the Face of MLB competition: #EricSogard ‘s glasses are so strong they can see the future. I don’t remember who tweeted that, but I thought it would be a good feature title.

I have been paying close attention to the Oakland Athletics minor league system now for the part 2-1/2 years. I thought it would be fun to take some time and predict the opening day roster for the 2014 Stockton Ports. Why the Ports? Well quite simply it is because they are my home team and I go to at least half of their home games.

Here is how I think the 2014 roster for the Stockton Ports will shape up.

Position Players
Starters:
C: Bruce Maxwell
1B: Matt Olson
2B: Daniel Robertson
3B: Renato Nunez
SS: Wade Kirkland
OF: Billy McKinney
OF: Brett Vertigan
OF: Rashun Dixon

Bench:
C: Nick Rickles
3B: B.A. Vollmuth
OF: Dusty Robinson
OF: Aaron Shipman

Pitchers
Starters:
Andres Avila
Derek DeYoung
Ryan Doolittle
Chris Jensen
Seth Streich
Michael Ynoa

Bullpen:
Jeremy Barfield
Kris Hall
Tucker Healy
Austin House
Deyvi Jiminez
Nolan Sanburn
Vincent Voiro

Keep in mind I have no inside information. This is all for fun and just guess work based on player performance from last year. I listed 6 starters in the rotation as the Oakland Farm System has a long history of using a 6-man rotation.

If you have any alternative suggestions please comment below!