New in Oakland, Part 2: Position Players

This is the second installment of a 3 part series introducing the newest members of the Oakland Athletics. These players were either signed as a free agent or traded for during the off season.  This second installment will introduce the new position players on Oakland’s 40-man roster.  These players may or may not make the opening day lineup, but figure prominently in Oakland’s future.

Nick Punto, utility infielder – Nick was signed as a free agent by the Athletics on November 13th. He spent last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and played in 113 games batting .255 in 294 at bats in a part time role. Nick figures to be the utility infielder for 2014 with the ability to play almost all infield positions.

Craig Gentry, outfielder – Craig was acquired with Josh Lindblom in the deal that sent Top Prospects Michael Choice and Chris Bostick to the Texas Rangers. Craig played an important role with the Rangers in 2013. He primarily came off the bench and was in a platoon role and batted .280 with 12 doubles in 246 at bats. Criag will take on the platoon role that was vacated by Seth Smith after he was traded to the San Diego Padres.

Chris Giminez, catcher – Chris was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays in December. Giminez has limited MLB experience playing in no more than 45 games in a season over his 5 year career. He out of options and will likely be placed on waivers towards the end of spring training. He would likely clear waivers and be outrighted to Sacramento where he could figure prominently with  River Cats.

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New in Oakland, Part 1: Pitchers

This is the first installment of a 3 part series introducing the newest members of the Oakland Athletics. These players were either signed as a free agent or traded for during the off season.  This first installment will introduce the new pitchers on Oakland’s 40-man roster.  These players may or may not make the opening day lineup, but figure prominently in Oakland’s future.

Scott Kazmir, starting pitcher – Scott was signed as a free agent to a 2 year contract in December. The 30 year old missed the entire 2012 season and made a comeback with the Cleveland Indians last year. In 2013 he went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA, 162 strikeouts and 1.32 WHIP in 29 games.  Scott figures to be the Athletics’ No. 2 started behind Jarrod Parker.

Jim Johnson, closer – Jim was acquired by the Athletics in exchange for the struggling Jemile Weeks and catcher David Freitas. Jim was a league leader in saves last year as he earned 50 in 59 opportunities. Jim has a 2.94 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP. Jim will take over the closer role previously occupied by Grant Balfour.

Eric O’Flaherty, relief pitcher – Eric was signed as a free agent to a 2 year contract in January. You can see our post about it here: A’s sign O’Flaherty. While Eric is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will not be available until mid-season, Eric was an anchor of the bullpen for the Atlanta Braves over the past 5 years. In his MLB career Eric is 20-9 with a 2.85 ERA, 245 strikeouts in 343 games with the Braves and the Seattle Mariners.

Fernando Abad, relief pitcher – Fernando was dealt by the Washington Nationals to the Athletics for Minor League outfielder John Wooten. In 2013 Fernando was 0-3 with a 3.35 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 39 relief appearances

Luke Gregerson, relief pitcher – Luke was dealt to the Athletics by the San Diego Padres for outfielder Seth Smith. In 2013 Luke was a workhorse on the Padres staff compiling a 6-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 73 relief appearances.

Josh Lindblom, relief pitcher – Josh was a part of the trade that brought Chris Gentry from the Texas Rangers to the Athletics for Michael Choice and Chris Bostick. It is likely that Josh will start the season with the Sacramento River Cats, but he could figure prominently in the bullpen later in the season. In limited duty with the Rangers Josh went 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA in 8 games, 5 of which were starts.

Drew Pomeranz, starting pitcher – Drew was acquired by the Athletics along with minor leaguer Chris Jensen in the trade that sent Brett Anderson to the Colorado Rockies. Drew will begin the year with the Sacramento River Cats and figures to be a starter with the Athletics some time in the next year or two. Drew pitched in 8 games, 4 starts, last season for the Rockies and compiled an 0-4 record, 6.23 ERA in 21.2 innings.

Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects (as of January 8, 2014)

Here is the list of the Top 20 Prospects of Oakland Athletics 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. Michael Ynoa
3. Renato Nunez
4, Daniel Robertson
5. Matthew Olson
6. Raul Alcantara
7. Billy McKinney
8. Miles Head
9. Nolan Sanburn
10. B.J. Boyd
11. Arnold Leon
12. Drew Granier
13. Dillon Overton
14. Vicmal De La Cruz
15. Max Muncy
16. Anthony Aliotti
17. Blake Hasebrock
18. Chad Pinder
19. Dylan Covey
20. Bruce Maxwell

After the Winter Meetings and trades made by the Athletics organization this is how the Top 20 Prospect list shapes up.  Off the list are #2 Prospect Michael Choice and #17 Prospect Chris Bostick who were both traded to the Texas Rangers for Chris Gentry. Back on the list is Catcher Bruce Maxwell and new to the list is Dylan Covey who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Draft.

Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects

Here is the list of the Top 20 Prospects of Oakland Athletics 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. Michael Choice
3. Michael Ynoa
4. Renato Nunez
5, Daniel Robertson
6. Matthew Olson
7. Raul Alcantara
8. Billy McKinney
9. Miles Head
10. Nolan Sanburn
11. B.J. Boyd
12. Arnold Leon
13. Drew Granier
14. Dillon Overton
15. Vicmal De La Cruz
16. Max Muncy
17. Chris Bostick
18. Anthony Aliotti
19. Blake Hasebrock
20. Chad Pinder

Each week leading up to Spring Training I will be profiling each of the Top 20 Prospects.

This list is subject to change based on trades, free-agent signings and other roster moves.  I will keep the list updated as best as I can.  The list is current as of October 2, 2013.

Snappers lose Game 3 9-5 to River Bandits

The Beloit Snappers clearly did not want their season to end this way.  Coming into play on Monday night they were one game away from heading to the Midwest League Championship.  All they had to do was get past the Quad Cities River Bandits.  The Snappers would stumble out of the gate.  By the middle of the 3rd inning the Snappers were down 5-0.

The early runs would prove to be difficult to overcome, but that did not stop the Snappers from trying.  They would tack on 1 run in each of the 3rd and 5th innings.  In the 3rd Sam Roberts homered to right field.  In the 5th, back to back doubles by Brett Vertigan and Nick Rickles would add another.

By the time the Snappers would show their offensive prowess it was too little too late.  Down 9-2 going into the bottom of the 8th inning the Snappers would put up a 3 spot on the River Bandits.  Three consecutive singles loaded the bases with no outs.  Matt Olson would draw a walk to score Aaron Shipman.  Renato Nunez would follow with a sacrifice fly.  The third run would come on a RBI single by Brett Vertigan driving in Chris Bostick.

Despite losing the series the Beloit Snappers enjoyed a very successful season in their 1st year as an Oakland Athletics affiliate.  Their overall record was 77-62 and they won their division for the first half.  Congrats to the Beloit Snappers for a great season!

Snappers hold on to defeat River Bandits 4-3 in game 2

The Beloit Snappers came out of the gate strong on Sunday in game 2 of the semifinals in the Midwest League playoffs.  In the bottom of the 1st the Snappers jumped ahead of the Quad Cities River Bandits on a 2-run home run by Chris Bostick off the River Bandits’s starter Zach Morton.  The Snappers would tack on another run when Brett Vertigan drove in Renato Nunez with a RBI single.  The River Bandits would answer with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 2nd.  In the bottom of the 2nd Chris Bostick drives in Sam Roberts to give Beloit their 4th run of the game.  This would turn out to be the deciding run as the Snappers would outlast the River Bandits and win by the score of 4-3.

Chris Bostick provided most of the offense for the Snappers on Sunday.  He went 3 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBIs.  Chris is batting .500 (8 for 16) in the postseason with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. Nolan Sanburn gets his 1st win of the postseason and Austin House records his first save.  Austin notched the win in Game 1 of the 1st round against the LumberKings in a game that went 10 innings.

The deciding game will be played Monday night at Pohlman Field.  The Snappers will start Derek De Young (8-5, 4.22 ERA) against Daniel Minor (8-3, 3.71 ERA) for the River Bandits.  Derek pitched in Beloit’s 1st game of the playoffs.  He went 4 innings giving up 1 run on just 3 hits.  Derek was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 18th round of the 2012 Draft out of Oakton Community College in Illinois.

Snappers win Game 1 in 10 innings

The Beloit Snappers won game 1 of the 1st round of the Midwest League Playoffs over the Clinton LumberKings 9-6.  The offensive charge was led by Chris Bostick who was 4 for 5 with a double, home run and 4 RBIs.

After scoring 3 runs in the top of the 9th, the Snappers took a 5-2 lead going into the bottom half of the inning, but the LumberKings would not go quietly.  They scored 3 times in the bottom of the 9th off Snappers’s reliever Austin House to tie the game.  In the 10th inning the Snappers’s bats would come alive once again.  The Snappers would load the bases with no outs on 2 singles and a walk.  Second baseman Chris Bostick smashed a double to left field scoring Daniel Robertson, Matt Olson and John Wooten.  With 2 outs Nick Rickles would single to drive in Bostick.  Austin would pitch the 10th to, this time, wrap up the game for the Snappers.  The only hiccup for Austin in the bottom of the 10th was a solo home run hit by Marcus Littlewood.

The series continues tonight in Beloit at Pohlman Field at 6:30 p.m. CT.  It’s the battle of the Dylans to night as Dylan Covey (1-1, 4.75 ERA) takes the mound for the Snappers.  He will face off against Dylan Unsworth (4-1, 2.32 ERA) gonig for the LumberKings.

Notes: The Beloit Snappers won the regular season series against the Clinton LumberKings 9-8