A Football Game Broke Out in Midland Yesterday

On April 8th the Midland RockHounds hosted the NW Arkansas Naturals in an apparent football game at Security Bank Ballpark. The RockHounds demolished the Travelers by a score of 20-6. The only blemish on the night was the missed extra point in the bottom of the 5th inning.

The offensive charge was led by Josh Whitaker who was 4 for 6 with a 2-run HR and 4 RBIs. The blast was Whitaker’s 2nd home run of the year and his performance raised his average to .368 on the young season. Conner Crumbliss, Miles Head and Beau Taylor each chipped in 3 hits. The RockHounds had a total of 23 hits on the night.

Drew Granier made the start for Midland and pitched 4 strong innings giving up only 1 run and striking out 3. Drew was looking more like his usual self unlike his opening night start when he only lasted 1.2 innings giving up 7 earned runs.

The RockHounds now set out on their first road trip of the season where they will travel to Arkansas to play the Travelers in a 3 game set starting on Thursday, April 10th.

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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.

A Look Back: 2013 Preseason Top 20 Prospects

With all of these posts about the current Top 20 Prospects in the Oakland Athletics organization, I wanted to look back at the same list only from the 2013 preseason.  We will talk about those who graduated from the list and those who have dropped off.  Here is the Top 20 Prospects list coming into the 2013 Spring Training.

1. Addison Russell
2. Dan Straily
3. Michael Choice
4. Grant Green
5. Matt Olson
6. Sonny Gray
7, Daniel Robertson
8. Renato Nunez
9. Miles Head
10. Nolan Sanburn
11. Raul Alcantara
12. Michael Taylor
13. B.J. Boyd
14. Vicmal De La Cruz
15. Bruce Maxwell
16. Arnold Leon
17. Beau Taylor
18. Drew Granier
19. Blake Hassebrock
20. Jefry Marte

When comparing this list to the current list 7 players have moved off the list.  3 players have graduated from the list and 4 players fell off.

The Graduates (3 players)
Dan Straily – After a strong rookie debut in August and September 2012, Straily was given another opportunity to show he belongs in the majors as a member of the Athletics’s starting staff. Dan made the starting rotation on Opening Day in place of Bartolo Colon who was finishing up a 50 game suspension from the 2012 season.  After Brett Anderson went down with an injury Straily made the case and remained in the starting rotation for the remainder of the season.

Grant Green – Grant was called up right around the 2013 All-Star Break and made his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics.  His tenure was uneventful and short lived.  At the trade deadline Grant was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Alberto Callaspo, a move that ultimately helped both clubs.  Grant found his stroke and started to get plenty of playing time proving that he does belong in the Majors.

Sonny Gray – Sonny was called up around the same time as Grant Green and the results were the polar opposite.  He excelled in 2 relief appearances prior to making his 1st MLB start. One of the memorable moments from the 2013 season for Sonny was his 1st Postseason battle vs. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. Gray matched him pitch for pitch with the Athletics winning the game in walk-off fashion in the 9th inning.

Dropped Off…For Now (4 players)
Michael Taylor – The aging minor league veteran has dropped off the list due to inconsistent results at the Major League level.  Taylor is a proven hitter in the Minors, however that success has yet to translate to the Majors and with the crowded outfield situation in Oakland he may be better suited to hookup with another organization.

Bruce Maxwell – With the trade of Max Stassi in the 2012 off season Bruce became the Athletics’s top catching prospect, and at this point he still is.  Bruce may have dropped off the list, but he did not fall far.  In his 1st full season Bruce batted .275 earning a promotion from Class A to High A ball halfway through the season.  Bruce is not only a force at the plate, but behind the plate as well.  He handles a variety of pitchers very well and is quickly becoming a great game caller.

Beau Taylor – After Bruce Maxwell, Beau was the other catcher on the Top Prospect list.  He excelled in the 2012 season advancing 3 levels, Vermont Lake Monsters to Stockton Ports to Midland RockHounds in a short time.  Beau had a difficult year at the plate hitting only .191 in 76 games.  His defense behind the plate is what keeps him ranked as a Top Prospect, but just not in the Top 20.  With a strong 2014 Beau could return to the Top 20 list.

Jefry Marte – Acquired by the Athletics in December 2012 from the New York Mets, Jefry was quickly labeled as a Top 20 Prospect.  He had a strong showing in 2013 batting .278 with 17 doubles in 66 games for the RockHounds, but with the new Draft Class and stellar performance from some unlikely players, Marte dropped off the Top 20 list.

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.

D’Arby Myers hits in 30 straight games

Midland RockHounds centerfielder D’Arby Myers extended his hitting streak to 30 games in a 1-0 loss to the San Antonio Missions on Tuesday night.  D’Arby did not waste any time as he knocked a single to left field in the 1st inning of the game. This would be 1 of 7 hits the RockHounds would collect on the night.

Pitcher Sean Murphy (8-7, 3.70 ERA)  took the loss, but he did look sharp as he allowed just 1 run on only 3 hits in 6 innings.  Sean struck out 5 on the night raising his 2013 total to 139, including his 3 starts with the Stockton Ports early this season.

The RockHounds continue the last homestand of the season against the Missions on Wednesday night as Drew Granier takes the mound.