Oakland A's Notes: Spring Cuts; Kim Inked

The Oakland A's signed a prospect out of South Korea last week and made a number of major league spring training cuts over the weekend. We have the details inside...

New Signee Kim A Raw, But Powerful Talent

Last week the Oakland A's signed catcher Seong-Min Kim, a 17-year-old prospect from South Korea. Kim is the third prospect signed by the A's out of the Pacific Rim, following Oliver Box from Australia and Zhi Fang Pan from Taiwan.

Kim was was signed after being scouted by the A's for more than a year and he was signed by A's scouts in the Pacific Rim, Adam Hislop and Lewis Kim.

What drew the A's most to Kim is his raw power, according to A's Coordinator of International Operations Dan Kantrovitz.

"Currently, Kim has plus raw power," Kantrovitz said in an e-mail to OaklandClubhouse.com.

"Like most 17/18 year old kids, his approach is not a finished product and he will need to make some adjustments. But, we really like the raw ingredients."

Defensively, Kim is an unfinished product behind the plate, as he has been catching for only a year.

"Last week in Korea, Adam, Lewis and I saw him pick-off two runners and flash sub-2.0 pop times to second base," Kantrovitz said.

"We like his instincts and have been impressed how far his catching skills have come just over the last year."

Kim is not expected to come to the US until spring training 2012. He will play in Australia this summer. According to Baseball America, Kim received a bonus of $510,000.

A's Make First Cuts From Big League Camp

Over the weekend, the A's began the long process of whittling down their big league camp ranks to the eventual 25 that will take the field on Opening Day.

The A's optioned four players from their 40-man roster and reassigned seven non-roster invitees to minor league camp. Minor league camp opened last week when pitchers and catchers reported and the full camp will begin with position players reporting on Tuesday. The first minor league spring training games will take place on March 20.

Oakland optioned 40-man roster members Fautino De Los Santos, Pedro Figueroa, Sean Doolittle and Adrian Cardenas. De Los Santos and Figueroa were optioned to Double-A, while Doolittle and Cardenas were optioned to Triple-A.

Neither Figueroa nor Doolittle got into a major league spring training game. Figueroa is expected to miss most of the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer. Doolittle has been participating in camp activities, but he was held out of game action, as the A's bring him back slowly after he missed most of the last two seasons with knee problems.

De Los Santos missed last year's big league spring training as he recovered from 2008 Tommy John surgery. The hard-throwing right-handed reliever appeared in four big league spring training games this year. In 3.2 innings, he struck-out four, but allowed eight hits, two walks and he hit a batter. Cardenas got 11 at-bats over six games. He managed only one hit.

The A's re-assigned non-roster invitees Danny Farquhar, Joe Bateman, Vinnie Chulk, Gabe DeHoyos, Willie Eyre, Max Stassi and Josh Horton to minor league camp. Farquhar, Bateman, Chulk, DeHoyos and Eyre are expected to be in the Triple-A Sacramento bullpen this year, while Stassi is likely headed to High-A Stockton and Horton will either suit up for Sacramento or Double-A Midland.

DeHoyos pitched well in his first camp with the A's, not allowing a run in 3.2 innings. Chulk (three runs in 1.2 innings), Bateman (three runs in 4.1 innings), Eyre (four runs in six innings) and Farquhar (four runs in 3.2 innings) struggled, however. In his second big league camp, Stassi received only three total at-bats, walking in one of them. Horton, in his first big league camp, went one-for-eight with a walk.

The A's now have 47 player remaining in big league camp. Oakland is 7-9 this spring.

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