Mid-Season Review: A's Prospects 30-21

During the off-season, we named our top-50 prospects in the Oakland A's system. Now that we have passed the midway point of the season, we thought it would be a good time to check the progress of those players. In the next in our series, we take a look at the progress of prospects 30-21 from our off-season list.

Note: this is not a re-ranking of current prospects. A new top-50 prospects list will be released this off-season.

30. Blake Treinen

Less than a month before the start of spring training (but after our list was published), Treinen was part of a deal that sent Michael Morse to Seattle and John Jaso to Oakland. Treinen was one of three pitchers sent by the A's to Washington to acquire Morse (who they then flipped for Jaso); the other two being A.J. Cole and Ian Krol. After a solid but injury-shortened 2012 season with High-A Stockton, Treinen was slated to go to Double-A Midland before the deal. He has been at the Double-A level all year with Washington.

The 6'4'' right-hander has put together a good season for Harrisburg thus far. He has made 16 starts and one 6.2 inning relief appearance. In 98.1 inning, he has a 3.86 ERA and a 67:26 K:BB ratio. Although the strike-out total is low, Treinen has been well above-average when it comes to inducing groundballs, putting together a 2.09 GO/AO rate. He has also allowed just six homeruns and none since May 30. Treinen is only in his second full professional season, but he is already 25 thanks to a long and winding collegiate career. Still, with his 92-94 MPH fastball and his ability to induce groundballs, Treinen could have a solid major league career ahead of him.

Status: Establishing himself with a new organization

29. Michael Ynoa

Five years after he signed a record-breaking contract with the A's, Ynoa is finally pitching for full-season affiliates. The 6'7'' right-hander had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and made his first appearances for a team other than the A's AZL squad late last year. This season, he began the year with Low-A Beloit. After a strong first half with the Snappers that led to a Midwest League All-Star game appearance, Ynoa was promoted to High-A Stockton. He made his debut with the Ports last Friday.

For the year, Ynoa has a 2.76 ERA with a 52:21 K:BB in 58.2 innings. The 58.2 innings are already a career-high. In fact, it is almost double the total of his previous career-high, established last season. The A's will be careful with Ynoa, but as long as he remains healthy, he should be able to get to the 100-inning mark by the end of the season. Ynoa had a rough first start with Stockton, but his fastball was 91-94 and his breaking ball had good life. He is still learning the art of pitching, but Ynoa's raw stuff gives him a high ceiling. Despite his injury problems, Ynoa is only 21-years-old and has some time to develop. He is a member of the A's 40-man roster. If his second-half with Stockton goes well, Ynoa should be in Double-A at the start of next year.

Status: Looking to finish year off healthy

28. Blake Hassebrock

There are few pitchers in the A's organization with better pure stuff than Hassebrock. Nonetheless, the past two seasons have been a struggle for the right-hander, as command issues have prevented him from conquering the California League. Last season, injuries played a big role in Hassebrock's struggles, as he missed significant time with an oblique and a hamstring issue and never got back on-track after returning from the DL. Hassebrock has been healthy this year, but his struggles continued early in the season, as he walked 17 in his first 20.2 innings and posted a 6.53 ERA.

At that point in the season, the A's moved Hassebrock into the bullpen. The change has been beneficial for the North Carolina native. In 34 innings as a reliever, he has an ERA of 3.44 and a 33:11 K:BB ratio. Hassebrock's GO/AO has been good all season regardless of role, as he currently carries a 1.94 GO/AO rate. He has allowed just three homeruns in 54.2 innings. Hassebrock has a tendency to over-think on the mound at times, so a bullpen role may allow him to simplify his approach and find more success. Former A's closer Andrew Bailey had similar issues as a starter and found a relief role better suited to his temperament. A strong finish should land Hassebrock in Midland next year, if not in August this season.

Status: Moved to the ‘pen

27. Bobby Crocker

The toolsy Crocker had an uneven first full professional season at the Low-A level, finishing the year with a 716 OPS and 17 stolen bases in 27 chances. Despite those ups-and-downs, Crocker received a promotion to High-A at the start of the 2013 season. He has improved several aspects of his game this season with Stockton, but there are several areas he is continuing to work on.

Through Monday, Crocker was carrying a .263/.318/.467 line in 259 at-bats. The power has been there for Crocker this season, as he has homered nine times already, and he has also been a difference-maker on the bases, swiping 14 bases in 16 chances. His plate discipline, however, has declined from last year, when he posted a poor 109:39 K:BB ratio. This year, Crocker has struck out 90 times already and he has only walked 13 times. Crocker is focused on improving both numbers, and if he can make progress in those areas, he is an intriguing top-of-the-order prospect given his combination of power and speed. Crocker is currently on the 7-day DL with a laceration sustained when he was spiked on the base-paths last week, but the injury isn't expected to keep him out for long.

Status: Working on plate discipline

26. Max Muncy

A fifth-round pick of the A's out of Baylor last season, Muncy was the first member of the A's 2012 draft class to appear on a full-season affiliate roster. He spent nearly half a season with the Low-A Burlington Bees last year and acquitted himself quite well in his pro debut, posting an 816 OPS in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League. Muncy hit for decent average and posted an outstanding K:BB (37:41) while slugging at a .432 clip. He also flashed above-average range at first base.

Coming into this season, the biggest question surrounding Muncy's profile as a prospect was whether he'd be able to hit for enough power to be a major league first baseman. He came to pro baseball with an opposite field approach and his 6'0'', 190-pound frame didn't necessarily project to produce big power numbers. Muncy has quieted those concerns this season, however. He has spent the entire year with the High-A Stockton Ports and has been one of the top hitters in the Cal League all season. Through Monday, he was batting .289/.407/.511. His 20 homeruns were tops in the league and he was leading the league in walks with 62. He was a Cal League All-Star. Muncy is stuck behind Anthony Aliotti on the depth chart, but if Aliotti is promoted to Sacramento, Muncy should see time with Double-A Midland before the season ends.

Status: Powering through 2013

25. Andrew Carignan

Going into this season, not much was expected of Carignan, who had Tommy John surgery on June 19 last season. Carignan has been rehabbing in Arizona all season, but set-backs have prevented him from pitching in a game thus far this year. The A's are hopeful that Carignan will be able to make a few relief appearances in the minor leagues this season. If he is healthy enough, Carignan could go to the Arizona Fall League or pitch in a winter league to build up his innings for next season. Carignan will be eligible for minor league free agency at the end of this season.

Status: Rehabbing

24. Conner Crumbliss

After hitting a career-high 10 homeruns and posting an 805 OPS for Double-A Midland last season, Crumbliss began the 2013 campaign on the Triple-A Sacramento roster. A bench player for the River Cats during the first six weeks of the season, Crumbliss struggled to find his rhythm while not playing every day. He hit only .136/.297/.356 in 59 at-bats for Sacramento before being sent back to Midland.

Since returning to the RockHounds, Crumbliss has regained his stroke. In 175 at-bats through Monday, Crumbliss is batting .280/.405/.469 with five homers and a Crumbliss-esque 37:20 BB:K ratio. Crumbliss will need to learn how to handle a bench role if he is going to forge a major league career, but chances are that he will handle part-time duty better the next time he is given an opportunity at the Triple-A level. He should see time with Sacramento again sometime this season (likely in August) and should compete for a spot with the River Cats again next spring.

Status: Back to his old tricks

23. Bruce Maxwell

Despite playing for a small collegiate program at Birmingham-Southern, Maxwell caught the eye of scouts around the league when he posted a .928 SLG and homered more than he struck-out during his junior season. The A's tabbed him in the second round last year. He made quick work of the Arizona Rookie League before spending most of his pro debut season with short-season Vermont. With Vermont, Maxwell demonstrated excellent bat control, but he hit only .254/.329/.316 in a league tough on hitters.

This year, the A's sent Maxwell to Low-A Beloit to start the year, and he responded with a solid first half. Although he homered only twice, Maxwell did everything else well offensively, hitting .286 with a 24:29 BB:K rate and a .360 OBP. He also showed improvement defensively behind the plate. Maxwell was promoted to High-A Stockton after the All-Star game, and he is off to a strong start with the Ports. In 11 games, Maxwell is hitting .297/.381/.459 with a homerun. For the year, Maxwell has only 37 strike-outs in 68 games. He shows plus power in batting practice and the A's believe that it is only a matter of time before that power translates into in-game power. The Cal League might present Maxwell the perfect conditions for that power to come through.

Status: On the right track

22. David Freitas

After being acquired for Kurt Suzuki last August, Freitas made a strong impression on his new organization by hitting .333/.392/.524 in 20 games with Double-A Midland. He received an invite to big league spring training and scorched the ball in big league camp, collecting eight hits in 18 at-bats, including one homerun. Freitas opened the season on the Triple-A Sacramento roster, but he was sent back to Midland when the A's acquired Stephen Vogt a few days into the season.

With the RockHounds, Freitas has had an up-and-down season. Sharing time with Beau Taylor behind the plate, Freitas has put up decent power numbers and a decent BB:K, but he has struggled to hit for average. Through Monday, his line with the RockHounds was .237/.308/.407 with nine homers in 194 at-bats. One of the main reasons Freitas has struggled to hit for average this season is that he is hitting the ball on the ground at a much higher rate than he did last year. His flyball and line-drive rates have crept up recently, and so has his overall offensive production. He could be in-line for a strong finish. The A's currently have four catchers on their 40-man roster, but Freitas could work his way back into the discussion for a Triple-A spot this off-season if he has a good July and August.

Status: Starting to find it

21. Jefry Marte

Marte was acquired by the A's for Collin Cowgill just before the start of spring training. The former Mets' prospect had a solid big league spring training camp and was assigned to Double-A Midland to start the year. Injuries have forestalled Marte's progress this season. A leg injury cost him nearly two months and two separate DL stints. He recently returned from a month-long DL stint and has appeared in three games this month for the RockHounds.

When on the field, Marte has shown good plate discipline, although the power aspect of his game has been missing. The 22-year-old has 16 walks and 28 strike-outs in 98 at-bats this year for Midland. He has a solid .359 OBP, but his SLG is just .316 and he has yet to homer. Marte does have natural power, but he has yet to translate that power into in-game performance. At 22 years old, he is still young and has time to improve that aspect of his game. His goal for the rest of this season will be to remain healthy enough to build experience at the Double-A level.

Status: Back in action

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