OaklandClubhouse Player of the Month: April
Ryon Healy, Midland RockHounds
.348/.402/.652, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 5 2B, 9 BB
Healy hit .302 for Midland last year, but the corner infielder was forced to return to the Texas League thanks to a crush of corner infielders in Triple-A in the A’s organization. If his 2015 season wasn’t a strong enough indication, Healy’s start to 2016 was a firm argument that he is ready for a bigger challenge. Healy reached base safely in all but three games in April and had several late-inning, game-winning hits.
One of the areas Healy set out to work on in 2016 was his plate discipline. So far, he is walking in 9.9% of his plate appearances, up from 5.5% in 2015. His strike-outs are also up, but so his power (a career-best .293 ISO thus far). The A’s will be happy to trade-off some additional swing-and-miss if Healy is walking more and hitting for more power. The average has stayed high all season, with his BABIP at .405 and his overall average at .354 through Monday.
Tyler Marincov, Stockton: .293/.363/.587, 6 HR, 9 2B, 22 RBI, 8 BB
Like Healy, Marincov was forced to repeat his 2015 level despite a solid season. He may not be in the Cal League much longer if he continues to hit as he did in April for Stockton. Marincov finished second in the organization in homeruns with six and he posted a .306 ISO in April. Marincov is still striking out more than the organization would like (23.4%), but he has upped his walk rate slightly (9% versus 7.6% from last year) and is playing solid defense in right field.
James Harris, Stockton: .376/.413/.505, 9 XBH, 6 SB, 13 RBI
Harris opened the season with a 17-game hitting streak and finished the month of April with exactly one game without a hit. Serving as the lead-off hitter, Harris was the Ports’ igniter on offense all month. He also took advantage of run-scoring opportunities with 13 RBI. Harris stole six bases in eight chances and could reach the 30-stolen base plateau for Stockton this year. He isn’t walking much yet (4.2%), but his career walk rate is 9.5%, so that should increase as the season goes on.
Matt Chapman, Midland: .259/.388/.593, 7 HR, 14 BB, 14 RBI
Chapman had a slow first week of the month before really picking up the pace over the final three weeks of April. Chapman led the A’s organization in homeruns in April and he was the Texas League’s leader, as well. He has a .348 ISO for the season and is walking at a 14% clip, up from 11.1% last year. His K-rate has remained high (21.5%), which has brought down his average, but between his power, patience and his plus defensive abilities at third base, the strike-outs are a relatively minor concern.
Brett Siddall, Beloit: .347/.429/.500, 7 2B, 2 3B, 9 BB
Siddall had a strong pro debut season in 2015, and he is proving early in 2016 that it was no fluke. He reached base in every game but two in April and maintained a high batting average throughout the month. Siddall has been patient at the plate, as well, walking at a 10.6% clip while striking out just 16% of the time. He hasn’t hit for much power yet, but that could come as the weather warms in the Midwest League.
Max Muncy, Nashville: .282/.381/.535, 5 HR, 9 BB (1:1 K:BB), 14 RBI; Renato Nunez, Nashville: .274/.329/.521, 4 HR, 4 2B, 1 3B, 13 RBI; Skye Bolt, Beloit: .304/.395/.435, 6 XBH, 9 BB, 3 SB; Viosergy Rosa, Midland: .286/.423/.413, 15 BB