In April, Ryon Healy and Daniel Mengden opened the season far away from the lights of the big leagues as members of the Double-A Midland RockHounds. Now both are expected to be on the field for the Oakland A's as the second half of the major league season gets underway on Friday.
As was first reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Healy is on his way to Oakland to make his big league debut. Healy played in the Nashville Sounds' 13-3 rout of the El Paso Chihuahuas on Thursday and went 2-for-5. He comes to the A's with a .318/.362/.505 line with Nashville and a .326/.382/.558 line between Triple-A and Double-A. Healy has hit 14 homers and 28 doubles in 337 at-bats this season. He has also walked 31 times, a career-best. He started as the US team's DH in the Futures game and went 2-for-3 with a double, a single and a walk. The double came off of Alex Reyes, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.
Healy was the A's third-round pick in 2013 out of the University of Oregon. He has hit for average throughout his minor league career, but until this season, Healy had yet to tap fully into the power potential of his 6'5'', 225 pound frame. In 220 fewer at-bats, Healy is just two homers and three doubles shy of his career-high. He is a line-drive hitter who can use the whole field and is not as prone to striking out as many middle-of-the-order hitters. In 392 career games, Healy has 264 strike-outs. Healy has never walked at a high rate, but his walk rate this season is up two percent. The right-handed hitter batted .400 versus southpaws in Triple-A and .364 versus southpaws in Double-A this year.
In college, Healy played mostly first base at Oregon, but the A's have had him split his time between first and third throughout his professional career. He has a strong throwing arm and soft hands at both positions, although he is a more accomplished first baseman at this stage of his career.
Healy is the second member of the A's 2013 draft class to debut for Oakland this season (Dillon Overton was the first) and he joins an A's roster with fellow rookies Mengden, Sean Manaea, Ryan Dull (A's 2012 draft), Tyler Ladendorf, Patrick Schuster and Andrew Triggs. The A's have not yet announced the move officially. They will need to make room for Healy on the 25- and 40-man rosters.
UPDATE: The A's announced that to make room for Healy in Oakland, Billy Burns has been optioned to Triple-A Nashville. Burns is batting just .234 with a .270 OBP for the A's this year. Nick Tepesch, who was recently claimed off waivers from the Dodgers, was designated for assignment.
For a complete index of articles on Healy since his days at Oregon, please click here.