OAKLANDCLUBHOUSE PLAYER OF THE MONTH: JUly
Franklin Barreto, SS/2B, Midland RockHounds
71 AB, .423/.481/.676, 10 2B, 2 HR, 7 SB, 8:8 K:BB
In case people were starting to doubt him, Franklin Barreto put out a strong reminder last month of why he is the top prospect in the Oakland A’s system and maybe the best hitting prospect the A’s have had since Eric Chavez. Barreto put together a month for the memory banks, collecting 30 hits in 71 at-bats. A third (!) of his hits were doubles, and he added a triple and two homers, as well. He also stole seven bases and posted a 1:1 walk-to-strike-out ratio all while fighting through being hit by a pitch on the knee and straining a hamstring running out a groundball.
Barreto’s season going into July had been rather mundane, although his only really bad month came in May when he hit only .189. In April and June, Barreto was solid, but not spectacular. He was on another level in July and has raised his overall season slashline to .276/.338/.423. One more homer will give him a double-double season. The 20-year-old is 11th in the Texas League in batting and 17th in the league in OPS. He’s on-track to reach the big leagues before he turns 22.
James Harris, OF, Stockton Ports: 120 AB, .342/.403/.542, 15 XBH
After a standout April, Harris hit a bit of a lull in May. He had a solid June, but he was back to red-hot status in July. He came into the month with two homers and finished with six and added 10 doubles and a triple to boot. Harris should be in Double-A by now. If the A’s move an outfielder from Midland to Nashville in response to the Josh Reddick deal, look for Harris to get a ticket to Texas.
Joe Bennie, OF/2B, Stockton Ports: 113 AB, .345/.419/.460, 9 XBH, 13 BB
Bennie was our June player of the month, and he certainly didn’t slow down much in July. In fact, Bennie hit for a higher average (by .02 points) in July and posted a higher OBP. He is batting .307/.382/.446 with nine homers and 30 doubles on the season. Bennie has one of the top hard-hit rates in the A’s system and he continues to raise his profile around the organization. (Note: Bennie’s brother Robert appears in the “Others Considered” section making them the first pair of brothers to appear on the player of the month feature on this site.)
Josh Vidales, 2B, AZL Athletics: 70 AB, .414/.500/.614, 10 XBH, 11:9 K:BB
Vidales finished the month on a 10-game hitting streak. The A’s 2016 28th-round pick out of Houston is too advanced for Rookie ball pitching – and he’s showing it. He walked nine times, collected 10 extra-base hits and drove-in 16 runs in 18 games in July. He’s batting .365/.471/.529 in his pro debut season.
Nate Mondou, 2B, Vermont Lake Monsters: 88 AB, .386/.449/.443, 5 XBH, 10:10 K:BB
The New York-Penn League is a pitcher’s league, but don’t tell that to Mondou. He has raked near the top of the Vermont line-up since the start of July. Mondou has controlled the strike-zone well and used the whole field. His line-drive rate in July was nearly 26%. Mondou was the A’s 13th-round pick in this year’s draft.
Eli White, SS, Vermont Lake Monsters: 86 AB, .360/.426/.535 10 XBH
Mondou’s double-play partner White has been equally impressive in his pro debut season. The A’s 2016 11th-round pick finished the month on a five-game hitting streak. He collected his first 10 extra-base hits as a pro, including his first two homeruns. White also walked 11 times in 24 games. He has also played solid defense at shortstop.
Arismendy Alcantara, UT, Nashville Sounds: 85 AB, .376/.398/.451, 9 XBH
Alcantara spent some time in the big leagues in July, but when he wasn’t with Oakland, he was raking with Nashville. Alcantara had a 13-game hitting streak during the month, and within the streak, a seven-game multi-hit streak. He should receive another shot in the big leagues before the end of the year.
Robert Bennie, OF, AZL Athletics (85 AB, .353/.409/.482 8 XBH); Mikey White, SS/2B, Stockton Ports (95 AB, .295/.380/.495, 12 XBH); Tyler Marincov, OF, Midland RockHounds (114 AB, .289/.352/.456 5 HR); Sandber Pimentel, 1B, Stockton Ports (85 AB, .259/.351/.529 6 HR); Matt Olson, 1B/RF, Nashville Sounds (86 AB, .267/.354/.500, 12 XBH, 12 BB); Matt Chapman, 3B, Midland RockHounds (104 AB, .221/.323/.490 6 HR, 17 BB); Bruce Maxwell, C, Nashville Sounds (45 AB, .467/.490/1.000, 7 HR)