Photo by Chris Lockard / OaklandClubhouse.com

Oakland A's make first cuts out of 2017 minor league camp

The first round of cuts out of Oakland A's minor league camp went deep, with the A's releasing 10 prospects from the organization.

The Oakland A's released 10 minor league prospects on Sunday in the first round of cuts from minor league camp. According to A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, pitchers Cody KurzRob HuberCorey MillerDerek Beasley and Jordan Schwartz, catcher Brett Sunde, infielders Jose Brizuela and John Nogowski and outfielders Danny Oh and Steven Pallares were let go.

Kurz was a 7th-round pick of the A's out of Oxnard Community College in 2012. The big right-hander battled injuries early in his career, missing the entire 2013 season. He reached full-season ball for the first time last year, tossing 40.2 innings in relief for the Low-A Beloit Snappers. Kurz had a 4.89 ERA and a 36:37 K:BB for the Snappers.

Huber was a 26th-round pick of the A's in 2014 out of Duke. The right-hander had a solid 2015 season with Beloit, posting a 3.02 ERA and striking out 57 in 53.2 innings. He began the 2016 season with High-A Stockton but struggled in 15 early-season appearances. He was sent back to Beloit on May 31 with a 10.45 ERA in 20.2 innings. Huber pitched well for Beloit the rest of the season, posting a 3.56 ERA with 45 strike-outs in 43 innings.

Miller, a 10th-round pick of the A's in 2014 out of Pepperdine, had a similar 2016 season as Huber. He began the year in Stockton and was sent back to Beloit on May 31 with a 6.18 ERA in 39.1 innings. Miller pitched well for the Snappers for the remainder of the year, posting a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings. He has a 4.24 ERA in 186.2 career innings.

Beasley, a left-hander, began the 2016 season in Extended Spring Training rehabbing an injury. He joined short-season Vermont in late June and spent the rest of the season with the Lake Monsters. In 25.2 innings for Vermont, he had a 5.96 ERA. Beasley, a 30th-round pick out of South Carolina - Aiken in 2014, never reached full-season ball with the A's.

Schwartz, the A's fourth-round pick in 2014, never got his professional career going the direction the A's had hoped he would. Schwartz converted from the outfield to the mound in college and had a power arm with a fastball that could touch 96, but he was never able to get his command to a place where he could put up good results. The 2016 season was his best in professional baseball, when he had a 3.96 ERA and a 33:20 K:BB in 36.1 innings for Beloit and Vermont. He has a career 6.31 ERA and a 100:75 K:BB in 112.2 innings.

Sunde, the A's 18th-round pick in 2015, spent last season with Vermont. In 27 games, the backstop hit .250/.322/.300 and played well defensively. Injuries limited him during his draft season in 2015 and he has only 45 games played over the past two seasons. He has caught 27% of would-be base-stealers during that time.

Brizuela and Nogowski both came to the A's out of Florida State in the 2014 draft and both had productive careers with the A's. Brizuela was stuck behind fellow draft classmate Matt Chapman throughout his time in the A's system. In 278 career games, the third baseman has a .257/.339/.433 line with 34 homers. He hit 16 homeruns for Stockton last season. Nogowski was one of the best contact hitters in the A's system since he joined the organization. In 245 career games, the first baseman struck-out only 114 times and he walked 89 times. He spent most of the last two seasons with Stockton. Last year, he hit .285/.354/.410 with seven homers in 84 games with the Ports. Nogowski also played seven games for Double-A Midland. Nogowski was a pinch pitcher for the Ports on three occasions last season, as well. In six innings over three appearances, he allowed just two runs.

Oh, a Cal alum, joined the A's last off-season as a minor league Rule 5 pick from the Yankees. Oh spent most of 2016 with the Double-A Texas League champion Midland RockHounds. He hit .236/.306/.275 with 12 stolen bases in 85 games for the RockHounds. Oh joined Nashville for the post-season and appeared in one game. Oh is a career .265/.343/.333 hitter in 341 minor league games.

Pallares was the A's 10th-round pick out of San Diego State in 2015. A versatile defender, Pallares appeared in 160 games for the A's over the last two seasons. In 2016, he began the year with Beloit but was sent back to Vermont after hitting just .132 in 36 games for the Snappers. Pallares hit .190 but had a .309 OBP in 57 games with the Lake Monsters. He stole 17 bases in 20 chances last year and saw time at first and all three outfield positions. He also made two pitching appearances for Vermont, allowing two runs in 3.1 innings.

The A's also released outfielder Alejandro De Aza out of big league camp on Monday. De Aza had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract and has elected to see if he can find a big league role with another organization.


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