OAKLANDCLUBHOUSE PLAYER OF THE MONTH: APRIL
Franklin Barreto, SS/2B, Nashville Sounds
83 AB, .349/.404/.566, 2 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 7 BB, 13 R
During his first two seasons with the A’s, Barreto was a slow starter, but he has been on his game to start the 2017 season. Coming off of a strong showing in big league spring training, Barreto appears to be taking his game to a new height. The A’s top prospect has hit safely in 16 of 21 games played this season. He has been a run-producer despite batting lead-off, driving in a team-high 15 runs. Barreto is also tied for the team lead in homers and is the team leader in runs scored.
Defensively, Barreto is continuing to show improved range and consistency at both second base and shortstop. His 31 strike-outs this month are a sign he still has a little fine-tuning to do, but Barreto appears to be nearing that “major-league ready” moment. The A’s aren’t going to rush the 21-year-old phenom, but if Oakland continues to struggle offensively, they could be tempted to give Barreto an early season call-up once the service time deadline has passed.
Brett Vertigan, OF, Midland RockHounds: 73 AB, .329/.432/.466, 8 2B, 1 3B, 13:14 BB:K, 15 R
After a quiet season with Midland in 2016, Vertigan is making plenty of noise with the RockHounds this year. He has been a very difficult out, reaching base safely in all but two games this season. Vertigan sees a lot of pitches at the top of the RockHounds’ line-up and has jump-started numerous rallies. A 2014 season ruined by injury slowed Vertigan’s development, but the 26-year-old looks poised to reach Triple-A for the first time in his career at some point this season.
B.J. Boyd, OF, Midland RockHounds: 78 AB, .372/.432/.462, 7 2B, 8:14 BB:K, 10 R
Not even a bout of food poisoning could slow down Boyd this month. The 23-year-old failed to collect a hit on Opening Night and has proceeded to hit safely in all but one start since then. Boyd has worked the count well, drawn his share of walks and has limited his swings-and-misses. Boyd had two solid seasons for Stockton in 2015 and 2016, but the Palo Alto native appears to be taking the next step in his development. The A’s have veterans ahead of Boyd in Triple-A, but he is a strong candidate for a mid-season promotion given his strong start.
Nate Mondou, 2B, Beloit Snappers: 68 AB, .338/.407/.441, 3 2B, 2 3B, 8:11 BB:K
After a strong pro debut season with short-season Vermont in 2016, Mondou is back at it again in 2017. He is eighth in the league in batting and he leads the Snappers in average, on-base percentage and OPS. The second baseman carries a seven-game hitting streak into the month of May. He has a natural feel for the barrel and uses the whole field well.
Tyler Marincov, OF, Midland RockHounds: 73 AB, .247/.380/.466, 7 2B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 15:26 BB:K, 14 R
Marincov was quietly one of the most productive power hitters in the A’s system last year and he is off to a strong start with Midland in 2017. His average is low, but Marincov is showing improved plate discipline, walking 15 times in April. He had 15 walks for April and May combined last year. Like Boyd, Marincov is in a strong position for an early season promotion if there are openings in Triple-A.
J.P. Sportman, OF/2B, Midland RockHounds: 95 AB, .316/.369/.474, 6 2B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 18 R; JaVon Shelby, OF, Beloit Snappers: 72 AB, .264/.354/.486, 4 2B, 4 HR, 9 BB; Skye Bolt, OF, Stockton Ports: 52 AB, .250/.391/.423, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 11:12 BB:K; Eli White, SS, Stockton Ports: 86 AB, .302/.400/.407, 9 2B, 12:20 BB:K