Prospect Watch: Esteban German

Esteban German is one of the more familiar names in the A's minor league system. He has seen limited big league action with the A's on two separate occasions. His ability to get on base, accompanied with his impressive glove work and amazing speed make him an excellent second base prospect.

BIOGRAPHY: Esteban German is a native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, and was signed by the A's in 1996 after he elevated his game and hit his way off the Island. Before he was signed, German played at the A's complex in La Victoria. Which was made popular by the book about Latin ball players entitled, Away Games: The Life and Times of a Latin Baseball Player, written by Marcos Breton and Jose Luis Villegas. German has spent 7 seasons as a professional baseball player, and is currently 26 years old. As a second basemen his speed is one of his greatest assets. German has stolen 328 bases in his minor league career spanning 761 games. He has seen some time on the A's major league roster. Playing in 5 games in 2003 and 9 games in 2002. In his 14 major league appearances German has 8 hits, 4 walks, and a .295 on base percentage. Last season German led the Sacramento River Cats in several categories.

2003: A LOOK BACK: 2003 was a fantastic year for Esteban German. He batted .306, knocked in 51 RBI's, and lead the RiverCats with 8 triples, 32 stolen bases, and tied for the team lead with 143 hits and 86 runs scored. He also posted an impressive OBP of .379 while drawing 56 walks. His patience at the plate is highly valued by the A's. Especially because once he gets on base, his speed makes him a huge threat. In 2003 German was a major reason the River Cats won the Pacific Coast League Championship. After the minor league season drew to a close, German was called up to the A's roster where on September 24th he drove in his first major league RBI. He then later went back to his home in the Dominican Republic and participated in Dominican Winter League ball with Los Azucareros del Este.

PROJECTION: Esteban German's outlook for 2004 is somewhat similar to what it has been in the previous years. He will need to impress A's brass this spring against major league caliber players. He will be starting the season with the Sacramento River Cats as their lead off hitter and starting Second Basemen. So far this spring German has received 3 at bats and has 1 hit and 1 run in 2 games against the Brewers.

BEST COMPARED TO: Esteban German draws favorable comparisons to Marlins Second Basemen Luis Castillo. They play the same position, are both natives of the Dominican Republic, and are know for their ability to hit for high average, while posting great OBP, and showing impressive speed.

THE LAST WORD: Since the A's re-signed utility man Frank Menechino, don't expect to see German as a main stay on the A's roster just yet. Depending on the health and performance of Menechino, and current starting Second Baseman Mark Ellis; German may get a couple call ups as a backup infielder, much like the A's have done the last two seasons. With any luck German will contend for a shot at the backup job in 2005. He has proven to be a consistent hitter in the lead off spot, and most importantly he excels in the categories the A's value most.

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