After a stellar season which saw all of the A's minor league affiliates post winning records, the A's organization is filled with promising players. Some of those players are on display at the Arizona Fall League, which began last week.
The A's sent six players to help fill the roster of the Phoenix Desert Dogs: outfielder Jason Perry, catchers John Baker and Jeremy Brown, middle infielder Omar Quintanilla, starter Steve Obenchain and reliever Huston Street.
Jason Perry, who had a monster season at Single-A Modesto after being sent down from AA-Midland, showed his power on Saturday. With Phoenix down 3-0, Perry drove a pitch deep into leftfield for a two-run homerun. The opposite-field homer was Perry's first in the AFL, after hitting 24 this season in Modesto. He has driven in three runs total for the Desert Dogs thus far in this early action.
Catcher Jeremy Brown also had an important at-bat in Saturday's game. His famous plate patience was on display when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the middle of a seven-run rally for Phoenix, which pushed the Desert Dogs to a 9-6 victory. Brown has seen limited action thus far, batting only three times in two games.
Catcher John Baker, who split his 2004 season between Midland and Sacramento, has had two starts for Phoenix behind the plate. He has one hit and a walk in six trips to the plate.
Shortstop Omar Quintanilla is off to a bit of a slow start, as he has only had one hit in eight at-bats. The former 2003 first-round draft pick has played exclusively at shortstop thus far for Phoenix. There has been talk that the A's will move Quintanilla from short to second base, as a weak throwing arm has caused the former Texas star to have a high number of errors. In addition, with Bobby Crosby manning short for the A's for the forseeable future, Quintanilla's future in Oakland is likely to be at a different position. Quintanilla has made one error in three games at short so far.
Quintanilla's former Texas teammate Huston Street has picked up one save for Phoenix. Street is at the end of what was a long odessey for his 2004 season. He began the season pitching the University of Texas to the College World Series. He then moved up the A's organizational chain from short-season Vancouver to AAA-Sacramento. He finished the minor league season closing out PCL championship games for the RiverCats. Street figures to have a shot to make the A's roster as a middle-reliever in 2005. Street has thrown 2.1 innings, allowing one run while striking out three batters.
Starter Steve Obenchain spent his season pitching in Single A and AA. Obenchain has made one start, throwing three shut-out innings. He allowed one hit and one walk and struck-out two in his appearance.
Other Notes: Former A's farmhand Mark Teahen is also a member of the Phoenix squad. Teahen is 2-7 thus far.
AFL Update: October 11, 2004
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