The Oakland A's rewarded both Daric Barton and Kevin Melillo for their strong first-half play with mid-season promotions. Barton, who is the A's top position prospect, is headed to AA-Midland, where he will be the youngest player on the squad. Barton is joining former Ports teammates Dallas Braden, Jason Windsor and Vasili Spanos on the talent-laden Midland squad.
Barton was acquired by Oakland in the Mark Mulder trade with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in December 2004. He was regarded as one of the minor leagues' top hitting prospects before the season began and he hasn't disappointed with his play thus far. The 19-year old Barton hit .318 with a gaudy .438 OBP and 52 RBI in 79 games for Stockton. He also smacked eight homeruns. Barton had been in the middle of a tremendous hot streak that saw him hit close to .700 over a two-week span.
To make room for Barton on the Midland roster, the A's moved OF/1B Matt Allegra to Stockton. Allegra has had a disappointing season for the Rockhounds. He has historically struggled with injuries throughout his career, but this season, Allegra has remained healthy. Unfortunately, his production has not been at normal levels. He was hitting only .187 with six homers and 23 RBI in 56 games for the Rockhounds before his demotion.
Stockton also added two more players on Monday, as second baseman Kevin Melillo and utilityman Kory Wayment were promoted from A-Kane County. Melillo's promotion will give the A's a chance to see what they have in this plucky second baseman and will also give the A's a chance to move 2005 first round pick Cliff Pennington to second from short at Kane County, if they choose to do so. It is believed that with Bobby Crosby in the way at short, the A's will move Pennington to second.
Melillo had an excellent first half for Kane County. At the time of his promotion, Melillo was hitting .286 with eight homers and 36 RBI. He had a .399 OBP and an 856 OPS. He had also stolen 10 bases for the Cougars.
Wayment also received a much-awaited promotion. The 2001 draft pick spent parts of three seasons with the Cougars before his Monday promotion. A utility player capable of filling in in the outfield and infield, Wayment was hitting .228 with three homers and 20 RBI in 58 games for Kane County before the promotion.
On the move in the opposite direction were pitcher Trent Peterson and outfielder Luis Perez. Both players were sent from A-Stockton to A-Kane County. Peterson, a 2003 fifth round pick, had struggled out of the starting rotation for Stockton this season. He was 4-6 with a 6.04 ERA in 15 starts for the Ports. He had allowed 10 homers in 79 innings and had struck out 59 against 25 walks. Peterson spent the 2004 season with Kane County.
Perez began the season on the suspended list after testing positive for a banned substance. He was productive for Stockton upon his return from the suspension. At the time of the demotion, Perez was hitting .302 with a 807 OPS in 31 games. Perez also spent the 2004 season with Kane County.
On Friday, the A's also announced that they had released Kane County pitcher Keith Perez. Perez had a 6.39 ERA in 26 games for Kane County before the release. The A's also announced over the weekend that they had brought back catcher Tom Gregorio and had added him to the Sacramento roster. Gregorio had been with the River Cats briefly in late May when he was acquired from the Angels organization. He was returned to the Angels a week later when it was discovered that he had a pre-existing injury.
Transaction Log: Barton, Melillo Promoted
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