Oakland A's MLN: Week In Review, 5/22-5/28

The week of May 22 through May 28 was a productive one in the Oakland A's system, as many of the A's farmhands put together impressive weeks at the plate and on the mound. We review the notable performances inside...

Sacramento River Cats
Season Record: 25-24
Notable Performances for the Week of 5/22-5/28:

Daric Barton: This week will likely be remembered mostly as the week where the A's top prospect was injured in a freak collision with Tony Womack at first base. Barton fractured a bone in his left elbow (glove hand) on 5/23 and will be out at least six weeks.

Hiram Bocachica: 9-19, 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 SB. Bocachica's return to the River Cats was an outstanding one, as the utilityman came out swinging. He homered in his first at-bat and was a catalyst for the Sacramento offense all week. Bocachica has played in only nine games thus far (four for Stockton in a rehab assignment) and he has driven in nine runs.

Charles Thomas: 8-16, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. Thomas raised his average nearly 30 points to .307 with an outstanding week at the plate. He isn't hitting for much power this season, but Thomas has been making good contact and getting on-base at a good clip (.358). His defense in center has been tremendous.

Keith Ginter: 12-22, 6 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 3 BB, 0 K. Ginter is quietly putting together a strong rebound season. With his performance this week, the former A's second baseman raised his average from .271 to .310. He is hitting .346 with 20 RBI in 21 games in the month of May and is destroying left-handed pitching at a .324 clip. If Mark Ellis, Marco Scutaro and Antonio Perez continue to struggle offensively for the A's, Ginter could become an option again later in the season.

Jason Perry: 4-10, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K. After collecting only one hit in his first 26 AAA at-bats, Perry has collected a hit in each of his last three starts and is 4-10 with those two doubles. Although the River Cats outfield is somewhat crowded with Thomas, Bocachica, Doug Clark and Brian Stavisky, Perry should continue to get some at-bats if he can show improvement like he did this week. A .400 hitter at AA isn't going to hit under .200 at AAA for long.

Jason Windsor: 2 GS, 2 W, 11 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 2 BB, 12 K. The Windsor watch continues, as the former Cal State Fullerton star put up two more outstanding starts this week. Windsor has not found the AAA transition to be very difficult, winning all four of his starts and allowing only five runs in 22.1 innings pitched. He has an outstanding K:BB ration (22:5) and has given up only one homerun. Windsor has been especially effective at AAA with runners on-base (.211 BAA) and runners in scoring position (.192 BAA).

Jason Karnuth: 4 G, 4 SV, 4.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Karnuth was nails this week, as he closed out four of the River Cats' five wins. He leads the team with nine saves this season and he is holding opposing batters to a .222 BAA.

Midland Rockhounds
Season Record: 27-23
Notable Performances for the Week of 5/22-5/28:

Jed Morris: 14-30, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K. Morris raised his average from .279 to .337 with a red-hot week at the plate. The catcher has been forced to play some out in right-field because the Rockhounds are thin on outfielders, and he has shown a good arm out in right. He is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak. Morris is 20-48 at the plate in games in which he has started at catcher this season.

Kevin Melillo: 9-29, 6 R, 3 2B, 3 BB, 2 K. Melillo had a hit in all but one game for the Rockhounds this week and he has scored a run in seven out of Midland's last nine games. Melillo is hitting .269 on the year, which is ahead of his pace from last season, when he was hitting .252 on May 28 for Kane County. Melillo would catch fire starting in June and would never look back last season. Melillo leads all AA second basemen in fielding percentage and has made only one error this season.

Travis Buck: 8-29, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 SB. Buck has continued to show little growing pains with the adjustment from high-A to AA pitching. He is now hitting .303 in AA with an 819 OPS. He has seven extra-base hits in 16 games for Midland and has hit safely in all but three of his AA contests. Buck's strikeout totals are a little higher at AA, but otherwise, he has been hitting with the same authority as he did earlier in the season with Stockton.

Vasili Spanos: 9-30, 2 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K. Spanos got his average back over the .300 mark to .304 with four hits in his last 10 at-bats of the week. He got a lot of time out in the field this week, as he made five starts at third, one at first and one at designated hitter. Spanos leads the Rockhounds with a 943 OPS for the season.

Jared Burton: 3 G, 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 9 K. Most of Burton's numbers came in a marathon performance on Saturday, when he threw four innings of shut-out baseball in the Rockhounds' 14-inning win. He struck out nine in that game and helped give Midland a chance to pull it out in extras. On the season, the right-hander is holding batters to a .227 BAA and he has a 30:9 K:BB ratio.

Marcus McBeth: 3 G, 1 W, 1 SV, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K. McBeth was a workhorse for Midland this week, putting together a two-inning outing and a three-inning outing in addition to a traditional one-inning stint. McBeth has been very good at AA since his demotion from Sacramento with the exception of one outing where he allowed four runs in only one-third of an inning. If you take that outing out of his numbers, McBeth has allowed only one run in 10 innings for Midland. He is holding opposing batters to a .162 BAA in AA.

Stockton Ports
Season Record: 23-26
Notable Performances for the Week of 5/22-5/28:

John McCurdy: 7-18, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 5 K, 1 SB. McCurdy is quietly hitting .283 for the Stockton Ports. He saw his playing time increase while Cliff Pennington was out with a hamstring injury and he hit well in Pennington's absence. McCurdy is currently working on a six-game hitting streak.

Richie Robnett: 6-23, 5 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K. Robnett leads the Ports with seven homeruns this season. He is putting together a solid May. For the month, Robnett is hitting .272 with five homers in 23 games. He has also walked 14 times during the month. Robnett has been hitting left-handed pitching extremely well (despite being a left-handed hitter), hitting .319 versus southpaws for the season.

Cliff Pennington: 2-22, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB. Pennington returned from a two-week absence caused by a sore hamstring and homered in his first game. Unfortunately, he wouldn't collect another hit until his fourth game of the week. That hit was a double, giving him two of his four extra-base hits for the season in one week. His stolen base was his seventh of the season.

Michael Rogers: 2 GS, 2 W, 13 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 11 K. Rogers is quickly becoming the ace of the Stockton pitching staff. He has now strung together eight straight starts of allowing two or fewer earned runs. For the season, Rogers' ERA is at 3.60 and he is at 2.10 for the month of May. He leads the team with five wins. Rogers' K:BB ratio is a particularly impressive 47:15. The 2004 second round pick is making a push for a mid-season promotion to AA after having been brought along slowly so far in his professional career.

Mike Mitchell: 3 G, 3 SV, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R. 2 K. 0 BB. Mitchell has been racking up saves at a prodigious rate for the Ports since Marcus McBeth was promoted. Mitchell has saved games in each of his last five appearances and he has eight on the season. He is holding batters to a .226 BAA and he has yet to allow a homer. Mitchell has also shown pin-point control, walking only four in 25 innings while striking out 23. The 24 year-old has a 2.19 ERA for the season.

Kane County Cougars
Season Record: 30-19
Notable Performances for the Week of 5/22-5/28:

Jeff Baisley: 10-22, 11 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K. Baisley has been arguably the best player on the A's best minor league affiliate thus far this season. He leads the A's system with 11 homeruns and 41 RBI. He also has a 973 OPS and has committed only two errors at the hot corner this season. Baisley has been particularly hot in May, batting .364 with six homers in 24 games. He became the first Cougar to hit three homers in a game in three years on Thursday when he took the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers deep for three. He also set a season-high in RBIs for a single game with six on Sunday versus Wisconsin.

Steve Kleen: 6-14, 4 R, 3 2B, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 1 K. Kleen bumped his average back above .300 for the first time since May 1 with a strong week at the plate. The Pepperdine alum is now hitting .313 in the month of May with 13 RBI in 25 games. He has also walked 14 times against 15 strikeouts in May.

Vince Mazzaro: 1 GS, 1 W, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K. After a rough patch during the first part of May, Mazzaro has settled down and has put together two solid starts in a row. The 19 year-old right-hander has allowed only two runs in his last 13 innings after giving up 15 in his previous 14.2 innings. He is 5-4 on the season.

Jason Ray: 2 GS, 2 W, 10 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 9 K. Lost in the buzz surrounding the three teenaged Cougar starters has been the season of 21 year-old Jason Ray. Ray is 4-1 with a 3.66 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 46.2 innings for the Cougars this season. He is holding opposing batters to a .209 BAA for the season and a .190 BAA in the month of May. He has given up only one homer. Ray's walk totals are higher than one would like (28 on the season), but he has otherwise been outstanding in his first full professional season.

Jared Lansford: 1 GS, 1 W, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 HR, 5 BB, 1 K. Another start, another almost no-hitter for Lansford. The Cougars' right-hander has been ridiculously difficult to hit so far this season, as he has been holding opposing batters to a .110 BAA and he has allowed only 10 hits in his first 30 innings of the season. Lansford has been particularly tough on lefties (.081 BAA) and he has allowed only one extra-base hit (a double). Lansford's only blemish so far this season has been his control. He has walked 16 against 13 strikeouts. However, he is keeping his pitch count low enough to get late into games and he has been near unhittable, so it isn't a cause for major concern at this point.

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