A's Spring Prospect Watch: Early Game Action

The Oakland A's have played five spring training games and have posted a 3-1-1 record. As is normally the case early in the spring schedule, numerous A's prospects and non-roster invitees have seen significant playing time in spring games. We take a look at how these players are faring thus far...

Position Players:

Travis Buck: The A's top prospect has created quite a buzz with his early season performance. Buck has three doubles in only seven at-bats and four hits overall (.571 batting average). He has also walked twice, has yet to strikeout and has driven-in three. Buck has made some nice plays on defense, as well, although he has also struggled at times with the high Arizona sun that has caused many Cactus League flyballs to turn into hits this early spring.

Kevin Melillo: Melillo has quietly been making a strong impression at the plate. He has often been a late-game substitution and he has been in the middle of three game-winning rallies for the A's this early spring. The second baseman has four hits in five at-bats and he has walked twice. He also has a stolen base, the only one the A's have collected thus far this spring.

Erubiel Durazo: Durazo will only make the A's 25-man roster if he can prove to the A's coaching staff that he can handle the daily fielding duties at first base. However, it won't hurt his cause to remind the A's coaching staff that he can hit. Durazo, who has a career 868 OPS at the major league level, is off to a good start at the plate this spring. The slugger looks slimmer than the last time he donned the green and gold. Durazo is four for his first 10, including a double and three RBIs. He also has a walk and a strikeout. Durazo has appeared at first base in two games and has handled all of his chances cleanly thus far.

Daric Barton: The A's first baseman of the future is making a solid impression in camp, as well. He has two game-winning RBIs and is three for his first seven at-bats (.429). All three hits have been singles and he has three RBIs.

Lou Merloni: The veteran infielder is also off to a hot start. The former Red Sox fan favorite has four hits in nine at-bats, including two doubles. He has driven-in two runs and he has a walk.

Javier Herrera: The talented young outfielder has not seen much playing time yet, as he is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, which cost him all of last season. Herrera has a hit in three at-bats and he was caught stealing in a pinch-running appearance over the weekend. A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman told MLB.com that Herrera is throwing at about 80 percent right now. When he is 100 percent, Herrera has one of the best throwing arms among the A's outfield prospects.

Landon Powell, John Baker and Jeremy Brown: Jason Kendall and Adam Melhuse have seen a lot of the early spring playing time and Kurt Suzuki has received most of the remaining playing time. Powell has had only one at-bat and he allowed a stolen base in his one game appearance. Baker is one for two with a walk and a run scored in two games. Brown has appeared in only one game, and he is O-fer-one with a walk.

Donnie Murphy: The versatile infielder who was acquired off of waivers from the Kansas City Royals this off-season has appeared in four games thus far. Murphy has two hits in eight at-bats and a run scored. He has also walked once. Murphy impressed during the A's intra-squad games, hitting a homerun off of David Shafer.

Kurt Suzuki: Suzuki has gotten into three games this spring and is two for his first four with one RBI and a double. Suzuki has used strong springs in each of the last two seasons to raise his profile as a prospect. Suzuki enters camp as the A's top catching prospect and is projected to start the season at Triple-A Sacramento.

Vince Faison: The speedy outfielder has seen limited playing time thus far, but he has made the most of what time he has seen. Faison has two hits in three at-bats and an RBI. He also showed some major speed going first-to-home over the weekend. Faison was signed as a minor league free agent this off-season.

J.J. Furmaniak: The former Padres and Pirates prospect has two hits in his first seven spring at-bats. Furmaniak, who signed a minor league free agent contract this off-season, is looking to rebound from his first poor offensive season at the minor league level. Last season, Furmaniak struggled with Triple-A Indianapolis, hitting only .213, but he is a career .267 hitter.

Ryan Goleski: After impressing the A's coaching staff during the A's practice sessions, Goleski has struggled since game action has started. The Rule 5 selection from the Cleveland organization is hitless in 11 at-bats and he has four strikeouts. Goleski has also struggled in the outfield. He has been playing without restrictions despite his off-season wrist surgery. Goleski will need to remain on the A's 25-man roster for the entire season or he will have to be offered back to Cleveland for $25,000.

Hiram Bocachica: Bocachica had an eventful first week of camp, as he was released, declared a free agent and then eventually re-signed with the team as a minor league free agent. A clubhouse favorite, Bocachica is starting his third season as part of the Athletics organization. He has appeared in four games but has only three official at-bas. He doesn't have a hit, but he was hit-by-a-pitch and he scored a run.

Ricky Ledee: The long-time veteran has appeared in only one game thus far and is O-fer his first two. Ledee is in camp as a non-roster player.


Jason Windsor: Windsor recovered from a horrific first outing with a clean inning against the Angels on Monday. The right-hander allowed five earned runs (six total) in one and a third innings during his first spring outing. Windsor appeared tentative and he didn't hit his spots in the first outing. He was much better in the second one, as he struck out two and had a one-two-three inning.

Mike Mitchell: Mitchell has been impressive in the early going with good velocity and sink on his pitchers. He has had one game appearance, throwing two scoreless innings against the Cubs on Saturday. The right-hander struck out one and walked two and didn't allow a hit.

Jay Marshall: As a Rule 5 pick, Marshall was looking to get off to a fast start this spring and he has done that thus far. After striking out Eric Chavez in an intra-squad game, Marshall has continued to impress, throwing two scoreless innings in two appearances. He has not allowed a hit or a walk and has one strikeout.

Kazuhito Tadano: Tadano has had a mixed effort thus far. He is clearly throwing better than he was early last season with Sacramento, when he was struggling with a knee problem. He has allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. However, he has struck out three in those two innings. Tadano was a starter for much of his minor league career, but he has been used almost exclusively as a reliever since joining the Athletics organization last spring.

Dallas Braden: Braden made his spring debut this weekend and, like Tadano, it was a mixed performance. He allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings, but he struck out three. Braden is coming off of a strong winter performance in Puerto Rico.

Erasmo Ramirez: Ramirez allowed two runs in his first appearance, but he recovered to post a scoreless inning on Monday. Ramirez is a familiar face to the American League West, having played for the Texas Rangers for multiple seasons.

Shane Komine: Komine allowed two runs in two innings of work during his first appearance of the spring. The right-hander allowed four hits and a walk while striking out a batter.

Lenny DiNardo: DiNardo has also made only one appearance this spring. The left-hander allowed two runs in two innings of work during his A's debut. The former Red Sox hurler allowed a homer and two hits. He walked one and struck out three. DiNardo has been almost exclusively a starter as a minor leaguer, but he worked in relief for much of his time in Boston. DiNardo was claimed off of waivers just before the start of spring training.

Marcus McBeth: McBeth's spring got off to a shaky start when he allowed a two-run inside-the-park homer to Michael Barrett during his one inning of work on Saturday. However, he redeemed himself with a quick-and-easy one-two-three ninth inning against the Angels on Monday. McBeth struck out Terry Evans to shut the door on the A's third win of the spring.

Connor Robertson: Robertson has allowed a run on two hits in 1.1 innings of work thus far this spring. He has struck out two and walked none. Robertson has amassed remarkable strike out totals throughout his minor league career.

David Shafer: Shafer, who was acquired in the Kirk Saarloos trade last month, has allowed one run on two hits in two innings of work. He has walked a batter and has yet to record a strikeout. Shafer saved 26 games at Double-A last season.

Ron Flores: Flores got off to a slow start last spring, but he has started off well this year. The left-hander has allowed only one hit in 1.2 innings of work. He has a strikeout and has yet to walk a batter.

Scott Dunn: Dunn was very impressive before the start of game action, but he was roughed up during his first outing this spring. He allowed five runs on three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning during his one outing against Milwaukee.

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