Aloha! Three A's Prospects Heading To Hawaii

After a nine-year hiatus, the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League returned in 2006 with great success. Top prospects such as Joba Chamberlain and Jeff Clement competed in the league last winter. The Oakland A's didn't send any prospects to the HWB in 2006, but they are sending three prospects to Hawaii this winter. Find out who is heading to the islands inside…

According to Oakland A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, the A's will be sending prospects Justin Sellers, Jared Lansford and Jermaine Mitchell to the HWB this winter. The HWB season begins on September 29 and will comprise a 46-game schedule. Forty of the games will take place on Oahu and six games will be on Maui.

The HWB originally began in 1993. That season, the A's sent a prospect named Jason Giambi to the league. He would reach the major leagues two years later. A's centerfielder Mark Kotsay is also an alumnus of the league. He was part of the Florida Marlins organization at the time that he participated.

Sellers will be heading to Hawaii after a successful 2007 regular season, during which he hit .274 with a .350 OBP in 114 games for the Stockton Ports. Sellers also had a late-season call-up to Double-A Midland and he hit .156 in 14 games with the Rockhounds. He is a natural shortstop, but he saw significant time at second base this season for the first time in his pro career. The Southern California native will turn 22 next February.

Lansford will just be looking to get some innings in after he missed all but four innings of the season with a right lat injury. He began the year as the Opening Day starter for the High-A Stockton Ports. Unfortunately, Lansford was injured four innings into that start and he spent the rest of the year on the DL. He has been throwing at the A's minor league complex in Phoenix over the past few weeks and he appears to be back to good health. Lansford, who will turn 21 in October, won 11 games in 2006, his first full professional season.

Mitchell was one of the most consistent performers for the Kane County Cougars this season. The five-tool prospect batted .288 with a .390 OBP and 24 stolen bases in 122 games for the Cougars in his first full professional season. Mitchell is an electric athlete who is extremely patient at the plate. He will be looking to build off of his solid second half performance for the Cougars that saw him post a .408 OBP and swipe 15 bases in 18 chances. Mitchell will be 23 in November.


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