Oakland A's MLN: Instructs Awards

The Oakland A's Instructional League is officially over and the A's were busy handing out some hardware for top performers during instructs late last week. We have those awards, as well as a Winter and Fall League update inside...

Instructional League Awards
The Oakland A's Instructional League season is officially over. On Friday, the A's gave out four awards for the top performers during the instructs season.

* 2007 supplemental first round pick Sean Doolittle won the MVP award for all position players at the A's Instructional League. The 41st overall pick in the 2007 draft played for short-season Vancouver and Low-A Kane County this season, batting .243 with four homers and 29 RBI in 68 games.

* Trevor Cahill, the A's top pick in 2006, won the MVP award for pitchers. Cahill was also named the Oakland A's 2007 Organizational Pitcher of the Year by the A's last week. The right-hander went 11-4 with a 2.73 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts) for the Kane County Cougars in 2007.

* Infielder Christian Vitters was awarded the Most Improved Position Player award for the A's Instructional League. Vitters, a 2006 draft pick, spent the 2007 campaign with Kane County, where he hit .227 with five homers in 86 games.

* Right-hander Justin Friend, who was the A's 13th round selection in the 2007 draft, took home the award for Most Improved Pitcher during instructs. Friend appeared in 17 games for the Vancouver Canadians this season, and he posted a 3.25 ERA in 27.2 innings.

Winter and Fall League Round-Up
Arizona Fall League
Raul Padron continues to pace A's hitters who are participating in the AFL. The left-handed hitting catcher is leading the Phoenix Desert Dogs with a .368 BA. He has a 1060 OPS in 19 at-bats. Jeff Baisley is putting up good power numbers for Phoenix. He has two homeruns and a Desert Dogs' best 10 RBIs in nine games. Baisley's .500 SLG is tied for third on the team. Cliff Pennington is off to a slow start at the plate, as he is batting only .133 in 19 at-bats. He has been good on the base-paths, however, swiping three bags in three chances.

On the mound, Jeff Gray, Brad Kilby and Justin Dowdy were the only A's prospects to pitch during this past week in the AFL. Gray has allowed four runs in 4.1 innings of work, but he has four strikeouts and no walks. Kilby has allowed two runs in 4.1 innings of work. Both of those runs came in the same outing, as he threw scoreless frames in his other three appearances.

Jay Marshall, who the A's lost on waivers to the Boston Red Sox earlier this week, has been replaced by Dowdy on the Phoenix roster. Dowdy was signed by the A's as a minor league free agent after playing for the Alexandria Aces of the independent United League in 2007. Dowdy participated in the A's Instructional League and is now appearing at the AFL as a member of the Desert Dogs. Dowdy worked a scoreless inning in his AFL debut. He has previously been in the Chicago (AL), Seattle and Angels organizations. A's 2007 top pick James Simmons hasn't pitched since October 12 and he has allowed a run in two innings of work and has struck out four.

Baisley and Simmons have been named to the AFL's Rising Stars showcase, which will take place this Friday, October 26 at Surprise Stadium.

Dominican Winter League
Jose Pineda and Julio Manon are the only A's farmhands currently playing in the DWL. Manon is playing for the Toros del Este, and he has had one appearance, allowing no runs on two hits in one-third of a frame. Pineda is also playing for the Toros del Este, and he is off to a good start. In two games, Pineda is 3-8 with two runs scored, two doubles and three RBI. Pineda had 20 homers for the Stockton Ports in 2007.

Mexican Winter League
Bobby Cramer is currently the only A's farmhand competing in the Mexican Winter League. The lefty is playing for Aguilas de Mexicali. He is off to a rough start, having allowed eight runs in 6.1 innings over two starts.

Venezuelan Winter League
The A's have a number of players competing in the VWL for the Leones del Caracas. Gregorio Petit is off to a slow start at the plate, batting .136 over 22 at-bats. He does have one game-winning hit and has scored three runs in seven games. Brad Knox and Ben Fritz are both starters for the Leones, and both had strong first starts and poor second starts. Knox has gone exactly five innings in each of his two starts. He didn't allow a run in his first outing and allowed four in his second appearance. He has five strike-outs and one walk in 10 innings. Fritz threw five two-hit innings in his first start, but was touched for four runs on four hits in his second start. Javier Herrera has yet to play for Caracas, but is on the active roster.

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