Oakland A's MLN: Who's Hot?

With the first week and a half of the season in the books, we take a moment to highlight some notable strong performances by Oakland A's prospects in the early going.


Adrian Cardenas: Cardenas is ripping through the Texas League in his second stint with the Midland Rockhounds. The 21-year-old middle infielder is batting .405 with six runs scored in 10 games. He has nine extra-base hits (including one homerun) in 42 at-bats and he has a 1147 OPS. In 26 games for Midland last season, Cardenas had only four extra-base hits with no homeruns. He may not be long for Double-A.

Dusty Coleman: The Midwest League is a pitchers' league, but don't tell that to Coleman. Through 10 games, Coleman is wearing out Midwest League pitching to the tune of a .324 average and an 1043 OPS. He already has five extra-base hits (including two homers) and seven RBIs. Coleman has scored 10 runs.

Sean Doolittle: The A's 2007 supplementary first-round pick is having no trouble with the move from Double-A to Triple-A in the early going. The first-baseman/outfielder is leading the River Cats with a .326 average with seven RBIs in 11 games. He has moved up to the middle of the Sacramento line-up despite being the youngest position player on the team.

Steve Kleen: After missing all of last season with injury, Kleen is making up for lost time for Low-A Kane County. In 10 games, he is hitting .361 with a .439 OBP and a 967 OPS. He has a homer and three doubles in 36 at-bats, as well as eight RBIs. He could be in-line for a promotion to Stockton soon.

Yung-Chi Chen: Chen had a disappointing first few months in the A's organization. First he was designated off of the team's 40-man roster and then he was sent to Double-A rather than Triple-A. He is making the best of it, however. In nine games, Chen is batting .389 with a 922 OPS. He has scored 11 runs and has driven-in four.

Corey Brown: Brown is off to a good start in his first taste of Double-A baseball. The centerfielder hasn't hit for power yet after hitting 30 homeruns last season, but he is batting .357 with a .471 OBP in eight games. He also has two stolen bases in two tries.

Eric Patterson: Patterson is picking up where he left off at Triple-A last season where he hit .324 with 19 stolen bases in 77 games. In his first 10 games for Sacramento in 2009, Patterson is batting .289 with a .372 OBP while playing all over the infield and outfield. He has five walks and five stolen bases already this season.

Archie Gilbert: Gilbert has been an everyday player for the Rockhounds in the absence of Javier Herrera, who is battling a wrist strain, and Gilbert is taking advantage of the opportunity. The left-fielder is hitting .348 with six RBIs and a 1004 OPS in nine games. He has two doubles and a triple and has scored seven runs.

Chris Carter: Carter got off to a slow start, but he is a streaky player and it appears that he is in the middle of yet another one of his patented hot streaks. Over his last three games, Carter is six-for-13 with three doubles, a homerun and nine RBIs. He has 14 RBIs in only 10 games thus far this season. He needs to cut-down on his strike-outs, however, as he has 15 already. Despite the strike-outs, Carter is batting .286 with a .353 OBP.

Juan Nunez: Nunez has gotten a lot of playing time behind the plate for Kane County in place of Petey Paramore, who is recovering from a hand injury. In seven games, Nunez is batting .333 with four RBIs and two doubles in 24 at-bats.

Corey Wimberly: The versatile Wimberly is off to a good start in his defense of his Texas League stolen base title. Through nine games, he has already stolen six bases in seven tries. He is batting .297 with an 810 OPS in the early going.

Matt Spencer: There hasn't been much to talk about in regards to the Stockton Ports' offense this season and Spencer isn't really off to that great of a start, batting only .195 in 11 games. However, he has been carrying the offense for the Ports of late, homering in each of the past three games. He has nine RBIs on the season. No other Port has more than three.


Vince Mazzaro: Mazzaro is pitching like he did with Double-A Midland last season. The right-hander had his best Triple-A start of his career on Sunday, going six innings with one run allowed on five hits and one walk. He has a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings over three starts thus far with 12 strike-outs. His walk total (seven) is a little high, but he has otherwise been outstanding and could be in-line to be an early season call-up to the big leagues should the A's have an injury in their rotation.

Sam Demel: Demel is off to a terrific start to his 2009 season. Pitching in his home state of Texas, Demel has dominated the Texas League in his first five outings. He hasn't allowed an earned run and he has five strike-outs and only one walk in 4.2 innings. He already has three saves and has allowed only two hits.

Shawn Haviland: The Harvard alum is giving an education to Midwest League hitters thus far this season. In 11 innings over two starts, Haviland has a 2.45 ERA and 12 strike-outs against only one walk. He has allowed only nine hits.

Derrick Gordon: The lefty Gordon has dominated out of the bullpen for Stockton over the first 11 days of the season. In three appearances, he has allowed only three hits and no walks while striking-out 11 in eight innings. There are rumblings that Gordon will be up in Double-A sooner than later.

Anthony Capra: The A's 2008 fourth-round pick is off to a good start this season. In two starts, he has allowed only one run in 9.1 innings on four hits and four walks. He has struck-out 11.

Scott Mitchinson: The Australian right-hander has thrown at least five innings in each of his first two outings of the season. He has allowed only one run in 10.2 innings on seven hits. He has 10 strike-outs against five walks (two intentional).

Chris Schroder: After spending much of the spring in big league camp, Schroder has been pitching like a big leaguer for Sacramento in the early going. The right-hander hasn't allowed a run in six innings. He has given up only two hits and three walks and has struck-out seven.

James Heuser: The side-arming lefty has thrived since moving into the bullpen midway through last season. In four relief appearances this year for Double-A Midland, Heuser has allowed one earned run in 5.1 innings. He has struck-out eight and walked only two.

Jamie Richmond: Richmond has moved into the bullpen for Kane County this season and he is responding well to the move. In seven innings pitched, Richmond has yet to allow a run. He has allowed only two hits and two walks and has struck-out six. He also has a save.

Scott Deal: Deal similarly made a move into the bullpen this season and he is having similar success to Richmond. In six innings, he hasn't allowed a run and has given up only two hits and three walks while striking-out nine.

Jonathan Hunton: Signed out of the independent leagues this off-season, the 6'9'' Hunton has 10 strike-outs in only 6.1 innings this season out of the Ports' bullpen. He has the Ports only win of the season.

Josue Selenes: The A's minor league Rule 5 pick has been Johnny-on-the-spot for the Cougars in the early going. He already has three wins out of the bullpen. Selenes, a former Yankees prospect, has allowed two earned runs on six hits and five walks.

Ben Hornbeck: He has had only one start, but it was a memorable one. Hornbeck tossed five hitless innings. He struck-out six, walked one and allowed only an unearned run on a wild pitch.

Jose Guzman: Guzman was a stand-out closer for Vancouver last season, and he is pitching well in that role for Kane County thus far this season. The right-hander has three saves and has allowed only an unearned run in 4.1 innings with three strike-outs.

Pedro Figueroa: Figueroa has a mediocre 4.50 ERA over his first two starts, but he was very impressive in his last outing, striking out eight in five innings of work. He has walked only two and has struck-out 10 in eight innings this season.

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