Oakland A's MLN: Recent Notable Performances

We take a tour around the Oakland A's minor league system to see who has put up notable performances of late...

Chris Carter: Carter is one of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues right now and he was honored on Monday with the Texas League's Player of the Week award. He hit .516 with two homers last week and is working on a 16-game hitting streak. His overall numbers are gaudy: .322 average with a .420 OBP, a 962 OPS, 18 homers, 80 RBIs, 90 runs scored and 12 stolen bases in 104 games. He has hit .288 or higher in every month this season and the lowest OPS he has posted in any month is 832. In July, Carter batted .365 with 20 RBIs in 25 games. He has a .375/.451/.589 line since the All-Star break.

Brett Wallace: Wallace hit his first River Cats' homerun on Sunday and it was a big one, a solo blast in the top of the ninth inning to give the River Cats a 2-1 win over Portland. He also drove-in the River Cats' other run in the game with a sacrifice fly. Wallace is batting .294/.324/.471 with six RBIs in nine games since joining Sacramento after his trade from St. Louis.

Jason Fernandez: Fernandez earned co-Pitcher of the Week honors from the Texas League for his part in helping the Rockhounds' toss the first no-hitter in the league for 2009 on Saturday. He is sharing the award with teammate and co-no-hitter artist Arnold Leon. Fernandez has been a steady contributor for Midland all season, first in the starting rotation and now out of the bullpen. As a starter, he posted a 4.89 ERA in 99.1 innings; as a reliever, he has yet to allow a run in 10 innings.

Arnold Leon: Leon got the no-hitter going for Midland on Saturday when he tossed three hitless frames in his first start of the year. He had made 26 relief appearances before the start on Saturday. Leon got off to a rough start this season, but he has been impressive of late. Over his last 10 outings, he has a 2.66 ERA and 17 strike-outs in 20.1 innings.

Tyler Ladendorf: Ladendorf didn't waste any time getting started with his new team after being traded from the Twins organization to Oakland on Friday. He debuted with Kane County on Friday, doubling in a pinch-hitting appearance. He would collect only one more hit over the next two games, as Kane County's offense continued to struggle. Ladendorf has taken over the shortstop position for the Cougars, as Dusty Coleman has moved up to Stockton.

Adrian Cardenas: Cardenas has been slumping of late, but a change of scenery might help jump-start what has been a hot bat for most of the year. The second baseman joined Sacramento on Sunday and leaves Midland with an impressive .326/.392/.446 line in 79 games. Cardenas, 21, is the youngest player on the River Cats' roster.

Jemile Weeks: Like Cardenas, Weeks will be looking for a change of scenery to break a recent slump. The A's top pick in 2008 got off to a blistering start with the Stockton Ports, but struggled in July, batting only .212 with a 560 OPS. Despite those struggles, Weeks leaves Stockton for Midland with a .299/.385/.468 line and five stolen bases in six chances. He walked 26 times in 50 games and drove-in 31 runs for Stockton. Weeks will debut with Midland this week.

Dusty Coleman: Coleman was part of a wave of promotions in the A's system this weekend, as four middle infielders were promoted a level (Coleman, Weeks, Cardenas and Cliff Pennington). Coleman had a strong debut with Stockton on Sunday, going 2-4 with three runs scored, a walk and a triple in Stockton's win over Modesto. After a red-hot start with Kane County, Coleman struggled for much of June and July and wound-up with a .254/.345/.410 line in 93 games.

Grant Desme: Desme continues to fill-up the boxscore for the Stockton Ports. Over his last 10 games, Desme has a .324 average, with three homers, nine RBIs, three stolen bases and 12 strike-outs. In 38 games with Stockton, he is batting .277 with 12 homers, 35 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and 46 strike-outs. In 107 games between Stockton and Kane County, Desme has a .275 average with 27 doubles, 23 homers, 73 RBIs, 34 stolen bases and 127 strike-outs.

Clayton Mortensen: His control has been a bit shaky, but Mortensen's overall results have been solid in his two starts with Sacramento since being traded from St. Louis. The righty has allowed only two runs on nine hits in 11 innings, although he has walked seven against five strike-outs.

Tyson Ross: Ross, the A's 2008 second round pick, is off to a solid start with Double-A Midland. In two starts since being promoted from High-A Stockton, Ross has allowed five runs in 13 innings with seven strike-outs and two walks. In his first outing, he allowed a run in six innings to earn the win. His second outing was a complete game in a losing effort, as he allowed four runs in seven innings (it was the first game of a double-header). For the season, Ross has 89 strike-outs against 35 walks in 99.1 innings between Stockton and Midland.

Ben Hornbeck: Hornbeck tossed two more scoreless innings of relief on Sunday. The tall left-hander hasn't allowed a run in four innings since moving into Stockton's bullpen last week. Hornbeck is being moved into the bullpen to keep his overall innings total down for the year. He has continued his strike-out ways as a reliever, with five in four innings. He has 127 in 96 total innings this season.

Jeff Gray: Gray didn't allow a run in July for Sacramento (eight appearances--five hits and no walks in 9.1 innings with four saves) and he is two-for-two in scoreless appearances thus far in August for the River Cats. The closer has a team-high 16 saves and a 1.54 ERA on the season. He has walked only six in 41 innings.

Shane Peterson: Peterson is off to a solid start with the Midland Rockhounds. In nine games since being traded from St. Louis, the centerfielder has a .324 average with six doubles and four RBIs. He has walked three times, as well.

Conner Crumbliss: It is a rare day in Vancouver when Crumbliss doesn't reach base. The 2009 draft pick has a remarkable .474 OBP in 39 games with the Canadians. He sports a .328 average and a .448 slugging percentage, as well. He has also stolen a team-high 10 bases. The utilityman batted .386 with a .508 OBP and a 1033 OPS in 28 games in July for Vancouver.

Jeremy Barfield: There hasn't been much hitting on the Kane County squad of late, with the exception of Barfield, who has a five-game hitting streak going. Barfield was the only Cougars hitter to collect a hit on Sunday and he went five-for-12 with three doubles against Lansing over the weekend. On the season, he is batting .265 with a 754 OPS.

Henry Rodriguez: After a disastrous two outings on July 25 and 27 when he allowed seven runs in one-third of an inning, Rodriguez has rebounded by tossing 2.2 scoreless innings over two outings. He has 49 strike-outs in 30.1 innings for Sacramento this season, although he has walked 25.

Josh Donaldson: Donaldson is coming off of an outstanding July during which he hit .288 with an eye-popping .462 OBP. For the year, the Midland catcher is now hitting .276 with an 830 OPS (.402 OBP) in 97 games. He has 75 RBIs, good for second on the team behind league-leader Chris Carter.

Aaron Cunningham: Cunningham is batting .333 with seven RBIs over his last 10 games and even when he isn't hitting, he is making an impact for Sacramento. On Sunday, Cunningham went 0-4 with four strike-outs, but he made the defensive play of the game, throwing out a runner at home-plate to keep a 1-1 game tied. Sacramento went on to win the game, 2-1.

Paul Smyth: Smyth is off to an impressive start to his professional career. He has yet to allow a run in 22.2 innings for Vancouver. Over that stretch, Smyth has given up only eight hits and two walks and he has struck-out 27. He has a 1-0 record and five saves for the C's.

Jay Marshall: After allowing five runs in one inning on July 24th, Marshall has tossed 2.2 scoreless innings spread over four outings. His ERA is 2.76 on the season and lefties are batting only .171 off of him.

Kenneth Smalley: Smalley saw his streak of three consecutive scoreless starts snapped on Saturday when he allowed three runs in 4.2 innings. Still, Smalley is putting together an impressive season with Kane County. The right-hander has a 2.06 ERA and 94 strike-outs in 100.1 innings. He has allowed only 70 hits, limiting Midwest League batters to a .196 average, and has given up only three homeruns.

Brad Kilby: One run allowed over his last eight appearances has Kilby's ERA at 2.47 for the year. The lefty has a 52/14 K/BB ratio and has allowed only 28 hits in 47.1 innings.

Kyle Middleton: Middleton is making his return to affiliated baseball a positive one. The tall right-hander was signed by Oakland out of the independent leagues earlier this month. In two starts with Midland, he has allowed one run in 15 innings with 11 strike-outs, two walks and seven hits allowed.

Carlos Hernandez: Hernandez has been on a roll of late, allowing only eight runs over his last five starts, a span of 33.2 innings, for Stockton. He has earned wins in all five of those starts and has 14 on the year between Stockton and Midland. Hernandez has tossed a career-high 122 innings this season.

Matt Spencer: Spencer is quietly putting together a strong season in his first full year in the A's system. The outfielder/first-baseman is batting .289 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs in 90 games for Stockton and Midland. He is coming off of an impressive July with the Rockhounds, when he hit .337 with 15 RBIs and an 824 OPS in 24 games. He went 3-5 with three runs scored, two doubles, one triple and four RBIs in the Rockhounds' win on Sunday. Midland is now tied for first in the Texas League's Southern Division.

Mickey Storey: Storey continues to impress with Stockton. After allowing three runs in one inning on July 23 (his first earned runs allowed with Stockton), Storey has allowed only a run over his last four innings with four strike-outs. In 14 innings with the Ports, Storey has 18 strike-outs and only three walks with seven saves. On the season, he has a 1.44 ERA and 16 saves with 41 strike-outs and four walks in 31.1 innings between Kane County and Stockton.

Daniel Thomas: Thomas has quietly strung together four outstanding outings for Kane County after struggling badly in his first three appearances for the Cougars. Over his last four appearances, Thomas has allowed only two hits and a walk in 5.2 innings with seven strike-outs. He has reportedly been hitting 98-99 MPH on the radar gun, as well. Thomas began the year with High-A Stockton, but missed more than two months with a tear in his right labrum.

Anthony Capra: After allowing three runs on six hits in his first start with Stockton, Capra put together an impressive second outing to earn a win over first-place San Jose. He allowed two runs on three hits and three walks in six innings, striking out five. Capra, the A's 2008 fourth-round pick, has a 3.32 ERA and 114 strike-outs in 111 innings between Kane County and Stockton this season.

Tyreace House: After going only 3-for-32 in June, House recovered to bat .400 with a .478 OBP and an 878 OPS in 20 games in July for Vancouver. He also stole seven bases in July and scored 15 runs.

Royce Consigli: Despite being fresh out of high school, Consigli is showing a mature eye at the plate for the A's Rookie League team. The outfielder has seven walks in his first five games as a professional. He also has four RBIs and has scored three runs.

Daniel Haigwood: Haigwood helped the Ports toss a one-hitter on Friday in his first start with Stockton. The left-hander and former Phillies and White Sox prospect went seven innings, allowing only a solo homerun and striking out seven in a win over Modesto. The homerun would be the Nuts only base-runner of the evening.

Ryan Ortiz: Ortiz, the A's sixth round pick this year, is only batting .213 for the Vancouver Canadians, but he is still managing to be productive. In 75 at-bats, he has six doubles, one triple, three homeruns and 17 walks to give him an 812 OPS. Ortiz hit .263 with a 952 OPS in July.

Anvioris Ramirez: Ramirez was sent from the Arizona League to Kane County earlier this month when the Cougars were hit hard by injuries. Since then Ramirez has made a case for staying in the Kane County rotation. The 21-year-old lefty has a 2.55 ERA in 17.2 innings over three starts with the Cougars. He has 12 strike-outs and only three walks and has yet to allow a homerun.

Kent Walton: 2009 draft pick Walton has been a big run-producer for Vancouver this season, as he leads the team with 26 RBIs in 41 games. He also has a .311 batting average and 14 doubles. The BYU alum is batting .317 over his last 10 games.

Chris Affinito: Affinito, a non-drafted free agent signing out of Seton Hall, has torn up the Arizona League since joining the A's. In 27 games, he is batting .351 with four homers and a 966 OPS. The 22-year-old catcher has a .368 average and 11 RBIs over his last 10 games.

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