Oakland A's MLN: Instructs Awards

The Oakland A's Instructional League season concluded earlier this month. Before the end of camp, the A's handed out awards for the top participating players and some of the youngest players took home the awards. We have those details, plus information on why Chris Carter has been missing from Mexican League boxscores, an AFL update and more inside...

Instructs Awards

Some of the youngest players at the Oakland A's Instructional League camp took home the end-of-camp hardware. The A's handed out six awards at the conclusion of Instructs.

Nineteen-year-old Rashun Dixon brought home the award for the top position player in camp. Dixon, who was the A's 10th round pick in 2008, showed significant improvement during Instructs over his time with the Low-A Vancouver Canadians during the regular season. Dixon hit only .214 with a 581 OPS in 57 games for Vancouver, but A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman said that Dixon was consistently the best hitter in camp during Instructs.

Veteran right-hander Justin Souza was named the top pitcher at Instructs. Souza was acquired during the season by the A's from the Seattle Mariners for Jack Hannahan. The Stockton native struggled in five starts with Midland after the trade, posting a 10.35 ERA in 20 innings. However, he showed a good fastball (91-95 MPH), a hard slider (82-83 MPH) and an improved curveball during Instructs, according to A's Minor League Pitching Coordinator Gil Patterson.

The camp's Rookie of the Year awards went to two players fresh out of high school: catcher Max Stassi and left-handed pitcher Ian Krol. Both Stassi and Krol were high round picks for Oakland this season (fourth and seventh rounds, respectively) and the A's went over-slot to sign both players on the eve of the draft signing deadline. Because both signed late in the season, they only got into a handful of regular season games. Krol allowed three runs in 4.1 innings in four appearances for the A's two short-season squads, while Stassi batted .280 in 50 at-bats for Rookie League Arizona and Vancouver. Both players are only 18.

Another 18-year-old 2009 high school draft pick, Royce Consigli, was named the camp's most improved player. The outfielder and native of Canada hit .202 with a 586 OPS in 94 at-bats for the A's Rookie League team during the regular season.

The final award went to Conner Crumbliss, who earned the "Grinder Award," which is given to the player who best "exemplifies what it takes to play everyday and who displays the attitude of a winner." Crumbliss, a 28th round pick this season, is coming off of an outstanding first professional campaign. In 71 games for Vancouver and Low-A Kane County, Crumbliss hit .290 with 13 stolen bases and an 831 OPS while playing all over the field defensively.

Carter Sidelined

Opposing pitchers have not been able to slow down the bat of Chris Carter this season, but illness has shutdown the A's prospect, who was participating in winter ball in Mexico. Carter last appeared in a game for the Algodoneros de Guasave on October 17th and he went 3-5 with two homeruns and three RBIs in that game.

He hasn't been able to play since thanks to an illness. Carter has returned to the US for precautionary reasons to ensure that the illness isn't anything serious. It is up in the air as to whether or not he will return to Mexico this winter. Carter was replaced on the Guasave roster by former A's farmhand Marshall McDougal. Carter was leading the Mexican Winter League in homeruns (4) and strike-outs (14) at the time he was sidelined.

Desme Dominating In The Desert

A's outfield prospect Grant Desme has continued to put on a power display for the Phoenix Desert Dogs at the Arizona Fall League. Through 10 games, Desme has hit an incredible eight homeruns and has driven-in 16 runs. The AFL homerun record is 14. Desme has collected at least one hit in every games except his first one and he has homered in each of the last five games. He is batting .442 with a 1547 OPS in 43 at-bats.

On Monday, Desme was named the AFL's Player of the Week for week two, and he celebrated that honor by homering in his first at-bat of week three.

Fellow A's prospect Corey Brown is also off to a fast start at the AFL. In 10 games, he is batting .333 with three homers and eight RBIs. A's 2008 top pick Jemile Weeks has struggled out of the gate. In eight games, he is batting only .194 with a 636 OPS, although he has hit safely in four straight games and has scored seven runs in eight games.

A's 2007 top pick James Simmons has allowed three runs in his first 7.2 innings of work, spread over two starts. He has struck-out three and walked two.

A's relief prospects Mickey Storey, Justin Friend and Sam Demel all had rough outings in Phoenix's Friday loss to Surprise. Storey allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning. Those were the first runs he had allowed after tossing four scoreless frames to start the AFL season. Friend was charged with the loss on Friday when he allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning. He has given up four earned runs in four innings. Demel also struggled in the loss, allowing three runs in an inning of work. He has allowed a run in each of his last three outings.

The Desert Dogs are in a familiar place in the standings - first - as they have a two game lead over Scottsdale and an 8-4 record heading into Tuesday's action.

Winter League Round-Up


Right-hander Arnold Leon is struggling for Culiacan. He has allowed a run in all but one of his seven outings and his ERA is at 9.39 for the year. In 7.2 innings, he has allowed 12 runs (eight earned) on 15 hits and two walks. He has struck-out seven.

Utilityman Corey Wimberly has been sidelined since October 17th with an injury, although he is expected to return from the DL soon.


Catcher Raul Padron is continuing his hot start to the Venezuelan Winter League season. The minor league free agent is batting .368 with four homers and nine RBIs through 12 games for Caracas. He leads the team in homers and is fourth in batting average.

Shortstop Gregorio Petit is batting .283 with a 725 OPS in 60 at-bats for Caracas. He has seven walks in 15 games and has stolen five bases.

Outfielder Chris Denorfia hasn't played since October 16th for Zuila because of pain in his right elbow. Denorfia had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2007. He has been replaced on the Zuila roster by Andrew Locke.

Right-hander Steve Sharpe is pitching well for the Caribes. In two starts, he has a 3.12 ERA over 8.2 innings. He has allowed only six hits and one walk and he has struck-out nine.

Minor league free agents Scott Patterson and Kyle Middleton are having varying degrees of success. Patterson had a 1.80 ERA and two saves in two chances in five innings, while Middleton has a 5.29 ERA with 12 strike-outs in 17 innings spread over four starts.

Dominican Republic

A's outfielder Matt Carson is off to a slow start with Aguilas of the Dominican Winter League. Through eight games, he is batting .219 with a 546 OPS. He had a six-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday.

Infielder Alexander Valdez has appeared in only two games for Escogido thus far. He is one for eight with a walk.

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