In mid-September, the Oakland A's will begin their annual Instructional League camp. This season, the team will be hosting a significantly larger group of prospects, as the A's will field two Instructional League teams. While in past years Oakland has sent 36 prospects to Instructs, this year, the team will have more than 50 in camp.
The Instructional League, or Instructs, represents an opportunity for minor league coaching staffs to give one-on-one instruction to prospects, many of whom were drafted this season. Often times players make adjustments during Instructs that they carry with them for the rest of their careers.
Below is a list of the 54 players currently scheduled to attend the A's 2010 Instructional League. Two notable names not on the list are Grant Green and Stephen Parker, both of whom have starred for the Stockton Ports this season. According to A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, both Green and Parker are candidates to play in the prestigious Arizona Fall League this October, although a final decision on that won't come until the selection process for the AFL is completed in a few weeks.
Oakland A's Preliminary 2010 Instructional League Roster
Andres Avila: Mexican League acquisition had a 4.43 ERA in 20.1 innings in Mexico and has a 3.72 ERA with 10 strike-outs and five walks in 9.2 AZL innings.
Andrew Bailey: A's 35th-round pick from Concord University has a 4.38 and 11 strike-outs and 11 walks in 12.1 innings. He hasn't pitched since August 10.
Josh Bowman: Oakland's 10th round pick has struck-out 16 and has walked five in 16.2 innings for Vancouver (he also had one scoreless inning with the AZL A's). His ERA with Vancouver is 4.86.
Jake Brown: The A's 26th round pick is having a strong first season with a 27:4 K:BB ratio in 25.2 innings for Vancouver. The lefty's ERA is 2.10.
Andrew Carignan: Carignan has been on the DL since July 21 and he missed virtually all of last season with an arm injury. When he was healthy with Stockton, Carignan struck-out 39 in 29.2 innings, but he struggled with his mechanics and walked 31 and posted a 6.37 ERA.
Logan Chitwood: Chitwood, the A's 19th round pick, has split this season between the AZL and Northwest League and he has a 5.25 ERA and a 14:4 K:BB ratio in 12 innings.
Gary Daley: The A's recently signed Daley, a former third-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, to a minor league deal. The right-hander had a 6.70 ERA and a 62:53 K:BB in 88.2 innings for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.
Omar Duran: The A's signed Duran out of the Dominican Republic in 2008 to a six-figure signing bonus. The hard-throwing lefty missed much of last season with injury, but he has been excellent while being on a strict pitch count for the AZL A's in 2010. He has struck-out 53 and hasn't allowed a homer in 37.1 innings for the A's.
Seth Frankoff: Oakland's 27th round pick began his first season with the AZL A's but moved up to Vancouver after posting a 2.28 ERA in 27.2 innings. He has done just as well for the C's, posting a 1.99 ERA in five starts. Combined, he has 58 strike-outs in 50 innings and he has given up only 34 hits.
A.J. Griffin: Griffin, the A's 13th round pick, has served as the C's closer, saving 12 games for Vancouver. He hasn't allowed a run over his last four appearances and has a 23:7 K:BB ratio in 18.1 innings.
Blake Hassebrock: The A's eighth-round pick has struggled in his first pro season, posting a 6.32 ERA in 15.2 innings for the AZL A's and Vancouver. He has struck-out 18, however, and has allowed only three runs over his last 7.1 innings.
Connor Hoehn: Hoehn is a returning participant in Instructs. He will be coming off of an outstanding season as a hard-throwing long reliever in the Kane County bullpen. His ERA is 3.33 and he has a 96:36 K:BB ratio in 81 innings. He has also held opposing batters to a .203 average.
Ben Hornbeck: After a break-out 2009 season, Hornbeck has struggled in 2010. He posted a 5.87 ERA in 38.1 innings for Double-A Midland before being demoted to High-A Stockton. With the Ports, his ERA has been mediocre (4.44), but he has struck-out 112 in 93.1 innings. Hornbeck has allowed only three earned runs in his last 23 innings, so he is finishing strong.
Ryan Hughes: The A's have been careful with Hughes, the team's 16th round pick, limiting his innings to only 10 for the AZL A's. The hard-throwing left-hander only threw 24 innings in college the past two seasons.
Jonathan Joseph: Joseph was the Cougars Opening Day starter, but he was on the DL for a stretch early in the season. He made eight starts for Vancouver and posted a 2.68 ERA before being sent back up to Kane County. Since returning to the Cougars, he has a 2.45 ERA in five starts.
Josh Lansford: The A's signed Lansford as a minor league free agent during spring training and he has spent the entire season in Kane County's bullpen. Lansford's ERA is 4.57, but his K:BB is 46:15.
Jeff Lyman: The former Braves second-round pick was a waiver claim by the A's during the season. The East Bay native has struggled with Double-A Midland, posting an 8.58 ERA and walking 15 in 28.1 innings. Lyman will be a reclamation project for Gil Patterson and his staff.
J.C. Menna: Menna was taken in the 14th round out of a New Jersey JC. He has pitched exclusively for the AZL A's, and he has struggled, posting a 5.87 ERA and a 15:10 K:BB in 23 innings.
Argenis Paez: The Venezuelan right-hander has been outstanding for the AZL A's this season, posting a 3.26 ERA and walking only 14 in 60.2 innings. His groundball out-to-flyball out ratio is an outstanding 2.76.
Max Peterson: Peterson will return to Instructs after an excellent season in the Kane County bullpen. The southpaw has a 3.30 ERA and a 63:25 K:BB ratio in 46.1 innings this season.
Ryan Quigley: Quigley will also be returning to Instructs. The left-hander has had an up-and-down season with Kane County and Vancouver. His ERA is 6.02 in 49.1 innings and opposing batters have hit .329 against him.
Robin Rosario: Rosario was a six-figure bonus baby out of the Dominican Republic in 2008 as an outfielder. He struggled at the plate, so the A's moved him to the mound to take advantage of his strong right arm. According to A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, Rosario has been throwing in simulated games and has reached the mid-90s with his fastball.
Murphy Smith: Smith reached Kane County last season after being drafted in the 13th round. He began the 2010 season with High-A Stockton, but was sent back to Kane County after posting a 6.19 ERA in 48 innings. He has thrown much better with the Cougars, posting a 3.90 ERA in 85.1 innings.
Zach Thornton: The righty from Oregon was the A's 23rd round pick. The 6'6'' reliever has a 2.70 ERA with 20 strike-outs in 20 innings for Vancouver.
Drew Tyson: Tyson, the A's 17th round pick, got off to a rough start with Vancouver, allowing seven hits and three walks in 4.1 innings. He was sent down to the AZL and he has thrived there, posting a 1.13 ERA in 24 innings. He has struck-out 36 and has walked only three.
Tyler Vail: The A's fifth-round pick (and first pitcher selected) has been outstanding just months removed from high school. In 28.2 innings, he has a 3.14 ERA and a 25:8 K:BB ratio. Vail has also been a groundball machine for the AZL A's.
Fabian Williamson: Acquired from Boston for Eric Patterson mid-season, Williamson has pitched exclusively for the Stockton Ports since the trade. In 10 starts, Williamson has a 4.47 ERA and a 38:29 K:BB ratio in 46.1 innings.
Ryan Lipkin: Lipkin was drafted for a second time by the A's this season. After signing, he was sent to Vancouver. He got off to a rough start at the plate, batting around .200 in June and July. Lipkin has turned it around in August, hitting .365 with an 873 OPS.
John Nester: The A's 39th round pick was known as a defensive specialist coming out of Clemson and that has held true in the pros. He is batting only .183 for Vancouver, but he has played well behind the plate.
Daniel Petitti: Another strong defensive catcher, Petitti was the A's 37th round pick. He is batting only .119 in 24 games for Vancouver.
Max Stassi: It has been a year of learning for Stassi, who was the A's fourth-round pick last year and a star at Instructs in 2009. Stassi has played for Kane County all season and has shown good power with 13 homers, but he has struck-out 129 times in 100 games. His defense was poor early in the season, but he has improved as the season has gone on.
Ramon Soto: The Dominican backstop has swung the bat well for the AZL A's after a brief stint with Stockton earlier this year. In 23 games, he is batting .288 with an 817 OPS.
Chris Affinito: Affinito has jumped around the A's lower-level affiliates this season, playing for Kane County, Vancouver and the AZL A's. In 57 games between the three clubs, he is batting .226 with a 743 OPS.
Michael Gilmartin: It has been a solid first full season for Gilmartin, who has spent the entire year with Kane County. Overall, he is batting .249 with a 712 OPS, but since the All-Star break, Gilmartin is batting .284 with an 838 OPS.
A.J. Kirby-Jones: The A's ninth-round pick was pegged as a power prospect, and he hasn't disappointed with Vancouver, hitting 12 homers in 64 games for the C's. He has walked 56 times and has an 855 OPS.
Wade Kirkland: Kirkland, the A's 11th round pick, has hit for average with the C's, batting .288 in 57 games. He hasn't hit for power yet, posting a .379 SLG and he has walked only eight times against 48 strike-outs.
Tyler Ladendorf: Ladendorf, a mid-season acquisition last season, caught the eyes of the A's coaching staff at Instructs last year when he flashed a plus glove in the outfield, as well as in the infield. Ladendorf has continued to shine with the glove this season for Stockton and has hit .272 with 20 stolen bases in 23 chances.
Zhi-Fang Pan: The A's first international signing out of Taiwan has put together a solid season at shortstop for the AZL A's. The 19-year-old has a .317/.379/.424 line in 39 games for the A's and has shown a solid glove.
Ryan Pineda: Pineda was the A's 28th round pick after a standout season with Cal-State Northridge and a stint in summer league baseball. The infielder was sent to Vancouver after a brief stint with the AZL A's and he has played well for the C's, batting .296 with 11 walks in 15 games.
Michael Spina: Despite a strong season with Kane County in 2009, Spina didn't attend last year's Instructional League so that he could finish off his degree at Cincinnati. He will be attending this year after a solid season for Stockton. A third-baseman in college, Spina moved to first base and is currently leading the Ports in homers with 22. He also has 83 RBIs.
Tony Thompson: The Big 12's Triple Crown winner in 2009, Thompson had an injury-plagued 2010 season with Kansas before being drafted in the sixth round by the A's. Thompson has been up-and-down with Vancouver, batting under .200 in June and August and .360 in July. He is hitting .254 with a 682 OPS overall.
Yordy Cabrera: The A's second-round pick was a deadline-day signing. The powerfully built shortstop made his pro debut on Tuesday, walking in three official at-bats.
Chad Lewis: Lewis, like Cabrera, was a deadline-day signing. The A's fourth-round pick has yet to debut, but he is expected to appear first with the AZL A's.
Wilfredo Solano: The A's 2009 seven-figure bonus baby from Venezuela has hit only .179 in the Dominican Summer League this season. However, he has walked 30 times against 30 strike-outs and he has played well defensively. According to Lieppman, the A's are challenging the 17-year-old Solano with an invitation to Instructs so that he can get "accustomed to the US and better competition." Lieppman is hoping that the level of competition will up Solano's level of play.
Jeremy Barfield: The powerful outfielder was putting together a solid season for Stockton before he fell apart in July, batting only .196 with a 469 OPS. However, he has bounced back in a big way in August, batting better than .360 with four homers in 21 games. Barfield has shown an outstanding arm in right-field, with an incredible 23 outfield assists. He attended Instructs last season but was limited by knee soreness.
Michael Choice: The A's top pick this season has lived up to his top billing thus far for Vancouver. In only 16 games, he already has five homeruns and six stolen bases. He has driven-in 19 and has walked nine times. Choice will likely be looking to cut down on his strike-outs, as he has 25 in 62 at-bats.
Royce Consigli: The A's 30th round pick last season has been the AZL A's top hitter in 2010, batting .319 with an 854 OPS in 38 games. The 18-year-old Canadian won the Most Improved Award for the A's Instructional League camp last season.
Rashun Dixon: Dixon was the A's Instructional League position player MVP last year. He will be returning to Instructs for a third time this year. Dixon has been streaky this season for Kane County, batting .179 and .206 in May and July, but hitting .268, .326 and .326 in April, June and August. The athletic outfielder has a 745 OPS in 107 games in his first stint with a full-season affiliate.
Tyreace House: House actually attended the A's Instructional League in the Dominican Republic last fall to work on his on-base and base-running skills. The speedy outfielder has stolen 35 bases and has posted a .397 OBP thanks to 88 walks, but he has hit for no power, posting a .284 SLG.
Rashad Ramsey: The A's 20th round pick this season, Ramsey was praised by A's scouting director Eric Kubota for his athleticism and potential, but Kubota warned that Ramsey was extremely raw. The 18-year-old has only hit .150 with one extra-base hit in 60 at-bats for the AZL A's, but he has stolen five bases in five chances.
Myrio Richard: An ankle injury has slowed Richard lately, but he has had an overall solid season with Kane County, batting .281 with a .353 OBP. Richard has hit .306 since the All-Star break.
Aaron Shipman: Like fellow deadline-day signee Cabrera, Shipman made his pro debut with the AZL A's on Tuesday night, going 0-for-4, but stealing his first base. The A's third-round pick is a stellar athlete who has been compared to Denard Span and Curtis Granderson.
Jordan Tripp: The A's seventh-round pick from a California junior college rates highly across the board for his tools, but he is a raw prospect and it has shown in his first pro stint. In 27 games with Vancouver and the AZL A's, Tripp has hit .178 with a 534 OPS. He hit his first pro homer on Monday night for the AZL A's.
Josh Whitaker: Whitaker, the A's 25th round pick, got off to a slow start with Vancouver, but he has picked it up in August. After batting only .179 in July, he has hit .306 with a 910 OPS and three homers in 18 August contests.