Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stockton Roster Projection

After a campaign in which the Ports narrowly were bested for a postseason berth, Stockton shall reconfigure again to attempt to represent Oakland for the first instance since 2011, when Dan Straily and AJ Griffin spearheaded a sizzling rotation for the California League affiliate. Losses of Addison Russell and Max Muncy shall loom over the depleted lineup alongside departures of Tanner Peters, Raul Alcantara, Drew Granier, Tucker Healy and Ryan Dull for the pitching staff. Regardless, a significant influx of potential shall infused into Stockton through the medium of Bobby Wahl, Nolan Sanburn and Dylan Covey, all top tier pitching assets within the organization. Being retained in all likelihood as well is Michael Ynoa, prior to an inevitable transition onward to Midland following an extended acclimation towards the Cal League. Robertson, Olson and Renato jolt and infield stricken with the departure of Russell while the Ports' stagnant outfield receives bursts with Ryan Mathews and Aaron Shipman from Wisconsin. Jeremy Barfield's experimentation shall commence within central California upon the arrival of April with Seth Streich anchoring the Ports rotation following his emergence from Beloit and loss of August opportunities with the Snappers last season due to injury. Lamas, Pohl, Maxwell, Vollmuth, Robinson and Richard (2014 would be Myrio's fourth consecutive campaign with the Ports) represent the familiar contingent for the Stockton faithful attending contests at Banner Island this season. 

C Bruce Maxwell
C Nick Rickles
C Phil Pohl
2B Antonio Lamas
1B Matt Olson
3B Renato Nuñez
SS Daniel Robertson
IF Wade Kirkland
OF Myrio Richard
OF Dusty Robinson
OF Ryan Mathews
OF Aaron Shipman
OF Bobby Crocker

RHP Michael Ynoa
RHP Dylan Covey
RHP Seth Streich
LHP Jeremy Barfield
RHP Bobby Wahl
RHP Nolan Sanburn
RHP Kris Hall
LHP Omar Duran
RHP Chris Jensen
RHP Andres Avila
RHP Austin House
RHP Trevor Bayless


RHP Tim Atherton
RHP Tyler Vail
RHP Derek DeYoung
LHP Chris Lamb
RHP Jonathan Joseph
RHP Manaurys Correa
RHP Sam Bragg
RHP Jesus Castillo
3B BA Vollmuth
OF Rashun Dixon
C Ryan Delgado

The outfield is manned by previous alumni such as Dusty Robinson and Myrio Richard, with Robinson reestablishing himself within the California League for the third consecutive campaign. Robinson has had arguably the most atrocious plate discipline in the organization throughout the previous couple seasons, competing with fellow teammates BA Vollmuth and Bobby Crocker for being the most clueless offensive contributor at the plate, but Robinson's 29.6% K% with a whopping 275 strikeouts through his previous two Stockton attempts (928 PAs) compared to a mediocre 74 BBs (7.9% BB%) have made him a consistent bet to tally his 140+ strikeouts per year to coincide with his ~20 dingers. Robinson's anemic .210/.279/.375 slash during his 2013 campaign signifies that the 24 year old is likely unprepared for the treacherous Texas League and shall once more suit up within central California as the 6'0", 200 pound Bakersfield native and storied former Fresno State Bulldog will meander through the Ports corner outfield again. Myrio Richard was originally a crucial cog and stalwart Stockton force that complemented Michael Choice through the 2011 campaign with a .292/.363/.419 slash and 27 SBs to feature as one of the more enticing assets within the Oakland system. Now however, after three straight tries between Stockton, Richard has morphed into a non-prospect with lackluster outputs and an injury riddled tenure that has relentlessly haunted the Bayou native. An assignment immediately to Midland could occur, but he would be forcibly made to contend with the nearly free agent eligible Rashun Dixon for that designation as the Rockhounds reserve outfield chip behind Crumbliss, Oberacker, Whitaker and Myers. Crocker, the only individual amongst this cast retaining upside in regards towards his prospect potentiality, Despite his horrendous non-sensical flailing at the plate (32.0% K%, 159 through 497 PAs), he amassed legitimate cumulative statistical marks with a .171 ISO, 109 wRC+, .351 wOBA and a .276/.343/.454. His only means of remaining competent however was his absurd .404 BABIP which compensated his notoriously subpar pitch recognition and swing first mentality, presenting a meager 6.4% BB%. Still, he endeared himself to Ports fans with his .361/.424/.614 mark with two outs and RISP (#clutch) and ought to service as the Ports primary outfield piece through his encore between 2014. But, should his BABIP predictably plummet and he not make any mechanical adjustments, Crocker is destined to follow the trail blazed by Robinson and Richard. 

Ryan Mathews (.260/.337/.446) and Aaron Shipman (.289/.402/.342) shall glide into the Ports lineup and immediately attempt to spark an outfield still reeling from the loss of Michael Choice in 2011. While BJ Boyd and Billy McKinney shall undoubtedly provide the Ports with the exceptional outfield potential they have been lacking in recent years, Shipman and Mathews ought to service as a fitting intermediate solution with Mathews' versatility and power production complementing Shipman's outstanding plate discipline and capability to disrupt on the basepaths. Shipman, constantly criticized for his passiveness at the plate, broke through following his recuperation from an elow injury last season en route to a .314/.417/.361 slash within his final 51 contests for the Snappers including an irreplaceable .362/.474/.415 line through July with a 20:14 BB/K, only bested for POTM honors by his teammate, Nick Rickles. Shipman's blazing athleticism, adopted aggressiveness, pitch recognition and range makes him one of Oakland's most underrated prospects following his 3rd round addition from Quitman, GA during the 2010 Draft, going an additional 8-19 with three SBs, 3 BBs and a lone strikeout during Beloit's five game playoff campaign. Mathews, the NCST phenom who was plucked as a 5th year senior, shall have to be hurried to Stockton should the organization wish not to stunt his development, turning 25 on August 1st. The North Carolina transplant was sensational in stretches for Beloit, flashing his thunderous power that ought to bode gruesome results versus a Cal League arsenals. 

The infield witnesses the returns of Antonio Lamas and Wade Kirkland after horrendous outputs within the Stockton debuts during the 2013 campaign, as Lamas, the Mexican League leadoff standout and Serie Del Caribe alumni, failed to acclimate against upper echelon arms and couldn't showcase his one plus tool of his hitting prowess consistently to compensate for his lackluster athleticism, range and speed and thus struggled considerably with a cumulative .255/.304/.381 slash in 558 PAs. Similarly to Crocker, Lamas' approaches indicates he his dependent upon percentages such as BABIP to steer his success, which his standard .290 post amomgst the Ports wasn't enough to salvage his stateside debut. He'll contrast with Daniel Robertson during this season though after complementing Addison Russell defensively throughout 2013, possibly even transitioning to shortstop so Robertson could sharpen his expertise at 2B, a likely projection so as not to interfere with Addison's development. Lamas at shortstop is a frightening proposition though, which could result in contention with Yordy Carbrera (2012) for the designation as one of Oakland's worst defensive infielders. Upon the other side of that particular spectrum, reserve utility asset, Wade Kirkland, is one of the Athletics most exemplary defensive infielders within the organization, despite his unfortunate subpar production offensively. The Floridean, hailing from the same hometown as Yordy Cabrera in Lakeland, produced a meager .220/.268/.381 slash through 239 PAs over the previous season, essentially providing as the equivalent of what Sam Roberts was to Beloit by featuring as a remarkably versatile defensive replacement (RF, LF, 3B, P, SS and 2B through 2013) and emergency positional pitcher should the staff be excessively depleted during a certain contest.Specifically, Kirkland's most noticeable appearance came on May 21st of the 2013 try against Lake Elsinore in what would be a 17 inning bout, pitching two frames and then hitting a pinch hit two run walkoff homer to momentarily become the most recognized player in minor league baseball. However, Kirkland's ceiling is that of a defensive replacement, with mediocre production aside from his exploits amongst the infield with an occasional and sporadic dinger not salvaging his putrid offensive pedigree. 

Starring alongside them shall be Renato Nuñez, Daniel Robertson and Matt Olson, a sterling positional crop representing three of Oakland's top 10 prospects within the organization and a cumulative $4.779M devoted between the trio. Renato struggled to some extent through his initial Midwest League attempt, tapering off significantly following a legitimate April to conclude with a .258/.301/.423 slash and a 5.1% BB%/24.9% K% split which illustrates Nuñez' frustrating non-exsistent plate discipline that can be understood for the extraordinarily raw 19 year old Venezuelan. Participating primarily at third base, Renato additionally floundered defensively as the 6'1", 190 pounder demonstrated his lackluster range that could alter his projection as he progresses. At this instant though, his potential still shines through with an outstanding power crusade past MWL repetiores that established his ability to capitalize upon miscues effectively, however his discipline shall have to be revised should he hope to ascend further. Still, turning 20 upon April 4th, his youth and $2.2M investment make him an instantaneous prospect to monitor within the Athletics system as one of Venezuela's most well renowned teenaged representatives. Daniel Robertson (.277/.353/.401, 9.1% BB%, 17.5% K%, .125 ISO, 116 wRC+) and Matt Olson (.225/.326/.435, 12.9% BB%, 26.5% K%, .210 ISO, 114 wRC+) shall supplant the 2012 first round draftee quotient vacated by Addison Russell with Robertson's exceptional defensive capability and Olson's awe inspiring might set to feature prominently within the California League, including Olson likely to compete with Chris Carter for the Ports franchise dinger record. 

The catching assortment is led by Bruce Maxwell, who similarly to Michael Ynoa is expected to intermittenly switch between Stockton and Midland through the 2014 campaign. Oakland's premier catching asset and highest Division III draftee since 2003 arrived within the organization as the Athletics second round selection immediately proceeding the Addison, Robertson and Olson acquisitions in 2012 and has since shot upward through to Stockton just prior to having now been reassigned to MiLB camp after featuring as a NRI this spring. Maxwell demonstrated legitimate discipline with a 43:63 BB/K through 425 cumulative plate appearances (10.1% BB%/14.3% K%) while navigating Wisconsin and Stockton with a .275/.348/.390 slash and an ISO north of .120. Despite that, his advertised intangibles such as "30 HR" were proven to be a figment of a Division III scout's imagination as Maxwell shall accumulate more modest power statistics throughout his Oakland tenure. Nick Rickles, Maxwell's replacement in Beloit, shall service once more behind him in Stockton with a sensational July steering him past his lackluster discipline with a .400/.416/.624 in his initial starting opportunity following Maxwell's promotion. One of the most phenomenal defensive backstops within the A's possession, Rickles should usurp Maxwell's post in his wake following a Midland promotion once more. Rounding things out in Phil Pohl, the Clemson alumni who became the third 2012 draftee to reach Stockton behind Russell and Max Muncy after replacing Ryan Ortiz after twelve plate appearances in Beloit. Featuring behind Maxwell, Pohl hit .227/.290/.407 as a Cooperstown native found it difficult to acclimate to California League competition in his first professional campaign following his draft season. 

Stockton's pitching staff is the highlight of the ballclub, featuring Michael Ynoa, Bobby Wahl, Dylan Covey and Nolan Sanburn as four of Oakland upper five pitching farmhands as Covey and Wahl anchor the rotation as the Athletics' primarily collegiate representatives from the 2013 Draft. Wahl, a first round considered righty from the Univeristy of Mississippi with a zipping 95-97 MPH fastball in relief and a plus changeup and slider, plummeted due to blister issues and was presumed to be ushered back into Mississippi following an absence from the initial few rounds. However, Oakland risked and succeeded in hooking the 5th rounder as Wahl now features as one of Oakland most outstanding arms. Covey, an actual first rounder plucked at 14th overall in 2010 prior to declining due to becoming knowledgable of his diabetes diagnosis and opting for San Diego to better adjust to his newly acquired lifestyle, Covey was acquired in the fourth round and immediately breezed past Vermont prior to being stifled to a degree in Wisconsin. Regardless, Covey was the most remarkable groundball oriented pitcher upon the mound throughout the entire A's organization in 2013 and is set to feature once more within Stockton following a refreshing offseason. Michael Ynoa, the $4.25M Dominican investment now having just had his second option utilized, shall bolster the rotation in his second consecutive full season campaign following some difficultly within the Cal League. And Nolan Sanburn, the Arkansas flamethrower who can approach 99 MPH in relief, who shall be stretched out by the organization following a shoulder issue and a limitation to two inning appearances every four days upon the Beloit roster. Sanburn and Bobby Wahl, both former SEC frontliners, may have the two best fastballs amongst all Oakland farmhands. Other eligibles for the rotation include Brett Anderson trade chip, Chris Jensen, Mexican Serie Del Caribe asset, Andres Avila, and Seth Streich following his Snappers tenure. Austin House, Omar Duran, Kris Hall and Trevor Bayless feature within the Ports bullpen to coincide with Jeremy Barfield, the most intriguing storyline within the A's system for the 2014 season. 


  1. Nothing personal, love your writings. But why in the _ _ _ _ are you writing so much about Wahl? First inning game out he gives up a three run home run, HELLO???? This is not your whippy SEC baseball. Are you trying not to make the scouts responsible for drafting him look as bad as they already appear? Are you blind and not able to read stats? Wahl does not hold a candle to Sam Bragg!! No comparison!! Wahl should have been drafted 18th and Bragg 5th!!

  2. Sam Bragg is an equally phenomenal arm and underrated farmhand for Oakland, I devoted an entire profile to him last month. But Wahl is a top tier prospect for the A's though, and you have to understand that his first inning in spring training during a AA game isn't indicative of his future performance. Both Wahl and Bragg fell below rounds where they easily could've gone