Monday, September 15, 2014

Oakland MiLB Postseason Round-Up

Following the abysmal 2013 campaign in the sense that Oakland only produced a lone affiliate postseason representative in that of Beloit, Oakland overcame their minute drought with Stockton and Midland surging forth into September despite the untimely collapse of Sacramento and thus depriving the A's organization of three full season ballclubs entry to games past Labor Day. Stockton, pertaining to an absolutely dominant stretch through the latter portion of the summer, was slain two bouts into their first appearance since 2011 while Midland bested their competition en route to a nine contest romp towards a Texas League championship crown to claim Oakland their first MiLB league title since the 2009 Rockhounds ballclub. Daniel Robertson and Beau Taylor starred as the lone farmhands to tightrope both postseason squads with the absence of Hiroyuki Nakajima and Blake Forsythe to season ending injuries that conclude their tenure as Athletics with both having been cast to free agency with the conclusion of the campaign while Oakland's prospect jewel, Matt Chapman, was bestowed with a permanent postseason post at 3B for the Puppy Dogs with the departure of Jefry Marte to the disabled list as well. Without any tangible statistical sample sizes arriving from Stockton due to their unexpected demise, Midland's stretch does raise some intrigue with numerous roster members now departing forth outside of the A's system while Matt Chapman and Beau Taylor have made claims to shuffle depth charts for the approaching 2015 assignments with their performances as fruitful spring crusades could boost their potential standing within the organization. More so a rewarding sequence for an A's developmental staff that had been deprived from a crown for a half decade, Midland's climb to the title has given some much needed morale for the Texas League bunch and partially assisted in Midland reaffirming their affiliation with the Athletics with a recently announced extension through the 2016 as the Rockhounds continue to remain as Oakland's most loyal MiLB ballclub with their East Bay partnership having been cemented since 1999. 

Statistical Records: 

Stockton -

Chad Pinder: 9 PAs, 2-8 (3 K)

Matt Olson: 9 PAs, 3-7 (3 2B/BB/K)

Renato Nuñez: 9 PAs, 1-9 (3 K)

Ryon Healy: 9 PAs, 0-9 (4 K)

Jaycob Brugman: 8 PAs, 3-8 (2 K)

Tyler Marincov: 8 PAs, 0-8 (2 K)

Bobby Crocker: 3 PAs, 0-3 (2 K)

Boogie Powell: 4 PA, 2-4

Chris Lamb: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 HR), 0 BB, 8 K, 2 GB/2 FB

Brendan McCurry: 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3 GB/0 FB

Austin House: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 GB/0 FB

Tim Alderson: 3 1/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R (1 HR), 0 BB, 4 K, 3 GB/1 FB, 2 HBP

Rodolfo Fernandez: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GB/1 FB

Michael Ynoa: 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 GB/1 FB, HBP

Bobby Wahl 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 HR), 0 BB, 2 K, 0 GB/0 FB

Josh Bowman: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 HR), 0 BB, 1 K, 3 GB/2 FB

Stockton/Midland -

Daniel Robertson: 39 PAs, 7-29 (HR/9 BB/3 K/HBP). 9 PAs, 2-5, 4 BB with Stockton. 

Beau Taylor: 28 PAs, 6-20 (HR/2 2B/3 BB/2 HBP/3 K). 9 PAs, 2-5, HR, 2 BB, 2 HBP with Stockton. 

Midland -

Matt Chapman: 35 PAs, 9-32 (2 HR/2 2B/3 BB/4 K/SB)

Kenny Wilson: 40 PAs, 9-38 (3B/2B/2 BB/10 K/2 SB)

Conner Crumbliss: 30 PAs, 2-19 (HR/5 BB/3 K/HBP/SB)

Max Muncy: 41 PAs, 9-34 (2 HR/3 BB/6 K/SB)

Jeremy Barfield: 40 PAs, 9-30 (3 2B/9 BB/4 K/HBP)

Kent Matthes: 41 PAs, 8-33 (HR/2 2B/4 BB/7 K/3 HBP)

D'Arby Myers: 18 PAs, 5-17 (2B/BB/4 K)

Blake Forsythe: 12 PAs, 2-9 (3 BB/2 K)

Hiroyuki Nakajima: 2 PAs, 1-2

Chad Oberacker: 5 PAs, 0-5 (3 K)

Dusty Coleman: 39 PAs, 9-39 (HR/2B/12 K/SB)

Bruce Maxwell: 2 PAs, 0-2

Nate Long: 3 GS/ 17 2/3 IP, 16 H, 2 ER (1 HR), 5 BB, 9 K, 21 GB/11 FB

Murphy Smith: 3 G/ 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 11 GB/1 FB

Marcus Walden: 4 G/ 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 9 GB/3 FB

Tim Sexton: 1 GS/ 3+ IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 5 GB/1 FB

Ryan Doolittle: 2 G/ 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 3 GB/1 FB

Frank Gailey: 4 G/ 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 3 GB/2 FB

Ryan Dull: 5 G/ 4 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 8 GB/0 FB

Jose Flores: 6 G/ 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (1 HR), 3 BB, 6 K, 6 GB/2 FB

Chris Jensen: 2 GS/ 10 1/3 IP, 14 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 12 GB/6 FB

Omar Duran: 0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Shawn Haviland: 2 GS/ 9 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 7 BB, 7 K, 6 GB/8 FB

Deryk Hooker: 1 GB/2 G/ 7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 6 BB, 9 K, 7 GB/1 FB

Matt Chapman, after having been plopped into the extraordinarily advanced caliber of competition from Beloit and three months removed from Big West collegiate adversaries with CSU-Fullerton, exceeded expectations with his replacement stint for Midland while exhibiting his remarkable defensive capabilities coupled with exceptional disciplinary displays with a mere four punchouts versus Texas League arms following an unfathomably massive jump from the Midwest League through 38 plate appearances (Including his regular season debut going 0-3 through Midland's seasonal finale). His two dingers included one smacked ~390 feet to pull center against the wind while his second was an opposite field poke that was assisted graciously by the blustery Texas jetstream that demonstrate his mighty power potentiality with at the very least a consistent opposite field approach as Chapman easily made contact to all fields during his Midland tenure. The undisputed best defensive infield asset for Oakland with a stunning amount of arm strength, Chapman now firmly stands in contention to acquire more Texas duties through 2015 even should he initially be slotted upon Stockton's roster. The 21 year old Dove Canyon native amassed four multiple hit outings through his eight Midland postseason appearances to produce a 9-32 (4 XBH/3:4 BB-K) result as one of the Rockhounds' most pivotal catylsts during their championship run. 

Daniel Robertson, following his 2-5 (4 BB) stint for Stockton which unfortunately didn't correlate with his fellow Ports teammates, was lifted towards Midland to acclimate to his 2015 place of residency for the Puppies and amassed a 5-24 (HR/5:3 BB-K) output for the Texas bunch as his permanent second base post in favor of Dusty Coleman at shortstop. With Dusty Coleman departing for free agency and equally displaying a gaudy plate approach that saw him accumulate 212 strikeouts for Midland (Postseason included) that nearly assuredly shall prevent him from inking once more with Oakland and challenging Robertson, the former 1st round supplemental selection shall seemingly be placed firmly at SS defensively barring another free agent acquisition with Chad Pinder unable to approach Robertson defensively. Robertson won't remain at the position however unless significant and seismic improvements to the defensive intangibles and instincts are shown during the upcoming season as scouts unanimously view Robertson as a major league second baseman with periodical stints at shortstop for utility purposes as the Southern Californian native occasionally plays back on grounders and has fringy range to his right that aren't traits exhibited by premiere shortstop prospects. Still, with the depression of middle infield defense within the A's organization, Robertson will undoubtedly continue to be planted at the position until his MLB debut. 

Jeremy Barfield tied Robertson for the most pristine disciplinary record of the postseason with a 9:4 BB/K through his 40 PAs including three doubles and a 9-30 production that could salvage his standing with another organization as a MiLB free agent this offseason. Conner Crumbliss wound up 2-19 with a HR and 5:3 BB/K through 30 PAs as the diminutive utility specialist smacked a whopping six sacrifices for Midland in his seven playoff bouts and featured as the most "selfless" offensive component for the Doggies. Kent Matthes crushed a desicive three run blast during Midland's first Texas League championship series contest to secure a victory while enduring three HBPs and gunning two baserunners from the corner outfield to complete his stint within the A's midst going 8-33 with 3 XBH and a 4:7 BB/K. Bruce Maxwell only appeared within a lone contest for the Hounds in relief of the then departed Blake Forsythe following a gruesome home plate collision and went 0-2 while never starting a contest behind the plate or at DH as the Midland staff opted to bench the struggling German born and Alabama native backstop after a tumultuous transition towards the Texas League as he has succumb to the increase of competition that has stunted numerous other Oakland farmhands. Still possessing untapped power capability and vastly improved defensive instincts, Maxwell shall acquire another attempt within Texas to flash his ability and sat due to Midland's coaching bunch reverting to a pure winning mentality never witnessed within minor league baseball outside of the postseason. Beau Taylor, displaced to Stockton in favor of Maxwell, ironically leapt over him to claim permanent starting duties at backstop following his Stockton stint in which Taylor predictably demolished inferior competition he had already conquered two seasons prior that included opening the Stockton playoff crusade reaching off his initial six plate appearances. Taylor went 4-15 with 2 XBH and three punchouts for the Canines and thus shall attempt to salvage his career during spring for the Floridean teetering non-prospect status. Opening 0-12, Max Muncy additionally burst forth en route to a probable PCL assignment for the native Texas and disciplinary oriented prospect with two consecutive outings with a HR plus a 4-5 effort during Midland's definitive title series.

Nate Long starred with a 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 13 GB/1 FB to dispatch Tulsa during the first contest of Midland's clinching set in the championship deciding series as the elderly statesman of the Rockhound rotation anchored the staff with his crafty offspeed oriented repetiore. Deryk Hooker turned in a marvelous Game 4 outing as well as the MiLB free agent acquisition the previous December shall undoubtedly latch onto another organization while still being fairly youthful for an arm fluctuating between AA and AAA at 25 years of age during the 2015 MiLB opening day with outstanding movement despite frustrating inconsistency with his control. Marcus Walden, the Fresno native and previous Sacramento rotation member, obliterated Texas League bats with a 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 9 GB/3 FB result that could bode well for the former Oakland 40 man roster asset exploring free agent opportunities this offseason. Ryan Dull, Jose Flores and Murphy Smith each rose upon the mound with sublime performances that greatly bolstered Midland's chances in the playoffs as the Puppies scrapped together plus production from their pitching contingent following the gutting of their previous outstanding arms midseason. Drew Granier, considerably Midland's lone technical pitching prospect regarding major league upside, was not permitted to participate due to his impending AZFL assignment this Fall and his upcoming Rule 5 eligibility this December despite his control struggles and a strikeout philosophy that has gotten him into precarious situations on the hill. 

Dusty Coleman, Kenny Wilson, D'Arby Myers, Jefry Marte, Ryan Doolittle, Omar Duran, Frank Gailey, Tim Sexton, Jose Flores, Jeremy Barfield, Kent Matthes, Shawn Haviland, Deryk Hooker, and Marcus Walden now all depart outside of the organizations barring any potential re-signs as the hefty majority of the Midland squad shall not present any sort of prospect reward in regards to major league ramifications for the Athletics. Max Muncy, Matt Chapman, Bruce Maxwell and Daniel Robertson still present outstanding positional potentiality heading onward while Chris Jensen, Ryan Dull and Nate Long at the very least shall contend for PCL berths come April. Michael Ynoa, Austin House, Seth Streich, Tanner Peters, Matt Chapman, Boogie Powell, Raul Alcantara, Matt Olson, Kris Hall and Renato Nuñez are each expected to compete and participate upon Midland's 2015 squad either to open or later towards the Fall (In cases of Streich and Alcantara recuperating from surgery) with an unbelievably prospect laden ballclub supplanting the buzz surrounding Stockton's 2014 cast. They figure to present the most intriguing farmhand mix within the Oakland organization on paper at the moment for the 2015 season. 

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