Joe Blanton (AP)
Oakland Athletics Pre-Season Top 20 in Review
1) Dan Meyer, LHP
1-6, 6.10 ERA for the Triple-A Sacramento Rivercats, with a poor 40/31 K/BB in 59 innings. Everything is pretty dreadful here, all his ratios are much worse than last year. Season has been basically ruined by shoulder problems.
2) Daric Barton, 1B
Appears to be over his appendicitis surgery. Blistering hot for two months at Stockton, currently at .284/.365/.486 in 21 games for Double-A Midland. A premium hitter.
3) Huston Street, RHP
Can't complain about 1.41 ERA or 13 saves. Rookie of the Year candidate.
4) Nick Swisher, OF
Hitting .249/.318/.467 with 14 homers for Oakland. Will improve gradually.
5) Joe Blanton, RHP
5-9 with 4.47 ERA in 20 starts for Oakland. Holding his own for the most part, main worry from stathead perspective is a non-impressive K/IP mark.
6) Omar Quintanilla, INF
Traded to Colorado, hitting .319/.353/.426 for Triple-A Colorado Springs. I have probably been too optimistic about him in the past, but the thin air will help his numbers.
7) Richie Robnett, OF
Playing better after a slow start, currently hitting .257/.333/.444 with 11 homers, 26 doubles for Stockton. Capable of more.
8) Jairo Garcia, RHP
5.51 ERA in 28 games for Sacramento, but with 11 saves and 53/15 K/BB in 33 innings. Great stuff, still learning how to pitch.
9) Dan Johnson, 1B
Hitting .313/.392/.494 since being promoted to Oakland. His batting average will come down, but the power and OBP are for real.
10) Kurt Suzuki, C
Hitting .277/.394/.449 for Stockton, with 53 walks. Excellent plate discipline, needs to polish up his defense. I still like him a lot.
11) Javier Herrera, OF
Hitting .268/.359/.419 with 19 steals for Class A Kane County. Good tools, still developing power to go with his speed.
12) Danny Putnam, OF
Hitting .301/.392/.472 for Stockton, 11 homers, 22 doubles. Another guy with strong plate discipline (53 walks), no complaints here.
13) Brian Snyder, 3B
Still rehabbing rib cage injury.
14) Landon Powell, C
Injured knee. Out for the year.
15) Tyler Johnson, LHP
Returned to Cardinals under Rule 5. 5.23 ERA in 43 games for Memphis, although he has fanned 55 in 43 innings.
16) Andre Ethier, OF
Hitting .328/.390/.524 with 16 homers for Double-A Midland. Power development is good to see, although can he sustain this away from the Texas League?
17) Brad Knox, RHP
4.38 ERA in 13 starts for Stockton, 56/20 K/BB in 72 innings. Decent but not excellent performance, not as good as what he did last year in the Midwest League certainly.
18) Jason Windsor, RHP
Since being promoted to Midland, is 3-4, 4.25 in 9 starts, 38/17 K/BB in 49 innings, 56 hits allowed. Average numbers overall, although reasonably credible for a guy one year out of college in Double-A. Doesn't have a big margin for error.
19) Brad Sullivan, RHP
Pitching horribly, ERA over 9.00 in both the Arizona Rookie League and at Stockton. Status slipping quickly.
20) Ryan Webb, RHP
4-10, 4.44 in 18 starts for Kane County, 62/29 K/BB in 103 innings, 114 hits. Numbers are mediocre at best although he's shown some strike-throwing ability. I think he will improve in the long run, but there isn't a lot to get excited about yet.
Injury attrition has been a problem this year; I'm particularly concerned about Meyer. Development of Street is a big plus, and Barton still looks like a stud to me. Although I like Blanton on a personal basis, the low K-IP rate is a concern in regards to his medium and long-term projection.