Expectations were high for both Grant Green and Ian Krol after they were taken in the first and seventh rounds, respectively, by the Oakland A's last season. Both signed in mid-August on the eve of the signing deadline, so neither had much professional baseball experience heading into the 2010 season. Despite that inexperience, both players excelled and were honored for their outstanding seasons by earning the Oakland A's minor league player and pitcher of the year awards.
Green took home the A's minor league player of the year award after hitting .318/.363/.520 with 20 homers and 87 RBIs in 131 games for the High-A Stockton Ports. The USC alum was named to the California League's post-season All-Star team and he helped guide the Ports into the playoffs with a late-season surge that saw the team win 14 straight games at one point. Green was promoted to Double-A Midland after the Ports' post-season run ended and he hit two homers in only five games for the Rockhounds.
Green will be participating in the Arizona Fall League, which begins on October 12. Despite his standout season, Green hasn't stopped working on improving his game. According to Oakland A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, Green has been at the A's minor league complex for the past few weeks working with roving A's infield instructor Juan Naverrette on his defense. Green breaks Chris Carter's two-year hold on the A's minor league player of the year award.
As a polished collegiate player, Green was expected to handle the transition to pro baseball well. Krol, on the other hand, was more of an unknown coming into the 2010 season, as he not only was drafted out of high school, but he had also been suspended for his senior season and, consequently, didn't have the normal number of starts in front of scouts leading into the draft. The A's were confident that Krol was a top talent and they signed him to an over-slot deal worth supplemental first-round money despite taking him in the seventh round of the draft.
Krol spent most of his season with the Low-A Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League, where he was one of the youngest starting pitchers in the league. The left-hander hails from near-by Naperville, Illinois, and he pitched extremely well in front of his hometown fans. In 24 outings for the Cougars, Krol had a 2.65 ERA and he struck-out 91 while walking only 19 in 118.2 innings. He was named to the Midwest League's mid-season and post-season All-Star teams.
At the tail-end of the regular season when the Ports needed another starter for their push for the playoffs, the A's tabbed Krol to step in and he held his own in an advanced league, posting a 3.66 ERA in 19.2 innings with a 20:9 K:BB ratio. Krol inherits the title of minor league pitcher of the year from Pedro Figueroa, who took home the award last season. In 2007 and 2008, the winner was Trevor Cahill.