OaklandClubhouse Minor League Player of the Month: April
Stephen Vogt, Sacramento River Cats
Stats: .438/.494/.788 in 80 at-bats, 1:1 K:BB ratio, tied for 3rd in the PCL in HR (6), leads league in AVG, SLG, OPS.
Vogt has been a one-man wrecking crew since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays during the first week of April. The River Cats’ catcher has 35 hits in his first 19 games, and 14 of those have gone for extra-bases. Vogt has struggled some against lefties (641 OPS in only 12 plate appearances), but the left-handed hitter has been merciless against right-handed pitchers. In 68 at-bats, he has 32 hits, 13 extra-base hits and an 8:5 BB:K ratio.
Each of the three players below have strong cases for the Player of the Month award, as well, but Vogt’s other-worldy .788 SLG gave him the edge this month.
Renato Nunez, Beloit: .310/.380/.592, second in the MWL in HR (5)
The 19-year-old third baseman from Venezuela continues to open eyes. Despite playing in weather better suited for staying inside, Nunez has been red-hot for most of the month of April. He has consistently hit the ball hard and has put up numbers more often seen in the hitter-friendly California League. Nunez has been particularly hot over his last 10 games, batting .368 with three homers, 11 RBI and four walks. There are things Nunez still has to work (defense and plate discipline), but he is quickly becoming one of the top position prospects in the organization.
Max Muncy, Stockton: .292/.417/.573, second in the CAL in HR (8), fourth in BB (20), nearly 1:1 K:BB (21:20)
Muncy has cooled a bit over the past week, but for much of the month of April, he was the top hitter in the Cal League despite not playing for one of the teams in the more hitter-friendly Southern California stadiums. Even with his recent mini-slump, Muncy has been a consistent power source, as well as a top run-producer. The 2012 fifth-round pick has one of the best understandings of the strike-zone in the A’s system. Muncy’s early power numbers have made him a player to watch this season.
Anthony Aliotti, Midland: .330/.436/.474, fourth in the TEX in OPS (910), second in BB (19)
Muncy might be threatening for an early-season promotion to Double-A if it weren’t for the outstanding production from Aliotti, who also plays first base. Aliotti hasn’t hit for the same amount of power as Muncy, but the St. Mary’s alum has gotten on-base at a terrific clip and has also hit for average. Another player with an excellent understanding of the strike-zone, Aliotti has improved his ability to hit left-handed pitching dramatically this season (901 OPS against in 19 at-bats). He is an excellent defender and is coming off of a solid first season at Double-A. Should the A’s move Daric Barton at any point this season, Aliotti figures to be the player the A’s would call-on for a spot in Sacramento.