Notes From The Nat editor Chris Parry returns to OaklandClubhouse this week to gives us a rundown on…
Mid-Season Review: Prospects 31-40
31. Tom Everidge: Everidge was named the MVP of the Kane County Cougars in 2005 after he posted an 852 OPS for the Cougars. He got off to a slow start in that 2005 campaign, but came on strong after the All-Star break to post solid numbers. Everidge got off to a similarly slow start in 2006 but recovered a bit with a strong May and a decent June. He is currently mired in a July slump that has dropped his batting average from .263 to .245. Everidge is a workout fiend who has good power to all fields (he has 11 homers this season). He has worked hard on his defense at first and it is improving, although he has more work to do in that area. Like many power-hitters, Everidge is a high strikeout guy and his OBP has suffered this season as a result of his strikeouts. He has hit well with runners in scoring position this season (.281) and is capable of big RBI numbers. Everidge hasn't wowed anyone with his season to date, but he has put up solid power numbers and with a strong finish should be in-line for a promotion to AA in 2007. 32. Myron Leslie: Like Everidge, Leslie got off to a very slow start this season. However, he has been arguably the Ports best hitter since mid-May and he has raised his average from .237 to .285 over that span. Leslie is a solidly built switch-hitter with good power from both sides of the plate. He has struggled a bit from the right-side this season, batting only .240 with five homers in 96 at-bats, but he has been outstanding from the left-side, hitting .304 with eight homers and 11 doubles in 227 at-bats. Leslie leads the Ports with 13 homeruns and 64 RBI. He had been a third baseman throughout his career, but has recently been moved to right-field to alleviate the third base log-jam that had developed in the lower levels of the A's system. Leslie has the power to be a corner outfielder and has soft hands. He struggled with the accuracy of his throws from third, so it remains to be seen if he will be best suited for right or left. Either way, Leslie's live bat will make him a player to watch over the next year. 33. Justin Sellers: Sellers is only a year removed from high school, but he has held his own against mostly older competition this season for the Kane County Cougars. The Huntington Beach native is a ball of energy on the field. He is diminutive, but walks with a big league stagger and has a lot of confidence in his abilities. On the field, he has shown the skills of a potential lead-off hitter, keeping his walk to strikeout ratio at a 1:1 pace and swiping 11 bags in 14 chances. Not surprisingly, given his age and relative inexperience, Sellers has struggled with bouts of inconsistency this season, as his average has fluctuated from the high .260s to the low .240s for much of the year. Sellers is slight of build and isn't expected to develop a lot of power, but he does have five homeruns on the season. He has great range at shortstop, but that range has sometimes gotten him in trouble this season, as he has tried to make plays that he probably shouldn't. He has the talent to be a plus-plus defensive player down the road. Sellers has made steady progress this season and should be on-track for a promotion to High-A Stockton next year. 34. Brian Snyder: Snyder missed all of the 2005 season and perhaps that lay-off had something to do with his slow start this season. The A's 2003 first round draft choice began the year in AA-Midland, where he put up an unusual stat-line. In 48 games with the Rockhounds, Snyder batted only .205 but posted a .371 on-base percentage thanks to 39 walks in 151 at-bats. Snyder didn't hit for much power with Midland, however, posting only a .370 slugging percentage and he was sent down to A-Stockton in mid-June. Since arriving in Stockton, Snyder has hit for a better average (.275) and has maintained his good walk-rate (16 walks in 69 at-bats), but still hasn't found his power-stroke (four extra-base hits). The A's have Jeff Baisley baring down Snyder's neck on the third base depth chart from Kane County, so Snyder will have to pick up the pace this second half to keep himself on a track to have a shot at the big leagues with Oakland. 35. Ramon Alvarado: Despite the A's paucity of five-tool prospects, Oakland traded Alvarado to the Cleveland Indians for reliever Kazuhito Tadano right before the start of the season. Tadano has been a disaster at AAA-Sacramento this season, but Alvarado hasn't made the A's too regretful of that trade as of yet. He missed the first two and a half months of the season with injury and has played in 18 games with the Burlington Indians thus far this year. He hit three homers in one game on June 26, but has had only five hits since that time and is batting .172. Still, Alvarado has a lot of natural talent and he could be a player the A's regret losing down the road. 36. Kevin Bunch: During the off-season there had been talk of having all five of the A's 2005 high school pitching draft picks at low-A Kane County this season. However, spring training injuries kept Kevin Bunch and Scott Deal from joining Jared Lansford, Craig Italiano and Vince Mazzaro in Kane County. Bunch has made three appearances with the A's Rookie League team in July and after struggling in his first two, he threw much better in the third outing (two hits and no runs in four innings). He should be one or two more good outings away from joining Deal in low-A Vancouver. Bunch has a great arm, so he should be a pitcher to watch over the next couple of years. 37. Chad Boyd: Boyd, a 2004 pick, missed the first two and a half months of the season with injuries after a solid 2005 campaign in A-Vancouver. Boyd spent a few days in Vancouver before joining Kane County in late June. The solidly built corner outfielder has hit very well since arriving in Kane County. In 19 games, Boyd has hit .338 with seven walks and nine strikeouts. He has yet to homer, but has nine doubles. Boyd has a very quick wrists and the ball flies off of his bat. He was drafted out of high school and is only 21 years-old. If he continues to blister the ball for the Cougars this season, he could be one of the A's top outfield prospects going into next season. 38. Brad Davis: After a light's-out debut as a professional last season in Vancouver, Davis continued to master professional hitters at Kane County to start the season. In nine games for the Cougars in April, Davis threw 18 shut-out innings, allowing only six hits and one walk, while striking out 16. He was promoted to A-Stockton in late April and has pitched for the Ports since that time. The California League has not been as kind to Davis, who has struggled to keep runners off base with the Ports. In 37.2 innings, he has allowed 52 hits, including five homeruns. He has also walked 16 batters. Davis has struck out 35. however. He is a soft-tossing left-hander who relies on deception to get hitters out. His margin for error is small to begin with, and that margin has been especially small in the hitter-friendly California League. Davis has looked better as of late (one run in his last 5.2 innings), so he could be settling into a groove for the Ports. 39. James Shull: Shull's season-ending injury has to rank up there as one of the most disappointing developments within the A's system this season. Shull has absolutely electric stuff and looked poised for an outstanding season before injuring his elbow and having season-ending Tommy John surgery. Fortunately, the injury occurred early in the season, so Shull could be back close to the start of the 2007 campaign. He has a plus-fastball with developing secondary pitches and should move up the system quickly if he can get healthy. Shull was in the midst of an 11 strikeout game before getting hurt in April, so that demonstrates the type of stuff he has. He will be 23 at the start of next season. 40. Scott Deal: As mentioned earlier, Deal's season was delayed by a few nagging injuries that kept him at extended spring training. He returned to action on June 21 with the Vancouver Canadians and has been outstanding since then. In five starts, Deal is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 27 innings. He has allowed only 22 hits and no homeruns. His BB:K is not great at the moment (7:13), but he has been otherwise outstanding. Deal has a low to mid-90s fastball and room to fill-out on his 6'4'', 190 lb frame. He should get a crack at full-season baseball next year, when he will be 20 years old.
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