Oakland A's MLN: Leading Men

In this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook, we take a tour around the A's system to see who is leading the pack statistically. We also bring news and notes.

League Leaders

The following A's prospects are among the leaders in their respective leagues.

* Eric Patterson: Patterson ranks fifth in the PCL in batting average (.331), third in stolen bases (39), fourth in hits (132), second in triples (11) and fourth in runs scored (83).

* Jay Marshall: Marshall, who was just called up to Oakland this weekend, leads the PCL with 50 appearances.

* Chris Carter: Carter leads the Texas League in batting average (.336), homeruns (21), hits (148), doubles (38), on-base percentage (.433), extra-base hits (61) and runs scored (101). He is second in the league in RBIs (90).

* Adrian Cardenas: Cardenas has moved onto the PCL, but he is still ranked second in the Texas league in batting average (.326).

* Josh Donaldson: Midland's backstop ranks fourth in the Texas League in RBIs (77), second in doubles (34) and fifth in on-base percentage (.393).

* Archie Gilbert: Gilbert ranks fourth in the Texas League in stolen bases with 25.

* Josh Horton: Midland's shortstop ranks third (tied) in the league in triples with six.

* Yusuf Carter: Stockton's catcher ranks seventh in the Cal League in batting average (.327).

* Nick Walters and Justin Friend: Stockton relievers Walters and Friend rank third and fifth, respectively, in the Cal League in appearances (46 and 43).

* Kenneth Smalley: Smalley ranks first in the Midwest League in ERA (2.20).

* Pedro Figueroa: Now with Stockton, Figueroa's 10 wins with Kane County rank him fourth in the Midwest League.

* Anthony Capra: Capra, too, has moved onto Stockton, but he is still ranked ninth in the Midwest League in ERA (3.24).

* Conner Crumbliss: Crumbliss ranks sixth in the Northwest League in batting (.323) and first in on-base percentage (.455).

* Kent Walton: Walton ranks seventh in the Northwest League in batting (.321), second in hits (62) and first in doubles (17).

* Julio Ramos: Ramos ranks fifth in the Northwest League in ERA (2.94) and fourth in innings pitched (52).

Organization Leaders

Below are the leading individual performances in the A's system this season.

* Batting Average: Current Oakland A's first-baseman Tom Everidge has a tentative hold on the batting average crown in the A's system at the moment with a .338 mark. Chris Carter is hot on his heels with a .336 average and Arizona Rookie League catcher Chris Affinito (.333), Sacramento utilityman Eric Patterson (.331) and Stockton catcher Yusuf Carter (.327) round-out the top five.

* Home Runs: The A's have five minor leaguers with 16 or more homeruns: Grant Desme (25), Chris Carter (21), Tom Everidge (17), Matt Spencer (17) and Matt Carson (16).

* RBIs: Chris Carter leads the way with 90, followed by Tom Everidge (85), Matt Spencer (83), Grant Desme (79) and Josh Donaldson (77).

* Stolen Bases: The big league A's aren't the only guys running in the Oakland system lately. The A's have had speedsters aplenty in the minor leagues this season. Eric Patterson leads the way with 39 stolen bases, a mark that ties him for the Sacramento franchise record (Bo Porter stole 39 back in 2001). Grant Desme (37), Jason Christian (28), Cliff Pennington (27) and Archie Gilbert (25) round-out the top five. The A's have three full-season affiliates with 100 or more stolen bases as a team – Sacramento, Midland and Kane County, with Stockton closing in at 85 stolen bases for the season.

* ERA: Kenneth Smalley is having an outstanding season for Kane County, which is reflected in his ERA of 2.20 on the season that leads the A's organization. Julio Ramos follows with a 2.94 mark, and Anthony Capra (3.08), Ben Hornbeck (3.45) and Pedro Figueroa (3.71) round-out the top five.

* Wins: Carlos Hernandez went 7-0 last season and he has topped that effort this year with 15 wins to lead the A's organization. He is followed by current Stockton teammate Pedro Figueroa (12 wins), Graham Godfrey (10 wins), Steve Sharpe (10 wins) and Kenneth Smalley (10 wins). Sharpe is the only pitcher on this list who is primarily a reliever.

* Saves: Speaking of relievers, the A's have five closers in double-digits in saves this season. Current A's reliever Jeff Gray is tied for the lead among A's minor leaguers with 16 saves for Sacramento. Mickey Storey, who is currently with Sacramento but has spent time with Stockton and Kane County this year, also has 16 saves. Sam Demel, also of Sacramento, has 13 for the River Cats and Midland Rockhounds, while Kane County relievers Justin Murray (11) and Jose Guzman (10) round-out the top five.

* Strike-outs: If you have noticed a stiff breeze in Stockton lately, it might be coming from Banner Island Ballpark, as the Ports current pitching staff features the top-three A's minor league strike-out artists. Anthony Capra heads the list with 133 strike-outs. He has struck-out 19 batters in 11.2 innings over his last two starts. He is followed by Ben Hornbeck (131) and Pedro Figueroa (113) and Kane County hurlers Shawn Haviland (101) and Kenneth Smalley (99).

Hitting Streaks

There are a few Oakland A's minor leaguers working on hitting streaks.

* Chris Carter (25 games): Carter has the longest hitting streak for any player in the Texas League this season at 25 games and counting. During the streak, he has a .474 average with seven homers, 27 RBIs, 12 doubles and 16 walks. On the season, he is batting .336 with 21 homers, 90 RBIs and a 1006 OPS. Carter has reached base in 30 consecutive games.

* Toddric Johnson (12 games): The Stockton outfielder is working on a 12-game hitting streak. During that stretch, he is batting .396 with 10 RBIs and a .442 OBP. On the season, Johnson has a .259 average with five homers and 48 RBIs in 94 games.

* Jeremy Barfield (12 games): Kane County's offense has struggled of late, but Barfield has done his part to break the team's slump with a 12-game streak. He is batting .375 with six RBIs during that stretch and he has a .275 average with eight homers this season.

News and Notes

* Fautino De Los Santos made his first appearance in game action since July 10th when he threw a scoreless inning on August 9th. De Los Santos has allowed only one run in five innings over three appearances with the AZL A's. He has six strike-outs and one walk. He is completing his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

* Brett Hunter had a successful first outing with the AZL A's on August 8th. The right-hander was sent from Kane County back to Arizona to work with A's coaches on overhauling his throwing motion. Hunter threw a scoreless inning, striking out a batter and not walking anyone.

* A's third-round pick Justin Marks has been sidelined since making an appearance in the Arizona Rookie League on July 22nd. Marks is currently being tested for a sports hernia, although he may have a pulled groin. He isn't expected to appear in a game again during the regular season, but may participate in the A's Instructional League if he is sufficiently healed.

* Mickey Storey tossed another 1.1 scoreless innings in relief for the Sacramento River Cats on Monday. Storey has worked three perfect innings for Sacramento since being called up from Stockton on Saturday to help the depleted River Cats' bullpen. Storey has four strike-outs with Sacramento and has a remarkable 51:4 K:BB ratio in 37 innings this season.

* Stockton reliever Derrick Gordon was also promoted to Sacramento this week to help the River Cats fill the void left by a number of recent promotions. He allowed one run in 1.2 innings on Monday in his Triple-A debut.

* Second baseman Jemile Weeks has hit safely in six of seven games since being promoted from Stockton to Midland. He has four doubles and has scored five runs.

* Shortstop Dusty Coleman has had similar success since being promoted from Kane County to Stockton. In seven games with the Ports, Coleman has hit safely in six and has five extra-base hits and seven runs scored.

* Stockton outfielder Grant Desme is five homeruns away from being the first 30/30 man in the A's system in a number of years. He homered 10 times in July and has two homeruns thus far in August.

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