Minor League Notebook: Who's Hot, Who's Not (4/11)

Daric Barton is off to a good start for Stockton.

As the first weekend of the minor league season comes to an end, we take a look at who is off to a good start and who is struggling at the outset of the season.

The first weekend of play in the minor league season saw the A's affiliates each play four game series. Sacramento and Kane County won their series, finishing with a 3-1 record. Midland and Stockton went 2-2 to start the year. Stockton was 2-0 going into Sunday when the Ports dropped both ends of a shortened double-header. The Ports had to play a double-header to make up for a Friday rainout. Ironically, the Ports began the season at Modesto, where the A's Class A affiliate played last season. Both Sacramento and Kane County captured extra-inning wins to help them gain a series victory.

Who's Hot:

A number of A's prospects got off to a good start in their first series of the season. Below is a sampling of the players who are off to the hottest starts:

Jack Cust, Sacramento: The former Arizona, Colorado and Baltimore prospect appears to be getting his power swing back. The left-handed DH crushed two homeruns in the opening weekend. He has driven in six runs in those four games.

Dan Johnson, Sacramento: The reigning PCL MVP is back at it, raking PCL pitching staffs once again. The left-handed slugger hit .312 (5-16) in the series and had five RBI and a homerun against the Portland Beavers.

John Rheinecker, Sacramento: Lefty starter John Rheinecker got the season off to a rousing start with an outstanding Opening Day start. Rheinecker pitched 8 shut-out innings to lead the River Cats to solid Opening Day start.

Andre Ethier, Midland: The Rockhounds centerfielder had an outstanding opening series against the Frisco RoughRiders. Ethier went 7-16 and scored six runs on the weekend. He had a homerun and drove in two. He is hitting a torrid .471 on the season.

Brant Colamarino, Midland: Ethier isn't the team's leading hitter because of the efforts of the Rockhounds first baseman. Colamarino is 8-17 (.471) on the young season. He has scored four runs and has driven in two.

Andrew Beattie, Midland: Former Cincinnati Reds prospect Andrew Beattie has had a nice introduction to the A's system with a strong first series. He homered in his first game as an A's farmhand and is 5-11 on the year. He has driven in four runs.

Shawn Kohn, Midland: The Midland late-inning reliever is off to a fast start. He has had two appearances and has one save on the year. Kohn has struck out seven batters on the season, including one effort where he struck out four of the six batters he saw.

Daric Barton, Stockton: Arguably the A's best hitting prospect, Daric Barton has had a good first week as a member of the Oakland organization. Barton has gone 5-12 (.417) with two walks, one double and three runs scored. He has been the Ports' DH so far this season.

Kevin Melillo, Kane County: The middle infield prospect has been tearing the cover off of the ball since the season started on Thursday. Kevin Melillo is a cool 5-12 (.417) and has already had at least one of every type of extra base hit. He has driven in three runs, homered and tripled once, doubled twice and has walked three times.

Who's Not:

Some of the A's prospects are off to a slower start to the season. Below are a few of the prospects who have struggled to shake the off-season rust;

Dan Meyer, Sacramento: The A's top starting pitching prospect was treated rudely in his Sacramento debut on Saturday night. He allowed five runs and eight hits in only three innings of work against the Portland Beavers. Meyer is still struggling to get his velocity up to his normal levels.

Chris Mabeus, Sacramento: The River Cats closer had a rough 2005 debut, as he blew his first save opportunity on Saturday by allowing a two-out, two-run homerun to Jesse Barfield. The River Cats ended up winning the game in extra innings.

Omar Quintanilla, Midland: The A's top middle infield prospect has had a rough start to his season at the plate and in the field. Omar Quintanilla is 4-19 (.211) to start the season and he has committed four errors on this short season. Quintanilla spent most of the spring working at second base but he has been at shortstop so far this young season.

Myron Leslie, Kane County: Myron Leslie has had a rough first weekend in the Midwest League. The third baseman is 1-12 this season and has committed four errors.

Michael Rogers, Kane County: The A's first round 2004 draft choice had a rough debut for the Cougars. Michael Rogers allowed six earned runs in 4.2 innings of work, including two homeruns.

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