A’s minor league recap: Oakland’s system rated No. 1

More praise rained down on the A’s organization Wednesday when The Hardball Times rated Oakland’s farm system as the most valuable in all of baseball. THT’s Victor Wang developed a formula for assessing value to each team’s minor league system and, after crunching the numbers, the A’s overall depth won out.

Texas, which probably has more high-ceiling talent than any other team, rates No. 3, just behind Atlanta. Here’s a look at Wang’s last rankings, from No. 30 to No. 16, where the Angels find themselves rated.

Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm for the A’s affiliates Tuesday:


After throwing four no-hit innings in his first start, pitcher Vin Mazzaro ran into trouble right away in the River Cats’ 4-2 win over Portland (Padres). Mazzaro gave up two runs in the first inning and later escaped a bases-loaded jam. The right-hander wound up pitching four innings and allowing four hits, the two runs, four walks and striking out three.

Middle reliever Kevin Cameron, the former San Diego Padre who joined Oakland as a six-year free agent, got the victory with two hitless innings that featured three strikeouts. Jeff Gray picked up his second save.

It took a cool Sacramento evening for the River Cats’ bats to heat up as they collected 15 hits, including four from Chris Denorfia and three from right fielder Sean Doolittle, who is now hitting .375 and boasts an on-base percentage of .423 after six games. Sacramento’s hottest hitter is Eric Patterson, whose two hits boosted his average to .421 and has an on-base percentage of .522.

Daric Barton (1-for-3, 2 RBI) raised his average up to .143. Slow-starting Jack Hannahan (.056) had the night off, though he could still merit a recall to Oakland should Nomar Garciaparra’s calf injury sideline the former Red Sox star.

Here’s the recap from Tuesday’s game.

MIDLAND (Double-A)

Pitcher Graham Godfrey, acquired from Toronto in the Marco Scutaro deal, had a sketchy start and the bullpen also had its troubles as the Rockhounds fell 8-7 to Springfield (Cardinals).

Godfrey’s second start ended after four innings as the righty gave up five hits, four runs, four walks and struck out three. Reliever Rocky Roquet allowed three runs in the eighth and Midland’s ninth-inning rally fizzled as both Chris Carter (0-for-5, 3 K’s, .185 average) and Adrian Cardenas (2-for-5, RBI, .308 avg.) struck out with a runner on base. Carter, who started off ’08 in slow fashion as well, now leads the Texas League with 12 strikeouts in 27 at-bats.

James Logan High and Cal State East Bay product Archie Gilbert went 3-for-4 for Midland, which also got a big day from backup catcher Gabe Ortiz, who homered and drove in four runs.

STOCKTON (High Single-A)

Tyson Ross (2nd round, ’08) couldn’t stop the Ports’ losing streak as the right-hander was saddled with the loss as Modesto (Rockies) prevailed 3-2, leaving the Ports at 0-6. Ross gave up all three runs in his 4 2/3 innings as he also allowed six hits, walked one and struck out two. However, after allowing a two-run homer to the Nuts’ Jay Cox and a run-scoring double play ball in the second, the ex-Cal star pitched well.

Matt Spencer, acquired in the Joe Blanton deal, is just 3-for-22 (.136) after an 0-for-4. Leadoff hitter Todd Johnson (14th round, ’06) went 3-for-4 and leads the team with a .304 average.

Here’s the recap from Tuesday’s game.

KANE COUNTY (Low Single-A)

The Cougars may have lost 3-2 to Burlington (Royals) in their home opener, but the buzz around the ballpark was the pitching of left-hander Anthony Capra (4th round, ’08), who pitched five no-hit innings before leaving due to reaching his pitch count.

Capra, a former Wichita State All-American, retired the first 13 batters he faced before issuing a walk (the only batter to reach base off him). Capra, who went 4-3 with a 4.22 ERA at Kane County after leaving college last summer, struck out seven batters.

Shortstop Dusty Coleman (28th round, ’08), Capra’s teammate at Wichita State, went 1-for-3 and sits at .133 after just four games. Third baseman Jason Christian (5th round, ’08) went 1-for-4 and is hitting .250. Designated hitter Grant Desme (2nd round, ’07) continued his early struggles. His 0-for-3 leaves him 0-for-14 overall.

The Rockhounds will send Brett Hunter (7th round, ’08) to the mound for one of their doubleheader games today (Wednesday).

Jon Becker