The first thing you need to know about The Fish Watch is that it’s not a list of sleepers. It is instead a list of players at various points in their respective minor league journeys that for one reason or another have piqued my interest enough that I am watching their development more closely than the bulk of prospects out there. To read more about this project, check out the introduction and master list.
Obviously since the season is over and some teams have had two updates, some have only had one and the NL West team’s have had zero coverage thus far, this project did not work out as I had planned on many levels. Undeterred I’m going to sally forth and finish off this round of updates and call it good. Next season if I attempt this again I’m going to have to make some major changes to the structure, plan and concept of this series.
Feel free to check out the category archive to read previous installments of the series.
Oakland Athletics (S2S 2012 Athletics Team Prospect List)
OF – Rashun Dixon (21) – Athletics 2008 10th Round Pick
2011 – Stockton (A+): 0.243/.317/.379, 19 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 3 SB, 47 BB and 135 SO in 508 PA
2012 – Stockton: 0.206/.278/.343, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 1 SB, 10 BB and 41 SO in 115 PA
2012 – Burlington (A): 0.238/.364/.414, 8 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 8 SB, 49 BB and 102 SO in 319 PA
Instead of building upon his 2011 performance with Stockton, Dixon actually regressed. Despite the fact that he was repeating the level early on, and was then demoted, his K% ballooned from 26.6% in 2011 to 32.9% and that was simply too much for an improved walk rate (from 9.3% to 13.6%) to offset. Dixon’s propensity to swing and miss has always been the 500 lb gorilla on his back, but he has always been given a bit of a pass since he was a two-sport athlete and very raw at the time he was drafted. After five seasons however, the K% is just too high for me to continue to be optimistic about his chances to fully tap into his potential. He flashed a bit of respectability in July hitting 0.270/.352/.416 but even that came with 36 strikeouts in 25 games. On top of that his one good month was easily counteracted by his poor performances in June and August. Dixon closed the year on an even more depressed note notching just three singles in his last 28 at bats and needs a breakout 2013 season in a big, big way.
2B/SS – Chris Bostick (19) – Athletics 2011 44th Round Pick
There was zero chance that Bostick was going to be able to replicate the ridiculous slash stats he produced in 14 games after signing last season but when you make a debut like that you naturally heighten expectations. Against that backdrop his 2012 feels a little underwhelming but it was far from a disaster or, in a vacuum, a disappointment. Bostick hit better than his season line would suggest as he wilted down the stretch hitting 0.222/.294/.306 in August and “added” to that with a 3-19 performance in five September games. He showed enough this season to open 2013 in the Midwest League and his statline with Vermont shouldn’t obscure that he has a chance to be an asset at the major league level if he develops.
LHP – Ian Krol (21) – Athletics 2009 7th Round Pick
2011 – AZL Athletics: 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, o H, 0 BB and 6 BB in 5.0 IP
2012 – Stockton: 5.21 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 95 H, 24 BB and 79 SO and 86.1 IP
2012 – Midland (AA): 5.06 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 11 H, 2 BB, 10 SO and 10.2 IP
A balky elbow and some off the field gaffes kept Krol off the mound for the bulk of the 2011 season. In 2012 he returned to post a ERA above 5.00 in Stockton, primarily as a starter and above 5.00 with Midland, used exclusively as a reliever. His FIP and SIERA were nearly a full run lower on the high side putting the quality of his season in a different light. Combined between the levels he finished with a strong 2.4 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 which offers further evidence that he pitched far better than his ERA would suggest. He also deserves credit for pitching the way he did in two leagues that favor hitters. Krol should return to Midland to open the 2013 season and given his consistently strong walk and strikeout rates could have a big “come from nowhere” year.
For more on the Oakland Athletics, check out Swingin’ A’s!