Sacramento usually ranks as one of the best Triple-A squads and that should be the case again in 2012. Righthanders Jarrod Parker and Brad Peacock, the Athletics’ top two prospects, will front the River Cats’ rotation, while the lineup features Triple-A newcomers in outfielder Grant Green, Oakland’s 2009 first-rounder, and third baseman Stephen Parker as well as returnees first baseman Chris Carter and outfielders Jermaine Mitchell and Michael Taylor.
Leap Of Faith
Although the move didn’t come out of nowhere, it’s still noteworthy that the A’s are sending 2011 first-round pick Sonny Gray to start his first full season with Double-A Midland. The righthander out of Vanderbilt has an advanced repertoire and pitchability, and he may only need one season in the minors.
Where Is That Guy?
Shortstop Yordy Cabrera (back) and outfielder Aaron Shipman (hamstring) are both dealing with muscle strains, keeping them from making an Opening Day roster. Neither is expected to be out of action too long, with Shipman likely joining low Class A Burlington and Cabrera heading to high Class A Stockton once healthy.
Time Is Running Out
Carter and Taylor are beginning their third full seasons in Triple-A. Although they’ve been productive at the Triple-A level, neither has broken through in trials in the majors. Some of the organization’s offseason moves, such as bringing in fellow young hitters Collin Cowgill and Josh Reddick–who both made the big league team–can’t be seen as good signs for Carter’s and Taylor’s places in Oakland’s long-term plans