The Oakland Athletics are inviting several top prospects to spring training as non-roster invitees. The A’s have also signed a handful of minor league free agents, who will also be in camp as NRIs.
The A’s have currently named 16 non-roster invitees, including 2016 top pick A.J. Puk. Puk was a non-roster invitee last season, and he went on to strike-out 184 in 125 innings between High-A Stockton and Double-A Midland in his first full professional season. He had a 4.03 ERA and he allowed just three home runs.
Puk will be joined by college teammate Logan Shore and fellow 2016 draft pick Nolan Blackwood. Both Shore and Blackwood spent the 2017 season with Stockton and then participated in the Arizona Fall League.
Several key members of the 2017 Texas League champion Midland RockHounds will be in camp as non-roster invitees, including Max Schrock, Sheldon Neuse, Grant Holmes, Sean Murphy and Kyle Finnegan. With Heath Fillmyer on the A’s 40-man roster, three of the RockHounds five starters during the second half of the 2017 season will be in A’s camp.
Catchers Beau Taylor (a minor league free agent who re-signed with the A’s early in the off-season) and Santiago Chavez will also be in camp as non-roster invitees. Taylor had a strong season between Midland and Triple-A Nashville in 2017 and Chavez is coming off of an impressive stint in the Mexican Winter League.
Bobby Wahl, who was outrighted to Triple-A earlier this off-season, will be in camp trying to earn his way back onto the A’s 25-man roster this spring.
The A’s will also have five minor league free agent signings in camp: Simon Castro, Eric Jokisch, Jarret Martin, Anthony Garcia and Nick Martini.
Castro returns to the A’s after signing with Oakland as a minor league free agent before last season. Castro spent the first half of the season with Nashville, posting a 3.32 ERA and striking out 63 in 38 innings. He spent the second half of the season with the A’s, and he had a 4.38 ERA in 37 innings. He struck-out 35.
Jokisch joins the A’s after pitching last season in the Diamondbacks’ system. The left-hander threw 140 innings for Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Reno. He had a 4.09 ERA and 97 strike-outs. Jokisch, a 2010 11th-round pick of the Cubs out of Northwestern, made four appearances for the Cubs in 2015. He allowed three runs in 14.1 innings. Jokisch has a 3.66 ERA in 932.2 career minor league innings.
Martin, another left-hander, pitched in the Giants’ system last season as a reliever. In 39.2 innings for Double-A Richmond, Martin had a 2.04 ERA and 40 strike-outs. He struggled with his command, however, walking 30, but opposing batters to a .167 BA.
Outfielders Garcia and Martini join the A’s from the Cardinals’ chain. Garcia spent most of the 2017 season with Double-A Springfield, where he hit .294/.370/.487 with 15 home runs and eight stolen bases. He was a St. Louis 2009 18th-round pick out of a Puerto Rican high school. He is a career .260 hitter in 750 minor league games. Garcia has a strong throwing arm and profiles as a right fielder, although he has experience at all three outfield spots.
Martini also split the 2017 season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. He hit a combined .294/.382/.423 in 121 games. He hit eight home runs and walked 66 times. Martini was a 7th-round pick of the Cardinals in 2011 out of Kansas State. He has split each of the past three seasons between Double-A and Triple-A.
The current A’s NRI list:
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