|27||Henry Alberto Rodriguez||SP||21.6||2/25/1987||OAK||TEX||215||5.34|
|* TBF and PA are taken exclusively from 2008|
|** Minimum of 30.0 IP or 100 PA|
|*** OPS and FIP are park and luck adjusted '08 statistics from minorleaguesplits.com|
A teenager up until a week ago, Fernando Martinez was the youngest player in the upper minors for the second year in a row. But Elvis Andrus and Jose Tabata, who have both had development paths similar to Martinez, are just behind him. After that, a series of young pitchers who all have top-of-the-rotation potential in Neftali Feliz, Chris Tillman, Clayton Kershaw, and Trevor Cahill take over the list.
Of the youngsters who were in Double-A in June of 2007, only one really took off and claimed a starting job for the bulk of 2008: Justin Upton -- Collin Balester also begin to etch out a big league career. If anyone is poised to make a Upton-esque impact in 2009, it's Kershaw, who already has 107.2 innings of MLB experience. After that, Travis Snider and any of the other three pitchers named above could log a decent amount of time on big league rosters.
None of the 16 hitters listed below really dominated Double-A, though Lars Anderson (.316/.346/.526, 164 PA) and Daryl Jones (.290/.404/.500, 154 PA) both put up impressive lines in limited samples. On the pitching side, Brett Anderson owned Double-A, posting a 30.4% strikeout rate to go along with a 57% ground ball rate and 7.2% walk rate, a showing that will likely catapult him into the top 10 overall of most 2009 prospect lists.
Along with Anderson and Cahill, Adrian Cardenas and Henry Alberto Rodriguez represent the Athletics' young core below. The Red Sox are the only other team with more than two players on this list.
Sean Halloran can be reached via spiritual channeling during lunar eclipses. Adam Foster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.