When the 2013 American League West Champion Oakland Athletics open the first round of the play-offs at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday, October 4 against the visiting Detroit Tigers, the roster will be filled with plenty of former and current Sacramento River Cats players.
Sacramento, the A’s Triple-A affiliate, has been feeding the parent club with an endless amount of talent for 14 seasons. Some of the most notable that went on to successful major league careers are Barry Zito, Kurt Suzuki, Nick Swisher and Rich Harden among many others.
This season the River Cats found themselves in the hunt for another Pacific Southern Division Title, finishing just 2.0 games behind the Las Vegas 51s. 2013 was no different for the Cats in regards to shuffling talent between Sacramento and Oakland.
Here’s a look at a few of the players that could play a role in the Athletics play-off picture.
Former Sacramento catcher, Josh Donaldson, played his first full season with the Athletics and put up impressive numbers offensively. The converted third baseman hit .301 with 24 home runs, 93 RBIs and 37 doubles. Donaldson is both a power and hit for average threat, and sparkling with the glove at the hot corner.
Infielder, Eric Sogard, was another River Cat who managed to start the 2013 in Oakland and stay healthy in his first full season in the big leagues. A utility player, Sogard played in 130 regular season games and will be most valuable in the post season with his defense.
Jemile Weeks, who struggled at the plate, found a season-long demotion after playing regularly for the A’s mostly at second base in 2012. In 130 games this season in Sacramento he batted .271 with 19 doubles, 10 triples and 17 stolen bases in 19 attempts. Weeks should be useful off the bench as a pinch runner.
Outfielder, Michael Choice got the nod over River Cats teammate Michael Taylor when the late summer call-ups took place, even though their numbers were similar in Sacramento. The 24-year-old Choice batted .302 with 14 home runs, 89 RBIs and 29 doubles, while 27-year-old Taylor was .281, 18, 85, and 25 respectively.
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