Double-A is often named as the level in which many prospects have to perform well to show that they have major league potential. It’s when two teams from full season leagues- Low-A and High-A- have to narrow down to just one roster, the pitchers are better if you’re a hitter, and the hitters are better if you’re on the mound. It’s a proving ground.
This year, as most years, there are several former Valley Leaguers attempting to prove their worth at the Double-A level. A couple examples of these players are Jon Griffin (Luray 2010), Jack Leathersich (Haymarket 2009), and Drew Granier (Harrisonburg 2009-10).
One player, though, is quietly putting together a very, very good season in Double-A, proving that he’s capable.
That player is Sean Jamieson (Front Royal 2010), a 17th round draft pick in the 2011 draft of the Oakland A’s. In 2011, just after being drafted, Sean was assigned to the New York-Penn League and hit 235/350/312 in 69 games and 260 at-bats. Poor average, but a decent on-base percentage, thanks to 37 walks. He also stole 27 bases, so he was an asset there as well.
In 2012, he was assigned to Low-A again- this time to Burlington in the Midwest League. After 119 games there, Sean was included in a trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who also assigned him to the Midwest League. Combined for both teams, Sean hit 244/354/389 in 504 at-bats. Again, the batting average left a bit to be desired, but he had a pretty good on-base percentage, again due to walks (75 of them). He also totaled 30 stolen bases.
The next year, Sean went to the High-A California League, which is considered to be a hitter’s league. In 122 games, he hit 287/370/462, with 33 doubles, 5 triples, 11 home runs, 48 walks, but only 11 stolen bases. Seems like definite growth, right? It’s hard to tell how much because of how the Cal League plays for hitters, but the rate stats are clearly better.
Now comes the true test- Double-A. To start 2014, Sean went to Double-A Mobile in the Southern League. Well, I am pleased to report that Sean is passing this test with flying colors so far: he’s hitting 303/367/429 in 72 games and 254 at-bats. He’s added 16 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, a 24/49 BB/K ratio, and 5 stolen bases. In his last ten games he’s been particularly good, as his rate stats are 378/391/444, and he’s gotten a hit in all ten games.
While Sean plays shortstop, a premium defensive position, so a bit of slow growth can be allowed, his development in Double-A, so far, can be seen as a star in the Valley League’s crown!