The Oakland A's have selected right-handed pitchers Paul Blackburn and Bobby Wahl, infielder Franklin Barreto and outfielder Jaycob Brugman from Triple-A Nashville and infielder Yairo Muñoz from Double-A Midland, the club announced today. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A's outrighted right-handed pitcher Josh Smith to Nashville.
Barreto spent most of the season at Midland and was named to the Texas League Midseason and Postseason All-Star Teams after hitting .281 with 10 home runs, 50 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 119 games. He ranked third in the TL in stolen bases and was sixth in batting before he was promoted to Triple-A Nashville Aug. 31. The 20-year-old right-handed hitter batted .353 with a home run and three RBI in four games with the Sounds and combined for a .284 batting average in a career-high 123 games overall. Barreto led the A's farm system in stolen bases (30), ranked fifth in batting and was sixth in hits. He appeared in 85 games at shortstop and 33 at second base. The Venezuelan native hit .429 with a home run and four RBI in five postseason games for Nashville and is currently hitting .261 with six doubles and eight RBI in 21 games with Mesa in the Arizona Fall League. Barreto was one of four players acquired from Toronto in the Josh Donaldson trade on November 28, 2014. He was originally signed by the Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent July 2, 2012 and is a .293 career hitter with 34 home runs, 187 RBI and 77 stolen bases in 345 games over four professional seasons.
Blackburn was acquired from the Seattle Mariners last Saturday for Danny Valencia. He began the year in the Chicago Cubs organization and went 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 18 starts with Double-A Tennessee before he was traded to Mariners organization on July 20 with Dan Vogelbach in exchange for Mike Montgomery and Jordan Pries. The 22-year-old right-hander was assigned to Double-A Jackson and went 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA in eight games (seven starts) with the Generals. Blackburn combined for a 9-5 record and a 3.27 ERA in 26 games overall and surrendered just eight home runs in 143.0 innings. He ranked sixth in the Southern League in ERA, was a midseason All-Star and started and won the clinching third game of the SL Championship Series for Jackson. A graduate of Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif., Blackburn was selected by the Cubs as a compensation pick following the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and was the 56th selection overall.
Brugman began the season at Midland but was moved up to Nashville on May 21. He combined to hit a career-high .285 with 12 home runs and a career-high 87 RBI in 132 games. The 24-year-old left-handed hitter ranked second in the A's farm system in hits (155) and total bases (238), tied for second in extra base hits (52), third in RBI (87) and doubles (33), tied for third in triples (7), fourth in batting average (.285), sixth in slugging (.438) and runs scored (77) and seventh in on-base percentage (.347). Brugman appeared in 103 games in center field, 24 in right field and four in left field. He was selected by Oakland in the 17th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft and is a .274 career hitter with 40 home runs and 245 RBI in 433 games over four professional seasons.
Muñoz spent the entire season at Midland where he hit .240 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 102 games. He batted .313 against left-handed pitching and connected for four of his nine home runs over the final 16 games. The 21-year-old right-handed hitter appeared in 41 games at shortstop, 27 at second base and 25 at third base. Muñoz hit .387 with four RBI in eight postseason games for the Texas League Champion RockHounds and is currently batting .270 with seven RBI in 21 games with Mesa in the Arizona Fall League. The native of the Dominican Republic was originally signed by the A's as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 27, 2012. He is a .256 career hitter with 28 home runs and 160 RBI in 361 games over five seasons.
Wahl pitched at three different levels in the A's farm system and combined for a 1-1 record, 14 saves and a 2.65 ERA in 45 relief appearances with Single-A Stockton, Midland and Nashville. The 14 saves led the A's farm system and his 10 saves with the RockHounds tied for sixth in the Texas League. Wahl struck out 65 in 54.1 innings, an average of 10.8 per nine innings, and surrendered just three home runs. The 24-year-old right-hander was selected by the A's in the fifth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Mississippi. He has pitched exclusively in relief the last two seasons and is 3-5 with a 3.90 ERA and 24 saves in 108 games (12 starts) over four professional seasons.
Smith was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati Nov. 4 after going 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA in 32 games, including two starts, for the Reds. He allowed a .247 opponents batting average, which broke down to .219 against right-handed hitters and .287 against left-handers. The 29-year-old right-hander also pitched for Triple-A Louisville, where he compiled a 4-4 record and a 3.80 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance.