A's No. 7 prospect named '15 Player of Year; Smith voted best pitcher
August 27, 2015
Athletics No. 7 prospect Chad Pinder and Angels lefty Nate Smith took home top honors from the Texas League on Thursday when the Double-A circuit revealed its end-of-season All-Stars and award winners.
Pinder, a 23-year-old second baseman, was named the Texas League's Player of the Year after hitting .318 with 15 homers, 86 RBIs, seven stolen bases and a .360 on-base percentage in 111 games through Thursday. A Competitive Balance Round B pick in the 2013 Draft out of Virginia Tech, Pinder currently leads the Texas League in RBIs and ranks second in the league in average. He's following up a strong 2014 season in which he finished sixth among A's farmhands with a .288 batting average.
Smith, the Angels' No. 5 prospect, made 17 starts for Arkansas earlier this year before earning a promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake. In the Texas League, the 6-foot-3 southpaw went 8-4 with a 2.48 ERA and 81 strikeouts over 101 2/3 innings, walking 28 and holding opposing batters to a .216 average. Los Angeles' 2013 eighth-round pick is coming off a solid 2014 campaign in which he finished 11-6 with a 2.97 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 118 innings between two levels. The Furman product was also a 2015 midseason Texas League All-Star.
The league's top hitter, Corpus Christi's Jon Kemmer, was among three outfielders on the roster -- he leads the circuit with a .329 average this season. Midland's Ryon Healy, who trails only Kemmer and Pinder with a .308 average, was selected as an All-Star at third base.
Springfield sent two players to the squad in catcher Mike Ohlman and outfielder Charlie Tilson; Tilson leads the league with 43 stolen bases and ranks third with 77 RBIs. Balbino Fuenmayor, now in Triple-A, represents Northwest Arkansas -- the first baseman hit .354 with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs in 73 games before earning a promotion.
Frisco's David Martinez, who leads the league with 20 saves, was among nine pitchers honored. Arkansas' Albert Suarez, the circuit's strikeout leader at 110, made the team, as did Corpus Christi's Chris Devenski, who trails only Smith with a 2.80 ERA.
Players who just missed the cut include Frisco first baseman Drew Robinson, who leads the league with 19 homers, and Arkansas first baseman Brian Hernandez, who ranks second with 71 RBIs.