April 9, 2011
2010 Bowman Wrapper Redemption Rashun Dixon Black Border

Rashun Dixon - RF/LF
Oakland A's #28 Rated Prospect - Baseball America Handbook

Scouting Trip: April 4, 2011
Stockton Ports A+ Team Workout & Fan Fest

Tools Observed:
  • Physical Tools

Born: Aug. 27, 1990  Drafted: 10th Rd 2008  Bonus: $600,000

Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 6-2 Wt: 210
Stockton Ports Official Roster Listed: Ht: 6-2 Wt: 234

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Physical Tools: If you didn't know anything about any of the players on the Oakland A's A+ Minor League Baseball team - the Stockton Ports - and you lined each player up against the wall to 'pick a team' - you might pick Rashun Dixon first. Aside from a couple tall pitchers, Rashun is the most physically imposing player on the Ports roster.

The Baseball America Handbook listed Rashun's weight as 210 llbs, but the Stockton Ports Roster has him at 234 llbs. I'll go with the 234.  Rashun's brother, Anthony Dixon is a running back for the San Francisco 49ers and Rashun looks very much like he could fit in on a football field. In fact, he did turn down a football commitment to Mississippi State to come play professional baseball.

In over 800 AB's at the Rookie, A- and A levels he has not displayed the power and/or speed you'd expect from a man with his frame. He did hit a respectable .275 with 8 HR and 54 RBI in 2010 at A Kane County. The California League features hitter friendly parks and Rashun could be in line for a stat boost while playing for the Ports in 2011.

Rashun Dixon Stockton Ports - Oakland A's Top Prospect

Here is a photo of A's #3 rated prospect Michael Choice (left) and Rashun Dixon (right). It may not show up well in the photo but it is clear that Dixon is the bigger man. Choice is listed at 6-0 215, so Baseball America's weight for Dixon, 210, is off and the Ports weight for Rashun of 234 is probably about as accurate as it gets.

I will have several opportunities to watch Rashun play this year in Stockton, so check back for future write-ups about his actual performance on the field. If Rashun is able to put together his baseball skills he could have a shot to go far. If he never develops his swing and plate discipline he won't make it. He is best suited for RF or LF as he probably doesn't have the speed or range to man CF. Michael Choice is currently playing CF for the Ports and Rashun has been used as the RF early on.

Oakland A's Prospects Michael Choice and Rashun Dixon
Michael Choice (left) & Rashun Dixon (right)

Key Rashun Dixon Baseball Cards & Values
Prices Dated April 9, 2011 - Check the link for current market value on eBay.
2008 Razor Letterman Rashun Dixon Auto Patch
Sold For: $6.00 + $2.00 s/h - April 7, 2011
2008 Razor Letterman Rashun Dixon Autograph A's
2008 Donruss Elite Rashun Dixon Auto #/199
Sold For: $3.15 + $1.75 s/h - March 31, 2011
2008 Donruss Elite Rashun Dixon Autograph RC Rookie Card

Sports Card Radio's Prospect Blog
April 7, 2011
Michael Choice Oakland A's Stockton Ports Top Prospect

Michael Choice - OF/CF
Oakland A's #3 Rated Prospect - Baseball America Handbook

Scouting Trip: April 4 & 6, 2011
Stockton Ports A+ Team Workout & Fan Fest 4/4/11
Sac. River Cats AAA vs Stockton Ports A+ Exhibition 4/6/11

Tools Observed:

  • Makeup/Personality
  • Arm Strength
  • Hitting
  • Power

Born: Nov 10, 1989  Drafted: 1st Rd #10 2010  Bonus: $2 Million

Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 6-0 Wt: 215
Stockton Ports Official Roster Listed: Ht: 6-0 Wt: 215

Sports Card Radio Prospect Blog Sports Card Radio's Prospect Blog

 


Hitting/Power: Baseball America grades Michael Choice's power at 70 on a 20-80 scale as he is able to pack a lot of punch with his thick legs and quick bat.  By chance, the minute I arrived at the Stockton Ports Fan Fest on 4.4.2011 Choice was about to take his cuts in the batting cage which is located on the concourse along the 1st base side of the stadium. As you can see from the picture on the right, you can get an up close look at a guys swing in the cage at Banner Island Ballpark.

Choice is a real smooth operator out there. He wasn't going that hard in the cage but it's obvious to see the power comes from the leverage he generates with his strong lower base. Not sure if it was a coincidence or not, but maybe the perks of being a #1 draft pick was there was only one other player in the cage when Choice was taking his cuts. After Choice left the cage, the entire rest of the team came in and took shared batting practice in one of the 4 cages. It's clear Choice is considered the big star on the Stockton Ports A+ roster as evident during the autograph session (see below).
Michael Choice Stockton Ports Batting Practice Picture
Michael Choice Stockton Ports Oakland A's Prospect #3 Baseball America Hitting/Power (Cont):
During the exhibition game against the AAA Minor League affiliate of the Oakland A's, the Sacramento River Cats, I only saw Choice take two at-bats as the game was cut short after 6 1/2 innings because of high winds. Michael looks comfortable in the box, taking an athletic stance, nothing out of normal. Baseball America calls his swing unorthodox and maybe they say that because he does have a lot of 'rocking' movement as he tries to generate power in his swing.

Clean Up Hitter - #4 In Order
AB 1 - I want to say Choice worked himself into a hitters count and then displayed the power he is known for. It looked like he got fooled for a second, got out on his front foot, but hit a ball real well that one hopped the wall on the warning track in slightly right/center field for a stand up double. Was this the unorthodox swing BA was talking about? His power does grade out at 70 - so he should be able to drive balls without getting both cheeks into the swing. I'll have a chance to see Choice take many AB's this year so I'll take a closer look the next time out.

AB 2 - Runners were on 1st and 3rd with two outs when Choice took his 2nd AB of the evening. He took a few pitches and then once again, he got out on his front foot and check-swinged a ball back to the pitcher for an out. Was this his normal swing where he literally shifts his entire body weight onto his front foot almost like a Tennis player would when hitting a forehand winner?  I think he has more balance in his swing then that from what I saw during his batting practice cuts. Check back for more reports on Choice as the Stockton Ports season rolls on.

Arm Strength: When I saw that Choice was going to play CF for the Stockton Ports A+ team this year I immediately thought, well, someday he will end up in RF or LF. That will perhaps still be the case, but Choice showed off what I thought to be an above average arm on a play during the 1st inning in the exhibition game against the River Cats. Runner was on 2nd, nobody out, and a fly ball gets hit to Choice in medium deep center field. Choice squares up the ball, catches, then fires a laser, dead into the wind (remember, the game was called in the 6th because of high winds) the cutoff man lets it go and it one hops the 3rd baseman and skips away off his glove. Runner is safe on the slide - if the 3B catches it clean he is still safe by a hair - but wow, the arm from Choice was legit on that play. Not sure if he has the running ability to stick in CF, but the arm should be fine from the throw I saw.
Makeup/Personality: Choice had just arrived in Stockton, CA for the first time just two days prior when I saw him at the Fan Fest on 4.4.2011.  He was out talking with teammates, smiling, and joking around at times with the Ports Mascot. The term I'd use to describe Choice is a real cool customer. He looks smooth out there, like he belongs. Not cocky or arrogant, but you can tell he is confident in his ability to play baseball. If I were an A's fan I'd be excited about Choice.

During the autograph session, Choice was more then willing to sign anything and everything. He was clearly the main attraction, and some fans came prepared to get as many auto's from him as they could. The guy behind me in line literally had these huge blown up pictures of Choice, and the fan was telling Michael to inscribe each one differently - like "#10 Pick".  The picture on the right is him signing those photographs. Choice signed every single item even though it was clear a few of these guys were just getting as many autographs as they could to sell later on. I was able to get an autographed baseball of Choice that he graciously signed on the sweet spot of the ball - it was given away on our Forum on April 10.

Overall, Choice was interacting with teammates and coaches and was cordial with fans during the autograph session. I saw no red flags in terms of his makeup while at the Fan Fest or the exhibition game against the River Cats. I will be attending many Stockton Ports games this season, look for several volumes of write-ups on Oakland A's top prospect Michael Choice.
Michael Choice Signing Autographs Oakland A's Top Prospect

Key
Michael Choice Baseball Cards & Values

Prices Dated April 7, 2011 - Check the link for current market value on eBay.
2010 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Autograph #/50
Sold For: $192.00 + $3.09 s/h - April 4, 2011
2010 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Michael Choice Autograph
2010 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Autograph #/150
Sold For: $88 + $Free$ s/h - April 4, 2011
2010 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Michael Choice Autograph

Sports Card Radio's Prospect Blog

April 5, 2011 ---
Max Stassi Oakland A's Stockton Ports C Prospect

Max Stassi - Catcher
Oakland A's #6 Rated Prospect - Baseball America Handbook

Scouting Trip: April 4, 2011
Stockton Ports A+ Minor League Team Workout & Fanfest

Tools Observed: Makeup/Personality

 

Sports Card Radio Prospect Blog Sports Card Radio's Prospect Blog


Year Level Ave AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
2009 R/SS .286 50 14 4 0 0 8 0
2010 A- .229 411 94 21 1 13 51 3
Max Stassi - Stockton Ports A+ Catcher
Born: March 15, 1991 Drafted: 4th Rd. 2009 Bonus: $1.5 Million

Baseball America Handbook Listed : Ht: 5-10 Wt: 190
Stockton Ports Official Roster Listed: Ht: 5-10 Wt: 206

When the Oakland A's drafted Max Stassi in the 4th round out of High School in 2009 it took a then record $1.5M bonus to get him to forgo playing NCAA Baseball.  The slotting system the MLB uses to suggest bonuses for draft picks has the $1.5M bonus Stassi got in the range of what the #15 overall pick should get. It's clear the A's saw a lot of talent in Max and decided to up the ante to get him to sign.
Max Stassi Signing Autographs Stockton Ports Fan Fest

Observation and Evaluation: The Stockton Ports Fan Fest was held on April 4, 2011 at Banner Island Ballpark, the home of the Single A+ Ports. While there, players participated in batting practice, simulated drills, as well as signed autographs for the small group in attendance. As far as any scouting on Stassi's physical baseball tools, that will have to wait for a different volume. This report will focus on his personality and his makeup to potentially lead a baseball pitching staff to success in the MLB.

Max Stassi might be one of the most engaging athletes I've ever been around. He not only is having fun with his teammates on the field, but he was constantly over talking to fans in the crowd and signing autographs. At one point a fan asked Stassi what catchers glove he was going with this season and Max gladly removed it from his hand and flipped it into the stands so the fan could check out the mitt for himself.  Before the Ports staff had a roster of players, Stassi was by the dugout during the batting practice session letting fans know who the players were and information about each guy on the team. I'd be shocked if Stassi wasn't one of the most well liked guys on the team because he has a real engaging attitude about him that would make him easy to get along with.

During the autograph session - Stassi continued to shine and was a main draw for fans along with fellow top prospect Michael Choice. I personally saw Stassi sign over 25 cards - just for one person - all the while Stassi is asking the fan about some of the local spots to check out around Stockton. He signed this baseball for me and it was given away on the Sports Card Radio Fan Forum on April 10th.
Max Stassi Autographed Baseball
Max Stassi Auto Baseball - Given Away on Forum
Stassi not only pays off for the A's because he is a top prospect at a premium position, but he is a guy who could potentially be a go to guy for reporters because he communicates well and comes across like a saint.  Some players don't talk well, it may not hurt their baseball career but guys like Stassi play a key leadership role on the team because he is a guy who can speak for the entire team through the media or even address the coaching staff with player concerns.

Key Max Stassi Baseball Cards & Values
Prices Dated April 5, 2011 - Check the link for current market value on eBay.
2009 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Autograph #/150
Sold For: $26.02 + $1.99 s/h - April 5, 2011
2009 Max Stassi Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Autograph
2008 Bowman AFLAC Autograph #/174
Sold For: $23.83 + $2.99 s/h - April 3, 2011
2008 AFLAC Bowman MAX STASSI Rookie Auto RC #/174