G-Braves infielder Hicks claimed off waivers by A's

Brandon Hicks spent the past two seasons bouncing between Gwinnett and Atlanta. But the infielder won't be playing for either team this season.

Hicks, who hit 18 homers for the G-Braves last year, was claimed off waivers by Oakland on Tuesday after spending five seasons in the Atlanta organization.

Hicks was 1-for-10 with the Braves in Grapefruit League action this spring and had struck out seven times as he continued to struggle to make consistent contact at the plate.

Although the Braves have concerns at shortstop with rookie Tyler Pastornicky struggling this spring and veteran Jack Wilson headed to the disabled list, Hicks had failed to put himself in the running at that position and had seen most of his time at third base.

Hicks, 26, was a third-round draft choice in 2007 out of Texas A&M and was highly touted for his defense and homer potential at the plate. But he was 1-for-17 in limited duty with Atlanta in 2011 after going 0-for-5 as mostly a defensive replacement in backup stints the previous season.

With the G-Braves, Hicks batted .252 in 104 games last year and his 18 homers was a season best since combining for 20 with Class A Myrtle Beach and Class AA Mississippi in 2008. But Hicks struck out 137 times in 361 at-bats for Gwinnett last season.

If Pastornicky is deemed not ready to start the season as the Atlanta shortstop, the Braves will have to scramble. Josh Wilson and Drew Sutton have some major league experience, but are more utility players. Andrelton Simmons is considered the team's shortstop of the future, but he is yet to play above the Class A Carolina League.

Pastornicky, who hit .365 with the G-Braves last year after being promoted from Mississippi, is hitting just .100 in Grapefruit League games this season. The 22-year-old has also made three errors.