MINOR LEAGUE NOTES: Parkview's Olson warms up at plate in Class A

Matt Olson is one of the youngest players in the Class A Midwest League, so a slow start with Beloit wasn't unexpected.

It didn't take long, though, for the Parkview graduate to heat up at the plate despite the cold weather in Wisconsin.

Olson was 13-for-32 in his past nine games through Friday and he had both of his homers, five of his eight doubles and eight of his 12 RBIs during the stretch.

Thanks to the hot streak, the first baseman's average was up to .253 in 24 games and he had an impressive .353 on-base percentage thanks to 15 walks.

Olson, who turned 19 on March 29, was taken by Oakland with 47th overall pick in the 2012 draft and is ranked as the Athletics' No. 5 prospect by MLB.com and is No. 10 on the Baseball America list.

The left-handed hitter jumped from the rookie Arizona League to the short-season Class A New York-Penn League last year and hit a combined .292 with nine homers and 45 RBIs in 50 games.

Olson received a bonus of $1,079,700 to sign with Oakland and bypass a scholarship to Vanderbilt, where he would have been a two-way player.

He batted and pitched Parkview to two straight state titles and the Panthers were recognized as the No. 1 team in the nation last year by Baseball America.

Memorable outing

Greater Atlanta Christian graduate Drew Steckenrider allowed just one hit over five scoreless innings for Class A Greensboro in a no-decision against Rome last Monday. But what made it really special was who was in the Rome lineup.

Steckenrider, 22, retired Brian McCann twice, fanning him the first time. He had eight strikeouts and one walk in the game.

The right-hander tossed four hitless innings with eight strikeouts in his only relief appearance this year and had a 1-1 record and 4.59 ERA after five outings.

Steckenrider, who had struck out 28 in 19 innings, was an eighth-round draft choice by the Marlins out of Tennessee last June.

Ramsey back and hitting

Former Wesleyan and Florida State standout James Ramsey returned to the Palm Beach lineup on Friday after a stint on the disabled list and was 2-for-2 with a double and walk against Bradenton.

The perfect night raised his average to .379 in 17 games and he had an on-base percentage of .507 from the leadoff spot in the Class A Advanced Florida State League.

Ramsey, 23, had been out since April 20 with a hamstring strain.

The center fielder was taken by St. Louis with the 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft and is ranked as the Cardinals' No. 12 prospect by Baseball America and rated No. 16 on the MLB.com list.

Freeman on disabled list

Brookwood graduate Ronnie Freeman landed on the disabled list with Class A South Bend in the Midwest League after the catcher hit .206 with five RBIs in 16 games.

Freeman, 22, was drafted by Arizona in the fifth round last June after an outstanding career for Kennesaw State in the A-Sun Conference.

Freeman broke in the Yakima of the short-season Class A Northwest League last year and hit .273 with 10 doubles and 16 RBIs in 46 games.

Kang return to Class AA

K.D. Kang returned to Class AA Montgomery after hitting .339 over 17 games for Class A Advanced Charlotte in the Florida State League.

He was a 15th-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2006 out of Parkview and spent all of the past two seasons with Montgomery.

Kang, 25, had 11 homers in 2011 and 14 last year, batting .263 and .243.


Nearly two dozen minor league players from Gwinnett high schools have been on the active rosters of major league farm teams so far this season.

Player Position High School Team Affiliate Class

Charlie Blackmon OF North Gwinnett Colo. Springs Rockies AAA

Anthony Carter RHP Parkview Pawtuckett Red Sox AAA

*Zach Cone OF Parkview Myrtle Beach Rangers High A

*Ronnie Freeman C Brookwood South Bend D'Backs Low A

Tim Gustafson RHP Parkview Tulsa Rockies AA

Chris Hawkins OF N.Gwinnett Lansing Blue Jays Low A

Ross Heffley 2B Brookwood Lynchburg Braves High A

Brian Holmes LHP Mill Creek Quad Cities Astros Low A

Brandon Jacobs OF Parkview Salem Red Sox High A

K.D. Kang OF Parkview Montgomery Rays AA

Trey Martin OF Brookwood Kane County Cubs Low A

Stephen McCray RHP Parkview Birmingham White Sox AA

Collin McHugh RHP Providence Las Vegas Mets AAA

Nick Moore 3B Brookwood Greenville Red Sox Low A

Matt Olson 1F Parkview Beloit Athletics Low A

James Ramsey OF Wesleyan Palm Beach Cardinals High A

Lucas Sims RHP Brookwood Rome Low A

Drew Steckenrider RHP GAC Greensboro Marlins Low A

Shannon Wilkerson OF Dacula Portland Red Sox AA

*Disabled list