The chances of seeing Phil Pohl playing in a game in the New York-Penn League this summer are slipping.
The Vermont Lake Monsters opened their 2013 season on Monday without Pohl, a 2008 Cooperstown Central School and 2012 Clemson University graduate who the A’s drafted in the 28th round of the 2012 draft.
Pohl has instead been the starting catcher the past month for the Stockton Ports, a Class A Advanced California League team.
In minor league baseball hierarchy, Class A Advanced is considered a half step toward AA, and a half step above Class A. The Lake Monsters play in Class A-Short Season, which is considered to be a half step between rookie league and regular Class A.
In other words, Pohl may be closer to Midland, Texas than to Vermont.
Pohl played three games for the Lake Monsters after being drafted last spring. He was then transferred to the Arizona Fall League to play rookie ball. He started this season in Beloit, Wisc., playing for the Snappers.
Pohl played in three games, hitting .250 as a backup to Bruce Maxwell before being recalled to Arizona.
Maxwell was drafted in the second round of the 2012 A’s draft, and made the Midwest League All Star team in his first full year of minor-league baseball. Maxwell is listed on the A’s minor league website at No. 14 of their Top 20 prospects.
The A’s recalled Pohl to extended spring training from Beloit after a week, and replaced him with Nick Rickles, who was demoted from AA.
Since Pohl was not starting for the Snappers, there was some speculation that the A’s recalled him because they liked his work behind the plate, and wanted to give him more experience with major league pitchers who were extending their spring because of injuries or late contract signings.