Oakland Athletics 2018 Top 50 Prospects

Oakland Athletics Top 50 Prospects for 2018

The Oakland Athletics are finally in an actual rebuilding phase. For years they were always “re-tooling,” but this time it’s the real deal. They had some exciting prospects who graduated to the majors last season, namely Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, but their farm system was really just right in the middle talent wise at the start of last season.

Their farm system was named the most improved system (according to MLB.com) in the league after the conclusion of the 2017 season. They did what a rebuilding team needed to do, trade their best players for good prospects. They shipped Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Washington Nationals for Blake Treinen and prospects Jesus Luzardo and Sheldon Neuse. Next they traded their ace Sonny Gray to the New York Yankees for three prospects: the speedy Jorge Mateo, outfielder Dustin Fowler and right-hander James Kaprielian. Both Kaprielian and Fowler were injured but their ceilings are so high that they were worth the risk and the wait. Oakland added more talent through the draft as well.

Now, let’s take a look at the A’s Top 50 prospects going into the 2018 season and the tiers that were used to rank them.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster





Tier 1:

1. Franklin Barreto, 2B/SS
Age: 21
Highest Level in 2017: MLB
Barreto was the key piece in the trade that sent Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays. He hasn’t disappointed, moving swiftly through the A’s farm system, making his MLB debut last season against the Chicago White Sox in which he homered off of James Shields in his second ever big league at-bat. He projects to hit for both power and average with more power coming as he becomes more selective at the plate. In the minors last season Barreto hit .290 with a .339 OBP.  A solid but still average defender, Barreto profiles more as a second baseman than a shortstop which could work to his advantage in 2018. Marcus Semien is currently the A’s starting shortstop but a spot should open up mid-season at second base, as it is likely that the A’s current second baseman, Jed Lowrie, will be traded.

2. A.J. Puk, LHP
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Puk is a 6’7” left hander with a fiery fastball, a slider, cutter and changeup. Oh, and he’s recently been relearning his curveball. With just a little more time in the minors he’ll have a chance to work on his control, which he’s had issues with in the past, as well as perfect his secondary pitches. In 2017 he split time between Class A Advanced Stockton and Double-A Midland and was named the A’s pitching prospect of the year. He posted a sub-4.00 ERA for Stockton but posted a slightly higher 4.36 ERA with Midland. Most impressive however was that Puk averaged 13 K’s per nine innings and allowed only three long balls in his 125 innings of work between the two teams. His ceiling is high, high enough to be a top of the rotation starter in the big leagues.

3. Jorge Mateo, SS/OF
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Mateo’s best asset is his speed. He stole 82 bases in 2015. He’s got a high ceiling with the potential to hit .275 with 15-plus homers a year. His plate discipline still needs work, however, he has the makings of a great leadoff man being able to go from the right side of the plate to first base in 4.0 seconds and then create more chaos on the basepaths. He’s got a strong arm but has been inconsistent playing shortstop, so it’s likely he could end up at second base or in centerfield.

Tier 2:

4. Dustin Fowler, CF
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: MLB
Fowler has all the potential to become a complete five tool player. When he hits he makes hard contact with his quick left-handed stroke, but to reach his offensive ceiling he needs to walk more and be more selective at the plate. Since turning pro, he’s become a tremendous defender in the outfield. He’s got great bat speed, strength and speed, but still needs to work on his base stealing. All of those little details should be easy for Fowler, who is a hard worker, to perfect as he navigates his way through his first years in the majors. Last season he earned a call-up in June after batting .293 in the minors. In his MLB debut with the New York Yankees, Fowler tore the patella tendon in his knee and was rendered out for the season. He came to the Athletics in the trade that sent starting pitcher Gray to New York. He was activated from the 60-day DL in December and reports have said that his recovery is moving faster than expected and he should be on the field for the A’s on Opening Day.

5. Sean Murphy, C
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Murphy will be a star for his defensive abilities alone, although in his professional career he’s played well on both sides of the ball. He has more athleticism and agility than your average catcher. His pitch calling skills and ability to handle pitchers has been heralded and has improved as he’s moved through the minor leagues. In fact he is moving so quickly that he skipped the Class A level and jumped right into Class-A Advanced Stockton and later got a call-up to Double-A Midland. His defensive skills, decision making skills and amazing arm strength (we’re talking a 70 on the 20-80 scale) aren’t all he has to offer. Murphy has power potential and knows how to utilize the entire field. He’s got a natural hitting ability but it’s hard to say if it will develop too much farther. If he hits like he did in the minors last season when he hits the majors, he’ll be fine. He batted .250 with 13 home runs last season which is good production from a catcher. That along with his abilities behind the plate will make him a star.

6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP
Age: 20
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Despite having to undergo Tommy John surgery in March 2016, Luzardo’s stock was still so high that the Nationals drafted him in the third round of the 2016 draft. He made his professional debut in 2017 just prior to being traded to Oakland as part of the Madson and Doolittle trade. He’s got excellent control of his pitches, can use his fastball equally on both sides of the plate and he can change speeds with his curveball at will, adding and subtracting as needed. His changeup is coming along nicely and should be a plus-pitch in the near future.

7. Lazaro Armenteros, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level in 2017: AZL (Rookie)
Ranked number four on MLB’s 2016 International Prospect List, “Lazarito” as he is most often called has the potential to develop above average skills in all areas and become a five tool player. He has undeniable speed, power, arm strength and overall general athleticism. He had a good debut season solid debut season with .288/.376/.474 line in rookie ball. While a few issues in his at-bats need to be ironed out, they should be by the time he reaches the major leagues which is suggested to be 2021.

8. Austin Beck, OF
Age: 19
Highest Level in 2017: AZL (Rookie)
Drafted by the A’s in the first round (6th overall) of the 2017 Amateur Draft, Beck had missed the previous spring and fall after tearing  anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee in May 2016. He came back and hit .590 with 12 homers in just 28 games as a senior. He has superior bat speed, is fast on the base paths and above-average defensive skills. What he is lacking is experience hitting with a wood bat but if he can work on that and tap into his potential power many scouts believe he will be a star. After a workout at the Oakland Coliseum, Beck impressed the A’s so much that he was signed to a franchise-record $5,303,000.

9. Grant Holmes, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Holmes has the potential to be a number three or possibly even a number two starter in the majors if he can iron out a few issues, specifically his command. He has a good sinking fastball that hits around 93-95 mph, a very good power curveball that has the velocity of a sinker and while his changeup is still a work in progress, it has potential. In his first two pro seasons he averaged 10.4 K’s per nine innings but as he has moved up through the minor league system his command has regressed. Still, the potential is there. Worst case scenario he could end up a number four starter or maybe even move to the bullpen.

10. James Kaprielian, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: Did Not Play (injured)
Kaprielian had an amazing college career at UCLA working out of the bullpen when they won the College World Series in 2013 and became their top starter over the next two seasons. Drafted by the Yankees, he made just three starts in 2016 before incurring an elbow injury and eventually undergoing Tommy John surgery in February 2017. He was sent to Oakland in the Sonny Gray trade. His fastball usually sits in the mid-90’s and his secondary pitches – curveball, slider and changeup – are all considered to be plus-pitches. He has the ceiling of a number three starter but he needs to prove he can stay healthy to reach that high.

Tier 3

11.  Logan Shore, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
Shore success comes with his pitchability. With his three pitch mix of a fastball, changeup and slider he profiles as a number four starter. His fastball is of average, maybe a little below average in velocity topping out at 88-92 mph. Shore’s changeup is his best pitch and when he is on can be very effective against left-handed batters. He is still working on his slider but if it continues to come along it could be a third big league offering in his repertoire.  His ceiling is likely as a fourth starter who can eat up innings, preserving the bullpen.

12. Sheldon Neuse, 3B
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Neuse’s strength lies in his bat. He has a short swing that allows him to keep the barrel of the bat in the zone for an extended time, allowing him to use the entire field. He has definite raw power but it is questionable if that may change as he moves into higher levels of the game. He’s an average defender at third with delicate hands and incredible arm strength, but the fact remains that in order for Neuse to really make it in the majors he’ll need to keep hitting the way he has been. In the minors last season he hit .321/.382/.502 with 16 home runs, 26 doubles and 79 RBI, so thus far hitting has yet to be a problem for Neuse.

13. Nick Allen, SS
Age: 19
Highest Level in 2017: AZL (Rookie)
Drafted in the third round of the 2017 Draft, Allen has always impressed with his baseball IQ despite being so young. He’s only 5’9″ but is a plus-defender with a strong arm and, whether or not he’ll be able to stay at shortstop at the highest level is not even a question with Allen. While he is not (and will likely never be) a power hitter, his speed, arm strength, defensive abilities and instinct give him the potential to have a solid MLB career.

14. Kevin Merrell, SS
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Merrell is all about speed. Currently a shortstop, it’s likely he’ll end up in centerfield where that speed can be utilized and his decent defense won’t matter. Merrell knows how to get on-base and can cause havoc on the base paths for other players and pitchers. He hits very well for average, hitting .320 in 31 games with Vermont and also managed to steal a mere 22 bases over that same span.

15. Ramon Laureano, OF
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: AA (Corpus Christi in Astros’ system)
Laureano profiles as a good lead-off man. He’s got speed, good instincts on the base paths and has both patience at the plate and the ability to utilize the entire field. He doesn’t have a lot of power-hitting potential, yet if he can reduce his strikeout numbers, up his on-base percentage, Laureano will have the ability to hit 10-plus home runs a year. He’s an average defender and fits better as a corner infielder than a centerfielder but he can play all three positions if needed.

16. Daulton Jefferies, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
Jefferies will likely end up a back of the rotation starter, assuming that he can stay healthy. After being assigned to Class-A Advanced Stockton in what would have been his first full season in 2017 but after appearing in just two games he announced he would have to undergo Tommy John surgery. He has excellent control of all his pitches, especially his fastball. He’s able to can add and subtract speed at will, ranging from 90-95 mph. His changeup is his best secondary pitch and he is working on a slider that projects to be at least an average big league pitch. His above average command is really what sets him apart from many other minor leaguers.

17. Greg Deichmann, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Deichmann’s major weakness is his defense. He has below average speed which limits him in position options in the higher levels. However he’s always, even in high school, had impressive bat speed and power. Since he has been improving, shortening his quick left-handed swing and being more selective at the plate. He’s increased his number of walks, is making more consistent contact and utilizing the entire field. Regardless of where he ends up defensively, if his power and consistency at the plate continue to develop he’ll end up making a contribution to teams in the majors.

18. Heath Fillmyer, RHP (Editor note: Fillymer was traded to Kansas City Royals on 1/29/18)
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Fillmyer was a shortstop prior to college and only pitched eight innings during his freshman year. A ground-ball pitcher, his fastball has a great sinking motion and can hit up to 96 mph. His secondary pitches, a curveball and a changeup improved last season and are considered above-average offerings. He struggled a bit in Double-A last season with his command of the ball but his overall athleticism, hard fastball and good secondary offerings could lead him to a back-end of the rotation spot in the majors.

19. Norge Ruiz, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
A top international prospect in 2016-2017 Ruiz played three years in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He debuted in the U.S. in the Rookie Arizona League where he needed just a single start before being promoted to Class-A Advanced Stockton. While Ruiz is not a strikeout pitcher, he induces a lot of ground-balls because he can change speeds, keeping the hitters unsure of what to expect next. His fastball sits in the 91-95 range and he has an above average changeup as his best secondary offering as well as a slider and a splitter, both of which he seems to have a good feel for. It’s a possibility that he could end up a number four or five starter but his talents might be best utilized out of the bullpen.

20. Dakota Chalmers, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level in 2017: A (Full)
Chalmers throws a fastball that ranges from 92-95 mph and can hit 97 at times. His secondary offerings include a curveball that looks to be his out pitch with the potential to be above-average. He also throws a changeup, but he still is getting a feel for the pitch. With his overall athleticism his ceiling is projected to be a number three starter, however, there is one problem and while he still has time to develop, it’s why he’s 20th on this list. Chalmers has seriously below-average control and it’s seemingly gotten steadily worse since he graduated from high school, which is and should be concerning. Regardless, he is young and has time to gain some command and become a strikeout pitcher before hitting the major leagues.





Tier 4

21. Renato Nunez, 3B/OF
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: MLB
Nunez debuted in the majors as a September call-up last season, playing in eight games and getting three hits in 15 at-bats, scoring one run on his only big league home run and driving in three runs. Not a bad debut considering the small sample size, but the problem with Nunez is that he seemed to regress in 2017.When the right-handed hitting Nunez was signed in 2010, it was based largely on his power potential. He improved his plate discipline in 2015 in Double-A but regressed with the move to Triple-A in 2016 posting his lowest average of his professional career at .228. In 2017, Nunez hit 32 home runs for Triple-A Nashville. Still his regression has cast more doubts that he’ll ever be able to hit for average. Nunez has also struggled on the field with his below-average defense and running abilities. Plus, he doesn’t have a real position so it appears he may end up contributing in the majors as a bat off the bench as opposed to being a full-time big league player.

22. Richie Martin, SS
Age:  23
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Martin is a defensive ace who has good speed and quick instincts on the field. His arm is strong and extremely accurate as he is able to get rid of the ball quickly without losing any of his accuracy. He’s a perfect fit for shortstop. His offense though is well below-average as his usual tendency is to make weak, ground-ball contact and it has been that way without much improvement through his professional career thus far. Unless that suddenly changes, if Martin wants to make it to the majors, it is going to be his defense that gets him there.

23. Oscar Tovar, RHP
Age: 19
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Tovar has average velocity that can at times top out at 95 mph. He induces groundballs and weak contact consistently. His secondary pitches are his slider and changeup. The slider has potential to be an above average pitch once he has had more time to develop while his changeup has less potential that is expected to be at best just barley average, but it gives him a third pitch which is important if he wants to remain a starter. However, some see him in a bullpen role because of his fastball/slider combination.

24. Santis Sanchez, C
Age: 19
Highest Level in 2017: AZL (Rookie)
Sanchez’s defense is what makes him stand out to scouts. He’s more athletic and agile than one would think looking at his somewhat stocky frame. He’s an excellent blocker but it is his cannon of an arm that really sets him apart from other catchers. Overall, Sanchez has the tools needed to make it to the big leagues but they are still very raw. He offers right-handed power yet has a slightly too aggressive approach at the plate, meaning he’ll have to be more selective in order to hit for average at the higher levels of the minors and potentially in the majors.

25. Yerdel Vargas, SS
Age: 17
Highest Level in 2017: AZL (Rookie)
At just 17-years-old Vargas is an excellent shortstop due to his arm strength, seamless actions and accuracy. As he continues to mature and develop he may end up being able to play anywhere on the infield. He has the needed tools to do so. Given his age and current strength, if he continues along this path he will be an excellent defender in the big leagues. But as with most players he has his weaknesses too. He’s not a great or fast runner. Still, emphasizing his age is important. He likely won’t become a better runner, however, he’s shown the ability to be able to use the entire field offensively making hard contact. He has the potential to develop into a power hitter, however it’s too early to tell at this point.

26. Casey Meisner, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Meisner, a 6’7″ right-hander, was drafted out of high school by the New York Mets and eventually traded to the Athletics for Tyler Clippard in 2015. Unfortunately, he’s seemed to only regress since coming to the west coast. In 2016 he was moved to the bullpen to work out issues with his mechanics. What is most concerning however is that Meisner has yet to learn to use his size to create a downhill plane to the plate, something that stellar tall pitchers have always used to confound hitters. He doesn’t have the best velocity on his fastball which tops out around 93 mph and he has had control issues of late. He’s got a chance to be a fifth starter used mainly to eat up innings to preserve the bullpen unless his velocity and control begin to improve. 2017 was the first time he had ever even played at the Double-A level.

27. Alexander Campos, SS
Age: 17
Highest Level in 2017: N/A
A top international prospect last year, Campos was signed by the Seattle Mariners and quickly turned into one of the organization’s most intriguing middle-infield prospects while playing for the Mariners in the Dominican Summer League. He is the second  player that came to the A’s organization along with Emilio Pagan in the Healy trade. At just 17 he is showing advanced defensive skills, above-average speed as both a baserunner and on defense. He’s a decent right-handed hitter that can hit line drives into the gap. He could end up a big league utility player or his ceiling could be much higher if he continues to make progress at the plate.

28. Will Toffey, 3B
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Drafted by the Yankees out of high school, Toffey chose to go to Vanderbuilt and was their best hitter last spring, leading the team with a .354 average and a .602 slugging percentage before the A’s drafted him in the fourth round. He is a player that is consistently improving. His walk and strikeout rates and power have upgraded each year he’s played since coming out of high school. He has the potential to hit for both average and power if he continues to develop at this rate offensively. To do that though it’s the left-handed batter’s bat speed that needs to really continue to improve.  He’s got a solid arm and can give the team quality defense at third base.

29. Nolan Blackwood, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
Blackwood is a sidearm pitcher but not the type that you usually see, even in the majors. He doesn’t have to rely on decevieng the batter with his arm slot to help improve what are often below-average pitches. Blackwood is a 6’5″ right-hander who has already moved very quickly through the A’s farm system. Moving to Class-A Short season just a month into his pro career and in 2017 he moved up to Class-A Advanced Stockton and acted as their closer for all of the 2017 season. His fastball sits in the lower 90’s and has a heavy sink resulting in fewer strikeouts but a lot of weak ground-ball contact. He has an average breaking ball and a decent changeup and when paired with his height and sidearm deception he should rise quickly through the minors.

30. Marcos Brito, SS
Age: 17
Highest Level in 2017: AZL (Rookie)
The switch-hitting shortstop was ranked on the Top 30 international prospects list last season and made his U.S. debut in last summer’s Rookie Arizona League. As a switch-hitter he has shown he can hit for average with a short upstroke swing through the zone. He’s got good bat speed but not much at all in the way of power. He can, however, make excellent contact from both sides of the plate and utilize the entire field. Defensively, Brito is a good defender but his speed and arm strength are both average at this point. Yet, at such a young age those skills could easily come with maturation and experience.

31. Raul Alcantara, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level in 2017: MLB
Alcantara seems to have reinvented himself after putting up nice numbers in Triple-A Nashville in 2017, where in 18 games he pitched to a 2.67 ERA in a hitter-friendly PCL. Hopefully his next stint in the majors will be better than his first two call ups (7.19 ERA in 46.1 IP).

32. Bobby Wahl, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level in 2017: MLB
Wahl made it into 7 games for Oakland, all out of the bullpen last year. The 2013 5th rounder turns 26 during Spring Training and has a career 3.87 ERA and 11.2 K/9 in 5 seasons in the minors. 2018 might be make or break for determining his true role in Oakland.





Tier 5

33. Jean Ruiz, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Right-hander Ruiz pitched three seasons in the Dominican Summer League for the A’s before debuting in the US in 2017. He pitched in 15 games, appearing in eight as a starter. He posted a 1.38 ERA with an .084 WHIP over 52.1 innings pitched. Ruiz allowed a career-low 15 hits while pitching roughly the number of innings he has the past three summers.

34. B.J. Boyd, OF
Age: 24
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Boyd showed some good left-handed hitting for Double-A Midland in 2017 with a batting line of .322/.366/.428, but obviously he doesn’t have any power, hitting just five home runs in 130 games. He had a short 7 game stint in Triple-A Nashville in 2016 but a full season in Midland in his cards last year. May shuttle between AA and AAA in 2018.

35. Tyler Ramirez, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Ramirez is a player like Boyd but without the quite the same speed in the outfield, making suited for a corner position. In 2017 he batted .304/.398/.431 between High-A and Double-A. He obviously knows how to get on base and hit for average but also like Boyd he doesn’t have much power potential.

36. James Naile, RHP  
Age: 24
Nothing really exceptional in his arsenal although some could make an argument he should be in Tier 4 with a shot at MLB time in 2018.  An unexciting 4.40 ERA in 73.2 IP across three levels in 2017, he needs to improve on his 7.0 K/9 to be more effective.

37. Wyatt Marks, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Marks posted a 3.00 ERA on the year in stints in both the Arizona Rookie League and Class-A Beloit.

38. Sam Bragg, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Bragg spent 2017 in Double-A Midland. He pitched in 45 games or 68.1 innings for the Rock Hounds posting a 3.03 ERA.

39. Kyle Friedrichs, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level in 2017: AA
Friedrichs split the 2017 season between Stockton and Midland. He struggled in Double-A posting a 6.00 ERA and was eventually demoted back to Class-A Advanced Stockton where he was able to put up much better numbers – like a sub-3.00 ERA.

40. Skylar Szynski, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level in 2017: Did Not Play (injured)
Szynski played seven games in the Arizona Rookie League in 2016 and was unsuccessful posting a 8.10 ERA. It was soon announced that he had a season ending elbow injury that kept him out all last season. We still have yet to see what this kid can do but Melissa Lockard of Oakland Clubhouse says he is healthy and back on track.

41. Wandisson Charles, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Charles appears to be a pretty strong releiver so far. He appeared in 15 games in 2017, while posting a 3.43 ERA and averaging 12.4 K’s per nine innings.

42. Boomer Biegalski, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
Pitched well in Stockton following a full season in Midwest League A ball in 2016. 64 K in 51 is great but he’s also giving up more hits than innings pitched.

43. Logan Salow, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
6th round draft pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Salow got into 15 games for Vermont and was very good, sporting a 1.61 ERA with 28 K in 22.1 IP.

44. Luis Barrera, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
A potential 4th/5th outfielder out of the Dominican Republic, Barrera doesn’t show a lot of pop yet (only 14 HR in 5 MiLB seasons) and is caught stealing more than you’d like to see. (CS 8 times out of 24 attempts in 2017)

45. Skye Bolt, OF
Age: 24
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
The A’s 4th round pick in 2015, Bolt started to come into his own this past season. He launched 15 HR for High-A Stockton while tallying 188 total bases in 114 games.

46. Sandber Pimentel, 1B
Age: 23
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
Coming off a 21 HR season in 2016 at Stockton, hopes were high for Pimentel in 2017. In only 70 games he put up 14 HR but significantly improved his slashline going .279/.374/.484 compared to .237/.342/.436 in 2016.

47. Nate Mondou, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A-Adv
Not sure if he’ll achieve the dream of getting to the majors or not, Mondou is a contact hitter (.290 career average in 2 MiLB seasons) who will likely start 2018 with High-A Stockton but could see time in Double-A Midland this year.

48. Logan Farrar, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A (Short)
Farrar slashed .341/.413/.495 between Rookie ball and Short Season Vermont. The 36th rounder out of VCU (from Stoneham, MA) looks to continue his solid play, hopefully for full season Beloit in 2018.

49. Miguel Mercedes, 1B
Age: 22
Highest Level in 2017: A
Mercedes has a big bat with a power swing (16 HR at full season A-ball Beloit in 2017) but 126 strikeouts and a .230 AVG. That has to improve if he’s to see AA in the future.

50. Dustin Hurlbutt, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level in 2017: AAA
Hurlbutt was in the “Received Consideration” category in Robert Hill’s 2017 Midseason A’s Top 50 Prospects. He just makes it onto this Top 50 coming off a solid 2017 between 3 levels. 108 K in 118.1 IP and showed good control with a 1.14 WHIP.

About Jen Rainwater 5 Articles
Front Page Writer at Athletics Nation. Oakland A's Writer at Prospects1500. Associate Site Manager at MLB.com. Avid MLB fan and (obvious) Oakland A's fanatic. Original "Oakland A's Socks Girl." Cowboys fan. Dubs fan. Cancer. Liberal. Animal lover but definite cat person. Follow Jen on Twitter at @Baseball_Jen.

16 Comments

  1. Great article. So I just traded for Barreto in hopes Mateo would go to CF and Barreto slides into SS. Any scenario where he sticks at SS? Also do you see 20/15 seasons in his future as I do?

    • I dont see Barreto playing short. Sorry. I mean I could be way off but most of what I hear is he profiles better at center or 2B. I also know that despite previous defensive issues that they really like Semien at short. Barreto may play SS in the minors for about half the season but I don’t see it in MLB. Although the A’s can be unpredictable! And as for a 20/15 season, I absolutely do! 😊

  2. Hey Jen! Great write up. Just one thing, Laureano came from the Astros system, not the Rangers. Most Astros fans, myself included, wouldn’t like you cursing at them like that. Haha!

    • Here’s the strange thing. I could’ve sworn he was on my list because I remember typing him into Baseball-Reference. I guess somehow I must’ve overlooked that info on him. I definitely would have put him in my 4th Tier or at the top of the 5th Tier. Just to make sure I’m remembering correctly… tall lefty, came over from the CWS with Wendelken for Brett Lawrie? That is my bad! He was originally in the top 50. Let’s see how the first half of 2018 goes and he’ll likely be in a Midseason A’s Top 50. Good catch! Thanks! 😊

    • I doubt it will be until closer to the deadline, personally. The team basically had to pick up Lowrie’s option, given he had a career year and broke the team’s single season doubles record. If (& it’s likely) they do trade Lowrie, it gives Barreto more development time (he struggled a little bit offensively in his short stint with Triple-A Nashville) and opens up a spot at 2nd for him. The team likes Semien despite his defensive struggles after coming over from CWS. I mean he had to learn the position. Prior to coming to OAK he had played just 80-something big league games over two seasons and maybe six were at SS – so he is still improving in that respect with each game he plays. Then there is the fact that he can easily produce 25-30 HR per season. Add Barreto at 2nd, Matt Olson at 1st & Matt Chapman at 3rd and that’s an infield with A LOT of power that will only get better as they each (well, not Olson or Semien so much) become more selective at the plate. In my opinion he could be called up in May if Lowrie gets hurt or someone else does but he wont play regularly until Lowrie is traded and when that happens he’ll play at 2nd. He’s played some centerfield but Dustin Fowler is likely taking over that spot.

  3. Copy-editing issue — How can Jean Ruiz be 17 and already have pitched THREE seasons in the Oakland organization? That would mean he signed at 14 or 15, both of which are illegal.

    • It was an error. Ruiz is 21 which you can see by clicking on his name and going to the Baseball Reference player page. Fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out.

  4. Watch for a young kid named Hunter Hargrove. 2017 Co-Big 12 Player of the year, out of Texas Tech. Played AZ rookie league and single A lat year He can flat out hit, and I have heard he has put on a lot of size and strength this off season.

      • Prediction on Hunter Hargrove seems to be playing out. Have you been following him? Did you see what he did in the May 26 game?

        • I did actually!! I follow the Beloit Snappers on Twitter! LOL! First three homers of the season all in one day! That’s nuts and 7 RBI! I checked his stats out after I saw that and he’s doing well!(just went to look it up again right quick and that is the case) .333/.379/.492!! He plays 1B right? I think he pitched in a game – I looked at his fielding and one game it said Pos: P <---- I was like, huh. LOL!

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Saturday January 20, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com
  2. Kansas City Royals 2018 Top 50 Prospects | Prospects1500
  3. Oakland Athletics catching prospect Sean Murphy is a superstar in the making
  4. 2018 MLB Draft Link Round-Up | Prospects1500

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*