Oakland Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects Review


Joe Blanton

Oakland Athletics Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

1) Dan Meyer, LHP
     Went 2-8, 5.36 in 19 games for Triple-A Sacramento, 63/43 K/BB in 89 innings. All ratios way off from 2004. Shoulder problems were the main issue here. He is supposed to be OK in the long run, but obviously we need to see some actual positive data. Stock has dropped significantly.

2) Daric Barton, 1B
    Overcame a slow start to hit .318/.438/.469 in the California League, then .316/.410/.491 in Double-A, at age 19. One of the best pure hitters in the minors, with excellent strike zone judgment. Question: how much home run power will he develop?

3) Huston Street, RHP
    American League Rookie of the Year.

4) Nick Swisher, OF
    Hit .236/.322/.446 with 21 homers for Oakland. I think he will improve gradually, particularly in the OBP department.

5) Joe Blanton, RHP
    Solid year, went 12-12, 3.53 in 33 starts for Oakland, 116/67 K/BB in 201 innings. I'd like to see an increase in strikeouts, and/or a decline in his walk rate.

6) Omar Quintinilla, INF
    Traded to Colorado Rockies. Hit just .219/.270/.242 in 39 games for the Rockies. He will do better than that in the long run, but I do think I overrated him at the beginning of the season.

7) Richie Robnett, OF
    Toolsy outfielder didn't do as well as expected, hitting .243/.324/.440 in the California League. He did knock 20 homers and 30 doubles, but 151 strikeouts in 115 games is a red flag. Still an interesting prospect, but contact will be an issue.

8) Jairo Garcia, RHP
    4.47 ERA at Triple-A Sacramento, 73/20 K/BB in 48 innings, 20 saves. Exceptional K/IP ratio is a positive sign, but he still needs to improve his command.

9) Dan Johnson, 1B
    Hit .275/.355/.451 in 109 games for Oakland. Given his age (26), he probably won't improve much more beyond where he already is, but his power and patience will be useful.

10) Kurt Suzuki, C
     Hit .277/.378/.440 in 114 games for Class A Stockton in the California League. Good strike zone judgment, but hit a bit less than anticipated, and also needs to polish up his defense.

11) Javier Herrera, OF
     Hit .275/.374/.444 with 13 homers, 26 steals for Kane County in the Midwest League. Good tools guy, with gradually improving skills, although strikeout rate is high (110 in 94 games) and will have to be monitored.

12) Danny Putnam, OF
     Hit .307/.388/.479 with 37 doubles, 15 homers for Stockton. A solid all-around season, and I expect he will continue to hit in Double-A.

13) Brian Snyder, 3B
      Missed all but one game due to a rib cage injury.

14) Landon Powell, C
      Injured knee. Out for season.

15) Tyler Johnson, LHP
      Returned to Cardinals under Rule 5. 4.27 ERA in 57 games for Triple-A Memphis, 77/26 K/BB in 59 games. His component ratios are better than his ERA, note his very strong K/IP. A sleeper for '06.

16) Andre Ethier, OF
     Hit .319/.385/.497 with 30 doubles, 18 homers in Double-A. Power improved this year, while he maintained his batting average and OBP. Stock improving.

17) Brad Knox, RHP
      8-7, 4.27 in 20 starts for Stockton, 93/34 K/BB in 112 innings. A decent season, but he faces the Double-A test in '06 and will have to show his stuff will hold up.

18) Jason Windsor, RHP
     3.58 ERA with 64/8 K/BB in 55 innings for Stockton turned into a 5.72 ERA, 39/23 K/BB in 57 innings for Double-A Midland, a perfect example of how difficult the transition to Double-A can be for a finesse pitcher. Strikeouts shrank, walks grew, H/IP deteriorated sharply.

19) Brad Sullivan, RHP
      Neither healthy nor effective for Stockton, 7.30 ERA in 25 innings, 11/21 K/BB. Prospect status is pretty much gone at this point.

20) Ryan Webb, RHP
     Went 5-11, 4.76 in 23 starts for Class A Kane County, 84/41 K/BB in 129 innings. Disappointing numbers from a guy I thought was a breakthrough candidate, though at age 19 he still has time to come around.

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