We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.
1) Franklin Barreto, INF, Grade A-: Age 21, hitting .270/.316/.418 with 19 walks, 101 strikeouts in 311 at-bats in Triple-A; hit .190 with a pair of homers in 42 MLB at-bats during brief trial; showing good pop and steady glove but hitting approach has deteriorated in Triple-A; I think he’ll adjust but he needs more time.
2) A.J. Puk, LHP, Grade B+: Age 22, first round pick from University of Florida in 2016; 3.97 ERA in 79 innings between High-A and Double-A, 117/33 K/BB, 60 hits; blistering stuff but command remains erratic; stock steady, high upside.
3) Jharel Cotton, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 25, 20th round pick by the Dodgers in 2012 from East Carolina University, traded to Athletics in Josh Reddick and Rich Hill deal; 14 starts in MLB with 5.17 ERA in 77 innings, 67/32 K/BB, on disabled list with blister right now; inconsistent but I still like his chances to be an above-average starter if they remain patient with him.
4) Matt Chapman, 3B, Grade B/B+: Age 24, first round pick in 2014 from Cal State Fullerton; hit .257/.348/.589 in 175 Triple-A at-bats, promoted to majors and hitting .200/.273/.440 so far in 50 at-bats; excellent defense with power, don’t expect much batting average but the superb glove buys him a lot of slack.
5) Frankie Montas, RHP, Grade B: Age 24, acquired from Dodgers in the Reddick/Hill deal; 6.91 ERA in 29 major league bullpen innings with 30/15 K/BB; that got him sent back to Triple-A where he’s moved back into a starting role; still has high long-term potential and like Cotton he needs innings and experience to adjust.
6) Grant Holmes, RHP, Grade B/B-: Age 21, first round pick by Dodgers in 2014, another part of the Hill/Reddick deal; 4.92 ERA in 97 Double-A innings, 117 hits, 96/38 K/BB; results haven’t matched the stuff due to command and mechanical inconsistency, still quite young of course.
7) Daniel Gossett, RHP, Grade B/B-: Age 24, second round pick in 2014 out of Clemson, strong in Triple-A (3.41 ERA in 61 innings, 54/19 K/BB) promoted to majors and has varied between very good and very bad, 5.79 ERA in 37 innings with 23/6 K/BB overall; like Cotton and Montas, he has the ability to be an above-average starter but needs to find his legs.
8) Matt Olson, 1B-OF, Grade B-: Age 23, hit .267/.363/.554 in Triple-A, promoted to majors and hit .184/.310/.449, back in minors now but will return to MLB later in the year, no real change in profile, power/patience mix remains intriguing.
9) Renato Nunez, 3B-1B, Grade B-: Age 23; Hitting .250/.308/.534 in Triple-A with 24 homers, 26 walks, 102 strikeouts; more serious contact issues than Olson and less patient but matches or even exceeds him in raw power; stock steady.
10) Norge Ruiz, RHP, Grade B-: Age 23, Cuban right-hander signed for $2,000,000 in December; just getting into action in the California League with 2.81 ERA in 16 innings, 12/5 K/BB over three starts, will be key guy to watch in the second half.
11) Logan Shore, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, second round pick in 2016 from University of Florida; limited to 35 innings in High-A by a lat strain, 3.12 ERA with 32/6 K/BB, showing expected polish; he was looking ready for Double-A until getting hurt.
12) Daulton Jefferies, RHP, Grade B-: Age 21, comp round pick in 2016 from University of California; made two starts in High-A then had Tommy John surgery in late April.
13) Max Schrock, 2B, Grade B-: Age 22, 15th round pick in 2015 by Natonals from University of South Carolina, traded to Athletics last August; hitting .300/.357/.412 with 22 walks, 27 strikeouts in 260 at-bats in Double-A; very reliable defense with only two errors; needs more attention than he’s received.
14) Raul Alcantara, RHP, Grade C+: Age 24, made team out of spring training but got crushed and gave up 15 runs in seven innings; out-righted to Triple-A then ended up on the disabled list, just started rehab work in rookie ball; given arm strength he’ll get more chances.
15) Lazaro Armenteros, OF, Grade C+: Age 18, Cuban signed last summer for $3,000,000; just getting started in rookie ball, hitting .305/.385/.508 in 59 at-bats so far, obviously a good start; has the tools to rank much higher once we get a better idea how those tools translate into performance and how much he needs to refine skills; I’m rather high on him.
16) Bruce Maxwell, C, Grade C+: Age 26, second round pick in 2012 from Birmingham Southern; hitting .282/.386/.380 in 71 major league at-bats; very strong defense; this looks legitimate to me.
17) Chad Pinder, INF, Grade C+: Age 25, hit .234/.289/.490 in 145 major league at-bats until going down with hamstring injury; this seems like his true level of skill, good power with versatile defense and poor OBP.
18) Richie Martin, SS, Grade C+: Age 22, first round pick in 2015 from University of Florida; hitting .209/.293/.310 in Double-A with 10 steals; impressive defense and can swipe a base but extreme lack of power/strength hold him back; utility role in the future unless the hitting improves.
19) Heath Fillmyer, RHP; Grade C+: Age 23, fifth round pick in 2014 from Mercer Junior College; 4.01 ERA in 92 innings in Double-A, 68/39 K/BB, 104 hits; not a great season; stuff may play up if he moves to bullpen down the road.
20) Jaycob Brugman, OF, Grade C+: Age 25, 17th round pick in 2013 out of BYU; hit .288/.373/.364 in Triple-A, then .245/.336/.316 in 98 major league at-bats; average tools across the board, solid glove, gets on base and may have a bit more pop in the bat than he’s demonstrated so far; fourth outfielder type.
OTHER GRADE C+:
Dakota Chalmers, RHP; 29 innings in Low-A, 4.34 ERA with 47/29 K/BB, just re-assigned to New York-Penn League.
Paul Blackburn, RHP: 3.05 ERA in 80 innings in Triple-A, 56/26 K/BB; three MLB starts with 1.83 ERA so far.
Marcos Brito, SS: Hitting .155 in 89 at-bats between Dominican and Arizona Leagues.
Kyle Friedrichs, RHP: 5.89 ERA in 70 innngs between High-A and Double-A.
Evan Manarino, LHP: 6.10 ERA in 90 innings between High-A and Double-A
Yairo Munoz, INF: Hitting .296/.328/.478 between Double-A and Triple-A, solid year.
James Naile, RHP: 3.22 ERA in 36 innings in Double-A, 29/13 K/BB, on DL with oblique strain.
Bobby Wahl, RHP: On major league disabled list with shoulder injury.
Ask questions about any of these guys, anyone else not written up pre-season, and 2017 draftees and I’ll answer in the comments section.