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Oakland Athletics Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-Season Review

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Checking in on the Oakland Athletics farm system. . .

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
Jharel Cotton
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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.

This list was originally published January 9th, 2017.

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.

Cleveland Indians v Oakland Athletics
Matt Chapman
Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

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.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
Renato Nunez
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Atlanta Braves v Oakland Athletics
Bruce Maxwell
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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.

MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics
Jaycob Brugman
Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.