Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects Updated

Oakland’s minor league system is pretty thin in terms of potential impact players but there are some interesting names nonetheless.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. A.J. Puk | SP | INJ —> It looked like 2018 was going to be Puk’s coming out party at the big league level but, instead, he’s rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

2. Franklin Barreto | SS | MLB —> Barreto has struggled with the bat this year but he has a good opportunity to solidify a big league job if he stops trying to hit a home run in each at-bat. If he gets back to using the whole field, he can be an impact hitter with the ability to hit for a solid average, get on base and generate extra-base pop.

3. Jesus Luzardo | SP | AA —> This southpaw mixes power and command at a young age. He’s not overly physical and has already had Tommy John surgery so there are legitimate concerns over his ability to hold up as a starter. He has an excellent changeup to go with his mid-90s heat but his breaking ball needs work.

4. Lazaro Armenteros | LF | A —> Armenteros is raw and has a lot of swing-and-miss to his game but he’s athletic, quick, and has developing power that could eventually lead to 20+ homers. He’s also shown a willingness to take a free pass. A weak arm keeps him from being a plus fielder.

5. Sean Murphy | C | AA —> An excellent defensive catcher, Murphy has hit more than expected. He’s shown outstanding pop in 2018 with 24 doubles and seven homers through his first 58 games. He’s hitting more than .300 but he’s too aggressive at times and will likely be more of a .250-.260 hitter in the Majors unless he makes further adjustments.

6. Austin Beck | CF | A —> A toolsy, athletic outfielder, Beck is still very much a work-in-progress at the plate. He’s hitting more than .300 but is relying on a high BABIP to do so. His BB-K rate of 14-60 through 62 games leaves a lot to be desired.

7. Will Toffey | 3B | A+ —> Toffey got off to a strong start in April but missed over a month with an injury before returning to action at the end of May. He hasn’t looked right since and his numbers have suffered. When he’s going well, he controls the strike zone, hits line drives and gets on base at an above-average clip. He has a chance to be a solid regular at third base.

8. Kyler Murray | OF | DNP —> An extremely athletic player, Murray has spent more energy on football as an amateur. He looked great on the baseball diamond, though, in limited action so the A’s ponied up the cash in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. It’s a big gamble for the small-market A’s — especially given that football players can bring injuries with them into pro ball (increased risk of concussions, etc).

9. Kevin Merrell | SS | A+ —> I might be the high man on Merrell, but I see a player with game-changing speed, the athletic ability to handle shortstop/second base/center field and a chance to hit for a decent average. He may not hit for much power, but he doesn’t need to when he can run his way into scoring position and leave the run production for others. There is a decent chance, though, that he ends up as a utility player.

10. Marcos Brito | MIF | SS —> A very raw teenager, Brito nonetheless has shown a good eye and a patient approach while playing against college-aged hitters in the New York Penn League as an 18 year old. He needs to get stronger but the potential is there to be a solid regular, likely at second base.

Just Missed:

Jorge Mateo | IF/OF | AAA —> Another player with game-changing speed, his effort has been questioned. He needs to focus more on getting on base to take advantage of that speed.

Daulton Jefferies | RHP | R —> Jefferies is one of the most promising arms in the system but he cannot avoid the trainer’s table, something that’s followed him since his college days. He made his first appearance of the year back on June 19 but hasn’t pitched since.

Logan Shore | RHP | AA —> Shore is more solid than spectacular. He has the build to be an innings-eater at the big league level at the back-end of a starting rotation. He has a solid fastball-changeup mix but the lack of a reliable breaking ball hurts him.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Pepper Martin
5 years ago

What about James Kaprielian?

5 years ago
Reply to  Pepper Martin

His career has been derailed by injuries. He hasn’t pitched at all since 2016, and even then only 18 innings. He had TJS in April 2017 and has been dealing with shoulder soreness this year. He has all of 29.1 career innings in pro baseball but he’s already 24.

5 years ago
Reply to  Pepper Martin

Which I’m guessing is the same issue with Grant Holmes.