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Top 32 prospects for the Oakland Athletics

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Below is an analysis of the expectations of the Oakland Athletics farm system. The inspection reports were compiled from information provided by industry sources and my own observations. This is the fourth year we've defined between two expected relief roles, the abbreviations of which you'll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning relief pitchers. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player must be added to the 40-man roster to avoid becoming eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where appropriate, but we use that as a rule of thumb.

A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A more in-depth overview can be found here.

All prospects at the bottom level also appear on IBoard, a service that provides a site with editable evaluation information for the entire organization. It has more detail (and updated TrackMan data from various sources) than this article and includes individual team lists so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here.

Other Opportunities for Awareness

Grouped by genre and listed in order of popularity within each category.

Great Pitchers
Pedro Santos, RHP
Eduardo Rivera, LHP
Franck De La Rosa, RHP
Yunior Tur, RHP

Santos, 24, is a 6-foot-4 Cuban who sits 95-98 but struggles to find space. He's closing in Midland right now. Rivera, 20, is a 6-foot-7 Puerto Rican lefty with average arm power but a good three-spot development shot. De La Rosa, 23, is a 6-foot-8 Dominican righty who sits 95-97 and is off to a better start throwing strikes than at any other time in his career, even though he's in Low-A. Tur, 24, is a 6-foot-6 Cuban player with a quick low-90s that often has 20 inches of vertical break; every song of his is suspect.

Some Hard Throwers
Shohei Tomioka, RHP
Danis Correa, RHP
Jack Perkins, RHP
Jacob Watters, RHP
Felix Castro, RHP

Tomioka, 28, played soccer at Toyo University and the Industrial League in Japan while holding down a job as a medical packager. He answered A's phone and dialed 95 there. He's hit 96 this year, and has a cutter and a slow, 3,000 rpm curveball. Correa was a long-time “bottom of the list” prospect with the Cubs. There were times when he showed upper-90s cutting heat and a plus changeup, but he was never able to throw strikes or stay healthy for long periods of time. At times, Perkins and Watters have looked like a fastball/smooth ball in the middle, but Perkins has been injured frequently and Watters' results have been underwhelming. Castro is an ACL arm to watch, a reliever-y righty with 93-95 mph fastballs, a promising cutter and changeup.

Pitchability Depth
Gunnar Hoglund, RHP
Blake Beers, RHP
Chen Zhong-Ao Zhuang, RHP

Hoglund, a former first-round pick and rotation starter, hasn't had a velocity return since his Tommy John. He's had more success so far this year at Double-A Midland, where he's pitched 92 with a below-second average. A 2021 19-rounder out of Michigan, Beers is a good Double-A pitcher with quality first base control, though he lacks a swing-and-miss weapon. Zhuang is a 23-year-old from Taiwan who is fit and always 92 in riding and running. He has a mid-70s curveball and throws a splitter and cutter against lefties. His 2024 started well.

Strong Profiles
Henry Bolte, RF
Clark Elliott, LF
Brian Buelvas, CF
Colby Thomas, LF
Brennan Milone, 1B/3B

Bolte, 20, is a former second-round pick who I tend to be less than consensus on. He is currently hitting about 40% of the time and is struggling defensively. I have long been in awe of his hit tool, which has been known until now. Elliott is currently in IL. He doesn't have a good offensive game to profile in left field, his best defensive line. To gain strength, he must swing with great effort. Buelvas is a serious high-tweener boy. He could still be Jose Azocar or something like that, I think. Thomas is an older, physical outfielder at Double-A Midland. He has above-average bat speed but doesn't track pitches well, and will be a solid left fielder with a 40 hit tool and 50 power. Milone is a good hitter who has moved from 3B/2B to 1B/3B, where his power is a little short.

Max Schuemann, UTIL
Niel Laboy, 3B
Tom Reisinger, RHP

Schuemann is a very versatile defender in the mold of Andrew Velazquez. Laboy is a well-built 19-year-old infielder (1B/2B/3B) with above-average bat speed and a nice lefty swing. Reisinger is a small school (in East Stroudsburg, PA) with a natural 80s cut fastball and breaking ball.

System Overview

This system is in rough shape, with below average depth and slightly below average impact on the surface. Oakland's recent rebuilding trade didn't go well. Of all the players they acquired, only Shea Langeliers has established himself as a long-term player. JJ Bleday (who returned from Miami for AJ Puk) is off to a good start in 2024 and JP Sears is looking like the quarterback he was expected to be, but the program doesn't have a great impact in general, and when you consider it. how much talent was traded in 2021-2023, that's disappointing. The Sean Murphy trade, which the Brewers somehow stuck their nose into, but escaped with the Braves leading the way, is probably the worst investment of all.

I did film studies on Tyler Soderstrom while working on this list and I still believe he will eventually be a big league hitter. He would be number one on this list if he was still eligible. He's improving a bit behind the plate (the A's have plenty of time to let him continue to develop back there), but mostly, he has ridiculous lefty bat speed and a body built to last. He will be so powerful that he will be a hitter and impact despite high chases and hits. He was up enough last year to lose his rookie status, but he still has hope.

A's still play an important role in the use and application of technology. A few weeks ago at their backyard in Mesa, a TrackMan unit was installed on the second of their four fields, with several controlled cameras providing a video feed of the action on that field from various angles also recently installed. These are the kinds of things that many other teams have had for some time (the setup and use of cameras in other teams is much more advanced than this), but the shortcomings of John Fischer's budget extend beyond the team's salary to other aspects of the team's infrastructure. It's like a baseball ops team having to fight with one hand behind and several fingers cut off from the other. This has no doubt contributed to the A's struggles throughout the organization, from scouting to player dev, but it's not the only reason they've had difficulty doing any of those things well over the past five years.

As a guy who grew up with the Arizona Coyotes during my ten years in Phoenix and I'm sad that the young players I grew up loving are now going to enjoy their first years in Salt Lake City, I can't imagine what it's like. losing a team that has been a part of your city and culture for over half a century. (The ghost of my late grandfather, who was snapped up by the A's when they moved from Philly to Kansas City in the 1950s, might find it funny that this somehow still happens.) It's amazing to write about the top prospects that could be the Sacramento and Las Vegas A's. than the Oakland A's, and it's unfortunate that A's fans who have suffered through the rebuilding and tanking won't reap the benefits in hindsight.

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