So, Happy Friday! What are we doing this weekend? Who's going to FanFest?
Depending on the mood you are in today, it's either "Hey! The A's have six prospects on the top 100 prospect list that MLB published!" or it's "What?! The A's only have six players on the top 100 prospect list that MLB published; we're doomed for the future too! I miss Grant Desme!"
So, I think this is a positive sign; having six on the prospect list. I'd probably feel better if they actually came up from our own system, and not collected via trading our best players in the off-season, but I supposed it depends on how well Michael Choice, Grant Green and Sonny Gray perform before I can be really upset at our system.
So then, let's hear it. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, a MLB.com senior writer, Jonathan Mayo, compiled a list of the top prospects (this year it's the top 100), and a little summary about them, so we can see into the future, and dream of the day when they might take the field in
Oakland Fremont San Jose Mars a basement a parking lot somewhere.
According to our own Jane Lee:
This year's edition of MLB.com's Top Prospects list has expanded from 50 to 100 players. The annual ranking of baseball's biggest and brightest young talent is assembled by MLB.com's Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo, who compiles input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, closeness to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLB.com's Prospect Watch, only includes players with rookie status in 2012.
It takes a quarter of the list, but finally, clocking in at #26 is the A's own Jarrod Parker, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, who came over to Oakland in the Cahill deal. Parker was drafted out of high school in 2007, and by 2009, was pitching in High-A. Unfortunately (or fortunately that it's all over for him), he had Tommy John surgery early in his career and missed the entire 2010 season. From a number of weird blogs, I have deduced that he might not be married, but perhaps has a girlfriend. Just in case you were all scouting the A's wives. From Mayo's summary:
Scouting report: With Tommy John surgery now fully in his rearview mirror, Parker showed in the second half of 2011 that the rust was completely gone. If anything, the process made him a more complete pitcher. His plus fastball sits comfortably in the mid-90s, and he can reach back for more. There’s plenty of sink to induce ground balls. He has two breaking balls, a plus slider and a pretty good curve. Add in a good changeup and he has a four-pitch mix with good overall command. His delivery is retooled, he’s stronger than he was pre-surgery and he’s matured mentally and physically.
His upside is listed as the potential to pitch atop a big-league rotation. What I think that means, translated into Oakland A's speak is that, "He will start in 2012 on the A's. Bank it."
See more A's prospects after the jump...
Our next prospect is listed as #59, our own Michael Choice, a 22-year-old outfielder. Choice tidbits from the summary (get it?!) include, "Including his stint in the Arizona Fall League, Choice has 43 home runs in 642 at-bats, or one every 14.9 at-bats." And basically that he will strike out a lot, but also walk a lot.
Upside potential: A big basher who vies for home run and RBI titles while hitting for a higher average than anticipated.
Coming in at #75 is a much-anticipated arrival, Brad Peacock, our 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, who came over to the A's from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez. It's been hotly debated this off-season whether or not he will start in the rotation this year. Granted it's early, but the A's have the spots to fill, and there's no question that he'll have a legitimate chance to crack the rotation out of Spring Training. For those of you attending Spring Training, I hope we'll have a chance to see him pitch.
Scouting report: Part of the gaggle of prospects the A’s got from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez, Peacock is just about ready to help out in Oakland’s rotation. A jump in velocity in 2010 led to a breakout in 2011, which ended with his big league debut. He can touch the upper 90s with his fastball and he’s more effective with it when he keeps it down in the zone, something he did consistently last year. His curve is another above-average pitch and his changeup has developed nicely, though it’s a touch behind the other two. His overall command has improved as well.
Next on the list in the #85 spot, is Sonny Gray, a right-handed pitcher who is 22 years old. He is expected to continue up through the system, and likely he will not be ready in 2012. We have several other options before rushing him. The scouting report on him includes "raw stuff", but "too many walks".
Another return for Gio Gonzalez is the 20-year-old right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole, who comes in at #88 on the list. He is projected to perhaps be a top starter in a rotation, but obviously he needs time, and innings pitched under his belt before anything more can be said. According to MLB.com, he's clocked in the mid-90's with room for more.
We close the A's portion of the prospects with #94, Grant Green, a 24 year old outfielder (not a shortstop, as I remember, but I'm not crazy; he was drafted at shortstop). According to the prospect list, the switch was made because his bat could get to Oakland faster in the outfield.
Upside potential: With the position switch, he now has the chance to be a solid everyday center fielder with an above-average bat.
So there you go. The top A's to look forward to, and they are not all that far away; I imagine we'll be able to judge for ourselves in less than two months.
Just for comparison's sake, I've taken a look at our AL West competition:
3. Mike Trout (OF)
55. Jean Segura (SS)
67. Garrett Richards (RHP)
44. Jonathan Singleton (1B)
61. Jarred Cosart (RHP)
84. George Springer (OF)
12. Jesus Montero ( C )
16. Danny Hultzen (LHP)
18. Taijuan Walker (RHP)
52. Nick Franklin (SS)
77. James Paxton (LHP)
What do you think?