A's prospects don't last forever it seems. Here's a repeat for #2! That also makes Matt Olson our #1 for now.
Here are the rules:
- Five candidates will appear on the ballot.
- In the comments, commenters will nominate a player to be put onto the list the next round. After the first nomination for a player has been put in, all other votes for that player will come from Rec'ing that post.
- The format for the comment should be "Nomination: Player Name".
- If a prospect is traded, his name will be crossed out, and all other players will be moved up a space.
- If a prospect is acquired, a special vote will be put up to determine where that player should be voted to rank, by asking what player is that prospect better than. For example, if we acquired a a top prospect that could be our new top guy, we'd have a vote for who that player was better than, with the top 5 prospects thus far. That prospect would then be inserted into the list right above that player.
Pick Your guy for this round, nominate for the next, and start dissing and discussing those prospects.
Here are our current candidates:
Matt Chapman, 3B
Oakland has had five first-round or supplemental first-round picks in the past three Drafts, and the club has spent four of those picks on infielders. The latest infielder selected was Chapman, who wowed the A’s in a workout shortly before the Draft. He went 25th overall and he signed for $1.75 million.
Chapman fits the third-base profile to a tee, as he possesses the power potential and arm strength teams want at the position. Chapman manages the strike zone well, and while he can be inconsistent at times, he’s doing a better job of turning his batting-practice power into home runs during games.
Chapman has Gold Glove upside at the hot corner. He moves well at third base and he has a cannon of an arm that has produced fastballs up to 98 mph in limited stints on the mound. Chapman is reminiscent of Michael Lorenzen, another Cal State Fullerton star who gave up playing the outfield to become a full-time pitcher after the Reds made him a supplemental first-round choice in 2013.
Franklin Barreto, 2B
Barreto was ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the 2012 international free agent class by MLB.com after a storied amateur career in Venezuela. He’s advanced quickly since then, debuting the next year in the Gulf Coast League as a 17-year-old and advancing to the Northwest League in 2014. In November, he was a part of the package the A’s acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for Josh Donaldson.
Barreto’s compact swing and quick hands allow him to barrel up balls well. He isn’t physically imposing, but is solidly built and has some raw power. He is very athletic and has above-average speed.
Barreto isn’t as advanced defensively, and scouts think he will need to move off of shortstop. But he’s just a teenager and he will get every opportunity to prove he can stick there.
Renato Nunez, CIF
The A’s had an all-prospect infield at low Class A Beloit in 2013, with Olson at first base, since-traded Chris Bostick at second, Robertson at shortstop and Nunez at third. Nunez ranked fifth in the Midwest League with 19 homers, more than doubling his total of nine from his first two seasons in Rookie ball. Nunez has continued to drive the ball in high Class A this year.
Signed for $2.2 million out of Venezuela, Nunez presents a combination of tantalizing and raw tools. He has a sound and quick right-handed swing, and he can drive the ball to all areas of the field — though he also can get himself out by being overly aggressive at the plate. If Nunez can adopt a more disciplined approach, he could produce for both power and average.
Though Nunez’s strong arm fits at third base, it’s uncertain whether he can remain at the hot corner in the long run. Nunez’s hands and feet need a lot of work, and if he can’t cut it at third, his well below-average speed may mean that first base is his only other option.
Dillon Overton, LHP
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Though Jonathan Gray went No. 3 overall to the Rockies in the 2013 Draft, it was Overton who opened that college season as Oklahoma’s ace — and was regarded as the better prospect of the two. Overton wound up straining his forearm, but he pitched through the injury with reduced stuff. The A’s took him in the second round, and when they discovered that he would need Tommy John surgery, they were able to sign Overton for $400,000.
When healthy, Overton can show three plus pitches. Overton deals in the low 90s, and he can hit 95 mph with a fastball that gains deception and life from his crossfire delivery. Overton can make batters look bad with his slider, and he can also get swings and misses with his changeup.
Overton has plenty of polish, too, and he’s also mentally tough. Overton returned to the mound in late June, and he could prove to be a steal for Oakland.
Sean Nolin, LHP
Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45
Drafted by the Blue Jays in 2010, Nolin made his Major League debut in 2013. He returned to Triple-A for most of 2014 and was slowed by a groin injury but returned to the big leagues in September. After his strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, the A’s acquired him in November in the Josh Donaldson deal.
Nolin’s stuff isn’t overpowering but plays up thanks to his pitchability and control. He throws his fastball around 90 mph and uses his height to create a sharp downhill angle. He commands all of his pitches well, consistently filling up the strike zone.
Before his groin injury, Nolin had shown he was nearly ready for the big leagues. He has the makings of becoming a solid starter for the A’s.