Baseball Prospectus has released its top 10 Oakland Athletics prospects, authored by Tucker Blair and the BP Prospect Staff (subscription required). What is most striking about the Baseball Prospectus Top 10 is how much it differs from the other lists:
|Baseball Prospectus||MLB.com||Keith Law, ESPN||Baseball America*|
|#1||SS Franklin Barreto||1B Matt Olson||1B Matt Olson||SS Franklin Barreto|
|#2||1B Matt Olson||SS Franklin Barreto||SS Franklin Barreto||1B Matt Olson|
|#3||LHP Sean Nolin||3B Renato Nunez||3B Matt Chapman||3B Matt Chapman|
|#4||3B Renato Nunez||3B Matt Chapman||3B Renato Nunez||3B Renato Nunez|
|#5||RHP Kendall Graveman||LHP Dillon Overton||LHP Dillon Overton||RHP Kendall Graveman|
|#6||SS Yairo Munoz||2B Chad Pinder||RHP Raul Alcantara||LHP Sean Nolin|
|#7||LHP Dillon Overton||RHP Raul Alcantara||2B Chad Pinder||LHP Dillon Overton|
|#8||2B Chad Pinder||LHP Sean Nolin||SS Yairo Munoz||RHP Raul Alcantara|
|#9||2B Joe Wendle||RHP Kendall Graveman||RHP Kendall Graveman||2B Chad Pinder|
|#10||3B Matt Chapman||1B/3B Max Muncy||RHP Bobby Wahl|
|*At publication, Daniel Robertson was #1 on the Baseball America list, he has since been traded.|
The biggest fall is 2014 top draft pick third baseman Matt Chapman, who falls to #10 on the Baseball Prospectus list with him making the top four in all the others. His 50 games in Low-A Beloit where he hit .237/.282/.389, his first professional season, caused all of his weaknesses to be centered on his swing, described as, "has holes and can become elongated," among other descriptors. The "big raw power," "cannon arm", and "feel for an approach at the plate" are still listed as strengths for him. It's early enough in his career that a good 2015 should make his stock rise dramatically, in my view.
Sean Nolin, at #3 makes one of the bigger jumps on this list, and rates with an overall future potential as a #4 starter, but is more likely a #5 starter going forward.
Joe Wendle appears at #9, making his only appearance on the top 10 of any of these lists. The overall take is that his potential is completely dependent on his ability to hit into the gaps, and lacks the athleticism to make up for his fringe power on defense. He's realistically seen as a bench option, with an overall future potential of "average major leaguer."
Wendle making this list is more a reflection on Baseball Prospectus' opinion on the A's farm. Mauricio Rubio sums up, "Beane can turn things around in a hurry, but as of right now this is a thin organization at the minor-league level."