In the last installment, R.J. Alvarez wasted no time drawing attention, edging out holdover Rangel Ravelo by five votes (55-50) in his first appearance on the ballot. Oh man, bernie_till_i_die is gonna be pissed. The current list, with ranks from MLB.com, Baseball America (revised), Baseball Prospectus, Athletics Farm, Keith Law, and Fangraphs in parentheses (strikethrough font means he didn't make that list):
1. Matt Olson, 1B (MLB #1, BA #2, BP #2, AF #1, KL #1, FG #2)
2. Franklin Barreto, SS (MLB #2, BA #1, BP #1, AF #2, KL #2, FG #1)
3. Matt Chapman, 3B (MLB #4, BA #3, BP #10, AF #3, KL #3, FG #3)
4. Renato Nunez, 3B (MLB #3, BA #4, BP #4, AF #4, KL #4, FG #4)
5. Dillon Overton, LHP (MLB #5, BA #9, BP#7, AF #8, KL #5, FG #7)
6. Kendall Graveman, RHP (MLB #9, BA #6, BP #5, AF #5, KL #9, FG #5)
7. Yairo Munoz, SS (
MLB, BA, BP #6, AF, KL #8, FG #12)
8. Sean Nolin, LHP (MLB #8, BA #7, BP #3, AF #6, KL #12, FG #8)
9. Raul Alcantara, RHP (MLB #7, BA #10,
BP, AF #9, KL #6, FG #10)
10. Joey Wendle, 2B (MLB #11,
BA, BP #9, AF #10, KL, FG #14)
11. R.J. Alvarez, RHP (MLB #16,
BA, BP, AF, KL, FG #6)
Alvarez, acquired in the Derek Norris trade, is a bit of a surprise this high on the list simply because he's a reliever. He didn't make any of the four Top 10 lists, but then, he didn't make our Top 10 list either. He does show up on both Top 20 lists, though, and Fangraphs actually did put him as high as No. 6. He's MLB-ready, working in the mid-to-high-90s with a decent slider and an occasional changeup, but there is a clear ceiling for how valuable a reliever can be since their workloads are relatively small. The higher you rank him, the more you must believe in his chances to sharpen up his control, keep his walks down, and use his huge strikeout potential to become a solid-to-elite closer. For now, though, he's got a good shot to make the Opening Day bullpen and could be a big contributor to the 2015 team.
The next CPL will come out in a few days, so don't waste any time casting your vote or making your nomination(s)!
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.
The new addition appears to be AN's personal sleeper prospect, as a high-ceiling question mark who is currently completely off the radar for injury reasons. Dustin Driver slipped in the 2013 draft for signability reasons, and it was considered something of a coup when the A's talked him into signing over-slot out of high school. Driver hasn't yet been healthy enough to show what he can do in pro ball, but his advocates are excited to see him jump into the national spotlight this season. Due to his lack of pro experience, there aren't really any good current scouting reports about him, so I went straight to the source and asked Bill from A's Farm for a few words. Here is a quick rundown on Driver:
Dustin Driver, RHP | Expected level: Low-A or AZL Rookie | Age 20
From Bill Moriarty of Athletics Farm
Driver was an aggressive, hard-throwing high-schooler out of Washington who looked like a UCLA-commit before the A's drafted him in the 7th round in 2013 and convinced him to go the pro route with an approximate half-million-dollar bonus. The 20-year-old is a high-ceiling power arm who's had trouble staying healthy and staying on the mound. He's appeared in just 7 Arizona League games since the A's drafted him. But when healthy, he flashes an impressive low-to-mid-90s fastball and has a potentially solid slider and changeup that can only get better with more time on the mound. A back issue and a prolonged illness caused Driver to miss out on 2014 entirely, but the hope is that he can stay on the mound and show what he can do in 2015.
From Chris Kusiolek of The Afroed Elephant (click the link for more!)
[Driver] instantly burst forth and showcased a heavy 94-96 MPH fastball while topping 97 MPH ... with outstanding sequencing off the changeup and slider ... Driver, possessing the physique of a linebacker, has flashed an enticing 65-55-50+ projected repertoire ... With these attributes established, Driver has definitively asserted himself as a fringe potential #2 starter.
There could still be some strength plopped onto an already extremely athletic frame for the 20-year-old, listed at 6'2, 215 pounds and chiseled, but he's likely filled out to the extent one shall see another half-decade into the future. Questions still surround the hurler with zero extensive experience and durability still having yet to be witnessed, but with a frame presenting athletic projection, sustainability ought to develop as the righty contends for an upcoming Beloit rotation assignment with his fellow rehabilitating 2013 high school draftee in Chris Kohler. With a repeatable and athletic delivery, Driver at the very least figures to play as a late-inning bullpen asset should his rotation potential not materialize.
Here are our other current candidates:
Chad Pinder, 2B | Expected level: Double-A | Age 23
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 45 | Overall: 50
Pinder drew comparisons to Evan Longoria while starring in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2012. While that's a stretch, it does speak to Pinder's all-around ability. As a bonus, he may be able to play the middle infield.
Though Pinder had a lackluster pro debut, he has the hand-eye coordination and bat speed to hit for a solid average. Scouts are more mixed about Pinder's power potential, but he can drive the ball to the opposite field. Pinder should be good for at least double-digit homers on an annual basis.
Pinder has the hands and arm for a shortstop, where he played primarily in his pro debut -- though he moved to second base when he joined Robertson at high Class A Stockton. Pinder profiles best at second, which would require less power than a shift to third base.
Rangel Ravelo, 3B | Expected level: Triple-A | Age 23 (in April)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
Since signing as a sixth-rounder out of a Florida high school in 2010, Ravelo emerged as one of the best pure hitters in the White Sox system. He batted .309 and led the Double-A Southern League with 37 doubles in 2014 before joining the Athletics as part of a trade package for Jeff Samardzija during the Winter Meetings.
Ravelo controls the strike zone well and makes consistent contact to all fields. While he has strength in his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame, he has just 18 homers in 421 pro games. The consensus is that he won't have more than below-average home run power, which makes it difficult to project him as a regular at first base.
Ravelo spent his first two pro seasons at third base and has solid arm strength, but he didn't move well enough to stay at the hot corner. He's an adequate defender at first base.
Chris Bassitt | Expected level: Triple-A or MLB | Age 26
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 40 | Slider: 40 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
The White Sox saw enough of Bassitt after he threw sparingly as a reliever in four years at Akron to sign him for $50,000 in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft, and they converted him to a starter in the middle of his first full pro season and watched him lead the system with 138 strikeouts in 2013. He didn't start his 2014 season until mid-July because of a broken hand suffered in an off-field incident. He did come back to make his Major League debut, making six appearances -- five of them starts -- late in the year, before finishing things off with a strong stint as a reliever in the Arizona Fall League. The A's got him as part of the package they received in return for Jeff Samardzija in December.
Bassitt has streamlined and sped up his delivery since turning pro, allowing him to get more leverage out of his 6-foot-5 frame. That helped him add velocity, and he now sits at 91-93 mph and touches 95 with his fastball.
Bassitt's heater is his lone plus pitch, so he has a ceiling of a back-of-the-rotation starter and may wind up back in the bullpen down the road. His fringy changeup is his best secondary offering, and he struggles at times to stay on top of his curveball and slider. There's some effort in Bassitt's delivery, costing him some command.
Mark Canha, 1B/OF | Expected level: MLB | Age 26
The A's acquired Canha this December from the Colorado Rockies, who drafted Canha during the annual Rule 5 draft. Canha will need to remain on the A's active 25-man roster throughout the 2015 season or be offered back to the Marlins.
Over the past three years, the A's have used their entire roster, switching line-ups frequently to maximize match-up advantages. Despite those line-up changes, the A's hit only .239/.313/.368 as a team versus left-handed pitching last season. The A's hope the right-handed hitting Canha can help Oakland improve in that area this year. Canha has hit .305/.390/.486 versus lefties over the past three seasons. He has also faired well versus right-handed pitchers (.277/.371/.467), which could help him get into more games this year.
The trait that will help Canha most in his quest to make the A's roster is his versatility. During his minor league career, Canha has spent significant playing time at first and in the corner outfield spots, and he has some experience at third base, as well. Canha believes that his ability to play multiple positions helps him be a better overall baseball player. He acknowledges that he is more comfortable in left and at first right now, but he plans to get more work in at third this spring and believes he will be ready, if needed, at that position, as well.
"I hang my hat on my power," the South Bay native said during a post-FanFest media session on Monday [2/9/15]. "The best part of the game, the most fun part of the game, the most valuable part of the game is hitting homeruns and doubles. That's what makes the games fun for me."
Vote in the poll below for your favorite of the five, and post your nominations in the comments!