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Oakland A's 2016 Community Prospect List #13: Rangel Ravelo re-proves himself after lost season

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Ravelo missed half the season, so here is half of his face.
Ravelo missed half the season, so here is half of his face.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Rangel Ravelo was nominated to the ballot at the same time that Matt Chapman was elected to the No. 4 spot on the CPL, which means Ravelo was on the ballot eight times before finally getting elected himself. That might end up being the longest wait time for any prospect this year, and it gives a good idea of the wide range of opinions he elicits throughout our community. The current list, including their winning margins (the amount by which they won their elections, defined as a percentage of the total vote):

1. Sean Manaea, LHP (+1%)
2. Franklin Barreto, SS/CF (+70%)
3. Matt Olson, 1B/OF (+24%)
4. Matt Chapman, 3B (+26%)
5. Jacob Nottingham, C (+1%)
6. Chad Pinder, SS (+31%)
7. Renato Nunez, 1B/3B (+51%)
8. Yairo Munoz, SS (+14%)
9. Richie Martin, SS (+12%)
10. Casey Meisner, RHP (+24%)
11. Dillon Overton, LHP (+25%)
12. Rangel Ravelo, 1B (+30%)

Ravelo was acquired from the White Sox in Sharknado 2, and he entered 2015 looking like he might have a shot at an MLB debut last summer. However, he hurt his wrist in spring training and required surgery to fix it, and by the time he returned from rehab it was already mid-July. He got back on his feet in Double-A but stumbled in his first brief taste of Triple-A, and overall it appeared his season was an exercise in treading water. He basically took a big step backward (due to injury), and then fought his way up to exactly where he'd been entering the year. That's just about the definition of a lost season.

But then! A mysterious voice whispered, "Winter is coming," and Ravelo responded by crushing the Venezuelan Winter League. The LVBP is considered roughly a Triple-A equivalent, and he led the eight-team league in OPS while walking more than he struck out and showing solid power (.208 isolated slugging). That was enough to earn him the Productor Del Año award ("best hitter," I think) and a third-place finish for MVP. His minor league regular season may have been lost, but this monster performance salvaged his calendar year and put him right back on the map entering 2016.

But still, there is plenty of reason for doubt. Ravelo doesn't hold much defensive value due to being a first baseman (and not one specifically noted for ace defense, like Olson), so he'll have to hit if he wants to make it. He also doesn't profile as a future home run hitter, which will make it even harder for him to hit enough to make up for being at first base. In that sense, I wouldn't blame you for being unsure how he fits on an MLB roster. But the dude just seems to keep on hitting wherever he goes thanks to his excellent plate discipline and contact skills, and many in the AN community (myself included) are unwilling to write that off due to an untraditional skill set. Indeed, he seems like just the kind of odd tweener who somehow carves out a role in Oakland. He'll get another crack at it this spring, and if he's healthy then he seems like a lock to debut in 2016.

Here is the process:

  • Five candidates will be listed on the ballot. The voting will take place in the comments section. I will start with a comment listing all five players, and then I will respond to that with five new comments in the style of "Vote: Player Name" for each candidate. Please do not reply directly to the official "Vote" comments, so that the ballot can stay together in one group.
  • Choose your ONE favorite by Rec'ing the comment with his name. Please only vote for one, like you would have in the old poll. (Note: If it comes down to a close two-man race, we will discuss the possibility of having the third-party voters cast a second vote for one of the two leading candidates, sort of like Ranked-Choice Voting.) The player who receives the most Rec's earns the next spot on the CPL, while the remaining four players move on to the next ballot where they are joined by a new nominee.
  • In the comments, below the official voting, commenters will nominate a player to be put onto the ballot for 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 comment. The player with the most Rec's earns the nomination.
  • 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 rank.

★ ★ ★

The new nominee is Mikey White. He was Oakland's second-round pick last summer, No. 63 overall. He's officially listed as a shortstop, but frankly I can't imagine a scenario in which he plays that position in 2016. I think it's a near-certainty that he will debut in High-A Stockton, and the only question is whether he will be playing next to Yairo Munoz or Richie Martin; either way, White will surely be relegated to 2B (or 3B?) while his partner takes SS. White is sort of the opposite of fellow 2015 draftee Martin -- White is a bat-first guy who may not stick at short, while Martin is a glove-first guy who must prove he can stick as a hitter. For White's part, he got an unexpected promotion up to Beloit last year when Munoz moved up to replace the injured Franklin Barreto. White didn't hit much at the higher level, but that's not a big deal for a guy who'd been in college a few months prior. The more important takeaway was that he was promoted ahead of the younger Martin, which is the reason I'm so sure he will open in Stockton this year (as most top college draft picks do in Oakland's system).

Mikey White, SS/2B

Expected level: High-A | Age 22

2015 stats (Low-A Vermont): 131 PAs, 153 wRC+, 2 HR, 10.7% BB, 22.1% Ks
2015 stats (Single-A Beloit): 145 PAs, 65 wRC+, 1 HR, 6.9% BB, 20.7% Ks

From MLB.com:

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45

White has a long track record of producing at the plate that extends from high school and U.S. national 18-and-under teams to the SEC and Cape Cod League. He consistently barrels balls with a short right-handed swing and generates good pop for a middle infielder. His advanced on-base skills fit well at the top of a batting order.

Though he has fringy pure speed, White runs the bases well. While he's not flashy or rangy at shortstop, he has dependable hands and makes routine plays. Second base is probably his best position, and Oakland had him play some third base alongside Martin at short-season Vermont.

★ ★ ★

Here are our other current candidates:

Raul Alcantara, RHP

Expected level: Double-A | Age 23

2015 stats (High-A Stockton): 15 starts, 3.88 ERA, 48⅔ ip, 29 Ks, 8 BB, 3 HR, 4.00 FIP

From MLB.com:

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Alcantara was coming off his American debut when the A's acquired him in December 2011 as a part of the trade that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox. He's matured as a pitcher since the deal and had reached Double-A Midland in 2014 before undergoing Tommy John surgery that May.

When healthy, Alcantara throws his fastball in the low 90s, occasionally touching 96 mph. His slider is inconsistent but has the promise to give him another quality secondary offering to go with his above-average changeup.

Alcantara had made significant strides in the year before his injury, and if he's able to recapture that ability when he gets back to full health, he has a chance to become a solid Major League starter.

★ ★ ★

Joey Wendle, 2B

Expected level: Triple-A? MLB? | Age 26

2015 stats (Triple-A Nashville): 618 PAs, 101 wRC+, 10 HR, 3.6% BB, 18.4% Ks

From MLB.com:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 45 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

Wendle stands out most for his hitting ability. He has a good approach at the plate and uses the whole field to hit, squaring up balls with his compact swing. He has more power than his size suggests and has proved capable of driving the ball over the fence everywhere he's gone.

Wendle is a steady defender at second base, capable of making all the necessary plays. He earns praise for his makeup and blue-collar mentality, traits that have helped him rise through the Minor Leagues

★ ★ ★

Dakota Chalmers, RHP

Expected level: Low-A | Age 19

2015 stats: I don't see value in posting Rookie League stats

From MLB.com:

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

With a fine performance on the showcase circuit and a strong start to his senior season, Chalmers' stock was nearly as high as any high school pitcher's at one point during the spring. He cooled off some and dropped to the Athletics in the third round, where he signed for $1.2 million.

Chalmers already operated with a 92-95 mph fastball that peaks at 98, and his projectable 6-foot-3 frame hints at more velocity in the future. His secondary pitches need more consistency, though his breaking balls grade as plus offerings at their best and he'll flash a solid changeup.

Chalmers' biggest need at this point is to clean up his delivery, which features more effort than scouts would like. His athleticism bodes well for his ability to refine his mechanics and improve his control and command.

★ ★ ★

Daniel Mengden, RHP

Expected level: Double-A | Age 23

2015 stats (Single-A): 8 games, 1.16 ERA, 38⅔ ip, 38 Ks, 8 BB, 1 HR, 2.65 FIP
2015 stats (High-A*): 18 games, 4.79 ERA, 92 ip, 89 Ks, 28 BB, 10 HR, 4.30 FIP

* combined stats w/ Lancaster (Astros) and Stockton (A's); FIP is a weighted average

From MLB.com:

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Curveball: 45 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Mengden has a solid four-pitch mix. He throws his fastball in the low 90s, while mixing in a sharp, biting slider, as well as a curveball and changeup. He generally works around the strike zone with his whole arsenal. There's some effort to his delivery, but it adds deception and he's athletic enough to make it work.

While some scouts think his delivery will eventually make him a reliever, others see an athletic right-hander who is still learning to pitch and believe he'll be able to stay in the rotation in the long run.

★ ★ ★

Vote in the comments below for your favorite of the five by Rec'ing his "Vote: (Player Name)" comment, and post your nomination(s) as well!