With the selection of Ryon Healy to our Community Prospect List, we have now completed our Top 20. My plan is to hold five more votes (Nos. 21-25), and then one final vote to arrange the leftover nominees (Nos. 26-30). It's entirely probable that the remaining names on the ballot range from "meh" to "never heard of 'em" in your book, but bear with us for just a few more rounds! 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%)
5. Chad Pinder, SS (+31%)
6. Renato Nunez, 1B/3B (+51%)
7. Yairo Munoz, SS (+14%)
8. Richie Martin, SS (+12%)
9. Casey Meisner, RHP (+24%)
10. Dillon Overton, LHP (+25%)
11. Rangel Ravelo, 1B (+30%)
12. Joey Wendle, 2B (+6%)
13. Dakota Chalmers, RHP (+19%)
14. Raul Alcantara, RHP (+24%)
15. Daniel Mengden, RHP (+10%)
16. Mikey White, SS/2B (+26%)
17. Ryan Dull, RHP (+1%)
18. Skye Bolt, OF (+9%)
19. Zack Erwin, LHP (+31%)
20. Ryon Healy, 3B/1B (+14%)
Healy was the A's third-round pick in 2013, but he didn't really make any noise in the minors until the second half of 2015. He spent the year at Double-A Midland, and for the first time he posted an above-average batting line -- .302/.339/.426, good for a wRC+ of 113. He's a big guy at 6'5 and 225 but hasn't hit for a lot of power yet, and it's unclear whether he'll stick at 3B or settle at 1B.
This isn't a precise comparison, but Healy reminds me of Max Muncy in some ways. They're both tweeners, as corner infielders who don't seem to hit enough to play 1B but don't field well enough to make an impact at 3B. There are differences, of course. Muncy is an extremely patient hitter who works deep counts, while Healy appears to be a more aggressive hitter who doesn't rack up a lot of walks or strikeouts (neither hits for as much power as it seems like they should). Muncy bats lefty, Healy bats righty. And at 6'0, Muncy doesn't have the same hulking frame as Healy.
But most importantly, both of them are bat-first corner infielders who find themselves stuck behind well-stocked depth charts. The A's already have Alonso and Canha for 1B, and behind them in Triple-A are Olson, Nunez, and Ravelo (and don't count on DH as an outlet for the overflow as long as Butler and Coco are still here). Where does Muncy get his at-bats? It's hard to see him making the team out of spring training, and if he's in Triple-A then is there enough space in the lineup for him to play with all the top prospects, even if Olson spends time in the outfield? Healy has it even worse, as he might end up repeating Double-A until/unless a spot opens up in Nashville, and Chapman will already be locking down 3B in Midland. Before we even find out how all these youngsters perform, it will be interesting just to see how the A's arrange them all.
And what about the rest of the Top 20? When we finished up our Top 10, I came up with a tentative personal list for spots 11-20 and now I'm curious how it compares with the community's rankings. First off, we have to bring my rankings up to date -- that means clearing out Nottingham, deleting Bubba Derby (I had him at 18, which may have been a bit homerish), and also dropping Sean Nolin (both because I later ruled him ineligible, and because he's on the Brewers now).
Amazingly, my list and the CPL share nine of the 10 names from spots 11-20; I was expecting more variance this low down the rankings. The only difference is that Healy doesn't show up on my list until No. 22, while I have Jaycob Brugman at No. 16 (my prospect crush is strong for Bruggy and I don't apologize for that!). Other than that, our biggest disagreement involved Mengden -- I have him all the way up at No. 12, which shouldn't surprise anyone reading this CPL series because I always speak glowingly of him. I also have Dull a couple spots lower, below the 2015 draft picks. But all in all, we came up with mostly the same lists. My version: Ravelo, Mengden, Wendle, Alcantara, Chalmers, Brugman, Bolt, White, Dull, Erwin.
★ ★ ★
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. (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 Sandber Pimentel. The big righty played his first year of full-season ball in the U.S. last year, and the results were solid (neither amazing nor terrible). He finished with an above-average batting line, he drew enough walks to suggest he has some plate discipline, and his power translated into some real-life dingers (tied for sixth in the 16-team Midwest League). It should be fun to see what he can do in hitter-friendly Stockton this year, especially now that he has that first full-season experience under his belt. He's still young, too, as he's just a couple months older than first-round pick Richie Martin and up to a year younger than the other 2015 college draftees.
Sandber Pimentel, 1B
Expected level: High-A | Age 21
2015 stats (Single-A Beloit): 471 PAs, 112 wRC+, 13 HR, 10.6% BB, 22.1% Ks
Scouting Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 35 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45
Pimentel's carrying tool is his left-handed power to all fields. While he does have some swing and miss in his game, he also has promising feel for hitting and a willingness to draw walks when pitchers try to work around him.
Pimentel began his pro career as a corner outfielder before seeing action at first base in 2013 and moving there full-time the following season. He's not especially quick but has some softness to his hands and some arm strength.
★ ★ ★
Here are our other current candidates:
Jaycob Brugman, OF
Expected level: Triple-A | Age 24
2015 stats (Double-A Midland): 566 PAs, 105 wRC+, 6 HR, 11.0% BB, 15.7% Ks
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
Brugman was a 17th-round pick in 2013 but played well above that level in his first full professional season. He hit 21 home runs between Class A Beloit and Class A Advanced Stockton, joining Matt Olson and Renato Nunez as the only Minor Leaguers in the organization to hit more than 20 home runs in 2014.
Brugman couples a smooth left-handed swing with good patience at the plate. As he showed in 2014, he's capable of driving balls out of the park, but he's more likely to end up as an average power hitter than a masher.
The A's have used Brugman in all three outfield positions. He has solid defensive tools and likely fits best in one of the corners.
★ ★ ★
J.B. Wendelken, RHP
Expected level: Triple-A | Age 23
2015 stats (Double-A): 27 games, 2.72 ERA, 43 ip, 56 Ks, 11 BB, 4 HR, 2.68 FIP
2015 stats (Triple-A): 12 games, 4.50 ERA, 16 ip, 13 Ks, 5 BB, 2 HR, 4.09 FIP
From Nathaniel Stoltz of FanGraphs (written when Wendelken was still starting):
Wendelken's big weapon right now is a monstrous changeup that features zone-crossing fade. ... The bigtime action on the pitch is paired with excellent velocity separation -- early in my viewing, Wendelken's fastball was in the low 90s while the change was in the upper 70s. He features it heavily to both lefties and righties and isn't afraid to double or triple up on it if a batter's unable to pick the pitch up. As you can see, it induces a ton of awkward swings. ... [H]e's more likely to fit into a Brad Boxberger/Tyler Clippard role as a reliever who can air it out around 92 mph and throw a nasty changeup 35% of the time.
★ ★ ★
Tyler Ladendorf, UTIL
Expected level: Triple-A? MLB? | Age 28
2015 stats (Triple-A Nashville): 90 PAs, 76 wRC+, 1 HR, 5.6% BB, 25.6% Ks
2015 stats (MLB Oakland A's): 4-for-17, 1 triple, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 5 positions in 9 games
Ladendorf's identifying skill is his versatile defense, as he can more or less play every position and can apparently play most of them well. He's appeared at 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, and RF in his professional career. ...
[His] other skill is hitting left-handed pitching. Offense is not his strength overall, but year after year he posts exaggerated platoon splits with big OPS marks and great K:BB rates against southpaws. If he can continue to succeed in that niche in MLB, then it's easy to see how he could carve out a role as a platoon infielder or simply a super-utilityman.
★ ★ ★
Dylan Covey, RHP
Expected level: Double-A | Age 24
2015 stats (Double-A Midland): 26 starts, 3.59 ERA, 140⅓ ip, 100 Ks, 43 BB, 13 HR, 4.61 FIP
Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
The Brewers selected Covey 14th overall in 2010, and he was set to sign with them until a post-Draft physical revealed that he had diabetes. He decided instead to stay close to home and attend the University of San Diego as he learned to manage the condition.
Covey has been inconsistent since his high school days but still shows flashes of the stuff that first attracted scouts. His fastball has reached 95 mph but more typically sits around 90 mph with heavy sinking action. His curveball is his best secondary offering, and he also mixes in a slider and changeup.
Covey has struggled with his control at times, leading to his inconsistency. If he can find a way to throw more strikes, he still has a chance to become a big leaguer.
★ ★ ★
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!