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Oakland A's 2016 Community Prospect List #23: Jaycob Brugman quietly rises up the ranks

Brugman is relatively unknown now, but could he have a future in Oakland?
Brugman is relatively unknown now, but could he have a future in Oakland?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Our newest addition is Jaycob Brugman, and we're running out of particularly interesting names on our ballot. But we still have four votes left! 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%)
21. Jaycob Brugman, OF (+9%)

Let's not beat around the bush -- I'm an irrationally big fan of Brugman. He might be my favorite sleeper candidate in the whole system, once you account for his low draft position (17th round in 2013), his seemingly pedestrian numbers (6 HR in 566 PAs in Double-A last year), and his absence from many (most?) organizational top-20 lists. I have him at No. 16 on my own personal list, even higher than his No. 19 spot on

What do I love about Bruggy? I'm a big fan of all-around players who are pretty good at everything. Here is A's special assistant Grady Fuson last April, via A's Farm:

He doesn't do anything over the top - there's not a lot of big things you see out of him. But you're talking about a guy who hits, he'll hit it out, he'll steal a base, he'll throw you out. He just does everything well.

Sure, his power dipped from 21 homers in hitter-friendly Stockton to only six in the wasteland of Midland, but when the Texas League playoffs rolled around he swatted four more dingers in just six games to help lead the Hounds to the title. I also like that his plate discipline improved as the year went on -- in the first three months, he struck out twice for every walk, but as he got settled in that rate improved to only one K per walk. And on defense, he was versatile enough to start at least 20 games at each outfield position (75 LF, 32 CF, 20 RF). Oh, and he stole 11 bases, though not at a high efficiency.

Is Brugman a future star? Nah, probably not. But is he a future productive Major Leaguer, even if that means being a quality fourth outfielder? I mean, most 17th-round picks probably don't get as far as he already has in just two full seasons, so why not?

★ ★ ★

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 Jesus Lopez. The teenage infielder is all projection at this point, as he only reached Low-A Vermont last year and did virtually nothing of note in 55 games. But he's the age of a 2015 high school draft pick (or, a current college freshman), and he came highly touted out of Nicaragua. Don't read too much into his poor numbers yet, as he was the youngest player on the Lake Monsters' roster by more than 16 months.

Jesus Lopez, 2B

Expected level: Low-A? Single-A? | Age 19

2015 stats (Low-A Vermont): 210 PAs, 38 wRC+, 0 HR, 2.9% BB, 19.0% Ks


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

Lopez was the A's top signing in the 2013 international free agent class. The native of Nicaragua made his professional debut as a 17-year-old in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he was one of the youngest players.

Lopez didn't take up switch-hitting until late in his amateur career, but his natural feel at the plate made him a quick study. He has an advanced approach at the plate for a teenager and projects to develop some power as he physically matures.

Lopez's advanced feel for the game extends to the infield, where he has good hands and actions. But even as an amateur, some scouts felt he lacked the athleticism for shortstop and would eventually need to move. He saw time at both shortstop and second base during his debut.

★ ★ ★

Here are our other current candidates:

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

From AN Prospect Watch:

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.

★ ★ ★

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.

★ ★ ★

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!