clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Oakland A's 2017 Community Prospect List #1: Who is the top prospect in the organization?

New, 67 comments

Who is the top minor league prospect in the Oakland A's organization? There’s probably going to be a near-consensus answer to that question this winter, which isn’t always the case, and we’re here to find out once and for all. Let’s get started on the 2017 Community Prospect List!

Here is the process (please read, there are minor changes):

  • 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. 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 players to be put onto the ballot for the next round. Similar to the ballot, I will start with a comment calling for nominations, which can then be made as a response to my comment. The format for your comment should be "Nomination: Player Name".
  • 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.
  • 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.

* * *

We have five nominees in contention for the prestigious top slot in our spreadsheet. They include two guys from last year’s Top 4, two July trade acquisitions, and last summer’s No. 1 draft pick. Here's a quick rundown on each one — I’m using John Sickels’ writeups this year instead of MLB.com, at least until the latter releases their updated A’s list with fresh scouting reports. Ages listed are the ages at which they will play in 2017.

XBH = Extra-Base Hits
Hitter average rates: 100 wRC+, 8.0% BB, 20.0% Ks

Franklin Barreto, SS

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 21

2016 stats (AA): 507 PAs, 117 wRC+, 10 HR, 7.1% BB, 17.8% Ks
2016 stats (AAA + playoffs): 14-for-36, 1.256 OPS, 8 XBH, 3 BB, 10 Ks
2016 stats (AFL): 93 PAs, 72 wRC+, 6 XBH, 2.2% BB, 22.6% Ks

From John Sickels:

Line drive hitter but with improving power, aggressive approach but makes hard contact and avoids excessive strikeouts; not as fast as the 30 steals may imply, however his power potential may be under-appreciated by some observers and he may eventually hit 15+ homers a year; strong throwing arm best defensive asset but shortstop range is just okay and there’s some risk he may wind up at 2B; needs a year of Triple-A but has been very young for his levels. ETA late 2017.

* * *

A.J. Puk, LHP

Expected level: High-A? | Age 22

2016 stats (A-): 10 starts, 3.03 ERA, 32⅔ ip, 40 Ks, 12 BB, 0 HR, 1.93 FIP

From John Sickels:

6-7 southpaw with mid-upper-90s fastball and plus slider, solid-average change-up; stuff and command sagged at times in the spring when he was dealing with a back injury but when healthy he’s overpowering and usually throws strikes; upside of a number two starter and could advance quickly. ETA late 2018.

* * *

Matt Chapman, 3B

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 24

2016 stats (AA): 504 PAs, 141 wRC+, 23 HR, 11.7% BB, 29.2% Ks
2016 stats (AAA): 85 PAs, 101 wRC+, 7 HR, 10.6% BB, 30.6% Ks

From John Sickels:

Headlines start with excellent third base defense, with cannon arm, above-average reliability and superb range; Gold Glove if he hits enough to play regularly; 60-grade power bat is obvious and he’ll take a walk, but contact problems are equally obvious; may struggle to hit .230 in majors without more adjustments; ETA late 2017.

* * *

Jharel Cotton, RHP

Expected level: MLB? | Age 25

2016 stats (AAA): 28 games, 4.31 ERA, 135⅔ ip, 155 Ks, 39 BB, 20 HR, 4.22 FIP
2016 stats (MLB): 5 starts, 2.15 ERA, 29⅓ ip, 23 Ks, 4 BB, 4 HR, 3.76 FIP

From John Sickels:

Excellent change-up, can mix in decent cutter and curve; leap forward came when velocity picked up from 89-92 in college to 92-95 over the last year; control was excellent in the majors, too; ready for a full trial; was viewed mainly as a reliever in past seasons but did so well as a starter in ’16 that it looks like he can remain in that role, at least as a number three/four type. ETA 2017.

* * *

Frankie Montas, RHP

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 24

2016 stats (AA + AAA): 7 games, 16 ip, 22 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HR
2016 stats (AFL): 6 games, 17 ip, 9 Ks, 8 BB, 0 HR

From John Sickels:

Limited to just 16 innings by rib injury but was excellent in those innings ... fastball 95-100 MPH with peaks at 101-102; average to plus slider; threw strikes with the hard stuff in ’16 but change-up remains erratic; most observers view him as a reliever at this point, albeit a really good one. ETA 2017.

* * *

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!

This will vote will probably only last about 24 hours, because we have a little over six weeks (~46 days) until spring training games start. Don’t tarry!