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Oakland A's 2017 Community Prospect List #10: Daniel Gossett reaches new heights

Gossett stepped up two levels in 2016.
Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images

There was no question about the next selection on our 2017 Community Prospect List, as pitcher Daniel Gossett ran away with the No. 9 spot. With this pick, our Top 10 will be at least half pitchers, after containing only three hurlers last year (Manaea 1st, Meisner 9th, and Overton 10th). Here’s the current list, including their winning margins (the difference between their % of the vote, and the % of the runner-up):

  1. Franklin Barreto, SS (+67%)
  2. Matt Chapman, 3B (+26%)
  3. A.J. Puk, LHP (+38%)
  4. Jharel Cotton, RHP (+60%)
  5. Frankie Montas, RHP (+12%)
  6. Grant Holmes, RHP (+27%)
  7. Matt Olson, 1B/OF (+10%)
  8. Bruce Maxwell, C (+9%)
  9. Daniel Gossett, RHP (+53%)

Gossett’s story is quite similar to Maxwell’s in many ways. They are both former 2nd-round picks, taken in the mid-60s overall. Neither got much support on our CPL before this year, with Gossett ranking 20th in 2015 and 27th last winter. And both enjoyed breakouts last summer, doing things they’d never done in the pros before.

For Maxwell that meant flexing his power and forcing his way up for an MLB debut, but for Gossett it meant rising from the low minors (High-A Stockton) all the way up to Triple-A. His strikeout rate in particular was encouraging, as the former pitch-to-contact innings-eater recorded nearly a K per inning across three levels. An enhanced pitch arsenal was a big key, including a new cutter.

Gossett figures to open in Triple-A this season, where his goal will be to pitch well enough to earn his way onto the 40-man roster and get a shot in Oakland. Whether he gets that chance might have just as much to do with circumstance as anything else, considering the crowded depth chart above him. But if he pitches like he did all of last year, then the A’s will be one step closer to the enviable problem of too many young arms to fit into one rotation.

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. 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.

* * *

The new nominee is Daulton Jefferies. The right-hander was drafted this past summer, No. 37 overall, out of UC Berkeley. He came with injury risks attached, but if he’s healthy then the stuff is wonderful. He’s drawn loose Sonny Gray comps, at least in terms of physical size/demeanor and pitching style.

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

Daulton Jefferies, RHP

Expected level: Single-A? | Age 21

2016 stats (RK): 5 games, 2.38 ERA, 11⅓ ip, 17 Ks, 2 BB, 0 HR

From John Sickels:

Short leash due to injury-plagued college spring; fastball 90-95 with erratic breaking ball and change-up; can be overpowering at his best and usually throws strikes but stuff can sometimes back up; questions about durability main issue. ETA 2019.

* * *

Max Schrock, 2B

Expected level: AA | Age 22

2016 stats (A+): 552 PAs, 134 wRC+, 9 HR, 5.6% BB, 7.6% Ks
2016 stats (AA + playoffs): 17-for-57, 4 XBH, 1 BB, 6 Ks, 90 wRC+
2016 stats (AFL): 15-for-54, 6 XBH, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 95 wRC+

From John Sickels:

Best tool is speed, lacks big natural power but know how to hit with good eye, clean swing and contact ability with gap pop; limited to second base by range and arm but he’s fairly reliable; could be ideal number two hitter eventually. ETA 2018.

* * *

Lazaro Armenteros, OF

Expected level: Rookie Ball? | Age 18

2016 stats: Nope

From John Sickels:

Cuban signed this past summer for $3,000,000; draws praise for power/speed potential but a wide range of opinion about how quickly this will manifest on the field; optimists project him as a 20/20 type with above-average outfield defense; skeptics say his swing needs a lot of work and he is quite raw with both bat and glove; optimists counter with his birthday; you can make a case for the Top Ten on tools and you can make a case for outside the Top 20 due to rawness and lack of data. We’ll compromise at 15. ETA 2021.

* * *

Richie Martin, SS

Expected level: Double-A | Age 22

2016 stats (A+): 382 PAs, 78 wRC+, 3 HR, 9.4% BB, 19.1% Ks
2016 stats (AA + playoffs): 13-for-40, 4 XBH, 6 BB, 10 Ks, 164 wRC+

From John Sickels:

Not much of a hitter at this point due to lack of power but he makes contact at least and offensive improvement is possible in the long-run; draws raves for glovework, with strong arm, range, reliability, and field awareness all standing out. ETA late 2018.

* * *

Renato Nunez, 3B

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 23

2016 stats (AAA): 550 PAs, 78 wRC+, 23 HR, 5.6% BB, 21.6% Ks
2016 stats (MLB): 2-for-15, 0 BB, 3 Ks
2016 stats (LVBP): 193 PAs, .304/.389/.542, 11 HR, 21 BB, 38 Ks

From John Sickels:

Like Olson his reputation has slipped; more raw power than Olson but a much more aggressive approach hampers Nunez’s OBP; defense remains mediocre and contact ability must improve if the bat is to carry him; to be honest, you can make a very good case to drop him into the C+ range but my instincts say to hold on one more year with Renato in this grade band despite no logic to back that up. ETA 2018.

* * *

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!