The selection of Max Schrock to our Community Prospect List rounds out our Top 10, but don’t worry, we’re not even halfway done — we’re going all the way to 30! Here’s the current list, including their winning margins (the difference between their % of the vote, and the % of the runner-up):
- Franklin Barreto, SS (+67%)
- Matt Chapman, 3B (+26%)
- A.J. Puk, LHP (+38%)
- Jharel Cotton, RHP (+60%)
- Frankie Montas, RHP (+12%)
- Grant Holmes, RHP (+27%)
- Matt Olson, 1B/OF (+10%)
- Bruce Maxwell, C (+9%)
- Daniel Gossett, RHP (+53%)
- Max Schrock, 2B (+9%)
Schrock is clearly an AN favorite, as he hasn’t made any other major A’s Top 10 lists so far (Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, John Sickels). The attraction is simple: Schrock’s ability to avoid strikeouts and put the ball in play is downright elite.
Last year was his first full pro season (age 21), and in 667 plate appearances between Single-A, High-A, Double-A, the Double-A playoffs, and the Arizona Fall League, he fanned only 50 times in 667 plate appearances (7.5%). All that contact allows him to sustain a wildly high BABIP, and thus a high average, and thus a good OBP. He has a fan in Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs, as well.
For anyone still lamenting the unfortunate Pomeranz-for-Alonso trade, at least Schrock serves as a silver lining. Marc Rzepczynski also came over in that deal, and when the A’s began selling at the deadline they dumped the veteran reliever to the Nationals and got Schrock in return. It continued a tradition of Oakland sending a lefty reliever to Washington for a fun sleeper prospect (previously: Jerry Blevins for Billy Burns). Schrock would make sense starting in Double-A next season, but the depth chart is getting so ridiculously packed (including today’s addition of Adam Rosales) that who knows how it will all shake out at this point.
Note: We’ll do a full comparison of all the Top 10 prospect lists in a separate post, once MLB Pipeline’s version has been released.
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.
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The new nominee is Norge Ruiz. The A’s signed the international free agent in December, to a relatively big eight-figure contract. He’s yet to pitch in the minors, but the hope is that he can add to Oakland’s young pitching depth as a fast-track candidate to the bigs.
XBH = Extra-Base Hits
Hitter average rates: 100 wRC+, 8.0% BB, 20.0% Ks
Norge Ruiz, RHP
Expected level: Double-A? | Age 23
2016 stats: Nope
Cuban right-hander signed for $2,000,000 in December; scouting reports point to 90-94 MPH fastball with excellent change-up and above-average splitter and slider; mound presence also draws praise; command gets mixed reviews and it is unclear what role he will take, but general view is that he should be seen as similar to an advanced college arm who could be ready quickly; watch spring reports closely. ETA 2018.
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Lazaro Armenteros, OF
Expected level: Rookie Ball? | Age 18
2016 stats: Nope
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.
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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+
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.
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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
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.
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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
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.
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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!