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MLB Top 100 prospects: 6 Oakland A’s make at least 1 version of the 2017 list

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Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

As we gear up for Oakland A’s pitchers and catchers to report to spring training on Wednesday, the full slate of national Top 100 prospect lists has been released. The key lists:

In total, six A’s youngsters made at least one list. The names, and how many lists they made:

  • Franklin Barreto, SS (5)
  • A.J. Puk, LHP (5)
  • Matt Chapman, 3B (3)
  • Grant Holmes, RHP (2)
  • Jharel Cotton, RHP (2)
  • Frankie Montas, RHP (2)

That includes all three pitchers acquired in the big Reddick/Hill trade last summer, plus the prospect from the Donaldson trade, plus two of their last three 1st-round draft picks.

A comparison of where each source ranked them:

MLB BA BP JS KL
Barreto (52) Barreto (40) Barreto (47) Barreto (12) Barreto (56)
Puk (69) Puk (83) Holmes (60) Puk (51) Puk (93)
Holmes (85) Cotton (84) Puk (61) Cotton (77) --
Chapman (100) Chapman (94) Montas (86) Chapman (80) --
-- -- -- Montas (100) --

Some observations:

  • There’s no question Barreto is the top guy in the system, and there’s a near-consensus that he’s somewhere around No. 50 overall. Nice to see Sickels place him so high, with an A- grade; he says he considered Barreto as high as No. 6.
  • Still, Barreto dropped overall from last winter, when he was consistently in the 20s/30s range. I wouldn’t worry about it -- it’s not that big of a fall, and frankly I don’t think he’s gotten enough credit for his second-half surge (Sickels seems to agree).
  • Puk is clearly next in the system, finishing second everywhere except BP where he was essentially tied with Holmes. Barreto and Puk are the only two who showed up on every list.
  • Holmes is down from last year, and Baseball America has dropped him entirely. Makes sense for a 20-year-old pitcher who struggled a bit. He can easily climb back up the lists with a big year in 2017.
  • This is the first time either Chapman or Cotton has ever made a preseason Top 100 list, and boy have they earned it. Montas barely cracked MLB Pipeline the last couple years, and just missed on Sickels last winter (No. 108).
  • Baseball America laid out their scouting grades, making it easy to search the whole list. Puk’s fastball and Cotton’s changeup both received 70 grades (20-to-80 scale), but Chapman’s throwing arm earned an 80. There were only five other 80-grade tools on the entire Top 100 list: three fastballs (Al Reyes, Michael Kopech, Riley Pint), an infielder’s speed (Jorge Mateo), and a catcher’s throwing arm (Francisco Mejia).
  • MLB Pipeline gave a 70 grade to Puk’s fastball and Chapman’s arm.
  • Sickels: “Chapman has one of the best third base gloves I’ve ever seen.”
  • On their positional lists, MLB Pipeline featured Chapman as the 6th-best 3B overall, Puk as the 7th-best LHP, and Barreto as the 10th-best SS (but he would be the 4th-best 2B!).
  • Sickels took his list out to the Top 200, allowing four more A’s to join the party: Holmes (141), RHP Daniel Gossett (152), 1B/OF Matt Olson (180), and 3B Renato Nunez (189).
  • The near-consensus No. 1 overall prospect is OF Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox. He only missed at Baseball Prospectus, where he ranked third (Reyes was first at BP).
  • The rest of the top-top group consists of SS Dansby Swanson (ATL) and IF Yoan Moncada (CHW), followed by RHP Al Reyes (STL), SS Gleyber Torres (NYY), and OF Amed Rosario (NYM).