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Oakland A's 2017 Community Prospect List #22: Logan Shore could ride the fast track

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

We’re into the final 10 spots on our Community Prospect List, and next up is 2016 draft pick Logan Shore. Our electorate rose back over 100+ voters on this ballot, so let’s keep plugging away and finish strong! 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%)
  10. Max Schrock, 2B (+9%)
  11. Richie Martin, SS (+34%)
  12. Daulton Jefferies, RHP (+4%)
  13. Renato Nunez, 3B/LF (+14%)
  14. Norge Ruiz, RHP (+16%)
  15. Lazaro Armenteros, OF (+5%)
  16. Dakota Chalmers, RHP (+6%)
  17. Chad Pinder, IF (+5%)
  18. Jaycob Brugman, OF (+10%)
  19. Joey Wendle, 2B (+23%)
  20. Yairo Munoz, SS (+18%)
  21. Logan Shore, RHP (+30%)

The A’s had three top-50 picks in the draft last summer. They took college pitchers with each pick, and all three of those hurlers are now on our CPL — Puk, Jefferies, and now Shore.

The story of Shore’s path to MLB won’t really begin until next year, since he only threw a handful of innings in his brief pro debut last year. The question is how many pages that story will last, because if he comes out firing this spring then he could get really interesting really fast.

Shore has the kind of polished profile and command of his pitches that can help a young arm ride a relatively fast track to the bigs. His ceiling isn’t terribly high, but his stock comes in the form of a high floor and a great chance of at least reaching an MLB rotation, even if it’s only at the back end.

Beyond that, we have to just wait and see what he does in a full year against pro competition. I imagine he’ll open in High-A Stockton this season, with the opportunity to move up quickly.

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 Sean Murphy. He was the A’s next pick after Logan Shore in last summer’s draft, so it’s fitting that he takes Shore’s spot on the ballot. Murphy’s biggest strength is his throwing arm -- at last year’s midseason update, MLB Pipeline ranked it as one of the best individual tools in the A’s system (on the level of Chapman’s arm, or the fastballs of Puk and Montas).

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

Sean Murphy, C

Expected level: Single-A | Age 22

2016 stats (A-): 85 PAs, .237/.318/.329, 99 wRC+, 2 HR, 10.6% BB, 14.1% Ks

From MLB Pipeline:

Murphy might have the strongest arm among catchers in his class, with multiple evaluators rating it as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He's more athletic than most backstops, too, and has the receiving and blocking skills to stay behind the plate.

Murphy's bat speed and strength give him solid power potential from the right side of the plate. That was on display when he homered four times in his first eight games to start the season, before a broken hamate in his left hand sidelined him for six weeks. That being said, there is some concern about his overall hitting ability, as he never posted big numbers at Wright State and batted just .226 with wood last summer in the Cape Cod League.

* * *

Heath Fillmyer, RHP

Expected level: Double-A | Age 23

2016 stats (A-): 18 games, 3.60 ERA, 95 ip, 89 Ks, 31 BB, 4 HR, 3.53 FIP
2016 stats (AA): 8 games, 2.54 ERA, 39 ip, 29 Ks, 8 BB, 3 HR, 3.31 FIP

From John Sickels:

One of several potential number four starters in this system along with James Naile, Kyle Friedrichs, and Dillon Overton; fastball 90-95 with good action, mixes in sharp curveball, throws strikes; former infielder still learning how to pitch but making good progress. ETA 2018.

* * *

Raul Alcantara, RHP

Expected level: MLB | Age 24

2016 stats (AA): 17 starts, 4.80 ERA, 90 ip, 73 Ks, 27 BB, 11 HR, 4.15 FIP
2016 stats (AAA): 8 starts, 1.18 ERA, 45⅔ ip, 32 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HR, 2.80 FIP
2016 stats (MLB): 5 starts, 7.25 ERA, 22⅓ ip, 14 Ks, 4 BB, 9 HR, 8.21 FIP

From John Sickels:

Fastball 90-95, mixes in changeup and slider; both secondaries flash above-average but are erratic; he usually throws strikes however which gives him a chance to surprise; lots of arms coming up behind him so he needs to establish himself now. ETA 2017.

* * *

Bobby Wahl, RHP

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 25

2016 stats (AA): 33 games, 2.21 ERA, 40⅔ ip, 48 Ks, 17 BB, 3 HR, 3.11 FIP
2016 stats (AAA): 9 games, 2.79 ERA, 9⅔ ip, 14 Ks, 6 BB, 0 HR, 2.69 FIP

Note: Began year on brief rehab assignment in High-A.

From MLB Pipeline:

The right-hander was limited by an oblique injury [in 2014], prompting the A's to move him to the bullpen, and he then underwent season-ending surgery for a nerve impingement in his elbow in July 2015. But Wahl would get back on track in 2016 ...

Wahl's trademark velocity returned last season as he sat in the low-to-mid 90s while reaching 98 mph in short stints. His power breaking ball remains his best secondary offering and shows above-average potential, and he's dialed back the usage of his changeup since shifting to the bullpen. There's some effort in his delivery and his command is below average, but he also hasn't had enough time on the mound to properly address those issues.

Provided he can stay healthy, there's little doubt among evaluators that Wahl has the power stuff to pitch high-leverage innings in the Major Leagues.

* * *

Paul Blackburn, RHP

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 23

2016 stats (AA): 26 games, 3.27 ERA, 143 ip, 99 Ks, 35 BB, 8 HR, 3.42 FIP

From MLB Pipeline:

Blackburn can throw 90-94 mph sinkers with downhill plane to both sides of the plate and back them up with a sharp curveball. But there were several starts last year when he had an 88-91 mph fastball and a vanilla curve. He still needs to add strength so he can maintain quality stuff deeper into games and longer over the course of the season.

Blackburn has good feel for his changeup and pitching in general. He has the athleticism to repeat his delivery and throw strikes, and he continues to pound the zone even when his pitches aren't at their best.

* * *

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!