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Oakland A's 2017 Community Prospect List #17: Dakota Chalmers has high ceiling but long road

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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Top 10 of our Community Prospect List features an abundance of players who are already at Triple-A or have even debuted in MLB. The Next 10, however, so far features mostly lower-level, higher-ceiling players whose stock is based mostly on tools and projection rather than track record — like 20-year-old pitcher Dakota Chalmers. 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%)

Chalmers was drafted out of high school in 2015, so his pro career is still in its infancy. He was a 1st-round talent who slipped to the 3rd round due to signability concerns, but the A’s spent what it took to lure him away from college and maximize their draft class.

Now the question is what kind of return they’ll get on their investment. Chalmers brings big velocity, touching the upper-90s, but he’ll need to harness it and refine his secondary pitches. He threw 67 innings for Low-A Vermont last year, and it went about as you’d expect: his overpowering stuff led to plenty of strikeouts and a low hit rate, but he also gave up too many walks and homers. Some encouraging news, and some things to iron out, but most importantly no health issues.

Chalmers has already done more than the last few high school pitchers the A’s got by spending over-slot --- Dustin Driver, Chris Kohler, and Branden Kelliher have combined to do approximately nothing, mostly due to injuries. Hopefully we’ll watch Chalmers take the next step this year, most likely beginning at Single-A Beloit.

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 Logan Shore. The right-hander was the A’s third pick in the 2016 draft, a 2nd-rounder at No. 47 overall. He doesn’t bring a high ceiling, but he’s a fast-track candidate who could quickly find himself at the end of a big league rotation.

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

Logan Shore, RHP

Expected level: High-A | Age 22

2016 stats (A-): 7 games, 2.57 ERA, 21 ip, 21 Ks, 7 BB, 1 HR, 2.90 FIP

From John Sickels:

Doesn’t throw as hard as fellow Gator/Athletic A.J. Puk but is much more polished; posted 2.57 ERA with 21/7 K/BB in 21 innings in NY-P; change-up is excellent pitch, mixes in fastball around 90 with decent breaking stuff; all his stuff plays up due to command and location; strike-throwing fourth starter type. ETA late 2018.

* * *

Joey Wendle, 2B

Expected level: MLB? | Age 27

2016 stats (AAA): 526 PAs, .279/.324/.452, 103 wRC+, 12 HR, 4.9% BB, 21.3% Ks
2016 stats (MLB): 104 PAs, .260/.298/.302, 66 wRC+, 1 HR, 5.8% BB, 15.4% Ks

From MLB Pipeline:

Wendle stands out most for his hitting ability. He has a good approach at the plate and uses the whole field to hit, squaring up balls with his compact swing. Wendle has more power than his size suggests and has proved capable of driving the ball over the fence everywhere he's gone.

Wendle is a steady defender at second base, capable of making all the necessary plays. He earns praise for his makeup and blue-collar mentality, traits that have helped him rise through the Minor Leagues.

* * *

Chad Pinder, IF

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 25

2016 stats (AAA): 465 PAs, .258/.310/.425, 93 wRC+, 14 HR, 5.4% BB, 23.2% Ks
2016 stats (MLB): 55 PAs, .235/.273/.373, 73 wRC+, 1 HR, 5.5% BB, 25.5% Ks

From John Sickels:

Legitimate pop with 14 homers in Triple-A but production often held back by over-aggressive hitting approach, 25/108 BB/K; best defensive tool is throwing arm, range somewhat stretched at shortstop but workable, looks more natural at third base or second base; I think he’s a .250 hitter with a poor OBP but enough pop and versatility to hold a utility job for some time. ETA 2017.

* * *

Jaycob Brugman, OF

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 25

2016 stats (AA): 176 PAs, .261/.335/.439, 123 wRC+, 5 HR, 9.1% BB, 18.8% Ks
2016 stats (AAA): 433 PAs, .295/.352/.438, 109 wRC+, 7 HR, 8.3% BB, 20.3% Ks

From John Sickels:

Interesting to watch in person, no weak tools, everything is at least average including speed, raw power, arm strength; defense is ahead of hitting, can handle all three outfield positions with little trouble; will flash power and patience but performance record is erratic; older prospect but should be tracked for signs of more consistency. ETA late 2017.

* * *

Yairo Munoz, SS

Expected level: Double-A | Age 22

2016 stats (AA): 413 PAs, .240/.286/.367, 87 wRC+, 9 HR, 5.6% BB, 18.4% Ks
2016 stats (AFL): 80 PAs, .270/.313/.365, 88 wRC+, 5 XBH, 6.3% BB, 21.3% Ks

From MLB Pipeline:

Munoz is an excellent athlete whose tools are among the best in the A's system. His explosive right-handed swing yields hard contact from line to line, and there's enough physical projection remaining to forecast at least average power in his future. He already shows good feel for finding the barrel and works to drive the ball back up the middle, though, like many young hitters, he does deviate from his approach at times.

Munoz has the tools to stick at shortstop, with above-average speed and quick feet that give him good lateral range to go with his plus arm, although inconsistent footwork and a lack of body control have resulted in high error totals to begin his career. He needs refining, but Munoz has considerable upside as an everyday shortstop capable of impacting games on both sides of the ball.

* * *

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!