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Oakland A's 2017 Community Prospect List #19: Jaycob Brugman, sleeper on the cusp of MLB

Pictured: Another outfielder drafted in the 17th round. (And a sleeping dude.)
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

OK folks, we can stop the list now, my favorite prospect finally made it. (Just kidding, we’re still going through the Top 30.) Former 17th-round draft pick Jaycob Brugman has worked his way up to Triple-A, and he’s next on our Community Prospect List. 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%)

Sometimes in life, you just have a hunch. I first started paying attention to Brugman when he made our 2015 CPL, at No. 24. He wound up having a solid year in Double-A, and helped lead the team through the playoffs to win the championship. He moved up to No. 21 on our 2016 CPL, and worked his way to Triple-A where he continued plugging along with decent-not-great stats. The A’s liked enough of what they saw to add him to the 40-man roster this winter (for Rule 5 protection), and now he has once again inched up the CPL to No. 18. He could reasonably debut in Oakland this summer.

Why do I love Bruggy? Like I said, it’s a hunch as much as anything, but I do have a soft spot for all-around players who show no glaring weaknesses — even if they also don’t have any major strengths to set them apart. It’s entirely possible those “decent” skills could translate to “not quite enough” in MLB and the player turns out more Quad-A, but I envision Brugman as a glue-guy fourth outfielder who could make a run at being a platoon player (hey, the A’s could use a lefty CF to pair with Rajai, and Bruggy can reportedly hang at all three outfield positions!). Not an exciting forecast, granted, but a worthwhile thing to have at an area of great need for the organization.

Between that intriguing profile, a cool underdog story (17th-round pick, same as Josh Reddick a few years prior), a steady march up the minor league system on a bunch of winning teams, various glowing reports I’ve read about him from A’s Farm interviews, a couple brief glimpses I got of him playing at spring training last year, and yeah, a little bit the fact that there’s never been an MLB player named Jaycob, I’ve become a fan over these last couple years. I don’t expect him to be any higher than where he is on this list, and he’d rightfully be even lower if he wasn’t so close to reaching Oakland, but that’s kind of the point of a sleeper — if he was rated highly, he’d just be a top prospect.

I can’t cite a specific objective reason why I think he’ll definitely be a quality player, I just think he’s one of the hatchlings who will reach the ocean and thrive. You’ll see. You’ll all see. (Or not; I’m not Nicodamus or anything.)

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 Raul Alcantara. His ride through the minors has been a roller coaster, from his acquisition from Boston, to being No. 1 on our CPL a few years ago, to Tommy John surgery, to a slow recovery, and then a sudden breakout last year that jumped him from Double-A in mid-July to MLB in early September (where he got utterly torched). Add it all together, carry the one, and he’ll either be pretty good or pretty bad, unless he’s somewhere in the middle. He’s out of options, though, so he’ll need to make the team out of spring or else face waivers (which he definitely won’t pass through unclaimed).

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

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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!