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Oakland A’s 2018 Community Prospect List #13: Logan Shore looks to get back on the fast track

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The right-hander was set back by injury in his first full pro season.

Logan Shore
Stockton Ports | Meghan Camino

Our Community Prospect List has been heavy on hitters so far, but last time we voted in our fifth pitcher. Here’s the current list, including their winning margins (the difference between his % of the vote, and the % of the runner-up):

  1. A.J. Puk, LHP (+62%)
  2. Franklin Barreto, SS (+56%)
  3. Jorge Mateo, SS (+22%)
  4. Dustin Fowler, OF (+24%)
  5. Sean Murphy, C (+0%)
  6. Jesus Luzardo, LHP (+37%)
  7. Austin Beck, OF (+14%)
  8. James Kaprielian, RHP (+2%)
  9. Lazaro Armenteros, OF (+41%)
  10. Grant Holmes, RHP (+18%)
  11. Sheldon Neuse, 3B (+68%)
  12. Greg Deichmann, OF (+17%)
  13. Logan Shore, RHP (+2%)

The Oakland A’s drafted Logan Shore in 2016, in the 2nd round. He’d been a college teammate of A.J. Puk, but the two were expected to take different tracks to MLB — Puk had the higher upside but needed polish, whereas Shore was a better bet to rise up quickly and carve out a spot toward the back of a rotation.

As it turned out, Puk was the one who made it to Double-A in 2017. Shore came out the gate well enough for High-A Stockton, with a 2.37 ERA and 2.73 FIP through his first eight games. But then he went down with a lat injury, and it was two months before he got back to Stockton to continue his season. He got smoked the rest of the way, with a 4.97 ERA in his final eight starts (albeit 3.52 FIP).

After his abbreviated season, Shore went to the Arizona Fall League to log some more innings. He got torched there too, with a 6.00 ERA and way too many hits and homers. I’m willing to give him a mulligan for that AFL performance, since he was against more advanced competition and in a hitter’s league, but overall his 2017 campaign was not promising despite an excellent K/BB rate.

All that said, he’ll be back to give it another try this year. Presuming he’s returned to full health, there’s no reason why Shore can’t hop back onto the fast-track that was initially envisioned for him. The ceiling still isn’t high, but one year of struggling isn’t enough to write him off yet.

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, the community 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 his 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 Ramon Laureano. The outfielder was acquired in a minor trade with the Astros at the beginning of the offseason, but he’s already on the 40-man roster. He’s a right-handed hitter who can play CF, which sets him apart from the many lefty options the A’s already have coming up at that position. His 2017 season included a terrible first half and bounce-back second half, so we’ll see which version shows up this year.

Scouting grades: MLB Pipeline
Scouting reports: John Sickels (when available)
Hitter average rates: 100 wRC+, 8.0% BB, 20.0% Ks

Ramon Laureano, OF

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 23

2017 stats (AA): 513 PAs, 87 wRC+, 11 HR, 24 SB, 7.8% BB, 21.4% Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and MLB Pipeline scouting report:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

He’s a similar athlete to fellow Astros outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, though Laureano is a better pure hitter with less power potential. He has good patience and uses the entire field, though there are some concerns about how much his simple right-handed swing will translate into power against better pitching. If he can cut down his strikeout rate, he could become a high-OBP player with 10-15 homers per year.

Laureano could fit nicely in the leadoff spot because he pairs his on-base skills with plus speed and the know-how to steal bases. He’s more of an average defender in center field, better on the corners and capable of playing all three spots with his average arm. Nicknamed “The Machine” for his relentless work ethic, he’ll get the most out of his ability.

* * *

Kevin Merrell, SS

Expected level: High-A | Age 22

2017 stats (A-): 140 PAs, 135 wRC+, 2 HR, 10 SB, 6.4% BB, 15.7% Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and Sickels scouting report:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 30 | Run: 70 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

70-grade speed and he knows how to use it, should be significant stolen base threat at all levels; line drive hitter with doubles/triples power; arm strength is questioned at shortstop, could end up as speed-oriented super-utility guy in the long run. ETA 2020.

* * *

Nick Allen, SS

Expected level: Low-A | Age 19

2017 stats (A-): 154 PAs, 84 wRC+, 1 HR, 7 SB, 8.4% BB, 18.2% Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and Sickels scouting report:

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 30 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 65 | Overall: 50

Draws praise for defensive ability, running speed, overall hustle and intensity; makes contact and packs some strength into a 5-9, 160 pound frame, but game power is questionable and we need to see how his bat will hold up at higher levels; grade may be a notch too low but I want to see him higher than rookie ball. ETA 2022.

* * *

Renato Nunez, DH

Expected level: MLB | Age 24

2017 stats (AAA): 533 PAs, 109 wRC+, 32 HR, 8.8% BB, 26.5% Ks
2017 stats (MLB): 3-for-15, 1 HR, 1 BB, 8 Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and Sickels scouting report:

Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 30 | Arm: 55 | Field: 40 | Overall: 45

The power is legitimate and he’s still young but stock has dropped due to contact concerns and defensive questions; he’s just barely adequate at third base, which won’t be enough to play there for Oakland, and marginal as a corner outfielder; I remain intrigued with his bat but I think he’s trade bait. ETA 2018.

* * *

Daulton Jefferies, RHP

Expected level: High-A | Age 22

2017 stats (A+): Only pitched 2 games due to Tommy John surgery

MLB Pipeline grades and Sickels scouting report:

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45

Compensation round pick in 2016 from University of California, pitched seven innings in High-A then blew out elbow and had Tommy John surgery; when healthy, features 90-95 MPH fastball with a slider and change-up both flashing plus; obviously we need to see how he comes back from the surgery. ETA 2020.

* * *

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!