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Oakland A’s 2018 Community Prospect List #23: Casey Meisner finally reaches upper minors

The tall righty stalled in High-A but finally reached Double-A last summer.

Photo credit: Meghan Camino | Stockton Ports

Our Community Prospect List added another trade acquisition, but this one was from a few summers ago. 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%)
  14. Kevin Merrell, SS (+8%)
  15. Renato Nunez, DH (+7%)
  16. Daulton Jefferies, RHP (+9%)
  17. Nick Allen, SS (+24%)
  18. Ramon Laureano, OF (+44%)
  19. Tyler Ramirez, OF (+33%)
  20. Dakota Chalmers, RHP (+2%)
  21. Nolan Blackwood, RHP (+6%)
  22. Dalton Sawyer, LHP (+1%)
  23. Casey Meisner, RHP (+22%)

The Oakland A’s acquired Casey Meisner from the Mets at the 2015 trade deadline, in exchange for impending free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. At the time it was a good return for a setup man who’d been faking it as a closer on a bad team, and the next winter Meisner earned the No. 9 spot on our CPL.

Unfortunately, since that point Meisner’s development has not gone the way anyone had hoped. He spent 2016 struggling with his mechanics at High-A Stockton, which affected both his velocity and his command. He even lost his rotation spot for a while, and after the lost season he dropped down to No. 28 on the next CPL.

Meisner began digging out of his hole in 2017. He made his adjustments in Stockton and posted significantly improved numbers, including four strikeouts per walk. By the end of June he finally got the call to the upper minors, after two full calendar years stuck in High-A dating back to before his trade from the Mets. His numbers went back in the tank in Double-A, especially his K/BB rate (down to 1.4), but the important thing was that he made the jump at all and began working on his next challenge up the minor league ladder.

After all of that, Meisner will still turn only 23 this season. He’s younger than Logan Shore and Dalton Sawyer, and he’s less than a year older than Grant Holmes. Between being a high school draftee and an exceptionally tall pitcher at 6’7, a long-term project should always have been expected here, but at least he’s gradually making progress and has resumed his rise up the system. That’s enough to keep him on the CPL, and he’s the kind of toolsy prospect who could suddenly put it all together and blast back up this list — or even all the way to Oakland.

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 Lou Trivino. The right-hander was never on the prospect radar as a starter, but he moved to relief in 2016 and boosted his velocity substantially. Now he looks like one of the next relievers in line for a midseason call to Oakland, especially since he was added to the 40-man roster this winter for Rule 5 protection. Over the last two years in Stockton, Midland, and Nashville combined, he’s allowed just one homer in nearly 130 innings.

Scouting grades: MLB Pipeline
Scouting reports: John Sickels (unless otherwise noted)
More scouting reports: Melissa Lockard at Oakland Clubhouse
Hitter average rates: 100 wRC+, 8.0% BB, 20.0% Ks

Lou Trivino, RHP

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 26

2017 stats (AA): 2.43 ERA, 33⅓ ip, 34 Ks, 10 BB, 0 HR, 2.27 FIP
2017 stats (AAA): 3.60 ERA, 35 ip, 31 Ks, 11 BB, 0 HR, 2.98 FIP

Scouting report from Melissa Lockard at Oakland Clubhouse (link):

Although Trivino has moved into a bullpen role, he still has multiple weapons to choose from, much like a starter. His four-seam fastball sits 96-98, touching 101, and he can also turn to a 90-92 MPH cutter and an 82-84 MPH breaking ball. ... Trivino’s command hasn’t always been consistent, but he improved in that area last season.

Trivino’s stock has risen considerably over the past 12 months. ... He is a longshot to make the A’s bullpen out of spring training (unless the A’s trade one or two veteran relievers), but given the number of relievers the A’s used last season, there is a strong chance he will make his major league debut sometime in 2018.

* * *

Alexander Campos, SS

Expected level: Rookie Ball | Age 18

2017 stats (RK): 254 PAs, 136 wRC+, 2 HR, 16.1% BB, 15.4% Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and MLB Pipeline scouting report:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 35 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

Evaluators believe Campos has the potential to stick at shortstop. He’s an athletic and instinctual defender with good actions and the necessary arm strength for the position. Campos’ above-average speed translates on both sides of the ball, though he has gains to make as a baserunner. At the plate, the right-handed hitter is short to the ball and has good feel for the barrel, resulting in lots of line drives and some gap power, and he already has shown on-base skills with an advanced approach.

Campos has started to grow into his athletic frame since signing and should continue to tack on good strength. His defense-speed combination at an up-the-middle position gives him a possible floor as a big league reserve, though further progress at the plate could very well thrust him into the conversation as an everyday player.

* * *

Parker Dunshee, RHP

Expected level: High-A | Age 23

2017 stats (A-): 0.00 ERA, 38⅓ ip, 45 Ks, 8 BB, 0 HR, 2.02 FIP

Scouting report from Melissa Lockard at Oakland Clubhouse (link):

Despite Dunshee’s dominating numbers with the Lake Monsters, he doesn’t have a power-pitcher’s arsenal. Dunshee’s four-seam fastball sits in the 88-91 MPH range and is true. Where he gets his most movement is on his secondary pitches – a changeup and a slider. Dunshee came to pro ball with the slider as his most effective secondary offering, but he threw his changeup more frequently with Vermont and it was an effective pitch for him. ...

Where Dunshee will find success is being able to keep hitters off-balance by mixing his pitches effectively and pounding the lower-half of the strike-zone. ... Dunshee is a good athlete who repeats his delivery well and has the frame to handle a starter’s workload. He may benefit down-the-road from adding a fastball with more movement to compliment his four-seam, either a two-seam or a cut-fastball.

* * *

B.J. Boyd, OF

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 24

2017 stats (AA): 578 PAs, 122 wRC+, 5 HR, 16 SB, 5.9% BB, 12.8% Ks

Scouting report from Melissa Lockard at Oakland Clubhouse (link):

Boyd has the tools of a prototypical lead-off hitter. Although he has never had huge walk totals, Boyd has a solid approach at the plate. He waits a long time on pitches and is able to pounce on pitches he can handle and spoil off pitches deep in counts. At the start of his career, Boyd looked to pull a lot of pitches out of the park, but over the past two seasons, he has been content to work the opposite field gaps and to hit the ball on the line. That approach has produced much better results for Boyd. He is one of the fastest players in the A’s system. As one of the better bunters in the organization, Boyd can use his legs to put pressure on the defense both in the batter’s box and on the bases.

Defensively, Boyd is able to cover a lot of ground in center and he has sure hands in the outfield. During his career, he has logged significant time at all three outfield positions. His throwing arm is only average, but he has improved considerably over the years in getting the ball back into the cut-off man accurately.

* * *

Will Toffey, 3B

Expected level: High-A | Age 23

2017 stats (A-): 253 PAs, 125 wRC+, 1 HR, 15.0% BB, 17.8% Ks

MLB Pipeline grades, Sickels scouting report, and Lockard scouting report (link):

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

Sickels: Very polished, with excellent strike zone judgment in left-side bat; very solid glove at third base; main question is power development, should hit doubles but unclear how many homers will come at higher levels. ETA 2020.

Lockard: He has a high baseball IQ and is advanced both in his pitch selection at the plate and with his footwork and decision-making at third base. Toffey waits a long time before committing to swing, and he is a natural opposite-field hitter, as a result. Toffey also doesn’t bail out with his lead shoulder and the left-handed hitter found plenty of success against left-handed pitchers with Vermont. ... He may be able to add some pull power by learning to identify pitches to turn on earlier.

* * *

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!