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Oakland A’s 2018 Community Prospect List #24: B.J. Boyd jumps back onto the radar

The 2012 draft pick has worked his way back into relevance.

B.J. Boyd
Photo provided by Oakland A’s

The newest member of our Community Prospect List was an Oakland A’s draft pick, but not a recent one. 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%)
  24. B.J. Boyd, OF (+15%)

The A’s drafted B.J. Boyd out of high school all the way back in 2012, as a local kid out of Palo Alto. He wasn’t as highly touted as some other prep talents selected by Oakland that summer (like Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson, and Matt Olson), but in the 4th round he was still plenty interesting.

That trio of high school 1st-rounders has all reached MLB already, with one becoming an All-Star and another looking like he has a chance to do so in the near future. Boyd, on the other hand, needed quite a bit more time to develop in the minors. He spent four full years at the various A-ball levels, between Vermont, Beloit, and Stockton, and throughout that journey he posted mostly mediocre numbers.

Boyd’s slow progress tanked his prospect stock. He appeared on our 2013 CPL and climbed up to 8th on our 2014 version, three spots ahead of Olson. But his lack of production the next summer in Beloit caused him to drop off, and he hasn’t made it onto our list since.

... Until now. Boyd finally reached Double-A in 2017, and he broke out in a big way. His 122 wRC+ was a significant uptick from the 102 mark he’d maintained over two years in High-A, and the change has been chalked up to finding the approach that best fits his skills — slapping liners to all fields and using his legs, according to Melissa Lockard at Oakland Clubhouse. The numbers support that conclusion too, as his batted balls went to the opposite field more than the pull side for the first time since Rookie Ball, and his flyball rate hit a career low. In addition to all that, he played primarily CF for Midland after spending most of his Stockton time in LF.

Boyd doesn’t draw walks or hit for power, but he makes lots of contact and does enough other things well. His 2017 performance wasn’t quite enough to get him onto Oakland’s 40-man roster this winter, but it easily got him back onto our prospect radar entering his age-24 season. He most likely profiles as an MLB fourth outfielder, where he could serve as a sparkplug off the bench on both sides of the ball, but if he manages to work his way into regular playing time then he could be the classic pesky leadoff man — perhaps Coco Crisp Lite.

Oh, he also recorded a song about Steph Curry. At the very least, he’s a better rapper than Soulja Boy.

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 Skye Bolt. Like Boyd, he was a 4th-round pick and is a lefty hitter who plays CF with plus speed. However, Bolt carries a power-and-patience profile, basically the opposite of Boyd at the plate. I had been hoping to see a Boyd vs. Bolt showdown on the ballot, but alas. Bolt hasn’t hit his stride yet in the pros, but he has strong tools and could be just one Boyd-like breakout away from upper-minors relevance.

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

Skye Bolt, OF

Expected level: Double-A | Age 24

2017 stats (A+): 496 PAs, 104 wRC+, 15 HR, 10.7% BB, 27.0% Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and MLB Pipeline scouting report:

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

A switch-hitter, Bolt is considerably better from the left side of the plate, where he exhibits more bat speed and a more impactful swing. Some evaluators believe he’d be better off batting solely from that side. He has some raw power from both sides and is a relatively disciplined hitter, but his pitch recognition leaves much to be desired and hinders the quality of his contact.

One of the better college athletes in his Draft class, Bolt has a chance to stick in center field, where he gets excellent jumps and is an overall rangy defender. If he can’t, he has the necessary arm strength to slide over to a corner spot.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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!