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Oakland A’s 2020 Community Prospect List #25: Jeremy Eierman looks to rebound in second full season

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The shortstop struggled to make contact last year but will get the chance to adjust and try again.

Photo provided by Oakland A’s.

Our 2020 Community Prospect List adds its 25th member, with just one more supersized ballot remaining in the process. Here’s the current list, including their winning margins (the difference between his % of the vote, and the % of the runner-up):

  1. Jesus Luzardo, LHP (+84%)
  2. A.J. Puk, LHP (+1%)
  3. Sean Murphy, C (+95%)
  4. Daulton Jefferies, RHP (+10%)
  5. Nick Allen, SS (+1%)
  6. James Kaprielian, RHP (+2%)
  7. Robert Puason, SS (+32%)
  8. Sheldon Neuse, IF (+26%)
  9. Jorge Mateo, SS (+5%)
  10. Jonah Heim, C (+2%)
  11. Austin Beck, OF (+9%)
  12. Logan Davidson, SS (+45%)
  13. Grant Holmes, RHP (+28%)
  14. Lazaro Armenteros, OF (+13%)
  15. Greg Deichmann, OF (+36%)
  16. Luis Barrera, OF (+14%)
  17. Seth Brown, OF (+48%)
  18. Brayan Buelvas, OF (+17%)
  19. Tyler Baum, RHP (+9%)
  20. Jordan Diaz, 3B (+5%)
  21. Marcus Smith, OF (+26%)
  22. Hogan Harris, LHP (+4%)
  23. Vimael Machin, IF (+4%)
  24. Buddy Reed, OF (+19%)
  25. Jeremy Eierman, SS (+4%)

It’s a prospect tale as old as time. Eierman has strong tools, which helped him snag a notable draft position at No. 70 overall. However, his first full pro season didn’t go well, as he struggled to make enough contact to produce anything at the plate. The tools are still there, though, with his power, speed, arm, and fielding all rating as above-average.

And so, he gets a mulligan for 2019, and he’ll try again in 2020. Adjustments have been made, and we’ll see if he’s able to better translate his abilities into in-game success. If he does, then he could shoot up this list, as an all-around shortstop who contributes on both sides of the ball. If not, then he won’t be the first talented upper-round draft pick to fizzle out in the minors. This scouting report brought to you by the letter K, which is what he needs to do less of to progress as a prospect.

Here is the voting process. Significantly different this time!! Please read; key changes are in bold:

  • Eight candidates will be listed on the ballot. The voting will take place in the comments section. I will start with a comment listing all eight players, and then I will respond to that with eight 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 FOUR favorites by Rec’ing the comments with their names. You may vote for up to four players (or fewer if you wish), but please no more than that. The five players who receive the most Rec’s earn spots Nos. 26-30 on the CPL.
  • No need for more nominations, because this is the final ballot.
  • 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.

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The new nominees are Brian Howard, Kyle McCann, Dustin Harris, and Brady Feigl. Howard and Feigl were drafted as mid-round college arms and have put together solid track records in the minors so far (especially Howard), though the bullpen is still a possibility for either. McCann and Harris were both drafted last summer and they each bring promising power potential as bat-first prospects. For more on these new noms, scroll down to the end of the list below to see their capsules.

Hitter rates (poor/avg/great):

  • wRC+ (75/100/135)
  • BB% (5.0%/8.5%/12.0%)
  • K% (30%/22%/14%)

Nominees on the current ballot:

Skye Bolt, OF

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 26

2019 stats (AAA): 347 PA, 96 wRC+, 11 HR, 10.7% BB, 27.1% Ks
2019 stats (MLB): 11 PA, 1-for-10, double, 1 BB, 3 Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and scouting report (pre-2020):

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

Bolt is a switch-hitter who has always been better from the left side, especially in terms of him getting to his raw power. He has decent plate discipline with his ability to draw walks somewhat offsetting his strikeout rates and enabling him to hit for a decent average. He’s not a burner, but he uses his above-average speed well on both sides of the ball. A lean-bodied athletic player, he’s not been able to put an entire season together as he’s struggled to stay physical throughout a long year.

Bolt has played more center field than anywhere else in his career and has the ability to play above-average defense there. He’s seen time at all three spots and his future is probably as a fourth outfielder who keeps doing that at the big league level.

* * *

Wandisson Charles, RHP

Expected level: Double-A | Age 23

2019 stats (A): 3.22 ERA, 22⅓ ip, 37 Ks, 20 BB, 1 HR, 3.54 FIP
2019 stats (A+): 3.16 ERA, 25⅔ ip, 39 Ks, 18 BB, 1 HR, 3.59 FIP
2019 stats (AA): 1.88 ERA, 14⅓ ip, 17 Ks, 5 BB, 1 HR, 3.03 FIP

FanGraphs “Excited Longshot Arms” honorable mention (pre-2019):

Charles is a 6-foot-6, 220 pound beast with elite arm strength (95-98, touching at least 99) but zero feel for pitching. He’ll snap off the occasional plus slider in the 86-90 mph range, but he’s relatively undercooked for 22.

Oakland Clubhouse scouting report (pre-2018) (lightly edited):

A behemoth on the mound, Charles has a very similar build to Jansen and similar arm strength. Charles is a currently a two-pitch pitcher with his fastball and his slider. The A’s may try to add a reliable third pitch once he is commanding his two primary offerings more consistently. His fastball sits 96-98, running up above the 100 MPH mark, and his slider sits in the mid-80s and has some late-breaking action.

For Charles to find success in full-season ball, he will need to be able to command his pitches more consistently. “A year ago [in the 2017 season], he couldn’t throw the ball over the plate. It’s an amazing transformation for him,” said A’s director of player development Keith Lieppman. ... “He was still 97-99 this [2017] Instructional League and during the [2017] season he had some 102s,” said A’s minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson.

* * *

Richard Guasch, RHP

Expected level: High-A | Age 22

2019 stats (A-): 0.00 ERA, 4 ip, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 0 HR, 1.65 FIP
2019 stats (A): 4.53 ERA, 59⅔ ip, 77 Ks, 37 BB, 1 HR, 3.25 FIP

Scouting report from Melissa Lockard of The Athletic (pre-2020):

The A’s signed Guasch, an international free agent out of Cuba, in July 2018. ...

His biggest issue was command, as he walked 38. While his ERA from 2019 doesn’t jump off the page, Guasch has two swing-and-miss pitches that portend better results in the future. Patterson says Guasch’s slider is an above-average major-league offering right now and his curveball isn’t that far behind the slider in terms of effectiveness. Guasch got nearly a 50 percent swing-and-miss rate with the slider in 2019, but he threw the pitch only 23 percent of the time. Patterson says that usage rate will increase in 2020.

The right-hander is projected as a starter, and his fastball has enough cut to work effectively with his two breaking balls. Patterson indicated that Guasch will need to improve his changeup to remain a starter longterm, but with the plus breaking ball, he has a strong chance to be an effective major-league reliever and could be a back-end starter if the changeup improves. He turns 22 in April and should begin the season with Stockton.

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Parker Dunshee, RHP

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 25

2019 stats (AA): 1.89 ERA, 38 ip, 34 Ks, 11 BB, 1 HR, 3.19 FIP
2019 stats (AAA): 5.38 ERA, 92 ip, 90 Ks, 37 BB, 21 HR, 6.21 FIP

MLB Pipeline grades and scouting report (pre-2020):

Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 45 | Slider: 55 | Cutter: 45 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 40

During his rapid climb up the ladder, Dunshee relied on deception more than stuff to miss bats and get hitters out. His fastball will sit 90-91 mph on most days and he throws a solid slider while also flipping in a get-me-over curve and his changeup is close to average now. Like many A’s farmhands, he’s worked on a cutter that’s sort of a hybrid off of his slider. He would often leave evaluators scratching their heads at how he could miss so many bats despite the overall lack of movement of his stuff.

Some of that got exposed when he got to Triple-A as his lack of an out pitch made it tough for him to find consistent success. He has to learn to live on the corners more and he’s working on throwing up in the zone more to change a hitter’s eye level. Smart on the mound and very athletic, Dunshee could be a poor man’s Kyle Hendricks type if it all clicks.

* * *

Brian Howard, RHP

Expected level: Triple-A | Age 25

2019 stats (AA): 3.25 ERA, 130 ip, 118 Ks, 39 BB, 7 HR, 3.33 FIP
2019 stats (AAA): 13.81 ERA, 14⅓ ip, 16 Ks, 8 BB, 4 HR, 7.29 FIP

MLB Pipeline grades and scouting report (pre-2020):

Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 45 | Cutter: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 55 | Overall: 40

Despite his size, Howard isn’t a pure stuff or power pitcher, though he does throw everything from a very good downward angle. His fastball is typically in the 89-92 mph range and he attacks the strike zone well with it. His cutter/slider is really one pitch that Howard manipulates, adding and subtracting from it when he wants to create two different offerings. He does fold in a fringe-average curve and has an OK changeup as part of his repertoire.

There’s very little margin for error for Howard since he doesn’t have put-away stuff, and while he’s generally been a strike-thrower, he’ll need to improve his ability to pitch up and down in the zone as well as his pitch sequencing to succeed as a starter. Some feel the bullpen might be a better place for him, where his fastball might tick up and he can become a two-pitch, fastball-cutter type in shorter stints.

* * *

Kyle McCann, C

Expected level: High-A | Age 22

2019 stats (A-): 225 PA, 94 wRC+, 7 HR, 11.1% BB, 36.0% Ks

MLB Pipeline grades and scouting report (pre-2020):

Scouting grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 55 | Run: 30 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 40

The left-handed hitter has legit power to all fields, reminding some of the Orioles’ Chris Davis power-wise. He can lift it out to the opposite field and has a little hook to the pull side and like Davis, his power will come with considerable swing and miss (He struck out in nearly 35 percent of his plate appearances in 2019). He may never hit for a high average, but he does mitigate the strikeouts a bit by working counts and drawing walks.

McCann caught and played first base during his pro debut, partically because he was nursing a sore shoulder. He showed off a much better arm during instructs, but while his hands work, his blocking and overall receiving are works in progress. If it all clicks, he could fit the profile of a lefty power-hitting backstop, but he also might have enough pop to be a first baseman if the catching end of things doesn’t come together.

* * *

Dustin Harris, 1B

Expected level: High-A | Age 20

2019 stats (RK): 140 PA, 133 wRC+, 1 HR, 10.0% BB, 14.3% Ks
2019 stats (A-): 98 PA, 135 wRC+, 0 HR, 11.2% BB, 19.4% Ks

Scouting report from Melissa Lockard of The Athletic (pre-2020):

A calm, smooth hitter with an advanced approach, Harris sprayed line drives around the field and worked deep into counts. He’s still adding strength to his 6-2 frame, but he has a similar offensive skill set to former A’s outfielder Matt Joyce.

Scouting report from Keith Law of The Athletic (pre-2020):

Their 11th-round pick out of St. Petersburg Junior College in 2019, Harris started in the AZL but hit so well the team bumped him up to short-season Vermont, where he continued to hit and get on base. He has untapped power but hit just 1 home run last summer and puts the ball on the ground too often right now, but if the A’s can unlock the power he has everyday potential even at first.

* * *

Brady Feigl, RHP

Expected level: Double-A | Age 24

2019 stats (A+): 4.42 ERA, 134⅓ ip, 119 Ks, 35 BB, 12 HR, 4.01 FIP

MLB Pipeline grades and scouting report (pre-2020):

Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 40

Feigl was set to start his college career at Mississippi in 2015, but needed Tommy John surgery, so he ended up redshirting. ...

The 6-foot-4 Feigl has a decent three-pitch mix all coming from a funky and deceptive delivery. While he touched 95 mph at Ole Miss, he was more in the 90-92 mph range during his year in Stockton. He throws it with a very high spin rate and while he doesn’t strike out a ton of guys, he keeps the pitch down with sink, leading to a 55-percent groundball rate in 2019. His secondary stuff is average at best, with his slider ahead of his changeup.

Feigl is big, strong and durable and showed an ability to consistently fill up the strike zone. That gives him a chance to advance as a back-end starter, but his high-spin stuff played up and missed more bats in shorter stints as a reliever in the AFL.

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Vote in the comments below for your FOUR favorites by Rec’ing their “Vote: (Player Name)” comment!