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Elephant Rumblings: Fall Instructional League begins Sunday, but no Arizona Fall League

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Oakland Athletics v San Diego Padres
Nick Allen
Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s are officially AL West division champions and they’ll go into the 2020 postseason with a high seed in the tournament, so there’s plenty to enjoy at the MLB level right now. But one of the biggest bummers about baseball this summer was the complete cancellation of the minor league season, leaving us no future prospects to track.

That absence will continue into the autumn months, as the Arizona Fall League has also been canceled. However, prospects will still get a chance to put in some work at Fall Instructional League, which will do its best to make up for some of the lost game action, reports Melissa Lockard of The Athletic.

Players will report to instructional camp on Sunday and it will last through the end of October, including some games against other teams’ camps. That will give the youngsters at least a small chance to recoup some live-game playing time.

There are 46 players on the A’s Instructional League roster, and to see the whole list you can click on the Lockard link above. I’m not going to share the whole thing yet because it’s behind a paywall, but below are the members of the Community Prospect List who will be present. The rankings are from the preseason, and some will have changed by now; for example everyone below Jorge Mateo has moved up a spot since he got traded, and everyone also moves up two more spots now that No. 1 Luzardo and No. 3 Murphy have graduated to MLB. (Also two top 2020 draft picks are included where we retcon ranked them.)

  • 5. Nick Allen, SS
  • (7.) Tyler Soderstrom, C
  • 7. Robert Puason, SS
  • 11. Austin Beck, OF
  • 12. Logan Davidson, SS
  • 15. Greg Deichmann, OF
  • 18. Brayan Buelvas, OF
  • 19. Tyler Baum, RHP
  • (20.) Jeff Criswell, RHP
  • 20. Jordan Diaz, 3B
  • 25. Jeremy Eierman, SS
  • 27. Wandisson Charles, RHP
  • 28. Richard Guasch, RHP
  • 29. Parker Dunshee, RHP
  • 30. Brian Howard, RHP

In addition to this list, there are some other notable non-CPL names that you might recognize if you follow the farm, plus some other 2020 draftees and undrafted signings, plus a notable pitcher returning from injury. One name completely absent is outfielder Lazaro Armenteros, even though Austin Beck is on board this time.

A few other names aren’t listed because they’re factors in the MLB picture, either on the active team or the taxi squad. That includes Luzardo, Murphy, Jefferies, Kaprlielian, and some other more advanced prospects.

Speaking of Luzardo and Murphy, they received high praise from Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline on Monday. He made a list of this season’s rookie graduates, ranking them by their future value, and Luzardo placed third behind only Luis Robert and Gavin Lux — that makes him the top pitcher on the list, one spot ahead of Dustin May. Murphy came in eighth, as the only catcher in the Top 30, two spots behind Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis.

A’s fans didn’t get to watch the minor leagues this year, but at least the bright side is two of the team’s best prospects just went ahead and played well in the majors instead.

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