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Elephant Rumblings: Tyler Soderstrom leads 2021 A’s top prospect list by MLB Pipeline

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2021 Oakland Athletics Photo Day
Soderstrom
Photo by Robert Beck/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

We’re nearly done voting on our annual Community Prospect List, in which we crowdsource the Top 30 prospects in the Oakland A’s farm system. The current ballot today is for the 28th spot.

But we’re not the only ones wrapping up our preseason prospect rankings. MLB Pipeline put out their list on Monday, and you can click here to see their take on the Top 30. Insider Martin Gallegos also did a mailbag to answer questions about the list.

It was already known that no A’s players cracked Pipeline’s national Top 100 list, but someone had to finish at the top of Oakland’s system. It turned out to be teenage catcher Tyler Soderstrom, last summer’s 1st-round draft pick. We put him second on our CPL behind lefty pitcher A.J. Puk, while Pipeline swapped the two, with various other mainstream sources landing on each side of that debate — Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law chose Puk, while Baseball America went with Soderstrom.

Here’s Pipeline’s Top 10, with our CPL rankings in parentheses:

  1. C Tyler Soderstrom (2)
  2. LHP A.J. Puk (1)
  3. SS Nick Allen (3)
  4. RHP Daulton Jefferies (5)
  5. SS Logan Davidson (6)
  6. SS Robert Puason (4)
  7. OF Luis Barrera (8)
  8. RHP Jeff Criswell (11)
  9. OF Greg Deichmann (8)
  10. RHP James Kaprielian (7)

Only Allen lands in the exact same spot on both lists, but overall the two versions are mostly similar. We agree who the top two are, and we agree on the next tier of Nos. 4-6. Then it’s just a matter of marginal differences in opinion among the group after that, where we included pitcher Grant Holmes in our Top 10 instead of Criswell. Pipeline put Holmes at No. 15.

Looking through the rest of their Top 30, as usual Pipeline is especially high on some of the younger prospects, like OF Junior Perez (eight spots higher than we have him) and 3B Jordan Diaz (five spots higher). They also stuck with OF Skye Bolt (No. 17), who is at risk of missing our CPL entirely, and they chose a different Rule 5 draft pick than we did — we put OF Ka’ai Tom 15th, and they put RHP Dany Jimenez 26th. Catcher Kyle McCann and LHP Hogan Harris are two recent college picks who placed higher at Pipeline.

On the other hand, here at AN we stuck with OF Seth Brown (No. 18 CPL) over Bolt, and gave more leash to OF Austin Beck (five spots higher on CPL). We’re higher on breakout candidate RHP Colin Peluse (eight spots).

Which list will end up closer to the real future? Only time will tell! Of course, the real answers are that Buddy Reed and Brian Howard will be the next A’s superstars, because predicting baseball is nearly impossible.

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