MLB Pipeline released a midseason update for their national Top 100 prospect list on Tuesday. Let’s take a quick look!
The Oakland A’s have three names on the new list. All three were already there before the update, but they’ve all moved up from where we last saw them.
- No. 33 — Shea Langeliers, C
- No. 37 — Tyler Soderstrom, C
- No. 84 — Zack Gelof, 3B
Not long ago, entering the 2021 season, the A’s had zero prospects on Pipeline’s Top 100. By last winter Soderstrom had cracked the list and Oakland had acquired Langeliers, and that pair ranked 56 and 59 respectively on the 2022 preseason edition. As the season progressed Gelof skyrocketed his stock, first appearing on the list in May, and now he’s climbed up several more spots.
Of course, a little bit of upward movement is natural on these lists, because the members are constantly graduating to MLB, and every time somebody loses their prospect eligibility everybody below them shifts up to fill the vacancy. That said, it’s certainly possible to move down over time, due to poor performance or new injuries or other factors, and a bunch of (other teams’) prospects did just that.
The A’s trio all slightly improved their ranks. Compared with the previous version of the list, this update sees Langeliers gain three spots (from 36 to 33), Soderstrom gain eight spots (from 45 to 37), and Gelof pick up three places (from 87 to 84). Click here to see the full chart of risers and fallers on the new Top 100.
How did we get here? Langeliers was part of the Matt Olson trade package, and you can click here for a full scouting report. He’s been playing for Triple-A Las Vegas all year and taking full advantage of the hitter-friendly atmosphere, blasting 14 dingers in 68 games. But the promising bat (with 60-grade power) is only a secondary consideration, as his true calling card is his elite defense behind the plate (70-grade arm, 65-grade fielding) which already makes him a virtual lock to at least contribute in the majors.
The other pair were draft picks who look like jackpots so far. Soderstrom was their 1st-rounder in 2020, and he crushed Low-A ball last year. His numbers appear relatively modest in High-A this summer, but he’s young for the league at age 20 and he’s still knocked 14 homers in 71 games. On defense he’s split time between catcher and first base, with a higher innings count at 1B, but there’s still no final decision on his future position.
Gelof was their 2nd-rounder in 2021, and he quickly jumped onto the radar with a strong pro debut that year. That got him an aggressive bump up to Double-A this summer, and he hit well there in 39 games, but unfortunately he’s been interrupted by injury — he tore the labrum in his left shoulder diving for a groundball at the end of May, reports Melissa Lockard of The Athletic. His decision to recover without surgery leaves open the chance that he could return this season, notes Lockard.
With the A’s launching a new rebuild this year and tanking down to the bottom of the MLB standings, at least it’s encouraging to see the top of the farm system continuing to improve!