Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!
Martín Gallegos over at MLB.com took a look at some A’s prospects who could make an impact on the big league club in 2024. As potential breakouts, Gallegos listed starter Joe Boyle and outfielder Denzel Clarke. I have them ranked higher than most at #2 and #3 in Oakland’s system, so I concur with having high expectations for them.
He also posed the question of what Mason Miller’s role should be next season. Barring injury, he’ll surely begin the season on the major league roster with the chance to start, but the A’s will likely continue being extra careful with him. Though we all obviously want him in the rotation long-term, it may be good to build him up slowly with 2-3 innings out of the bullpen, especially with the A’s likely having plenty of starting options next season.
Luis Morales, Max Muncy, and Colby Thomas were also listed as prospects who’ve forced themselves onto the big-league radar this year; I’d add a few more to that list. On the position player side, Darell Hernaiz, who I have 5th in the system, is an obvious candidate to make an impact. He cooled off towards the end of his AAA promotion but he still hit exactly .300 with even stronger walk and strikeout numbers. He’ll likely start the year with the Aviators again but if he starts mashing again and the A’s fail to find any keepers on the left side of the infield, Hernaiz could get an early callup. Third baseman Brett Harris is another option there but he’ll need to produce at a much higher level in Vegas to prove he deserves a promotion.
Cooper Bowman is also a dark horse to help the A’s out. As the fourth piece of the Frankie Montas trade, he’s easily forgotten as a prospect talent but he made big strides at the plate in AA this year, hitting .262/.360/.432 with 35 stolen bases in just 68 games. He also got a single late-season start in center field, where some evaluators think his speed would be better served. It’d also help his chances to get playing time with Zack Gelof now entrenched at second base, Bowman’s primary position up to this point.
As for pitching, Joey Estes and Freddy Tarnok will continue to get more shots at the rotation. Royber Salinas and Jack Perkins each were inconsistent during their first looks at AA hitters, but both are doing solid work in the AFL right now and they’re candidates for mid-to-late season callups as well. Ryan Cusick also struggled throughout the year at AA but was granted a AAA cameo start to end the season. It wasn’t pretty but the team will keep trying to push his development forward as he works to rediscover his talents.
Brady Basso, on the other hand, had a strong five starts at AA to end 2023, pitching to a 1.89 ERA with 19 strikeout in as many innings. Though not well known or hyped as a prospect, he could continue his breakout, leapfrog all the aforementioned names, and force his way into the rotation conversation later in the 2024 season.
- A’s prospects knocking on the door for ‘24
- NBA Expansion May Throw Wrinkle into A’s Relocation to Las Vegas
- Opposing Manager Thinks A’s JP Sears Could Have Bright Future
MLB News & Interest:
- Astros advance to 7th consecutive ALCS with win over Twins
- Bryce Harper, October legend: He keeps meeting the moment, rising among the postseason greats ($)
- Clayton Kershaw Undecided On Future
- Mike Elias Discusses Upcoming Orioles Offseason
- Mark Shapiro Discusses Upcoming Blue Jays Offseason
Best of X:
Solid showing so far for the rising infielder.
SS Max Muncy is currently 7 for 26 with a HR, a double, a walk, 2 stolen bases and a .269/.321/.423 slash line through 6 AFL games so far this season... https://t.co/lDjJ1kvaFZ— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) October 12, 2023
So many layers to the ALCS.
“Now, me and Bruce Bochy need to battle.” - Dusty Baker— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) October 12, 2023
Speaking of Bochy...
Of course the playoff format’s the problem even though two of these teams got bounced in the wild card round.
The teams with the five best records in the MLB regular season are 1-12 in the postseason— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 12, 2023
Yes, you read that right. pic.twitter.com/imMTP1nBME
We know where Dallas fallls on the playoff format debate.
Dodgers got served. Straight up. Think about the layoff situation from this perspective. They had 5 days off between the end of the season & game 1. Then played 3 games over 5 days. There were 5 straight days off during the AS break. A time where guys rest & recharge for the…— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) October 12, 2023
And another unwritten rules debate, hooray!
♂️ ♂️ ♂️ Some of y’all man, all I’m saying is that you should not be allowed to quote a player or say you heard something like this in a clubhouse when you- the reporter- are not talking to that player— Kevin Gausman (@KevinGausman) October 12, 2023
It wasn’t always pretty but May had some fun moments with the A’s, none more iconic than that last shot of him closing out the Reverse Boycott game for the team’s 7th win in a row.