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Oakland A’s 2023 Community Prospect List No. 4

The top three is set!

Surprise Saguaros v Mesa Solar Sox Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The top three spots are set in Athletics Nation’s Community Prospect List for the 2023 season. Infielder Zack Gelof won the third round vote and joins Tyler Soderstrom and lefty Ken Waldichuk. Jordan Diaz joins the nominees for the fourth round of voting.

  1. Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
  2. Ken Waldichuk, LHP
  3. Zack Gelof, 2B/3B

Here is the process:

  • Five nominees will appear on the ballot. The one who receives the most votes earns the top spot in the CPL while the remaining four players move on to the next ballot where they are joined by the next nominee.
  • In the comments, commenters will nominate a player to be put onto the ballot for the next round. After the first nomination for a player has been put in, all other votes for that player will come from Rec’ing that comment. The player with the most Rec’s earns the nomination.
  • The format for the comment should be “Nomination: Player Name”.
  • 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 players should rank.

Esteury Ruiz, OF

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 80 | Arm: 45 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

A $100,000 signee by the Royals in July 2015, Ruiz was moved to the Padres two years later in a six-player deal at the Trade Deadline. Despite splitting time between two orgs, he managed to win 2017 Arizona League MVP honors after hitting .350/.395/.602 with 34 extra-base hits and 26 stolen bases in 52 games. Outside the stolen base totals, he never quite matched that production at the full-season levels, but a return to the Double-A Texas League led to a bounce-back season, a Major League debut and a trade to the Brewers for Josh Hader. Ruiz was on the move again in the offseason, going to the A’s in the three-team deal that sent Sean Murphy to the Braves.

Mason Miller, RHP

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting report: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Miller’s path to the professional ranks is truly inspirational. Battling Type 1 juvenile diabetes he was diagnosed with in 2018 and weighing around 150 pounds, he worked hard to transform his body. Discovering the right diet and strength program, he bulked up to 220 pounds and transferred from Waynesburg to Gardner-Webb University. Miller went 8-1 with a 3.30 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings in 2021 and forced his way onto the Draft radar, with the A’s signing him for $599,100 as a third-round pick. He was mostly unable to showcase his stuff in 2022 as a scapula strain in his right shoulder kept him out of action until the end of August.

Kyle Muller, LHP

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50

In 2016, the Braves took four high-school pitchers with their first six picks. While first-rounder Ian Anderson has spent considerable time in the big leagues, the Braves had traded two others from that class, Joey Wentz and Bryse Wilson, previously. Muller, the fourth-round pick, made his Major League debut in 2021, touched the big leagues again in 2022 while making strides on his overall pitchability in the Minors. He then became the third member of this quartet to get dealt, going to the A’s in the three-team deal that brought Sean Murphy to Atlanta in December.

Lawrence Butler, OF

From MLB Pipeline

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

Perhaps no player in the organization took a bigger step in raising his prospect stock over the past year than Butler. A sixth-round pick out of Westlake High School in Atlanta by the A’s in 2018, he bounced back from early struggles in Rookie ball and a tough 2019 in the New York-Penn League with major strides through the pandemic and returned looking like a completely different player in 2021 as he combined to hit .273 with 19 home runs and 75 RBIs while also adding 29 stolen bases in 102 games combined at Low-A and High-A.

Jordan Diaz, 1B

From MLB PIpeline

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

Signing out of Colombia during the 2016-17 international signing period for $275,000, Diaz’s success throughout Short-Season ball transferred over to what was his first season at High-A, where he hit .288 with 13 home runs and 24 doubles in 90 games. The A’s felt he made enough progress to add him to the 40-man roster this offseason.

Diaz has shown above average bat speed through the zone, which helps offset his high leg kick during the setup of his swing. He uses the whole field, and now the power the A’s were hoping to see is also starting to show up as he matures and evolves from being more of a gap-to-gap hitter. He already possesses some of the best bat-to-ball skills in the organization. Also showing good plate discipline, Diaz brings quite an advanced approach to the plate, especially for his age.

Vote in the comments below for your favorite by Rec’ing his “Vote: (Player Name)” comment, and post your nomination for the next round as well.