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Oakland A’s 2023 Community Prospect List No. 14

MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics Workouts Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The votes are in and Darell Hernaiz is the latest addition to the Athletics Nation Community Prospect List. Infielder Ryan Noda won a tight race for the next nomination and joins today’s voting list.

Here is where things stand after 13 rounds:

  1. Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
  2. Ken Waldichuk, LHP
  3. Zack Gelof, 2B/3B
  4. Esteury Ruiz, OF
  5. Mason Miller, RHP
  6. Kyle Muller, LHP
  7. Jordan Diaz, INF
  8. Lawrence Butler, OF
  9. Daniel Susac, C
  10. Max Muncy, SS
  11. Denzel Clarke, OF
  12. Freddy Tarnok, RHP
  13. Darell Hernaiz, INF

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.

Gunnar Hoglund, RHP

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 60 | Overall: 50

Hoglund’s stuff plateaued in his first two college seasons, as he showed the same 89- to 93-mph riding fastball and average breaking ball that he had in high school. His stuff ticked up last fall, however, and he now works at 92-95 for five innings at a time and displays a tighter, harder slider at 84-86. His low-80s changeup serves as a solid third pitch and he can give batters a different look by dusting off a curveball he relied on more as a prepster.

With a durable 6-foot-4 frame, an easy delivery and a history of quality strikes, Hoglund already had a high floor as a back-of-the-rotation starter. Multiple scouts have likened him to a bigger version of Tanner Burns, another SEC right-hander whom the Guardians drafted 36th overall last June. Now the A’s will have to be patient to see how his stuff and control returns from the surgery, but if it does, it’s possible they got a top-10 talent from last year’s Draft.

J.T. Ginn, RHP

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

Ginn was hoping 2022 would be go-time after proving he was healthy, but forearm issues forced him out of action for more than two months. A sinker-heavy style has some benefits in the modern game, but it’s not as desirable as a profile that can elicit more whiffs. A few more ticks of consistent velo could be what solidifies Ginn as a mid-rotation type. Otherwise, he has a decent floor as a No. 5.

Brett Harris, 3B

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

Harris’ approach at the plate is simple. He makes good contact with solid bat-to-ball skills that keep his strikeout rate low. There previously didn’t seem to be a ton of power to his game, though he was tapping into what raw pop he has more often during the start of his full-season debut. He’s an average runner on the basepaths.

Early impressions of Harris are that he’s a hard worker with good makeup who demonstrated strong leadership qualities at Gonzaga. His defense is what really stood out from his college career, both at third base and shortstop. He was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year for 2021 and demonstrated the best actions of all the young A’s infielders who played in the instructional league last fall. He’s almost exclusively been a third baseman as a pro, and if the offensive improvements he made late in his college career continue to translate, his defensive abilities should help him reach the big leagues at the hot corner. That puts more pressure on his bat, but even if that slows down, he has the feel for the game to be a solid utility type.

Luis Morales, RHP

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

The right-hander is one of the most interesting and dynamic prospects in the class. His arm is electric, and it continues to dazzle scouts.

Back in Cuba, he was the best U-18 pitcher on the island, setting a record for strikeouts (161) in 82 2/3 innings between 2019 and 2020. He made his debut with Cuba’s Serie Nacional with Sancti Spiritus in 2021 and defected later in the year while playing for the Cuban U-23 team in Mexico.

He projects to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher as his fastball sits between 94-97, and he has emerging secondary pitches, including a slider, changeup and curveball. While in Mexico, Morales trained with Maels Rodríguez, a former Cuban National team pitcher and Olympian who is best known for his 100 mph fastball, to help hone his primary pitch. Morales has added about 10 pounds of muscle mass in recent months to quell any concerns about his overall strength. He is represented by Magnus Sports. The Athletics are among the teams who have shown strong interest in Morales.

Ryan Noda

From FanGraphs (Note: Write up is from last year’s Dodgers list via The Board)

The Dodgers have two older corner defender/DH types who have been superlative performers in the upper levels of the minors, both of whom were acquired from other teams. You have Justin Yurchak, who came over from the White Sox a few years ago in exchange for Manny Bañuelos, and Noda, who was a PTBNL from Toronto in the deal for Ross Stripling, and who has one of the more selective approaches in pro baseball. Not only does Noda know how to take a walk (he’s walked at a 13.3% career clip), but he tends to swing at pitches in a specific part of the strike zone, typically offering at strikes up and away from him. While he’s not toolsy or explosive in any way, Noda has enough power to be dangerous, enabled partly by his keen notion of which pitches to hunt. Average at first base (his hands are pretty good over there, his range is not) and below average in both outfield corners, Noda could play a lefty-hitting corner role for a contender or be a low-end everyday first baseman for a needy club.

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.