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Oakland A’s 2023 Community Prospect List No. 6

The Top 5 is set!

Salt River Rafters v. Mesa Solar Sox Photo by Jerry Kime/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The first five spots are set in the Athletics Nation Community Prospect List for the 2023 season. Mason Miller edged out Kyle Muller by a single vote to grab the No. 5 spot. Catcher Daniel Susac joins the nominees for the sixth round of voting. Here is a look at the Top 5 of the list:

  1. Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
  2. Ken Waldichuk, LHP
  3. Zack Gelof, 2B/3B
  4. Esteury Ruiz, OF
  5. Mason Miller, RHP

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.

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.

Max Muncy, SS

From MLB Pipeline

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

Groomed by his head coach at Thousands Oaks High School, former Major League shortstop Jack Wilson, Muncy was selected 25th overall by the A’s in 2021 and signed for $2.85 million to become just the second first-round pick ever drafted in the school’s history. He made his brief pro debut in the Arizona Complex League last summer.

Though he shares no relation with his namesake who stars for the Dodgers, this Muncy can also do some impressive things with the bat. The power was on display during a pre-Draft workout in which the A’s witnessed him effortlessly drive the ball out of the Oakland Coliseum to all fields. His overall approach at the plate still requires some fine-tuning to bring down the swing-and-misses, though that should come with time.

Daniel Susac, C

From MLB Pipeline

Susac has the chance to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. A switch-hitter when he joined the Wildcats, he’s hit almost exclusively right-handed, which scouts thought was his better side as a prepster anyway. Big and physical, he’s shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields, using the gap very well during his freshman season. There’s legitimate power to tap into as well. A former high school quarterback, he’s a better athlete and moves better than you’d think given his size.

Behind the plate, Susac’s plus arm plays well, and he’s improved his overall receiving, though there’s still work to do, enough to provide confidence that he’ll stay behind the plate long-term. The overall skillset is the reason why he was one of two catchers taken in the first round.

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.