In our quest to promote Fanposts that are especially thoughtful and thorough, here's an interesting hunt offered by our Polish AN friend. Enjoy! -Nico
The offseason surely gave us an answer on what type of profile Oakland Athletics are looking for in young hitters. They want athletic prospects, who could potentially be really good players in the future, but are still considered sleepers. A lot of us do not question the value that Esteury Ruiz or Darell Hernaiz bring to the team, we question the price paid to acquire them, which puts Forst under pressure. Now there is no guarantee that A's will continue looking for similar type of prospects going forward, but I decided to look at every teams top prospects and try to find their sleeper athletic prospects A's are looking at. This was my criteria:
- Steals at least 10 bases in a season on average.
- Does not have trade value above 5 in BTV, is not super highly ranked in mlbpipeline, but at least his name shows up on the top 30 prospect list for his team.
- Has reached at least A+.
- Had a little breakout season in 2022, at least is on the way up.
- Had at least 10 HR in 2022 (but I included the ones, who had everything else, but 9 or 8 HRs since this was not really my main criteria).
- Has good plate discipline, I tried to keep 25% K rate as the limit.
-Is not older than 24.
There weren't a lot of players, who checked all the boxes, so I will look at each division to find the next Ruiz/Hernaiz.
At first I wanted to have Aaron Zavala, but did not realize that his value is now above 10, so we have Jonathan Ornelas, Thomas Saggese and Alejandro Osuna from Texas (Osuna as the least advanced prospect out of the selected), while Luisangel Acuna is ranked just too high to really be considered a sleeper, but still seems quite underrated. Yes the names are familiar, Luisangel is Ronald's younger brother, while Alejandro's older brother is Roberto.
Astros have interesting outfielders in Justin Dirden, Quincy Hamilton, Zach Daniels and Corey Lucks that check the boxes, except they are too old. Angels and Mariners did not have anyone that close to reaching the criteria.
Thinking about athletic prospects, the Royals come to mind, so they have Diego Hernandez and Tucker Bradley meeting criteria with Samar Taylor worth mentioning. It will be hard to acquire them from the team that loves speed the most.
Will Brennan from Cleveland checked a lot of prospects, but now is more of a well known name after his postseason push with Cleveland and BTV now has him over 5. Twins have a 26 year old Michael Helman as a potential late breakout, so if he was younger, I would add him. Finally, we have the Tigers with Andre Lipcius, Parker Meadows and Winceel Perez. I could not find anyone from the White Sox.
Not a lot here, but every team had at least one guy that caught my eye. Otto Lopez from the Blue Jays was considered, but lacked HRs.
Connor Norby from the O's ended up being too valuable, I'm sure some of you would have rather acquire him instead of Hernaiz.
David Hamilton from the Red Sox is athletic, but is also a 25 year old player playing in AA. That leaves us with Tristan Peters from the Rays, and Elijah Dunham from the Yankees. With Dunham you can question the A's interest, since they had the chance to ask for him in the Montas deal.
I think we have the ideal candidate here in Jorge Barrosa from the D-Backs, who showed some more pop in his bat and played very well in AA at 21 (although in a hitter friendly environment). Still, I think the A's are probably in love with him and would be looking and willing to overpay for him in any deal with Arizona. Dominic Fletcher is also interesting, but a bit older.
Dodgers have Jonny DeLuco, Padres have Eguy Rosario who just broke his ankle, but could look like a future 3B with a strong arm when he comes back (and SD might not be the place with a crowded infield).
It is worth mentioning that Julio Carreras from the Rockies was at least close to checking all the boxes, and no Giants prospects were.
Michael Siani from the Reds seems like the only good fit from the division, Jared Triolo from the Pirates and Carlos Rodriguez from the Brewers were close (I'm thinking that if they really liked him, they could have acquired him in the Murphy deal).
Again, little to choose from. If the A's really liked Cody Milligan from the Braves, they would have found a way to acquire him in the Murphy deal, similar situation with Rodriguez, also Milligan has hit only 2 HR last season.
Dasim Nunez from the Marlins would fit here, but also lacks power, that is basically it for that division.
Now let's look at the 2022 stats of the selected 13 prospects. I might have missed someone, but the number will not be much higher.
Alejandro Osuna, OF (not in BTV)
.302/.378/.427/.805 in 351 AB as 19yo (turned 20 in October),
9 HR, 42 BB, 68 K, 34 SB
Jonathan Ornelas, SS/3B (4.8 in BTV)
.299/.360/.425/.785 in 525 AB as 21-22yo in AA, 14 HR, 45 BB, 121 K,
Thomas Saggese, 2B (2.2 in BTV)
.312/.361/.506/.867 in 401 AB as 20yo in A+ (had 5 games in AA),
15 HR, 30 BB, 97 K, 12 SB
Parker Meadows, OF (2.2 BTV)
.275/.354./466./820 in 425 AB as 23yo in AA, 16 HR, 52 BB, 90 K, 17 SB
Andre Lipcius, INF (2.1 BTV)
.277/.391/.435/.826 in 462 AB as 23-24 yo in AA and AAA, 12 HR,
86 BB, 89 K, 13 SB
Winceel Perez, 3B (2.1 BTV)
295./369./534./903 in 356 AB as 22yo in A+ and AA (turned 23 in October), 14 HR, 42 BB, 61 K, 18 SB
Diego Hernandez (2.1 in BTV)
.284/.347/.407/.754 in 454 AB in A+ and AA as 21yo (turned 22 in November), 9 HR, 39 BB, 100 K, 40 SB
Tucker Bradley, OF (not in BTV)
.293/.382/.455/.837 in 396 AB as 23-24yo in AA, 12 HR, 55 BB,
84 K, 19 SB
Elijah Dunham, OF (2 in BTV)
.248/.348/.448/.796 in 415 AB as 23-24yo in AA, 17 HR,
59 BB, 103 K, 37 SB
Tristan Peters, OF (2.2 in BTV)
.279/.363/.433/.796 in 462 AB as 22yo in A+ and AA (turns 23 this month), 8 HR, 60 BB, 92 K, 18 SB
Jonny DeLuca, OF (2.4 in BTV)
.260/.347/.541/.888 in 381 AB as 23-24yo in A+ and AA, 25 HR,
45 BB, 73 K, 17 SB
Eguy Rosario, 3B (1.7 in BTV)
.288/.368/.508/.876 in 490 AB in AAA as 22-23yo, 22 HR, 59 BB,
109 K, 21 SB
Jorge Barrosa, OF (2.4 in BTV)
.278/.372/.439/.811 in 474 AB, 13 HR, 67 BB, 85 K, 26 SB
Michael Siani, OF (3.9 in BTV)
.252/.345/.404/.749 in 492 AB as 22-23yo in AA and AAA (also had a small taste of the big leagues where he struggled in 9 games), 14 HR,
65 BB, 95 K, 52 SB
I don't see the Tigers, Royals or Reds trading hitting prospects, I mean it is always possible, but thinking about the Trade Deadline or even now, I think you will have other suitors for players like Brown, Fujinami, Kemp, May, Aguilar, Blackburn and Laureano. So this leaves us with 8 prospects. Here is my subjective ranking of them in terms of fit on the A's roster:
1. Jorge Barrosa
2. Alejandro Osuna
3. Eguy Rosario
4. Jonathan Ornelas
5. Jonny DeLuca
6. Thomas Saggese
7. Tristan Peters
8. Elijah Dunham
Another thing worth mentioning, beside all the traditional prospect rankings there is also a twitter account called Prospect Larceny, which ranks prospects based on a scoring formula taking into account age and 2022 stats. In the top 100 list Esteury Ruiz ended up 22nd out of all the hitters, Darell Hernaiz 37th, both higher than Tyler Soderstrom (65th) and Max Muncy (94th) and all the other A's prospects not ranked (they are actually pretty low on Gelof). Ruiz and Hernaiz are also higher than Jordan Walker (42nd).
So out of all the prospects selected in my article, who else is in the top 100? Alejandro Osuna is 52nd, Thomas Saggese is 57th, and Jorge Barrosa is 59th. Out of the ones, who were mentioned, but not selected: Luisangel Acuna was 42nd, Connor Norby was 69th, and Aaron Zavala was 77th. Don't be shocked to see a trade with Texas in the near future.