Jordan Diaz slots into the No. 7 spot in the Athletics Nation Community Prospect List for the 2023 season. Diaz won the seventh round comfortably over Lawrence Butler and Max Muncy. Outfielder Denzel Clarke is the newest nominee.
Here is what the list looks like so far:
- Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
- Ken Waldichuk, LHP
- Zack Gelof, 2B/3B
- Esteury Ruiz, OF
- Mason Miller, RHP
- Kyle Muller, LHP
- Jordan Diaz, 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.
Lawrence Butler, OF
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.
Max Muncy, SS
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
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
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.
Gunnar Hoglund, RHP
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.
Denzel Clarke, OF
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
Clarke seems to have inherited genes from an athletic family that includes an Olympic heptathlete in his mother, Donna, as well as cousins who also happen to be professional baseball players in Josh and Bo Naylor. He’s a quick-twitch athlete whose plus speed makes him a serious threat running the bases. As expected for a player less experienced than other prospects, Clarke has room to grow in his approach at the plate, as he does swing and miss often at pitches with some spin. His raw power is evident, though, with the ability to crush fastballs well out of the yard to the opposite field.
Clarke’s ability to move around allows him to play center, but with his 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame, he’s likely to end up as a corner outfielder. He has all the makings of what you want in terms of player development, from the body type to his raw tools. Now he just needs to play every day.
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.