Right-hander Ryan Cusick is the latest addition to the Athletics Nation Community Prospect List for the 2023 season. Cusick outdistanced Hogan Harris to claim the 22nd spot on the list. Outfielder Colby Thomas is the latest nominee and joins the voting for the next round.
Here is a look at the list 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
- Lawrence Butler, OF
- Daniel Susac, C
- Max Muncy, SS
- Denzel Clarke, OF
- Freddy Tarnok, RHP
- Darell Hernaiz, INF
- Brett Harris, 3B
- J.T. Ginn, RHP
- Gunnar Hoglund, RHP
- Ryan Noda, 1B
- Luis Morales, RHP
- Luis Medina, RHP
- Royber Salinas, RHP
- Henry Bolte, OF
- Ryan Cusick, 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.
Junior Perez, OF
Perez was the PTBNL San Diego sent to Oakland for Jorge Mateo. He posted tremendous output in the 2019 AZL, looking like a prototypical corner outfielder with power during his brightest moments, while showing some underlying swing-and-miss on paper. The swing-and-miss piece dominated his 2021, in both a more concerning statistical way and during in-person looks. Perez just does not appear as explosive as he was in 2019 and has struggled to catch even fringe velocity, though this could be the result of the ultra-long layoff. He’s only 20 and produced among the highest max exit velos in the system this year. As a corner outfield prospect, he’ll need to start producing on paper in 2022, but the raw power he has for his age is keeping his prospectdom afloat for now.
Clark Elliott, OF
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50
Scouting Report: Elliott has great feel for the barrel. He punishes fastballs in the strike zone, especially in the lower half, utilizing his flat bat path to turn pitches around. He struggled at times in college with pitches on the outer third of the strike zone and also ran into some swing-and-miss issues with breaking balls. He’ll have to prove the power gains he made in his final college season are real, but he has a chance for average power potential as he better learns which pitches he can damage. Elliott played mostly right field in college, although the A’s think he has the athleticism to handle center. He’s an above-average runner right now with a solid-average throwing arm. Elliott, a cognitive science major at Michigan, also draws rave reviews for his makeup.
Hogan Harris, LHP
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 50. Slider: 50. Changeup: 60. Control: 45
Scouting Report: Harris has swing-and-miss stuff but has walked 4.3 batters per nine innings as a professional. His fastball was a touch firmer a year removed from surgery, averaging 93 mph and touching 97. He runs into trouble when he tries to overthrow his four-seamer. Harris’ upper-70s changeup is quite good and his best swing-and-miss secondary. He also throws a slow, arcing curveball that has roughly 20 mph separation from his fastball and may be more of a strike-stealer than a swing-and-miss offering. At the end of the season, Harris added an upper-80s slider/cutter hybrid into his repertoire, which the A’s believe will be the key to Harris turning over more advanced lineups. Harris used his rehab to improve his body. His delivery is still a bit rigid and he struggles at times staying on line to the plate. He has fringe-average command potential that is mitigated by the quality of his stuff.
Joey Estes, RHP
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50
Scouting Report: Estes attacks hitters with athleticism, arm speed and a competitive mentality. He has three solid pitches, albeit without an elite swing-and-miss offering. His 92-94 mph fastball has nearly equal amounts of carry and run, boring in on righthanded batters but with enough vertical break to play at the top of the strike zone. His mid-80s slider has late bite, but he sometimes struggles to stay on top of it. Estes also throws a mid-80s changeup with good hand speed that tunnels well with the fastball but is still inconsistent. Estes is generally around the strike zone, but can rush his delivery at times and his command wavers as a result. The A’s worked with Estes in instructs to move down the mound a bit more efficiently.
Colby Thomas, OF
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 40
Thomas generates a ton of raw power thanks to a combination of bat speed and loft in his swing. He improved his selectivity and consistently was able to pounce on pitches over the plate in his last season of college. He displayed the ability to work counts and draw walks, which should help him produce solid on-base numbers. He does have some struggles against offspeed pitches and he’ll need to improve on that front.
Thomas’ athleticism is another plus, with near-plus plus speed and a strong arm that enables him to thrive in the corner outfield spots. That speed is also valuable on the basepaths. He’s an intelligent runner who can swipe some bases. Set to get his pro career underway, he’ll look to soon join Kyle Lewis as the next outfielder out of Mercer to reach the big leagues.
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.