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Oakland A’s Community Prospect List No. 21

The top 20 is set!

SPORTS-BBA-ATHLETICS-LASVEGAS-LV Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Royber Salinas is the latest addition to the Athletics Nation Community Prospect List for the 2023 season and the top 20 is now set. Salinas edged out Henry Bolte in the voting. Hogan Harris won the latest nomination and joins the voting for the next round.

Here is a look at the top 20:

  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
  14. Brett Harris, 3B
  15. J.T. Ginn, RHP
  16. Gunnar Hoglund, RHP
  17. Ryan Noda, 1B
  18. Luis Morales, RHP
  19. Luis Medina, RHP
  20. Royber Salinas

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

From FanGraphs

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.

Henry Bolte, OF

From Baseball America

Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 60. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

Scouting Report: Bolte draws some comparisons to fellow A’s prospect Denzel Clarke in the sense both are extremely tooled up with a clear need to develop their hitting ability. Bolte is already one of the most dynamic athletes in Oakland’s system and has a chance for double-plus raw power as he gets stronger. Bolte’s contact ability will be tested without improvements to his swing, approach and pitch recognition. His swing gets long at times, leading to plenty of swing and miss in the strike zone. The A’s focused on reworking parts of his swing during instructs, toning down his leg kick and stride to help improve his balance and setup. The rest of Bolte’s skill set is eye-opening. He’s a plus runner with a strong throwing arm and a chance to be an elite defender in center field.

Ryan Cusick, RHP

From Baseball America

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 55. Changeup: 40. Control: 40

Scouting Report: Scouts loved Cusick’s power potential in college but harbored concerns about his inconsistent command. That assessment has held true so far as a pro. His plus fastball sat more in the 95-97 mph range in 2022 and the metric-savvy righthander worked with the A’s to tweak the grip on his fastball to restore some induced vertical break. He’s still working to find a consistent feel for his breaking ball. The Braves worked with Cusick to throw a harder, vertically-breaking slider. The pitch sat 85-86 and has above-average potential, but was inconsistent in both shape and command. He rarely turns to his firm, low-90s changeup that needs considerable refinement. There’s some reliever risk in Cusick’s delivery, although his injury may have contributed to his strike-throwing woes in 2022.

Clark Elliott, OF

From Baseball America

Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

Scouting Report: The A’s wonder if Buelvas simply ran out of energy in 2022. He also needs to determine what type of hitter he wants to be. Buelvas has average power potential and is still growing into his frame, but he chases that power too frequently and loses his approach. The A’s believe he’s better off sticking to a more contact-oriented, line-to-line approach to maximize his feel for the barrel. Buelvas is a solid-average runner. He has just enough foot speed and arm strength to handle center field now. Some evaluators aren’t convinced he can stick there as he matures, and a move to a corner would put even more strain on his bat.

Hogan Harris, LHP

From Baseball America

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.

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.