The votes are in and outfielder Denzel Clarke is the latest addition to the Athletics Nation mid-season community prospect list. Clarke easily outdistanced 2023 first round pick Jacob Wilson to take the No. 6 spot. Right-hander Joey Estes wins the latest nomination and joins the voting for the next round.
Here is a look at the complete list:
- Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
- Zack Gelof, 2B
- Mason Miller, RHP
- Lawrence Butler, OF
- Darrel Hernaiz, INF
- Denzel Clarke, OF
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.
Jacob Wilson, SS
Wilson, whose dad followed him to Grand Canyon and was an assistant coach this past season, has an intriguing combination of baseball IQ and tools. He might be one of the better pure hitters in the class, one who consistently finds the barrel and struck out in just 4.4 percent of his plate appearances during his college career. While there has been some concern over his ability to impact the ball, he did tap into his power some, smashing 12 homers and slugging .585 in 2022 and .635 this past spring.
A fringy-to-average runner, Wilson has the skills to stick at shortstop, with good actions, range and an above-average arm. He might not have the pure power profile should he have to slide over to third base, where he played as a freshman, but the contact and pitch recognition skills should enable him to reach the big leagues in a hurry regardless of where he plays defensively.
Daniel Susac, C
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50
Susac was a standout dual-threat quarterback in high school, so he brings some athleticism along with his big 6-foot-4 frame. He has good bat-to-ball skills with legit raw power and the ability to drive the ball to all fields, which gives him the potential to impact the game on both sides of the ball.
Susac’s defensive prowess partly led to him being the second-highest ranked catcher of his Draft class. He’s agile enough behind the plate with solid receiving skills, though there is still some room for improvement. Equipped with a strong arm and lauded for his natural leadership skills in college, the A’s will look to continue his development as a backstop as he progresses through the system.
Luis Morales, RHP
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Morales boasts an electric arm with a fastball that has clocked as high as 99 mph in the past and sits 94-97. He also utilizes a slider, changeup and curveball as secondary pitches that are still developing, and the A’s will look to get to work on helping him refine those offerings as he enters the system.
Morales has worked hard on preparing his body by adding about 10 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-3 frame, which should help his durability. Command is going to be key to his success, as he’s struggled with controlling his pitches in the past. If he can improve that aspect of his game, he should be able to move through the organization rather quickly and could be a frontline starter in the future if he can fulfill his potential.
Henry Bolte, OF
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 65 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
The A’s got a good look at the serious raw power Bolte possesses when he suited up for a pregame workout with the team shortly after signing his contract and bashed several home runs at the Oakland Coliseum during batting practice. Aside from the eye-popping power, he does need some development with the bat, as he has a tendency to chase offspeed stuff out of the zone and even shows some swing-and-miss in the zone.
Bolte’s near-elite speed is an asset both on the basepaths and on defense in the outfield, with an arm strong enough to play at the highest level. With his potential five-tool skillset and 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame drawing lofty comparisons to Blue Jays star George Springer, the A’s will get to work on cleaning up his swing.
Joey Estes, RHP
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
The A’s liked what they saw from Estes as a 20-year-old at High-A Lansing, where he posted a 4.65 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 91 innings. He upped his fastball to around 95-96 mph. He also brings an effective mid-80s slider with good depth and mixes in a changeup that he made strides with last season.
Estes is aggressive on the mound and fills up the zone with strikes, continuing to develop a better feel overall for pitching as he matures. He doesn’t necessarily have a plus pitch in his arsenal at the moment, though that could come with time. His ultimate role will likely be determined by how much he can polish his secondary stuff. For now, the A’s are content with keeping him in a starting role and seeing just how much better he can get.
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.