Infielder Max Muncy claims the ninth spot on the Athletics Nation mid-season community prospect list for the 2023 season. Muncy narrowly edged out right-hander Luis Morales in the voting. Right-hander Joe Boyle, who was acquired in the Sam Moll trade with Cincinnati, wins the latest nomination and joins the voting.
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
- Daniel Susac, C
- Jacob Wilson, INF
- Max Muncy, 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.
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.
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.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 80 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Control: 40 | Overall: 40
The Reds have continued to let Boyle start in order to allow him to stretch out, work on all of his stuff and learn how to make adjustments in-game, from inning to inning. His fastball is still as high-octane as ever, averaging over 97 mph, with riding action to it, a pitch that would hit triple digits regularly in shorter relief stints for sure. His upper-80s slider with good power and tilt misses a ton of bats and he also has a slightly slower low-80s curve that can flash above-average at times.
As it’s been since his college days, finding the strike zone is the biggest question mark for the 6-foot-7 right-hander. Even without much deception in his delivery, it’s clear he’s going to rack up strikeouts at any level, but while he’s done a slightly better job on the walks front as a pro, it’s still very much a work in progress. There likely will be a point in time when he gets moved to the bullpen, where command won’t be as much of an issue, but he’ll have to throw more strikes to earn high-leverage situations.
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.