Right-handed pitching prospect Ryan Cusick rounds out the Top 20 of the Athletics Nation community prospect list. Cusick beat out Myles Naylor and Cooper Bowman to claim the spot. Jack Perkins wins this round’s 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
- Daniel Susac, C
- Jacob Wilson, INF
- Max Muncy, INF
- Joey Estes, RHP
- Luis Morales, RHP
- Henry Bolte, OF
- Joe Boyle, RHP
- Colby Thomas, OF
- Freddy Tarnok, RHP
- Royber Salinas, RHP
- Steven Echavarria, RHP
- Brett Harris, INF
- Gunnar Hoglund, RHP
- 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.
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
As the Draft approached, scouts saw Naylor, the lone right-handed hitter among the brothers, as somewhere between Josh’s raw power and Bo’s pure hitting ability when they were starting out. The youngest Naylor has a good swing, showing both strength and bat speed to go along with good extension and follow-through. There’s raw power, particularly to his pull side, that has yet to show up in games and he can struggle with breaking stuff, leading to some swing-and-miss. There’s a little less polish here than there was with Josh and Bo in their Draft years, though A’s player development staff were impressed with the early returns.
An average runner now who likely will slow down as he matures, Naylor has played shortstop in high school, but will move to third base at the next level, where his hands and strong arm should work just fine, though the A’s had him playing both spots on the left side of the infield during his debut.
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 45 | Run: 65 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 40
Bowman records plus-plus run times and shows a knack for stealing bases, with more speed than you might expect for a 6-foot, 205-pounder. He has a reputation for making a ton of contact with a short right-handed swing and a patient approach, but his strikeout rate did go up in 2022 as he was working to tap more into his raw power. He had tightened things up in Double-A in 2023, but still has the strength and bat speed to approach average power as he continues to learn to launch balls more consistently.
The athletic Bowman can cover a ton of ground up the middle, with second base the best fit because his arm is a little short for the premium position, though he can fill in there. There had been some discussion in the past about letting him roam around center field, but he’s never played a game there. He’s an average defender who needs more consistency at second.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 55 | Cutter: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 40
A 6-foot-2 southpaw, Brasso still has the repertoire to give him the chance to start. In his first season back, he’s been 92-95 mph with his fastball, filling up the strike zone consistently with his heater. He has a wipeout mid-70s curve and a Zito-esque breaker could be an out pitch, but he throws his mid-80s cutter even more, and while it doesn’t miss bats at the same rate as the curve, it’s generates groundball contact along with a fair share of swings-and-misses.
His fourth pitch is his changeup, and while it’s below-average right now, he’s shown some improvement with the offspeed offering and needs to commit to throwing it more consistently. He’s thrown strikes with all of his pitches in his return to the mound, and while he’s more control over command, his solid mechanics should improve the further removed from surgery he gets. He’s gone from forgotten arm to a guy who could land on the 40-man roster during the offseason.
(Note: There isn’t much out there in the way of an updated scouting report for Milone. This article is from after he was drafted.)
If Milone’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was one of the top high school prospects in the country going into the 2019 draft. He had a strong commitment to South Carolina that he honored. His freshman season was cut short by the pandemic and he struggled in 2021, both at USC and in the Cape Cod League. He transferred to Oregon for this season, where he had a strong season at the plate (.950 OPS). Milone mostly played first base and DH’d for Oregon, but he was a shortstop in high school and Kubota said the A’s believe Milone can still play elsewhere in the infield. Kubota chalked Milone’s struggles in 2021 up to being rusty after the pandemic-shortened season.
Milone is a tad old for Low-A, but is nevertheless walking about as much as he’s striking out there, though he’s hard to place defensively.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Cutter: 50 | Control: 40 | Overall: 40
Perkins has an intriguing power arsenal that potentially gives him the chance to start. He throws his fastball in the 93-97 mph range and backs it up with a hard 82-84 mph breaking ball that’s a bit of a hybrid offering. It tends to have more curve shape than slider, but can have different characteristics depending on when you see it, and it misses a ton of bats. His cutter, which tops out at 91 mph, gives hitters another look.
The right-hander threw more strikes as part of the Hoosiers rotation in 2022, but the walk rate was still too high to think of him as a legitimate starting pitching prospect. He’s made more strides on that front so far as a pro, and if that trend continues, his good raw stuff gives him the chance to potentially pitch in the back of a rotation.
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.