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Oakland Athletics 2023 mid-season community prospect list: No. 14

Atlanta Braves v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Right-hander Joe Boyle is the latest addition to the Athletics Nation Mid-Season Community Prospect list for the 2023 season. Boyle outdistanced Colby Thomas to take the 13th spot on the list. Infielder Brett Harris wins the nomination and joins the voting for the next round.

Here is a look at the complete list:

  1. Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
  2. Zack Gelof, 2B
  3. Mason Miller, RHP
  4. Lawrence Butler, OF
  5. Darrel Hernaiz, INF
  6. Denzel Clarke, OF
  7. Daniel Susac, C
  8. Jacob Wilson, INF
  9. Max Muncy, INF
  10. Joey Estes, RHP
  11. Luis Morales, RHP
  12. Henry Bolte, OF
  13. Joe Boyle, 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.

Colby Thomas

From MLB Pipeline

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.

Freddy Tarnok

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

Tarnok increased his stock in the Braves’ system thanks to a return of his stuff that had regressed earlier in his pro career. His fastball sits around 95 mph, topping out at 98. While his curveball has long been an effective pitch and he added a slider more recently, he did struggle a bit landing them for strikes in 2022, but his low-80s changeup took a nice step forward and missed a good amount of bats.

Tarnok tends to be around the zone with a repeatable, athletic delivery and commands the ball well enough to get plenty of swing-and-miss, evidenced by his 10.5 whiffs per nine innings in ‘22. With a 6-foot-3 frame that looks to be durable, he figures to get a good look in Oakland’s pitching staff at some point in 2023.

Royber Salinas

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 45 | Changeup: 40 | Control: 40 | Overall: 40

Salinas is a prototypical power pitcher with his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. His repertoire features a fastball that can touch 99 mph and a power slider that has flashed plus and seems to be developing into a wipeout pitch. He also throws a curveball and changeup, though usage of both is mostly limited to when he’s facing left-handed hitters.

The high three-quarters delivery that Salinas utilizes requires a lot of effort and could very well be what is leading to his high walk rate throughout the Minors. The A’s plan to keep him in a starting role, though staying there for the long term is likely going to require a serious polishing of his arm slot. Given his impressive fastball-slider combo, it might not be the worst thing in the world to move him to the bullpen, where he could really stand out as a high-octane reliever.

Steven Echavarria

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 45

The 6-foot-1 Echavarria has a potential four-pitch mix. While he’s been described as having “sneaky” velocity in the past with his fastball, up to 93-94 mph consistently, he had gained a tick early this past spring, consistently hitting 96 and touching 98. He misses bats with it thanks to its ride up in the zone, and he also can throw a 92-93 mph two-seamer down in the zone, with more consistent velocity to come as he matures. He’s shown two distinct breaking pitches, with both the slider and curve usable offerings and the sweeping slider perhaps a bit more effective. They can blend at times, and some scouts like it better when it has more of a curve-like shape to it. He shows feel for a low-80s changeup as well.

Especially for a prep arm in a cold-weather state, Echavarria shows off very good pitchability and can throw all of his offerings for strikes. He reminded some area scouts of eastern Pennsylvania product Michael Morales, a 2021 third-round pick of the Mariners who got second-round money to sign.

Brett Harris

From MLB Pipeline

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

There’s nothing fancy about Harris at the plate, just solid fundamentals. He keeps the swing-and-miss at a minimum thanks to good bat-to-ball skills that enable him to consistently put the ball in play. An unlocking of his raw power was evident over his breakout campaign last year, and that aspect of his game should continue to grow. His 11 stolen bases last season are also an indication that his average speed can translate to some success on the basepaths.

Though he’s a terrific defender at third base, Harris — who played some shortstop during his college days — is versatile enough to play second and even logged a handful of games there last season. That, along with his breakout offensive abilities and leadership qualities, should help him continue his fast rise through the Minors and eventually reach the big leagues as a solid contributor who can play multiple positions.

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.