Prospect list season officially got underway Tuesday with the release of Baseball Prospectus top 101 list. The Oakland Athletics were nearly shut out with outfielder Denzel Clarke sneaking onto the list at No. 99. Oakland had three prospects on last year’s list in Tyler Soderstrom, Kyle Muller and Ken Waldichuk, who all spent time in the majors last season.
Clarke was drafted by the Athletics in the fourth round of the 2021 draft out of Cal State Northridge. He will turn 24 in May and appeared in just 64 games at Double A last season due to injury. When healthy, he was impressive posting a .261/.381/.496 line to go along with 12 home runs and a 130 wRC+. He did strike out 29.7% of the time, but also posted a good walk-rate of 12.9%. Clarke has plenty of helium and could be on the radar to make his major league debut at some point during the 2024 season.
2023 first-round pick Jacob Wilson didn’t make the top 101 list, but was included in the group of players that are candidates for 2025.
Equipped with an exceptional ability to barrel up the baseball, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Wilson unabashedly disperses hard-contact to all corners of the playing field, all while striking out at an extremely stubborn 10% rate. While questions surround Wilson’s ultimate power production, his twitchy athleticism and .455 SLG at High-A would suggest 40 doubles and 15-20 homers are reasonable expectations for a full season. He played strictly shortstop as a professional and demonstrated all the range, glovework, and ample arm-strength to man the position effectively long-term. With a skillset and approach similar to Trea Turner, Wilson’s plus-athleticism and high baseball IQ enable him to impact a game in every way imaginable. He’ll undoubtedly get a strong look from the Athletics brass in spring training and could make his big-league debut at some point in the ‘24 season.