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Elephant Rumblings: Prospect rankings not agreeing on A’s system

Can the real top prospect please stand up?

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MLB: MAY 07 Athletics at Royals Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

I bear good news from the prospect world: the A’s did not get shut out of MLB Pipeline’s annual top 100 list. As Kris reported on yesterday, Oakland’s 2023 first round pick Jacob Wilson clocked in at No. 68 on the list. Celebrated for his elite contact skills and strong play at shortstop, but criticized for his basement-level exit velocities, the high-60s is a solid spot for him to land after just a few months at High-A.

Interestingly, the baseball prospect world at large doesn’t have much of a consensus about how many A’s to include on their lists and who even the A’s top prospects are. Baseball America is more bullish on Oakland’s system, including four of the organization’s prospects on their own top 100 list last Wednesday: Mason Miller (45), Tyler Soderstrom (75; most other outlets don’t count him as a prospect anymore), Wilson (76), and Luis Morales (79). Meanwhile, Baseball Prospectus didn’t even rank Wilson on their list, though they did have someone neither Pipeline nor BA mentioned, placing outfielder Denzel Clarke right on the edge at No. 99.

The A’s system is in bit of a funky place right now. Their nationally ranked guys — Soderstrom, Zack Gelof, Ken Waldichuk — have all graduated, leaving the top-end of their system looking a bit barren. At the same time, they have 5-7 really talented players who’ve yet to fully breakout. Beyond the four already mentioned, Joe Boyle, Lawrence Butler, and Darell Hernaiz, who are all expected to start the season at either Triple-A or in the majors, could put their names on the map in 2024 . They all have valid question marks, but if they come out swinging (or in Boyle’s case, throwing), it’ll force evaluators to start noticing and finally recognizing their futures in the league.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of X:

Pay a premium price for a diminishing asset? Nah, no thanks.

A stretch to say that they’re even walking.

Looking forward to more John Fisher quotes.