Results tagged ‘ Nationals ’

A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013

Last year's top prospect Jarrod Parker - who will be the next to make it big?

Last year’s top prospect Jarrod Parker – who will be the next to make it big?

With the first A’s players set to report to spring training camp just days from now, it’s time to present A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013. We’ve combined a total of eight different A’s prospect lists to come up with a consensus list that reflects the broadest base of wisdom where A’s prospects are concerned.

You can find the prospect lists that we used to compile our consensus list at the very end of this piece. Some of the eight lists we’ve selected are better known and some are lesser known, but they’ve all been selected because they represent intelligent and informed opinions about the A’s system. For the purposes of this list, we’ve looked at the top ten picks from each list and assigned points to each player as follows: 10 points for each first place finish, 9 points for second, 8 for third, all the way on down to 1 point for each tenth place finish.

It’s important to note that most prospect lists were compiled before pitching prospects A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock were dealt away. A few folks have updated their lists since then, but most have not. So rather than have the pair included on some older lists and not on some of the newer ones, we’ve chosen to use the original prospect lists that included them both for the sake of comparison.

Now that that’s clear, the other thing that’s clear is that the list breaks into a few clear groupings. The top group of vote-getters was comprised of young shortstop Addison Russell, right-handed hurler Dan Straily, outfielder Michael Choice and right-hander A.J. Cole, who was dealt back to the Nationals in the John Jaso trade – these four players were included in the top half of most lists. The next group was comprised of pitching prospects Sonny Gray and Brad Peacock along with hitting prospects Grant Green and Miles Head – and these four players were included in the bottom half of most lists.

After that, the selections start to get a little more unpredictable, with infielders Daniel Robertson and Renato Nunez clearly being the most popular vote-getters amongst the next group of players. And since Cole and Peacock are no longer with the organization, we’ve decided to include the next top two vote-getters – Nolan Sanburn at #11 and Chris Bostick at #12 – as bonus additions to the list.

So without any further ado, let’s take a look at A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2013…

 

A’S FARM’S CONSENSUS TOP 10 PROSPECT LIST (+2)

#1 – Addison Russell (SS) – 78 points / 8 lists

#2 – Dan Straily (SP) – 64 points / 8 lists

#3 – Michael Choice (OF) – 63 points / 8 lists

#4 – A.J. Cole (SP) – 61 points / 8 lists *

#5 – Sonny Gray (SP) – 41 points / 8 lists

#6 – Brad Peacock (SP) – 39 points / 8 lists *

#7 – Grant Green (IF-OF) – 32 points / 7 lists

#8 – Miles Head (3B) – 25 points / 8 lists

#9 – Daniel Robertson (SS-3B) – 18 points / 7 lists

#10 – Renato Nunez (3B) – 10 points / 4 lists

————————————————————

#11 – Nolan Sanburn (SP) – 3 points / 2 lists

#12 – Chris Bostick (2B-SS) – 3 points / 1 list

————————————————————

* No longer with organization

 

arfPCk2bFI2#1 ADDISON RUSSELL

(78 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 19

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Making the top spot on 7 of our 8 lists, the A’s top pick in last year’s draft was not only the star of the A’s 2012 draft class but was also the star of the team’s entire minor league system. And it didn’t take long for Russell to quickly become a favorite amongst A’s fans who had their eyes on the future. The Florida native earned it by tearing through three levels of minor league ball at the age of 18, and he’s currently expected to start 2013 with the Stockton Ports in the High-A California League at the age of 19. In 217 at-bats in the Arizona League, the NY-Penn League and the Midwest League in 2012, Russell had 10 doubles, 9 triples, 7 home runs and 16 stolen bases with an impressive .369/.432/.594 slash line. He didn’t disappoint in the field either, showing nice range and a good arm. The bottom line is that Russell is very young, very talented and very hard-working, and there’s no reason that he shouldn’t rise as quickly as his performance demands.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Stockton Ports (A)

 

dsstraily-dan3#2 DAN STRAILY

(64 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2009 – 24th Round

The former 24th-round draft pick started the season as a bit of an unknown quantity in the A’s system and didn’t make anyone’s top 10 list prior to the 2012 season. But Straily put himself on the map rather quickly last year and didn’t let up, starting the season at Double-A Midland and ending it in Oakland. The Oregon native led all A’s minor leaguers in strikeouts (190), ERA (2.78) and WHIP (1.00) in 152 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, and posted a 3.89 ERA in 7 late-season starts with the A’s. With five starters ahead of him on the team’s current depth chart, Straily’s expected to spend the early part of the season at Sacramento. But like most #6 starters, it likely won’t be long before his services are needed, and we can probably expect to be seeing the right-hander back at the big league level again before long in 2013.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

mcmichaelchoiceoaklandathleticsphotodaynwngr_fbjvxl3#3 MICHAEL CHOICE

(63 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2010 – 1st Round

Big things were expected this year from the A’s 2010 1st-round draft pick after Choice hit 30 home runs at High-A Stockton in 2011. But the right-handed slugger got off to a slow start in the first half at Double-A Midland, showing very little of the power that had garnered him so much attention in the first place. Then just when it looked like he might have been starting to come around, Choice suffered a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch, and that was the end of the outfielder’s season. He finished with 10 home runs and a .287/.356/.423 slash line in 359 at-bats. The A’s still believe in Choice though and currently plan on having him play center field for Sacramento in 2013 and letting him show what he’s capable of doing at Triple-A.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

#4 A.J. COLE

(61 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2010 – 4th Round

When he was acquired from the Nationals last year in the Gio Gonzalez deal, Cole was considered a highly prized prospect. But the big right-hander got off to a horrific start with High-A Stockton, going 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in 8 starts, before being demoted to Class-A Burlington. He quickly turned it around in the Midwest League though, striking out 102 in 95 2/3 innings while posting a much more impressive 2.07 ERA. Cole’s rough start may have planted enough seeds of doubt in the minds of the A’s front office though that the team was willing to ship him back to Washington as part of the deal to get their mitts on catcher John Jaso.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Potomac Nationals (A-Washington)

 

sgsonnygray_large1#5 SONNY GRAY

(41 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2011 – 1st Round

Just like Michael Choice, Gray was a former A’s 1st-round draft pick whom the team was expecting big things from at Double-A Midland in 2012. And just like Choice, Gray got off to a bit of a shaky start. But the right-hander looked better as the season wore on and he seemed to gain greater command of his stuff. Gray finished up at Midland with a 4.14 ERA in 26 starts before getting one final start at Sacramento, where he’s expected to begin the season as the A’s top pitching prospect right behind fellow right-hander Dan Straily.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

bp140238660_display_image#6 BRAD PEACOCK

(39 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2006 – 41st Round

Peacock came over from the Nationals last year as one of the three young pitchers the A’s received in the Gio Gonzalez deal. He ended up kicking off the season in Sacramento and was looking like he might be just about ready for the big leagues when he hit a horrible stretch for about a month and a half in the summer. Peacock was getting knocked around badly just about every time out, and the word was that his fastball command had completely deserted him. The right-hander seemed to get it back together again during the last month or so of the season, but he still finished the year with an ERA of 6.01 in 134 2/3 innings. Most of that damage to his ERA occurred during that rough month and a half in the summer, but it obviously was enough to make the A’s a little more comfortable including him in the package of players they shipped to the Astros in the Jed Lowrie trade.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA-Houston)

 

#7 GRANT GREEN

(32 points / 7 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Infielder/Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2009 – 1st Round

The fourth 1st-round draft pick to appear on our list, Green was originally selected by the A’s in 2009 as a shortstop but has since been tried at almost every other position on the diamond. Last year, Green started off playing center field before moving over to left. But he spent most of the second half bouncing around the infield, with 19 games at shortstop, 19 games at second base and 11 games at third base. The organization hasn’t felt totally comfortable with Green at any position in the field, but his newfound versatility could aid his chances of eventually making the roster. The southern California native had a bounce-back year at the plate in 2013 after seeing his numbers drop off a bit at Double-A Midland in 2011. Green finished 2012 with 15 home runs and a slash line of .296/.338/.458 in 524 at-bats at Sacramento. And he figures to start 2013 there again, waiting for an opening to finally find his way on to the big league roster.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Sacramento River Cats (AAA)

 

mh542535_10150896496846662_1633034326_n#8 MILES HEAD

(25 points / 8 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2009 – 26th Round

Head was acquired, along with Josh Reddick and minor league pitcher Raul Alcantara, from Boston last year in the deal that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox. The big third baseman had an unbelievable first half at High-A Stockton, bashing 23 doubles and 18 home runs in just 267 at-bats while posting a truly impressive slash line of .382/.433/.715. The Georgia native spent the second half at Double-A Midland, where he put up a much more mortal .272/.338/.404 slash line in 234 at-bats. Head will likely get the chance to master the Texas League again in 2013. He played all but a handful of games at third base last year, and the team hopes that Head will stick at third, but it’s still quite possible that he could end up at first base before all is said and done.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Midland RockHounds (AA)

 

drdanielrobertson_mlb_display_image#9 DANIEL ROBERTSON

(18 points / 7 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Shortstop/Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 19

Drafted 2012 – 1st Round

Robertson was the A’s second overall draft pick last year, right behind fellow shortstop Addison Russell. And like Russell, Robertson got off to a solid start in rookie ball, posting a .297/.405/.554 slash line in 101 at-bats. He was pushed to third base while he and Russell were both on the squad but, once Robertson got to Class-A Vermont, he spent most of his time back at shortstop. Robertson had a little more trouble at the plate in the NY-Penn League though, putting up a .181/.238/.234 slash line and striking out about once every three at-bats. Robertson should start the season there again, where his innate talent will undoubtedly allow the 19-year-old to figure things out over the course of the year and do whatever he needs to do to get ready to advance to the next level.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Vermont Lake Monsters (A)

 

rnnc3bac3b1ez-renato3#10 RENATO NUNEZ

(10 points / 4 lists)

Right-Handed Hitting Third Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 19

Undrafted – Signed as International Free Agent

The A’s invested heavily in Nunez when the team reportedly gave the young Venezuelan slugger $2.2 million to sign back in 2010. And there’s no question that Nunez seems to have a pretty special bat. Last year in rookie ball, he put up a .325/.403/.550 slash line with 18 doubles in 160 at-bats. But in the field, Nunez made 7 errors in just 30 games at third base, botching 1 in every 10 chances at the hot corner. He’ll move up the chain as fast as his bat can carry him, but the A’s will obviously have to figure out how and where to make sense of him in the field.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Vermont Lake Monsters (A)

 

nsresized_99261-5csanburn3colbw_47-15782_t728#11 NOLAN SANBURN

(3 points / 2 lists)

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 21

Drafted 2012 – 2nd Round

The A’s fifth overall draft pick last year, Sanburn was the first pitcher selected by the A’s in the 2012 draft. A hard-throwing right-hander out of the University of Arkansas, Sanburn didn’t sign right away but got off to a good start last year while making it into 7 games with Class-A Vermont. Sanburn posted a 3.86 ERA while maintaining a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and the A’s hope that the 21-year-old has what it takes to move up the ladder quickly.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

cbC.-Bostick2#12 CHRIS BOSTICK

(3 points / 1 list)

Right-Handed Hitting Second Baseman/Shortstop

Age On Opening Day: 20

Drafted 2011 – 44th Round

Bostick was hardly high on anyone’s radar when he was drafted in the 44th-round in 2011, but lots of folks seem to think he does a lot of things the right way – and baseball people like that. Bostick spent most of last season playing second base at Class-A Vermont but also spent a little time at shortstop. His .251/.325/.369 slash line wasn’t remarkable, but he was still just 19 last season. And if Bostick keeps playing the game the right way, he’ll continue to be given the chance to go out there and play and see how far his talents will take him.

Likely To Start 2013 With: Beloit Snappers (A)

 

Last Year’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List

 

Baseball America’s Top A’s Prospects

Jonathan Mayo’s Top A’s Prospects

John Sickels’ Top A’s Prospects

Oakland Clubhouse’s Top A’s Prospects

Bleacher Report’s Top A’s Prospects

MLB Dirt’s Top A’s Prospects

Bullpen Banter’s Top A’s Prospects

Prospect 361’s Top A’s Prospects 

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Getting To Know: Derek Norris – A’s Catcher Of The Future

 

Derek Norris – Fear the beard! (photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When the A’s dealt away Gio Gonzalez, one of the team’s most popular players, in the off-season for pitchers Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, A.J. Cole and catcher Derek Norris, four minor league players most A’s fans had never heard of, some fans were clearly skeptical. But just five months after that trade, while the 20-year-old Cole has been struggling at Class-A, Milone is leading the A’s pitching staff in wins, Peacock is the River Cats’ wins leader, and catcher Derek Norris has been hitting up a storm at Sacramento. The former 4th-round draft pick has been hitting close to .300 for most of the season, currently sports a healthy .503 slugging percentage, and has been looking like he may be the successor to current A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki sooner rather than later.

A’s assistant general manager David Forst recently told me about Norris, “He got raves from the coaching staff from day one on how he handled pitchers and his receiving skills. His throwing numbers have never been in question. He’s always been one of the best guys in the minor leagues as far as throwing out baserunners.” He summed up his impression of the 23-year-old receiver by saying, “We feel very good about Derek.” And A’s fans who’ve been paying attention seem to share that sentiment.

 

AF: So tell me a little bit about where you grew up and where you went to school.

DN: I was born and raised in Goddard, Kansas. I went to school at Goddard High School – a 6A school in a small town. I grew up playing three sports (baseball, football and basketball), but baseball was always my passion. I played it throughout high school. And then I signed with Washington, five years later I was traded, and here I am.

AF: What was your favorite baseball team growing up?

DN: The Kansas City Royals were always my favorite team when I was growing up. George Brett was always the talk of the town, and I grew up idolizing him.

AF: Well that’s as good a hitter to model yourself after as anyone.

DN: Yeah, I know, right?

AF: Were you always a catcher in high school?

DN: No, I didn’t catch a whole lot till my senior year mostly. I had a couple guys in front of me in my freshman and sophomore years who were Division I prospects, so I played third base and pitcher my first couple years, and then I transitioned to catcher later on.

AF: How did you feel about catching? Was it something that you were eager or reluctant to do?

DN: It wasn’t a huge transition because I had done it before. But it’s obviously going to be a lot more difficult when guys throw harder and their pitches move more and they’re a lot better than what I was used to. It’s definitely a tough transition at first. But it seems like every game that goes by, the more I catch, the better I get. I’ve come a long way from where I was, and I definitely want to keep striving to be where I want to be.

AF: I imagine you were surprised about being traded. How’d you hear about the trade to the A’s and what was your reaction?

DN: I was actually at the gym working out and I got a text message from one of my teammates from last year, Cory VanAllen. And he said, “I just read an article about you and Brad Peacock possibly being in a trade for Gio Gonzalez.” Well, I hadn’t heard anything – I’d just talked to my agent a few days previously. And he said, “We haven’t heard anything, but if something comes up, we’ll definitely be in touch.” And then the next day, I got a phone call from my agent and he goes, “Hey, rumors have been picking up, but they’re just rumors as of now.” And then, I’d probably say within an hour, it was finalized. So it happened very quick. And it was definitely really strange. I’ve never really been through anything like that before. And it was definitely a cool experience though – it was real cool.

AF: Had you ever been in the big league camp with the Nationals before?

DN: Yeah, I was in camp with the Nationals in 2010 and 2011.

AF: Obviously that was in Florida, and I think you’d previously spent all your time playing on the east coast. So how was it different spending your first spring out in Phoenix with the A’s and having a whole new coaching staff to work with this year?

DN: It was great. The coaching staff, from the manager all the way down to the bullpen coach, every coach there treated me well. I had no complaints – everybody was great. And the weather’s obviously a lot better. You don’t have to worry as much about rain or hurricane winds or anything like that. So it was definitely a plus. I liked it a lot.

Derek Norris – keeping his eye on the ball       (photo by Sara Molina/Sacramento River Cats)

AF: I guess a lot shorter drives too!

DN: Yeah, definitely. On the east coast, you drive two and a half hours and you take batting practice on the field. Over in Arizona, you take batting practice at your home field and then travel over and just play. So that was definitely different too.

AF: Well since A’s manager Bob Melvin was a catcher too, was he able to speak to you in your own language?

DN: Yeah, definitely. I didn’t get to talk to him a whole lot, because he’s concerned with his big league lineup and trying to figure out things with that. But in the time that I got to speak with him, he was very positive. And I know he’s well-liked in the clubhouse, and I enjoyed every minute that I got to speak with him about the game in general and just everything.

AF: Was there anything in particular you learned or took away from your experience this spring?

DN: Just adapting to a different environment and different players. I went from having Pudge as the starting catcher in Washington with all his knowledge. And then you go from that to Kurt Suzuki, who’s also one of the premiere catchers in the major leagues, so that was definitely a plus as well.

AF: So both those guys were very open and had a lot to share with you?

DN: Oh, definitely. Kurt couldn’t have been any better to me in spring than he was. He was very open. Any question I had, he answered, and he was always there for anything that I needed.

AF: This is your first year in Triple-A and you’ve been hitting well and hitting for power at Sacramento. In the past, your profile was that of a guy who walked a lot and had a high on-base percentage but didn’t really hit for a high average. But it seems like it’s been just the opposite this year. You’ve been hitting right around .300 all year, but I think it took a while before you even got your first walk this season. So I’m curious to know what’s changed in your approach at the plate.

DN: Yeah, I got with my hitting coach this off-season back home. And we pretty much just broke down my last season because I was very upset with the way that it went. We pretty much just started from scratch and weighed the pros and cons of my season and it just came down to the percentages of me hitting were always with two strikes. And anybody who knows baseball knows that if you’re hitting with two strikes a lot, you’re not going to be hitting for a very good average. So being able to know the difference between seeing pitches and getting in good hitters’ counts and seeing pitches and getting in good pitchers’ counts. So we pretty much just broke that down into, if you get a good pitch to hit early in the count, your percentages are way better of getting a hit than later in the count when there’s two strikes. So that was one of the biggest things – just swinging the bat more at good pitches to hit, but not going out of your strike zone to try and get base hits.

AF: So basically it sounds like just finding those good pitches to hit earlier in the count was the key for you.

DN: Right, instead of later in the count – for sure.

AF: So have there been any particular challenges this year that you feel you’ve really had to work on at this level?

DN: I’m a firm believer that if you come out and you just keep playing everyday, you’re going to get better as long as you don’t take anything for granted. The more you play, the better you get. The more pitches you see, the more innings you play, the better you’re going to get. And that’s really my ultimate goal – to just keep getting better everyday.

AF: Well it seems like they’ve had you behind the plate in Sacramento almost everyday as it is!

DN: Yeah, that’s one thing that I really pride myself on is being back there everyday. I want it to be a surprise when I’m not in there.

Derek Norris – he’s got it, he’s got it! (photo by Sara Molina/Sacramento River Cats)

AF: How do feel about your work behind the plate as a catcher, both defensively and also in terms of game-calling and working with the pitching staff there in Sacramento?

DN: A lot of the guys on this team who I’ve had to work with so far, a lot of us are on the same page, which is pretty hard to do, especially early on in the season because you don’t know a guy’s tendencies and things that they like to throw. As far as game-calling, it’s been pretty smooth thus far, knock on wood. And it’s going pretty well as far as defensively, working with our manager Darren Bush – he stays on me all the time with my work, and it just keeps improving everyday.

AF: How have you enjoyed playing in Sacramento and playing at Raley Field?

DN: Well, it’s been great so far. We’ve had pretty good crowds. And we’ve put together a pretty good team to put out there every night. And our team, they’re just a great group of guys, and we meld together real well, and it’s been a great experience so far.

AF: So who are your best friends on the team? Who do you usually spend your free time hanging out with?

DN: I try to get to know different guys as much as I can. But I actually lived just down the road from Travis Banwart. We went to the same high school and everything – we kind of grew up together. So if I were to pick one guy, it’d probably be him.

AF: That’s right, I forgot he was a Kansan too. So do you have any particular goals for yourself for the rest of the season? Is there anything in particular you’d like to accomplish?

DN: I try not to set myself any particular goals, except for just coming out here and giving 100% everyday and just try to win every ballgame.

AF: And try and get in every ballgame too I guess!

DN: Yeah, try and get in every ballgame I can – that’s right!

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

 

A’s Farm’s Consensus Top 10 Prospect List for 2012

Former top prospect Jemile Weeks - who will be the next to make it big? (photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It seems like there’s a new top prospect list popping up from someone everyday for A’s fans to chew over and debate. There are usually certain similarities amongst them that you can count on, like Jarrod Parker and Michael Choice being somewhere in the top tier. Each of them usually has its own particular peculiarities though, like slotting someone in the top 10 whom no one else even bothers to mention.

So it occurred to me to take a look at a sampling of credible top prospect lists and construct a consensus top ten prospect list for the A’s. I’ve chosen to include half a dozen lists from sources that seem credible to me, including Jonathan Mayo/MLB.com, Baseball America, Oakland Clubhouse/Scout.com, John Sickels, Baseball Prospectus, and Top Prospect Alert. All of them have been updated in the last month to include all the prospects acquired in the deals with the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Red Sox.

For the purposes of this list, I’ve looked at the top ten picks from each list and assigned points to each player as follows: 10 points for each first place finish, 9 points for second, 8 for third, all the way on down to 1 point for each tenth place finish.

You’ll notice that half of the consensus top ten prospects are pitchers, including four of the top five prospects. Half the list is also made up of new players acquired in the deals with the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Red Sox, showing just how much these deals served to rejuvenate the A’s minor league system.

Interestingly enough, all four of the prospects acquired in the Gio Gonzalez deal with the Nationals made the consensus top ten, showing that no matter how reluctant some A’s fans were to accept life without Gio, his trade could really end up forming the basis of a highly effective A’s starting rotation for many years to come.

Since some of these players also appeared in a recent “new prospects” roundup on this blog earlier in the week, some of these player profiles might seem a little familiar to you. But hey, you might as well start getting familiar with these guys ‘cause, with any luck, you’ll be looking at them for a long time to come! So without any further ado, let’s take a look at the A’s consensus top ten prospect list…

 

#1 Jarrod Parker (photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

#1 JARROD PARKER

(58 points / 6 lists)

Right-handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2007 – 1st Round

Arizona’s first-round draft pick in 2007, Parker missed all of the 2010 season due to Tommy John surgery, but came back in 2011 to post a 3.79 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 130 2/3 innings at Double-A Mobile. Acquired in the Trevor Cahill trade, the 23-year-old clearly has the stuff to eventually end up as a top-of-the-rotation starter for the A’s, but he could still benefit from a little more seasoning. There’s no need for the team to rush him, but it’d be a surprise if Parker didn’t lay claim to his spot in the A’s rotation by 2013.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Sacramento Rivercats

 

#2 Michael Choice (photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

#2 MICHAEL CHOICE

(46 points / 6 lists)

Right-handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 22

Drafted 2010 – 1st Round

The A’s first-round draft pick in 2010, Choice has done little to disappoint since his signing. The 22-year-old hit 30 homers and posted a .285/.376/.542 slash line while playing center field for Class-A Stockton last year. His 134 strikeouts provide the only potential cause for concern. But he’s worked to shorten his swing and, as the best pure power hitter in the organization, the slugging outfielder should be able to quickly move up through an A’s system that’s not currently clogged with power-hitting outfielders.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Midland Rockhounds

 

#3 Brad Peacock (photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

#3 BRAD PEACOCK

(45 points / 6 lists)

Right-handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2006 – 41st Round

The lowest draft pick on the A’s consensus top ten prospect list, Peacock was selected straight out of high school by the Nationals in the 41st round in 2006. But he’s definitely found a way to turn heads, posting a stellar 2.39 ERA and striking out 177 in 146 2/3 innings between Triple-A Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg in 2011. Any pitcher who manages to go from the 41st round to the top three prospects of any organization obviously has a pretty good idea what he’s doing out there on the mound, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Peacock in the A’s rotation before the 2012 season is through.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Sacramento Rivercats

 

#4 A.J. Cole

#4 A.J. COLE

(42 points / 6 lists)

Right-handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 20

Drafted 2010 – 4th Round

Another high-school draft pick, the lanky, 6’4” Cole appears to be all arms and legs. But his right arm seems to have the power mesmerize mortal men, striking out batters at a rate of 10.9 per 9 innings over his short minor league career. Acquired from the Nationals in the Gio Gonzalez trade, the Florida native could turn out to be the gem of the deal. Like most 20-year-old pitching prospects, Cole still has a few things to work on. But at his young age, he’s got plenty of upside and plenty of time to maximize it.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Stockton Ports

 

#5 Sonny Gray (photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

#5 SONNY GRAY

(37 points / 5 lists)

Right-handed Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 22

Drafted 2011 – 1st Round

The A’s first-round draft pick in 2011, Gray has already managed to log 5 starts at Double-A Midland, giving up just 1 run in 20 innings while striking out 18. The 5’11” right-hander has been compared to Tim Hudson in that while he’s not all that physically impressive, his confident, gritty and fearless attitude sets him apart from the competition. With a good fastball and curve, it shouldn’t take long for the tough 22-year-old to fight his way into the A’s starting rotation.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Midland Rockhounds

 

#6 Grant Green

#6 GRANT GREEN

(34 points / 6 lists)

Right-handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 24

Drafted 2009 – 1st Round

The fourth first-round draft pick on the A’s consensus top ten prospect list, Green was selected by the A’s in 2009 as a shortstop but has since been moved to the outfield. Midway through the 2011 season, Green took over in center field for Double-A Midland, where he turned in a .291/.343/.408 slash line. But his home run numbers dipped from 20 at Class-A Stockton in the 2010 season down to just 9 last year. His plate discipline has been an issue too, as he’s struck out three times as often as he’s walked in his minor league career. Still, he hits the ball hard and Green could earn a shot in the A’s outfield before long.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Sacramento Rivercats

 

#7 Derek Norris (photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

#7 DEREK NORRIS

(27 points / 6 lists)

Right-handed Hitting Catcher

Age On Opening Day: 23

Drafted 2007 – 4th Round

The only hitter the A’s picked up in the Gio Gonzalez deal with the Nationals, Norris certainly fits the A’s mold in that he’s a power hitter who has a propensity for drawing walks. His career minor league OBP of .403 no doubt got the A’s attention. But while he slugged 20 home runs at Double-A Harrisburg last season, he managed to hit only .210. If he can just keep his average above the Mendoza line, Norris could serve to bridge the gap between Kurt Suzuki and young catching prospect Max Stassi.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Midland Rockhounds

 

#8 Chris Carter

#8 CHRIS CARTER

(16 points / 5 lists)

Right-handed Hitting First Baseman

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2005 – 15th Round

Acquired in the Dan Haren deal with the Diamondbacks, it was originally hoped that the slugging first baseman would be anchoring the heart of the A’s lineup by now. He’s put up big power numbers in the minors, clubbing 31 home runs at Triple-A Sacramento in 2010 and posting a career minor league slugging percentage of .540. Carter could finally have a legitimate shot at showing what he can do in the majors at either first base or designated hitter for the A’s in 2012.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Oakland A’s

 

#9 Tom Milone (photo by Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI)

#9 TOM MILONE

(6 points / 3 lists)

Left-handed Starting Pitcher

Age On Opening Day: 25

Drafted 2008 – 10th Round

The oldest and most experienced pitcher on the A’s consensus top ten prospect list, Milone is probably the most ready to step into the A’s major league rotation in 2012. The left-hander was acquired in the Gio Gonzalez deal with the Nationals after he posted a 3.22 ERA in 148 1/3 innings while walking a paltry 16 batters at Triple-A Syracuse last season. Milone won’t blow anyone away with his stuff, but he’s a smart lefty who knows how to make the most of what he’s got, and he should get a shot to show the A’s what he can do in 2012.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Oakland A’s

 

#10 Michael Taylor (photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

#10 MICHAEL TAYLOR

(4 points / 2 lists)

Right-handed Hitting Outfielder

Age On Opening Day: 26

Drafted 2007 – 5th Round

Along with Carter, Taylor had lots of expectations thrust upon him as soon as the A’s managed to pry him away from Philadelphia. And while the 6’5” outfielder put up stellar numbers in the Phillies system, his progress has stagnated a bit since coming to the A’s. But Taylor does still have a .296/.371/.476 career minor league slash line along with some good tools. At 26 though, 2012 may be his last real opportunity to show the A’s just what’s he’s capable of.

Likely To Start 2012 With: Sacramento Rivercats

 

Honorable Mentions: Collin Cowgill (OF) 3 pts. / Jermaine Mitchell (OF) 3 pts. / Yordy Cabrera (SS) 3 pts. / Aaron Shipman (OF) 2 pts. / Renato Nunez (3B) 1 pt. / Ian Krol (SP) 1 pt. / Raul Alcantara (SP) 1 pt. / B.A. Vollmuth (3B) 1 pt.

 

Looking at this list, if the A’s are able to move into a new stadium in 2015, the team could be looking at an extremely talented starting rotation consisting of Jarrod Parker, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Sonny Gray and A.J. Cole, along with a promising outfield made up of Grant Green in left, Michael Choice in right and either Josh Reddick or Collin Cowgill in center. And if things go according to plan, that seems like a pretty good plan to me!

 

A’S CONSENSUS TOP 10 PROSPECT LIST

#1 – Jarrod Parker (SP) – 58 points / 6 lists

#2 – Michael Choice (OF) – 46 points / 6 lists

#3 – Brad Peacock (SP) – 45 points / 6 lists

#4 – A.J. Cole (SP) – 42 points / 6 lists

#5 – Sonny Gray (SP) – 37 points / 5 lists

#6 – Grant Green (OF) – 34 points / 6 lists

#7 – Derek Norris (C) – 27 points / 6 lists

#8 – Chris Carter (1B) – 16 points / 5 lists

#9 – Tom Milone (SP) – 6 points / 3 lists

#10 – Michael Taylor (OF) – 4 points / 2 lists

 

Jonathan Mayo’s Top A’s Prospects

Baseball America’s Top A’s Prospects

Oakland Clubhouse’s Top A’s Prospects

John Sickels’ Top A’s Prospects

Baseball Prospectus’ Top A’s Prospects

Top Prospect Alert’s Top A’s Prospects

 

 

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