Tag: Oakland Athletics

Three Big Name Prospects Called Up

Jo Adell at the 2019 AFL Fall Stars Game. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

Tuesday has turned into a rather significant day in terms of prospect promotions, as Jo Adell, James Kaprielian, and Luis Patino all learn they will be experiencing their first day of big league ball on this day.

The biggest hype of the three is easily Jo Adell with the Los Angeles Angels. The 10th overall pick in 2017 is as much fun to watch as any prospect in all of baseball. He is incredibly athletic with a strong yet agile frame. Truly a five-tool talent, he has plus power, plus speed, to go with above average glove and arm. He has struck out more than 25% in his minor league career, so the hit tool is easily his weakest, but has hit just two points under .300 in his three minor league seasons. When he made his pro debut in the AZL in 2017, he was on a very talented Angels club, but there was no doubt he was the best player on the field, and has continued to be nearly every game since. Adell is probably going to be a right fielder long term next to Mike Trout, making the outfield in Orange County one of the best in all of baseball regardless of who plays left.

Kapreilian is joining an incredibly talented and young staff with the Oakland Athletics. He impressed with his elite at UCLA, and has only improved since getting to pro ball, going from walking just 5.3 per nine his freshman year, to 3.0 his sophomore, and 2.8 in his junior season, and walking merely 2.1/9 since entering the minors. Originally selected by the New York Yankees, Kapreilian looked to be on the fast track to the bigs when he flashed high quality innings in the AFL in 2016 after missing a good chunk of the season. He wound up with injuries that saw him miss all of 2017 and 2018, traded away to Oakland in the Sonny Gray deal, and only logging 68 innings a season ago. Assuming health, which is far from a sure thing, he could be a very good fourth or fifth starter with the upside of a three, but that will all be determined by how long he can stay healthy.

Patino may be the biggest surprise call up of the three as he has less than eight innings logged in the upper minors and none at AAA. That said, he is widely considered the best pitching prospect in the San Diego Padres organization not named Mackenzie Gore. The 20-year old righty has an electric fastball that will surely be in full display this season as I expect him to be a reliever before being stretched out to join the rotation next season. He also has a plus slider that has been a major contributing factor in him striking out well better than a batter an inning. If he works out of the pen all season, I expect those to be the two pitches he throws the vast majority of the time, but he can snap off a solid curve to change the eye levels of a hitter and a changeup I have seen flash above-average at times.

Since two of these are pitchers, time will tell if all three debut on the same day, but if they do, Tuesday night could be a night of baseball to remember!

2019 Preseason Top 150

Carter Kieboom
Carter Kieboom. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150.  15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.


Player Position Team Rank
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B Toronto Blue Jays 1
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS San Diego Padres 2
Eloy Jimenez OF Chicago White Sox 3
Forrest Whitley RHP Houston Astros 4
Victor Robles OF Washington Nationals 5
Jo Adell OF Los Angeles Angels 6
Royce Lewis SS Minnesota Twins 7
Wander Franco SS Tampa Bay Rays 8
Nick Senzel 2B/3B Cincinnati Reds 9
Jesus Luzardo LHP Oakland Athletics 10
MacKenzie Gore LHP San Diego Padres 11
Bo Bichette SS/2B Toronto Blue Jays 12
Kyle Tucker OF Houston Astros 13
Taylor Trammell OF Cincinnati Reds 14
Keston Hiura 2B Milwaukee Brewers 15
Brendan Rodgers SS/2B Colorado Rockies 16
Sixto Sanchez RHP Miami Marlins 17
Cristian Pache OF Atlanta Braves 18
Carter Kieboom SS Washington Nationals 19
Luis Urias 2B/SS San Diego Padres 20
Casey Mize RHP Detroit Tigers 21
Joey Bart C San Francisco Giants 22
Austin Riley 3B Atlanta Braves 23
Keibert Ruiz C Los Angeles Dodgers 24
Pete Alonso 1B New York Mets 25
Brendan McKay LHP/1B Tampa Bay Rays 26
Michael Kopech RHP Chicago White Sox 27
Hunter Greene RHP Cincinnati Reds 28
Mitch Keller RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 29
Andres Gimenez SS New York Mets 30
Brent Honeywell RHP Tampa Bay Rays 31
Nick Madrigal 2B/SS Chicago White Sox 32
Jonathan India 3B/SS Cincinnati Reds 33
Sean Murphy C Oakland Athletics 34
Alex Verdugo OF Los Angeles Dodgers 35
A.J. Puk LHP Oakland Athletics 36
Matthew Liberatore LHP Tampa Bay Rays 37
Mike Soroka RHP Atlanta Braves 38
Nolan Gorman 3B St. Louis Cardinals 39
Ian Anderson RHP Atlanta Braves 40
Francisco Mejia C/OF San Diego Padres 41
Luis Robert OF Chicago White Sox 42
Dylan Cease RHP Chicago White Sox 43
Chris Paddack RHP San Diego Padres 44
Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B Pittsburgh Pirates 45
Vidal Brujan 2B Tampa Bay Rays 46
Touki Toussaint RHP Atlanta Braves 47
Brusdar Graterol RHP Minnesota Twins 48
Justus Sheffield LHP Seattle Mariners 49
Kyle Wright RHP Atlanta Braves 50
Yordan Alvarez OF Houston Astros 51
Alex Kirilloff OF Minnesota Twins 52
Jesus Sanchez OF Tampa Bay Rays 53
Yusei Kikuchi LHP Seattle Mariners 54
Yusniel Diaz OF Baltimore Orioles 55
Khalil Lee OF Kansas City Royals 56
Jarred Kelenic OF Seattle Mariners 57
Triston McKenzie RHP Cleveland Indians 58
Danny Jansen C Toronto Blue Jays 59
Jazz Chisholm SS Arizona Diamondbacks 60
Adrian Morejon LHP San Diego Padres 61
Griffin Canning RHP Los Angeles Angels 62
Dustin May RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 63
Luis Patino RHP San Diego Padres 64
Alec Bohm 3B Philadelphia Phillies 65
Estevan Florial OF New York Yankees 66
Jon Duplantier RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 67
DL Hall LHP Baltimore Orioles 68
Nate Pearson RHP Toronto Blue Jays 69
Josh James RHP Houston Astros 70
Drew Waters OF Atlanta Braves 71
Bryse Wilson RHP Atlanta Braves 72
Nolan Jones 3B Cleveland Indians 73
Gavin Lux SS/2B Los Angeles Dodgers 74
Travis Swaggerty OF Pittsburgh Pirates 75
Matt Manning RHP Detroit Tigers 76
Oneil Cruz SS Pittsburgh Pirates 77
Luis Garcia SS/3B Washington Nationals 78
Garrett Hampson 2B/SS Colorado Rockies 79
Adonis Medina RHP Philadelphia Phillies 80
Ryan Mountcastle 3B Baltimore Orioles 81
Kristian Robinson OF Arizona Diamondbacks 82
Brady Singer RHP Kansas City Royals 83
Monte Harrison OF Miami Marlins 84
Logan Allen LHP San Diego Padres 85
Nico Hoerner SS Chicago Cubs 86
Michel Baez RHP San Diego Padres 87
Isaac Paredes SS/2B Detroit Tigers 88
Victor Victor Mesa OF Miami Marlins 89
Trevor Larnach OF Minnesota Twins 90
Brandon Marsh OF Los Angeles Angels 91
Heliot Ramos OF San Francisco Giants 92
Brandon Lowe 2B/OF Tampa Bay Rays 93
Ronny Mauricio SS New York Mets 94
Will Smith C/3B Los Angeles Dodgers 95
MJ Melendez C Kansas City Royals 96
Dane Dunning RHP Chicago White Sox 97
Ronaldo Hernandez C Tampa Bay Rays 98
Hans Crouse RHP Texas Rangers 99
Jonathan Loaisiga RHP New York Yankees 100
Corbin Martin RHP Houston Astros 101
Cole Winn RHP Texas Rangers 102
Luiz Gohara LHP Atlanta Braves 103
Leody Taveras OF Texas Rangers 104
William Contreras C Atlanta Braves 105
Seuly Matias OF Kansas City Royals 106
Lucius Fox SS Tampa Bay Rays 107
Corey Ray OF Milwaukee Brewers 108
Spencer Howard RHP Philadelphia Phillies 109
Jahmai Jones 2B Los Angeles Angels 110
Jordyn Adams OF Los Angeles Angels 111
George Valera OF Cleveland Indians 112
J.B. Bukauskas RHP Houston Astros 113
Justin Dunn RHP Seattle Mariners 114
Michael Chavis 3B Boston Red Sox 115
Mark Vientos 3B New York Mets 116
Daz Cameron OF Detroit Tigers 117
Bubba Thompson OF Texas Rangers
Josh Naylor 1B/OF San Diego Padres 119
Colton Welker 3B Colorado Rockies 120
Daulton Varsho C Arizona Diamondbacks 121
Evan White 1B Seattle Mariners 122
Peter Lambert RHP Colorado Rockies 123
Taylor Widener RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 124
Julio Pablo Martinez OF Texas Rangers 125
Kevin Smith SS/3B Toronto Blue Jays 126
Miguel Amaya C Chicago Cubs 127
Andrew Knizner C St. Louis Cardinals 128
Tyler Nevin 1B Colorado Rockies 129
Hudson Potts 3B/1B San Diego Padres 130
Sandy Alcantara RHP Miami Marlins 131
Shane Baz RHP Tampa Bay Rays 132
Tyler Stephenson C Cincinnati Reds 133
Eric Pardinho RHP Toronto Blue Jays 134
Franklin Perez RHP Detroit Tigers 135
Jordan Groshans 3B/SS Toronto Blue Jays 136
Dakota Hudson RHP St. Louis Cardinals 137
Nate Lowe 1B Tampa Bay Rays 138
Elehuris Montero 3B St. Louis Cardinals 139
Luis Oviedo RHP Cleveland Indians 140
Tony Santillan RHP Cincinnati Reds 141
Triston Casas 1B/3B Boston Red Sox 142
Adbert Alzolay RHP Chicago Cubs 143
Ethan Hankins RHP Cleveland Indians 144
Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers 145
Brice Turang SS Milwaukee Brewers 146
Brent Rooker 1B/OF Minnesota Twins 147
Alex Faedo RHP Detroit Tigers 148
Deivi Garcia RHP New York Yankees 149
Ryan Weathers LHP San Diego Padres 150


Oakland Athletics 2019 Preseason Top 10

Oakland Athletics 2019 Preseason Top 10


Player: Jesus Luzardo
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’ Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: When the Nationals traded for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson in 2017 there was a lot of reaction from the A’s fans they didn’t get enough, fast forward 18 months and it looks like they got a massive haul from the nation’s capital. Luzardo might be the best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball with a career ERA of 2.53 and working his way through three levels a season ago. He has a slurvy breaking ball that plays plus thanks to the heaviness of it, a plus change, and a fastball that can sit into the high-90s with late run. His command is still not where the A’s would ideally like it, but he has made strides and there is belief he will have above average command before long. All in all, the A’s may have gotten an ace in the deal as well as other pieces, one of which will be highlighted later on.


Player: Sean Murphy
Position(s): C Opening Day Age: 24 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 230 lbs.
Quick Report: As strong an arm as you will find from any catcher, Murphy is an elite defensive backstop who just happens to be a quality hitter. There is length in the swing that is especially susceptible to velocity up in the zone, but he has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball otherwise and is quickly improving at the plate. How much contact he will make is still TBD but he has shown signs of being at least an average hitter regardless of position. Add to that the borderline plus raw power that is represented by average to better game power and you have a guy who could be one of the better catchers in baseball within a few years.


Player: A.J. Puk
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: DNP
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’7” Weight: 240 lbs.
Quick Report: Just one of the long list of former Florida starters scattered throughout the top of prospect lists, Puk seemed destined to be in Oakland in 2018 before blowing out his elbow and needing Tommy John surgery last Spring. He is long bodied and gets great extension and downhill plane from his 3/4 delivery that he repeats well despite his size, although the front leg can get stiff at times. He started working in a curve that was very good in high school but not needed at Florida, which may become a solid above-average offering. He also has a good change to go with a fastball that can touch 97 and a dominating power slider. He has the upside of being a number two or three starter and could be there by the end of the season if the arm is back to full strength.


Player: Austin Beck
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: I saw Beck in his first taste of pro ball in the AZL in 2017 where he has about as unimpressive debut as a top pick can have. Many were already criticizing the A’s for overdrafting the outfielder, and the .211/.293/.349 slash line didn’t help much. Despite the numbers a handful of things really jumped out seeing him in person. The athleticism is real and should make him an easy candidate to stay in center field. The body is mature, strong forearms and legs could allow him to advance quickly. The bat speed is unreal, the only Minor Leaguer I have seen with more bat speed is Clint Frazier, and that bat speed makes the ball jump off the bat. Beck put most of those tools together and had a very good full-season debut in 2018, although the power is still more raw than game at this point.


Player: Jameson Hannah
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: Short A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 5’9” Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: I was a big fan of at Dallas Baptist and I may have written about him a time or two at my previous stop. He is a dinosaur of sorts in this day and age, relying on a compact swing to spray line drives all over the field, relying on gaps and not worried about home run power. He has no real plus tool unless you consider instincts a tool, in which he might get a 70 grade on it. He has a good first step on the bases and in the field where he doesn’t look like he should be able to hold down center, but always seems to make the play. He should be able to stick in center and be a quality asset there despite many feeling he has a ceiling of a fourth outfielder.


Player: Jorge Mateo
Position(s): OF/SS Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 190 lbs.
Quick Report: Some of the shine has certainly come off the Mateo train (to get my metaphors mixed up), but the athleticism certainly has not gone anywhere. He has off the charts speed that rival anyone in baseball at any level. He has seen the vast majority of time at short but has also played second and center in his pro career and may have to be versatile if the bat doesn’t improve soon. He has strength in his frame but has busy feet in the box and finds himself off-balance and swinging at bad pitches too often. The pitch selection and balance sap the power from his bat, as does a seeming insistence to go the other way with the ball rather than pull the ball on the inner half. The track record makes it hard to believe these issues at the plate are going away, but the tools and athleticism still make him a guy who could be an everyday player or elite utilityman.


Player: Lazaro Armenteros
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 180 lbs.
Quick Report: Armenteros’ journey stateside highlights many things wrong with the international signing system, but that is a conversation for another day, and not really anything of his own doing as much as merely a broken system. In terms of on the field, he is a raw ballplayer, but has all the tools and flare we have come to expect from Cuban outfielders. He is as strong as they come, with incredible raw power, but the bat is long and has plenty of swing-and-miss concerns. He can run, but he has poor reads in the outfield that will likely prevent him from staying in center. The arm is well below average so his future is in left field, where he can focus on tapping into that raw power and becoming an impact power bat.


Player: James Kaprielian
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 25 2018 Highest Level: DNP
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: One of the pieces, along with Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler, the A’s received from the Yankees in 2017 for Sonny Gray, a deal that has not held up as the blockbuster it appeared to be at the time. Kaprielian had elite control stats at UCLA and had an advanced feel for pitching and a repeatable delivery. He has held up to the billing in terms of command, barely walking two per nine innings, but the reliability expected to come with the repeatability hasn’t been there as he has struggled with injuries and missed all of 2017 and 2018. He flashes signs of being a quality mid-rotation arm when healthy thanks to a fastball that really improved after turning pro, along with a quality curve, slider, and change. If he can put in a healthy and productive season, he could be a top 100 type prospect, but for now he was someone I gave some consideration to not even making my top 10 A’s prospects.


Player: Sheldon Neuse
Position(s): 3B Opening Day Age: 24 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight:220 lbs.
Quick Report: The other piece that came to Oakland along with Luzardo in the Doolittle/Madson deal, he is the one I anticipated being a true breakout at the time. While at Oklahoma, he played short and even saw time there early in his pro career. Since then he has become a guy who is purely a corner infielder and may end up at first before all is said and done. The arm would have had him drafted as a hard throwing reliever if is wasn’t for the bat, but his below average footwork doesn’t allow him to show off a raw arm that is plus but plays below average for the position in games. At the plate, he struggled some in 2018, striking out far too much and walking far too little, and he was unable to tap into his power. That said, the power is still there, as is the arm and glove skills, so putting it all together could turn Neuse into a sure fire impact bat and quality third baseman, but that just hasn’t happened yet.


Player: Grant Holmes
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 225 lbs.
Quick Report: Yet another piece in the farm system brought in via trade, this one from the Los Angeles Dogers, Holmes has legit 80 grade hair. When it comes to the pitching part, he is a shorter and stocky righty with a power fastball and big, slurvy breaking ball that both grade out as potentially plus. He has a developing cutter and below average change that, along with command trouble, could prevent him from being the mid-rotation arm many expected when he was drafted. Instead, he will likely be a late inning reliever that will allow him to sit closer to 96-97 he touches than the 93-94 he currently sits at as a starter. It is also worth noting he only put in six innings last season with a shoulder injury that never resulted in surgery, so it will be something to keep an eye on to see if he is truly fully healthy this season.

Others of Note:

Nick Allen – SS – 20 – Low A
Skye Bolt – OF – 25 – AA
Parker Dunshee – RHP – 23 – AA
Luis Barrera – OF – 23 – AA
Greg Deichmann – OF – 23 – High A
Jeremy Eierman – SS – 22 – Short A
Daulton Jefferies – RHP – 23 – High A