Tha Sports Junkies 101

Prospect Profiles: Oakland Athletics

Athletics Image via Sportsgraphics36

MLB

Despite having a poor 2016, the Oakland Athletics silver lining comes within their farm system. With near to already MLB ready players in their top 10, an increase in wins compared to their 69 win campaign in 2016.

Yeah the increase could be to about 70-75 wins, but hey, at least they’re moving upwards as a franchise. It’s certainly going to be an interesting 2017 at Oakland Coliseum.

Franklin Barreto, MIF

Signed by the Toronto Blue Jays at just age 17, Franklin Barreto skyrocketed to near the top of the Jay’s top-rated prospects. Involved in the Josh Donaldson trade, Barreto has not led up as he is the A’s top prospect and MLB.com’s 43/100… at age 20.

With AA Midland and AAA Nashville in 2016, Barreto hit an astounding .284/.342/.422 slash. In 479 at-bats, he struck out 94 times, meaning he puts the bat on the ball often, which is a great trait to have at such a young age. 30 stolen bases out of 47 attempts shows off his above-average speed. The only question mark in this kid’s game would have to be his fielding, which isn’t all that bad.

In 2016, Barreto committed 15 errors, posting a .953 fielding percentage. Just seeing that number not connected to a name, you’d think he would need to work on fielding a lot more to be considered a major leaguer. But once you put Barreto’s name next to it, and realize he’s only 20 years old, then you’d be excited because .953 isn’t all that bad. The only reason why it’s a question mark is because that’s the weakest part of his game. His versatility to play both 2nd and shortstop is a nice touch

Look for Barreto to open some eyes during Spring Training as he will most likely make the team at some point this upcoming season.

ETA: 2017

A.J. Puk, LHP

Standing at a massive 6’7”, southpaw A.J. Puk is ranked 65/100 by MLB.com.

Last season at A- Vermont, Puk had an ERA of 3.03 in 32.2 innings. He would have had more innings, but he was playing college ball with the Florida Gators at Omaha.

His height alone is intimidating, but the fact that his fastball can top out at 97 mph is even more frightening. His control is below average, but the 21 year-old 6th drafted overall lefty has plenty of time until he’s called upon in Oakland.

Working on his off-speed pitches and his control, Puk’s road to the show seems to be not as long considering his already valuable experience playing college ball, but it should be about a year until he’s allowed to face major league bats. Even though it should be about a year, don’t be surprised because the Oakland Athletics like what they see and bring him up this September.

ETA: 2018

Grant Holmes, RHP

The 20-year-old Grant Holmes, drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers 22nd overall in 2014, is ranked 68/100 on MLB.com.

Last season at A+ Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers organization) and A+ Stockton (A’s organization), Holmes put up a less than impressive 4.63 ERA in 134 innings of work. Yeah a 20 year old having an ERA less than 5 is always, at least, ideal, but for his position in the top 100 and 3rd in his team’s organization, the A’s were disappointed in his performance.

Fortunately, it’s a new year and all the stats go back to 0. If Holmes can fully develop his changeup and have a better feel for his curveball, he has the chance to really turn some heads in the majors as a starter in the next 2-4 years, give or take. But for now, he needs to keep the walks and opponent batting average down.

ETA: 2018

Matt Chapman, 3B

As one of the most far along prospects in the A’s organization, probably the most far along, it’s clear Matt Chapman will make his MLB debut at some point this season.

The 23-year-old stands at 6 foot weighing 210 pounds, a decent build for a third baseman. Unfortunately, he’s been unable to get on base. Hitting a low .237 and an on-base-percentage of .328 with AA Midland and AAA Nashville in 2016, Chapman needs to prove to scouts and manager Bob Melvin that he is ready to face big league arms.

The best thing about Chapman, making him of the most far along prospects, would have to be his above average arm and fielding skills. Match that with a pretty good power bat, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 96 last season, he has a really good chance to become an eventual everyday starter at the hot corner for the A’s.

Chapman draws resemblance from 2016 Todd Frazier. Both hit with amazing power and have well-above average defense, but just can’t get the hits to rack up.

ETA: 2017

Renato Nunez, 3B (DH)

As one of many infielders in the Oakland Athletics organization it’s wise Renato Nunez looks to make a name for himself at the DH position.

With below-average fielding and above-average power, yeah, it’s wise he focuses on hitting.

Not to disregard fielding as a whole, just, it’s just that with his bat is the best way Nunez could make the majors.

Nunez hit 23 home runs driving in 75 with AAA Nashville in 2016. Unfortunately, he too draws resemblance from 2016 Todd Frazier, hitting a low .228/.278 batting average and on-base-percentage. But the stat that sticks out would be his .412 slugging percentage.

A part of the A’s in the 2016 September call-ups, Nunez didn’t really get enough at-bats to prove his worth or caliber, getting 2 hits in 15 at bats.

It is possible Nunez could make the team out of Spring, but it would be wise to let him gain confidence in AAA after that poor and short performance in the majors last season.

ETA: early 2017

Just Missed:

Richie Martin, SS: Scoring a plus in the categories of running, fielding and arm strength, it seems Martin is an all-around player. But he lacks two of the five tools, hitting and power. Power may not be that important, but a .235 batting average with A+ Stockton and AA Midland, it’s clear what Martin’s priorities are. ETA: 2018

Yairo Munoz, MIF: An overall solid player, Munoz scores average at his level in four tools, but the fifth, arm strength, is above average. Using that to build off of, Munoz has the potential to become a great defensive player in the middle infield. If he can find a way to turn around a low .240/.286/.367 slash he hit with AA Midland last season, Munoz can find his way to the show. ETA: 2018

Chad Pinder, SS: Already made his debut last season, the 24-year old has a decent shot of being a part of the 25 out of Spring.. If Pinder can find a way to put the bat on the ball more often and increase that batting average, seeing him ever so often at Oakland Columnist next season shouldn’t be a surprise. ETA: 2016

Just Missed: Pitchers

Dakota Chalmers, RHP: Being the youngest of the A’s top 10 prospects, it’s going to be some time until you see the 20-year-old in the majors. He throws an above average fastball that tops out at 95, it’s important he develops his changeup well, being scored as below average. ETA: 2019

Frankie Montas, RHP: Bouncing around from organization to organization, here’s hoping Montas found a home in Oakland(s organization). Montas’s last full season in the minors came in 2015 when he had an ERA of 2.97 in 112 innings at AA Birmingham (White Sox). He already made his debut with the White Sox, 2015, so it’s likely he’ll make the team out of Spring with his above average fastball and slider. ETA: Making the team out of Spring