2014 Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects


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The Athletics proved their 2012 resurgence was no fluke, taking home their second straight American League West title in 2013. They followed it with yet another Division Series exit, but the franchise appears set to keep competing with its bigger-spending division rivals in the seasons ahead.

TOP 10 PROSPECTS
1. Addison Russell, ss
2. Billy McKinney, of
3. Raul Alcantara, rhp
4. Michael Ynoa, rhp
5. Renato Nunez, 3b
6. Max Muncy, 1b
7. Dylan Covey, rhp
8. Bobby Wahl, rhp
9. Daniel Robertson, ss
10. Nolan Sanburn, rhp
BEST TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Addison Russell
Best Power Hitter Matt Olson
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Max Muncy
Fastest Baserunner Billy Burns
Best Athlete Addison Russell
Best Fastball Michael Ynoa
Best Curveball Dylan Covey
Best Slider Bobby Wahl
Best Changeup Raul Alcantara
Best Control Raul Alcantara
Best Defensive Catcher Iolana Akau
Best Defensive Infielder Addison Russell
Best Infield Arm Chad Pinder
Best Defensive Outfielder Billy McKinney
Best Outfield Arm Michael Taylor
TOP 15 PLAYERS 25 AND UNDER
No Player, Pos (Age) Peak Level
1. Addison Russell, ss (20) Triple-A
2. Jarrod Parker, rhp (25) Majors
3. Sonny Gray, rhp (24) Majors
4. Billy McKinney, of (19) Short-season
5. Dan Straily, rhp (25) Majors
6. Raul Alcantara, rhp (21) High Class A
7. Michael Ynoa, rhp (22) High Class A
8. Derek Norris, c (25) Majors
9. Renato Nunez, 3b (19) Low Class A
10. Dylan Covey, rhp (22) Low Class A
11. Bobby Wahl, rhp (22) Short-season
12. Max Muncy, 1b (23) Double-A
13. Daniel Robertson, ss (20) Low Class A
14. Nolan Sanburn, rhp (22) Low Class A
15. Matt Olson, 1b (19) Low Class A
TOP PROSPECTS OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos. 2013 Org.
2004 Bobby Crosby, ss Out of baseball
2005 Nick Swisher, of Indians
2006 Daric Barton, 1b Athletics
2007 Travis Buck, of Padres
2008 Daric Barton, 1b Athletics
2009 Brett Anderson, lhp Athletics
2010 Chris Carter, 1b/of Astros
2011 Grant Green, ss Angels
2012 Jarrod Parker, rhp Athletics
2013 Addison Russell, ss Athletics
TOP DRAFT PICKS OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos. 2013 Org.
2004 Landon Powell, c Mets
2005 Cliff Pennington, ss Diamondbacks
2006 Trevor Cahill, rhp (2nd round) Diamondbacks
2007 James Simmons, rhp Athletics
2008 Jemile Weeks, 2b Athletics
2009 Grant Green, ss Angels
2010 Michael Choice, of Athletics
2011 Sonny Gray, rhp Athletics
2012 Addison Russell, ss Athletics
2013 Billy McKinney, of Athletics
LARGEST BONUSES IN CLUB HISTORY
Michael Ynoa, 2008 $4,250,000
Mark Mulder, 1998 $3,200,000
Grant Green, 2009 $2,750,000
Addison Russell, 2012 $2,625,000
Renato Nunez, 2010 $2,200,000
Athletics Team Page
Last Year’s Athletics Top 10 Prospects
2013 Draft: Athletics
2013 Draft Report Cards: Oakland AthleticsPremium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects

General manager Billy Beane won the Baseball America Major League Executive of the Year award as the A’s embraced the use of platoons as a means of generating offense on a budget.

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(Oakland ranked 27th out of 30 teams in Opening Day payroll in 2013 at $60.7 million.) The A’s used platoons at four positions and had four outfielders share three jobs. To get to that point, the organization found some new homes for several current or former prospects.

Having young, cost-controlled players on hand will continue to be vital to the Athletics’ success. Still, that hasn’t stopped them from using prospects as assets to help the big league team, and made several moves in 2013 to further their use of platoons.

The A’s made a pair of key prospects-for-big leaguer deals following the 2012 season in which they surrendered their two highest-ranked pitching prospects at the time, righthanders A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock.

Oakland traded Cole to the Nationals in January 2013 in a three-team deal that also involved the Mariners and brought John Jaso to the A’s to be part of their catching rotation. A few weeks later, Oakland brought in shortstop Jed Lowrie from the Astros, giving up Peacock, first baseman Chris Carter and catcher Max Stassi.

Carter already had graduated to the majors, but he had become the odd man out in Oakland’s first base platoon behind Brandon Moss and rookie Rule 5 pick Nate Freiman. Stassi had been a high-profile prospect before his career was beset by injuries, though he did make the majors in 2013 with Houston.

The A’s later dealt three first-round picks within a few months of each other: Jemile Weeks (2008), Grant Green (2009) and Michael Choice (2010). They dispatched Green, who had struggled to find a defensive home, to the Angels at the trade deadline for Alberto Callaspo, whom they paired in a platoon with Eric Sogard at second base. In December, Choice went to the Rangers for outfielder Craig Gentry, another move to further the A’s platoon options. Weeks, who had never regained the form that saw him hit .303 as a rookie in 2011, went to Baltimore for closer Jim Johnson later in December.

Even minus Cole and Peacock, the A’s didn’t lack for young pitching in 2013. Four-fifths of Oakland’s rotation was age 26 or younger, save for 40-year-old Bartolo Colon.

Righthander Dan Straily, the organization’s breakout prospect in 2012, had a solid first full year in Oakland, going 10-8, 3.86 in 27 starts.

The A’s also got vital contributions from righty Sonny Gray, their 2011 first-round pick, who made his major league debut in July and joined the rotation down the stretch. Gray went 5-3, 2.67 in 64 big league innings during the regular season and made two playoff starts, including an electrifying performance in which he threw eight shutout innings against the Tigers in Game Two of their Division Series.

Between trades, the graduations of Gray and Straily and a couple of thin drafts in 2010 and 2011, the upper levels of Oakland’s system have been largely cleaned out of impact prospects. Just two of Oakland’s Top 10 Prospects—Addison Russell and Max Muncy—are expected to open the season at Double-A or above.