See also: 2014 Ranking Index for 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 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 Athletics|
|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.
(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.