2013 Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects




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Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.

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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Addison Russell, ss
2. Michael Choice, of
3. A.J. Cole, rhp
4. Brad Peacock, rhp
5. Sonny Gray, rhp
6. Dan Straily, rhp
7. Miles Head, 3b/1b
8. Grant Green, 2b/of
9. Daniel Robertson, ss/3b
10. Matt Olson, 1b
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Addison Russell
Best Power Hitter Michael Choice
Best Strike Zone Discipline Conner Crumbliss
Fastest Baserunner B.J. Boyd
Best Athlete Addison Russell
Best Fastball Pedro Figueroa
Best Curveball Sonny Gray
Best Slider Dan Straily
Best Changeup Dan Straily
Best Control A.J. Cole
Best Defensive Catcher Max Stassi
Best Defensive Infielder Addison Russell
Best Infield Arm B.A. Vollmuth
Best Defensive OF Jermaine Mitchell
Best Outfield Arm Jeremy Barfield
PROJECTED 2016
LINEUP
Catcher Derek Norris
First Base Miles Head
Second Base Jemile Weeks
Third Base Daniel Robertson
Shortstop Addison Russell
Left Field Michael Choice
Center Field Chris Young
Right Field Josh Reddick
Designated Hitter Yoenis Cespedes
No. 1 Starter Jarrod Parker
No. 2 Starter Brett Anderson
No. 3 Starter A.J. Cole
No. 4 Starter Brad Peacock
No. 5 Starter Sonny Gray
Closer Ryan Cook
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Rich Harden, rhp Out of baseball
2004 Bobby Crosby, ss Out of baseball
2005 Nick Swisher, of Yankees
2006 Daric Barton, 1b Athletics
2007 Travis Buck, of Astros
2008 Daric Barton, 1b Athletics
2009 Brett Anderson, lhp Athletics
2010 Chris Carter, of/1b Athletics
2011 Grant Green, ss Athletics
2012 Jarrod Parker, rhp Athletics
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Brad Sullivan, RHP Out of baseball
2004 Landon Powell, C Astros
2005 Cliff Pennington, SS Athletics
2006 Trevor Cahill, RHP Diamondbacks
2007 James Simmons, RHP Athletics
2008 Jemile Weeks, 2B Athletics
2009 Grant Green, SS Athletics
2010 Michael Choice, OF Athletics
2011 Sonny Gray, RHP Athletics
2012 Addison Russell, SS 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
LINKS
Athletics Team Page
Athletics Top 10 Scouting Reports Premium
Last Year's Athletics Top 10 Prospects
2012 Draft: Athletics
2012 Draft Report Cards: Oakland Athletics Premium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
Pre-Order the 2013 Prospect Handbook
Oakland Athletics

The Athletics were supposed to be an afterthought in 2012. Instead, they won 94 regular-season games, their most in nine years, and authored a memorable season. Oakland surged in the second half, coming out of nowhere to shock the Rangers by winning the American League West on the last day of the regular season, then pushing the eventual AL champion Tigers to five games in the Division Series.

There was little reason to expect these results after the A's traded away their last three all-stars—Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez—for prospects during the offseason. Their Opening Day payroll of $55.4 million ranked 29th among the 30 major league teams. It looked like general manager Billy Beane was hitting the reset button once again, and his team was just 37-42 and 13 games behind the Rangers at the end of June.

Instead of fading away, however, Oakland caught fire. It won 16 of its first 18 games in July and stayed hot, erasing a five-game deficit with nine to play and snatching the division title by sweeping Texas in the final series of the year. Justin Verlander put an end to the fairy tale, beating the A's twice in the ALDS, but that did little to dampen the glow of the season.

There may never have been a contender that relied on rookies as much as Oakland, which carried a record 12 on its ALDS roster. At times down the stretch, the A's went with an all-rookie rotation that included Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone—key pieces obtained in the Cahill and Gonzalez trades—and homegrown products A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily. Derek Norris, another product of the Gonzalez deal with the Nationals, did most of the catching down the stretch.

Yet the best rookie was Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, who belted 23 homers and led the team in all three slash categories at .292/.356/.505. Oakland won a spirited competition to sign Cespedes in March with a four-year, $36 million contract.

While the A's were enjoying their first winning season and playoff appearance since 2006, their farm system also took on a much different look. Not only did several players graduate to the majors, but many new faces also came in via trades and the draft. Along with Milone and Norris, Oakland also acquired righthanders Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole from Washington for Gonzalez. They're two of the system's best prospects, as is corner infielder Miles Head, who was part of the Bailey trade with the Red Sox (as was non-rookie Josh Reddick, who slugged 32 homers in his first full season as a big leaguer).

In a departure from its "Moneyball" history of eschewing high school players, Oakland took prepsters with each of its three 2012 draft picks before the second round. The A's hadn't used their top choice on a high schooler since taking Cahill in the second round in 2006, and hadn't expended a first-rounder on one since selecting Jeremy Bonderman 26th overall in 2001.

Shortstop Addison Russell was the 11th overall pick and the highest-drafted A's prepster since Eric Chavez at No. 10 in 1996, and he already ranks as the organization's No. 1 prospect after hitting .369/.432/.594 and reaching low Class A in his pro debut. Shortstop/third baseman Daniel Roberston and first baseman Matt Olson, both supplemental first-rounders in June, are two of the system's most promising hitters.

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