Had outfielder Brayan Buelvas grown up in he U.S., he would be just starting his senior year in high school, contemplating a future of proms, studying and just maybe deciding between college and the draft.
But Buelvas hails from Monteria, Colombia, where he signed as an international free agent in 2018. At the age of 17 this year, he put together a year that most high schoolers could only dream about.
Buelvas hit his way out of the Dominican Summer League in his pro debut and joined the Rookie-level Arizona League club in July. He hit .300/.392/.506 with three home runs in 44 games to earn team MVP honors.
He followed that with a trip to instructional league, where he received the organization’s “grinder award,” given to a player whose hard work stands out.
“He’s kind of a scrappy little player who you can dream on,” farm director Ed Sprague Jr. said. “He could be a future Ramon Laureano-type player. He’s a young man with an old-school attitude and a lot of respect for the game.”
Sprague said Buelvas is a natural center fielder with a feel for the position. At 5-foot-11, 155 pounds, his body will be maturing over the next few years as he works his way through the farm system.
He has already shown an above-average hit tool, and mashing 20 extra-base hits in 44 AZL games could be an indication of more power to come. He already has an average arm, and Sprague hopes that it will improve as he gains strength and maturity.
He runs above-average, well enough to remain in center.
“He’s a great kid,” Sprague said. “He has an infectious smile, and he always comes up to the instructors and says hello. He’s working hard on his English, because he knows it’s important.”
Buelvas is a long, long way from the Oakland Coliseum, but he has given the A’s the type player they can dream on. It is far too early to know what lies ahead for the young Colombian, who will not turn 18 until June, but he has already provided the A’s with something to dream about.
— First-round Logan Davidson showed much improvement at instructional league, Sprague said. Davidson struggled in his introduction to pro ball at short-season Vermont, but the shortstop got on track in Arizona.
— Former A’s shortstop Bobby Crosby, the American League Rookie of the Year in 2004, was named manager at high Class A Stockton. He served as a coach at Double-A Midland last season and now moves into the managerial ranks.
— As expected, the A’s added righthander Daulton Jefferies and catcher Jonah Heim to the 40-man roster. To make room, the club designated righthander Jharel Cotton for assignment and sold him to the Cubs. Cotton is recovering from Tommy John surgery.