BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Oakland Athletics

Prospects Overview

Top 10 Prospects

Click prospect for player report

Prospect Lists

Best Tools

Top Prospects of the Decade
(Listed with 2022 organization)

Top Draft Picks of the Decade
(Listed with 2022 organization)

Player Reports

  1. 1. Tyler Soderstrom | C/1B
    Tyler Soderstrom
    Born: Nov 24, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Turlock, Calif., 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Kevin Mello.
    Minors: .306/.390/.568 | 12 HR | 2 SB | 222 AB

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: The Athletics closed the 2010s with multiple misfires at the top of the draft, but going over slot to draft Soderstrom No. 26 overall in 2020 looks like quite a reversal of fortune. Oakland had plenty of familiarity with Soderstrom, the son of 1993 Giants first-rounder Steve Soderstrom. He grew up less than two hours from Oakland in Turlock, Calif., and played for the Athletics’ Area Code team. It didn’t take Soderstrom long to impress A’s brass once he turned pro, either. Soderstrom was one of the most impressive hitters at Oakland’s alternate training site in 2020 despite being just 18 years old. He carried that momentum into 2021, impressing in spring training and crushing Low-A West pitching. His 145 wRC+ with Stockton was tied for fifth-best among all hitters with 200 or more plate appearances. An oblique injury prematurely ended Soderstrom’s season in late July, and a flareup of the same injury kept Soderstrom from participating in the Arizona Fall League after the season.

    Scouting Report: The chorus of praise surrounding Soderstrom only grew louder in 2021. The 19-year-old posted some of the best average exit velocities of any hitter in Oakland’s system, consistently beating Low-A pitching with a swing and approach some scouts believe could handle big league pitching right now. Soderstrom’s picturesque lefty swing stays in the strike zone for a long time and he’s adept at backspinning the baseball, showing plus raw power to all fields. Soderstrom doesn’t fear long at-bats and shows advanced strike-zone recognition, especially with breaking balls, for his age. There’s the occasional overaggressive swing decisions that come with youth, but scouts feel comfortable projecting all those ingredients will add up to a middle-of-the-order big league bat. Which position Soderstrom ultimately plays when he arrives in the majors remains an open question. Soderstrom never caught full-time as a high schooler and was understandably quite raw in his initial professional foray into catching. While he’s far from a finished product, opposing evaluators were encouraged by the gains Soderstrom made in just a year. He shows a surprising amount of lateral agility despite his bigger, strength-based frame, and his arm flashes above-average at times. Many believe Soderstrom’s blocking and receiving will continue to develop with more in-game reps and he’s shown the necessary willingness to work at it. Soderstrom has shown enough athletic ability to suggest he could handle a corner if Oakland eventually moves him off catcher, potentially in either left field or at first base.

    The Future: Soderstrom’s bat is special. He projects to be a potential .300 hitter with 25 or more homers at his peak, and could compete against upper-level pitching in 2022. That will lead to an interesting debate for the A’s. His bat will most likely be ready for the majors long before his glove if he sticks at catcher. The A’s will have to decide if they have the appetite to wait on his defense to develop behind the plate or move him to another position where he could reach the majors more quickly.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 60. Speed: 40. Fielding: 40. Arm: 55.

  2. 2. Zack Gelof | 3B
    Zack Gelof
    Born: Oct 19, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205
    Signed By: Tripp Faulk.
    Minors: .333/.422/.565 | 7 HR | 13 SB | 138 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: No 2021 Athletics draft pick made a stronger first impression than Gelof, who reached Triple-A Las Vegas by the end of 2021 when the A’s needed infield depth. Gelof was a solid performer in college, serving as the leadoff hitter on a Virginia team that reached the 2021 College World Series. He spent most of his pro debut at Low-A Stockton, posting a .941 OPS.

    Scouting Report: Gelof is physically strong and flashed plus raw power, mostly to his pull side, in college. The A’s believed he could maintain his all-fields approach but unlock that power more regularly as a professional. So far, that’s proving prescient. Gelof did significant damage in his short time in Stockton, approaching average exit velocities of 90 mph, and hit seven homers in just 32 games. Gelof hunted fastballs in college and struggled at times with breaking balls, an area he’ll have to shore up against more advanced pitching. He’ll also have to prove he can stay at third base. Gelof dealt with an elbow injury while at Virginia that affected his throwing mechanics, although the A’s are confident he can stick at the position. He showed an average arm when making throws on the run, but struggled setting his feet and making throws over the top. He’s an above-average runner and athletic enough to handle a corner outfield position if Oakland opts for a change.

    The Future: The A’s believe Gelof has the bat, approach and makeup to jump on the fast track, potentially arriving in Oakland as early as 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  3. 3. Nick Allen | SS
    Nick Allen
    Born: Oct 8, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'8" Wt.: 166
    Drafted/Signed: HS--San Diego, 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Anthony Aliosi
    Minors: .288/.346/.403 | 6 HR | 12 SB | 340 AB

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    Track Record: It didn’t take Allen long to become one of the minors’ best defensive shortstops after the A’s made him their third-round selection in 2017, giving him a $2 million bonus that was nearly three times his slot value. His bat is now catching up. Allen opened 2021 at Double-A Midland, then started at shortstop for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Oakland promoted Allen to Triple-A Las Vegas when he returned, and Allen hit .313 in September after taking some time to adjust.

    Scouting Report: Allen’s glove is major league ready now, and he could compete for Gold Gloves one day. His deft hands, instincts and footwork at shortstop allow him to make exceptional defensive plays look easy, and he made the routine plays more consistently in 2021 as well. Whether the 5-foot-8 shortstop reaches his everyday ceiling hinges on the incremental development of his bat, which took another step forward in 2021. The A’s worked diligently with Allen to avoid chasing power and instead employ a flighted, gap-to-gap approach more suited to his inside-out bat stroke. Allen has average bat speed and opposing evaluators are concerned he’ll struggle against premium big league velocity. He displays a solid understanding of the strike zone, and the A’s believe he made progress laying off high fastballs.

    The Future: Allen profiles as a second-division regular at shortstop who could easily handle a Nick Punto-esque super-utility role if needed. He should compete for Oakland’s starting shortstop job in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 30. Speed: 50. Fielding: 80. Arm: 55.

  4. 4. Max Muncy | SS
    Max Muncy
    Born: Aug 25, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: Dillon Tung.
    Minors: .129/.206/.129 | 0 HR | 1 SB | 31 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Muncy’s path to Oakland was representative of the unusual nature of scouting during a pandemic. With their travel limited to essentially as far as they could drive, the Athletics saw plenty of the California native in the spring leading up to the 2021 draft, including during the state’s high school playoffs in June with the draft pushed back to July. They went slightly over slot to sign Muncy to a $2.85 million deal after selecting him No. 25 overall. He made his pro debut in the Arizona Complex League in early August.

    Scouting Report: Muncy stands out for his athleticism and high-energy style of play. He showed above-average hitting ability as an amateur and the A’s were impressed by the rotational acceleration in his swing. Muncy tinkered with his setup and swing early in his high school season, losing connectivity between his upper half and lower half that led to an uptick in strikeouts. He reverted back to his previous form by the end of the season, shortening his swing and allowing his strong hands and wrists to work in his favor. Defensively, Muncy is a solid-average defender at shortstop and the A’s believe he’ll stick there long-term, though he’ll need to continue to clean up his actions. A move to third base isn’t out of the question if he continues to grow into his wiry frame.

    The Future: Muncy, who is not related to the Dodgers slugger of the same name despite sharing the same Aug. 25 birth date, is commended for his makeup and has a chance for above-average tools across the board, though he has a long way to go to get there.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 55. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  5. 5. Pedro Pineda | OF
    Pedro Pineda
    Born: Sep 6, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Signed By: Juan Carlos de la Cruz.
    Minors: .258/.403/.403 | 1 HR | 3 SB | 62 AB

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: The Athletics first became enamored with Pineda as a 14-year-old in the Dominican Republic. He made his professional debut this year in the Dominican Summer League, displaying the same enticing mix of raw tools that made him one of the top international prospects in his class. Oakland moved Pineda up to the Arizona Complex League in late July and he ranked as the league’s No. 5 prospect.

    Scouting Report: Pineda is a dynamic athlete growing into his 180-pound frame, and there’s more projection left. That strength helps him already generate aggressive, violent bat speed that leads to easy plus raw power, including at least one memorable opposite field homer in extended spring training as a 17-year-old. There’s some lift to Pineda’s swing that leads to swings and misses in the strike zone, but he has worked to cut down the length of his swing. He shows advanced pitch recognition for his age and impressed scouts in Arizona by his selectivity. Pineda is a plus runner with an above-average arm right now, making it easy to dream on his potential as a center fielder, but he will need to refine his routes and instincts. A shift to a corner outfield spot isn’t out of the question if he slows down as he packs more strength onto his frame.

    The Future: Still quite raw, Pineda has one of the highest ceilings in Oakland’s system but his path to the big leagues will be a slow burn. He’s expected to return to the ACL to begin 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  6. 6. A.J. Puk | LHP
    A.J. Puk
    Born: Apr 25, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 238
    Drafted/Signed: Florida, 2016 (1st round).
    Signed By: Trevor Schaffer.
    Minors: 2-5 | 6.10 ERA | 58 SO | 19 BB | 49 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Puk ranked as the top prospect in the 2016 draft and was the first college pitcher drafted when Oakland selected him sixth overall. He still hasn’t thrown 300 career innings because of a slew of injuries that include both Tommy John surgery and a shoulder surgery. That trend continued in 2021. Puk missed a month early in the season with a left biceps strain and pitched almost primarily in relief upon returning, splitting time between Triple-A Las Vegas and Oakland.

    Scouting Report: Puk’s velocity dipped to 92-94 mph and the A’s deployed him cautiously early in the season, avoiding throwing him in back-to-back games out of the bullpen. Puk lowered his arm slot in early June and his fastball velocity crept back up into his accustomed 96-97 mph range. He pitched better from that point onward, and the A’s called up Puk to Oakland to aid their bullpen in mid August. When healthy, Puk’s arsenal still looks potent. The A’s like the extension Puk gets on his fastball and his plus upper-80s slider generated a 46.4% whiff rate in the big leagues. He flashes a plus changeup at 89-91 mph, but struggled to find the feel for it at times out of the bullpen. Oakland believes Puk made subtle improvements to the lower half of his delivery in the second half of 2021.

    The Future: Puk will be 27 years old in April and has yet to make a big league start. There are evaluators, both internally and externally, who believe a future as a mid-rotation starter is possible while also acknowledging a high-leverage relief role is a more likely outcome considering his injury history.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 50.

  7. 7. Daulton Jefferies | RHP
    Daulton Jefferies
    Born: Aug 2, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: California, 2016 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Jermaine Clark.
    Minors: 5-1 | 4.91 ERA | 68 SO | 11 BB | 77 IP

    BA Grade: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Shoulder injuries beset Jefferies’ final year of college at California in 2016 and Tommy John surgery wiped out nearly all of the ensuing two years of his professional career. He reached Double-A upon returning in 2019 and walked just nine batters in 79 total innings. He impressed the A’s at their alternate training site in 2020 and was in contention for their final starting rotation spot out of spring training in 2021, but ultimately spent most of the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. He dealt with both right biceps tendinitis and a right flexor strain in his elbow during the season.

    Scouting Report: Jefferies relies on his advanced command and throws a variety of fastballs. Both his four and two-seam heater sit in the 92-94 mph range and he’s comfortable throwing his cutter, which is a tick slower, to both righties and lefties. Jefferies can move his fastballs around the strike zone but doesn’t miss many bats with them. His best swing-and-miss offering is an upper-80s changeup with considerable horizontal break that tumbles away from lefthanders. He’s shown the ability to manipulate the changeup, sometimes getting it to behave more like a splitter. He has yet to land on a consistent breaking ball. He featured a slurvy low-80s pitch that generated an average amount of whiffs but he threw less than 15% of the time.

    The Future: If Jefferies can stay healthy, he profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter who can compete for innings in Oakland in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Cutter: 55. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 60. Control: 65.

  8. 8. Brayan Buelvas | OF
    Brayan Buelvas
    Born: Jun 8, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 155
    Drafted/Signed: Colombia, 2019.
    Signed By: Tito Quintero.
    Minors: .219/.306/.412 | 16 HR | 17 SB | 347 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Buelvas signed for less than $100,000 out of Colombia in 2018, but he turned heads in his Arizona League debut the following year in 2019, hitting .300/.392/.506 as a 17-year-old. Buelvas was one of three teenagers invited to Oakland’s alternate training site in 2020, joining Tyler Soderstrom and Robert Puason, and spent all of 2021 at Low-A Stockton, where he was again one of the youngest players at 19 years old.

    Scouting Report: Buelvas’ barrel accuracy, strike-zone awareness and sneaky power bely his understated frame. He hit 16 home runs for Stockton, albeit while hitting for less average than some expected. Buelvas is still trying to find the right balance of contact and power, at times lengthening his swing and expanding his approach as he chases power Opposing evaluators mostly envision Buelvas settling into an above-average hitter with more of a gap-to-gap approach once he finds that balance. Buelvas is an instinctive defender who impresses the longer you watch him. Solid throwing accuracy allows his average arm to play up and he’s capable of playing all three outfield positions, but his average foot speed may ultimately be better suited in a corner as he continues to fill out physically.

    The Future: Buelvas lacks an obvious carrying tool, but those most bullish on him see a hit-over-power everyday corner outfielder.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55.

  9. 9. Lawrence Butler | 1B/OF
    Lawrence Butler
    Born: Jul 10, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Jemel Spearman.
    Minors: .273/.367/.504 | 19 HR | 29 SB | 385 AB

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Butler elevated his stock as much as any prospect in Oakland’s system in 2021. The A’s tabbed Butler as a developmental project out of high school and he struggled mightily with strikeouts in his first two professional seasons. That changed in 2021, when he broke out in his first taste of full-season ball, posting the second-best isolated power (.236) of any qualified hitter in Low-A West with Stockton. He ended the year hitting .340 in 14 games with High-A Lansing.

    Scouting Report: Butler’s combination of power and speed is mesmerizing. His powerful, lofted swing produces 70-grade raw power with exit velocities maxing out north of 110 mph, putting him among the most powerful hitters in Oakland’s system. Like many long-levered young power hitters, Butler fights a tendency to lengthen his swing, leaving him susceptible to swings and misses. There are concerns about his 33% strikeout rate, but that represented an improvement compared to his pro debut. Butler isn’t a hacker—if anything, he can be overly deferential and his swing rates were among the lowest in Oakland’s system. He’s an instinctive, plus runner who stole nearly 30 bases in 2021 and spent time at all three outfield positions in addition to first base. Butler may be better suited for first base in the long run as he matures, but his athleticism gives him a shot to handle a corner outfield position. He also receives raves for his competitiveness and makeup.

    The Future: A return to High-A Lansing is likely for Butler as he continues to prove he can make enough contact to allow his head-turning power to play.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 70. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 45.

  10. 10. Colin Peluse | RHP
    Colin Peluse
    Born: Jun 11, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 240
    Drafted/Signed: Wake Forest, 2019 (9th round).
    Signed By: Neil Avent.
    Minors: 9-3 | 3.39 ERA | 109 SO | 26 BB | 101 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: A dismal 5.52 ERA hurt Peluse’s draft stock as a junior at Wake Forest in 2019 and he entered the A’s system as an unheralded ninth-round selection. Peluse added considerable strength to his lower half during the 2020 shutdown and surprised the A’s by touching 98 mph in short bursts at instructional league that fall. He carried that momentum through 2021, posting a 3.66 ERA in 86 innings at High-A Lansing before being promoted to Double-A Midland to end the season.

    Scouting Report: Peluse’s fastball settles into the 94-95 mph range with decent shape in a starting role. He deploys it aggressively, throwing it for strikes roughly 70% of the time, and hunts the first-pitch advantage in a manner more like a reliever than a starter. Peluse’s secondaries are less refined. He worked with the A’s analytics department, including staff astrophysicist Samantha Schultz, to reshape his slider, seeking a pitch with more late life that could miss more bats, and also tinkered with the pitch’s grip. Peluse’s third offering is a changeup with decent arm-side run that he doesn’t always trust. He shows average command and a feel to pitch.

    The Future: Some evaluators see Peluse as a multi-inning battering ram out of the bullpen, while others believe he has the upside of a No. 4 starter if he improves his secondaries.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  


Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining