Oakland Athletics Top Prospects


Oct. 14, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Matt Olson plays for the Mesa Solar Sox during an Arizona Fall League game against the Scottsdale Scorpions at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics top prospects list continues to be overhauled. Following the trade of top ranked prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney the list of top prospects within theOakland Athletics organization required revision. Daniel Robertson became the newly top ranked prospect, only to be traded along with fellow prospect Boog Powell. While it’s very likely that Billy Beane is not done making moves, here is a look at what mlbpipeline.com considers to be the current top 20 prospects for the Oakland Athletics.

  1. Matthew (Matt) Olson
  2. Franklin Barreto
  3. Renato Nunez
  4. Matt Chapman
  5. Dillon Overton
  6. Chad Pinder
  7. Raul Alcantara
  8. Sean Nolin
  9. Kendall Graveman
  10. Max Muncy
  11. Joe Wendle
  12. Bruce Maxwell
  13. Bobby Wahl
  14. Brett Graves
  15. Daniel Gossett
  16. R.J. Alvarez
  17. Chris Bassit
  18. Billy Burns
  19. Rangel Ravelo
  20. Jaycob Brugman

I hereby present the top prospects.

(Keep in mind Beane will likely make a trade just to screw up my weekly articles)

No. 1: Matthew (Matt Olson) – 1B – 20 years old – 6’4″ – 236lbs

Bats: Left, Throws: Right

The Oakland Athletics drafted Matt Olson straight from High School in Georgia in the 1st round (47th) of the 2012 June Amateur Draft.

Olson thrived in A Advanced/High A with the Stockton Ports and in the Arizona Fall League. In 2014, he hit .262/.404/.543 with the Ports and .257/.435/.686 over 11 games at Arizona Fall League(AFL). He missed a portion of AFL due to a tear in his shoulder ligament but otherwise excelled throughout his time in AFL. MiLB.com named Olson a 2014 Athletics Organization All-Star. The article cited that “the 20-year-old slugger led the organization with 37 homers and 97 RBIs in his second full season. He raised his batting average 37 points from 2013 while increasing his walk total from 72 to 117 with the Ports. Olson’s home run total led all of Class A and ranked third in the Minor Leagues, and he led the Cal League with 111 runs scored.”

Olson’s scouting grades indicates he’s close to being above average for future tools. While his hitting is considered slightly below average, his power is certainly above average. He is expected to be ready for the Majors in 2016 and could potentially make an appearance for the A’s in 2015 if the need arises.

"“He cut down on his strikeouts, walked over 100 times– he had a fabulous year in every regard…I think his selectivity got better, his accuracy with the bat got better and his confidence is off the charts. High-character guy — a good young player who just started to put things together…He’s got above-average power, he can go to the pull side, he has opposite-field power. The other good thing about him is that he’s an above-average defender. He can play the outfield or first base. He’s like [Brandon] Moss is in the big leagues for us.” – Keith Lieppman, A’s director of player development"

No. 2: Franklin Barreto – SS – 18 years old – 5’9” – 174lbs

Bats: Right, Throws: Right

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Barreto in 2010 as an International Free Agent.

MLB.com ranked him as the No. 2 prospect for the 2012 international free agent class, and was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays. Barreto was acquired by the Athletics via a trade and took the No. 2 prospect spot within their rankings. While many A’s fans were upset about the Donaldson trade, Barreto brings plenty of tools to the organization. His arm and running are graded as above average. Keep in mind that Barreto is only 18 and while his grades do not indicate any major weaknesses he needs to improve at defensively if he wishes to remain as a Shortstop. Reports indicate he may be read for the Majors in 2017.

He hit .311/.384/.481 in 2014 while playing for the Vancouver Canadians (Short-Season A) in 2014.

No. 3: Renato Nunez – 3B – 20 years old – 6’1″ – 185lbs

Bats: Right, Throws: Right 

The Oakland Athletics signed Venezuelan Renato Nunez as an International Free Agent in 2010, he was only 16 years old.

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Nunez played for the Stockton Ports (A Advanced/High A) but was added to the Oakland Athletics’ 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The A’s made room for him by placing OF Alex Hassan on waivers. The Baltimore Orioles then claimed Hassan. The A’s had claimed him from the Boston Red Sox earlier that same week.

Similarly to Matt Olson, Renato Nunez also flourished with the Stockton Ports, and was named an MiLB.com 2014 Athletics Organization All-Star. He finished 2014 hitting .279/.336/.517, with 96 RBI and 29 HR, the second most homeruns for the team that year. Nunez played in the Venezuelan Winter League this year, hitting 4 home runs and 19 RBI during 21 games.

"“He may have the most raw power of anyone in our system. Learning how to use the whole field and how to put the ball in play is part of the process he’s going through.” – Keith Lieppman, A’s director of player development"

Nunez hit .279/.336/.517 for the Stockton Ports in 2014. Nunez’s scouting grade indicates his greatest weakness being his running and fielding. While his offense continues to improve, he may eventually lose his position at 3B to the far more promising Matt Chapman. A likely position for him will be 1B.

No. 4: Matt Chapman – 3B – 21 years old – 6’2″ – 205lbs

Bats: Right, Throws: Right

Chapman was drafted from CSU Fullerton by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (25th) of the 2014 Amateur Draft.

Chapman has played 54 total games for 3 different teams within the Oakland Athletics’ Minor League system (AZL Athletics, Beloit Snappers, Midland RockHounds) since being drafted in June 2014. In his 54 games and 207 at bats, he hit .246/.291/.401 with 23 runs, 51 hits, 5 home runs and 20 RBI.

His scouting grades indicate that he has a well above average arm, above average fielding ability, average hitting and power, but below average running. He has demonstrated incredibly promising defense and steadily improving offense in the brief time he has played within the A’s organization. He also helped the RockHounds (Double A) win the playoffs in the Texas League. He will likely begin the season with the Stockton Ports and end with the Midland RockHounds. He is expected to be ready for the Majors in 2017.

Check out the article from Swingin’ A’s Editor Jason Burke discussing who is better: Olson or Chapman?