Ranking the Top Ten Oakland Athletics Prospects
2015 has been a seriously disappointing season for A’s fans. With such a large portion of the team’s losses occurring in close one-run games, there was a general feeling that the team was better than its record. This perception, combined with the second wild card spot not being completely out of reach and the trade deadline quickly approaching all contributed to the tension surrounding whether or not the A’s would become sellers.
Having gone 4-7 since the All-Star break, that time has finally come. Billy Beane is hitting the reset button, and snagging as much young talent as he can in exchange for his best big league players.
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With the departure of their three highest trade pieces, it is a fair assumption that the A’s have acquired the best of the minor league talent that they will receive in this year’s trade season. With all of the most important pieces now accounted for, it is time for the A’s to evaluate what kind of talent they have in their minor league system.
The following is a new ranking of the A’s top ten prospects after the trades. These rankings consider the following variables from most important to least important:
- Talent: The talent score is based on the 20-80 scouting grades given to each prospect. For position players, scouting grades rate hitting, power, running, throwing, and fielding. Pitchers are ranked based on the strength of each of their pitches, as well as control. My total talent score converts the scouting grade into a 0-100 scale, where 50 is average. Keep in mind that 70 percent of all prospects (and that includes most of the A’s) fall somewhere around the 50 mark; only the best prospects are higher than this.
- Minor League Performance: The Minor Leagues are where prospects hone their skills and improve as players. This score weighs players based on their current numbers, as well as if they are demonstrating an upward trend as they progress to more advanced leagues. (0-30 scale)
- Major League Need: This is a bonus given to prospects that play a position that is in high need on the Major League roster right now. This means that pitchers and middle infielders will get slightly more preference than catchers and corner infielders. (0-20 scale)
[Each prospect’s final score is the sum of these three scores divided by 1.5, so that we end up with a 100-point scale.]
Whereas most lists will judge a prospect’s value solely on their talent, this list will differ because it will consider the A’s need for that particular position. Sorry, catchers and third basemen – Stephen Vogt and Brett Lawrie are going to be around for awhile, and that bullpen needs some help.
To quickly recap the pieces that entered the A’s organization in the last week, the new acquisitions include pitchers Aaron Brooks, Sean Manaea, Casey Meisner, and Daniel Mengden, as well as catcher Jacob Nottingham. The 2015 draft picks that shake up the organization include shortstop Richie Martin, pitcher Dakota Chalmers, and outfielder Skye Bolt.
And now, onto the rankings.