Oakland Athletics’ Prospects Who Could Make An Impact Next Year

5 of 5

Pitching Prospects R.J. Alvarez and Sean Manaea

Sep 29, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher R.J. Alvarez (37) pitches during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Martinez: The A’s need a reliever who can dial it up on the radar gun with a fastball. This is where R.J. Alvarez comes in. Not only does he have a exceptional flow of hair, but he also has a 95 mph plus power fastball and a sharp slider. This type of power arm is exactly what the A’s are in dire need for next season. They need an arm like Alvarez that can strike out a batter by blowing a fastball right by them. No one currently in the A’s bullpen can throw as hard.

Alvarez had a taste of the big leagues with the A’s in 2015 and was very ineffective and wild with his control. He had multiple stints with the club and failed to impress every time but can only learn from his mistakes. If Alvarez can have a strong spring and come out dominating with his fastball while trusting to use his slider as a strike out pitch, his confidence will rise, which will result in him being a key reliever for ’16.

* * * * *

Scott Harris: Given the A’s history of injuries in their starting rotation, I believe if there is one prospect that will get called up and shine it will be Sean Manaea. In his seven starts after being acquired from the Kansas City Royals in the Ben Zobrist trade, the 23 year-old Manaea was 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .and a 218 OPP BA, while fanning 10.8 per 9 innings.

If the rotation remains healthy and Manaea does not get called up, I believe Max Muncy would have the best chance of making a positive impact on the team. I think Muncy is a very talented bat and, assuming the A’s part ways with Ike Davis and considering Muncy is currently getting in reps at second base in winter ball, I believe he will get an opportunity to to get significant playing time. We will see what Muncy is able to do with that opportunity.

* * * * *

Which prospect do you think will get his big break in 2016? Let us know by voting in our fan poll or by commenting below:

Next: Oakland Athletics Should Absolutely Not Target Yoenis Cespedes