Oakland Athletics Roundup: Three A’s Named to Top 101 Prospects List on Baseball Prospectus

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Franklin Barreto, Sean Manaea, Jacob Nottingham Named To Top 101 Prospects List
Oakland Athletics Roundup: Monday, February 1


It’s a new month, so let’s turn the page from MLB.com’s Pipeline rankings and move on to those of Baseball Prospectus. Last week, the good folks over at BP released their Top 101 Prospects list, ranking who will be Major League Baseball’s next superstars based on their current trajectory. The Oakland Athletics had three names on this list: Franklin Barreto, Sean Manaea and Jacob Nottingham.

Barreto came in first, at #26 overall. The shortstop was ranked 74th on the list last year, and is universally regarded as the A’s best prospect. By the middle part of 2015, Barreto had already jumped to #48 overall on BP’s Top 50 list, so his continuing climb up the rankings can only be good news for the A’s. Their scouting report gives him low grades for his effort on defense, acknowledging that he may end up swapping positions. That said, they still think he would be best served by sticking in the middle infield:

"“The offensive skill set will play anywhere, but if Barreto can stay at shortstop, he’s got a chance to be a true impact player.”"

Manaea was listed #45 overall, a big jump from last year’s #84 ranking. The left-hander impressed with his fastball and slider in 2015, after being dealt from Kansas City in the Ben Zobrist trade. He also garnered a lot of attention with a strong Arizona Fall League performance. Despite those factors, BP doesn’t think quite as highly of Manaea as they do of Barreto. Concerns about his injury history and lack of proven, consistent results led them to this conclusion:

"“There are two massive question marks going forward with Manaea: Can he stay healthy, and when he is healthy, can he show his upper-echelon arsenal on a reliable basis? ….If both answers are yes, he’s a potential no. 2, but is otherwise more of a back-end option – maybe even a reliever.”"

Finally, Nottingham made this list at #66, after being unranked the previous season. A mid-season acquisition in the Scott Kazmir deal, the catcher hit .316/.372/.505 for three teams and two levels in 2015. He also hit 17 home runs – showing the kind of power that teams hope for from their top catching prospect. But BP’s scouting report on Nottingham raised some questions about his defense:

"“Nonetheless, Nottingham has the type of offensive profile that will work at any position, which is good, because there’s a pretty good chance his future isn’t behind the plate. He’s very much a work in progress with his receiving skills.”"

Prospects are unpredictable, but if these players pan out the way they are expected to, the A’s should have a pretty good team down the road.

In Case You Missed It:

FanGraphs Predicts 11-Win Improvement for 2016 – While the Athletics’ may have had a fairly quiet off-season, they did make enough moves for FanGraphs to predict that they’ll be 11 wins better than they were last season. Andrew Dambrauskas explains where these wins are expected to come from.

Stephen Vogt Undergoes Elbow Surgery – A’s catcher Stephen Vogt underwent elbow surgery and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, but he should be on the roster for Opening Day. Casey Witt has more details about Vogt’s procedure and recovery.

Coco Crisp’s Status for 2016 Still a Question Mark – Can Coco Crisp make it through the 2016 season without spending time on the disabled list? Samantha Riley wonders about his status for the upcoming year.

Will Marcus Semien Be the A’s Breakout Star in 2016? – After a rough start to his 2015 campaign, Marcus Semien showed much improvement in the second half. Could he be the next big surprise for the A’s? Samantha Riley shares her thoughts on the matter.

#Athletics

Next: The Top 50 Players in Oakland Athletics History

Around the Web

Baseball Prospectus: Top 101 Prospects of 2016 – Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 101 Prospects list on Baseball Prospectus here. Spoiler: Byron Buxton has been replaced as the #1 overall prospect.

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