Oakland Athletics 2016 Preview: 1B Rangel Ravelo
Oakland Athletics 2016 Roster Preview: Minor League 1B Rangel Ravelo
The Oakland Athletics received a haul from the Chicago White Sox in December 2014 when they traded Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa for four prospects. Three of those prospects are starting for the A’s now: Marcus Semien, Josh Phegley, and Chris Bassitt. The fourth is prospect Rangel Ravelo, a first baseman who has both youth and patience on his side. At 23, Ravelo is poised to have a great year with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, the A’s minor league affiliate.
Ravelo was drafted by Chicago in 2010 from Hialeah High School in Hialeah, Florida. A sixth round draft pick, he was moved from third base to first base in 2013. He has seen very limited time in left field as well, which puts him as comparable to Mark Canha as both are right-handed first basemen/left fielders. His fielding was awful at third base: his total fielding percentage at that position is .916. Compare to five seasons at first base, where his fielding performance improved significantly to .994.
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Offensively, Ravelo has smashed through opposition. In the Venezuela Winter League this past year, Ravelo destroyed pitchers: .354/.480/.562, walking 41 times and striking out only 32. With the Double-A Midland Rockhounds last year, Ravelo played in 22 games before being promoted, but he had an on-base plus slugging percentage of .855. He profiles to be a contact-heavy first baseman who strikes out very little compared to how much he gets on base.
However, there are some caveats to his performance. For one, in Triple-A last year, he hit a workmanlike but unremarkable .277/.324/.376. More importantly, he is a little prone to injury, even if those injuries come from very strange circumstances. Ravelo did receive surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right wrist in May last year. Additionally, during the Venezuela Winter League, Ravelo charged the mound after a pitcher threw at his head and injured his finger punching the pitcher.
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The A’s have some depth at the first base position this year. Not only can Yonder Alonso and Canha serve well at the position, but Stephen Vogt and even Chris Coghlan can field as an emergency backup there. In the minors, Max Muncy and Andrew Lambo (recently sent back down to Triple-A) happen to also be a primary source of competition for Ravelo. Renato Nunez and Matt Olson will be available at that position as well. The A’s are lucky to have such depth at this position, and it takes just one opportunity for one of these guys at first base to start to shine.
Will Ravelo have any chance of being in the majors this year? Will other Oakland-affiliated infielders outshine him in the minor leagues? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.