Oakland Athletics: Franklin Barreto Or Joey Wendle?


Franklin Barreto may be ranked as the A’s top prospect, but Joey Wendle deserves a shot as well.

The Oakland Athletics are hoping that a bright future is in store for their top prospect, Franklin Barreto. As you may recall, the A’s acquired Barreto in the infamous Josh Donaldson trade in 2014.

Billy Beane‘s efforts to rebuild the team’s core has been an on-going process, but the A’s are finally flashing signs of brilliance. The A’s are riding a five-game winning streak entering play on Saturday.

The modest streak is the result of timely hitting and a renewed sense of energy from the team’s young core. Matt Olson has led the charge with plenty of fireworks at the plate. Olson collected home run No.24 on Friday night against the Rangers.

Missing from Oakland’s 4-1 win, however, was Barreto. The A’s did not play Barreto on Friday night and the top prospect has continued to struggle against big league pitching.

Along with Barreto, Joey Wendle was also absent from the A’s lineup on Friday. Wendle, 27, is a bit older than Barreto, 21, but that should do little damage to his reputation.

More from White Cleat Beat

The A’s are clearly rolling with Barreto as a part of the team’s future, but no one should overlook Wendle’s presence in the organization. Wendle has played well during his short time in Oakland this year and had himself a grand-slam last week in Philadelphia.


The A’s know that Barreto possesses great talent and skill, but the team currently has yet to decide where Barreto will play.

Lowrie has an ultra-friendly team option ($6 million) for next season and the A’s will likely pick it up. Should Lowrie stay in Oakland, Barreto may find himself in Nashville next year.

Wendle, meanwhile, is not getting any younger. He’s been successful, though, and slashed .285/.327/.429 with 8 HR and 54 RBI in 118 games with Triple-A Nashville this year.

Last season, Wendle had moderate success in Oakland during his short stint with the club. In 28 games last year with the A’s, Wendle slashed .260/.298/.302 with a homer and 11 RBI. While those numbers are not exactly All-Star worthy, they do demonstrate Wendle’s ability to hold his own against major league pitching.

For Barreto, who is just 21, it may be important for him to start the year in Nashville next season. The A’s know that a new ballpark will not be open for another six years, so taking their time with prospects like Barreto should be the focus.


At this point, Barreto may benefit from starting next season with the Sounds. While he has only appeared in 21 games (67 plate appearances) this year, Barreto has an alarmingly high strikeout rate (41.8%).

Wendle, meanwhile, has hovered around the 15% mark in terms of strikeout rate. Throughout his minor league career and limited big league career, Wendle has been relatively consistent.

The A’s may need to give Barreto more time to sort things out offensively. While the A’s are excited to have Barreto, Wendle deserves some recognition.

Heading into 2018, the A’s should seriously consider giving Wendle a spot on their Opening Day roster.

Next: Could A's Decide To Trade Khris Davis?