The Oakland A’s have relied upon their farm system for years in order to remain competitive. It is part of their cycle – they trade players to restock the farm system, hope their drafts and international prospects pan out, and look to remain competitive throughout. It is the A’s Way.
The problem is that the farm system is not what it once was. Those once top prospects have not panned out as hoped for. What talent there was in the minors has moved up to the major league level, leaving the A’s farm system to be a shadow of what it had been.
Top 10 prospects for the Oakland A’s
That does not mean that the A’s are devoid of talent in the minors. They have several intriguing players that could make a difference at the major league level in the next few years. And, if those former top prospects can return to form, the A’s system will suddenly look much better.
We begin our look at the top ten prospects for the A’s with a pair of disappointments.
10. Logan Davidson
Logan Davidson is in danger of losing his place as a piece of the Oakland A’s future. He may have the type of profile that a team can dream of as he can play anywhere on the infield while showing power and patience at the plate, but at some point, he will need to produce. His .212/.307/.313 batting line in 515 plate appearances, with just seven homers and 22 doubles, was a major disappointment.
The A’s had their hand forced with Davidson due to the lost 2020 season, slotting him at Double-A when he clearly was not ready. He is likely to start the 2022 season there as well and will need to show a drastic improvement. If that does not happen, his future role will be in doubt.
9. A.J. Puk
The fact that A.J. Puk is still on this list is a disappointment. A consensus top 100 prospect from 2017 through 2020, injuries have pushed his timeline back and made it unlikely that he will ever be the top of the rotation arm he was projected to be. Puk has struggled in his brief time in the majors as well, posting a 4.74 ERA and a 1.581 WHiP over his 24.2 innings, striking out 29 batters while issuing 11 walks.
The stuff is still there. Puk still has that power fastball and devastating slider. His command issues always made a conversion to the bullpen likely. Now, his inability to stay healthy has made that his future. Puk can still make an impact for the Oakland A’s as a high leverage reliever, but he needs to get on the mound in order for that to happen.