Columbia has not traditionally been a hotbed of major league talent over the years. Only 28 players from the country have reached the majors, with only five of those posting a bWAR over 5.0 in their careers. That does not mean that the country is devoid of talent – it just has not been properly scouted over the years. The Oakland A’s are hoping that they can change that with Brayan Buelvas.
He was signed out of Columbia in 2018 and quickly made his way stateside. Although the 2020 minor league season was wiped out by the pandemic, the A’s were aggressive with Buelvas, having him spend the season with the Stockton Ports although he started the season at just 18 years old.
Brayan Buelvas becoming intriguing prospect for Oakland A’s
It is important to keep in mind how young, and relatively raw, Buelvas is when looking at his overall numbers. His .219/.306/.412 batting line in 392 plate appearances does not stand out, nor do his 16 homers and 11 doubles.
But those power numbers actually show some progress. Buelvas has some raw power but it had not translated to game action. He would hit the ball hard for singles and doubles although he would not typically put the ball over the fence. Changes in his swing made a difference in that regard as he hit more homers to the detriment of his ability to make contact.
More changes to his swing will be necessary for Buelvas to get the most of his tools. He is expected to be average to slightly above in virtually every aspect and may well have enough speed to stay in center for the long term. His overall game is not going to be anything that would have anyone expect him to be a star.
That ignores the overall package. Buelvas may be particularly great in any one area, but if he develops as expected, he will be at least average in every tool. This is the type of player that hit for a solid average with some power, get on base, and add in a handful of steals. With his ability to play all three outfield spots, he has even more value.
In fact, it is possible that he develops into someone that the A’s have been intimately familiar with over the past few years. While he may not have the on base skills of Mark Canha, his overall solid profile without any one standout tool certainly begs the comparison. The A’s would certainly be pleased if he becomes a similar player, especially as they have an eye towards finding their next core for a run to the postseason, potentially in a new stadium.
Brayan Buelvas is not going to stand out in any one area. Nonetheless, he is emerging as an intriguing prospect for the Oakland A’s future.