The ongoing MLB lockout is having some unanticipated consequences. Amongst those issues is the fact that minor league players on the 40 man roster are unable to report to spring training until the lockout is over as they are considered to be members of the MLBPA. For the Oakland A’s, that is a disaster.
The lockout is causing several of their top prospects to miss development time in camp. Three of their top five prospects according to MLB.com – Nick Allen, Daulton Jefferies, and A.J. Puk – are on the 40 man roster. In fact, seven of their top 22 prospects are unable to attend spring training until this mess is figured out.
Oakland A’s prospect timeline impacted by ongoing lockout
The timing of the lockout is even worse considering the A’s plans. They are likely to need several of these players to make an impact on the 2022 roster considering their plans to dismantle the roster. The A’s need spring training, and those camps prior, to see if some of their internal options can take the next step.
That is particularly the case with their top prospects. Allen, Jefferies, and Puk are all expected to have a large role on the 2022 roster, even if Allen is most likely to start the season in Triple-A. It is seemingly a matter of time before he takes Elvis Andrus’ job this year.
Jefferies should finally get an extended look in the rotation. He has proven to be a consistent strike thrower in the minors, someone who profiles as a middle of the rotation arm. Puk’s role is far less certain given his health issues, but he could be a solid piece in the A’s bullpen if his days as a starter are over.
It is still going to take time for these players to reach their potential. Any missed time, such as the shortened spring training, can make an impact on their development. As it is, these players missed critical time in 2020 due to the pandemic, or in Puk’s case, injury. The lockout just impacts their timeline even more.
Want your voice heard? Join the White Cleat Beat team!
Being a part of the 40 man roster is a step closer to reaching the majors. For several Oakland A’s prospects, it means missing out on training.