Jordan Diaz and Jeff Criswell both had plenty of questions heading into the 2022 season. Suffice to say, the Oakland A’s prospects were more than capable of ending any concerns about their futures.
MLB.com recently named their Prospects of the Year for the 2022 season. Diaz and Criswell were given the honors for the A’s as both teams rewarded the team’s faith in them this year.
Jordan Diaz, Jeff Criswell prove themselves as Oakland A’s Prospects of the Year
Diaz always had the bat speed while possessing an innate ability to hit to all fields. His power started to develop as he filled out, making him an intriguing prospect. The problem was that he was an indifferent defensive player at best, with the A’s moving him from third base over to first.
After producing an .882 OPS with 19 homers and 34 doubles in his 527 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A. That performance was enough for him to get a brief look in the majors, where he oddly played a dozen games at second after making just four appearances at the position in five minor league seasons. Diaz posted a .621 OPS with three doubles in 51 plate appearances, but his showing in the minors this past year likely gives him an inside edge for a roster spot on the A’s next year.
Criswell has turned the page on an injury riddled start to his career. He made just four appearances in 2020 before the pandemic and only managed 12 innings in A-ball in 2021. However, he performed well in the Arizona Fall League, giving the A’s hope that he could emerge as a key piece for their future.
He showed that potential over this past year. Criswell ended up pitching in three levels, ending the season at Triple-A as he rocketed through the system. His 4.03 ERA and 1.293 WHiP may not seem impressive, but he threw a career best 118.1 innings while striking out 119 batters with 45 walks. Chances are, he will start the 2023 season in Triple-A, but could make his debut early next year with a strong enough showing.
Jordan Diaz and Jeff Criswell had strong seasons in 2022. As a result, the duo were named as the Oakland A’s Prospects of the Year.