Going into 2023, MLB.com had Joey Estes as the Athletics' 24th ranked prospect. After their late-season update, he had jumped to 15th. Estes had a strong year at Double-A Midland, though he struggled in a late season callup to Triple-A, and in his cup of coffee in Oakland.
Estes started two games for the A's in September, the first of which went poorly but the second wasn't half bad. He threw 5.1 innings against the Twins, notching 5 strikeouts while giving up three runs and just one homer.
Estes' results in Double-A were encouraging. The young righty pitched 104.1 innings for the RockHounds, posting a 3.28 ERA with a 23.3% strikeout rate and a respectable 7.2% walk rate.
He has five distinct pitches that he uses frequently. The four-seamer doesn't have elite velocity, coming in at just over 93 mph, but he adds in a cutter, slider, curveball, and changeup that he's used effectively in the minors.
He likely won't be a big strikeout guy but if he can figure out how to mix his pitches and limit hard contact, he could be a successful back end starter for the A's by the end of the year. Unfortunately for Estes, the competition ahead of him is a bit stronger, and he's likely going to end up starting the season in Las Vegas.