Athletics' Spring Breakout roster predictions: young talent set to shine

MLB's Spring Breakout will showcase each team's top prospects. Here are some players who could take the field for the Athletics.
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Major League Baseball has announced an event called the Spring Breakout, which will be held in the middle of spring training from March 14-17. Each organization will build a roster of top prospects to play against one another in a brief slate of games in their respective spring training homes.

According to MLB, each team will build a roster of 20-25 players and play one game against another squad. One team from each of Arizona and Florida will play two games, to account for the odd number of teams in each location. The Athletics play just one, as they host the Giants at 4:05pm on Friday the 15th.

In a confluence of events, Baseball America has just released their Athletics top-10 prospects list. Using that list along with existing info about current Athletics prospects, we can try to build out what the A's Breakout roster might look like.

Tyler Soderstrom still has prospect status as he had just 45 games at the major league level last year. He seems like the best candidate to start behind the plate, but there aren't a ton of strong first base options for the Athletics in the minors. For today, we're going to slide Daniel Susac into the catcher spot and shift Soderstrom to first, which is likely where he ends up on the defensive spectrum anyway.

The A's have a few strong options at shortstop, including last year's first round pick Jacob Wilson, Arizona Fall League standout Max Muncy, and 40-man addition Darell Hernaiz. Thanks to Zack Gelof's promotion last year, second base remains open, so we can take two of these three for the middle infield spots. Wilson and Hernaiz are the consensus top two, so that works.

While Muncy could slide over to the hot corner, we'll instead go with another Arizona Fall League standout in Brett Harris. Harris hit a combined .277 with a .373 on-base percentage between Double and Triple-A last year. Though he isn't a ranked prospect, he showed strong plate discipline in 2023 and has earned the spot.

Outfield gets quite interesting for the A's. They have two guys on the 40-man in Lawrence Butler and Lazaro Armenteros that are going to get a lot of hype coming into 2024. The A's also have a couple intriguing, rated prospects in Denzel Clarke, Henry Bolte, and Ryan Lasko.

Given Butler's performance in 2023, he deserves a spot. Baseball America has Clarke as the A's 5th ranked prospect, and he's got the power/speed combination to back that up. Bolte hit 14 homers and stole 32 bases in 2023 and has just a little more versatility than Armenteros, so we'll give Bolte the last spot.

Finally, we'll drop Muncy in the DH spot in order to get him into the lineup. It would be a well deserved nod for the young righty who hit .302 with good power and speed after his promotion to Double-A in 2023.

Top prospect Mason Miller will serve as our high-leverage bullpen arm. GM David Forst came out and said that Miller will work primarily out of the bullpen in 2024, so we'll give him the job to match.

As for the starting pitcher, there are a number of good options. The more popular pick might be Royber Salinas, but we're going to give the nod to Luis Morales. Baseball America rated Morales as the A's fourth best prospect, and his stats last year back that up. Morales struck out 53 batters in just 44 innings. He pitched to a 2.86 ERA and earned three promotions in 2023.

Morales sits 97 and can touch triple digits with the fastball, and has a nasty slider/curveball mix that he adds in to get strikeouts. Either he or Salinas would be a fair choice but in my opinion, Morales deserves the nod, with Salinas as an option to pitch behind him.

There's no firm date for rosters to be announced but this should prove to be an exciting event for the A's youngsters, and a good opportunity to showcase what the team has coming in the system.