Last night, the Oakland Athletics released their list of non-roster spring training invites. There are 22 players on the list, 13 of which are holdovers from 2023, plus 9 new players that were added this offseason.
There are a couple of interesting names on the list, including Arizona Fall League standout shortstop Max Muncy, and Athletics’ 2023 first-round pick Jacob Wilson.
After the graduation of Tyler Soderstrom, MLB Pipeline has Wilson ranked as the Athletics’ top-rated prospect. The shortstop had a strong debut in 2023, hitting .318/.378/.455 with just a 10% strikeout rate in High-A.
Additional prospects ranked on MLB Pipeline’s list heading to A’s spring training include Muncy, catcher Daniel Susac, righty Jack Perkins, infielder Brett Harris, infielder Cooper Bowman, and outfielder Max Schuemann.
Wilson is certainly the most intriguing of the group, having just 26 professional games under his belt. It’s unlikely that he’d make the roster coming out of spring training, given his age and time in the system, but the front office likes him enough to give him some extended looks in the spring.
Two non-roster invites who could make the Opening Day roster
If there’s a player most likely to surprise us by making the roster, it’s probably Muncy. He spent over half the season at Double-A, hitting .302/.387/.446 with strong plate discipline. He hit well in the Fall League and wound up being voted in as one of the last players to make the Fall League All-Star game.
Based on merit alone, Muncy might not be the best candidate, given some of the other options out there. The A’s recently acquired Abraham Toro, they still owe $7 million to Aledmys Diaz, plus Darell Hernaiz and Jordan Diaz are already on the 40-man.
However, if that group of guys disappoints during spring training and Muncy gets off to a hot start, it’s within the realm of possibility that he could make the opening day roster.
Stevie Emanuels would seem to be the most likely pitcher to make the roster out of the group of guys invited. Emanuels has big strikeout numbers in the minors and he pitched to a 1.91 ERA between High-A and Double-A in 2023. Granted, that figure is based on 36 innings of work, but the talent is there and the A’s are in need of help, both in the rotation and the bullpen.
It might be the case that nobody in this group gets selected to the roster ahead of the 2024 season, but it’s a solid group of players and speaks to the depth of talent the A’s currently have in the minor leagues.