Shortstop rankings reminder of Robert Puason's decline
By David Hill
On Tuesday, MLB.com continued their look at the top ten prospects per position with an eye on shortstop. It may not be much of a surprise that the Oakland A's failed to have any of their shortstops make that list.
That was not supposed to be the case. The A's thought they had their shortstop of the future when they signed Robert Puason during the 2019-20 international signing period, making him one of two players to receive a bonus of $5 million or more. Puason had been compared to Tony Fernandez, lofty praise indeed for a young shortstop.
Will Robert Puason ever live up to potential for Oakland A's?
Instead, Puason has fallen flat on his face. He has produced a miserable .215/.278/.294 batting line in his 696 minor league plate appearances, hitting six homers and 26 doubles. He has drawn 48 walks while striking out a whopping 260 times.
There are still some reasons for hope. Puason had his development pushed back due to the pandemic as he was unable to get into any competitive games in 2020. He was also rushed to full season ball, a move that was predictably a disaster. He is also just 20 years old and could still put everything together.
But that was supposed to have happened by now. Jasson Dominguez, the other player in that signing class to receive a bonus of over $5 million, is one of the top prospects in the game. Puason, meanwhile, is not even on the A's top 30 prospects in their organization.
At the end of the day, the rankings do not matter. It is about how these players produce. But time is already starting to run out for Puason to become the prospect the A's hoped for, or the piece they expected in the middle of their infield.
Robert Puason has been a disappointment for the Oakland A's. Seeing the MLB.com ranking of the top five shortstop prospects just hammers that point home.