Speedy outfielder heads Athletics' top prospects list

Baseball Prospectus has published their top-10 prospects list for the Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Baseball Prospectus ($) prospect team has released their list of the top 10 Oakland Athletics prospects and it has some surprising highlights.

Most outlets have pitching prospect Mason Miller at the top of the Athletics system, but BP has outfielder Denzel Clarke in the number one spot. A 2021 4th round draft pick out of Cal State Northridge, Clarke finished the 2023 season at Double-A Midland.

He played the full season with the Rock Hounds, slashing .261/.381/.496 with 12 homers and 11 steals. Throughout his career, Clarke has been a solid power-speed combo guy with strong outfield defense. He strikes out a bit too much for my liking but has posted walk rates north of 12% in all four minor league stops, so there is some plate discipline in the profile.

Clarke is likely to start the year at Double-A and should work his way up to Triple-A Las Vegas before the end of the season. He's not on the 40-man roster so some changes would have to be made in order for him to make an appearance in Oakland next year.

Mason Miller is listed at number three and is the highest ranked pitcher on the list. Luis Morales is right behind him at number four. Miller will be a vital part of the Athletics bullpen in 2024. GM David Forst has talked about moving him out of a starting role in order to preserve his health.

Morales is a 2023 international amateur signing who worked his way through four minor league levels in his professional debut. He's likely going to begin the year at High-A Lansing, considering he only pitched 7 innings there. If he performs as well as he did last year, he should earn a call-up to Double-A. He's still just 21 years old and isn't on the 40-man, so a major league debut is quite unlikely.

A couple names who landed just outside the top 10 include outfielder Henry Bolte, right-hander Gunner Hoglund, right-hander Royber Salinas, and outfielder Ryan Lasko. Bolte and Lasko are athletic outfielders with good defense and strong speed on the basepaths. Salinas is on the 40-man and has an invite to major league spring training, and Hoglund is a medium-upside reliever who is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery.