The 3 most interesting Athletics players on the Spring Breakout roster

The Oakland Athletics released their Spring Breakout roster on Thursday afternoon
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

On Thursday afternoon, the Oakland Athletics revealed their Spring Breakout roster. As a quick refresher, the Spring Breakout series is a new development from MLB where each team will play one or two games against a random opponent in a prospect showcase style event.

Teams are encouraged to put their top prospects into these rosters, which will mainly consist of guys who have not made their major league debuts. The Athletics will play just one game in the series, which is scheduled for March 15th against the Giants.

Leading the Athletics' group is 2023 first round draft pick Jacob Wilson. The young shortstop has looked sharp this spring, appearing in 5 games and knocking 3 hits in 7 plate appearances. Wilson spent the majority of 2023 at High-A Lansing, hitting .318 with an .832 OPS and strong defense at short.

Wilson has been in major league camp as a non-roster invite and will likely work his way up to Double-A before the season ends. MLB Pipeline has Wilson as the Athletics number 1 prospect, and he's ranked 68th overall.

Wilson has as bright a future as anyone else in the Athletics' system and the Spring Breakout game will be a great opportunity to face other top prospects and showcase his talents.

Another shortstop we're excited about is Darell Hernaiz, who is currently in major league camp battling for a spot on the opening day roster. Hernaiz has looked sharp in the field but hasn't had much luck at the plate in the limited sample size this spring.

Despite that, Hernaiz was excellent in Double and Triple-A in 2023. He hit a combined .321 with an .841 OPS. He stole 13 bases in 131 games and if he's able to get on base enough at the big league level, he should be able to swipe around 15 bases per year.

Hernaiz is primarily competing with Nick Allen for the major league job. Allen has reworked his swing and looked good at the plate in his limited appearances and based on his previous experience in the majors and elite defense, might have the leg up in the competition.

Regardless of how the competition plays out in the spring, Hernaiz is an exciting young player and should get some time in Oakland in 2024.

There are a number of exciting young pitchers on the roster as well but for my money, Stevie Emanuels looks as good as anyone else in camp. The 25 year old right hander split time between three levels last year and has come out strong in major league camp.

In 2023, Emanuels worked around a couple injuries and pitched to a 2.04 ERA in just under 40 innings. He struck out north of 33% of batters faced last year and is on a similar pace this spring. He's an unlikely bet to make it to Oakland in 2024, primarily based on his volume in previous seasons, but he has a high ceiling and the potential to be an impact pitcher for the A's.

Emanuels isn't ranked on MLB Pipeline's list of Athletics' prospects and Fangraphs had him ranked 41st in the A's system back in 2022. Despite the lack of love from evaluators, the performance last year speaks for itself.

If Emanuels is able to capture the success he had last year and keep the momentum moving forward, he has the talent to be an impact pitcher in the big leagues.

The full list of players and their MLB Pipeline rankings can be found here.