On Friday afternoon, MLB Pipeline released their top-100 prospects list for the 2024 season. Just one Oakland Athletics' prospect made the list, with shortstop Jacob Wilson coming in at number 68.
Wilson was the A's first-round pick in last year's Rule 4 amateur draft. The A's took him 6th overall out of Grand Canyon University.
Wilson was able to jump in and make an immediate impact at the lower levels of the minor leagues. He played in 26 games between the A's rookie-league team and High-A Lansing, hitting a combined .333/.391/.475 with a homer and four steals.
MLB Pipeline gives Wilson a 55 scouting grade overall, which projects him as an above average player. He's a good contact hitter and has an advanced control of the strike zone. He's also an above average defender at short. Despite those strengths, Wilson lacks power and will likely need to add muscle and increase his exit velocities if he wants to be an above average major leaguer.
Wilson's ability to hit for contact and play defense gives him a fairly high floor and barring injuries, he should make it to the major leagues within the next couple years. He has some work to do if he wants to hit his ceiling, however.
Baseball Prospectus also included just one Oakland Athletic in their updated top-100 prospects list
BP had outfielder Denzel Clarke ranked at number 99, and did not rank Wilson. BP actually had Wilson all the way down at number 5 in the Athletics' top-10 ($), so there is some discrepancy between the two outlets on the young shortstop.
Ultimately, it'll come down to whether Wilson can beef up a bit and start making harder contact. His floor might be similar to that of Nick Madrigal of the Chicago Cubs.
Madrigal has been a utility infielder for both Chicago teams for the past four seasons. He has a career .280 batting average, but has hit just 4 home runs in 846 plate appearances. He's an excellent defender and he doesn't strike out, but his sub-1% barrel rate is in the 1st percentile across the league, and his 86.3 mph average exit velocity is well below average.
If that were to be Wilson's floor, it wouldn't be exciting but that's still a useful player. If he's able to make adjustments and start making better contact, he could end up being an everyday player on a contending team.
Whether A's fans get to see him play in Oakland before the team ships out of town is another question entirely, and one we don't have the answer to.