The Oakland Athletics might have stumbled onto gold in Brennan Milone, drafting him in the 6th round of the 2022 MLB Draft. While in 2022 he mostly just showed his potential to be a contact hitter with a good walk-to-strikeout rate, in 2023 he has done nothing but dominate.
In 2023, he has played at Single-A and A+ and has added much, much more power. So far in his short career, he has been a very consistent player health-wise and with the ability to keep adapting to new levels. At Single-A, he played in 61 games and hit .305 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs, which is even more impressive when you add on his 39 walks to 44 strikeouts.
His On-Base Percentage is .413, but when combining his batting average and on-base, it makes an amazing OPS of .931. While he is still at a lower level in the Minor Leagues, this shows his potential.
Since moving up to A+, he has struggled but is still playing at an elite level in 52 games. In those 52 games, he has 7 home runs and 31 RBIs. While his strikeout rate has increased, so has his walk rate with 33 walks to 47 strikeouts. His batting average is .261 with a .381 On-Base Percentage creating an OPS of .836.
Many Oakland fans are tired of the expression "He's a Moneyball Player," but that fits the description perfectly for Milone. A stat that shows his abilities perfectly is wRC+ which credits hitters with the value of each outcome in a plate appearance such as walks, hits, hit-by-pitch, etc. This recent offseason, Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates got a lot of Attention. In his whole career, his peak wRC+ was 139 with 111 in 2023.
Milone isn't even a Top 30 prospect in the Athletics' system but has never finished a minor league season with lower than 113. In Single-A to start the season, he had a wRC+ of 148, which is about what Juan Soto has registered in 2023 with his 144. While he has declined quite a bit according to usual stats in A+, he has only declined to 136, meaning even with his struggles, he still creates 36% more runs than the average player.
In 2023, at both Single-A and A+, he has played in 114 games, going up to bat 488 times, seeing 1,967 pitches. Of those, he averages 4.03 pitches per appearance, meaning if he gets up 4 times in a game, he would see at least 16 pitches, which is necessary in driving up pitch counts and getting a pitcher out of the games early.
Another player who happens to be around the same level of driving up pitch counts is Juan Soto, who in 144 games, seeing 2,583 pitches, averages 4.11 pitches per appearance.
While I'm not saying Brennan Milone is going to be the next Juan Soto or anything like that, he deserves more attention than scouts and management are giving him. He has been a consistent player in 2023 and should be moving through minor league levels faster for a rebuilding team.