30 Teams in 30 Days: Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects

Athletics

1. Chris Carter, 1B – Carter was the top bat in the A’s system last year. He hit for average, power, and was able to get on base. He does strike out a little too much, but he’s a hitting first baseman. He finished last season at Triple A, so I think he could make a jump to the Majors this spring, although I expect that he’ll start the season in Triple A so his service clock won’t start. Daric Barton won’t hold him back.

2. Michael Taylor, OF – Taylor was the top bat for the Phillies and, shortly, the Blue Jays before landing with the Athletics. He’s got decent power and can hit for average. He’s very patient. He’s also ready for the majors and I think he’ll start in Oakland

3. Grant Green, SS – It may be a little early to rank Green this high, but his small sample in Hi-A looked pretty good. He’s got little upside other than what we’ve seen. He’ll probably start in Hi-A, but will probably move quickly if he continue to hits.

4. Tyson Ross, P – Ross is a groundball machine who gives up a few too many homers – a very rare feat. He’s got a mid-90s sinking fastball, but needs to develop secondary pitches. His K rate has decreased as he advanced, which could be a concern. If he can get command of off speed stuff, he’ll be a good mid-rotation starter.

5. Adrian Cardenas, 2B – Cardenas is a good fielder, but I think he’s got a little more work to do on offense. He’s got a decent average (.299 between Double A and Triple A). He needs to work on his base running, as he was caught stealing 6 times in 14 chances. He won’t hit for much power.

6. Max Stassi, C – Stassi was a surprise draft pick to those who think Billy Beane doesn’t like high school draftee (which is a Moneyball myth). He’s got the defensive ability to stick at catcher; he’s got an average arm and receives well. His bat is a work in progress, but he’s consistent. If he’s a decent hitter, he could be a nice addition to the A’s in the future.

7. Jemile Weeks, 2B – Weeks looks like he could have an interesting power/speed combo, but he still has a lot of work to do. First off, he was bit by the injury bug which affected his development. Next, he needs to work on his righty/lefty splits; lefties killed him last year. He won’t make it as a platoon player. Finally, he’s got the ability to stay at second, but he’s been considered careless in the field. He’ll need to focus to succeed with Oakland.

8. Sean Doolittle, 1B – Doolittle came into the A’s system as a first baseman with incredible upside. Since then, he’s been having an issue with staying healthy. I think his health has affected his power. If he can stay healthy this year, I think his power will start to show up. Defensively, he’s nothing special; I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a left fielder in a year or 2.

9. Josh Donaldson, C – Donaldson looks like a new hitter since he’s joined the Athletic Organization. He’s jumped up to Triple A last year and his numbers didn’t fall too much. He’s a line drive hitter with OK power. He walks a bit, but also strikes out a lot. He’s made progress as a catcher and has a pretty good arm; he threw out 40% of base runners last year.

10. Clayton Mortensen, P – I was sad to see Mortensen traded to the A’s for Matt Holliday. He was moved too fast through the Cardinals system, which has affected him. He’s got a standard fastball, a great sinker, a good change-up, and a weak slider – a nice arsenal for a starter. The sinker/change combo will induce a lot of groundballs, but he won’t strike out a ton. He’s easily a back of the rotation pitcher that could be as good as a #3.

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