Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects (as of January 8, 2014)

Here is the list of the Top 20 Prospects of Oakland Athletics as compiled by MLB.com.  To be eligible for the list the player must have rookie eligibility.  Players cannot exceed 130 at bats or 50 innings pitches with a Major League club.  Also the player cannot be on the active roster for more than 45 days during the 25 player limit period.

1. Addison Russell
2. Michael Ynoa
3. Renato Nunez
4, Daniel Robertson
5. Matthew Olson
6. Raul Alcantara
7. Billy McKinney
8. Miles Head
9. Nolan Sanburn
10. B.J. Boyd
11. Arnold Leon
12. Drew Granier
13. Dillon Overton
14. Vicmal De La Cruz
15. Max Muncy
16. Anthony Aliotti
17. Blake Hasebrock
18. Chad Pinder
19. Dylan Covey
20. Bruce Maxwell

After the Winter Meetings and trades made by the Athletics organization this is how the Top 20 Prospect list shapes up.  Off the list are #2 Prospect Michael Choice and #17 Prospect Chris Bostick who were both traded to the Texas Rangers for Chris Gentry. Back on the list is Catcher Bruce Maxwell and new to the list is Dylan Covey who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Draft.

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Top 20 Prospects: 6. Matt Olson

Rank: #6
Drafted: 1st Round, 47th overall, 2012 June Draft out of Parkview High School (GA)
Position: First Base
Bats: L, Throws: R
2014 Team Projection: Stockton Ports

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A Look Back: 2013 Preseason Top 20 Prospects

With all of these posts about the current Top 20 Prospects in the Oakland Athletics organization, I wanted to look back at the same list only from the 2013 preseason.  We will talk about those who graduated from the list and those who have dropped off.  Here is the Top 20 Prospects list coming into the 2013 Spring Training.

1. Addison Russell
2. Dan Straily
3. Michael Choice
4. Grant Green
5. Matt Olson
6. Sonny Gray
7, Daniel Robertson
8. Renato Nunez
9. Miles Head
10. Nolan Sanburn
11. Raul Alcantara
12. Michael Taylor
13. B.J. Boyd
14. Vicmal De La Cruz
15. Bruce Maxwell
16. Arnold Leon
17. Beau Taylor
18. Drew Granier
19. Blake Hassebrock
20. Jefry Marte

When comparing this list to the current list 7 players have moved off the list.  3 players have graduated from the list and 4 players fell off.

The Graduates (3 players)
Dan Straily – After a strong rookie debut in August and September 2012, Straily was given another opportunity to show he belongs in the majors as a member of the Athletics’s starting staff. Dan made the starting rotation on Opening Day in place of Bartolo Colon who was finishing up a 50 game suspension from the 2012 season.  After Brett Anderson went down with an injury Straily made the case and remained in the starting rotation for the remainder of the season.

Grant Green – Grant was called up right around the 2013 All-Star Break and made his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics.  His tenure was uneventful and short lived.  At the trade deadline Grant was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Alberto Callaspo, a move that ultimately helped both clubs.  Grant found his stroke and started to get plenty of playing time proving that he does belong in the Majors.

Sonny Gray – Sonny was called up around the same time as Grant Green and the results were the polar opposite.  He excelled in 2 relief appearances prior to making his 1st MLB start. One of the memorable moments from the 2013 season for Sonny was his 1st Postseason battle vs. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. Gray matched him pitch for pitch with the Athletics winning the game in walk-off fashion in the 9th inning.

Dropped Off…For Now (4 players)
Michael Taylor – The aging minor league veteran has dropped off the list due to inconsistent results at the Major League level.  Taylor is a proven hitter in the Minors, however that success has yet to translate to the Majors and with the crowded outfield situation in Oakland he may be better suited to hookup with another organization.

Bruce Maxwell – With the trade of Max Stassi in the 2012 off season Bruce became the Athletics’s top catching prospect, and at this point he still is.  Bruce may have dropped off the list, but he did not fall far.  In his 1st full season Bruce batted .275 earning a promotion from Class A to High A ball halfway through the season.  Bruce is not only a force at the plate, but behind the plate as well.  He handles a variety of pitchers very well and is quickly becoming a great game caller.

Beau Taylor – After Bruce Maxwell, Beau was the other catcher on the Top Prospect list.  He excelled in the 2012 season advancing 3 levels, Vermont Lake Monsters to Stockton Ports to Midland RockHounds in a short time.  Beau had a difficult year at the plate hitting only .191 in 76 games.  His defense behind the plate is what keeps him ranked as a Top Prospect, but just not in the Top 20.  With a strong 2014 Beau could return to the Top 20 list.

Jefry Marte – Acquired by the Athletics in December 2012 from the New York Mets, Jefry was quickly labeled as a Top 20 Prospect.  He had a strong showing in 2013 batting .278 with 17 doubles in 66 games for the RockHounds, but with the new Draft Class and stellar performance from some unlikely players, Marte dropped off the Top 20 list.

Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects

Here is the list of the Top 20 Prospects of Oakland Athletics as compiled by MLB.com.  To be eligible for the list the player must have rookie eligibility.  Players cannot exceed 130 at bats or 50 innings pitches with a Major League club.  Also the player cannot be on the active roster for more than 45 days during the 25 player limit period.

1. Addison Russell
2. Michael Choice
3. Michael Ynoa
4. Renato Nunez
5, Daniel Robertson
6. Matthew Olson
7. Raul Alcantara
8. Billy McKinney
9. Miles Head
10. Nolan Sanburn
11. B.J. Boyd
12. Arnold Leon
13. Drew Granier
14. Dillon Overton
15. Vicmal De La Cruz
16. Max Muncy
17. Chris Bostick
18. Anthony Aliotti
19. Blake Hasebrock
20. Chad Pinder

Each week leading up to Spring Training I will be profiling each of the Top 20 Prospects.

This list is subject to change based on trades, free-agent signings and other roster moves.  I will keep the list updated as best as I can.  The list is current as of October 2, 2013.

Snappers lose Game 3 9-5 to River Bandits

The Beloit Snappers clearly did not want their season to end this way.  Coming into play on Monday night they were one game away from heading to the Midwest League Championship.  All they had to do was get past the Quad Cities River Bandits.  The Snappers would stumble out of the gate.  By the middle of the 3rd inning the Snappers were down 5-0.

The early runs would prove to be difficult to overcome, but that did not stop the Snappers from trying.  They would tack on 1 run in each of the 3rd and 5th innings.  In the 3rd Sam Roberts homered to right field.  In the 5th, back to back doubles by Brett Vertigan and Nick Rickles would add another.

By the time the Snappers would show their offensive prowess it was too little too late.  Down 9-2 going into the bottom of the 8th inning the Snappers would put up a 3 spot on the River Bandits.  Three consecutive singles loaded the bases with no outs.  Matt Olson would draw a walk to score Aaron Shipman.  Renato Nunez would follow with a sacrifice fly.  The third run would come on a RBI single by Brett Vertigan driving in Chris Bostick.

Despite losing the series the Beloit Snappers enjoyed a very successful season in their 1st year as an Oakland Athletics affiliate.  Their overall record was 77-62 and they won their division for the first half.  Congrats to the Beloit Snappers for a great season!

Snappers hold on to defeat River Bandits 4-3 in game 2

The Beloit Snappers came out of the gate strong on Sunday in game 2 of the semifinals in the Midwest League playoffs.  In the bottom of the 1st the Snappers jumped ahead of the Quad Cities River Bandits on a 2-run home run by Chris Bostick off the River Bandits’s starter Zach Morton.  The Snappers would tack on another run when Brett Vertigan drove in Renato Nunez with a RBI single.  The River Bandits would answer with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 2nd.  In the bottom of the 2nd Chris Bostick drives in Sam Roberts to give Beloit their 4th run of the game.  This would turn out to be the deciding run as the Snappers would outlast the River Bandits and win by the score of 4-3.

Chris Bostick provided most of the offense for the Snappers on Sunday.  He went 3 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBIs.  Chris is batting .500 (8 for 16) in the postseason with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. Nolan Sanburn gets his 1st win of the postseason and Austin House records his first save.  Austin notched the win in Game 1 of the 1st round against the LumberKings in a game that went 10 innings.

The deciding game will be played Monday night at Pohlman Field.  The Snappers will start Derek De Young (8-5, 4.22 ERA) against Daniel Minor (8-3, 3.71 ERA) for the River Bandits.  Derek pitched in Beloit’s 1st game of the playoffs.  He went 4 innings giving up 1 run on just 3 hits.  Derek was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 18th round of the 2012 Draft out of Oakton Community College in Illinois.