Oakland Athletics 2021 Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Athletics Top 50 design by @designsbypack on Twitter

The major league Oakland Athletics 2021 (so far) has been a resounding success. Their farm system, not so much. Although in recent years it has been considered a strength of the Athletics’ organization, it no longer can be considered as such. Currently, the Athletics lack a Tier 1 prospect capable of being a perennial All-Star. Could a case be made for some of the prospects? Possibly, but they are anything but a lock to become perennial All-Stars.

The strength of the system lies in the middle tier; those players will make a contribution at the major league level but will not be seeing consecutive years of All-Star teams. It will be interesting to see if the Athletics can develop some of these middling prospects into All-Stars or if they will focus on rebuilding their farm system with trades throughout the offseason.


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above-average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have a high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g., middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players of interest, worth keeping an eye on, who have an outside chance of making their team’s 40-man roster

Tier 1

1. Tyler Soderstrom, C (January rank #2)
Age: 19
Current Level: Low-A

The 2020 first-round pick has had success in Stockton during his first professional season slashing .306/.390/568 with 12 home runs and 20 doubles across 254 plate appearances and represented Oakland in the Futures Game.

Tier 2

2. Nick Allen, SS (January rank #5)
Age: 22
Current Level: AAA

The 22-year-old recently came away with the top defensive award at the U.S. Olympics but has struggled in 33 plate appearances at the Triple-A level slashing .097/.152/.097.

3. A.J. Puk, LHP (January rank #1)
Age: 26
Current Level: MLB

Five of Puk’s six appearances in 2021 have been scoreless while amassing 9 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings pitched.

4. Max Muncy, SS (January rank N/A)
Age: 18
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)

The Athletics’ 2021 first-round pick has struggled in his first six games of the professional ball but projects to be a big-league shortstop with above-average power, speed, and fielding.

5. Logan Davidson, SS (January rank #6)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA

The Athletifcs’ 2019 first-round pick has struggled to hit professional pitching and 2021 has been more of the same with Davidson slashing a paltry .214/.303/.322.

6. Daulton Jefferies, RHP (January rank #4)
Age: 26
Current Level: AAA

Jefferies had a short taste of the big leagues in 2021 but has been working his way through AAA despite struggling (.284 OBA, 1.31 WHIP). Jefferies still projects to be a mid-rotation starter.

7. Pedro Pineda, OF (January rank N/A)
Age: 17
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)

The 17-year-old international signee recently started his professional career and projects to have middle-of-the-lineup power.

8. Zack Gelof, SS (January rank N/A)
Age: 21
Current Level: Low-A

The 2021 second-round pick has gotten off to a solid start in the minors by slashing .283/.370/.370 across 46 at-bats.

9. Robert Puason, SS (January rank #7)
Age: 18
Current Level: Low-A

Puason has started his professional career struggling to hit for average but the power is showing. This is indicative of his future projections.

10. Denzel Clarke, OF (January rank N/A)
Age: 21
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)

The outfielder projects average contact and stellar power; thus far, Clarke has hit for average and a bit of power in his first 22 plate appearances (.316/.409/.579).

Tier 3

11. Jordan Diaz, 3B (January rank #18)
Age: 21
Current Level: High-A

The third basemen begins his fourth season in the lower levels of the Athletics minor league system and have yet to show much at the plate but will be looked at for his defensive prowess.

12. Luis Barrera, OF (January rank #10)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA

Barrera got a small taste of the big leagues but has spent most of the year in Triple-A hitting an average .250/.328/.352 with two home runs in 268 plate appearances.

13. Jeff Criswell, RHP (January rank #11)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A

The second-round pick from 2020 has not had much opportunity to prove his worth but he projects to bring an above-average fastball, slider, and curveball while working on a changeup that could potentially be an above-average pitch.

14. Grant Holmes, RHP (January rank #16)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA

The former Dodger farmhand has increased his strikeout rate in his second year at the AAA level but unfortunately, most of his other statistics have increased as well making for a forgettable 2021 season.

15. Tyler Baum, RHP (January rank #8)
Age: 23
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)

The 23-year-old has had a forgettable second professional season but is dealing with an undisclosed injury.

16. Junior Perez, OF (January rank #14)
Age: 20
Current Level: Low-A

The powerful outfielder has had a sluggish season at the Low-A level but with an increased strikeout percentage and a much lower ISO this year than last (.244 compared to .141).

17. Jonah Bride, 3B (January – unranked)
Age: 25
Current Level: AA

The third basemen projects to move slowly through the system but has plenty of room to fill out and garner some special raw power as he works his way towards the majors.

18. Brayan Buelvas, OF (January rank #19)
Age: 19
Current Level: Low-A

The speedy outfielder is beginning to realize his power and prowess at the plate with 12 HR this year against better pitching as a 19-year-old.

19. Kyle McCann, C (January rank #29)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA
The powerful catcher has shown he can keep his power against better pitching at the Double-A level but his inability to make contact will become an enormous issue at the big league level.

20. Lazaro Armenteros, OF (January rank #20)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A

Armenteros is getting old for his current level and he may realize it but his bad does not as his slash line is concerning for a second full season at the High-A level (.189/.252/.252).

21. Buddy Reed, OF (January rank #27)
Age: 26
Current Level: AAA

Reed is about ready to contribute as a fourth or fifth outfielder for the Oakland Athletics with his defense and speed although we would like to see more than two stolen base attempts in 80 plate appearances.

22. Austin Beck, OF (January rank #17)
Age: 22
Current Level: AAA

The 2017 first-round pick is struggling against his first taste of Triple-A pitching (.150/.227/.600 in 22 plate appearances) but the Athletics know it is put up or shut up time for Beck and his status as a serviceable major leaguer.

23. Jack Weisenburger, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA

With this plus fastball and slider getting their first taste of Double-A hitting, Weisenburger will need to adjust as his numbers are all going in the wrong direction.

24. Miguel Romero, RHP (January rank #28)
Age: 27
Current Level: AAA

Romero, like others on the list, is experiencing a decline in 2021 and it is not pretty with the strikeout rate going down and homerun rate increasing leading to bad cumulative statistics.

25. Brian Howard, RHP (January rank #31)
Age: 26
Current Level: AAA

The 6’9″ starting pitcher is projected to be an innings eater in the majors and has shown slight improvement with a decreased home run rate while doing a terrific job of stranding runners at a 54.5% rate.

26. Colin Peluse, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 23
Current Level: High-A

The former ninth-round pick has shown to be a solid starter with 80 1/3 innings across 14 starts while striking out about nine batters per nine innings.

27. Parker Dunshee, RHP (January rank #33)
Age: 26
Current Level: AAA

The starter is currently on the injured list with a collar one issue but prior to that he was pushing for some innings in the majors with 26 strikeouts across 26 1/3 innings pitched.

28. Cody Thomas, OF (January – unranked)
Age: 26
Current Level: AAA

Projected to be an AAAA-type player, Thomas is mashing with 18 home runs and a .289/.363/.665 slash line in 245 plate appearances while increasing his walk percentage to his highest rate since 2016.

29. Jeremy Eierman, SS (January rank #26)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA

The 24-year-old shortstop has shown enough improvement at the Double-A level to continue to project as a serviceable major leaguer with above-average power and average tools otherwise.

30. Lawrence Butler, 3B (January – unranked)
Age: 21
Current Level: Low-A

The former sixth-round pick has shown tremendous power with 17 home runs in 396 plate appearances will reaching base 36% of the time.

31. Michael Guldberg, OF (January – unranked)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A

The 2020 third-round pick is holding his own at the High-A level with a .259/.347/.420 slash line and an above-average 113 wRc+.

Tier 4

32. Jorge Juan, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A

Projected as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, Juan was showing improved strikeout ability but had struggled in most other areas before going down with an injury.

33. Brady Feigl, RHP (January rank #32)
Age: 25
Current Level: AA

Feigl’s above-average command is showing through with increase strikeout rats, decreased walk rate while stranding 71.7% of runners.

34. CJ Rodriguez, C (January – unranked)
Age: 21
Current Level: Low-A

The catcher has one home run and one double in 23 plate appearances during the 2021 season.

35. Drew Swift, 2B/SS (January – unranked)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A

The 22-year-old middle infielder has gotten on base at a 38% rate with one home run and ten runs scored across 35 plate appearances.

36. Jhoan Paulino, SS (January – unranked)
Age: 20
Current Level: AA

Currently, at AA, the young shortstop has struck out at an alarming rate and is clearly overmatched.

37. Wandisson Charles, RHP (January rank #21)
Age: 24
Current Level: AA

Sporting a plus fastball and above-average secondary pitches, Charles has yet to pitch during the 2021 season due to an undisclosed injury.

38. Stevie Emanuels, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 22
Current Level: High-A

The 6-foot 5-inch pitcher has thrown 27 1/3 innings across six starts in his first professional season but has struggled with limiting home runs (6 home runs allowed along with 20 runs).

Tier 5

39. Aiden McIntyre, RHP (January rank #39)
Age: 26
Current Level: AA

The former 22nd round pick has progressed nicely through the system and 2021 is no different with McIntyre limiting home runs allowed and striking out 11 batters per nine innings while dealing with bad luck (.322 BABIP).

40. Jose Mora, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 24
Current Level: High-A

The 23-year-old and his plus slider have been stuck in A ball purgatory for the last four seasons and this year has seen Mora struggle consistently.

41. James Gonzalez, LHP (January – unranked)
Age: 20
Current Level: High-A (IL)

In only two games, the reliever has struck out five batters and walked two across eight innings leading to a future long-reliever role in the majors.

42. T.J. Schofield-Sam, 1B/3B (January – unranked)
Age: 20
Current Level: High-A

In a small sample size, Schofield-Sam has shown increased power at the plate while being able to use all fields almost equally; definitely, a name to keep an eye on.

43. Marty Bechina, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 24
Current Level: AAA

Bechina is sniffing the majors but will need to get over his struggles at Triple-A which show him striking out almost 40% of the time.

44. Will Simoneit, C/1B (January rank N/A)
Age: 24
Current Level: High-A

The 24-year-old projects as future power from the bench but his 24.1% K rate will have to go down despite a nice 108 wRC+ over 295 plate appearances.

45. Jose Morban, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 23
Current Level: Low-A (IL)

A 14.7 K/9 in Rookie ball is eye-opening, but he’s struggled with command in A-ball.

46. Mason Miller, RHP (January rank N/A)
Age: 19
Current Level: Not assigned

This third-round pick has seen velocity hit the mid to high 90’s coming out of Gardner-Webb and projects to be as high as a number two starter.

47. Grant Holman, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 25
Current Level: AAA

The starter/reliever has dramatically increased his strikeout rate but continues to struggle with balls in play dropping for a hit (.413 BABIP).

48. Brett Harris, 3B (January – unranked)
Age: 23
Current Level: High-A

Harris’ power has shown through in his first full season of professional ball with a whopping .303 ISO and 135 wRC+ across 36 plate appearances.

49. Jake Suddleson, OF (January – unranked)
Age: 23
Current Level: AA

The 23-year-old outfielder has shown the ability to hit for power and possibly be a bench bat with 10 home runs across two levels.

50. Mitch Myers, RHP (January – unranked)
Age: 22
Current Level: Rookie (ACL)

The former Pittsburgh Panther starter is coming off a 13 start season in which he pitched 81 1/3 innings and struck out 83 on his way to being drafted in the 12th round by the Oakland Athletics in 2021.




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