We’re more than halfway through the minor league previews, and this Nationals list was the first one I really had a hard time whittling down to fifteen names. It’s not that it’s packed with studs, it’s more that there’s lots of interesting upside. You’ve got your no brainers like Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner of course, but we also saw a big breakout with Victor Robles. There seems to be a focus on speed, toolsy outfielders with good defensive skills, and up-the-middle talent. It’s all good stuff for fantasy players, and since even your great-grandmother has heard of Giolito, I find the lower levels of this system to be a lot more interesting to talk about. Don’t believe me? She has a cross-stitching of his curveball grip. Stepping away from the farm, 2016 will be the sophomore campaign of Michael Taylor, whose power and speed will probably come cheap in drafts this year. He doesn’t have to rack up that many more hits to make his average palatable as a 4th or 5th outfielder. Hey, I managed to write the whole intro without mentioning Bryce Harper! D’oh!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12) | 2009 (3)
2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] AL West
AAA: [79-65] Pacific Coast League — Sacramento
AA: [62-78] Texas League — Midland
A+: [69-71] California League — Stockton
A: [77-62] Midwest League — Beloit
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League — Vermont
Arizona Fall League Players — Mesa Solar Sox
Ryan Dull (RHP); Omar Duran (LHP); Seth Frankoff (RHP); Bruce Maxwell (C); Max Muncy (1B); Addison Russell (SS)
Nate Freiman (1B); Stephen Vogt (C); Dan Straily (RHP); Sonny Gray (RHP)
The Run Down
The first rule of Oakland Athletics prospecting is to never write off a pitcher. These guys are going to be spending the bulk of their time pitching in the cavernous O.co Coliseum, so any starting pitching prospect who’s pushing through the Athletics system is probably worth consideration in fantasy leagues. That said, the list that follows is a little light on the pitching side of things — with arms like Sonny Gray and Dan Straily graduating their prospect status, there aren’t many high-impact starters left in this group. Michael Ynoa can certainly fill that void with a healthy year, but for now, the bulk of the fantasy excitement is focused around Addison Russell and Michael Choice.