Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12) | 2009 (3) | 2008 (27)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [94-68] AL West
AAA:  [86-58] Pacific Coast League — Sacramento
AA:  [64-74] Texas League — Midland
A+:  [56-84] California League — Stockton
A:  [67-72] Midwest League — Burlington (Beloit beginning 2013)
A(ss):  [33-43] New York-Penn League — Vermont

Arizona Fall League PlayersPhoenix Desert Dogs
Gary Daley (RHP); Brett Hunter (RHP); James Simmons (RHP); Max Stassi (C); Grant Green (OF)

Graduated Prospects of Note
Jarrod Parker (RHP); A.J. Griffin (RHP); Tommy Milone (LHP); Travis Blackley (LHP); Yoenis Cespedes (OF); Derek Norris (C); Josh Donaldson (C); Chris Carter (1B); Collin Cowgill (OF)

The Run Down
After graduating a slew of nice prospects in 2012, one might assume Oakland’s farm to have thinned coming into 2013.  This is not the case.  No, I think we all underestimated the depth of the Athletics’ system a year ago, and it wouldn’t be wise to sleep on this group again.  The A’s have re-stocked with some high-upside bats in the draft, and have seen seen org-guys blossom into real-deal prospects out of nowhere.  And with most of the high-impact talent concentrated in the upper-levels of Minor League Baseball, this system is especially important for fantasy purposes.       

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Michael Choice, OF:
  After a huge 2011 during which he blasted 30 homers at High-A Stockton, Choice struggled out of the gate in 2012 at Double-A, but was improving considerably in June and July before a broken hand ended his year at .286/.356/.423.  He’s praised for his enormous power, so it’s definitely concerning to see his ISO shrink from .257 in 2011 to .156 in 2012, but the time lost to injury didn’t help the matter.  Choice figures to offer 30+ HR pop and solid on-base skills from a corner OF post once he’s settled in the bigs.  Suffice to say, he’ll be a guy you’ll want.  ETA:  2013 

2.  A.J. Cole, RHP:  Cole was nothing short of awesome through 19 starts in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, but he was quite terrible in a short stint at the hitter-friendly California League.  At 6-4 and 180 lbs., the 20-year-old features some big time stuff — mid-90s fastball, plus-plus curve — and projects as a front-end starter.  ETA:  2014

3.  Dan Straily, RHP:  Y’all know I love me some Daniel Straily.  The 23-year-old came out of nowhere in 2012, posting some exciting numbers in the minors:  2.78 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 190/42 K/BB between Double and Triple-A.  He was less impressive in the majors, but not bad either:  3.89, 1.32, 32/16 in 39.1 IP.  Straily’s best attributes are outstanding makeup, great command, and a filthy changeup.  ETA:  2013

4.  Addison Russell, SS:  Oakland took Russell with the 11th overall pick in June, signed him early, and immediately placed the 18-year-old on the fast track.  After thoroughly dominating versus instructional league pitching, Russell was pushed to short-A and ended the year playing full-season ball in the Midwest League.  His first year of pro baseball looks like this:  .369/.432/.594.  ETA:  2015

5.  Grant Green, OF/2B:  Green started his pro career at shortstop, but he switched to outfield in 2011.  Now he’s playing second base in the Arizona Fall League, but it doesn’t really matter where he plays, because it’s his bat that’s going to bring him to the majors.  Over a full year at Triple-A, Green hit .296/.338/.454 with 15 HR and 13 SB in 2012.  ETA:  2013

6.  Miles Head, 1B:  The California League is a wonderful place to hit, and Head seemed to enjoy it.  He hit .382/.433/.715 with 18 homers in just 67 games at Stockton.  The 21-year-old fell back to earth after reaching Double-A, but the plus-plus power projection has been established.  ETA:  2014

7.  Sonny Gray, RHP:  The 2011 first-rounder reached Triple-A in just his second year as a pro, but throughout his pro career his stuff has impressed far more than his production.  Oakland would surely like to see the 23-year-old put up some better numbers in a full year at Triple-A.  ETA:  2014

8.  Brad Peacock, RHP:  Peacock had an abysmal 2012 at Triple-A.  The 24-year-old posted an ERA at [vomits] 6.01 and a WHIP at 1.58.  He still managed to miss bats at a decent rate, but folks around baseball are obviously concerned.  ETA:  2013

9.  Michael Taylor, C:  With a crowded outfield ahead of him, and top-prospect Michael Choice knocking on the big league door, Taylor’s opportunity appears to be limited.  His overall outlook, however, remains pretty decent.  The big, athletic outfielder will be 27 next season, which is ancient in the world of prospects, but he brings a solid hit tool and a fantastic approach.  That combination should earn him a job in the bigs somewhere, sometime soon.  ETA:  2013

10.  Daniel Robertson, 3B:  The A’s took Robertson out of high school with the 34th overall pick in June, and immediately started easing the young infielder from shortstop to third base.  He’s off to a slower start than fellow 2012 first-rounder Addison Russell, but scouts gush over his makeup.  Oakland fans must be excited at the idea of a Russell/Robertson left side of the infield in coming years.  ETA:  2016

  1. The Vaporizers says:

    How close was Renato Nunez to making this list? I expected to see him here

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:

      @The Vaporizers, It was between Nunez & Robertson for #10… I gave Robertson the nod because, right now, he seems a safer bet to reach his ceiling (although Nunez’s ceiling is probably the higher of the two). Love the tools & the upside & I’d love to see him open 2013 in full-season ball. Could be a top-5 guy next year if he hits well at Beloit.

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