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Athletics Top 10 Prospects Heading Into 2019

Jesus Luzardo is the top prospect in the organization, where do the other top ten's fall?

Bleacher Report has the Athletics ranked as the 12th best farm system going into the 2019 season. Here’s a breakdown of their Top 10 prospects as we inch closer to Spring Training.

10. Sheldon Neuse, Third Baseman

2018 Stats (AAA-Nashville)


ABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKAVGOBPOPS
PCL4994813126355532172.263.304.661

Neuse is the 10th ranked prospect in the organization, and spent all of 2018 in the Pacific Coast League, with AAA Nashville. He’s known for being able to slap the ball all over the field, drawing comparisons to DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees, and JD Martinez of the Boston Red Sox. At 24 years old, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Neuse in Oakland at some point this season. He had a very solid 2018 campaign, and a September call-up for depth would not shock me at all.

9. James Kaprielian, Right Handed Pitcher

Kaprielian did not pitch at any level during the 2018 season. In fact, he hasn’t pitched since he was a member of the Yankees farm system, prior to having Tommy John surgery in April of 2017. Once a first round pick of the Yankees, Kaprielian has a high ceiling, but with each setback to his injured right elbow, his stock drops. The A’s acquired him in the trade that sent Sonny Gray to New York, and they’re still waiting to see what he’s got.

8. Jameson Hannah, Outfielder

2018 Stats (Class A Short Season-Vermont)

ABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKAVGOBPOPS
NYP86142441110924.279.347.731

With such a small sample size, it’s difficult to pinpoint just how highly the A’s think of the 21 year old. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 2018 Amateur Draft, and spent his first season with the Vermont Lake Monsters, of the New York-Penn League, the Athletics short season affiliate. Hannah played just 23 games this year, but is known for being a prolific base stealer, and an all around above average defender. His lateral quickness bodes well as a centerfielder, though he played all three outfield positions this past season.

7. Jorge Mateo, Shortstop/Outfielder

2018 Stats (AAA-Nashville)

ABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKAVGOBPOPS
PCL47050108171634529139.230.280.633

Like Kaprielian, Mateo was brought to Oakland in the Sonny Gray trade. A highly touted Yankees prospect at the time, this was a great get by the Athletics. The likes of Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar blocked Mateo, the inferior prospect of the three. With a need for pitching, the Yanks sent him to Oakland, along with Kaprielian and Dustin Fowler. Mateo struggled, to say the least, in his 2018 campaign with the Sounds. Known for his elite speed, he isn’t much of a hitter, but can put the ball in the gap and fly like the wind. He hit 16 triples in 131 games, but hit just .230 overall, with a .633 OPS. Not quite league average. The ceiling is sky high for the 23 year old, but he has to rebound in a big way in 2019.

6. Lazaro Armenteros, Outfielder

2018 Stats (Class A-Beloit)

ABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKAVGOBPOPS
MID29243818283936115.277.374.774

Armenteros is one of my favorite prospects in the A’s system, and that’s only a little bit because of his name. He was signed out of Cuba at just 17 years old back in 2016. He is, in my eyes, one of the 4-5 tool ballplayers that are raved about around the league. He has great hitting ability, raw power, above average speed and great overall athleticism, making him a great fit in the outfield.

5. Austin Beck, Outfielder

2018 Stats (Class A-Beloit)

ABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKAVGOBPOPS
MID4935814629426030117.296.335.719

Beck shined in his 2018 campaign with the Snappers (Class A). Not known to be a power hitter, he has excellent bat speed and the skills to put the bat on the ball with ease. His .710 OPS and .383 slugging percentage show the lack of power, but he slapped 29 doubles while hitting right under .300 this past season. He’s just 20 years old, and he has so much room to grow. He’s an exciting name in the Athletics farm, and should earn more notice this coming season.

4. Kyler Murray, Outfielder

Murray did not play for the A’s organization during the 2018 season. He was drafted in the first round of this years draft, and is currently the biggest name in the sports world. Kyler is a two sport athlete, who I covered in an earlier article. He played football at Oklahoma, and won the Heisman Trophy. He declared for the NFL draft, and is currently still undecided as to what sport he will ultimately play. The A’s have their sights set high on the 21 year old, and view him as a future star at the pro level. The hope is he decides to play baseball full-time, though a 2 sport stint seems to be the most likely option as of now. He was viewed as the most athletic prospect in the 2018 draft, and has the tools to be a solid ballplayer, if he chooses that route.

3. Sean Murphy, Catcher

2018 Stats (AA-Midland)

ABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKAVGOBPOPS
TEX25751742628432347.288.358.856

Murphy is, in my opinion, the best overall hitter in the organization. He struck out just 43 times in 257 at-bats, and hit .288 with a whopping .856 OPS in Double-A. He spent time at three levels in 2018, 2 games in Rookie ball, and after his long stint in AA, got the call to AAA toward the end of the year, where he played just 3 games. He has all the tools to be an above average big league ball player, and with the lack of catching depth at the major league level, Murphy could see time in the bigs as soon as July.

2. AJ Puk, Left Handed Pitcher

The southpaw missed all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is seen as a top of the rotation prospect that the Athletics are quite excited about. Pitching seems to be one of the weak spots on this team, so it’s a good thing their top 2 prospects are starting pitchers. It will be an important 2019 campaign for Puk. A bounce back season could propel him to Oakland sooner rather than later.

1. Jesus Luzardo, Left Handed Pitcher

2018 Stats (AA-Midland)

WLERAGSIPHHRBBKAVGWHIP
TEX732.291678.25851886.2040.97

Luzardo is the top prospect in the Athletics organization. He excelled at Double-A Midland this past year, but also saw time in AAA with the Sounds. His numbers speak for themselves. 2.29 ERA is the lowest in the system this past year, and the BB/K ratio is fantastic. Even though the sample size is somewhat small, Luzardo clearly has the tools to become a top of the rotation starter, and the A’s hope he keeps it up. He and AJ Puk could be the future of an A’s rotation that can use as much help as it can get.


Featured Photo: USA Today

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Jack Dorfsman

Marketing/Graphic Design major at Western Connecticut State University. Grew up In Stamford, CT, and practically bleed baseball.

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