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Oakland Athletics: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Oakland Athletics will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

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Quick Synopsis

The Oakland Athletics club is the only team in Major League Baseball that can challenge the Chicago White Sox for the most MLB-ready, impact prospects.

1. Jesus Luzardo, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 8
2020 Prospect Rank: 5
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

Luzardo has the makings of a staff ace for the A’s thanks to the potential for better-than-average command/control and four above-average pitches. The big concern with this young lefty is the checkered injury history; he had a serious shoulder injury that went through rehab rather than surgery.

2. A.J. Puk, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 21
2020 Prospect Rank: 16
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Puk is in a similar boat as Jesus Luzardo above, as the hard-throwing right-hander comes back from a serious elbow injury. With Tommy John surgery now in the rearview mirror, he should be able to focus on building his durability and stamina back up. Puk is another player that has the potential to develop into a top-of-the-rotation arm with an upper-90s fastball and three above-average offerings.

3. Sean Murphy, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 23
2020 Prospect Rank: 11
2020 LEVEL: MLB
MLB ETA: 2020

If not for an injury, Murphy may have hit 30 home runs in 2019. As it was, split between the Majors and minors, he slugged 15 home runs in 61 games. And he’s not just a slugger. Murphy has shown some all-around skill as a hitter, too. He’ll take a walk while keeping the strikeouts to a minimum. He should have no real challengers to the everyday gig in Oakland once baseball starts up again.

4. Sheldon Neuse, 3B/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 99
2020 Prospect Rank: 23
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Neuse has been stuck in Triple-A for the past two years and, despite strong offensive numbers, is still not guaranteed a regular gig in Oakland when the pandemic delay is over. He’s a powerful player -- as witnessed by his 27 home runs in 126 Triple-A games last year -- but he struggles with consistency. He racks up the strikeouts and that could eventually lead to a lower-than-ideal batting average. Fortunately, he’s been known to take a walk which helps offset the swing-and-miss. He’s not a great fielder but his versatility could be a significant benefit in fantasy baseball.

5. Jorge Mateo, SS/OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 170
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Mateo looked poised for a big 2019 but he remained relatively stalled with putrid plate discipline (29-145 BB-K rate). There are serious questions about his ability to ever develop into an everyday player because good pitching will eat him alive. Still, his plus speed and raw power remain incredibly intriguing. He’s also shown the ability to play both shortstop and in the outfield, which could be very handy even if he ends up as a part-time or platoon player.

6. Robert Puason, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 192
2020 LEVEL: Rookie
MLB ETA: 2024

Puason has one of the highest ceilings in the system but he’s also the farthest away — and the lost development time in 2019 did him no favors. Given more than $5 million to sign, he has a chance to develop into a power-hitting shortstop with 20+ stolen base potential.

7. Logan Davidson, SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 226
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I wasn’t a huge fan of Davidson coming out of college but the A’s took him with a late first-round selection in 2019. He struggles with making consistent contact and there should be a significant amount of swing-and-miss to his game. His value will likely be tied to how much of his raw power he can develop in game situations. On a plus side, he also showed a willingness to take a walk in his pro debut (31 in 54 games), which gives him additional intrigue in on-base leagues.

8. Daulton Jefferies, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Jefferies is another A's prospect that's been repeatedly bitten by the injury bug. The 37th overall selection in the 2016 draft, he threw just 20 innings in his first three pro seasons. The loss development time has kept him from working on his breaking ball, which remains below average. Jefferies posted a promising K-BB of 72-7 in 64 Double-A innings. He has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter or a middle reliever.

9. Nick Allen, 2B-SS

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Allen is a player that has much more real-life value than fantasy value because his great skill comes from the defensive side of his game. At 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, power will never be a big part of his game. But he’s also a fleet-of-foot athlete who could eventually steal 20+ bases if he develops into an everyday player.

10. Austin Beck, OF

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

I wasn’t a huge fan of Beck in his draft season but the A’s took him sixth overall because of tantalizing raw power and electric bat speed. He’s struggled with consistency and is not a natural hitter. It looked like things were perhaps beginning to click in 2018 but he took a step back in 2019 with a BB-K of 24-126 (a strikeout rate above 30%) in just 85 games. And Beck managed just eight home runs.  If he ever taps into his in-game power, he has 30+ home run potential and he’s still just 21.

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