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Oakland A’s farm system ranked 6th by MLB Pipeline

The Oakland A’s rebuilding project took a big step forward this summer. The team traded several veterans including Sonny Gray and Sean Doolittle, and also scored a strong draft class. With all of that new talent added to the minor league system, MLB Pipeline ranked the A’s farm sixth-best in the sport in their post-deadline update.

  1. White Sox
  2. Braves
  3. Padres
  4. Yankees
  5. Rays
  6. A’s
  7. Phillies
  8. Brewers
  9. Astros
  10. Dodgers

Oakland actually has the fewest Top 100 prospects of any team on that list, which goes to show the depth lying just below the surface in the 100-200 range. Still, there’s top-level talent too:

37. Franklin Barreto, SS
39. A.J. Puk, LHP
77. Dustin Fowler, OF
91. Matt Chapman, 3B*

* Note: Chapman should graduate from prospect status in the next few days.

With all of the new names, the next obvious question is what the club’s top prospect list looks like now. We won’t vote on our new Community Prospect List for months yet, and there could still be moves before then that change things further, but here’s a look at how MLB Pipeline sorted them at the midseason update (click here for full Top 30). Players from the 2017 draft or trade deadline are in bold:

  1. Franklin Barreto, SS
  2. A.J. Puk, LHP
  3. Dustin Fowler, OF
  4. Matt Chapman, 3B (graduating soon)
  5. Jorge Mateo, SS
  6. Austin Beck, OF
  7. Jesus Luzardo, LHP
  8. Lazaro Armenteros, OF
  9. Logan Shore, RHP
  10. Grant Holmes
  11. James Kaprielian, RHP
  12. Sean Murphy, C
  13. Nick Allen, SS
  14. Yairo Munoz, IF
  15. Sheldon Neuse, 3B
  16. Matt Olson, 1B/OF
  17. Kevin Merrell, SS
  18. Greg Deichmann, OF
  19. Max Schrock, 2B
  20. Dakota Chalmers, RHP

That’s nine new additions making the Top 20, though it helps that five players graduated off the preseason version (Cotton, Montas, Gossett, Pinder, Maxwell). Once Chapman falls off the list next week, half the Top 10 will be 2017 additions. (RHP Heath Fillmyer will be next up to take the No. 20 spot.)

I gave the prospect list some thought, and here’s where I ended up differing for now. First, I have Olson in my Top 10 — as far as I’m concerned, he conquered Triple-A in his repeat visit and is an MLB-ready slugger with defensive value. I know not everyone agrees with that. I also have Kaprielian higher because I’m simply gambling that he’ll recover. Luzardo, Shore, and Neuse are a few spots lower on my version and Chalmers is off entirely, while Schrock is higher (duh) and Renato Nunez still makes mine. But that’s just a snapshot in time and could change with further consideration.

And of course, all of this still didn’t include some of the other youngsters already on the MLB roster, like Manaea, Healy, Blackburn, Brugman, and Dull. It feels cliche at this point to say about the A’s, but dang, the future is getting bright.

Bonus: Check out Baseball America’s midseason update for the A’s system. It doesn’t include the Sonny trade, but Fowler would rank 3rd based on their Top 100 midseason update (he’s just ahead of Chapman on that list).

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