Oakland Athletics Farm System Report 2015

Oakland Athletics Farm System

The 2016 Oakland Athletics Farm System Report can be found HERE

Rank #28 heading into the 2015 season
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Oakland Athletics Farm System

The Oakland Athletics offseason has been a tough one for fans as they have seen many members of the their current MLB roster AND their tops prospects sent off for trades. Dating back to mid-season last year the A’s have completed the following trades of MLB starters or prospects:

During Season: RHP Jason Hammel and RHP Jeff Samardzija to Oakland Athletics for SS Addison Russell, CF Billy McKinney, RHP Dan Straily LHP Jon Lester, LF Jonny Gomes and cash to Oakland Athletics for LF Yoenis Cespedes 1B-DH Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox for RHP Nolan Sanburn

Off-Season: 3B Josh Donaldson to Toronto Blue Jays for LHP Sean Nolin, 3B Brett Lawrie, RHP Kendall Graveman and SS Franklin Barreto. C Derek Norris and RHP Seth Streich to San Diego Padres for RHP Jesse Hahn and RHP R.J. Alvarez RHP Jeff Samardzija and RHP Michael Ynoa to Chicago White Sox for RHP Chris Bassitt, C Josh Phegley, 1B Rangel Ravelo and SS Marcus Semien. 1B Brandon Moss to Cleveland Indians for 2B Joe Wendle. C John Jaso, OF Boog Powell & SS Daniel Robertson to the Rays for 2B Ben Zobrist and SS Yunel Escobar

So that’s seven prospects that have been traded, three of which were first round draft picks (Russell, McKinney and Robertson). Addison Russell was by far the best of the bunch and should make his MLB debut this year with the Cubs. When Beane traded Russell and company for Samardzija A’s fans felt ok knowing that Robertson was to be their shortstop of the future.

That sense of comfort didn’t last long when he swapped Robertson and crew for Zobrist and Escobar. Escobar was then promptly traded for reliever Tyler Clippard. Alas, life as an A’s fan can be a roller coaster of emotions.

Assessing their current farm system, their top prospect is first baseman Matt Olson. Olson is a power-prospect who smacked 37 homers and drove in 97 runs in the hitter-friendly California League in 2014. As a slugger what’s also quite interesting is his ability to get on base. His on-base percentage was .404, he had 111 walks and struck out 137 times over 512 at-bats. Olson is the only A’s prospects in our Top 100 List.

It will be interesting to see how Olson handles Double-A in the Texas League and specifically Midland home games. Olson is a left-handed batter and there is a straight breeze that blows from right field to center every game making it damn near impossible to hit a home run to right field. Of Olson’s 37 homers last year, 21 were at home and 18 of which were to right field. If he can hit 20+ homers in that park under those circumstances that would be impressive. The A’s drafted Matt Chapman with their 2014 first-round pick. He slots in as the 4th best A’s prospect and profiles as a prototypical third baseman. Also manning the hot corner and worth mentioning is Renato Nunez (who was on the 2014 Ports team with Olson) delivered 29 home runs last year. He needs to refine his approach and get a better feel of the strike zone before he will fully blossom. In the trades the A’s picked up several young arms that could be ready during the 2015 season to hop into the rotation including LHP Sean Nolin & RHP Kendall Graveman. The talent pool for the A’s is spotty at-best as trades really decimated their farm system.