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2013 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Recap: Oakland A’s

USA team left fielder Michael Choice
USA team left fielder Michael Choice

July 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; USA team left fielder Michael Choice (14) at bat in the second inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

If you are in a Dynasty/Keeper Fantasy Baseball League there’s a bigger emphasis on adding, scouting, searching, and trading for players who will not only help you for this season, but for many seasons to come. A great way to look for good, long-term talent is by keeping an eye on Minor League Baseball (MiLB). It’s frustrating to have young ball players around because you experience their growing pains firsthand on your team, but the long-term rewards could be very beneficial, especially if you get to keep most of your young players from one season to the next. Here’s a look at the Oakland A’s prospects. 

Be sure to check out our prospects’ review of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

[Disclaimer: The players listed are based on the research I undertook entering the 2013 season. Players who were worth monitoring all season long are based on the paradigm I used to rank my 2012 prospects’ list with an emphasis on being called up sooner rather than later and the impact each player might make in terms of fantasy baseball. However, unlike in years past, I actually selected a few dark horse, low-level prospects with high potential who were still years away from coming close to making an impact to their big league clubs. Players currently with their Major League Baseball team will not be reviewed in this series].

Michael Choice–OF–2014 (ETA)

2013 Outlook:  According to MLB.com he has “Raw power; swings and misses a lot, but can draw a lot of walks, too; chance to be a better all-around hitter” than most people think.

Player

League

PA

HR

RBI

2B

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Michael Choice

AAA

539

14

82

24

62

111

.303

.390

.451

It seems as if Choice is coming along nicely and it seems that the preseason outlook has come to fruition this season. The only concern is that the A’s seem to be hesitant on calling him up any time soon due to financial reasons and the fact that the A’s have depth in the outfield. Nevertheless, it seems that Choice has nothing left to prove in the minors anymore, even making this year’s Triple-A All-Star Team. He will be 24 for Opening Day 2014, but it seems that as far as polished outfielders go, he is a top Choice for your team.

Addison Russell–SS–2015

2013 Outlook: 19; power bat; can be good all-around hitter; Average speed, but aggressive runner; working on hitting offspeed stuff.

Player

League

PA

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Addison Russell

A+

444

15

55

15

50

104

.273

.365

.513

So far, so good for Russell as he has done a tremendous job leaving his mark in Hig-A ball. It resulted in him making the 2013 Futures Game. He’s even been bestowed a couple of titles by California League managers and coaches:

  • Best Batting Prospect
  • Most Exciting Player

Up to now Russell has lived up to all the hype and then some. However, with current “Moneyball” type player Jed Lowrie manning shortstop with a possibility of him returning for next season (and they still have Hiroyuki Nakajima and his two-year deal to get through as well) the ETA of 2015 might be a lot more realistic even among the most optimistic fans. Regardless, if you have room and the patience to wait it out, Russell is a wonderful, top-five option at short.

Renato Nunez–3B–2016

2013 Outlook: Potential to hit for both power and average; decent approach; Lack of speed might force him to first base.

Player

League

PA

HR

RBI

2B

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Renato Nunez

A

494

19

83

24

26

122

.266

.311

.442

The power is definitely there, but the approach and discipline is lacking. Even the slugging percentage is a bit subpar, but Nunez is only 19-years-old and has time to mature. Obviously, his lack of speed will not only affect his base running, but there is concern about him being a defensive liability as even Keith Law is not too sure about Nunez’s glove, or lack thereof. One thing is for sure, Nunez can hit and if your league allows it, definitely take a flyer on Nunez on his power alone.

LISTED IN 2013 PRESEASON: Nolan Sanburn–P–2015

Sanburn had a lot of command issues in 2012, but did sport a K/9 of 9.2 and BB/9 of 2.9. Despite having a mid-90s fastball to go along with a “nasty curve,” Sanburn was thought to be more of a relief pitcher than a starting pitcher. Sure enough, in 2013, he’s seen more action out of the bullpen. Because of this, he’s dropped from fantasy relevance, but his raw stuff makes him an appealing option of sorts. If he ever gets a chance to start again or even close for the big club, he would make for an interesting choice somewhere down the line.

LOOK OUT FOR: Raul Alcantara–P–2015

Alcantara missed the preseason cut, but at only 20-years-old and still lanky, he has a lot of development to undertake. His fastball sits in low-90s, but he might be able to raise the velocity as he continues to work on his craft. Unfortunately, his secondary pitches lack polish so fantasy leaguers should not hold their breath for Alcantara to come up any time soon. Nevertheless, he’s having a great 2013 campaign and that alone makes him a pitcher that owners should keep an eye on as he progresses.

The Oakland A’s do not really have a top-notch farm system as their top 10 isn’t full of future superstar players. However, the thing that we should appreciate about the A’s is their ability to develop major league players that are ready to step in when called up. Last year alone they were able to march toward the playoffs with a lot of “no-name” rookies in their pitching rotation. That thought alone should keep long-term fantasy baseball owners continually looking at this franchise for sneaky, good talent.

Scouting Reports courtesy of mlb.com, baseballprospectus.com, and baseballamerica.com

Stats courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and are good through August 18, 2013.

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