Oakland Athletics Hitting Prospects: Impact A’s a Ways Away


The Seedlings to Stars scanner takes aim at the Bay Area, where the Oakland Athletics continue to do battle with their deep-pocketed brethren in the American League West, and continue to find ways to come out on top.  This time, however, our scan didn’t pick up any immediate impact help on the horizon.  But then, people have been wrong about the A’s before.

Grant Green hopes to wear green in Oakland in the near future. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In our S2S STAT-Scans, each player is assigned a “Plate Skills Index,” which is based on the ability to “win plate appearances” (described in detail here), a “Production Index,” based on the ability to produce offense (described in detail here), and a “Composite Index,” which is a combination of the two.  Additional detail on “the three numbers,” with some examples, can be found here.

It is important to remember that age, level and position also factor into the analysis.  And note that this is a statistical analysis of the actual results, so scouting reports don’t factor into the numbers.

High Alert

Miles Head, 3b (S2S Top 115 #104) …  2013 Age: 22; 2012 Level: High-A, AA

Plate Skills: 79  Production: 115  Composite: 94

Head is not a complete hitter, but he generates enough power to make up for it.  He had 32 doubles,  8 triples and 23 homers in 2012, and anyone who reaches AA at 21 is on a fast track.  The “Plate Skills” score gives one pause (reflecting a high strikeout rate and relatively low walk rate) as to whether he’ll have long-term success in the majors.

On the Radar

Grant Green (S2S Top 115 #110) …  2013 Age: 25; 2012 Level: AAA

Plate Skills: 87  Production: 100  Composite: 87

Green played all over the diamond, including shortstop and center field, and that versatility, and just enough bat, make him a valuable asset.  Green didn’t light up our chart, but his low strikeout rate will serve him well, and he has very good power (15 HR) for a guy tagged for a middle infield/utility role.

Derek Norris, C …  2013 Age: 24; 2012 Level: AAA

Plate Skills: 104  Production: 112  Composite: 116

Norris looks to have the potential to be a solid-hitting MLB catcher.  He was limited to 58 games in 2012, but was solid at the plate in the time he had, putting up a .206 ISO and strong all-around approach.

Distant Early Warning

Addison Russell, SS …  2013 Age: 19; 2012 Level: Rookie, Short Season-A, Low-A

Plate Skills: 98  Production: 116  Composite: 114

Russell made his name in 2012, climbing up all the way to the Midwest League at 18, and hitting up a storm while doing it.  The Florida prep star was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and it didn’t take him long to show he belonged there.  Lots of exciting potential here.

Matt Olson, 1b …  2013 Age: 19; 2012 Level: Rookie, Short Season-A

Plate Skills: 94  Production: 119  Composite: 113

Olson was another jewel of the 2012 draft, taken No. 47 overall.  He made a quick name for himself, slugging .520 in rookie ball, earning a late promotion to the New York-Penn League.

Renato Nunez, 3b …  2013 Age: 19; 2012 Level: Rookie

Plate Skills: 106  Production: 128  Composite: 134

The third member of the A’s teen contingent had the strongest all-around numbers (.325/.403/.550), but all his games were at the rookie level.  But his ability to generate a big SLG figure with a low strikeout rate is a very positive indicator.

On the Whole

Oakland’s strength at the moment is in the trio of teenagers.  The guys in the upper levels look more like role players.  But Russell, in particular, looks to have great things ahead.