October baseball is very important. Not only are we in the middle of the Major League playoffs but it is also a chance for teams to get a jump on their offseason. The Oakland A’s have the best of both worlds as they are currently playing in the American League Division Series. They are also sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League which begins on October 8th. Here is a look at these prospects with all rankings courtesy of mlb.com.
Addison Russell-He was Oakland’s number one pick in the 2012 draft and now he is their number one-rated prospect. Russell put up insane numbers during his pro debut in 2012. As an 18-year old shortstop, he played at three levels and in 217 at-bats he hit 7 home runs and drove in 45 with a line of .369/.432/.594. Russell moved up to High Class A Stockton in 2013 and didn’t miss a beat with 17 homers and 60 RBI’s with 21 steals and a .277/.377/.508 line. Russell is listed as the #17 prospect in all of baseball and despite initial concerns about his defense at short, he has eased those fears with an above-average arm and good range. Expect him in Oakland 18 months from now.
Max Muncy-The former fifth round pick has moved nicely through the Oakland system since being drafted in 2012. The team’s #16 prospect, Muncy spent 2013 between Stockton and Double A Midland. He hit 25 home runs and drove in 100 runs with a .273/.381/.476 slash line. Although his 6 feet, 190 pound frame does not show it, he has lots of raw power. His play around first base is above average as his .991 fielding percentage indicates. Like Russell, expect Muncy to be with the A’s by the time 2015 rolls around.
Ryan Dull-Since being taken in the 32nd round of the 2012 draft, Dull has played in five levels of Oakland’s system finishing 2013 in Midland. He has appeared in 66 games, all in relief and is 7-6 with a 2.45 ERA and 24 saves. Dull has impeccable control; in 91 2/3 innings pitched, he has walked only 20 batters while striking out 125, a 6.94 to 1 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Given his rise up the A’s’ ladder, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Dull in the Big Leagues sometime in 2014.
Omar Duran-Though just 23, Duran has already spent six seasons in the Oakland system, having been signed out of the Dominican Republic. Since 2011, his work has come exclusively out of the bullpen. The lefty-throwing Duran has never advanced past A ball, rising this past season to Stockton where he went 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in 33 games covering 53 innings pitched. His walk to strikeout ratio was 2-1, however in those 53 frames, he issued 41 free passes.
Seth Frankoff-Here is another pitcher who was taken in a late round (27th in 2010) that has shown some nice promise for the A’s. Early in his Minor League career, Frankoff was used almost exclusively as a starter. In 2013, all of the right-hander’s appearances were out of the bullpen. At Stockton, he went 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 4 saves in 48 games. In 74 1/3 innings pitched, Frankoff allowed 57 hits and 23 walks while striking out 93.
David Freitas-This catcher came over from the Washington Nationals in August 2012 in the deal that sent Kurt Suzuki to DC. In 2013, Freitas spent time in Midland and Triple A Sacramento. For the season, he hit 10 home runs and drove in 30 while producing a slash line of .231/.306/.368. Freitas’s numbers jumped when he got promoted; at Sacramento, his line was .268/.355/.381 in 110 at-bats. It will be an interesting Spring Training as he will be fighting with several players to make the A’s’ roster at the catcher’s spot.
Jeff Urlaub-The 30th round selection in the 2010 draft, Urlaub has enjoyed some nice seasons in the Oakland system. In 139 career games (all out of the bullpen), he has a record of 14-11 with a 3.02 ERA and 11 saves. In 194 innings pitched, he has allowed 164 hits and 40 walks to go along with 196 strikeouts. The strikeout to walk ratio is a tidy 5.60 to 1. The lefty figures to spent the bulk of 2014 at Sacramento with a September call-up.
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