Main League Baseball’s offseason is in full swing, and which means everybody is considering the long run. In most cities, which means subsequent season; in some, although, it means the larger image, the subsequent three to 5 years. You are both promoting wins otherwise you’re promoting hope, the previous saying goes. We right here at CBS Sports activities like to supply as a lot hope as we are able to round this time of the winter by evaluating every workforce’s farm system.
In fact, that does not imply each workforce has an equally good farm system — some, as you will discover out all through this course of, are missing in that respect. It does imply, nonetheless, that CBS Sports activities will probably be spending the subsequent few weeks analyzing the highest three prospects in every group. We outline “prospects” as retaining their rookie eligibility for the 2023 season, so if a younger participant is lacking that is seemingly why.
These lists and evaluations are shaped following conversations with scouts, analysts, and participant growth sorts. There’s additionally firsthand analysis and bias thrown into the combination. Understand that participant analysis is a tough process, and it is high quality in case you disagree with the rankings. These are opinions, they usually haven’t any actual bearing on the long run. You possibly can try our winter prime 20 listing by clicking right here.
With that in thoughts, let’s get to it by dissecting the Oakland Athletics.
1. Tyler Soderstrom, 1B/C (2023 seasonal age: 21)
Scouts have been excessive on Soderstrom’s bat since he was drafted with the twenty sixth decide in 2020. Some evaluators had been even proponents of shifting him out from behind the plate instantly, permitting him the chance to max out his offensive potential. The Athletics clearly did not share that opinion. They’ve continued to play Soderstrom at catcher, albeit whereas crosstraining him over at first base. Nevertheless the A’s divvy up Soderstrom’s defensive duties heading ahead (and the presence of Shea Langeliers on the depth chart would recommend it is not as a most-days catcher), the draw right here is his offense. He has an opportunity to be a plus hitter who contributes each common and slugging alike. Soderstrom ought to start the season in Triple-A. He might finish it within the majors.
2. Ken Waldichuk, LHP (2023 seasonal age: 25)
A part of the return on Frankie Montas, Waldichuk practically threw as many innings down the stretch for the Athletics as Montas did for the Yankees. He appeared in seven video games, compiling a 4.93 ERA mark over 34 innings whereas punching out round 23 % of the batters he confronted. Waldichuk has an extended, Bassittian arm motion, however that hasn’t prevented him from throwing strikes all through his profession. His greatest pitches are a mid-90s fastball and a sweeping slider, each of which racked up whiffs in an admittedly small pattern. He additionally throws a promising changeup and a curveball to maintain batters off stability. Collectively, that appears like a No. 3 or 4 starter. Waldichuk ought to open the 12 months within the A’s rotation.
3. Zack Gelof, 3B (2023 seasonal age: 23)
Gelof, Oakland’s second rounder in 2021, reached Triple-A in his first full skilled season after batting .271/.356/.438 with 13 dwelling runs in 87 Double-A contests. The gross sales pitch right here is that he has a large assortment of strong to solid-average instruments and a affected person strategy that lets him draw walks. The drawbacks with Gelof’s recreation are that he might not have a plus software apart from his pace, and that his eagerness to always work deep into counts resulted in a 27 % strikeout price. Add in how Gelof’s arm may play on the sunshine aspect, and there is in all probability extra draw back right here than meets the attention.