The Minor League season is wrapping up in a couple of weeks and several A’s prospects continue to leave a strong lasting impression.
Here’s a look at some of the prospects who have stood out over the final stretch of 2023, with analysis from A’s assistant general manager and director of player personnel Billy Owens.
Joe Boyle, RHP
MLB Pipeline A’s Top 30 Prospects ranking: No. 22
2023 stats (Double-A Chattanooga/Midland and Triple-A Las Vegas): 25 starts, 8-8 record, 3.84 ERA, 168 strikeouts and 93 walks in 117 1/3 innings pitched
Owens: "Boyle throws flames. Ridiculous arsenal. Every fastball pushes triple digits and his breaking stuff can be devastating. Fun to watch him compete. He’s starting to get a grasp, on how to effectively unleash his electric stuff."
Colby Thomas, OF
MLB Pipeline A’s Top 30 Prospects ranking: No. 17
2023 stats (Single-A Stockton and High-A Lansing): .286/.351/.493 (.844 OPS) through 126 games, 18 home runs, 39 doubles, six triples, 82 RBIs, 25 stolen bases
Owens: "Thomas is tooled up and plays with urgency. The quality of his at-bats is improving every day. His power stands out and he can hit the ball out of the yard in any direction. His passion for the game is clearly evident. He pushes the envelope, running extremely hard on the bases and gives maximum effort defensively daily."
Brett Harris, 3B
MLB Pipeline A’s Top 30 Prospects ranking: No. 11
2023 stats (Double-A Midland and Triple-A Las Vegas): .279/.383/.424 (.807 OPS) through 105 games, nine home runs, 23 doubles, three triples, 62 RBIs, 10 stolen bases
Owens: "Harris gives [Reds third baseman] Spencer Steer vibes. He’s an impact defender at third base and possesses strong skills to be very good defensively at second base. Capable of filling in at shortstop in small doses effectively. He has a highlight reel history of catching popups in space. Offensively, Brett is making adjustments at Triple-A in what is just his second full season as a pro. Brett is high on our radar. Low-maintenance swing, grinds out at-bats and his plate discipline is sound. I see 15-20 homer potential on the big stage. He brings more substance than style but it is a skilled package."
Junior Perez, OF
MLB Pipeline A’s Top 30 Prospects ranking: Unranked
2023 stats (High-A Lansing): .237/.320/.392 (.712 OPS) through 117 games, 12 home runs, 27 doubles, two triples, 45 RBIs, 41 stolen bases
Owens: "Perez is a live-bodied specimen with high-caliber tools. His range and athleticism stand out defensively. Offensively, he can be streaky, but he has displayed plus bat speed, patience and real power. Solid package. Development is not linear. Patience will be required to realize his significant potential."
Luis Morales, RHP
MLB Pipeline A’s Top 30 Prospects ranking: No. 6
2023 stats (DSL, ACL, Single-A Stockton and High-A Lansing): 14 games (13 starts), 4.09 ERA, 53 strikeouts and 15 walks in 44 innings pitched
Owens: "Morales is an exciting, young pitching prospect. Natural moxie and feel. Loose, Projectable frame. Whip-like arm action. Throws 95-99 mph gas and has a crisp breaking ball. Fading changeup. It has been fun to watch his progress this season and it is realistic to envision Luis making a significant jump in 2024."
Will Simpson, 1B
MLB Pipeline A’s Top 30 Prospects ranking: Unranked (15th round pick by the A’s in the 2023 MLB Draft)
2023 stats (ACL and Single-A Stockton): .319/.367/.544 (.910 OPS) through 36 games, six home runs, 11 doubles, 16 RBIs
Owens: "Simpson is a big dude, with positive hitting traits, enormous power potential and sneaky effective athleticism. I get [Padres first baseman] Garrett Cooper vibes from him. He plays hard with a competitive edge. Simpson mashed 18 homers for the Washington Huskies this spring and has been very productive early in his professional career. Big Will is capable of playing a strong outfield and first base. He brings a fun prospect package of power, skills and athleticism."