OAKLAND -- The A’s will be sending a strong contingent to the Arizona Fall League for some extra work.
Eight prospects, including seven members of Oakland’s Top 30 Prospects list per MLB Pipeline, will take part in the AFL: right-handed pitchers Ryan Cusick, J.T. Ginn, Mason Miller and Colin Peluse, first baseman/outfielder Lawrence Butler, third baseman Zack Gelof and outfielders Denzel Clarke and Michael Guldberg.
The eight prospects will play for the Mesa Solar Sox, who will be managed by former A’s shortstop and current Double-A Midland manager Bobby Crosby, with the schedule for the six-team league getting underway on Oct. 3 and ending with the AFL Championship game on Nov. 12.
A’s assistant general manager Billy Owens, who is currently in Arizona keeping an eye on Oakland’s newest prospects in the Arizona Instructional League, provided a breakdown of what the club’s front office would like to see from each player heading to the AFL:
Cusick: Add some innings, tighten and enhance his fastball command. Recapture that breaking ball that induces swings and misses.
Ginn: Build up his innings and sharpen fastball command. Also increase his changeup usage.
Miller: Build his innings and get acclimated to upper-level hitters. He’s probably closer [to the big leagues] than he realizes.
Peluse: Fine-tune his command and really attack hitters. Sharpen his breaking stuff.
Butler: Accumulate some at-bats so he can fine-tune his approach. Also show his versatility on defense.
Gelof: He’s closer to The Show than he realizes. Just tighten and accentuate his pitch selection and showcase his dynamic athletic ability.
Clarke: Accumulate more at-bats. Tighten and accentuate his approach. Showcase his dynamic athletic ability and see upper-level players in other organizations so he can realize that his skill set and toolbox is top-shelf.
Guldberg: Accumulate at-bats and tighten his approach by picking his spots to do damage. Also showcase his plus defensive ability.