SEATTLE -- Hope for a brighter future exists within their organization with several top prospects off to strong starts in the Minors. Here’s a look at some standouts from each level of Oakland’s farm system, with input from A’s assistant general manager and director of player personnelBilly Owens:
Triple-A Las Vegas
Zack Gelof has quickly brushed off a shoulder injury that sidelined him at the start of the regular season. Through 30 games, all of which have come while playing second base, Gelof is hitting .283 with a .893 OPS, 10 doubles and three homers. Speed is also showing up as a quality tool with 12 stolen bases.
Owens: “His plate discipline has taken a surge forward. He’s a plus athlete that has transitioned well to second. Power will emerge at the top level. Just great makeup, attitude and intangibles.”
Lawrence Butler left quite the impression in what was his first big league Spring Training. That success has translated over to Double-A, where the outfielder is batting .306 with a .844 OPS and is tied for the team lead in doubles (10) and homers (4) through 35 games.
Owens: “He continues to build a strong resumé. The numbers and approach continue to improve. His positive energy and overall enthusiasm are a shining light. Impressive combination of power, speed and plate discipline. Law is a ton of fun to watch.”
Brett Harris flew a bit under the radar on the prospect scene despite a solid 2022 campaign. That’s no longer the case in ‘23, as the third baseman leads Midland with a .430 on-base percentage while batting .310 with a .918 OPS over 34 games.
Owens: “Brett is gaining deserved national notoriety. He’s the type of guy that keeps showing up positively on film. Short swing. Keen eye. Emerging damage with the bat. Productive plate appearances. Defensively, he’s very strong at the hot corner with a dependable glove. Great feet. Strong, accurate arm. Good athlete. Crazy range and creativity on pop-up. He’s versatile. His best position is third base, but he’s capable at second. That plus athleticism and coordination allow him to be successful defensively anywhere on the diamond.”
Daniel Susac has adjusted quickly in his first full season of pro ball. The A’s 2022 first-round Draft pick holds a .823 OPS through 35 games and his showing some of that touted raw power with eight doubles and three homers.
Owens: “He’s off to a great start. Hitter-ish characteristics and emerging power. Improved pitch selection and plate discipline. Defensively, he’s got soft hands, good mobility and a strong arm. I think he has a chance to be one of the better two-way catching prospects in MLB.”
Henry Bolte opened some eyes during a pregame workout at the Coliseum shortly after signing with the A’s as their 2022 second-round Draft pick by bashing several balls over the fence during batting practice. In his first taste of Single-A, the 19-year-old is more than holding his own, batting .274 with six doubles, a triple and a homer over his first 23 games.
Owens: “He’s showing flashes and signs of his enormous potential. High-caliber athlete. Loud sounds come off his bat. Patient approach. He’s making adjustments. Drawing a ton of walks for his age and profile. Great attitude and positive makeup. He’ll be a fun player to watch mature going forward."