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Here are the Athletics' 2019 Top 30 Prospects

@JonathanMayo
February 22, 2019

A lot of things went right for the A's in 2018. After three straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the A's won 97 games and returned to the postseason for the first time since 2014. Most of the playoff roster came via trades (though Matt Chapman and Matt Olson

A lot of things went right for the A's in 2018.

After three straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the A's won 97 games and returned to the postseason for the first time since 2014. Most of the playoff roster came via trades (though Matt Chapman and Matt Olson remain homegrown cornerstones). While those deals largely weren't of the blockbuster variety, they did thin out the depth down on the farm.

Top 30 Prospects lists
AL East BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
NL East ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WSH
AL Central CLE, CWS, DETKC, MIN
NL Central CHC, CIN, MIL, PIT, STL
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX
NL West ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
Division Team
Breakdown of all 30 team lists

The good news is there's a lot of impact talent just about ready to hit Oakland. It starts with Jesus Luzardo, who has developed into the best left-handed pitching prospect in the game and is the best symbol of good trades the A's made when they were sellers, as he came to the organization in the July 2017 trade of Sean Doolittle to the Nationals (No. 9 prospect Sheldon Neuse also came in that deal).

Those last-place finishes afforded the A's some high Draft picks (17 of the Top 30 are A's draftees) and they've shown a willingness to roll the dice in the first round. Kyler Murray was the No. 9 pick in the Draft last June and he'd be one of the best athletes in the sport had he chosen to stay. Instead, it looks certain that he's headed to the NFL. In 2017, the A's went with an athletic high school outfielder in Austin Beck, who has tools, but a long way to go. A.J. Puk was a sound choice in 2016 and he was ready to make a quick leap to the big leagues until Tommy John surgery intervened.

While there's confidence Puk will come back strong, he is part of a theme in this organization. There are a number of injury question marks that, if answered, would give the organization some serious pitching depth. If Puk and fellow 2016 draftee Daulton Jefferies return from elbow surgery, if Grant Holmes returns from his rotator cuff injury and if James Kaprielian can stay on the mound, the upper levels of the system should give the big league team some options.

Here's a look at the A's top prospects:

1) Jesus Luzardo, LHP

2) A.J. Puk, LHP

3) Sean Murphy, C

4) Lazaro Armenteros, OF

5) Austin Beck, OF

Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2018 preseason list to the 2019 preseason list.

Jump: Luis Barrera, OF (2018: NR | 2019: 13) -- Maybe the most improved prospect in the system, as his improved approach led to big gains with the bat.

Fall: James Naile, RHP (2018: 25| 2019: NR) -- Spent most of the year in Triple-A, but got hit hard and didn't miss many bats.

Best tools

Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 55 -- Jameson Hannah

Power: 55 -- Lazaro Armenteros (Greg Deichmann, Jeremy Eierman)

Run: 80 -- Jorge Mateo (Dairon Blanco)

Arm: 70 -- Sean Murphy

Defense: 65 -- Nick Allen (Sean Murphy)

Fastball: 70 -- A.J. Puk

Curveball: 60 -- Grant Holmes

Slider: 65 -- A.J. Puk

Changeup: 60 -- Jesus Luzardo

Control: 60 -- Jesus Luzardo

.

How they were built

Draft: 17 | International: 7 | Trade: 6

Breakdown by ETA

2019: 11 | 2020: 5 | 2021: 11 | 2022: 3

Breakdown by position

C: 2 | 1B: 1 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 2 | SS: 6 | OF: 8 | RHP: 7 | LHP: 3

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.