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Here are the A's 2020 Top 30 Prospects

@JonathanMayo
March 2, 2020

The A’s don’t have the best farm system in baseball -- most would probably put them in the middle of the pack. But most of the top prospects they do have are ready to impact the Major League roster in a big way.

The A’s don’t have the best farm system in baseball -- most would probably put them in the middle of the pack. But most of the top prospects they do have are ready to impact the Major League roster in a big way.

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

While there are many teams with more Top 100 prospects than the three the A’s currently have, the fact all three -- lefties Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk and catcher Sean Murphy -- could be the starting battery in Oakland two out of every five days is unusual. All three made it to the Majors last year in September to contribute to the playoff push, and both Luzardo and Murphy made the Wild Card roster.

That team was made up largely of trade acquisitions, including Luzardo. But while there are two other prospects in the top 10 who were acquired from other organizations, this year’s Top 30 is extremely homegrown and particularly Draft-heavy, with 17 draftees on the list. There have been some big splashes on the international market as well: Keep an eye on No. 4 prospect Robert Puason, who is a player who should be coming up in Top 100 conversations very soon once he starts his pro career.

He, obviously, is very far away, but there’s a lot of talent pooling up at the upper levels. Perhaps none will be as impactful as the trio of Luzardo, Puk and Murphy, but half of this list has the chance to contribute to the A’s effort to win the AL West in 2020. And that can happen in more than one way. The trio of Top 100 prospects are expected to be starters, while others will be called on to fill gaps along the way. Finally, some might be used as trade bait to bring in the big leaguers the front office deems necessary for another postseason run.

Here's a look at the A’s top prospects
1) Jesus Luzardo, LHP (MLB No. 12)
2) Sean Murphy, C (No. 33)
3) A.J. Puk, LHP (No. 60)
4) Robert Puason, SS
5) Nick Allen, SS
Complete Top 30 list »

Biggest jump/fall

Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2019 preseason list to the 2020 preseason list.

Jump: Jonah Heim, C (2019: 28 | 2020: 11) -- Playing with renewed energy, Heim’s offensive game really caught up to his work behind the plate in 2019.

Fall: Lazaro Armenteros (2019: 4 | 2020: 19) – He still has incredible tools, but he struck out an astounding 227 times in 2019.

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 -- Brayan Buelvas
Power: 55 -- Greg Deichmann (Lazaro Armenteros, Jeremy Eierman, Kyle McCann)
Run: 80 -- Jorge Mateo
Arm: 70 -- Sean Murphy
Defense: 65 -- Nick Allen (Sean Murphy, Buddy Reed)
Fastball: 70 -- A.J. Puk
Curveball: 60 -- Grant Holmes
Slider: 65 -- A.J. Puk
Changeup: 65 -- Jesus Luzardo
Control: 60 -- Jesus Luzardo

How they were built
Draft: 17 | International: 6 | Trade: 7

Breakdown by ETA
2020: 15 | 2021: 7 | 2022: 5 | 2023: 2 | 2024: 1

Breakdown by position
C: 3 | 3B: 2 | SS: 5 | OF: 8 | RHP: 9 | LHP: 3

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