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Where Athletics Top 30 prospects are starting season

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Oakland Athletics' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

1. A.J. Puk (MLB No. 32), LHP -- Nashville Sounds (AAA) - DL
2. Jesus Luzardo (MLB No. 60), LHP -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
3. Franklin Barreto (MLB No. 66), SS/2B -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
4. Jorge Mateo (MLB No. 73), SS/OF -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
5. Dustin Fowler, OF -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
6. Austin Beck, OF -- Beloit Snappers (A)
7. Lazaro Armenteros, OF -- Extended spring training
8. Sean Murphy, C -- Midland RockHounds (AA)
9. James Kaprielian, RHP -- Stockton Ports (A Adv) - DL
10. Grant Holmes, RHP -- Extended spring training - DL
11. Sheldon Neuse, 3B/SS -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
12. Logan Shore, RHP -- Extended spring training (lat strain)
13. Greg Deichmann, OF -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
14. Nick Allen, SS -- Beloit Snappers (A)
15. Kevin Merrell, SS -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
16. Daulton Jefferies, RHP -- Stockton Ports (A Adv) - DL
17. Alexander Campos, SS -- Extended spring training
18. Tyler Ramirez, OF -- Midland RockHounds (AA)
19. Will Toffey, 3B -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
20. Renato Nunez, 3B -- Oakland Athletics (MLB) - DL (strained left hamstring)
21. Richie Martin, SS -- Extended spring training (knee)
22. Ramon Laureano, OF -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
23. Yerdel Vargas, SS -- Extended spring training
24. Marcos Brito, SS/2B -- Extended spring training
25. James Naile, RHP -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
26. Wyatt Marks, RHP -- Beloit Snappers (A)
27. Dalton Sawyer, LHP -- Extended spring training (minor injury)
28. Lou Trivino, RHP -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
29. Nolan Blackwood, RHP -- Midland RockHounds (AA)
30. Santis Sanchez, C -- Extended spring training

With the 2018 season getting started, here's a look at where the Oakland Athletics' Top 30 prospects are projected to start the season:

1. A.J. Puk (MLB No. 32), LHP -- Nashville Sounds (AAA) - DL
2. Jesus Luzardo (MLB No. 60), LHP -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
3. Franklin Barreto (MLB No. 66), SS/2B -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
4. Jorge Mateo (MLB No. 73), SS/OF -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
5. Dustin Fowler, OF -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
6. Austin Beck, OF -- Beloit Snappers (A)
7. Lazaro Armenteros, OF -- Extended spring training
8. Sean Murphy, C -- Midland RockHounds (AA)
9. James Kaprielian, RHP -- Stockton Ports (A Adv) - DL
10. Grant Holmes, RHP -- Extended spring training - DL
11. Sheldon Neuse, 3B/SS -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
12. Logan Shore, RHP -- Extended spring training (lat strain)
13. Greg Deichmann, OF -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
14. Nick Allen, SS -- Beloit Snappers (A)
15. Kevin Merrell, SS -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
16. Daulton Jefferies, RHP -- Stockton Ports (A Adv) - DL
17. Alexander Campos, SS -- Extended spring training
18. Tyler Ramirez, OF -- Midland RockHounds (AA)
19. Will Toffey, 3B -- Stockton Ports (A Adv)
20. Renato Nunez, 3B -- Oakland Athletics (MLB) - DL (strained left hamstring)
21. Richie Martin, SS -- Extended spring training (knee)
22. Ramon Laureano, OF -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
23. Yerdel Vargas, SS -- Extended spring training
24. Marcos Brito, SS/2B -- Extended spring training
25. James Naile, RHP -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
26. Wyatt Marks, RHP -- Beloit Snappers (A)
27. Dalton Sawyer, LHP -- Extended spring training (minor injury)
28. Lou Trivino, RHP -- Nashville Sounds (AAA)
29. Nolan Blackwood, RHP -- Midland RockHounds (AA)
30. Santis Sanchez, C -- Extended spring training

• A's prospect coverage | A's Top 30 prospects stats

Team to watch
With Top 100 prospects Franklin Barreto and Jorge Mateo up the middle and Sheldon Neuse manning the hot corner, Triple-A Nashville boasts one of the better Minor League infields on Opening Day. The Sounds also have Dustin Fowler patrolling center field, as well as three other players in the A's Top 30 Prospects list.

Where baseball's top prospects are starting the 2018 season

Teams on MiLB.TV
Nashville Sounds (AAA)
Midland RockHounds (AA)

New faces
Ramon Laureano regressed offensively last season in Double-A after a breakout 2016 campaign in which he slashed .319/.428/.528 with 15 homers and 43 steals across two levels. The A's acquired him in November from Houston, who had to place for the 23-year-old outfielder on its 40-man roster. He'll begin the season with Triple-A Nashville, though not before recovering from a broken pinky finger suffered on a hit-by-pitch in mid-March.

On the shelf
The A's system took a hit late last month when it was announced that A.J. Puk, one of baseball's top pitching prospects, needed Tommy John surgery and would miss all of 2018. Grant Holmes, meanwhile, has yet to throw this spring and is unlikely to do so anytime soon -- he was not assigned to any A's full-season affiliate -- as the right-hander continues to deal with a concerning shoulder injury. The A's will hold back Logan Shore in extended spring training to begin the year, allowing him to work back to full heath from a lat strain that limited him for much of the spring. Dalton Sawyer will also begin in extended as he recovers from a minor injury.

It isn't all bad news for A's pitching prospects, though. James Kaprielian and Daulton Jefferies, after their respective Tommy John surgeries in April 2017, are progressing as hoped in their rehabs, and both have the potential to join Class A Advanced Stockton's rotation as soon as mid-season. Renato Nunez opened his season on the A's 10-day disabled with a strained left hamstring that he suffered in big league camp. 2015 first-rounder Richie Martin will start in extended spring training as he recovers from his second offseason knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in three years.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

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