Is there ever a season where the Oakland Athletics’ farm system isn’t absolutely loaded? Headed into the 2012 season, power-hitting outfielder Michael Choice ranked as the team’s top prospect and was beginning to heat up when a hit-by-pitch resulted in a broken hand after the All-Star break.
The A’s system was also highlighted by the meteoric rise of right-hander Dan Straily from organizational arm to legitimate pitching prospect. The 23-year-old led all minor league pitchers in strikeouts (190 in 151 innings) at the time of his call-up, and he logged nearly 40 innings over the final two months of the season in the major leagues.
Furthermore, the organization possesses two projectable right-handers in Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray—Peacock was acquired before the season in the Gio Gonzalez trade—who are on pace to contribute at the major league level in 2013. Also included in the aforementioned trade was 20-year-old A.J. Cole, who may have the highest ceiling of all the pitchers in their system.
The A's also netted three top 10 prospects in the first round of the 2012 draft—Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson and Matt Olson, all high school players—who could comprise a homegrown infield by the 2015 season.
In general, the A’s have a prospect pool loaded with talent that should pay dividends in the major leagues for years to come. At the same time, their system depth, especially on the mound, could give them the flexibility to execute a trade at some point during the 2013 season.