Is there ever a season when 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 before a hit-by-pitch resulted in a broken hand after the All-Star break. Although he remains one of the team's top prospects headed into the 2013 season, the injury has caused him to drop a few spots on this list.
The A’s system was 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 majors.
At the same time, the organization also dealt two projectable right-handers this offseason in Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, both of whom were acquired before the 2012 season in the Gio Gonzalez trade.
The A's also netted five top 10 prospects in the first round of the 2012 draft, Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson, Matt Olson and Chris Bostick, all high school players who could comprise a homegrown infield by 2016.
The A’s have a prospect pool loaded with talent that should pay dividends in the majors for years to come. Along those same lines, their system depth, especially on the mound, could give them the flexibility to execute a trade at some point during the 2013 season.
Here's a look at the Oakland Athletics' top 10 prospects headed into spring training,