The Oakland Athletics are in the midst of an historic season.
Not only do the A's have the best record in the majors at 67-43 and an eye-popping plus-164 run differential, but they also are the talk of the baseball community with the two boldest blockbuster acquisitions in recent history. Simply put, having a conversation about anything other than the accomplishments and improvements of the big league club may be doing the organization a disservice.
But let us step back from the mega-deals that general manager Billy Beane has orchestrated over the past weeks and take a closer look at the foundations of the A's organization.
What ensues is an examination of the A's top 10 prospects and whether or not their stock is trending "up," "down" or "even." Since this is the first edition of "stock up, stock down" for the A's minor league prospects since June 25, more weight will be given to the player's overall trending direction, rather than basing the player's trend on Week 18 performances entirely.
There is a reason why Beane felt comfortable in dealing away his cleanup hitter for a two-month quick fix in Jon Lester and his two most cherished prospects (Addison Russell, a career .300 minor league hitter, and Billy McKinney, who is 19 years old and hitting .310 in High-A ball) for Jeff Samardzija.
The performances of Renato Nunez, Chad Pinder and the other following prospects have not gone unnoticed at the big league level and should help explain the madness behind Beane's "moneyball" system.