Oakland A's Farm Report: How Are Top Prospects Performing in 2011?

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Oakland A's Farm Report: How Are Top Prospects Performing in 2011?

While the big league club is showing flashes of the expectations that were placed on them during the preseason, several members of the team's future are making strides towards reaching the big leagues playing for the A's minor league affiliates.

As early as this season with a September call-up, several top prospects aim to make an impact in a hopeful 2011 pennant race. The others will look to keep the team competitive in 2012 and beyond.

Right now the A's are hovering around .500, and currently are just 3 1/2 games out of first place.

The offseason acquisitions are finally starting to show some consistency, and are making a push to live up to the expectations that were placed on them this season.

Meanwhile, the pitching has been great, and is arguably set for postseason competition behind their Big Three.

This A's roster was built to make a run at the AL West title this season. The roster features six position players eligible for free agency at the end of the season, as well as a few non-tender candidates. This means we will have an entirely different team behind our league-best pitching for 2012.

Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, Hideki Matsui, Conor Jackson and Mark Ellis will all be free agents.

Kevin Kouzmanoff is likely a non-tender candidate, and Daric Barton is no guarantee to return in 2012 given his season-long slump.

The pitching rotation will feature a pair of free agents in Brandon McCarthy and Rich Harden, who has still yet to make his season debut.

While the rotation will return largely intact, let's take a look at how some of the potential heirs to the current MLB positions are performing at the one-third mark of the season in their respective levels of the minor leagues.


Brandon McClintock covers the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball for BleacherReport.com. You can follow me on Twitter:     @BMcClintock_BR.

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