MLB Oakland Athletics

Top 10 Prospects in the Oakland Athletics’ Farm System

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Who would have thought that the movie "Moneyball" would have a real life sequel? The 2012 Oakland Athletics made the movie into another reality. At the beginning of the season, no one expected the Athletics to even be in the conversation for the AL West crown. The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers' off season moves were supposed to project the teams into a season long rivalry that would eventually continue into the post season.

"The Swinging A's" did not let the fear of a high payroll scare them into a bad season in the MLB. In fact, they beat the odds and won the AL West crown by sweeping the division-leading Rangers in the last series of the 2012 season.

The Athletics season was by far a surprise but also something that was very promising for the fans in the Oakland area. With the great clubhouse personalities such as Josh Reddick and Johnny Gomes, “Bernie Lean” celebrations, consistency from all over the field, and the trust in their manager, the Athletics became one of the biggest underdogs in recent history.

The problem with the Athletics team is that they are very young and they still have some holes to fill, offensively and defensively. Despite losing players to free agency such as Gomes, the Athletics are ready to dive into their season with the young talent spread throughout their entire system.

The Athletics do not need to replenish their roster via free agency. Their minor league system is good enough that they can fix it throughout the season. The scary thing to watch out for is when the youngsters begin to develop, because the future of the Oakland Athletics looks very bright and their youth looks promising.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #10 Matt Olson, 1B

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Matt Olson is one of the youngest prospects in the entire Oakland system. He was drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. Olson was actually pretty productive in rookie A-level ball this season. He hit .282 with nine home runs, 45 runs batted in, and has an OPS of .873 through 50 games. Olson plays primarily first base and if he continues to develop, he could be a star in the future.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #9 Daniel Ray Robertson, SS/3B

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This 18-year old was also selected in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Upland High School in Upland, California. The Athletics believe that Daniel Ray Robertson can be their next great infielder. Whether that is from third base or shortstop seems to be the only question. In 55 minor league games, Robertson hit .241 with five home runs, 30 runs batted in, and an OPS of .730. These are not bad for a young guy. Look for him to develop once he gets used to playing against new competition.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #8 Grant Green, 2B/OF

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Grant Green is a right-handed hitter who has a lot of pop in his bat. He is a 25-year old outfielder that has hit 44 home runs in 388 games in the minor leagues. His home run totals aren't that enormous, but his extra base hits are. Green actually has 158 extra base hits in the minors and his production could eventually get him to the big leagues.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #7 Miles Head, 3B/1B

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics have another infielder that they believe can make it to the big leagues soon. Miles Head is a corner infielder who has shown that he can field at any position. Head has also hit pretty well in the minor leagues. He has a career .297 batting average with 46 home runs in 328 games. The 21-year old infielder will develop into a better player over time.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #6 Dan Straily, RHP

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Dan Straily is a right-hander that has actually made it to the big leagues after spending the first four years of his career in the minor leagues. His combined 35-26 record and 3.71 ERA earned him a chance to pitch in the Athletics rotation. In fact, Straily won two games and had a 3.89 ERA in 39.1 innings pitched. Look for him to make a return to the MLB at some time this season.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #5 Sonny Gray, RHP

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Sonny Gray has had playing time in the minor leagues but he has been effective as a 23-year old. He will most likely be entering this season as a part of the Triple-A roster. Gray saw time there for one game. Gray looks like he can be a decent starter and maybe even a long relief pitcher in the pen. Time will only tell if he will pan out into a regular reliever.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #4 Brad Peacock, RHP

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Brad Peacock looked like a promising young player. But the 24-year old minor league pitcher has been rough up in his six years down on the farm. He played his first year in Oakland's system in 2012 and posted a 12-9 record with a 6.01 ERA, which obviously is not good. Peacock must get on track if he wants to play in the major leagues.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #3 A.J. Cole, RHP

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This young 20-year old right hander also spent 2012 with the Athletics for the first time in his brief career. In low-A ball, A.J. Cole was dominant in 19 starts by posting a 6-3 record with a 2.07 ERA. Cole's next 8 starts were in high-A ball and they were not good whatsoever. He posted a 0-7 record with a 7.82 ERA in only 38.0 innings. Cole is still young and is rated the #57th prospect according to Baseball America. He should pan out into a decent pitcher.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #2 Michael Choice, OF

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Choice was the 10th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Texas. His first three seasons in the minor leagues have been pretty successful to say the last. In only 239 games, Choice has hit .283 with 47 home runs and 166 runs batted in. This youngster has a chance to be a really good outfielder in the MLB. With a couple more seasons worth of at bats, Choice will soon find himself in an Athletics uniform.

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Oakland Athletics Top 10 Prospects - #1 Addison Russell, SS

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Addison Russell was the Athletics first round pick in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. His first season's numbers are actually something Athletics fans should be happy about. Russell hit .369 and had an OPS of 1.027 in 55 games while hitting seven home runs and driving in 45 runs this season. The future looks very bright for the 18-year old shortstop from Miami Gardens, Florida.

David A. Cattai is a featured sports journalist with Rant Sports & Buzz On Broad.

Follow me on Twitter (@DCattaiSports), Facebook, and Google+ for all sports updates.

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