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TRACK RECORD: Born in Peru, Luzardo was raised in Florida and attended Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. He was on track to be a potential first-round pick in 2016 until he needed Tommy John surgery two months before the draft. He fell to the third round, where the Nationals picked him No. 94 overall and signed him for an above-slot $1.4 million. Luzardo made a full recovery and flashed big stuff when he returned, leading the Athletics to acquire him at the 2017 trade deadline with Blake Treinen and Sheldon Neuse in the trade that sent Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle to the Nationals. With the A's, Luzardo bounded three levels up to Triple-A, started the Futures Game in a breakout 2018 and appeared on the precipice of the big leagues in 2019. Instead he suffered a rotator cuff strain in March and a lat strain in July, but he still managed to make his big debut in September and was so dominant that the A's carried him on their postseason roster. SCOUTING REPORT: Luzardo tapped back into his fastball post-surgery, flirting with easy velocity up to 97 mph and impressive natural sink. Luzardo confidently works his heater to both sides of the plate, generating weak contact and plenty of swings and misses. His plus, mid-80s changeup features deceptive fade and is effective against both righties and lefties. His low-80s curveball is his third pitch, but it still projects as a future above-average offering. Luzardo is still gaining feel and confidence for his curve, but at its best he can land it for strikes with 1-to-7 action and alter its shape. Luzardo understands his body, which allows him to have a repeatable delivery and above-average control. THE FUTURE: Luzardo's maturity, poise, confidence and steady development have him tracking to only become stronger with an already-dangerous arsenal. With nothing left to prove in the minors, Luzardo has the ingredients to become a front-of-the-rotation starter. As long as he shows he's healthy, he should open the year in Oakland.
TRACK RECORD: Puk missed the 2018 season after having Tommy John surgery, but he returned in 2019 and showed the same stuff that made him arguably the top player in the 2016 draft class. The Athletics called him up in August after he threw just 25 innings in the minors, and he earned a spot on the American League Wild Card Game roster. SCOUTING REPORT: Puk returned from surgery with his premium stuff intact, headlined by a 70-grade fastball that tips the scales at 95-99 mph from the left side. Puk's upper-80s slider gives him another plus power offering he can bury in on righthanders and away from lefties, and his changeup continues to progress into a usable, if unspectacular, offering. Puk has never been known for pinpoint location, but makes up for it with an ability to elevate or drive in on both sides of the plate as needed. His sizzling velocity, combined with the natural downhill plane from his 6-foot-7 frame, makes for difficult, uncomfortable at-bats. THE FUTURE: Puk still needs to build innings and may begin 2020 at Triple-A Las Vegas in order to do so. As long as he stays healthy, he should ascend to Oakland's rotation before long and could emerge as a front-of-the-rotation starter.
TRACK RECORD: Murphy began his career at Wright State as a walk-on and ended it as the program's highest-drafted player in 10 years. He battled a long list of injuries, including breaking both hamate bones and a torn left meniscus, but he still emerged as the club's primary catcher down the stretch. SCOUTING REPORT: Murphy is an elite defensive catcher thanks to his athleticism and agility. His maturity as a game-caller, blocking and framing all receive plus grades, and his plus-plus arm was one of the strongest in the minors. At the plate, Murphy works the middle of the field with a compact swing and has the strength to produce 20-plus home run power. In addition to his work ethic, Murphy's leadership with his pitching staff draws rave reviews. THE FUTURE: Murphy had a second surgery on his left knee in October. He is expected to be ready for spring training and is in prime position to be Oakland's Opening Day catcher.
TRACK RECORD: The Athletics drafted Jefferies from the University of California with the 37th overall pick in 2016, but Tommy John surgery limited him to just three appearances combined in 2017 and 2018. Jefferies returned to full health in 2019 and showed the A's exactly what they hoped to see. He logged a 3.42 ERA while advancing to Double-A Midland, with an eye-popping 93 strikeouts against just nine walks in 79 innings. SCOUTING REPORT: Jefferies has one of the most potent arsenals in the system and shows the ability to command all three of his pitches. His fastball sits 92-95 mph with cut life and plays up because of his command. He pairs his fastball with a potentially plus changeup in the upper 80s with two-seam dive and fade, and his tilting, upper-80s slider varies in length to take on cutter action and keep hitters unsure of how much it will break. Jefferies has a repeatable delivery and borderline elite control. His arm action, however, has rival evaluators concerned for his long-term health. THE FUTURE: Jefferies will continue to log innings and build durability in 2020. He'll begin at Triple-A Las Vegas and has a chance to see Oakland if his workload allows.
TRACK RECORD: Beck suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament prior to his senior season and had a limited track record against good competition at his small North Carolina high school, but the Athletics couldn't say no to his dripping athleticism and drafted him sixth overall in 2017. After a decent first full season, Beck battled a recurring quad strain that limited him to 85 games in 2019 and suffered through a difficult year at high Class A Stockton that included a 34-percent strikeout rate. SCOUTING REPORT: Beck's athleticism stands out among the best of his peers. He is a plus runner, has plus arm strength and draws consistent reviews as an above-average to plus defender in center field. His bat, however, is a question mark. He flashes above-average raw power but is a below-average hitter who struggles to get to it. He frequently over-swings while chasing fastballs up and breaking stuff low and away, producing gobs of strikeouts and poor quality contact when he connects. Beck has plenty of bat speed, leaving some evaluators hopeful he'll hit once he refines his approach and improves his natural feel at the plate. THE FUTURE: Beck will be 21 all of next year and still has time to figure out his swing. He may repeat high Class A Stockton before moving on to Double-A.
TRACK RECORD: Considered one of the top players in the Dominican Republic years before he was 16, Puason agreed to sign with the Braves when he was 14 but went back on the open market after Major League Baseball banned the Braves from signing international players for two years after finding numerous international signing violations. The Athletics jumped in and signed Puason for $5.1 million on July 2, tied for the largest signing bonus awarded to any player in the 2019-20 international class. SCOUTING REPORT: Puason has a wiry, projectable frame and loads of tools on which to dream. A switch-hitter with plus speed, Puason produces hard contact from both sides of the plate and shows a mature feel for controlling the barrel. As he refines his swing mechanics and adds muscle, Puason could grow into above-average power and be at least an average hitter. His long swing and shoddy pitch recognition, however, give others pause about how much he'll hit. Puason is a sleek athlete with the athleticism and instincts to stick at shortstop. He has good footwork, clean hands and a plus arm that could still tick up as his body develops. THE FUTURE: Puason played simulated games in Arizona after signing. He is set to open his pro career in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The Athletics long liked Neuse's power and made sure to acquire him from the Nationals with Jesus Luzardo and Blake Treinen in exchange for Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle at the 2017 trade deadline. Neuse scuffled in his first taste of Triple-A in 2018, but he cut his strikeout rate by 8 percent while repeating the Pacific Coast League in 2019 and earned his first big league callup in August. SCOUTING REPORT: Neuse generates his power from the combination of a stocky frame and advanced barrel control. He drives the ball to the gaps and increased his loft in 2019 to hit career-high 27 home runs. Neuse is an aggressive hitter who often expands the strike zone early in seasons, especially chasing elevated fastballs, but tends to rein in his approach and cut down on his strikeouts as the year progresses. Neuse is bulky but sneakily athletic for his size with a quick first step, good instincts, and natural actions at both second and third base. He can also fill in at shortstop and left field, and his plus arm fits anywhere on the diamond. THE FUTURE: Neuse primarily played second base during his callup. With Matt Chapman entrenched at third base, versatility will be Neuse's path to an everyday role in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Viewed as one of the top prospects the A's received in the Sonny Gray trade with the Yankees, Mateo remains a head-scratcher who flashes big tools but struggles to produce consistently. He repeated the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 2019 and took encouraging steps, cutting his strikeout rate while increasing his power output—but he also suffered a massive second half drop-off. SCOUTING REPORT: Mateo's biggest tool is his 80-grade speed. He stole 82 bases in 2015 and 52 in 2017, though his stolen base totals have been more modest with Oakland. For Mateo to be at his sharpest, he needs to be on the basepaths, which has been a problem. Some days, he is on time in the box, stays within the strike zone and uses the whole field with a quick, direct swing. Other times he is tentative against velocity, swings from his heels and shows zero pitch-recognition. Evaluators don't know what to make of Mateo's offensive potential, but most see .250 with 15 home runs as the best possible outcome. Mateo is similarly inconsistent at shortstop, sometimes playing too aggressive and other times too passive. He has the athleticism and plus arm to play multiple positions. THE FUTURE: Mateo needs to find some semblance of consistency. He'll return to Triple-A in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The Phillies drafted Davidson in the 30th round out of high school but he chose to follow his father Mark's footsteps and play baseball at Clemson. Davidson grew into a power hitter with 42 home runs and 142 RBIs over three collegiate seasons. The A's made him the 29th overall pick in 2019 and signed him for $2,424,600. SCOUTING REPORT: Davidson never hit .300 in college and hit just .239 at short-season Vermont after signing, continuing longstanding concerns about his overall hitting ability. Opinions vary on Davidson's consistency at the plate. His supporters praise his natural feel for squaring up pitches, while detractors point to a long swing that results in too many swings and misses. He flashes above-average power when he connects. While the 6-foot-3 Davidson registers tall for a shortstop, he has the quick hands and natural athleticism to project to stick at the position. His plus arm strength allows him to profile at both shortstop or third base if he has to move. Davidson has bloodlines and a good role model in his corner. His father played six years in the majors with the Astros and Twins. THE FUTURE: Davidson has work to do at the plate. His opening 2020 assignment will largely depend on how he looks in spring training.
TRACK RECORD: The 5-foot-9 Allen has long held a reputation as a spectacular defender with a light bat, but he began changing that perception in 2019. Allen got stronger and adjusted his approach to use the whole field at high Class A Stockton, and he tied for the California League lead in doubles before suffering a season-ending ankle sprain on June 27. SCOUTING REPORT: Allen is a twitchy, instinctive defender who moves well in every direction with plus speed. He makes highlight-reel plays and the routine ones, and he almost never makes a fielding error with his clean hands. Allen's arm ticked up to plus as he got stronger, burnishing his reputation as a potential Gold Glove shortstop. Scouts like Allen's swing and hand-eye coordination at the plate, but his compact frame limits his projection and caps most of his evaluations at an average hitter with well below-average power. THE FUTURE: Allen's defense will earn him playing time, and he has started hitting just enough to profile as a potential starter rather than a pure backup. He'll try to keep it going at Double-A Midland in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The Padres made Allen the first Division II player drafted in 2015 when they selected him in the fourth round out of Florida Tech. He hit at least .280 with 20 home runs every season from 2017-19 and received his first major league callup last May. The A's acquired him in December for Jurickson Profar. SCOUTING REPORT: Allen is a big-bodied catcher defined by his bat. He generates plus raw power with his supreme strength and leverage, frequently sending balls 400-plus feet to right-center. His bat speed isn't special, but he is consistently on time and has shown himself to be at least an average hitter with above-average power. Allen's catching has been a work-in-progress and still needs improvement. His hands are fine in the strike zone, but his thick body limits his mobility and ability to get out of the crouch. Opponents run freely on him and have stolen 436 bases in his 398 career games behind the plate. He also needs to improve his game-calling. THE FUTURE: Allen's move to the American League opens up potential at-bats for him as a DH.
TRACK RECORD: The A's made a big splash when they signed Armenteros for $3 million out of Cuba in 2016, but he has yet to deliver on his potential. Armenteros struggled to get to his power at low Class A Beloit in his full-season debut, then struggled to make contact at all at high Class A Stockton in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: Armenteros creates tremendous leverage in his swing and shows off at least plus raw power in batting practice. Armenteros rarely gets to that power in games, however, because he swings and misses at an alarming rate. His setup and swing path aren't conducive for contact, and his natural hitting instincts have a long way to go. Armenteros has plus speed and is improving his reads to become an average defender. His well below-average arm limits him to left field. THE FUTURE: Armenteros' youth and raw tools are enticing, but he needs to make dramatic improvements as a hitter for them to matter. He'll still be 20 on Opening Day and has time on his side.
TRACK RECORD: Since his selection as the Athletics' fourth-round pick in 2015, Bolt's has played mostly full seasons at each level before making his big league debut in May. Bolt was not initially recalled in September but was a late add following an injury to Mark Canha. SCOUTING REPORT: Bolt possesses a solid combination of tools, skills and athleticism, though he lacks a true carrying tool. A switch-hitter, Bolt has made most of impact against righthanders and profiles as a platoon-type player. Bolt has solid-average speed that helps him on the bases and in the outfield. After playing mostly in center field, Bolt has divided time between right and center of late. His above-average arm gives him a chance at both positions. THE FUTURE: After making his major league debut, Bolt will compete for a bench role in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Kaprielian has been a premium prospect since his college days at UCLA. Unfortunately, injuries—including a forearm strain and Tommy John surgery—limited him to just 29.1 innings prior to 2019. Kaprielian threw no more than 73 pitches in any outing in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: While Kaprielian's velocity remained relatively consistent throughout the season, the quality of his stuff slowly returned. Prior to the injury, Kaprielian's fastball sat comfortably between 93-96 MPH, stretching as high as 99. In 2019, his fastball mostly sat between 90-93. Kaprielian's slider is above-average and flashes plus with good, tight shape. Kaprielian's curve and changeup are solid-average and play off each other nicely. His command proved more advanced than most pitchers in their first year back from Tommy John. His delivery is still effortful, which leaves him at risk for further injury THE FUTURE: Triple-A Las Vegas seems a likely starting point in 2020, when he'll try to return to the track that could lead to a mid-rotation starter's role.
TRACK RECORD: Baum pulled his name from consideration in the 2016 draft to compete for the North Carolina, After three years in the Heels' rotation, Oakland selected Baum with its second-round pick in 2019. He pitched at short-season Vermont in his pro debut. SCOUTING REPORT: Baum has a major league frame and arm to match. He features a 92-94 mph fastball that touches 97 with solid armside run. He backs it up with a a power slurve and has ability to change speeds and vary angles both to righties and lefties. Baum's changeup has been a work in progress and still lacks the touch and separation required for an average pitch. Baum's delivery and approach may be best suited for the pen due to a lengthy arm path that could affect his command. THE FUTURE: Baum should be given every opportunity to start to refine his pitchability, feel and experience, but his stuff and approach could make for an easy fit in the bullpen.
TRACK RECORD: Despite an impressive offensive track record coming out of Louisiana State, Deichmann has yet to stay healthy over a full season and injuries have impacted his performance. He finally appeared healthy in the Arizona Fall League, where his natural gifts began to show. SCOUTING REPORT: After injuries limited Deichmmann to just 80 regular-season games, the LSU product showed what he can do by leading the Arizona Fall League with nine home runs. Deichmann profiles as a low-contact bat with high impact due to a lengthy stroke that produces plus power, an average exit velocity of 90 mph and a 17-degree launch angle. Deichmann does most of his damage against righthanders and will need to refine his approach versus lefties if he is to fill an everyday role. Right field has served as his primary home and his defensive profile should allow him to stay there long term. THE FUTURE: Ticketed for Las Vegas in 2020, Deichmann's production befits the high-damage, lowcontact hitter en vogue in today's game.
TRACK RECORD: Holmes came to Oakland in 2016 in the trade that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers. After missing the majority of 2018 with a right rotator cuff injury. Holmes returned to Midland in 2019 and got better every month, while cutting down his walks and increasing his strikeouts. SCOUTING REPORT: Holmes is deceptively athletic despite a strong, athletic build. He's continued to develop as a starter though he may be best suited for the pen due to size and deception issues. Holmes has a solid, 92-96 mph fastball with life, but his go-to pitch continues to be a powerful mid-80s curveball with good depth in the zone. He has used a hard, 89-93 mph cutter over the past few years to open up the corners and also will also show a fringy changeup. While healthy in 2019, there are some lingering health concerns due to arm action and the stress his delivery puts on his shoulder. THE FUTURE: Still just 24 despite entering his seventh season in pro ball, Holmes will likely make a return to Las Vegas after ending his season there in 2019.
TRACK RECORD: Part of the burgeoning baseball scene in Colombia, Diaz made his debut as a 16-yearold in 2017 and advanced to short-season Vermont in 2019, ranking as the No. 8 prospect in the New York-Penn League. SCOUTING REPORT: Diaz has impressed observers with his advanced approach on both sides of the ball. He has a good foundation at the plate with a low-maintenance swing, strong hands and the ability to generate hard contact. A leg kick sometimes leads Diaz tends to pull off the ball, which leaves him vulnerable against breaking balls from righthanders. Diaz has a sturdy frame with present strength with some power potential thanks to a solid base. Diaz appears to have skill set to stay at third base, displaying solid reactions and groundball reads with average range. While he has enough arm strength for the position, he needs work on his footwork and arm slots because he tends to sling the ball and not finish his throws. THE FUTURE: Coming off a productive 2019, Diaz appears ticketed for low Class A Beloit in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Buelvas is part of a growing influx of talent from Colombia. He moved quickly to the states in 2019, playing and performing during the season's second half in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he ranked as the No. 19 prospect. SCOUTING REPORT: Though not overly physical, Buelvas carries some deceptively loud tools, including an average exit velocity of 89 mph. He also shows solid bat speed and barrel control, but some evaluators believe the length of swing and overall balance at the plate could be problematic. While Buelvas still has projection remaining, any power uptick could be marginal. Buelvas' speed is an asset both on the bases and in the field. Scouts are confident Buelvas has the skill set and tools to stay in center field, and A's personnel have raved about his work ethic, energy and professional approach to the game. THE FUTURE: Buelvas is likely to head back to Arizona in 2020, though his advanced approach and makeup could help him reach short-season Vermont by year's end.
TRACK RECORD: Smith made the decision to forego a commitment Michigan to begin his professional career as the A's third-round pick in 2019 with a price tag of $400,000. SCOUTING REPORT: Extremely athletic, Smith has advanced strength and physicality in his compact frame when compared to typical high school draftees. He has impressive tools at the plate, featuring quick, strong hands. He worked to widen his base, improve the use of his lower half as well as the balance and timing in his swing. He had a hard time centering the baseball in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he generated over 60 percent ground balls. Smith's contact rate was encouraging despite the crudeness at the plate because of an average exit velocity of 88 mph. His speed and athleticism are assets on the basepaths and center field, though he will need to learn how to steal bases at the professional level. THE FUTURE: An impressive athlete with a highly touted defensive resume, Smith will be given every chance to play in Vermont in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: After returning for his senior year at Wake Forest, Dunshee made the most of his additional year of collegiate development and moved up seven rounds. That collegiate experience propelled him to the upper levels after just 100 innings. Dunshee thrived until a Triple-A promotion during the second half, when the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League gave him his first taste of adversity. SCOUTING REPORT: Dunshee generates good tilt while staying closed in his delivery and creating front-side deception. While his arm action is loose, it is funky in the back with a slight pause, effectively disrupting hitters timing and allowing his 88-92 mph fastball to play more effectively. Dunshee depends on changing speeds and looks with an 87-90 mph cutter-slider hybrid mix he uses to both sides of the plate to keep hitters off-balance. Dunshee mixes in a softer curveball to keep hitters honest early in counts but had issues effectively finishing off hitters in Triple-A. Dunshee's changeup is still a work in progress. THE FUTURE: While he will be given every opportunity to start, Dunshee's performance markedly depreciates the second time through the lineup, which seemingly limits him to a bullpen role.
TRACK RECORD: After playing two years in the Dominican Summer League, Barrera has steadily climbed through the A's system until repeating Double-A in 2019. Barrera's season was cut short in late June when he was shut down with a left shoulder strain. SCOUTING REPORT: Possessing a lean build, Barrera has a solid start with a leg kick but tends to have balance and timing issues because he gets out on front side quickly and produces a high number of ground balls. Still just 24, Barrera has steadily increased his power numbers by learning how to drive the ball in favorable counts. Barrera's speed is more usable in center field but he's not a true basestealer. His easy play and strong arm in center field creates value, although his arm strength was sapped somewhat by his shoulder issues. THE FUTURE: A start in Triple-A Las Vegas could be in the offing if the shoulder will allow. Defense will allow Barrera to play for a long time.
TRACK RECORD: Originally an Orioles fourth-round pick in 2013, Heim was traded to Tampa Bay for Steve Pearce in 2016, followed by another trade in 2017, this time to Oakland for Joey Wendle. SCOUTING REPORT: A defense-first player, Heim has provided some surprising numbers since joining the Oakland organization. While still an aggressive hitter from both sides, Heim has done a better job of hitting strikes in favorable counts. Heim has a looser, more direct and rhythmic path from left side. With a more mature approach, Heim has also done a better job driving the ball to all fields. He has an aboveaverage arm and advanced feel for his role behind the plate. THE FUTURE: Heim will need to build on his offensive growth with a return ticket to Triple-A. His leadership and energy will be key areas of growth if he is to reach his ceiling as a big league backup.
TRACK RECORD: Brown hails from NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State, which also produced Marvin Bernard and Brendan Ryan. Brown also fits the mold of player the Athletics appear to be able to accentuate through their player-development philosophy. SCOUTING REPORT: After a nondescript 2016 at high Class A Stockton, Brown returned to California League at the age of 24, perhaps at a career crossroads. He responded adding more lift to his swing in 2019, which showed up in a 20-degree launch angle and 30 home runs. That was the start of a three-year run for Brown, which ended in the major leagues during the A's playoff chase. Brown has gotten better every year by narrowing the zone and maximizing impact in advantage counts. Brown has a classic platoon profile with most of his damage coming against righthanders. THE FUTURE: Like Skye Bolt, Brown will have a chance to break with the big club due to the dearth of lefthanded options. Otherwise, a return ticket to Vegas seems likely.
TRACK RECORD: Eierman become the third in his family to be drafted. Jeremy's Dad, John, and his brother Johnny both played pro ball. Jeremy had a productive offensive career at Missouri State but has had a tougher time translating to pro ball over two seasons. SCOUTING REPORT: After a nondescript first season at short-season Vermont in 2018, Eierman struggled at high Class A Stockton. Possessing a balanced start, Eierman's contact issues stem from a late waggle in his swing that disrupts his timing. After playing shortstop most of 2018, Eierman teamed with Nick Allen in Stockton and moved to second base before Allen's season-ending injury. Possessing a strong, mature stocky build, Eierman seems better suited to second base based on range and quickness issues. THE FUTURE: Eierman may repeat Stockton in 2020 to improve his contact rate.
TRACK RECORD: Harris started his pro career later than most of his draft class after being slowed by an elbow strain. He finally made his pro debut in June at short-season Vermont before moving to high Class A Stockton, and logging 54 innings. SCOUTING REPORT: Possessing a strong, durable build, Harris looks the part of a starter. In addition to health challenges, Harris' delivery has been in a work of progress and has undergone a series of transformations both in college and pro ball. The 2019 version was the cleanest yet, showing improved balance and tempo. Just a fair athlete, timing and connectivity issues have resulted in erratic command. Harris starts his mix with a 88-91 mph fastball that tops out at 95 with some movement. He backs it up with an effective changeup as well as a well-shaped curveball to combat righthanders. Scouts have noted that Harris' ability to manipulate the shape of his slider enhances his potential versatility at the upper levels although he needs to grow more comfortable attacking lefthanders with his current mix. THE FUTURE: Just a fair athlete, Harris will need to refine both his command and sustain his health moving forward to profile as a low-ceiling starter. While he might have a chance to start in Midland, chances are he will return to Stockton.
TRACK RECORD: Signed as an international free agent in Feb. 2017, Romero was already a veteran of the Cuban Industrial League. The experience helped him make a steady ascent through the minors. Romero has worked out of the bullpen for most of his career in Cuba and the United States. SCOUTING REPORT: Romero's stuff has never been an issue. Featuring three major league-quality pitches, Romero has always looked the part of a big league reliever. The art of pitching, however, has always been a challenge. Romero's intangibles, deception, quality command and feel are lacking. He has been most effective against righthanders thanks to a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 98. He backs it up with a hard-breaking, mid-80s slider. Lack of a change-of-pace pitch as well as erratic command and quality have limited his effectiveness. Romero's conviction and use of his knuckle-curveball to attack lefties has been slow, which has forced him into a platoon-type of role. THE FUTURE: Romero, 25, enters 2020 with a chance to break with the A's as an extra arm due to his weapons versus righties, though his ceiling may be limited due to lack of true weapons against lefties.
TRACK RECORD: Coming out of Division III Concordia College, Varland posted a 1.04 ERA and 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings over 60 innings. Despite pitching with elbow discomfort, Varland stuff translated well to pro ball, advancing quickly to Stockton in 2019 before being shut down with in July. SCOUTING REPORT: Varland has made the most of deception and an advanced feel to pitch to maximize an average pitch mix. Raw boned with loose arm action, Varland has some extra length in the back, which enhances his deception and disrupts hitters' timing. The extra length has also increased the stress on his elbow and resulted in injury. When healthy, Varland works in the low 90s with a solid spin rate and an aggressive feel in the zone. He does an excellent job inducing soft contact up in the zone. Varland does well mixing his slider and generating weak contact, though the shape and sharpness of the pitch can vary due to his arm action. Varland needs further development with his changeup to increase his versatility. THE FUTURE: Despite working as a starter, Varland projects as extra arm out of the bullpen.
TRACK RECORD: After spending his first two seasons at first base at Georgia Tech, McCann moved behind the plate in 2019 after Joey Bart left for pro ball. McCann developed into a power lefthander for the Jackets while developing behind the plate. SCOUTING REPORT: McCann has strength and a mature build and provides power over contact offensively. McCann has a quiet setup at the plate but has a small wrap through launch, which creates extra length and loop. He is a dead pull hitter with a lofted stroke geared for hard contact despite holes in the swing. Contact will be an issue moving forward based on his swing path, high swing-and-miss rate and challenges against lefthanders. Beyond pure strength, McCann's best asset is his advanced approach. He has a good feel for the strike zone and a selectively aggressive approach, though the walk rate in college did not translate during his pro debut. While he shows average arm strength, his receiving skills have been viewed as fringy based on lack of quickness and agility. First base remains a fallback option, though moving back would increase pressure on the bat. THE FUTURE: With the questions surrounding McCann's defensive work, scouts have suggested a possible move back to first base. For now, he appears to be the level-to-level type who could start in Beloit in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Reed starred in three sports in high school and used that athleticism to become a three-year starter at Florida, where he became one of college baseball's best defensive outfielders. The Padres drafted him in the second round in 2016 and grew hopeful after a long-awaited offensive breakout in 2018, but Reed scuffled badly at Double-A Amarillo in 2019 and was traded to the A's after the season in the Jurickson Profar deal.SCOUTING REPORT: Reed looks the part of a professional athlete and is one of the most explosive players in the minors. He is a Gold Glove-caliber defender in center field, where he uses his plus-plus speed and exceptional range to run down balls in every direction. He frequently robs extra-base hits and home runs, and his plus-plus arm resulted in 18 outfield assists last year and gives him another game-changing defensive weapon. Reed is much more of a project at the plate, where his stiff, grooved swing from both sides leaves lots of holes for pitchers to exploit. He has average power when he connects, but he struggles to make enough contact.THE FUTURE: Reed's defense gives him a shot to reach the majors. His ceiling is a reserve outfielder unless he overhauls his swing.
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