The A's farm system has diminished in quality over the past few years, as an organization that once yearly ranked among the best in MLB now stands near the bottom of many ranking systems.
As the 2021 season rolls around, A's farm director Ed Sprague spoke with The Mercury News' Shayna Rubin and identified a pair of prospects in the organization that fans should keep an eye on.
"Jeff Criswell is a guy you ought to keep an eye on. He looked really good in instructional league," Sprague told Rubin. "High velocity, starter mix. He should be a guy that would be a quick mover based on health.
"Colin Peluse had a big jump in velocity during the pandemic and was able to really work hard on his leg strength and saw a jump from 93 to 96 and 97 mph. We’ll have to see how that plays out."
Criswell, the A's second-round draft pick in 2020, is a 6-foot-4 pitcher out of Michigan who helped lead the Wolverines to the College World Series in 2019.
The 21-year-old started 21 of his 50 collegiate appearances, and it sounds like the A's will be hoping to develop him into an MLB rotational piece.
Peluse was a ninth-round draft pick by the A's in 2019, and went 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA over eight appearances (five starts) for the Vermont Lake Monsters in Class-A short season competition.
We've yet to see where Criswell will begin the 2021 season, but Peluse was assigned to the Lansing Lugnuts (High-A) last week.
Coming directly from the man in charge of the A's farm system, fans should be monitoring these two right-handers as spring training gets underway over the next few weeks.