The A’s magical 2018 season ended in heartbreak with a loss to the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game. But, the game never stops, especially for young prospects looking to make a name for themselves.
Starting on Tuesday, Oct. 9, some of the best prospects in baseball will take the field in the Arizona Fall League. There are six teams in total — three in the West and three in the East — and the A’s are sending seven prospects to play for the Mesa Solar Sox this year.
Before the first game of the 2018 AFL season, let’s rank the A’s prospects in the desert, from No. 1 to No. 7.
1. Eli White
White, 24, can do a little bit of everything. This past season, he played four positions in Double-A — second base, shortstop, third base, and center field. At the plate, he was a threat in the box and on the base paths.
The future power-speed combo came out for White in 2018. He hit a career-high nine home runs while stealing a career-high 18 stolen bases. White also had a .306 batting average with an .838 OPS. His versatility on both sides of the ball make him an interesting prospect to watch.
2. Skye Bolt
While he’s No. 2 on this list, Bolt obviously is No. 1 in the best name category.
Bolt, the A’s fourth-round draft pick in 2015, had his best season at the plate since going pro. The center fielder hit a career-high 19 home runs and swiped a career-high 19 bags while batting .260 with an .821 OPS. Bolt is more than a name, and his skills will keep you watching this fall.
3. Luis Barrera
Barrera, 22, is another intriguing toolsy outfielder for the A’s. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Barrera truly put it all together this season while making it to Double-A for the first time.
His speed is a factor in the outfield and as an offensive weapon. Though he hit just three home runs, Barrera did have 11 triples, 26 doubles and 23 stolen bases between two levels.
4. Angel Duno
Duno, 24, turned from a starter to a reliever in his second stint with the Stockton Ports. And the move clearly was the right call.
In 48 appearances out of the bullpen, Duno went 5-4 with a 2.68 ERA and went from allowing 25 home runs the year before to just four in 2018. Signed out of Venezuela in 2011, Duno will have to prove he can excel in his new role against greater competition.
5. Calvin Coker
The A’s selected Coker in the 15th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, and he’s already had a taste of Triple-A. He’ll start much lower next year, though, after leaping from one start in short-season Single-A to Triple-A.
The Auburn product needs to work on avoiding walks, and the AFL will be perfect for him to refine his repertoire.
6. Sam Sheehan
Sheehan, 25, had bright spots mixed with frustrations in Stockton. He struck out 78 batters in 50 innings, and batters only hit .199 off him. He also walked 32 batters, hit another six and had a 4.32 ERA.
By the end of the AFL, Sheehan could be much higher on this list.
7. Jake Bray
Bray, like Sheehan, is another 25-year-old from San Diego who pitched for Stockton in 2018. His results weren’t quite as good as Sheehan’s, though.
In 15 appearances as a reliever, Sheehan ended the year 1-3 with a 5.01 ERA for the Ports. He also allowed eight home runs and had a 1.46 WHIP. This will be a big test for him in the AFL.