A’s catcher Sean Murphy finished fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting this season after a strong showing at the plate. He slashed .233/.364/.457 with seven home runs and an .821 OPS.
He, along with lefty pitcher Jesús Luzardo, officially graduated from prospects to full-on rookies, which means there’s a new face A’s fans need to get acquainted with: Robert Puason.
The infielder is the team’s No. 2 prospect at the moment behind A.J. Puk, according to MLB Pipeline, with a big-league ETA of 2024. The 18-year-old made the A’s 60-man roster prior to Summer Camp, and despite not playing in one actual game, the A’s top international signee has been compared to five-time All-Star Tony Fernández.
Puason has a very lean build, but that’s to be expected at his age. As time goes on and he matures, it could develop into power, according to some scouting reports. He’s projected to average at least 15 home runs per season with some line drives thrown in there from both sides of the plate.
Here’s what MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo says about Puason:
“While he’s yet to play an official game since signing for just north of $5 million in July 2019, the A’s aren’t any less excited about the 18-year-old infielder. Puason handled himself well during his time at the alternate site and the hope is the lessons learned about routine and preparation will allow him to hit the ground running in 2021.”
The A’s always love a lefty infield bat with unexpected power. If all goes well, that ETA could be moved up a bit.