Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine the top 10 prospects in the A's organization. For each player, we will provide a scouting report and a realistic timetable for reaching the major leagues, as well as what he needs to do to stay there.
No. 4 - Sheldon Neuse, 3B/2B
A third baseman by trade, Neuse has quickly and seamlessly transformed into a solid second baseman. Of course, third base in Oakland will be occupied for the foreseeable future by some guy named Matt Chapman.
Originally a second-round draft pick of the Nationals, Neuse was the under-the-radar prospect in the trade that brought Jesús Luzardo and Blake Treinen to the A's in exchange for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson.
But Neuse, 24, exploded for 27 home runs, 31 RBI, and 102 RBI in 126 games for Triple-A Las Vegas this season, slashing .317/.389/.550. That earned him a late-season call-up to Oakland, where he hit .250/.294/.305 with three doubles and seven RBI in 56 at-bats.
Neuse’s first big league hit ✅ pic.twitter.com/XVV9eT1oU5— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 1, 2019
Perhaps most impressive was Neuse's defensive play at second base, despite only seeing 16 games there in Triple-A. He quickly adapted, making a handful of highlight-reel plays while not committing a single error in 20 games at the position.
GET UP NEUSE 😤 pic.twitter.com/jljkTk73s3— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 31, 2019
Neuse will have another opportunity to earn significant playing time at second base next year, with Jurickson Profar uncertain to return to Oakland. Youngsters Jorge Mateo and Franklin Barreto could also push for the starting job, but Neuse will likely enter 2020 with a slight edge.
Neuse already has displayed his power-hitting ability at Triple-A. The key will be carrying that over to major league competition, where he failed to homer in his 54 at-bats last season.
Now with a month of experience under his belt, however, Neuse should be able to relax at the plate and let his natural strength do the work.