Oakland A's 2011 Top-50 Prospect List

After much deliberation, we are releasing our 2011 Oakland A's top-50 prospects list. Inside, subscribers get a sneak preview of the list, which we will unveil to the general public in early 2011. Over the next several weeks, subscribers will also receive in-depth scouting reports on each of the 50 prospects listed. Click inside for the full list…

Below is our 2011 Oakland A's top-50 prospects list. As we have done for the past two years, we are unveiling the entire list to our subscribers first before we release the scouting reports on each of these players. The scouting reports will be released five players at a time. At the end of the scouting reports series, we will make the full list available to all readers. Until that time, we ask that you please not post this list to any messageboards or other websites. If the A's wind-up making a number of trades this off-season that impact this prospect list, we will release a revised version before the start of spring training.

This is the sixth year that we have released a top-50 prospects list and we have found that determining this list has become more and more difficult each year, in part because the A's system has added more and more depth over the past few years and also because injuries have impacted the status of so many prospects in the A's system. We strongly considered more than 80 players for this list and, undoubtedly, there will be players who just missed this list who will make us look foolish next season for leaving them off. At the end of our scouting report series, we will release a list of players who just missed making this ranking.

We are often asked about our methodology in choosing these prospects and their ranking order. It is, without question, the most difficult task we undertake each year. Guessing the future value of a player is a subjective and unscientific proposition, at best. That being said, it is something that we take very seriously and put a lot of time and effort into.

We base our evaluations on the following criteria: 1) talent/ceiling (does this player have an unusual set of talents that, should he reach his maximum potential, would allow him to be a star?); 2) chances of having a big league career (is this player a future major league regular?) 3) projection (is this player likely to reach his maximum potential, whatever that potential may be?); 4) results on the field (did this player produce numbers that indicate he will have future success?); 5) age relative to level (did this player compete against age-appropriate competition last season and is he still young enough to have a long career in the big leagues?); 6) make-up (does this player project the temperament, intelligence and work ethic to succeed on a big stage?); 7) position (a middle infielder, centerfielder or catcher might be considered more valuable in the long run than a corner outfielder or infielder; same goes for a potential starting pitcher as opposed to a reliever).

Our assessments for all of these players are borne out of discussions throughout the season with baseball executives, scouts, players and other media members, as well as our staff's own personal observations of the players being analyzed, where we have had opportunities to watch them play on numerous occasions.

We recognize that these rankings will be controversial and we welcome your feedback. Next Monday at 11 am PST, we will have a subscriber-only live chat on this site where we invite you to discuss these rankings with us, as well as any questions about the upcoming scouting reports.

And without further ado, we present to you our 2011 top-50 Oakland A's prospects list…

Oakland A's 2011 Top-50 Prospects

1. Chris Carter
2. Grant Green
3. Michael Choice
4. Michael Taylor
5. Corey Brown * Traded
6. Adrian Cardenas
7. Ian Krol
8. Stephen Parker
9. Jemile Weeks
10. Max Stassi
11. Eric Sogard
12. Josh Donaldson
13. Michael Ynoa
14. Sean Doolittle
15. Fautino De Los Santos
16. Rashun Dixon
17. Clayton Mortensen* Traded and replaced by Arnold Leon
18. Travis Banwart
19. Daniel Farquhar
20. James Simmons
21. Yordy Cabrera
22. Aaron Shipman
23. Steven Tolleson
24. Matt Thomson
25. Tyler Vail
26. Wilfredo Solano
27. Brad Kilby
28. Chad Lewis
29. Ryan Ortiz
30. Trystan Magnuson
31. Argenis Paez
32. Paul Smyth
33. A.J. Griffin
34. A.J. Kirby-Jones
35. Zhi Fang Pan
36. Omar Duran
37. Anthony Capra
38. Andrew Carignan
39. Pedro Figueroa
40. Jeremy Barfield
41. Royce Consigli
42. Connor Hoehn
43. Tyler Ladendorf
44. Shawn Haviland
45. Michael Spina
46. Jake Brown
47. Conner Crumbliss
48. Trey Barham
49. Josh Whitaker
50. Josh Horton

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