Oakland A's 2012 Top-50 Prospects

After much deliberation, we are releasing our 2012 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 2012. 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 2012 Oakland A's top-50 prospects list. As we have done for the past three 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 seventh 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 70 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 Tuesday at 10 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 2012 top-50 Oakland A's prospects list…

Oakland A's 2012 Top-50 Prospects

1. Michael Choice
2. Sonny Gray
3. Grant Green
4. Chris Carter
5. Michael Taylor
6. Ian Krol
7. Max Stassi
8. Vicmal De La Cruz
9. B.A. Vollmuth
10. Eric Sogard
11. Adrian Cardenas
12. A.J. Griffin
13. Renato Nunez
14. Stephen Parker
15. Bobby Crocker
16. Yordy Cabrera
17. Aaron Shipman
18. Josh Whitaker
19. Josh Donaldson
20. Jermaine Mitchell
21. Ryan Ortiz
22. Andrew Carignan
23. Zhi Fang Pan
24. Jai Miller *Traded to Baltimore
25. Beau Taylor
26. Blake Hassebrock
27. Cedric Hunter
28. Conner Crumbliss
29. Blake Treinen
30. Michael Ynoa
31. T.J. Walz
32. Chad Lewis
33. Arnold Leon
34. Shane Peterson
35. Daniel Straily
36. Chris Bostick
37. Pedro Figueroa
38. Sean Doolittle
39. Michael Spina
40. Rashun Dixon
41. Nick Rickles
42. Sean Jamieson
43. Connor Hoehn
44. A.J. Kirby-Jones
45. Graham Godfrey
46. Tyler Vail
47. Anthony Recker
48. Evan Scribner
49. Wilfredo Solano
50. James Simmons

Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories