Oakland A's 2014 Top-50 Prospects

After much deliberation, we are releasing our 2014 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 2014. 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 2014 Oakland A's top-50 prospects list. As we have done for the past five 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, Twitter, Facebook 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 ninth year that we have released a top-50 prospects list and determining this list is never easy (full archive of past lists). 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 on our top-50 prospects thread on our subscriber-only messageboard (http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=304&f=3478).

And without further ado, we present to you our 2014 top-50 Oakland A's prospects list…

Oakland A's 2014 Top-50 Prospects

1. Addison Russell
2. Michael Choice *Traded
3. Raul Alcantara
4. Daniel Robertson
5. Billy McKinney
6. Renato Nunez
7. Matt Olson
8. Michael Ynoa
9. B.J. Boyd
10. Chris Bostick *Traded
11. Nolan Sanburn
12. Bobby Wahl
13. Chris Kohler
14. Dylan Covey
15. Max Muncy
16. Bruce Maxwell
17. Miles Head
18. Dillon Overton
19. Drew Granier
20. Arnold Leon
21. Blake Hassebrock
22. Ronald Herrera
23. Bobby Crocker
24. Dustin Driver
25. Anthony Aliotti
26. David Freitas *Traded
27. Ryan Dull
28. Chad Pinder
29. Murphy Smith
30. Tucker Healy
31. Tanner Peters
32. Sean Murphy
33. Seth Frankoff
34. Iolana Akau
35. Jake Goebbert
36. Shane Peterson
37. Ryon Healy
38. Conner Crumbliss
39. Josh Bowman
40. Jeff Urlaub
41. Josh Whitaker
42. Kyle Finnegan
43. Sam Bragg
44. Vicmal de la Cruz
45. B.A. Vollmuth
46. Austin House
47. Aaron Shipman
48. Seth Streich
49. Ryan Huck
50. Justin Higley

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