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Oakland A's release Rangel Ravelo, Nick Collins

Cuts from minor league camp continued on Friday, as the Oakland A's released first baseman Rangel Ravelo and catcher Nick Collins.

For the third time since last Sunday, the Oakland A's released players from minor league camp. This time, it included a high-profile name, first baseman Rangel Ravelo, who has been among the A's top-50 prospects since he joined the organization in the Jeff Samardzija trade before the 2015 season. The A's also released 2015 eighth-round pick Nick Collins, whose time with the A's was marred by injury. Ravelo was one of four players the A's received from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Samardzija and Michael Ynoa before the 2015 season. Ravelo was the only player in the package who didn't have any big league time, but he was considered a rising prospect. In 2014, Ravelo hit .309/.386/.473 for Double-A Birmingham of the Chicago organization. He was part of the A's big league camp in the spring of 2015, but he injured his wrist and remained back in Arizona rehabbing the injury for the first half of the season. In 59 games that year, Ravelo hit .304/.377/.439 with three homers.

That off-season, Ravelo suited up for the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan Winter League. He had a huge season for Lara, winning the VWL Rookie of the Year award. Ravelo came into 2016 with a chance to earn a look in the big leagues, but he had a quiet spring and then got off to a slow start with Triple-A Nashville. At the All-Star break, he was hitting only .251 with a 685 OPS. Ravelo's bat heated up after the break, and he posted a 799 OPS and hit .270. He never got a call to the big leagues and was eventually removed from the 40-man roster over the off-season. When Ravelo cleared waivers, the A's invited him to spring training as a non-roster player. He homered in his first at-bat in big league camp, but that would be his only hit in six at-bats. He also walked twice. With the A's deciding to move Matt Olson back to first base in Nashville, Ravelo didn't have a natural position on the Sounds' roster and he is too experienced to send back to Double-A. He is likely to garner plenty of interest as a free agent. He is still relatively young (25 in April) and he is a career .295 hitter with a .363 OBP. Ravelo has never hit for the power one would expect from a first baseman during his minor league career, but he has flashed power potential in his two seasons in the VWL. 

Collins joined the A's out of the draft after a standout career at Georgetown. The North Carolina native got off to a strong start to his pro career with short-season Vermont in 2015, but his season ended early due to a concussion. Collins began the 2016 season with Low-A Beloit but was struggling at the plate when he suffered a left hand/wrist injury that landed him back in Arizona to rehab. Collins re-joined Vermont in July after completing his rehab, but he was never able to get his bat back on track. He finished the year with a .165 average in 44 games. The A's went heavy on catchers in the draft last season, so playing time for backstops at the lower levels of the organization was going to be tight.

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