Mid-Season Review: Joining Top Prospect List

Now that we have completed a mid-season review of our pre-season top-50 Oakland A's prospects, it is time to start thinking about who might make next year's list. We name seven players who are making a serious push to add their names to our Oakland A's top-50 prospects list after the season.

Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list of players who will be added to the top prospect list this off-season.

Jason Ray:
Sometimes when you compile a list of 50 prospects, a deserving name can get inadvertently left off the list. Ray most certainly should have been included on last year's list, but Ray slipped underneath our radar screen. The right-hander was a reliever with A-Vancouver in 2005 and he logged 29.2 innings for the C's. Ray struck out an amazing 56 batters, using a plus fastball to rack-up the Ks. He also issued 23 walks. This season, Ray was converted to the starting rotation, beginning the year at low-A Kane County. Ray was the Cougars' best starter this season, going 6-1 in 13 starts with a 3.02 ERA. He struck out 68 and walked 35 in 65.2 innings.

Ray was promoted to High-A Stockton after the All-Star break. He has struggled a little bit since arriving in Stockton, going 4-2 with an ERA of 4.60 ERA. Ray's control problems have hurt him a little more in High-A then they did in low-A and he'll have to work on his control as he moves up the system. Still, he has a very live arm and, at age 22, Ray has a bright future ahead of him.

Isaac Omura:
Omura, unlike Ray, did not show much during his stint with low-A Vancouver in 2005. Omura hit only .198 in 40 games for the Canadians and looked over-matched by professional pitchers. One good sign for Omura was that he walked 18 times against 36 strikeouts, but that was the only positive in his first pro season. He has turned it around in a major way this season. The diminutive second baseman has been a tough out near the top of the Cougars' batting order this season. In 209 at-bats, Omura is batting .306 with a .368 on-base percentage. He has even shown a little power, slugging at a .411 clip. He has also shown a good glove at second base. With his line-drive stroke and good batting eye, Omura could develop into a good second-place hitter. He will turn 23 in January.

Anthony Recker:
Recker also put up mediocre numbers during his professional debut season with Vancouver in 2005. However, there has been nothing mediocre about his offensive performance this season. Recker has shown above-average power with 11 homers, 15 doubles and two triples. He has also hit for good average (.283) and has shown a good arm behind the plate. Recker was one of four A's minor league catchers to make his league's All-Star team (Kurt Suzuki, Landon Powell and John Baker being the other three).

Matt Sulentic:
Sulentic was the first position player selected by the Oakland A's in the 2006 draft, taken in the third round out of a Dallas-area high school. After posting historically good numbers as a senior in high school, Sulentic has kept up the pace at the professional level. Despite being only 18 years old, the A's sent him to short-season Vancouver rather than Rookie League. He is currently batting .366 with a .419 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage in 112 at-bats.

Jermaine Mitchell:
Like Sulentic, Mitchell is a 2006 draft pick who has found no trouble adjusting to the pro level. The speedy Mitchell is hitting .363 with a .463 on-base percentage and nine stolen bases in 27 games played. Mitchell appears to be a future lead-off hitter and his 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio should help him at the top of the order.

Toddric Johnson:
For a short time, Johnson was in the outfield with Mitchell in Vancouver. However, a .333 batting average and four extra-base hits in 36 at-bats earned Johnson a quick promotion to Kane County. He got off to a fast start with the Cougars and then struggled for about two weeks in early July. However, he has picked it up again over the past week and is now hitting .259 in 81 low-A at-bats. Johnson has sprinter speed and a quick bat and, like Mitchell, could be a future lead-off hitter or number two batter.

Marcus McBeth:
McBeth was once one of the A's top outfield prospects, but he is now on the list as a short reliever. In his first full season as a pitcher, McBeth has been lighting up the radar gun and racking up the saves and the strikeouts. He was a star for Stockton early in the season, saving seven games and not allowing a run in 8.2 innings. He was promoted to Sacramento and struggled at that level. However, he has been very steady since arriving at AA-Midland. He has 12 saves and a 2.97 ERA in 33.1 innings for AA. On the season, he has struck out 57 batters in 49.1 innings.

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