Oakland A's Top-50 Prospects

We kick-off our coverage of the Oakland A's top-50 prospects with our initial list of those top-50 players. Click inside to find out who we have chosen as the Oakland A's top-50 prospects, as of November 1, 2008.

Editor's Note: Below is our newly updated Oakland A's top-50 prospects list. Over the next few weeks, we will bring you detailed scouting reports of each of these 50 prospects – five scouting reports every Tuesday and Thursday until we reach prospect number one. As we mentioned last week, this is intended to be the first iteration of this list. We will release another version of this list in January once the trading season has come to a close and again just before the start of spring training, if more trades occur right before the start of the season.

This is the fourth consecutive off-season that we have created a top-50 Oakland A's prospect list at OaklandClubhouse.com. Every year, it is a difficult task for us to rank these prospects. There is no magic formula for creating these lists and every year we learn the faults in the process. Last off-season, Brad Ziegler didn't make our top-50 prospect list, but by the end of the 2008 season, he had put together one of the best rookie seasons of any American League reliever.

In compiling this list, we considered a number of factors, including a player's performance in 2008, his potential ceiling in the major leagues, his age and the position he plays. Only players eligible to be rookies in the major leagues next season are considered for this list. One thing to note is that we have, as a rule, not included players in this list who have yet to play for one of the A's affiliates (in other words, we don't include international signings who have yet to debut in at least the Dominican Summer League). Our reasoning for this is that until a player has put some time in a league, we don't know that much about him, as generally we have only scouting reports from the team to work with.

We have made an exception this year for Michael Inoa. He was such a high-profile signing that there are enough independent scouting reports about his abilities that we felt it was fair to rate him alongside players who have appeared in affiliated leagues. We should also note that infielder Jesus Guzman is not on this version of the list because he is currently an unsigned minor league free agent. The A's are continuing to negotiate with his agent and if he re-signs with the team, Guzman is a lock to be part of the second version of this list in January.

In past years, it has been relatively easy for us to choose 50 players for this list, even if it was hard to determine what order those 50 should be in. Thanks to recent trades and strong 2007 and 2008 draft classes, the A's have a deeper farm system than at any point since we started covering the team in 2004. Therefore, choosing only 50 players to rank in this list was a difficult task indeed. We began with a list of nearly 100 worthy players before narrowing it down to 50.

It is with all of that in mind that we present our up-to-date list of the Oakland A's top-50 prospects. We welcome comments and discussion on our subscribers'-only messageboard.

1. Brett Anderson
2. Trevor Cahill
3. Michael Inoa
4. Gio Gonzalez
5. Chris Carter
6. Adrian Cardenas
7. Sean Doolittle
8. Josh Donaldson
9. Vince Mazzaro
10. Aaron Cunningham
11. James Simmons
12. Henry Rodriguez
13. Jemile Weeks
14. Corey Brown
15. Fautino De Los Santos
16. Brett Hunter
17. Andrew Carignan
18. Arnold Leon
19. Tyson Ross
20. Matt Sulentic
21. Javier Herrera
22. Rashun Dixon
23. Carlos Hernandez
24. Dusty Coleman
25. Sam Demel
26. Josh Outman
27. Jason Christian
28. Grant Desme
29. Craig Italiano
30. Nino Leyja
31. Jared Lansford
32. Matt Spencer
33. Andrew Bailey
34. Jason Fernandez
35. Jermaine Mitchell
36. Daniel Thomas
37. Anthony Recker
38. Jeff Baisley
39. Scott Mitchinson
40. Anthony Capra
41. Travis Banwart
42. Landon Powell
43. Robin Rosario
44. Cliff Pennington
45. Brad Kilby
46. Gregorio Petit
47. Justin Sellers
48. Jeff Gray
49. Tom Everidge
50. Scott Hodsdon

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