UPDATED: Oakland, Arizona Top 15 Prospect Lists

Oakland and Arizona recently completed a five-player trade that saw three prospects change hands. Oakland sent Major League pitchers Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona in return for prospects Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook, and Collin Cowgill. Parker is definitely the best prospect acquired as neither Cook nor Cowgill made the D-Back’s original Top 15 list. Oakland, though, has less depth in their system so all three players can be found on the new list.

Oakland Athletics Top 15 Prospects
(Click for the original list and scouting reports)

1. Jarrod Parker, RHP
2. Michael Choice, OF
3. Grant Green, OF/SS
4. Chris Carter, 1B
5. Sonny Gray, RHP
6. Aaron Shipman, OF
7. Michael Taylor, OF

8. Collin Cowgill, OF
BORN: May 22, 1986
EXPERIENCE: 4 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2008 5th round, University of Kentucky
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

SCOUTING REPORT: Cowgill spent the majority of the season at triple-A playing center field but his range is a little short to man the position at the MLB level – at least on a regular basis. As such, he could develop into the classic ‘tweener’ with not enough range for center and not enough power for the corners (although he has a very strong arm). Even so, he’d be a useful big league player as a fourth outfielder. He could hit for a respectable average and has solid gap power but will likely top out around 15 homers at the MLB level.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Cowgill, 25, spent the majority of the season in triple-A where he hit .354 (.397 BABIP) in a potent, offensive league. He also stole 30 bases but is more of a smart runner than a true burner. He did a nice job of taking a walk and didn’t hurt himself with strikeouts. Cowgill also made his MLB debut in 2011 but was overpowered at times.

YEAR AHEAD: Cowgill should see a fair bit of playing time in Oakland in 2012. He probably won’t make a huge impact with the bat but he could very well become a fan favorite because of his hustle and determination. He’s a ‘Sam Fuld‘ kind of player.

CAREER OUTLOOK: The time is now for Cowgill to secure a gig in Oakland. The club has holes in the outfield but two top outfield prospects – Michael Choice and Grant Green – could be less than a year away. Once they do arrive, though, he should still have a place on the club – just don’t expect huge things from Cowgill.

9. Max Stassi, C
10. Vicmal De La Cruz, OF

11. Ryan Cook, RHP
BORN: June 30, 1987
EXPERIENCE: 4 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2008 27th round, U of Southern California
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

SCOUTING REPORT: Currently more or less a one-pitch pitcher, Cook has above-average fastball velocity that fluctuates between 91-96 mph. His repertoire also includes a slider and a changeup – both of which are average-at-best pitches. The USC alum needs to work on his control.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Prior to the 2011 season, Cook was a full-time starter so the move the bullpen really agreed with him. He pitched at three levels, which included his MLB debut. The right-hander spent the majority of the year in double-A where he posted a 2.61 FIP and a 10.23 strikeout rate.

YEAR AHEAD: Had he stayed with Arizona, Cook likely would have been ticketed for triple-A, thanks to the new-look bullpen. However, there are multiple spots wide open in Oakland and he’s likely to secure one of them with a solid spring effort.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Cook needs a second reliable pitch to realize his potential as a high-leverage reliever. For now, he’ll probably be a six/seventh inning guy but he could eventually work his was to the eighth inning.

12. Stephen Parker, 3B
13. B.A. Vollmuth, 3B
14. Renato Nunez, 3B
15. Chih Fang Pan, IF

* * *

Arizona Diamondbacks Top 15 Prospects
(Click for the original list and scouting reports)

1. Trevor Bauer, RHP
2. Tyler Skaggs, LHP
3. Archie Bradley, RHP
4. Matt Davidson, 3B/1B
5. Patrick Corbin, LHP
6. Bobby Borchering, 1B/3B
7. Andrew Chafin, LHP
8. David Holmberg, LHP
9. Chris Owings, SS
10. Anthony Meo, RHP
11. Kyle Winkler, RHP
12. A.J. Pollock, OF
13. J.R. Bradley, RHP
14. Rossmel Perez, C

15. Adam Eaton, OF
BORN: Dec. 6, 1988
EXPERIENCE: 2 seasons (AA)
ACQUIRED: 2010 19th round (U Miami, Ohio)
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off the list

SCOUTING REPORT: I have to be honest and admit that Eaton is one of my favorite prospects in all of baseball. With that said, he’s more of a fourth outfielder or platoon player. He’s an undersized hitter that understands his strengths and isn’t afraid to do the little things – like getting plunked or giving himself up – to impact the game for his team. Eaton has above-average speed that he uses well both on the bases and in the outfield. His power output is below average but he does showcase some gap power to all fields.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Eaton split the 2011 season almost evenly between high-A and double-A. After his promotion, he hit .302/.409/.429 in 212 at-bats. He does a nice job of getting on base anyway that he can (11.8 BB%, 9 HBP). His power has dipped with each move up the chain, from .190 to .160 to .127 ISO. Eaton stole 34 bases between high-A and double-A in 2011. He also performed quite well in the Arizona Fall League after the minor league season ended.

YEAR AHEAD: The sparkplug has yet to hit below .300 in a season but he’s always maintained high BABIP rates – which is less concerning for a player with his speed. He should open 2012 in triple-A but doesn’t have much else to prove at the minor league level, other than better numbers against southpaws (.263 average vs .337 against RHPs). Eaton is a superior prospect to Collin Cowgill and may even be a better player than current left fielder Gerardo Parra.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Eaton will endeavor to become to second big league player named ‘Adam Eaton‘ and it could happen as early as mid-2012 depending on the health of Arizona’s Major League outfield. He’ll probably never be a star but he could carve out a prolonged career as a role player.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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David Wishinsky
12 years ago

The A’s farm system is really sad if all three of these guys instantly break into the top 15…

Paul Thomas
12 years ago

As I said on the other thread, it’s bad, but he’s making it look worse by crowding out guys with actual hope with junk like Stassi and Shipman.