The A’s are familiar with rock bottom and just as accustomed to climbing out of it. Oakland’s 2023 season was doomed from the start and overshadowed by the organization’s desperate escape to Las Vegas. But for fans not completely turned off by ownership’s abandonment, the 2023 season also gave baseball operations free range to see what the organization’s minor league system has to offer.
It may mean the 2024 A’s team will be brimming with prospects hoping to lift this beat-up team back to relevance. Top prospects Zack Gelof, Tyler Soderstrom, Lawrence Butler and Mason Miller have had varying degrees of success and appear to be players the franchise can build around. In the last few days they’ve debuted top pitchers such Easton Lucas, Joe Boyle, and No.
13 prospect Joey Estes, will start on Wednesday. Freddy Tarnok made five appearances before undergoing hip surgery, but is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation next spring. With nothing to lose (or win) this season, general manager David Forst and Co.
aren’t afraid to throw some of their young players into the spotlight to see who shines. Or at least give them some run. The next generation of A’s should be a major part of the 2024 roster.
The A’s are clearly looking ahead, so here’s a look at what it might look like next season. The emergence of second baseman makes the A’s infield a true draw next season. Gelof is batting .
268 with 18 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs along with a . 859 OPS in 56 games heading into Monday’s game. The former University of Virginia star is on pace to become one of the premier infielders in baseball and a true tandem alongside shortstop At third, should have the runway to come into his own defensively with some offensive upside.
Expect still in pre-arbitration, to man first base in tandem with the organization’s top-rated prospect, , who should also act as DH. a free agent in the offseason, may not fit the A’s financial plans could be on his way out of his post as the resident veteran and utility player. Much of the A’s outfield in 2023 could translate to the 2024 roster.
And manager Mark Kotsay will have a few options to play with. is a base-stealing machine and certifiably a starting outfielder for the A’s next year, likely in center. , the A’s lone All-Star, is still in pre-arbitration and, therefore, should come at a suitable price for the cheap owners to keep and play in the outfield corners along with his left-handed counterpart , if he’s not traded.
Top prospect hasn’t had the smoothest transition to the big leagues, but will be worth keeping an eye on as a breakout player next year. could be the odd man out with a chance to burst into the big league team. became one of six catchers in A’s history to have at least 20 home runs in a season.
He’s a consistent force behind the plate as a pitch framer and is evolving into a steady presence at the plate. The A’s have a handful of young pitchers who could keep their spots in the starting rotation or push their way in. and have started the most games this year followed by and veteran .
, acquired in the Matt Olson trade with Atlanta, has started 13 games and — on the 60-day injured list — was pegged as a starter before his right shoulder strain , 25, is a flame-throwing prospect who could be a headliner in the A’s rotation next year. He landed on the IL on May 8 with an elbow injury and returned on Sept. 6, giving up just two runs over three appearances out of the bullpen to manage his pitch count.
, 24, looked like a prime starter candidate as he threw three scoreless in his MLB debut on Sunday hitting triple-digits on his fastball. The offseason and spring training will provide a better idea for how the bullpen shapes up, too. Prospect could be an exciting addition to to the bullpen.
The A’s have tried out 29 different pitchers out of the bullpen this season. Homegrown arms such as have struggled, but are worth keeping an eye on. , who came in the Sean Murphy deal with the Braves, has played just five games but is worth keeping an eye on as a starter.