2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Ranking the Athletics' Fantasy assets

Baby steps, Oakland. Baby steps. The Athletics improved to 75 wins in 2017 while integrating some of the young guys they hope will be the face of the next great A's team. They're probably a long way away from that, but there are some honest to goodness MLB players to get excited about on this team, including some big bats in the middle of the order.

Khris Davis is a known commodity, but Matt Olson actually outshined him last season, clubbing 24 homers in just 59 games in the majors, giving him 47 including his work at Triple-A. Matt Chapman showed enough to think he can be a long-term contributor too, hitting 14 homers in his 84 major-league games. There's talent here, and the offense won't be a pushover. 

However, if the A's are to take a big step forward, it will need to come on the mound. The good news is there should be some help on the way in the form of one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. There are some intriguing young guys in the major-league rotation, however Sean Manaea and Kendall Graveman are starting to get closer to their late-20's than their mid-20's, so this could be a make-or-break year for them. In all likelihood, the A's are still a year away from being a year away. 

Ranking the Athletics' Fantasy Assets
PlayerRoto RankH2H RankRoto POSH2H POS
63 70 19 17
116 134 15 16
212 204 23 25
246 235 66 67
260 236 68 61
288 223 22 17
293 273 34 27
296 296 29 28

Players in Scott's Top 100 Prospects

Ranking the Athletics' Fantasy Assets
31
A.J. Puk Oakland Athletics SP
While the rate is certainly impressive, Puk also had some of the best individual strikeout performances in all the minors, three times picking up a dozen or more. His long limbs compromise his command to some degree but also give hitters less time to react to his 98-mph heat. Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful
42
Franklin Barreto Oakland Athletics SS
The true talent evaluators keep giving Barreto a pass even though his numbers have slipped as he has climbed the ladder, most recently with his plate discipline going from suspect to dreadful, and now he's more likely to wind up at second base than shortstop. I'm concerned but only willing to drop him so far this close to graduation day. Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful
47
Jorge Mateo Oakland Athletics SS
After a discouraging 2016 highlighted by a confrontation with team officials over his lack of a promotion, Mateo bounced back in 2017, demonstrating his most power to date. He's most known for his speed, but adding another tool has helped restore his prospect standing, especially since the Athletics seem more committed to keeping him at shortstop. Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful
88
Dustin Fowler Oakland Athletics RF
Fowler never got an at-bat as a Yankee, rupturing his patella tendon chasing down a fly ball in his major-league debut and then getting moved in the Sonny Gray trade. He's in a worse situation and a worse ballpark but with an easier path to the majors and still a Brett Gardner-like skill set. Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

Things to Know

  • He didn't get mentioned in the intro, but the A's bought low on Stephen Piscotty, who is still on the right side of 30 and still has more good than bad in his major-league track record. He's a fine bounce-back candidate. 
  • Manaea was better than 4.37 ERA would lead you to believe, as he had an ERA at 3.82 or below in four of six months last season. April was bad, but August is where things really went off the rails. He'll be a bargain on Draft Day if people don't look beneath the hood. 
  • Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien seem like obvious trade candidates as the season goes on, especially if Barreto keeps raking at Triple-A. 
  • Take out one start on Aug. 3, his return from a two-month absence, and Kendall Graveman had a 3.65 ERA last season. You won't get many strikeouts, but he's the perfect pitcher for the Oakland Coliseum's spacious outfield and could have sneaky mixed-league value. 
  • There wasn't much positive to take from Jharel Cotton's first full season in the majors, but I can't quit him. That changeup can be a legitimate swing-and-miss offer, and you have to think the Coliseum will help him keep the ball in the yard better than he did last season. He's not a bad AL-only flier. 

Lineup & Rotation

Lineup
1 Marcus Semien SS
2 Stephen Piscotty RF
3 Matt Olson 1B
4 Khris Davis DH
5 Jed Lowrie 2B
6 Matt Joyce LF
7 Matt Chapman 3B
8 Boog Powell CF
9 Bruce Maxwell C
Pitchers
SP Kendall Graveman
SP Sean Manaea
SP Daniel Mengden
SP Jharel Cotton
SP Andrew Triggs
CL Blake Treinen
RP Chris Hatcher
RP Liam Hendricks
Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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