2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Ranking the Athletics' Fantasy assets
The Athletics are still rebuilding, but there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, finally.
- Draft Prep Tiers:
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.
|Player||Roto Rank||H2H Rank||Roto POS||H2H POS|
Khris Davis OAK LF
Matt Olson OAK 1B
Blake Treinen OAK RP
Sean Manaea OAK SP
Stephen Piscotty OAK RF
Marcus Semien OAK SS
Jed Lowrie OAK 2B
Matt Chapman OAK 3B
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|
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|
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|
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.
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Scott White is a senior fantasy writer for CBS Sports and released his latest trade chart