Mark Chiarelli hosted a mailbag to answer questions about the A’s system. You can read the transcript here.
Tyler Soderstrom (Top 20 Prospect?):
- Thanks for chatting with us Mark! Did I cement myself in 2022 as one of the top 5 or 10 best hitters in all of the minors? Do you think a 60 hit/60 power actually might be light if I were to move off of the rigors of catching? Lastly, why haven’t the A’s tried playing me at 3rd if I have the athleticism and arm? My bat will beeven more valuable at a higher defensive value position.
Mark Chiarelli: Hi all. Thanks for taking the time to submit your questions. We have a loaded queue, so I’ll get right into it starting with Tyler Soderstrom, who remains Oakland’s No. 1 prospect for the third consecutive winter. There’s merit to the idea that moving off catcher enhances Soderstrom’s hitting ability, if for no other reason than reducing the risk of wear and tear/injury and simply remaining in the lineup more often. That wouldn’t materially affect the hit/power grades, though. Now, if Soderstrom continues to tighten his approach, perhaps that’s a different story. To your second point, Soderstrom’s bat is already a separator at a premium defensive position. That’s why you’ve seen the A’s continue to at least allow for the chance he develops into a serviceable defensive catcher.
- Hi there, I’m curious about your thoughts on Brett Harris. How close was he to being in the top ten and what does he need to do to get there?
Mark Chiarelli: Hi Zac. The A’s player development staff is really high on Harris. He has a lot of useful skills, albeit without a clear carrying tool. He feels like a guy who gets to the big leagues on the strength of his strike-zone knowledge, bat-to-ball skills and defensive ability. He’s likely more of a multi-positional super utility type than a regular 3B unless the power takes another step. He should settle in near the back of the Top 20 when the full list is released.
- Hi Mark, thank you for the chat today! I was wondering what you read on Joey Estes was? He had kind of a disappointing season in 2022, is there still hope there that he can develop into something?
Mark Chiarelli: Sure thing, Frederick. It’s important to remember Estes’ age when contextualizing his performance in 2022. He was still just 20 years old at High-A. He still has the potential to be a back-of-the-rotation guy. The A’s think he struggled with rushing his delivery at times in 2022 and it led to…