With the major league All-Star break set to provide a four-day interlude between the two segments of the Bay Bridge Series, here’s a look at some of the top prospects whose play will continue during the hiatus, and who could play big roles in Bay Bridge Series to come.
Oakland Athletics Top Prospects
Jesus Luzardo, LHP
Already named to the Texas League All-Star Game, Luzardo, a native of Peru who has Venezuelan heritage, is slated to appear in today’s Futures Game on the World Team. He needed just three starts at Class-A Stockton before being promoted to Double-A Midland, where he boasts a 2.54 ERA in 13 starts. In his last five starts, he has allowed just one unearned run over 26 innings, and he’s issued just four walks in that stretch.
A.J. Puk, LHP
Out for the year with Tommy John surgery, the lanky southpaw still finds himself near the top of the A’s prospect rankings. Before surgery, he was expected to make his major league debut by the end of 2018, and is still in good shape to do so sometime in 2019. In 2017, he posted a 4.03 ERA over 27 appearances between Stockton and Midland, allowing just three home runs over 125 innings.
Franklin Barreto, 2B
Barreto has split time between Triple-A Nashville and Oakland this year, making appearances on the middle infield with the big-league club when regulars have missed time due to injuries. Still just 22-years old, Barreto is only batting .234 in the Pacific Coast League but sports an .802 OPS thanks to 10 doubles, a triple and nine home runs, plus 27 walks. In the majors, he is 11-for-52 with three doubles and three homers, with the home runs coming in a two-game stretch in mid-June.
Sean Murphy, C
The 2016 third-round pick has absolutely torn up Double-A Midland this year, posting a .291/.359/.506 slash line. Defensively, he has thrown out 19 of 59 potential base stealers and has allowed just four passed balls. When drafted, defense was considered a sure thing with concerns about his bat, but Murphy has been outstanding at the plate. He split 2017 between Stockton and Midland, and though he struggled at the plate in the Texas League last year, he has hit the cover off the ball this season and may soon merit a promotion to Triple-A.
Jorge Mateo, SS
One of the pieces that came over in the 2017 Sonny Gray deadline trade, Mateo has struggled at the plate in his first stint at Triple-A, but has still impressed with his speed. There were talks of playing Mateo in the outfield with his speed, but he has only appeared on the infield this year, making all but three of his starts at shortstop. After posting seven triples in just 30 games at Midland last year, the three-baggers have kept coming this season for the 23-year-old Dominican, with nine in 2018. He will need to cut the strikeouts as he continues to develop, having posted 92 through his first 83 games.
San Francisco Giants Top Prospects
Heliot Ramos, OF
After putting up monster numbers in the Arizona League following his selection in the first round of the 2017 draft, Ramos has put up more pedestrian numbers this season, but has still impressed as a 19-year-old in the South Atlantic League. His 78 hits include 19 doubles and seven homers, good for a .390 slugging percentage. His average sat at .211 on May 17 but has since climbed to a modest .249.
Chris Shaw, OF/1B
With Steven Duggar getting the call to the big leagues, Shaw is expected to be the Giants’ next top prospect to get the promotion from Triple-A Sacramento. The left-handed-hitting Shaw has feasted on pitchers in the offense-friendly Pacific Northern Division of the PCL, slugging .529 with 16 doubles, a triple and 18 homers. Defensively, Shaw has only played left field this season, which would prime him for a promotion with Brandon Belt entrenched at first base and Andrew McCutchen manning right field. In fact, Shaw hasn’t played first base at all since being promoted to Triple-A in late May of 2017.
Tyler Beede, RHP
A 2014 first-rounder and the No. 4 prospect in the Giants system, Beede was transitioned to the bullpen in mid-June. Of his last 10 appearances for Triple-A Sacramento, only the last two have lasted more than an inning. Six of those 10 appearances have been scoreless, but he’s been tagged for three in each of the other four. Only one of those 12 runs allowed in his last 10 appearances, only three have been unearned. Two of the other three-run outings came in offense-heavy parks, but he has a 6.79 ERA for the River Cats this season. Beede also made two MLB starts in April when the Giants’ rotation was stretched especially thin, and he failed to make it into the fifth inning in either of those starts.
Sandro Fabian, RF
A 20-year-old with Class-A San Jose, Fabian has posted impressive power numbers despite playing in one of the least hitter-friendly parks in an otherwise offensive league. His average sits at just .227, but he is slugging .374 with 16 doubles and six homers. A 70/13 K/BB ratio is cause for concern, but Fabian is still quite young and has plenty of time to develop.
Aramis Garcia, C
With Buster Posey at catcher for the foreseeable future and 2018 second overall pick Joey Bart now waiting in the wings, Garcia could certainly be an expendable trade piece, but has struggled mightily this year at Double-A Richmond. He’s batting just .216 and hasn’t seen his average approach .230 since early May. His 22 games in the Eastern League at the end of 2017 were far better, but the Florida native has yet to recapture that spark this year. His power numbers are still decent, with 10 doubles and nine homers this year, but it’s been a rough campaign overall for the right-handed hitter. Defensively, he has thrown out just 10 of 62 attempted base-stealers.