Every Thursday, Swingin’ A’s will unveil a top Oakland A’s prospect. Starting from number 10 and finishing with number 1, be sure to stop by every Thursday to see who makes the list of the Top 10 Oakland A’s prospects. This week marks the end of our list as we turn our attention to Oakland’s No.1 prospect Michael Choice. Choice was taken in the first-round of the 2010 draft by the Athletics.
The list is complete. Outfielder Michael Choice is No.1 on our list of Top 10 A’s Prospects for 2012 and for good reason. The A’s former first-round draft pick is essentially the team’s best offensive player right now in the minor leagues and boasts good power potential for the power-hungry Athletics.
He easily outshines fellow-prospects Chris Carter and Michael Taylor with his pure athleticism and should have no problem moving up the ranks of an A’s organization that doesn’t offer many pure power hitters.
He offers speed that will help him cover ground in the outfield and has a pretty strong (and accurate) throwing arm. The 22 year-old outfielder has also shown great power since arriving with the Athletics, as he hit .266/.377/.587 with 7 HR and 26 RBIs in 2010.
Last year, Choice flexed a little more muscle and hit .285/.376/.542 with 30 HR and 82 RBIs in 118 games with the Stockton Ports. My only beef with Choice are his strikeouts. He had 134 of them last year in Class-A Stockton and that’s definitely cause for concern.
He had a strikeout percentage of 24.7% last year with Stockton but still managed to get his share of walks. He posted a 11.3 BB% last year with Stockton.
He may never hit .300 in the big leagues, but Choice should have his share of home runs and walks once he reaches the majors.
For the Athletics, power like Choice’s is not easy to come by. They’ve had to rely on cheap sources of power (a la Frank Thomas in ’06, Jack Cust, and more recently, Manny Ramirez) and haven’t exactly had the greatest luck in developing some of their own homegrown sources of power (a la Carter and Taylor).
Choice’s development, then, becomes increasingly important. The A’s haven’t been competitive in years, but with guys like Choice on the horizon, the team is hoping their recent misfortunes will change. The team has assembled, for the most part, a pretty decent set of young players over the last few years, including the set of prospects hauled in this winter.
Judging by the list we’ve assembled over the last few weeks, the A’s have a few players who, in a few years, could become major players for what will hopefully be a playoff contending team.