Prospects Spotlight: American League West

2 of 6

Feb 28, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Kendall Graveman (31) poses for a portrait during Photo Day at HoHoKam Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Athletics:

Franklin Barreto, Shortstop

Oakland is certainly going to have a different group this season. Last year they dealt top prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney to the Cubs and this summer they dealt Daniel Robertson to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Photo Credit: Prospect Insider

However, in another deal made by Billy Brad Pitt Beane, he acquired several players from the Toronto Blue Jays for all-star third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Beane always traded his big names before they hit the free agent market, but this was a questionable move on two fronts:

– Donaldson, 29, has four more years of team control at arbitration prices

– He could have gotten more.

Regardless, the deal netted them potential-packed Major Leaguer Brett Lawrie as well as pitching prospects Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and then the infielder Barreto.

Barreto has a lot of value because he plays shortstop, a position Oakland was set at for the next decade this time last year with Russell and even behind him Robertson. This trade allows them to replenish that part, albeit just a part, of their minor league system with a super intriguing player.

Franklin Barreto just turned 19 on February 27. Last season he made the important transition from rookie ball to low A ball and his numbers actually went up. He hit .311 and swiped 29 bags, as well as knocking out six home runs and four triples.

His ceiling is obviously high, you won’t be seeing him for several years, but whether it was in Toronto or Oakland (or perhaps even elsewhere) down the line, he’s a speedster with tools to expand upon.

Next: Los Angeles Angels