Lost and Found: A’s Prospect Max Stassi
Editor’s note: Lost and Found is one of this blog’s offseason series, in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post.
Lost: A fourth-round draftee in 2009 lauded for his defensive polish as a prep, Max Stassi also demonstrated some pop with his bat but was otherwise disappointing in 2010 and ’11 before missing all but two months of the latter season due to shoulder surgery.
2010: .229 AVG, 13 HR, 141 Ks in 411 ABs spanning 110 games at Class A Kane County
2011: .231 AVG, 2 HR, 22 Ks in 121 ABs spanning 31 games at Class A Advanced Stockton
Found: For the most part, Stassi stayed on the field in ’12, showing again his above-average skills behind the plate while picking up the pace with his bat: He still struck out in 23 percent of his at-bats, but he increased his batting average and his slugging percentage (and those two numbers can often move in opposite directions).
2012: .268 AVG, 15 HR, 83 Ks in 314 ABs spanning 84 games at Stockton
So Stassi was lost, now he is found. Now, about the A’s returns: Stassi will very likely be an all-or-nothing slugger throughout his career, which will probably play fine in Oakland these days (see Derek Norris, Johnny Gomes, Brandon Moss, Chris Carter, Josh Reddick, etc.). In fact, Stassi and Norris, another young catcher the A’s acquired from the Nats last offseason, are very similar players. Only Stassi is a better catch-and-throw backstop and can easily enhance his game-calling skill when he joins Norris in the bigs, probably by 2015.
2013: ??? at Double-A Midland (Stassi will also play in the ’12 Arizona Fall League, which will give us another good measuring stick for his offensive progress)