Less than a year ago, OMlawdog took over running the Oakland franchise. Since then a lot has changed. His first major decision was trading team Ace Gabriel to Philly for Jim Morgan, Allan Fox and Henry Whitfield. The fans hated the deal as Gabriel had been a true leader for Oakland, but due to his 11.5 million salary, the trade was necessary. Since the trade, Whitfield has simply kept progressing. He is now a 1.5/4.0 player with 70/80 HR and 9 speed, while having elite defense in RF. He had an ok season in AA, putting up .236 Ba with a .317 OBP. He did slug .456, and have a 27 Hrs, 82 RBI and 18 stolen bases. It is likely he will start next season in AAA and might have a September call up in his future. The other piece of the trade was Allen Fox, at the time a 2.0/3.0 1B that wasn't doing much in the Phillies system. After getting traded, Fox has progressed to a 4.0/4.0 player with HR that is now up to 70/70, to go along with 70/70 eye. His contact has gone up to 55/55, and is finally starting to put it together. He his .283 in August with 5 HR's and 13 RBI. Hoping he has a breakout season next year. Morgan is probably going to end up in the pen, though he has some potential still. The other big trade for Oakland was trading Song Ju, their solid 1B. This was purely a trade to shred the contract of Ju to make way for Fox. Jue was due to make 68 Million over the next 4 years. For the fiscally conservative A's, this was simply too much to take on, due to the fact that his production simply wasn't there to start the season. In return the A's picked up Walt Buckley a guy with lots of potential, but some concerns. Im not convinced he will be a player, but he is only 19 years old, so we have a long time to figure it out. The strength of the A's roster is their young pitching. That strength started to show its teeth in the last third of the season when Jose Gonzalez put up a 7-9 records with a 2.85 ERA striking out 100 in 132 innings. He has a lot of potential, and looks to be the ace of next year's Pitching staff; Joining him next year looks to be Santiago Hernandez, who had a monster year in AAA going 15-4 in only 26 starts, with a terrific 2.06 ERA. He continued that great pitching in Oakland going 3-1 in 6 starts with a 2.79 ERA. He needs to work on the walks, but overall his future appears very bright. Finally, Walt Lee had a nice season in AAA going 16-6 with a 3.16 ERA and 188 K's. He struggled in Oakland, but showed he could be dominant with a 7 inning shutout performance against Minnesota. Depending on how he does in Spring Training, Lee could be with the big team next year, or he could use a few more AAA starts under his belt before he goes to the big leagues. The other minor leagues guys that had nice seasons and progressions are: Jeckel Wimmer -SP - This 19 year old kid had a solid season in A ball, where he went 8-11 with a 4.03 ERA. Not spectacular, but his control improved from a 30 to a 45 by the end of the season, and had a 2.55 ERA the last four months of the season. He now has 4.5 potential, and is starting to put it together. He will start next season in A ball, but expect a quick progression to AA if he starts out well. Bill Crocker - CF - This former first rounder had a great year in AA hitting .313 and having a .914 OPS while playing multiple positions. It looks like he will start next year in AA since he only played there in 57 games, but look for him to progress quickly through the system. With his 60/65 contact he is someone that has a bat that projects on the MLB level. Other players that may have a shot at making the major league club next year out of spring training are Bruce Kelly and Lewis Sidley. Sidley just destroyed AA pitching and was hot in AAA. Bruce Kelly threw up a .839 OPS in about 30 games in AAA and looks to be a guy that could make the MLB club as a 4th or 5th OF. Two players that are a ways away from helping the big league club are Walt Buckley who I have already discussed and David Ennis. Ennis struggled in SA ball, only hitting .211 while still getting on base and stealing 25 bases in 69 games, he will need to keep working on his game to take advantage of his speed. He should start next year in A ball and hopefully he will be able to refine his game. He is still just 20 years old so he has some time.