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The Rule 5 Draft is in just a couple of weeks, on December 7 during the Winter Meetings in San Diego, and the A's have had some hits and some misses in this Draft in the past. This year, they're drafting much higher than they usually do, however. Due to their poor performance in 2022 and holding the second-worst record in all of baseball, they'll be drafting second behind the Washington Nationals. 

The A's have three open roster spots, after non-tendering three players at Friday's deadline, so they could choose up to three players as thing sit right now on December 7th. 

Just a quick primer on the Rule 5 Draft before we get started. The deadline that we saw on Tuesday was a big one for the upcoming Draft, because it was team's last chance to protect their eligible prospects. Since that deadline has passed, we now know what the draft pool will look like. 

The one rule in the Rule 5 is that a player selected in the Major League portion of the draft (the exciting part of the draft), has to remain on a club's 26-man roster to remain with that team. If a team decides that a player they selected isn't a fit or isn't performing, they're put on waivers where any team can claim him. If they pass through waivers, the player is then offered back to the team they were drafted from. 

Before the Rockies selected Mark Canha in 2014's Draft (and then immediately traded him to Oakland), he had played a full season in Triple-A and had produced some solid numbers. 

Vimael Machín had largely played in Double-A the season before the A's selected him, but had made a brief appearance in Triple-A, getting into 12 games and hitting .320. He'd also walked more than he struck out that season, so the profile was there for Machín. 

The A's have had a couple of misses of late, too, like Ka'ai Tom and Dany Jimenez. Tom was placed on waivers and taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Jimenez cleared waivers and was returned to the Blue Jays. He signed back with the A's as a free agent last off-season. 

The draft pool is also made up of a lot of guys that teams think they can get through the Draft without being selected because they were injured, or haven't played in the upper minors. While the A's have had success with position players in recent years, it's actually pitchers that are easier targets since they can be stashed at the back of the bullpen for an entire season. 

With that in mind, here are some intriguing prospects from team's top 30 lists on MLB Pipeline that are available for the A's to pick. 

Jayden Murray, RHP, Houston Astros #12

Murray, 25, was part of the three-team deal that sent Jose Siri to the Tampa Bay Rays, so the fact that he has been in those two pitching powerhouse organizations bodes well already. He spent most of his season in Double-A with the Tampa affiliate, posting a 2.83 ERA and a 2.71 BB/9. Hist fastball sits in the mid-90's and can get up to 97, and he has a plus slider and some deception that make his pitches work. 

He also got one start in Triple-A with Tampa before the trade where he gave up 8 hits and 5 runs in 4 1/3 innings. He also struck out eight and didn't walk anybody. His command has been solid throughout his pro career, and he may have two pitches that he could get by with out of the bullpen. 

Erik Miller, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies #7

Miller's fastball can reach 97 in shorter stints, and he mostly pitched out of the bullpen in 2022, with just seven of his 32 appearances coming as a starter. Drafted by the Phillies in the 4th round in 2019, the 24-year-old made it to Triple-A as a reliever this past season and after a rough few outings for the IronPigs, he rebounded nicely in September, posting a 1.42 ERA in 6 1/3 innings, striking out nine and walking seven. 

Miller has three quality pitches (fastball, slider, change), but his control hasn't been consistent. He is the kind of guy you see teams take a chance on in the Rule 5 Draft, and the A's have had lots of success in helping guys figure it out. He finished the season with 48 1/3 innings pitched, 62 strikeouts, 31 walks, and a 3.54 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A.

McKinley Moore, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies #24

Moore, like Reese Olson, had some bad BABIP luck in 2022, finishing with a .382 against and a 4.35 ERA. His FIP was a much more respectable 3.15 in 49 2/3 IP, and he held a 12.87 K/9 and a 4.71 BB/9 in Double-A. 

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Moore, 24, is a two-pitch pitcher with a heater that can touch 98 and a slider that sits in the mid-80's. Both pitches are considered "plus" pitches, but for Moore, it'll be about commanding those offerings. 

Malcolm Nunez, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates #12

Nunez was traded to the Pirates in the Jose Quintana deal with St. Louis, but at 21, he was already in Double-A, and even made a brief appearance in Triple-A before the end of the season. He has struck out right around 20% of the time in his pro career, and at both stops in Double-A this season he posted a walk rate of at least 13.5%. 

Nunez has raw power and a good arm, but FanGraphs doesn't think much of his defensive ability, which could limit him to first base or DH if the A's took him in the Draft. He hit 23 home runs in 119 games and batted .262 with a .367 on-base, mostly in Double-A. It would be hard to make this selection, but he has some decent upside, and the A's have been after bats that don't strike out much in recent acquisitions. 

Antoine Kelly, LHP, Texas Rangers #13

Kelly, 22, is 6-foot-5 from the left side and has a nice mid-90's fastball and mid-80's slider combo with a changeup in the works. He's technically a starter, beginning 24 games this season, but he did appear out of the 'pen in his last two appearances of 2022 and struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings. He also gave up three hits, three runs, hit a batter, and walked five. 

Command isn't his strongest suit, with Kelly posting a 5.14 BB/9 in High-A with Milwaukee before getting traded to Texas and getting promoted to Double-A where he posted a 9.16 BB/9 in 18 2/3 innings. He has the arm to have success at the big league level, it's just a matter of reigning in those walks. 

Mason Englert, RHP, Texas Rangers #29

Englert just turned 23, and his best offering is his changeup, which is another pitch type the A's have seemingly been targeting of late, with Adrián Martínez and JP Sears being two of the more recent additions with solid off-speed pitches. Englert's fastball sits 92-96, but he was able to rack up 136 strikeouts in 118 1/3 innings while holding a walks per nine under three. 

The one problem with Englert is that he is relatively green, having only tossed 15 1/3 innings in Double-A and under 200 overall in his pro career. He has a solid pitch mix, and for what it's worth, he's also listed as a switch-hitter. 

Adrian Hernández, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays #24

Hernández, 22, has one of the best changeups in the organization according to MLB Pipeline. "Even with opposing hitters on it, they often struggled to make much contact against it at all." That's a good start. 

He appeared in 31 games this past season in Triple-A, all out of the bullpen, and totaled 32 2/3 innings with a 4.96 ERA. He struck out 12.12 per nine innings, but his walk rate was a little high at 4.41. Guys that are left available in the Rule 5 typically have something that causes some pause, and for Hernández, it's that walk rate. With his age, familiarity with relief, and a special changeup, he could be the kind of guy the A's are targeting in the Draft. 

Jake Mangum, CF, New York Mets 

Mangum was drafted out of college in 2019, but has only played in 209 games professionally, even though he'll be 27 for Opening Day. He played in just 72 games in 2022 because of a stress reaction in his spine, but when he was on the field, particularly in Triple-A for the first time, he hit .333 with a .365 OBP in 33 games. He even hit a couple dingers and stole seven bases in eight attempts. 

Mangum is unranked in the Mets system, but he's one of their best defensive prospects, and he also struck out in only 15.8% of his plate appearances. That could be enough to earn a roster spot on the 2023 Oakland A's. 

It's a possibility that we'll see the A's make a couple of selections in the Draft, one position player, and one pitcher with some upside and take them to camp and see how things shake out, so finding someone with one loud tool could be all it takes before they let the coaching staff work their magic. 

Note: an earlier version of this article had listed Reese Olson as a target, but he was protected by the Detroit Tigers