A.J. Puk and Matt Chapman finished the 2016 season three levels apart, but they will both start next season in the same place.
The A's said Thursday that both players were among 26 non-roster players invited to big league Spring Training for 2017. They are Oakland's second- and fourth-ranked prospects respectively.
Taken sixth overall by the A's in this year's Draft, Puk is the highest-ranked player to garner an invite, slotting in as MLB.com's No. 65 overall prospect. The 21-year-old left-hander had his innings limited for much of his pro debut, but finished 0-4 with a 3.03 ERA, 40 strikeouts and 12 walks over 32 2/3 innings in 10 starts with Class A Short Season Vermont.
Ranked as the No. 94 overall prospect, Chapman joined Oakland as the 25th pick in the 2014 Draft out of Cal State Fullerton. The power-hitting third baseman put together a breakout season in 2016, crushing 36 homers and driving in 96 runs over 135 games between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. The 23-year-old still led the Texas League with 29 long balls, despite departing the circuit on Aug. 16.
Other A's top-30 prospects to earn invitations included infielder Richie Martin (No. 6), right-hander Heath Fillmyer (No. 17), righty Daniel Gossett (No. 18), infielder Max Schrock (No. 20), catcher Sean Murphy (No. 22) and first baseman Rangel Ravelo (No. 28). Martin, the club's first-round pick in 2015, tops the group after slashing .235/.327/.322 and swiping 14 bases in 91 games across two levels this season.
Outfielders Jaff Decker, Andrew Lambo, Kenny Wilson and Chris Parmelee; infielders Jermaine Curtis and Josh Rodriguez; right-handers Tucker Healy, Tyler Sturdevant, Caesar Valdez, Michael Brady, Simon Castro, Trey Cochran-Gil, Aaron Kurcz, Chris Smith and Josh Smith; left-hander Felix Doubront and catchers Ryan Lavarnway and Matt McBride also received invites.