OAKLAND -- When injecting his club with youth through a series of trades this winter, general manager Billy Beane not only attempted to strengthen his club for the 2015 season, but for years to come.
The A's reeled in several prospects during this time, many of which will be on display in Spring Training. Moreover, a handful of the club's returning prospects have also received an invitation to big league camp, with a chance to impress in front of the A's coaching staff and front office.
Take a peek at the youngsters they'll be monitoring this spring:
1B Matt Olson: MLB.com's top-ranked A's prospect will be enjoying his first stay in big league camp, after totaling an organization-best 37 home runs for Class A Advanced Stockton last year. He also led all Minor Leaguers in walks (117) to finish with a .404 on-base percentage in advance of an impressive Arizona Fall League showing. Olson, who will turn 21 in March, was the A's third overall Draft pick in 2012 and has since hit 69 homers over his first 322 professional games. He is also considered an excellent defender at first base, where he'll likely assume duties at Double-A Midland to start the season.
3B Renato Nunez: The A's added Nunez to the 40-man roster this winter to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Nunez, 20, has developed into the organization's third-ranked prospect, per MLB.com, after being signed at age 16 out of Venezuela in 2010. Like Olson, the third baseman boasts plenty of power potential, finishing 2014 with 29 home runs and 96 RBIs for Stockton. Defensively, he's still a work in progress.
INF/OF Tyler Ladendorf: The 26-year-old put together a fine batting line in his seventh professional season, finishing 2014 with a .297 average and .782 OPS for Triple-A Sacramento -- but in just 78 games, because of a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's policy on drugs of abuse. Still, he impressed enough to influence the A's to shield him from the Rule 5 Draft, and he could prove to be a real asset off the bench for them at the big league level this year, particularly against left-handed pitching. He's already equipped with the versatility card -- he can play second, third, shortstop and all three outfield positions -- so a strong spring showing at the plate could put him in position for an Opening Day roster spot.
1B/3B Max Muncy: Drafted by the A's in the fifth round in 2012, Muncy may very well be the closest to Major-League ready out of his strong Draft class. He spent all of last year with Double-A Midland, batting .264 with seven home runs while leading the Texas League in on-base percentage (.385). He also impressed defensively at first base and is considered capable of handling other positions, as well, which could help clear his path to the Majors. Muncy is likely to begin the 2015 campaign at Triple-A and, with a good season, could be in line for a September callup. He's currently ranked by MLB.com as the A's No. 10 prospect.
2B Joey Wendle: Wendle is the guy the A's requested from the Indians in exchange for All-Star slugger Brandon Moss this winter, immediately making him an intriguing name to watch this spring. The second baseman, who became the A's No. 11-ranked prospect by MLB.com following the trade, is coming off a mostly forgettable, injury-riddled season. He dealt with a broken hamate bone in his right wrist that limited him to 87 games in Double-A, hitting .253/.311/.414. It's his bat, though, that's expected to carry him to the Majors, as his glove is considered average. It's not yet known whether he'll begin the season at Double-A or Triple-A.
C Bruce Maxwell: Maxwell returns to big league camp for a second consecutive year, following an up-and-down 2014 season split between Stockton and Midland. The 24-year-old hit .273 with a .365 on-base percentage for the Ports, earning a California League All-Star nod along the way. Soon after, he was promoted to the Texas League, where he struggled to the tune of a .141 average in 25 games for the RockHounds. However, he made strides defensively behind the plate, and a second stint in big league camp can only further help this 12th-ranked prospect make strides.
IB/3B Rangel Ravelo: Ravelo, one of four players traded to Oakland in the Jeff Samardzija deal, is coming off a strong 2014 season spent in Double-A, where he hit .309/.386/.473 with 11 home runs and 37 doubles in 133 games. He's likely to work out at both first and third base this spring, as the A's decide which position best suits him moving forward. The 22-year-old currently holds the No. 19 spot on MLB.com's Top 20 A's prospects list.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.