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Implications of the Draft

Taking a page out of last year's draft's book, the A's took several talented players in the later rounds and went over the recommended slot bonus to sign them. That's why we have Brett Hunter, Rashun Dixon, and Dusty Coleman in the system right now.

This year, as many of you know, the A's did the same thing. The A's will almost certainly have to go above the recommended bonus to sign Green, a Boras client, who is rumored to be asking for $4MM. Since the A's shortstop cupboard is all but bare, save for Coleman in Kane County, the A's would be foolish not to sign a talent like Green.

 

What the A's did after the first round was a bit surprising though. The A's took Max Stassi, widely considered a first round talent that fell due to signability concerns, in the fourth round. The figure floating around that Stassi needs to break his commitment to UCLA is $1.5MM. It's certainly doable, because the A's were rumored to be interested Donovan Tate, whose price tag was reportedly $6MM, though the A's may not have been interested in him at that price. 

Anyways, the A's also drafted pricy, talented players in Ian Krol, a high school pitcher from Illinois, and Sam Dyson, a huge talent that may be a tough sign for a couple of reasons. First is that he is only a junior and he has an extensive injury history; a healthy senior year puts him another year away from arm problems. Also, he was inconsistent last year; if he went back to school next year and was consistently good, his stock would skyrocket. There are fantastic writeups about Green, Stassi and Dyson here on AN, and I recommend you check them out.

What does this mean, though?

The A's were rumored to be a suitor for prized Dominican shortstop, Miguel Angel Sano, widely considered the best prospect that will become available on July 2, the day international prospects that are 16 years old become signable. In early reports, Sano was reported to be worth something in the $2.5MM-$3MM range, but Pittsburgh, the main suitor for Sano, may be considering going into the Ynoa-range to sign him, throwing upwards of $4MM at him.

The A's signed Ynoa and paid lots of overslot money last year, right? Well, Jemile Weeks signed for just under $2MM, the suggested bonus for that slot, not $4MM. And a bidding war with Pittsburgh, who would made to look foolish if somebody else signs Sano, would be costly and pointless.

In my opinion, the talented draft class all but takes Oakland out of the Sano sweepstakes. All is not lost, though, because the A's are one of the prime suitors for Jean Carlos Batista, a shortstop prospect that will likely sign for somewhere around $1MM when the international signing day rolls around. Apparently, he already has several offers over $500,000. The A's will be competing with Dodgers, Rangers, Indians and Yankees over him.

Kiley McDaniel over at Baseball Prospectus did a fantastic writeup about him. Batista is switch-hitting, projectable kid who is 6'1", 170 right now. His smooth swing has been compared to Carlos Beltran's. His defense is advanced and solid, possibly making him even more desirable to Sano, who, if he grows any larger, will likely have to move to a corner infield or even an outfield position.

Overall, I'm extremely excited about this years draft class. It turned out much better than I expected it to. Of course, it's only that good if the players sign, which I expect most of them to do. The A's will have to do so in order to compete with the Rangers down the road.

A future of the A's and Rangers battling for supremacy of the AL West and maybe even the AL appears more and more likely. With the two best minor league systems, they both had good drafts, with Texas getting Matt Purke, one of the best high school pitchers available, and Scheppers, Mendonca and Erlin (a NorCal HS kid) after that. The rich are getting richer.

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